Nightlife Music Venue

Rams Head On Stage

33 West St., Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 268-4545
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About Rams Head On Stage

The top music club under 500 seats in the world! This beautiful smoke-free, seated nightclub offers an amazing array of national talent. Food and beverage served before and during show.

Attraction

General

- Reservation Recommended

Onsite

- 100% Smoke Free

- Alcohol Served

- Alcohol Served

- Live Music/Entertainment

- Restrooms Onsite


Dining

Meals Served

- Dessert

- Dinner

- Late Night

Onsite

- 100% Smoke Free

- Alcohol Served

- Alcohol Served

- Live Music/Entertainment

- Restrooms Onsite

Policy

- Attire

casual

- Reservations Accepted

- Reservations Required

Pricing

- Dining Cost

Moderate,

General

Accessibility

- Wheelchair

Pricing

- Dining Cost

Moderate,

Chris Smither
Rams Head On Stage

Chris Smither

May 16, 2020

March 2018 on Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert). Recorded at the gorgeous Blue Rock Studio in the Texas foothills CALL ME LUCKY features longtime producer and multi instrumentalist David Goodrich, drummer Billy Conway (Morphine), Matt Lorenz (aka The Suitcase Junket), Mike Meadows, and engineer Keith Gary. The new record features Smither trademark songs that offer commentary on the human condition with a wink of an eye and pulls from deep in the soul. To complete the project are a couple of surprise covers that remind us of Chris' deftness as a song interpreter as he makes the songs his own. Honing a synthesis of folk and blues for 50 years, Smither is truly an American original. Reviewers and fans from around the world, including Rolling Stone and The New York Times, agree that Chris continues to be a profound songwriter, a blistering guitarist, and intense performer as he draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and humanist philosophers. CALL ME LUCKY does just that. Check it out. Check out Chris Smither.

Uli Jon Roth
Rams Head On Stage

Uli Jon Roth

May 15, 2020

Experience an evening of true musical passion and inspiration! Uli takes us on a 360-degree journey into his world of artistic imagination. Uli Jon Roth has always been a man with a mission, and in 2020 he is embarking on a truly epic one man solo tour around the world. This time, the trail blazing German-born guitar genius of Scorpions fame presents us with a very different way of experiencing his music. Supported by an integrated multi-media show - which is combining no less than 3 screens with synchronized images, lasers and holograms with a powerful spectrum of orchestral and ethnic music - Uli is firing on all cylinders simultaneously like a passionate scientist who is totally dedicated to his unrelenting quest for manifesting beautiful music with the power to be uplifting, inspirational and spell-binding. The choice of music for INTERSTELLAR SKY GUITAR is inspired and guaranteed to create an exciting journey through Uli's intriguing musical world. The journey crosses over from both classical and baroque master pieces- such as Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Mozart, Bach and Beethoven - to new music by Uli written for his 9-string Flamenco Sky Guitar as well as excerpts from a new Sky Guitar Concerto. The seated concert finishes with several pieces from Uli's Scorpions and Electric Sun days, complete with exciting new orchestrations and different arrangements. Uli's signature tool of expression is the legendary Sky Guitar which he invented and on which he will perform.These stunningly designed six-octave instruments have a far greater tonal range than traditional guitars, allowing Uli to equal the range of the violin and the cello. The main star of the collection is the stunning state-of-the art Excalibur 7-string Sky Guitar and the new 9-String Flamenco Sky Guitar, for which Uli has recently written a whole series of beautiful new pieces and which he showcases for the first time on this tour. Due to popular request and as a special treat - Uli will also improvise on the piano - something which he has never done before in live concerts. This epic musical journey is bridging the creative worlds of classical, ethnic and rock music in an unprecedented way. Experience the pinnacle of great guitar playing of the first order and allow yourself to be transported into other dimensions of music on Starship Uli.

Al Stewart
Rams Head On Stage

Al Stewart

May 8, 2020

Ask Al Stewart to sum up where he is now, musically speaking, and you’re likely to wind up two steps behind where you started; this is by no means an unusual circumstance in conversation with Al, keenly aware as he is that making a leap forward often entails taking a step backward. Sometimes it’s into the library stacks where the late historian Ms. Tuchman dug for material. Sometimes it’s into the record stacks where the late rocker Mr. Cochran made his mark as a teenager singing his “Summertime Blues” so many summertime’s ago. Al Stewart came to stardom as part of the legendary British folk revival in the sixties and seventies and developed the combination of folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of the great characters and events from history. Stewart has 19 studio albums between “Bedsitter Images” in 1967 and “Sparks of Ancient Light” in 2008, plus the live album "Uncorked" with Dave Nachmanoff in 2009. Al continues to tour extensively around the U.S. and Europe. He is perhaps best known for his hits ‘Year of the Cat” from the Platinum album of the same name and the Platinum follow up album “Time Passages.” But his career spans four decades as a key figure in British music. He played at the first ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970, worked with Yoko Ono pre-Lennon and shared a London apartment with a young Paul Simon.

Julia Fordham
Rams Head On Stage

Julia Fordham

April 28, 2020

Julia Fordham makes a welcome return to The Rams Head as part of her first USA Tour in 8 years. Julia will perform an array of her classic songs and fan favourites including Happy Ever After, Where Does The Time Go, Porcelain, Girlfriend, Love Moves (In Mysterious Ways) and Manhattan Skyline alongside songs from her new album, Magic. Julia has most recently been seen as part of the all female group Woman to Woman featuring Beverley Craven and Judie Tzuke. Their acclaimed album sold in excess of 10,000 copies and their UK tour saw them to perform to over 30,000 people. Known the world over for her stunningly rich voice and intelligent and heartfelt lyrics, Julia has worked with esteemed producer Larry Klein and collaborated with such artists as Paul Reiser, Michael McDonald and India Arie. A luscious contralto that she wields with an almost operatic command, it is one of the most strikingly beautiful new voices to be heard in pop in recent years-New York Times “A stylish pop balladeer with a voice that glides easily between the languor of Sade and the smooth high notes of Philadelphia soul.”- The Telegraph

Karla Bonoff
Rams Head On Stage

Karla Bonoff

April 25, 2020

Singer/songwriter Karla Bonoff grew up in Los Angeles and briefly attended UCLA. Emerging from the Monday night hootenanny scene at the Troubadour nightclub, she was a member of Bryndle, a folk-rock group also featuring Wendy Waldman, Andrew Gold, and Kenny Edwards, that formed in 1969, signed to A&M, and cut an album that was never released. Edwards, a former member of the Stone Poneys (a band featuring Linda Ronstadt), and Gold were later part of Ronstadt's backing band, and they brought Bonoff to her attention. Ronstadt recorded three of Bonoff's songs on her 1976 album, Hasten Down the Wind, leading to a recording contract for Bonoff and the release of three albums on Columbia Records, the last of which, Wild Heart of the Young (1982), featured the Top 40 hit "Personally." Bonoff worked on movie soundtracks during the '80s, notably on Footloose (1984) and About Last Night (1986). She released her fourth album, New World, in 1988. Karla continues to perform all over America and Japan. Karla's legacy as a writer and perseverance as a performer are spoken best in a Billboard Magazine review of Karla's "All My Life" recording. "Long before Alanis and Jewel, there was a breed of singer/songwriters whose earthly anthems of soul-searching, heartache and joy touched souls in a way few can muster today."

John Berry
Rams Head On Stage

John Berry

April 22, 2020

John Berry has a new outlook, a new address and a new beginning. The singer-songwriter rose to stardom on the country charts of the 1990s with such mega hits as Your Love Amazes Me, Standing on the Edge of Goodbye and She’s Taken a Shine. His annual Christmas tours brighten the holidays for thousands, as does his electrifying rendition of O’ Holy Night. During his star-making decade, John placed 20 singles on the county charts, 6 of which went Top 5, with Your Love Amazes Me, scoring a #1 on the Billboard and Radio & Records Country Chart as well as Standing on the Edge of Goodbye and She’s Taken a Shine earning the #1 slot in Radio & Records . He has earned multiple Gold and Platinum records over the years. John was nominated for the ACM Top New Male Vocalist in 1994, won a Grammy Award in 1996 for his participation in Amazing Grace: A Country Salute to Gospel Vol. 1, was nominated for another Grammy in 1995 for his smash hit Your Love Amazes Me and was nominated for the CMA Horizon Award and Top Male Vocalist Award in 1995. In 1997 he was nominated for Vocal Event of the Year (for Long Haired Country Boy with Charlie Daniels and Hal Ketchum) and in 2013 John was nominated for the Mainstream Country Male Artist by the ICM Awards. And thanks to the miracles of modern technology, he even sang a duet with the late, great Patsy Cline. “I love what I do, with a passion not seen in quite some time. I’m hopeful and excited about the future. I love singing and always will. I have a bus, an incredible stage presentation, a great band, hands-on management team and I’m always all dressed up and ready to go.” He and his family moved back to Music City after several years in Georgia, and in 2017 John is pursuing a touring and personal appearance schedule that is more active than ever. Given his wide range of music and number of releases, John is fortunate in that he can book a solo show with just himself and guitar, a small-band acoustic show or a full-band engagement and has more than enough hit material to captivate a crowd and deliver an evening full of musical memories. John’s enduringly powerful performances draw on a lifetime of making music and living life. Born in South Carolina and raised in Georgia, he began playing guitar at 13, performing shows at age 14 and making records at age 19. “By the time I was 17, I knew that music was what I wanted to do with my life”; and he has done it well ever since.  Between 1979 and 1990 he recorded and marketed six albums on his own labels. The Graduation Song, which he wrote during his senior year in high school, became a perennial favorite at graduation ceremonies. It appeared on two of his early collections. Those early discs and John’s strong regional popularity attracted attention on Music Row. Capitol Records signed him to his first major label contract in 1992. Berry’s co-written hits A Mind of Her Own and Kiss Me in the Car introduced him to radio audiences in 1993. Then Your Love Amazes Me, What’s in it for Me and You and Only You thrust him to stardom in 1994. Standing on the Edge of Goodbye, I Think About it all the Time, and If I Had Any Pride Left at All were all major hits the following year, with Standing on the Edge of Goodbye earning John the coveted 1995 Grammy nomination. But it was his stunning performance of the title track of the 1995 CD O’ Holy Night that led to his most enduring legacy to date. John began doing special Christmas tours that year and 2016 marks his 20th anniversary holiday concert tour. He has big plans to celebrate and involve the fans like never before for this anniversary celebration. He has also issued three more Christmas-music collections. If O’ Holy Night is all that anyone remembers of me, that’s fine with me,” he comments about his perennial Christmas popularity. “It is a truly inspired piece of music.” Happily, there were more successes to come. The hit Change My Mind earned John a Top-5 spot on the Country music charts in 1996. She’s Taken a Shine became an even bigger hit in 1997. Both fans and the media took note again when There He Goes was released as a 1999 duet with Patsy Cline. In 2002, Berry returned to making records for his own company, Clear Sky Records. Songs and Stories, a double CD was issued that year. In 2003, John Berry released his I Give My Heart collection and its critically applauded wedding anthem Will You Marry Me. The disc also contained his versions of such classic love songs as Time in a Bottle, If, Love Look What You’ve Done to Me, Faithfully, Lady and Let’s Stay Together. I Give My Heart inspired still another popular concert series, The Love Tour. In 2008, Those Were the Days, was released, marking John’s return to mainstream country music. He created his first Christian-music CD in 2011. In 2012, John published the combination book and CD, again titled Songs and Stories. Over the years he has continued to tour steadily. “We just have a great group of fans who welcome us every year. They are always there.” In late 2015 John launched a crowd funded Kickstarter project that proved very successful. Overwhelmed by the fan response, John assembled an all-star studio team and cut both a Country album entitled What I Love the Most and a new album simply titled Christmas and released both in late 2016. Blessed with the ability to make the music he wanted to make (and not what a label dictated) allowed John the time to write and create what many music critics who have heard bits & pieces are saying could be his best, most complete project yet. “I'm excited to have been able to release this new music and bring it to the fans through a new distribution agreement with Sony RED. It’s a new time in the music business and technology allows me to be closer to my fans and interact in new ways. You know, God just keeps blessing me. There are new opportunities coming at every turn.” “With time, I’ve learned that the road to fulfillment is doing what I was called to do, love to do, and then doing it the best I can, regardless of the circumstances. And for me, that is making music and singing for people." 2017 found John touring in several configurations (acoustic solo, acoustic trio and full band) culminating in the year-ending legendary Christmas Tour, marking its 21st year this year. Also, in August of 2017 John launched a new, weekly internationally syndicated television show entitled Songs and Stories with John Berry that explored the songs and stories that changed the lives of his weekly guest. Superstar guests in Season 1 of the show include Billy Ray Cyrus, Billy Dean, Mo Pitney, Neal McCoy, Suzy Bogguss, Collin Raye, Craig Morgan, Mark Wills, Delbert McClinton, Clay Walker and Lee Roy Parnell. He followed up a successful Season 1 with Season 2 that showcased artists like Steve Dorff, Mac McAnally, Bryan White, John Schneider, Radney Foster, Terri Clark, Tracy Lawrence, Darryl Worley, Pam Tillis, Rhonda Vincent, newcomers Sean Berry, Preston James and Blane Howard and closing out the season with the legendary group, Exile. Songs and Stories with John Berry airs multiple times weekly to over 105 million homes across the United States as well as the UK and New Zealand on great networks like Heartland Television, The Family Channel, The Country Channel, Phil Mack’s Keep it Country (UK), Country TV (New Zealand) and Ride TV.  Along with Season 2 of Songs and Stories with John Berry, 2018 saw John celebrating his 25th anniversary since signing his major label deal, touring the country, being recognized by the State of Georgia with a proclamation naming a day in his honor, receiving the key to the city in his old hometown of Athens, Georgia after a sold out return show there (celebration his first show in an Athen’s club in 25 years), being featured in the critically acclaimed major motion picture “Beautifully Broken” by singing the title cut, which saw him notch his first Top 30 Country in hit in 22 years, releasing a new recording project which contains several songs John co-wrote that celebrates his life, entitles “Thomas Road” and ended with his celebrated Christmas tour, the 22nd annual tour.

Charles Esten
Rams Head On Stage

Charles Esten

March 25, 2020

Known best for his role as Deacon Claybourne on the hit television show NASHVILLE, Charles Esten was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Alexandria, VA. After starting his acting career in Los Angeles, he was pleased to make his theatrical debut in London, portraying Buddy Holly in the hit West End musical BUDDY. It was in that role, he was honored to perform for H.R.M Queen Elizabeth in the Royal Variety Performance. Since then, aside from NASHVILLE, he has performed on WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY, as well as appearing on many other films and television shows including THE POSTMAN, NYPD BLUE, ER, BIG LOVE, and the American version of THE OFFICE. Coming up will be a recurring role on TNT’s TELL ME YOUR SECRETS, and Netflix’s new series Outer Banks. It was NASHVILLE that reopened Esten’s musical career, and over the course of the last six years he has performed hundreds of live concerts, including three sold out NASHVILLE IN CONCERT shows at the Royal Albert Hall. He has performed in the O2 Arena at the C2C Festival, at the CMC Festival in Australia, STAGECOACH in Indio, CA, CMA Fest in Nashville, as well as the Bluebird Café, The Ryman Auditorium, and the Grand Ole Opry where, on July 20th, he made his 100th appearance. In January of this year he completed his first solo twelve-city tour through a sold out UK and Netherlands, and standing room only shows in Germany. He returns to the UK in October 2019. Esten made musical history when he earned a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for his #EverySingleFriday campaign which yielded 54 original songs that he wrote, recorded, and released, once a week, for 54 consecutive weeks. The songs are all available on iTunes, and on Spotify, where his music has already been streamed worldwide nearly 8 million times.  Married for 27 years, Esten and his wife Patty have three children – Taylor, Chase and Addie – and make their home in Nashville, TN. Addie is a survivor of childhood leukemia, and her journey has inspired her parents’ passionate involvement in fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Esten serves as the National Honorary Spokesperson for the Light the Night Walk. Over the last 6 years, their Light the Night Walk team – Team Addie – has raised over one million dollars in the fight against blood cancer.

The Fifth Dimension
Rams Head On Stage

The Fifth Dimension

March 22, 2020

In 1967, a little-known vocal group called the 5th Dimension recorded the song “Up, Up and Away” which catapulted the group to instant stardom. Countless magazine covers, world tours and several Grammys later, the 5th Dimension is recognized as one of the most prolific soul, R&B groups in musical history. The 5th Dimension has made over 25 million in sales with 22 Top 40 hits and five No.1 songs, including “Up, Up and Away,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” “Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep At All,” and the iconic “Aquarius/ Let the Sunshine In”. They have performed on the world’s most famous stages, including Radio City Music Hall alongside Frank Sinatra and the Hollywood Bowl, and delivered unforgettable television performances on the Ed Sullivan Show, Soul Train and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The 5th Dimension has secured its position in the Grammy Hall of Fame, with 14 gold records, six platinum records and six Grammy Awards. In 2015, The 5th Dimension celebrated 50 years of extraordinary entertainment. Original member Florence LaRue and company continue to deliver dynamic performances that stand the test of time and captivate audiences from Las Vegas to Manila, Philippines. While remaining true to their original, five-part harmonic sound, The 5th Dimension remains versatile, attracting audiences of all ages and nationalities. Within the last decade, The 5th Dimension has taken the stage with several prestigious symphony orchestras, entertained at the White House and performed for families at Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, demonstrating the groups diverse appeal. The iconic group continues to sell out venues across the United States, Europe and Asia. According to a recent review by White Plains Citizens, ”[The 5th Dimensions’] voices and harmony are stronger, more emotional and as meaningful, perhaps more meaningful than when they first became hits in the 1965-1975 era. Today’s Dimensions deliver a tight, personal show, as crisp as old top 40 Radio.”

10,000 Maniacs
Rams Head On Stage

10,000 Maniacs

March 19, 2020

10,000 Maniacs has a lot in common with Jamestown, New York, the city that spawned them back in 1981. Both are honest and hardworking, a step outside the mainstream, and both possess a bit of magic. “It’s a city of blue-collar poetry,” says keyboardist Dennis Drew. “And that’s what we’re about, real-life stories. We’re a family, we do real work and we keep moving forward.” The band has covered plenty of ground in its 35-plus years, from cult-herodom to international stardom, to their current status as a cornerstone alternative band. But the sound and spirit of 10,000 Maniacs remains consistent. The live shows embrace their entire catalogue, and the lineup is still anchored by four of the six original members. Drew and bassist Steven Gustafson cofounded the band in 1981, drummer Jerry Augustyniak came along shortly afterward, and founding guitarist/singer John Lombardo, who’d never completely left the picture, was welcomed back fulltime in 2015. And the two “new” members have long been part of the family: Mary Ramsey toured and recorded with the Maniacs as a viola player and backup singer before stepping into the front woman’s role 24 years ago. And the new guy Jeff Erickson, the lead guitarist for a mere 17 years, came in at the behest of his friend and mentor, the late Rob Buck. The band was proudly eclectic from the start, making trademarks of wide-ranging music and poetic lyrics. The tribal-sounding “My Mother the War,” one of their most aggressive early tracks, hit college radio and briefly scraped the UK charts in 1984. Signed to Elektra the following year, the band worked with legendary producer Joe Boyd on The Wishing Chair and embraced its love of British folk-rock, a sound they’d return to over the years. Yet the more direct approach proved the charm, as the band played to ever-growing audiences (including a memorable tour with R.E.M.) and began writing its most enduring material. The late ‘80s/early ‘90s found the band delivering a remarkable string of albums—1987’s In My Tribe and 1989’s Blind Man’s Zoo, both produced by the legendary Peter Asher, and 1992’s Our Time in Eden, produced by Paul Fox. From these albums came the hits “Like the Weather,” “What’s the Matter Here?”, “Trouble Me,” “These Are Days,” and “Candy Everybody Wants”—all among the more thoughtful and beautifully crafted singles of their time. Founding singer Natalie Merchant went solo in 1993. “We love Natalie, we love her and the time we spent with her was very special,” says Drew today. Meanwhile founding member John Lombardo had also split the lineup and had formed a new duo, John & Mary. When 10,000 Maniacs toured in 1991 behind the Hope Chest album (a reissue of their earliest EP’s), it made sense for Lombardo to temporarily rejoin, and to bring his new musical partner along. Ramsey proved a perfect fit and added her voice and strings to the later part of the Natalie era, including the MTV Unplugged show that spawned their hit cover of the Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen song “Because the Night.” So when Merchant gave her notice, there was little question of who would step in. “The style of music came very naturally to me,” Ramsey says. “I had that familiarity with the band, and I’m from Fredonia, in the same part of western New York.” The new lineup debuted on 1997’s Love Among the Ruins, a well-received album that included their gorgeous cover of Roxy Music’s “More Than This”—a productive era that also produced a strong follow up album two years later, The Earth Pressed Flat. But the band was dealt a blow the following year with the death of Rob Buck. An innovative player and a good friend, Buck had also been an inspiration to guitar players in his hometown. “He was someone who loved music,” Drew recalls. “He’d grab his guitar, get in his car and jump onstage with bands, long as they were playing original music. He proved to all the guitar players in town—Yes, you can do this! And Jeff was one of those guys who learned at the foot of the Buddah.” Erickson had already toured with the band as Buck’s guitar tech, so he knew all the secret tunings and had an intuitive feel for the material. Still, Buck’s death created a period of uncertainty as 10,000 Maniacs went to part-time status for a while. The band was fully rededicated with 2011’s Music From the Motion Picture, its first studio album in 14 years. It was their first release that was fully crowd-funded and it was proof that the magic still worked. A number of fan-friendly projects followed, including 2015’s Twice Told Tales, a full album of their arrangements of English traditional material. The album originally grew out of an onstage interlude where Ramsey would perform a traditional fiddle tune (fortuitously called “Lady Mary Ramsey”) between songs; Lombardo then stepped in and suggested a few of his own favorite songs. Their second fully crowd-funded effort, it also reconnected the band with its audience. “Not all of us are social-media savvy, but our former manager walked us through the process and it really worked for us,” says Gustafson. The band also released two overdue live albums with Ramsey singing: 2016’s Playing Favorites and 2017’s Live at the Belly Up—the first revisiting the greatest hits, the second featuring deeper cuts from the entire catalogue. Recent years have only brought the band members closer together, once again with a strong six-piece lineup. Current plans call for another studio album in the near future. “Nobody is demanding that we write hits, so in some ways it’s back to the beginning,” Gustafson says. “We have the luxury of having gone through another 35 years and gone through our sad and happy times together.” Adds Drew, “Musical ideas have never been a problem for us. We know what a gift it is to be able to do this. And we know from doing shows with the Grateful Dead that it’s really about going onstage every night and playing as well as you can.” “There is always a magic that happens when people hear this music,” Ramsey says. “People want to be put under a spell, and we can help them escape the reality of every day. And,” she laughs, “We can give them an escape that’s drug and calorie free.”

Broken Arrow: A Tribute to Neil Young
Rams Head On Stage

Broken Arrow: A Tribute to Neil Young

February 28, 2020

Broken Arrow is fronted by Joe Mass, veteran virtuoso Philly guitar player, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. Joe has toured and recorded with artists such as Bootsy Collins, Robert Hazard, Essra Mohawk, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, and Rick Derringer He was music director for Grammy Award winning artist, (Maniac from the film Flashdance), Michael Sembello. Joe is a featured guitar player at the prestigious Dallas International Guitar Festival, alongside the likes of Sonny Landreth, Andy Timmons, Jimmy Wallace, Greg Koch, Gary Hoey, and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith. Joe's vocal and instrumental interpretation of Neil 's music is faithful to the original, yet he puts his own stamp on these iconic songs with his incendiary playing and some cool segues and arrangements.

The Linda Ronstadt Experience Starring American Idol Finalist Tristan McIntosh
Rams Head On Stage

The Linda Ronstadt Experience Starring American Idol Finalist Tristan McIntosh

February 16, 2020

American Idol finalist Tristan McIntosh creates a stunning portrayal of Linda Ronstadt in the prime of her career. Supported by a superb backing band, Tristan’s formidable vocal talent and stage presence will transport you a time when Linda Ronstadt ruled the airwaves as one of the most popular female vocalists in music history...

TUSK: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute
Rams Head On Stage

TUSK: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute

February 13, 2020

Tusk, The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute, is the #1 Tribute to Fleetwood Mac in the world, bar none.  No wigs, no backing tracks, no gimmicks, just five musicians recreating the music of Fleetwood Mac to perfection with note for note renditions that no other Fleetwood Mac tribute on the touring scene today can come close to duplicating. Tusk covers all the great hits of Fleetwood Mac, which has featured the talents of Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and others over the years. The five seasoned, well-respected musicians comprising Tusk have been making music together in various combinations and styles, in original outfits and in cover bands, for over twenty-five years. It seemed only fitting that they should come together to form the Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute, and pay homage to a group that dominated the charts during the band members’ formative years.  Authentic-sounding and always respectful, Tusk leaves no stone unturned in replicating the sounds of one of the world’s best-loved, top-selling bands.

Gaelic Storm
Rams Head On Stage

Gaelic Storm

February 12, 2020

After nearly two decades and more than 3,000 live shows, Gaelic Storm — the chart-topping, multi-national Celtic band — is looking sharper than ever with their latest release, Matching Sweaters. The new album mixes traditional Irish music with modern influences, creating a sound that's as wide-ranging as the band's own audience. From bluegrass fans and country cowboys to Deadheads, rock & rollers and Celtic fanatics, Gaelic Storm has built one of the most diverse fan bases in modern music. Matching Sweaters helps explain the broad appeal. Rooted in the songwriting of founding members Patrick Murphy and Steve Twigger, the album moves from drinking songs ("Another Stupid Drinking Song") to energetic instrumentals ("The Narwhaling Cheesehead") to rootsy pop/rockers ("Whiskeyed Up and Womaned Out"), gluing everything together with the spark and spirit of a band that's spent close to 20 years on the road. "We're a touring band," says percussionist Ryan Lacey, who joined the lineup in 2003. "That's how this band works.Matching Sweaters is one of the most complete albums we've done so far, because it taps into every facet of our live show." Those live shows date all the way back to the mid-1990s, when Gaelic Storm kicked off its career as a pub band in Santa Monica, California. By the end of the decade, the musicians had appeared in the blockbuster film "Titanic" (where they performed "Irish Party in Third Class") and laid the groundwork for a career that would eventually find them topping the Billboard World Chart five times, making appearances at mainstream music festivals such as Summerfest, Telluride and The Rock Boat Cruise, and regularly headlining the largest Irish Festivals across the country, all the while gaining a reputation as a genre-bending Irish band whose songs mix Celtic traditions with something new and unexpected. Now, with the band's 20th anniversary on the horizon, they're putting even more emphasis on those newer directions. "We'll push the envelope, then reel it back in, then push it again," says Murphy. "There's a lot of variety here, and that's why we can play country festivals, bluegrass festivals and rock festivals, and still fit in perfectly with each one. We wanted Matching Sweaters to reflect that range, so people could buy the CD and hear everything we're able to do in concert." When it came time to write Matching Sweaters' 12 songs, Murphy and Twigger teamed up with longtime friend and co-writer Steve Wehmeyer. Together, the three found inspiration in everything from old Irish newspapers ("The Rustling Goat Gang," whose details were gleaned from an article about a vanishing goat herd from Waterford) to bits of conversation overheard in local pubs ("Paddy's Rubber Arm"). In addition to writing new songs, the musicians have continued to play new markets every year, taking the chance to stretch their boundaries — and widen their audience — whenever possible. It helps keep them on their toes. "Playing for a new crowd is great," says Twigger. "It takes you back to those early days, where you've got something to prove. We could just do Irish festivals, but why not play a crossover show where 90% of the audience doesn't know you, and you have to make them know you? That's what makes your band good." Matching Sweaters follows in that hard-working tradition, dishing up all the ingredients fans have come to expect from Gaelic Storm — the drinking songs, sea shanties, furiously-strummed instrumentals and sing-along melodies — while spiking the mix with newer flavors. Eat it up, but make sure to save some room! There's plenty more where this came from.

Gaelic Storm
Rams Head On Stage

Gaelic Storm

February 11, 2020

After nearly two decades and more than 3,000 live shows, Gaelic Storm — the chart-topping, multi-national Celtic band — is looking sharper than ever with their latest release, Matching Sweaters. The new album mixes traditional Irish music with modern influences, creating a sound that's as wide-ranging as the band's own audience. From bluegrass fans and country cowboys to Deadheads, rock & rollers and Celtic fanatics, Gaelic Storm has built one of the most diverse fan bases in modern music. Matching Sweaters helps explain the broad appeal. Rooted in the songwriting of founding members Patrick Murphy and Steve Twigger, the album moves from drinking songs ("Another Stupid Drinking Song") to energetic instrumentals ("The Narwhaling Cheesehead") to rootsy pop/rockers ("Whiskeyed Up and Womaned Out"), gluing everything together with the spark and spirit of a band that's spent close to 20 years on the road. "We're a touring band," says percussionist Ryan Lacey, who joined the lineup in 2003. "That's how this band works.Matching Sweaters is one of the most complete albums we've done so far, because it taps into every facet of our live show." Those live shows date all the way back to the mid-1990s, when Gaelic Storm kicked off its career as a pub band in Santa Monica, California. By the end of the decade, the musicians had appeared in the blockbuster film "Titanic" (where they performed "Irish Party in Third Class") and laid the groundwork for a career that would eventually find them topping the Billboard World Chart five times, making appearances at mainstream music festivals such as Summerfest, Telluride and The Rock Boat Cruise, and regularly headlining the largest Irish Festivals across the country, all the while gaining a reputation as a genre-bending Irish band whose songs mix Celtic traditions with something new and unexpected. Now, with the band's 20th anniversary on the horizon, they're putting even more emphasis on those newer directions. "We'll push the envelope, then reel it back in, then push it again," says Murphy. "There's a lot of variety here, and that's why we can play country festivals, bluegrass festivals and rock festivals, and still fit in perfectly with each one. We wanted Matching Sweaters to reflect that range, so people could buy the CD and hear everything we're able to do in concert." When it came time to write Matching Sweaters' 12 songs, Murphy and Twigger teamed up with longtime friend and co-writer Steve Wehmeyer. Together, the three found inspiration in everything from old Irish newspapers ("The Rustling Goat Gang," whose details were gleaned from an article about a vanishing goat herd from Waterford) to bits of conversation overheard in local pubs ("Paddy's Rubber Arm"). In addition to writing new songs, the musicians have continued to play new markets every year, taking the chance to stretch their boundaries — and widen their audience — whenever possible. It helps keep them on their toes. "Playing for a new crowd is great," says Twigger. "It takes you back to those early days, where you've got something to prove. We could just do Irish festivals, but why not play a crossover show where 90% of the audience doesn't know you, and you have to make them know you? That's what makes your band good." Matching Sweaters follows in that hard-working tradition, dishing up all the ingredients fans have come to expect from Gaelic Storm — the drinking songs, sea shanties, furiously-strummed instrumentals and sing-along melodies — while spiking the mix with newer flavors. Eat it up, but make sure to save some room! There's plenty more where this came from.

Maggie's Celtic Celebration feat. Maggie Sansone, Karen Ashbrook, Paul Oorts, Seth Kibel, Laura Byrne, Jimmy Eagan, David McKind
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Maggie's Celtic Celebration feat. Maggie Sansone, Karen Ashbrook, Paul Oorts, Seth Kibel, Laura Byrne, Jimmy Eagan, David McKind

February 9, 2020

Don’t miss the 15th Annual Maggie’s Celtic Celebration Concert! This special evening also includes top Celtic and Irish musicians Karen Ashbrook on hammered dulcimer & Paul Oorts on harp-guitar & musette accordion, Laura Byrne on Irish flute, Pat Egan on vocals and guitar, Seth Kibel on sax & clarinet, Jimmy Eagan on fiddle, and The Culkin LIVE! Irish step dancers. A popular annual event at Rams Head On Stage, the performers will take you on an exciting musical journey to the heart and soul of the Celtic and American music as they weave a magical spell with virtuoso performances sure to delight and amaze! Maggie Sansone is a WAMMIE winner (Washington Area Music Association) and owner of Maggie's Music featured on CBS TV "Sunday Morning ." She is heard on Fiona Ritchie's The Thistle & Shamrock (NPR) who said "Maggie's Music is a gathering place of much Celtic-rooted and inspired acoustic music in the USA".

California Guitar Trio & Montreal Guitar Trio
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California Guitar Trio & Montreal Guitar Trio

February 8, 2020

California Guitar Trio The universe of guitar knows no boundaries for The California Guitar Trio. Since 1991, the group has enthralled listeners with a singular sound that fearlessly crisscrosses genres. The trio’s questing spirit drives it to explore the intersections between rock, jazz, classical, and world music. It even throws in the occasional surf or spaghetti Western tune for good measure. Comprised of Bert Lams, Hideyo Moriya and Paul Richards, the group has established a unique, personal connection with audiences. In addition to dazzling musicianship and interplay, The California Guitar Trio's (CGT) shows are full of captivating stories and humor that enable concertgoers to feel like they're part of the music, not just spectators. In fact, the group’s goal is to transcend their instruments, so people focus on the music first, and its considerable technical prowess a distant second. CGT's 16 albums, streamed over 65 million times on Pandora, offer diverse snapshots of the group’s mercurial muse. The trio’s most recent release Komorebi showcases its acoustic side, with beautiful lush originals and innovative cover arrangements of Beatles, Beach Boys and more. Other highlights include Masterworks and album of classical works, with expansive takes on Bach, Beethoven, Arvo Pärt, and Schubert. Andromeda, which combines their many influences into a visionary album of original material; CG3+2, an exploration of kinetic rock territory in collaboration with bassist Tony Levin and drummer Pat Mastelotto; and Echoes, which re-imagines timeless material by artists such as Mike Oldfield, Penguin Café Orchestra, Pink Floyd, and Queen. The trio’s output has made a major global impact, having served as the soundtrack for Olympics coverage, and programs on CNN, CBS, NBC, and ESPN. They have fans in high places too: NASA used their music to wake the crew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. CGT's lineup is truly the sum of its distinct parts: A Utah native now residing in Los Angeles, Paul Richards immersed himself in rock, blues, jazz, and folk during his early days and while attending The University of Utah’s jazz guitar program. Bert Lams, originally from Belgium, graduated from the prestigious Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, specializing in classical guitar. Tokyo-born Hideyo Moriya began his guitar journey with surf music and British rock, before relocating to Boston to study at Berklee. All three felt the call to push themselves to the limit by enrolling in Robert Fripp’s challenging Guitar Craft courses, where they first met in 1987. They went on to tour together as part of Fripp’s League of Crafty Guitarists, before forming the California Guitar Trio in Los Angeles four years later. Recently, the trio expanded its collaborative possibilities by working within a six-guitar format with the Montreal Guitar Trio. During these groundbreaking, highly-entertaining shows, the acts perform inventive arrangements of each other’s repertoire, and new music for guitar sextet.  27 years and 1,800+ gigs later, the CGT remains intensely committed to explore, evolve and communicate a wide-ranging musical worldview. Montreal Guitar Trio Described by the CBC as the "hottest" guitar ensemble in Canada, MG3 has quickly established itself as a force to be reckoned with, as well as an interactive force in various musical forms. For over 15 years, the trio's virtuosity, rigour, creativity and impressive stage presence – where humour and interacting with the public go hand in hand – have been winning over audiences around the world. The trio, composed of guitarists Marc Morin, Sébastien Dufour and Glenn Lévesque, has given hundreds of concerts in some of the most prestigious venues across North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, including the BB King Blues Club in New York, the Rundetårnet in Copenhagen, and the legendary Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Throughout the years, the trio has collaborated and shared the stage with world-renowned ensembles and artists, such as the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Jorane et Solorazaf. Their most memorable collaboration to date was, without a doubt, with the California Guitar Trio (CGT), when both ensembles joined forces to give an unforgettable concert, brilliantly performing some of the greatest rock classics from Queen, The Beatles, a few "spaghetti western" themes by Ennio Morricone, as well as some of their original compositions. Starting in the fall of 2010, the sextet has toured across Canada and the United States, performing in over 100 cities. Winner of the 2011 Opus Award for "concert of the year" in the Jazz / World Music category, MG3 has released six albums. Der Prinz, under the Analekta label, has been launched in February 2014, during the 15th edition of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE Festival.

Strunz & Farah
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Strunz & Farah

February 5, 2020

Performing together since 1979, Strunz & Farah are the innovators of an entirely new expression for the acoustic guitar. Well ahead of their time they created an original style that now is widely influential. Originally from Costa Rica and Iran respectively, Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah have brought the musical influences of their native lands into their highly virtuosic, rhythmic, and improvisation-rich original instrumental compositions, inspiring fans and many guitarists worldwide. Their meeting in 1979 in Los Angeles, where they are still based, marked the first time that Latin American and Middle Eastern music, along with other important elements, came together on the guitar. They remain the undisputed masters of the style they created. Jorge Strunz was born in Costa Rica. Given his first (three-quarter size) guitar at age 6, he grew up in Colombia, Mexico, Spain, England, Canada, and the United States, studying and playing flamenco and classical guitar. He performed flamenco guitar professionally as a teenager, accompanying Spanish dancers and singers. He later also played electric guitar in numerous rock bands. He then turned to jazz and jazz fusion, and then focused on his own Latin American roots, Caribbean and Latin folk music. Strunz developed an original, lyrical style, and a way of playing guitar that is his own synthesis of hand techniques from flamenco, Latin folk and classical guitar combined with state-of-the art virtuoso linear plectrum playing. In 1994 and in 1998, Strunz received two Presidential awards from the government of Costa Rica for his cultural contributions. Ardeshir Farah was born in Tehran, Iran. While still a teenager, he moved to England for schooling. He played guitar since childhood, focusing on popular music and improvisation. He has performed and recorded extensively with many of the top expatriate Persian singers and musicians in the US who fled Iran after the Revolution. Farah was the first to use Middle Eastern inflections in a contemporary guitar setting. His distinctive touch has a unique exoticism. The travels of his diplomat father brought Strunz to the United States, where he studied languages and linguistics at Georgetown University while playing music professionally at the same time, while Farah arrived as a student of architecture at USC, also playing professionally on the side. Farah chanced to see Strunz perform with his jazz-fusion group Caldera (4 albums on Capitol), and was very impressed by the music. Shortly afterwards, when the two guitarists met through a mutual friend, it was readily apparent that their individual styles had a natural affinity, and that their musical goals were similar, notwithstanding their different backgrounds. They prepared a repertoire, began performing, and recorded their first project, Mosaico in 1980 (self-produced). Although record companies at that time were not ready for this new music, Los Angeles jazz radio embraced it and world/jazz industry pioneer Richard Bock got the duo signed to the prestigious jazz label Milestone for whom they recorded their revolutionary albums Frontera, 1983 and Guitarras, 1984. These records defined world music on guitar years before the “world music” category existed. Since 1980, they have made 20 albums, 15 of which are studio recordings, including their very popular titles Primal Magic (1990), which topped the Billboard World Music charts, and the Grammy-nominated Américas (1992), and Heat of the Sun (1994; top 10 Billboard World Music chart). Their latest recording is Moods and Visions (April 2014), celebrating 35 years of highly successful collaboration, continuing and evolving the duo’s original synthesis of multi-cultural elements into a flowing, melodic and rhythmic acoustic guitar style of the highest virtuosity. In their performances and recordings (which have sold about a million and a half), one can savor the fruits of one of the most unique yet enduring and harmonious musical collaborations in the world of the guitar.

Good Deale Bluegrass & Eastman String Band 20th Anniversary Show!
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Good Deale Bluegrass & Eastman String Band 20th Anniversary Show!

February 1, 2020

Join us for the 20th anniversary of the Good Deale Bluegrass, Eastman String Band show! Tim Finch’s annual show returns with Seldom Scene’er Dudley Connell playing some classic and “not so classic” bluegrass tunes. Also appearing will be IBMA banjo award winner Mike Munford, Sally Love Connell, and Alex Sens on dobro. Sharing the bill once again will be Tim & Savannah Finch with The Eastman String Band. Tim and Savannah along with Jon Glik and special guest Guitarist extraordinaire Chris Luquette, bring back their thrilling brand of Americana infused Bluegrass, performing songs from both their albums. An entire evening of great songs and great pickin!

Marc Cohn
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Marc Cohn

January 26, 2020

After winning a Grammy for his soulful ballad “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn solidified his place as one of this generation’s most compelling singer-songwriters, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man. Rooted in the rich ground of American rhythm and blues, soul and gospel and possessed of a deft storyteller’s pen, he weaves vivid, detailed, often drawn-from-life tales that evoke some of our most universal human feelings: love, hope, faith, joy, heartbreak. Cohn followed up his platinum-selling debut with two more releases in the 1990s, at which point Time magazine called him "one of the honest, emotional voices we need in this decade" and Bonnie Raitt declared, "Marc is one of the most soulful, talented artists I know. I love his songs, he's an incredible singer, and I marvel at his ability to mesmerize every audience he plays for." Raitt, James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Patty Griffin all made guest appearances on Cohn’s early records for Atlantic as his reputation as an artist and performer continued to grow. In 1998, Cohn took a decade-long sabbatical from recording, ending in 2007 with Join the Parade. Inspired by the horrific events following Hurricane Katrina and his own near fatal shooting just weeks before, Parade is his most moving and critically acclaimed record to date. About his album Listening Booth: 1970, a collection of reimagined classics from that seminal year in music, Rolling Stone said, “Cohn has one of rock’s most soulful croons – a rich, immediately recognizable tenor that makes these songs his own.” In late 2014, Cohn released “The Coldest Corner in the World,” the title song to the documentary Tree Man and his first original song released in more than seven years. On March 25, 2016, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his platinum-selling debut album, released Careful What You Dream: Lost Songs and Rarities along with the bonus album Evolution of a Record, featuring never-before-heard songs and demos dating back to years before his debut album and the Grammy award that followed. Marc’s momentum continued into a busy and fruitful 2017, which he spent in part on the road with the legendary Michael McDonald, garnering critical acclaim across the U.S. His writing talent was also drafted for work with a roster of American music greats including soul survivor William Bell, who won his first Grammy at age 78 with Marc’s help; Marc co-wrote a solid half of Bell’s celebrated album This is Where I Live, including the passionate opening cut “The Three Of Me.” The album revived the sound of Stax soul’s golden age, when Bell had first cut his teeth as an artist, and which had influenced Marc Cohn so powerfully - in its way, completing a circle and letting Marc give back to one of the originators of the sound that shaped him. Marc revisited another corner of American music’s rich heritage with the Blind Boys of Alabama on the Grammy-nominated song “Let My Mother Live,” and also worked with David Crosby on the album Lighthouse. As powerfully influenced by the singer-songwriter tradition as he is by the legacy of soul and gospel, working with the ‘60s icon was a project that got right to Marc’s creative core. Moving forward, he continues to do what he does best: infuse American music with both a fresh perspective and a reverence for its deep roots.

Jackson Dean
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Jackson Dean

January 25, 2020

Life is made up of opportunities and when they knock, Jackson Dean & the Outsiders kill it on stage! 18 year old, country, singer/songwriter Jackson Dean was born and raised in Odenton, Maryland. Often compared to Chris Stapleton, Jackson Dean’s voice will blow you away with his old country, blues, rock and his own unique fusion of style! Jackson Dean released his first album “Flood Zone” in 2016. He continued playing local venues all over Maryland. In 2017, his second album “Who We Are” was released.  In November 2018, a video of him singing his heartfelt country rendition of the National Anthem went viral and reached over a million people. Now being discovered all over the United States, Jackson Dean is making a statement in the country music industry opening for Kane Brown, Jake Owen, Brothers Osborne and signed a publishing deal with Little Louder Music. Jackson Dean & the Outsiders were officially formed in 2018 including band members Sean Mercer (drums), Rich Kolm (base) and Brandon Aksteter (guitar). His new album “Ain’t No Saint” was released March 30, 2019. Now graduated from high school, Jackson Dean will be investing all of his time into his music career.

The Second City: Laughing For All The Wrong Reasons
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The Second City: Laughing For All The Wrong Reasons

January 24, 2020

"The entire recent tradition of American satire can be summed up in three words: The Second City." - New York Times Can't make it to The Second City? THE SECOND CITY will come to you! For over fifty-five years, THE SECOND CITY has taken its act on the road, performing at colleges, performing arts centers, clubs, theatres, fundraisers, festivals, conventions and more. Performing social and political satire in two 45-minute acts of scripted scenes, music, and improvisation, THE SECOND CITY TOURING COMPANY is always original, daring, and hilarious. Their alumni list is a veritable "Who's Who" of comedy, including Bill Murray, John & Jim Belushi, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, George Wendt, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Horatio Sanz, Tim Meadows, Joan Rivers, John Candy, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, Harold Ramis, Jack McBrayer, Jason Sudeikis, Jane Lynch, Aidy Bryant, Steven Yeun, Keegan-Michael Key and so many more. *line-up subject to change from city to city.

Taimane Gardner
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Taimane Gardner

January 19, 2020

Performing in the spotlight in Hawaii since age 13 when she first joined Don Ho on-stage, Taimane has carved out a robust career by following her passion and committing to her vision of creating an original sound and style with her diminutive instrument of choice, the ukulele. From Bach to rock, flamenco infernos to tribal hymns, Taimane takes her ukulele above and beyond boundaries and like her birthstone (Taimane means diamond in Samoan, the birthplace and heritage of her mother), radiates light - illuminating music’s ability to unite people and cultures. With four albums released, over 7 million video views, over 70,000 social media followers and the successful presentation of her own musical at Hawaii’s most revered performance hall (the exquisite, 1,400-seat Hawaii Theatre), Taimane stands on a formidable foundation, poised to further grow her voice while continuing to embrace the power and joy of being an independent artist.

Gilbert Gottfried
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Gilbert Gottfried

January 16, 2020

At the young age of 15, Gilbert Gottfried began doing stand-up at open mike nights in New York City, after a few short years, became known around town as “the comedian’s comedian.” After spending several years mastering the art of stand-up comedy, producers of the legendary NBC late night comedy show Saturday Night Live became aware of Gottfried and, in 1980, hired him as a cast member. It wasn’t until a few years later when his true notoriety would begin when MTV hired him for a series of improvised and hilarious promos for the newly formed channel. This led to several television appearances on “The Cosby Show” and “Late Night with David Letterman.” Gottfried’s work in television soon led to roles in film. Most notable was his improvised scene as business manager Sidney Bernstein in the hit sequel “Beverly Hills Cop II,” for which the New York Daily News said, “Gilbert Gottfried steals the picture with a single scene.” Aside from his glowing reputation in comedy clubs, Gottfried began to gain a reputation as the king of quirky roles in both movies and television. He appeared in such movies as “Problem Child,” “Problem Child II,” “Look Who’s Talking II” and “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.” He was also the host of the very popular late night movie series “USA Up All Night.” After his stellar performance as the wise cracking parrot, IAGO, in the Disney classic “Aladdin,” Gottfried became one of the most recognizable voiceover talents, lending his voice to several commercials, cartoons and movies, including the frustrated duck in the AFLAC Insurance commercials. Gottfried also is the voice of DIGIT in the long running PBS Series “Cyberchase.” His signature voice can also be heard on the Comedy Central series, “The Annoying Orange, the voice of the horse on “Family Guy,” Mr. Mxyzptlk in the new “Lego Batman 3 – Beyond Gotham” video game, and Abraham Lincoln in A Million Ways to Die in the West. Gottfried has made numerous memorable appearances on Comedy Central Roasts and the Comedy Central series, “The Burn with Jeff Ross.” Gottfried’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” reading (College Humor) received over 5 million views on YouTube. Gilbert has been a guest on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Show with Seth Meyers”, “@Midnight with Chris Hardwick” and numerous appearances on “The Howard Stern Show.” He also has had a recurring role on “Law and Order” SVU as TARU tech Leo Gerber. Gottfried appeared in the hit comedy documentary “The Aristocrats,” with Entertainment Weekly saying that “out of the 101 comedians who appear on screen, no one is funnier – or more disgusting – than Gilbert Gottfried.” In addition, Gottfried, a classic movie lover, was a guest Programmer on TCM. He mock-complained to TCM host Robert Osborne that choosing only four films out of all those available was “the worst homework assignment ever!” “Gilbert Gottfried Dirty Jokes” was released on both DVD and CD, featuring 50 non-stop minutes of Gottfried telling the funniest and filthiest jokes ever. The show was filmed live at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. Also featured on the DVD are some of the funniest bonus features ever, including wild stories, indignant ranting and celebrity impressions. “Rubber Balls and Liquor” is Gilbert Gottfried’s hilarious first-ever book. Part memoir, part twisted social commentary, and part scratches on the bathroom wall. With this scathingly funny book of rants and musings, Gottfried sullies an entirely new medium with his dysfunctional worldview. Oh, and did we mention the reality shows and podcast? Gilbert appeared on both ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap”, swapping with Alan Thicke, and NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” where Gilbert took his first trip into the boardroom and perhaps his last. And the podcast…”Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!” where Gilbert journeys back in time with some of the Hollywood icons, legends, and behind the scenes talent who shaped (warped?) his childhood and influenced his unique brand of comedy. He is joined each week by his co-host and late night phone friend, fellow showbiz fanatic, and Comedy Writer Frank Santopadre. In 2017, “Gilbert” the documentary about Gilbert Gottfried premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Director Neil Berkeley’s Gilbert reveals an unexpected side to the iconic comedian. The film peeks behind the larger-than-life persona at a more personal story about growing up in Brooklyn and becoming a husband and father late in life. “Gilbert” premiers on Hulu, fall 2017. As a famed comics comic, Gottfried puts aside political correctness for his live performance and fires an onslaught of jokes that know no boundaries. Stephen King on Gilbert Gottfried: “More than a national treasure, he’s a secret weapon. If we had had Gilbert Gottfried in World War II, Hitler would have given up in 1942.” Gilbert, a lifelong resident of NYC is married with 2 children and has never had a drivers license.

Big Bad VooDoo Daddy
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Big Bad VooDoo Daddy

January 15, 2020

Since its formation in the early nineties in Ventura, California, Big Bad VooDoo Daddy has toured virtually nonstop, performing on average over 150 shows a year, and has produced a sizable catalog of recorded music, with sales of over 2 million albums to date. Early on, during their legendary residency at the Derby nightclub in Los Angeles, they reminded the world, in the midst of the grunge era no less, that it was still cool to swing. The band, cofounded by singer Scotty Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren, was at the forefront of the swing revival of that time, blending a vibrant fusion of the classic American sounds of jazz, swing, and dixieland, with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture.  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s all original core line-up includes Scotty Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Kurt Sodergren (drums), Dirk Shumaker (double bass and vocals), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen "The Kid" Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet) and Joshua Levy (piano and arranger).  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s efforts to promote and revitalize swing music have taken shape as much more than a simple tribute. Taking inspiration from the creators of this uniquely American art form, the band’s original horn-infused music and legendary high energy show introduces the genre to a new and younger generation while remaining cognizant and respectful of the music’s rich legacy.  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's first phase of stardom featured an appearance in the 1996 indie film Swingers, a movie that not only launched the careers of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, but introduced Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to an audience beyond their Los Angeles base. The band's music has appeared in countless films and television shows, including The Wild, Despicable Me, Phineas & Ferb, Friends, Third Rock From The Sun, Ally McBeal, and So You Think You Can Dance. They have appeared live on Dancing With The Stars, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a remarkable seven appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Super Bowl XXXIII Halftime Show. The band has also appeared as special guests with many of the country's most distinguished symphony orchestras, and has performed for three U.S. Presidents.

Suede
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Suede

January 12, 2020

Direct from headlining with Melissa Etheridge and Sarah McLachlan and tours including world renowned clubs like NYC’s Birdland, San Francisco’s Feinstein’s, Washington DC’s Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center, Boston’s Scullers Jazz Club and more - and having the immense privilege and honor of being the late, great Joan Rivers’ opening act, Suede is the real deal (said Joan) and is thrilled to return to her hometown of Annapolis and Rams Head On Stage. NY press says she’s like Adele meets Diana Krall meets Bette Midler. Dare her. Again, she was Joan Rivers’ opening act. Come see why!  Boston Globe says she’s “Wicked exciting!” "A spectacular evening of song and style. “ “Voices like hers come along maybe once in a generation." - New York Times "A great voice, even better enthusiasm, almost giddy delight at entertaining audiences, that if bottled would make every anti-depressant on the market obsolete." -Steppin' Out Arts, NY "Thank you for the most f#!ing incredible night of my life in an audience! You are f#!ing to DIE for!" - Bea Arthur

The English Channel: A Tribute to the British Invasion Decade
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The English Channel: A Tribute to the British Invasion Decade

January 11, 2020

The English Channel meticulously recreates each song to sound just like the original recording and just like you remember it. At their show, "AM/FM Hits of the British Invasion Decade” you'll hear the evolution of ten years of ground-breaking music in just two hours' time. Fab AM radio hits from 1964-1967 are in the first half of the show, featuring songs from artists like The Beatles, Petula Clark, the Dave Clark Five, The Zombies & The Searchers. Then in the second half of the show you’ll hear the heavier tunes you listened to on your FM dial from 1967 and beyond by artists like ELP, the Moody Blues, David Bowie, Jethro Tull & Yes. Tune in to The English Channel…they’ll take you back to where you once belonged.

Bruce in the USA
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Bruce in the USA

January 4, 2020

Bruce In The USA is much more than just another tribute… This high-energy musical experience is a note-perfect and visually accurate recreation of a Bruce Springsteen & The E St. Band show. Matt Ryan, from the World Famous “Legends In Concert” cast, began playing the Springsteen character in 2000, in Legends “full scale” Las Vegas show. The great success in the famous Las Vegas show brought him to performances across the world, eventually evolving his character into the Bruce In The USA show. The Bruce In The USA Band consists of seasoned world class professional musicians. The show has hosted musicians from such acts/bands as Queen/Paul Rogers, Meatloaf, Blue Oyster Cult, Hall and Oats, Joe Cocker, The Ojays, Aretha Franklin, David Cassidy, The Temptations, Slash… and so many more.This high end, powerhouse, band has taken this genre of performance art to a whole new level, making it the World’s #1 Tribute to the E Street Band’s musical legacy. To millions of diehard fans around the world, it’s Springsteen’s marathon, party-like performances that have elevated him to hero status. Bruce’s legendary concerts (in the largest arenas) sell-out within hours of their announced sale. For those even lucky enough to get a ticket, there was nothing that could fill the aching void in between Bruce’s long-awaited tours…until now…. The Bruce In The USA show was born on the Las Vegas Strip in the winter of 2004, with its debut at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, in the majestic “V Theatre”. The show assaulted the senses in a fun-filled and exciting party atmosphere on the Vegas Strip, while suspending disbelief for even the toughest skeptics. They’ve been met with critical acclaim, from the Stone Pony, large theaters, and Performance Art Centers across the country, as well as corporate events spanning across the globe for over a decade. Sell-out crowds are on their feet from the first song to the last.

Bruce in the USA
Rams Head On Stage

Bruce in the USA

January 3, 2020

Bruce In The USA is much more than just another tribute… This high-energy musical experience is a note-perfect and visually accurate recreation of a Bruce Springsteen & The E St. Band show. Matt Ryan, from the World Famous “Legends In Concert” cast, began playing the Springsteen character in 2000, in Legends “full scale” Las Vegas show. The great success in the famous Las Vegas show brought him to performances across the world, eventually evolving his character into the Bruce In The USA show. The Bruce In The USA Band consists of seasoned world class professional musicians. The show has hosted musicians from such acts/bands as Queen/Paul Rogers, Meatloaf, Blue Oyster Cult, Hall and Oats, Joe Cocker, The Ojays, Aretha Franklin, David Cassidy, The Temptations, Slash… and so many more.This high end, powerhouse, band has taken this genre of performance art to a whole new level, making it the World’s #1 Tribute to the E Street Band’s musical legacy. To millions of diehard fans around the world, it’s Springsteen’s marathon, party-like performances that have elevated him to hero status. Bruce’s legendary concerts (in the largest arenas) sell-out within hours of their announced sale. For those even lucky enough to get a ticket, there was nothing that could fill the aching void in between Bruce’s long-awaited tours…until now…. The Bruce In The USA show was born on the Las Vegas Strip in the winter of 2004, with its debut at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, in the majestic “V Theatre”. The show assaulted the senses in a fun-filled and exciting party atmosphere on the Vegas Strip, while suspending disbelief for even the toughest skeptics. They’ve been met with critical acclaim, from the Stone Pony, large theaters, and Performance Art Centers across the country, as well as corporate events spanning across the globe for over a decade. Sell-out crowds are on their feet from the first song to the last.

Last Train Home
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Last Train Home

January 2, 2020

"One of the country's most formidable roots-rock bands." That's the assessment of the Nashville Tennessean about the band Last Train Home. And while roots-rock is the core of LTH's sound, don't overlook the country, swing, bluegrass, blues, folk, mariachi, punk, pop, and Tin Pan Alley influences you'll find if you give this band a listen. Since its beginnings in 1997, Last Train Home has evolved from a five-piece part-time band in Washington D.C. to a full-time touring unit, with more than a dozen members across five states. Named Washington D.C.'s "Artist of the Year" in 2003, Last Train Home went full-time the same year. Its frontman, Eric Brace, is a former staff writer for The Washington Post where he was a music columnist covering the local music and nightlife scene, and also played in several bands before launching Last Train Home in 1997. Also in the band from the start are bassist Jim Gray and drummer Martin Lynds. Along with Eric, those two made the move to Nashville in 2003 when the band decided to go full-time. In Music City, they met keyboard player Jen Gunderman (formerly of the Jayhawks) who soon became a steady member. The band played with several guitarists in Nashville, trying to find a regular replacement for the D.C. guitar team of Bill Williams, Scott McKnight, and Jared Bartlett. They found that man in Steve Wedemeyer, a Texan they met while touring Europe in the fall of 2004. Steve moved to Nashville in late 2005 to become a full-time member of Last Train Home, and made his mark on the band immediately. The new album, "Last Good Kiss" (March, 2007), was recorded in Nashville with Steve and Jen on all the tracks, along with Eric, Martin, and Jim. They're joined on a couple of songs by LTH trumpeter Kevin Cordt. It's easily the band's deepest and best recording, created in a spirit of collaboration (all five primary musicians receive "producer" credit). "Last Good Kiss" was released on Red Beet Records, a label begun by Eric, and which has relelased two other stunning CDs: "The Skylighters" (a bluegrass/country side-project featuring bluegrass legends Mike Auldridge and Jimmy Gaudreau, along with Eric, Martin, and Jim), and "The Other Side: Music From East Nashville" (a two disc compilation of East Nashville artists, such as Todd Snider, Kevin Gordon, Garrison Starr, Kieran Kane, and 25 more! But it's "Last Good Kiss" that's really getting the attention. As of April 17, 2007, it is 12 on the Americana Music Radio" chart and rising, and it's getting the best reviews of the band's ten-year career. The band has played more than a thousand shows over the years, including tours of Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and the Virgin Islands. In the summer of 2005, LTH appeared on the CBS "Late Late Show w/ Craig Ferguson" and on the acclaimed syndicated public radio show "Mountain Stage."

Musiq Soulchild (6pm Show)
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Musiq Soulchild (6pm Show)

January 1, 2020

Musiq Soulchild is a hip-hop soul artist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He built a reputation for being musically gifted, beat boxing for MC’s, free styling on the open-mic circuit or just performing acapela for strangers on the streets.   Deeply inspired by the R&B/Soul sound of the 70’s he uses the name “Soulchild” as a way to show respect and admiration to his biggest musical influences such as Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and many others.   In September 2017, he released his 8th studio album and first 24 track double album entitled “Feel The Real” leading with the new hit single “Start Over”. The album peaked and was nominated for Soulchild’s 13th Grammy Nomination.   Musiq Soulchild is a hip-hop soul artist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He built a reputation for being musically gifted, beat boxing for MC’s, free styling on the open-mic circuit or just performing acapela for strangers on the streets.   Deeply inspired by the R&B/Soul sound of the 70’s he uses the name “Soulchild” as a way to show respect and admiration to his biggest musical influences such as Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and many others.   In September 2017, he released his 8th studio album and first 24 track double album entitled “Feel The Real” leading with the new hit single “Start Over”. The album peaked and was nominated for Soulchild’s 13th Grammy Nomination.

Musiq Soulchild (9pm Show)
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Musiq Soulchild (9pm Show)

January 1, 2020

Musiq Soulchild is a hip-hop soul artist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He built a reputation for being musically gifted, beat boxing for MC’s, free styling on the open-mic circuit or just performing acapela for strangers on the streets.   Deeply inspired by the R&B/Soul sound of the 70’s he uses the name “Soulchild” as a way to show respect and admiration to his biggest musical influences such as Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and many others.   In September 2017, he released his 8th studio album and first 24 track double album entitled “Feel The Real” leading with the new hit single “Start Over”. The album peaked and was nominated for Soulchild’s 13th Grammy Nomination.   Musiq Soulchild is a hip-hop soul artist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He built a reputation for being musically gifted, beat boxing for MC’s, free styling on the open-mic circuit or just performing acapela for strangers on the streets.   Deeply inspired by the R&B/Soul sound of the 70’s he uses the name “Soulchild” as a way to show respect and admiration to his biggest musical influences such as Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and many others.   In September 2017, he released his 8th studio album and first 24 track double album entitled “Feel The Real” leading with the new hit single “Start Over”. The album peaked and was nominated for Soulchild’s 13th Grammy Nomination.

Deanna Bogart New Year's Eve Concert
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Deanna Bogart New Year's Eve Concert

December 31, 2019

Down Beat magazine describes award-winning multi-instrumentalist Deanna Bogart as "an extravagant entertainer"-- and entertain is what Bogart does best. The Maryland-based blues and boogie pianist / saxophonist combines the energy of 1930's style boogie piano blues with contemporary blues sounds emanating from places like New Orleans, Chicago and Memphis. "The goal when we play live," says Bogart, "is to create a fusion of all these different musical styles with the blues and boogie genuinely at the core."  Deanna's fusion of “blusion” (which combines the best of boogie-woogie, contemporary blues, country and jazz) has garnered her three consecutive Blues Music Awards' Horn Instrumentalist of the Year for 2008, 2009 and 2010 and an endorsement contract with Rico Reeds. She has won, at last count, more than 20 Wammies, the music awards for the hotly contested Washington area.

Seldom Scene
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Seldom Scene

December 30, 2019

Since its inception in 1971, the Seldom Scene has thrived on playing bluegrass a little differently than everyone else. Through skilled musicianship and an urban approach to bluegrass, the Seldom Scene has become one of the most influential -- if not the most influential -- bluegrass band of their time. One of the founding members, banjo player BEN ELDRIDGE, has been with The Seldom Scene since its inception, November 2, 1971, and he still performs with the same fire and enthusiasm that characterized the band's early days as a progressive group that took Bluegrass music to new heights. Ben is also well loved for his scat singing on fan favorite, "Lay Down Sally".  DUDLEY CONNELL plays a masterful guitar and provides powerful lead vocals for The Scene, which has a reputation for challenging the bounds of Bluegrass; and Connell's musical virtuosity has pushed the group beyond these bounds. Audiences delight in Connell's renditions of traditional songs like "Old Train", folk ballads such as "Blue Diamond Mine", and blues songs like "Rollin' and Tumblin'". Connell is a former member of The Johnson Mountain Boys.  Playing dobro for The Scene is one of the most respected dobro players on the bluegrass circuit today, FRED TRAVERS. He is also an accomplished vocalist who brings solid lead and harmony to The Scene. Travers is a former member of the Gary Ferguson Band and the Paul Adkins Band. Fred is beloved for his tender vocals on Seldom Scene favorites' Walk Through This World With Me, and From This Moment On.  RONNIE SIMPKINS plays rock-steady bass for the group and provides the bass vocals in The Scene's quartets as well. Simpkins has been performing Bluegrass music since childhood and is a former member of The Tony Rice Unit.  LOU REID, who plays mandolin for The Scene and provides the tenor vocals, is also a former member of Ricky Skaggs Band, Quicksilver, and he currently fronts his own group Carolina. On lead, or when providing harmony, Reid's vocals are the epitome of the powerful, "high, lonesome" tenor that is the signature of Bluegrass music.  JOHN DUFFEY, former bandleader and beloved character, John passed away December 10, 1996. He was, to many, the greatest tenor voice ever in bluegrass.

1964 The Tribute
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1964 The Tribute

December 29, 2019

Since the early 80's, “1964”…The Tribute has been thrilling audiences all over the globe with what Rolling Stone Magazine has called the “Best Beatles Tribute on Earth”.  “1964” …The Tribute takes their audiences on a musical journey to an era in rock history that will live in all of our hearts forever. They are hailed by critics and fans alike as the most authentic and endearing Beatles tribute in the world.  Choosing songs from the pre-Sgt. Pepper era, “1964” astonishingly recreates an early 60’s live Beatles concert, with period instruments, clothing, hairstyles, and onstage banter. Over 25 years of researching and performing have made “1964” masters of their craft. Come see why “1964”…The Tribute is the definitive Beatles show!

Stephen Kellogg
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Stephen Kellogg

December 28, 2019

Over the last decade, New England native Stephen Kellogg has performed more than 1500 concerts around the world, raised thousands of dollars for causes close to his heart, been named Armed Forces Entertainer of the Year, and penned singles for artists like platinum selling rock band O.A.R and American Idol winner Nick Fradiani. Stephen’s most recent writing work with legendary guitarist Robert Randolph, led to a 2017 Grammy nomination for "Best Contemporary Blues Record." He's also had his songs covered by international major label acts and released ten studio albums of his own yielding hundreds of thousands of ticket and record sales. A father of four and married to his high school sweetheart, filmmaker Peter Harding was so moved by the everyman nature of Kellogg's story that he made a documentary called "Last Man Standing" which went on to become an Amazon exclusive film. In recent years, Kellogg has added authorship and speaking to his resume as well. He delivered a TEDx Talk on job satisfaction, the key note speech for the prestigious photography summit WRKSHP, and was invited to speak to the students at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO on the topics of social justice and 'finding your voice.’ He has appeared as a contributing author in several publications and in 2019, Wetware Media will be publishing his first full length book entitled “Objects in the Mirror: A Storyteller’s Take On What Matters Most.” Kellogg’s newest studio album, “Objects in the Mirror”, was recorded over the course of a single week in Nashville, TN. Produced by Will Hoge and featuring twelve songs that explore American life in 2018, the decision was made to track the band live, keeping the results in tact with minimal overdubs. “I wanted to make an album that sounded and felt like the ones I grew up loving; Bob Seger and Cat Stevens, Tom Petty and Rod Stewart. Emotional records where the songs relate to each other and the lyrics are front and center. That’s my true north.” Kellogg’s emotion has never been in question with one music blogger succinctly describing his music as ‘a beautiful display of—well, his heart.” And as for the lyrics, Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz can lately be heard singing their praises on his ‘Underwater Sunshine’ podcasts.  While Stephen Kellogg may have remained underneath the radar for some in the mainstream, he has succeeded in building a meaningful career alongside many of the best in the business. He’s sung duets with Sara Bareilles, Josh Ritter, Rosanne Cash, and Pat Monahan of Train and participated in the 2018 “Garden Of Dreams’ concert at the Beacon Theater. His music has found its way onto the Billboard charts and been featured in numerous films and TV shows. Whether performing solo or with a band, Kellogg’s soul and energy fuel one of the most dynamic shows anywhere. “With beautifully written songs and an engaging personality”, The Michigan Daily reports, “Kellogg appears as if he was born on stage, taking the spotlight and using it to his advantage, but never letting go of his connection with the audience.” A master storyteller in his prime, he will spend much of 2018 and 2019 where he’s always been at home…the road.

Cris Jacobs Band
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Cris Jacobs Band

December 27, 2019

When Cris Jacobs began dreaming about a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2016 album Dust to Gold, he realized early on he'd have to do things differently this time around. His life had changed drastically since writing those songs: he'd toured extensively and attracted a legion of new, devoted fans; he'd come off the road into a world, with its divisive rhetoric and troubling headlines, he no longer recognized; and, most importantly, he'd gotten married and had his first child. Things had changed, and Jacobs had, too. Color Where You Are is the work of an artist at an exciting new stage in his life and career, ready to use his talents to share a little beauty with the loved ones and fans who have already given so much to him. The title nods to Jacobs' experience writing the album, which, as he puts it, he had to do "between tours, coming home, changing diapers, fixing things around the house.... You name it." He no longer had the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike, so he colored where he was. "It was a new discipline for me and a new level of focus that I think brought out the best work," he explains. "I feel like I grew up a little bit. There are people in my life who I truly care about and things in the world I feel deeply about. That really pushed me in a stronger direction and forced me to feel things on an honest level." Opening track "Painted Roads," with its soulful groove and clever arrangement, is the perfect encapsulation of just how far Jacobs has come since releasing Dust to Gold. Jacobs is self-assured and confident in his soulful, infectious vocal, while his lyrical craftsmanship shows Jacobs to be a thoughtful songwriter who continuously strives to grow and evolve. "It's about choosing to live in the present, and see the everyday details of the world, rather than postponing living or paying attention in hopes of some distant prize or destination," Jacobs says of "Painted Roads." "We get so caught up in 'success' and ambition, and are so goal-oriented, that we sometimes lose sight of the beauty in the everyday. 'Color where you are' is the notion of creating beauty now, no matter the circumstance." "Painted Roads" was one of the first songs Jacobs and the band (who co-produced the album together) recorded for Color Where You Are, with his band mates taking Jacobs' original Tom Petty-inspired arrangement and giving it an off-kilter, syncopated groove. For the first time, Jacobs wrote the bulk of the album's songs in the studio, camping out at Richmond's Montrose Studios to flesh out "germs and ideas that had been floating around" with band members Todd Herrington (bass), Dusty Ray Simmons (drums/percussion) and Jonathan Sloane (guitar). "I booked the studio time and put a gun to my head and that sometimes works," Jacobs says. "In this case it did. It feels like a specific time period and specific vibe and emotional space that came through in all of these songs. It was a really organic process." While life as a family man changed Jacobs' perspective (and schedule), current events also had a profound impact on Jacobs' songwriting, with commentary on social and political issues finding its way into tracks like "Afterglow" and "Under the Big Top." Color Where You Are is a hopeful affair, though, with Jacobs employing thoughtful criticism and messages of empowerment instead of wallowing or ruminating. "The political climate is causing a different sort of energy and angst in me that’s never been there before," he explains. "It’s not a political album by any means, but those forces out there certainly dictated a lot of the writing on this record." On "Afterglow," Jacobs searches for optimism and healing in trying times. His emotional vocal is buoyed by a passionate, swelling performance from the band, making the track one of Color Where You Are's most poignant moments. "It's about the hope that after the storm we are currently trying to survive in, we will see true light like never before," Jacobs says. "That the constant threats to our foundations will cause us to examine and strengthen them, and come out the other side with stronger hearts and clearer vision. 'There will come horses, there will come voices' -- that we will be forced to show our true hand like never before because of our dire need to defend it." Elsewhere, on "Under the Big Top," Jacobs channels swampy, gritty Southern rock influences to shine a light on narrow-mindedness and lazy thinking. Crunchy riffs and a fat bass groove make the track, despite its heady message, one of the album's many songs you can't help but move to. "'Under the Big Top' is commentary on society’s evolution into gullible, easily distracted, lazy-mindedness," Jacobs says. “'Pretty lights junkie like a moth to candle,' always distracted by the brightest, loudest, biggest, rather than remembering how to seek for ourselves and find truth and love. We instead over-consume and are given every opportunity to do so. What we end up with is a circus of sorts, with tricksters and hucksters and loud mouths with no real value taking up all of our attention and ruling us, because we are too easily manipulated." Grooves abound on Color Where You Are, as on standout track "Rooster Coop," which finds Jacobs and the band sniffing around the henhouse over greasy slide guitar, a deep, deep pocket and a truly funky bass line. "All I knew was that I wanted to write a song that merged country and funk," Jacobs says of "Rooster Coop." "We started out with the main groove of the tune and the first line that popped into my head was, 'There’s something funky in the barnyard.' So naturally, I wrote a song about a scandalous love tryst amongst farm animals." Spanning rock, folk, soul and funk and drawing from inspiration that runs the gamut from the henhouse to the White House, Color Where You Are is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Cris Jacobs as a songwriter, musician and bandleader. It's the work of a devoted father and an empathetic member of the human race. More than that, it's a reminder that there's beauty to be found everywhere, if you just take a moment to color where you are. "What am I trying to do with my music?" Jacobs muses. "The simple answer is this: I’m trying to connect with people. To express real-life human emotions and make people feel things. To connect my love of music with my love of writing and conjure up all of the joy and emotions that those things bring to me. To hopefully have people walk away feeling lighter or happier or more inspired to go be a better person somehow after listening... I want to create a body of work that my family will be proud of one day, and to show that I had compassion to the human condition and wasn’t just a self-indulgent show off."

Jimmie's Chicken Shack
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Jimmie's Chicken Shack

December 26, 2019

Jimmie's Chicken Shack emerged through MTV as one of the first post-grunge bands of the era. Blending funk-metal with elements of ska and reggae but also a surprising acoustic prowess. Lead vocalist Jimmy HaHa grew up in Maryland and played with a group named Ten Times Big for several years. After the band broke up, he hit the snowboarding circuit for two years but then began several acoustic jams with friends. HaHa recruited drummer Jim Chaney (from Ten Times Big), longtime friend Che' Lemon on bass, and guitarist Dave Dowling (aka Double D) to form Jimmie's Chicken Shack. Based in Annapolis, MD, the group formed their own Fowl Records and released Give Something Back. After selling tens of thousands of records around the Baltimore area, Jimmie's Chicken Shack signed to Elton John's Rocket Records and released their major-label debut, Pushing the Salmanilla Envelope. Still involved with their own label, however, the group also released The Original Recipe, a collection of early recordings, followed in 1999 by Bring Your Own Stereo. A five-year wait preceded the release of Re.present in 2004.

Norman Brown’s Joyous Christmas w. Bobby Caldwell & Marion Meadows (5:30 show)
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Norman Brown’s Joyous Christmas w. Bobby Caldwell & Marion Meadows (5:30 show)

December 22, 2019

Grammy Award Winner Norman Brown is coming to town for a “Joyous Christmas”, with special friends Bobby Caldwell and Marion Meadows. With Norman’s patented blistering soulful guitar, Bobby Caldwell’s memorable vocals, and Marion Meadows sweet and lilting sax melodies, a Christmas spell is cast over every performance.  Along with all our Christmas favorites, Norman joins Bobby on “What You Won’t Do For Love”, and Bobby and Marion on Norman’s “That’s The Way Love Goes”. So please, join Norman, Bobby and Marion for a Christmas show to remember.

Norman Brown’s Joyous Christmas w. Bobby Caldwell & Marion Meadows (8:30 show)
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Norman Brown’s Joyous Christmas w. Bobby Caldwell & Marion Meadows (8:30 show)

December 22, 2019

Grammy Award Winner Norman Brown is coming to town for a “Joyous Christmas”, with special friends Bobby Caldwell and Marion Meadows. With Norman’s patented blistering soulful guitar, Bobby Caldwell’s memorable vocals, and Marion Meadows sweet and lilting sax melodies, a Christmas spell is cast over every performance.  Along with all our Christmas favorites, Norman joins Bobby on “What You Won’t Do For Love”, and Bobby and Marion on Norman’s “That’s The Way Love Goes”. So please, join Norman, Bobby and Marion for a Christmas show to remember.

Slim Man CD Release Party
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Slim Man CD Release Party

December 21, 2019

When Slim Man was five years old, his Dad took him to see a movie --'The Five Pennies', starring Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong. When Young Slim saw Louis sing and play, he told his Dad..."That's what I want to do."  Slim Man then studied trumpet for ten years, and taught himself how to sing and play piano and guitar as well. While in middle school he took up bass, and Slim Man's band 'Momma Max' opened up for Iggy Pop and the Stooges, The Raspberries, and others.  Slim Man's First Big Break came when he went on a trip to NYC to meet a publisher who expressed some interest in Slim's songs. Motown eventually signed Slim Man as a songwriter, and one of the first tunes he wrote "Summer Days" made it onto Angela Bofill's first CD, 'Angie'.  While working at Motown in NYC, Slim Man became friendly with a record company downstairs from Motown's office: Stiff Records. Stiff had Ian Dury, Lena Lovich, and a bunch of other eccentric artists on their roster, and Stiff expressed interest in some Slim Songs, and named the project...BootCamp.  BootCamp had considerable success. It was one of the first bands on MTV. They did shows with the B-52s, Squeeze, Split Enz, The Tubes, and a bunch of other bands. BootCamp disbanded after it came in second place in the MTV Basement Tapes Contest.  After the break-up of BootCamp, Slim Man started organizing and MC-ing nationwide country music talent contests sponsored by Marlboro. The contest was a Big Deal--$50,000 and a contract with producer Barry Beckett (Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Jr.)  Slim Man's Big Discovery during the Marlboro contest?  Ronnie Dunn, who later joined Kix Brooks to form the Grammy-winning Country Duo, Brooks and Dunn.  After the Marlboro Contest ran its course, Slim Man started writing and producing songs featuring a rock singer named Brian Jack, who landed a deal with Epic based on the Slim Man songs. Producer Frankie LaRocca (Spin Doctors) was hired, but none of the Slim Man songs were used. Brian Jack was dropped from Epic after four non-Slim songs.  So, undaunted, Slim Man went back into the studio, re-sang the songs he'd written for Brian Jack, added a few new songs, and...End of the Rainbow, the very first Slim Man CD, was born. The CD yielded a Top Ten Hit, 'Faith In Us', and the CD went on to be included in over a dozen Top Ten lists for the year (1995).  J.D. Considine (Rolling Stone) said of the Slim Man style"...a near perfect example of how jazz and soul can be combined as pop."

Everly Brothers Christmas Experience feat. The Zmed Brothers
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Everly Brothers Christmas Experience feat. The Zmed Brothers

December 18, 2019

Since 2016, brothers Zachary and Dylan Zmed along with their partner and drummer Burleigh Drummond, have celebrated the pivotal music and history of The Everly Brothers legacy with enthusiastic crowds all across the US and over seas in prestigious venues. They say, “ The music of the 50's and 60's are nostalgic for us, our parents raised us all on it, and we feel that the Everly's contribution is greatly overlooked, especially by younger generations. Our aim is not to impersonate but to do our best in honoring the aesthetics of their iconic sound and in honoring the important role they played in pioneering the rock n' roll movement, all while having a little fun sharing our own personal story,” and they do just that. With a father, (Adrian Zmed) as a traveling singer/dancer/actor (Grease 2, Bachelor Party, T.J. Hooker), and a mother (Barbara) as a second grade teacher in a suburb of Los Angeles, the Zmed Brothers continuously strive to pay homage to their personal roots by always infusing an instinctual blend of entertainment (a la Smothers Brothers) and contextual education in their performance. The Everly brothers career lasted over half a century, they recorded 21 studio albums, sold more than 60 million records world wide, had over 30 billboard top -100 singles, which still to this day is the record for most billboard charting hits of any sibling rock duo ever, they received numerous accolades in their later career, and influenced countless legendary artist that came after them including The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Bee Gees, Neil Young..and the list goes on. THE ZMED BROTHERS are absolutely thrilled to be able to contribute to a cause that supports the recognition and preservation of the intimate and singular origins of America's greatest Rock n' Roll singing sibling duo. The 5 piece band consists of drums (Burleigh Drummond), electric guitar (rotating members), bass (rotating members), and the two singing brothers (Zachary and Dylan Zmed) up front with the signature Everly acoustic guitars.

Carbon Leaf ** All Ages Matinee** (1pm)
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Carbon Leaf ** All Ages Matinee** (1pm)

December 15, 2019

Blending rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana traditions into a high-energy style the group calls ether-electrified porch music, the Virginia quintet’s poetic songs are brought to life with acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, penny whistle, pedal steel, accordion and rich vocal harmony.  Carbon Leaf writes, records and produces its music independently from their studio in Richmond, VA, and has performed over 2,400 lives shows across 17 albums in their long career. The group’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans.

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
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Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes

December 15, 2019

Emerging in the '70's from the same New Jersey Shore music scene as his legendary contemporary and friend Bruce Springsteen, Southside's first three albums, I Don't Want To Go Home, This Time It's for Real, and Hearts of Stone, were produced by band co-founder Steven Van Zandt, and largely featured songs penned by Van Zandt and/or Springsteen. The Van Zandt-written “I Don’t Want To Go Home” became Southside’s signature song, an evocative mixture of horn-based melodic riffs and sentimental lyrics. In 1982 Rolling Stone Magazine voted Hearts of Stone among the top 100 albums of the 1970s and 1980s.  With their classic blend of hard-core R&B and street-level rock, molten grooves, soulful guitar licks and blistering horn section, Johnny and his Jukes continue to put their unique stamp on the Jersey Shore sound, while recalling the glory years of Otis Redding and similar Stax Records titans.

Carbon Leaf (8:30pm 21+)
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Carbon Leaf (8:30pm 21+)

December 14, 2019

Blending rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana traditions into a high-energy style the group calls ether-electrified porch music, the Virginia quintet’s poetic songs are brought to life with acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, penny whistle, pedal steel, accordion and rich vocal harmony.  Carbon Leaf writes, records and produces its music independently from their studio in Richmond, VA, and has performed over 2,400 lives shows across 17 albums in their long career. The group’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans.

Carbon Leaf **All Ages Matinee** (3pm)
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Carbon Leaf **All Ages Matinee** (3pm)

December 14, 2019

Blending rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana traditions into a high-energy style the group calls ether-electrified porch music, the Virginia quintet’s poetic songs are brought to life with acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, penny whistle, pedal steel, accordion and rich vocal harmony.  Carbon Leaf writes, records and produces its music independently from their studio in Richmond, VA, and has performed over 2,400 lives shows across 17 albums in their long career. The group’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans.

Carbon Leaf (8:30pm)
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Carbon Leaf (8:30pm)

December 13, 2019

Blending rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana traditions into a high-energy style the group calls ether-electrified porch music, the Virginia quintet’s poetic songs are brought to life with acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, penny whistle, pedal steel, accordion and rich vocal harmony.  Carbon Leaf writes, records and produces its music independently from their studio in Richmond, VA, and has performed over 2,400 lives shows across 17 albums in their long career. The group’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans.

Beginnings: A Tribute to the Music of Chicago
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Beginnings: A Tribute to the Music of Chicago

December 12, 2019

Beginnings is the premiere tribute band to the music of Chicago. They bring to their audiences a flawless replication of three decades of inspired music in a show that includes nearly every charted song and many lesser known esoteric songs that captured the hearts of traditionalist Chicago fans. There are not many bands that can boast 38 million in sales in the US, with 22 Gold, 18 Platinum and 8 multi-Platinum albums resulting in five number-one albums and 21 top-ten singles. This distinction belongs to Chicago. Once self-described as “Rock & Roll with horns”, an observation that soon became only a small part of their musical legacy. Nearly always experimental, introducing more complex harmonies and voicing coupled with intricate rhythm patterns into essentially rock and roll songs. The results changed the way many heard rock and roll and brought jazz elements to a whole new audience.

Bill Kirchen's Honky Tonk Holiday Show
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Bill Kirchen's Honky Tonk Holiday Show

December 11, 2019

Grammy nominated guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen is one of the fortunate few who can step onto any stage, play those trademark licks that drove his seminal Commander Cody classic Hot Rod Lincoln into the Top Ten, and elicit instant recognition for a career that has spanned over 40 years and includes guitar work with Nick Lowe, Emmylou Harris, Doug Sahm, Elvis Costello and many more. Named “A Titan of the Telecaster” by Guitar Player Magazine, he celebrates an American musical tradition where rock 'n' roll and country music draws upon its origins in blues and bluegrass, Western swing from Texas and California honky-tonk.

Squirrel Nut Zippers: Holiday Caravan Tour
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Squirrel Nut Zippers: Holiday Caravan Tour

December 10, 2019

While your chestnuts might be roasting in the summer heat at the moment, fear not Zipsters! The Squirrel Nut Zippers Holiday Caravan Tour will return for the third consecutive year this winter! “We’re excited to have our third annual holiday tour coming up later this year,” band leader Jimbo Mathus remarked. “These shows are always so fun and special. We’ll be playing selections from our Christmas Caravan album, holiday hits and of course the finest new and old Squirrel Nut Zippers music for you all.” The Squirrel Nut Zippers most recent studio album titled Beasts Of Burgundy was released in 2018. The album debuted at #4 on the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart upon it’s release. It was back in 1998 when the Squirrel Nut Zippers released their first and only Holiday album titled Christmas Caravan which went on to sell a quarter of a million copies and reached #12 on the Billboard Holiday Albums chart.  Since reactivating in mid-2016 the Squirrel Nut Zippers have been performing to packed houses across the country and around the world. As Jimbo Mathus has said since the band’s re-launch, ‘it’s not a reunion, it’s a revival.’

Heidi Newfield formerly of Trick Pony
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Heidi Newfield formerly of Trick Pony

December 8, 2019

A good-timing, honky-tonkin’, band-leading, song-writing, love-song-singing, blues-harp-blowing, tradition-nurturing, genre-busting, crowd-carrying, full-hearted flag bearer for all that’s true about music. That’s Heidi Newfield. At least, that’s her right now – at once the embodiment of an accomplished career and the promise of artistry still to come. Music fans know Heidi for fronting Trick Pony, which rode songs including “Pour Me,” “On A Night Like This” and “It’s A Heartache” to awards, acclaim and packed houses nationwide. Armed with a collaborative history of platinum selling albums, Top 20 singles, ACM and AMA Awards to her credit, her distinctive voice and high-octane energy launched forward into a much-anticipated solo career. She is recognized for a remarkable evolution as a solo artist, writing and recording the poignant “Johnny & June” from a deeply personal place. More than a radio hit and impetus for a fist full of Academy of Country Music nominations, the song brought Newfield’s multi-faceted creativity into the sharper relief it deserved. More than just a pretty face, the diminutive blonde who became famous for her explosive stage presence, trademark fashion, work ethic and dedication to fans, Newfield has always had a handle on her own purpose driven life. Through clear-eyed experience and musical passion in full flame, she continues to entertain, deepen the relationship with her core fans and win over new audiences. Now in a deeply creative place in her solo career, Newfield is developing and recording the sound for a new project called The Barfly Sessions, which will be released in late Fall of 2019.

SQRRL! Family Holiday Show **All Ages Matinee**
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SQRRL! Family Holiday Show **All Ages Matinee**

December 8, 2019

Bring the whole family for a holiday concert experience you’ll never forget! SQRRL! is an amazing kids band created by Annapolis native, singer/songwriter Doug Segree. SQRRL’s high energy and good fun creates an interactive experience guaranteed to have the kids and parents too, singing and dancing to the holiday classics that make this time of year so special. Look for special appearances by Santa, Frosty, Eddie the Elf and other SQRRL-friends.  As they say in the land of SQRRL!, “Its nutty good fun all rolled up in one!” *This event is General Admission **Children 2 and under are free

The Letterman
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The Letterman

December 7, 2019

The beautiful voices of the singing trio, The Lettermen, first hit the music charts in 1961 with "The Way You Look Tonight" and "When I Fall In Love". They continued to stay on top with beautiful harmony and love songs, while becoming one of the top college concert attractions of the 1960's. They revived the classic Charlie Chaplin song: "Smile", warmed us with "Our Winter Love", they begged "Come Back Silly Girl", made everyone's "Graduation Day" memorable, and came out in 1966 with one of the most loved Holiday albums ever recorded: "For Christmas This Year". Late 1967 brought about a live album, and perhaps the group's most loved and requested hit: "Goin' Out Of My Head / Can't Take My Eyes Off You". 18 Gold Albums worldwide and scores of top singles attest to a popularity that has endured through several generations.

Paula Poundstone
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Paula Poundstone

December 6, 2019

Paula Poundstone is a humorist, author and comedian known for her clever, observational humor and spontaneous wit. When she isn’t collecting hotel soaps while on tour or panel-ing on NPR’s #1 show, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!, Paula hosts the popular Maximum Fun podcast, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone. Nobody is a comedy field guide to life complete with taste tests, cats of the weeks and leading experts in everything from beekeeping to ping pong to prosopagnosia (say that 3 times fast).  Paula’s stand-up credentials are endless: Cats, Cops and Stuff; Goes to Harvard; Look What the Cat Dragged In; and numerous television appearances including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Last Call with Carson Daly and Late Show with David Letterman. Famously, Paula provided backstage commentary during the 1992 presidential election on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and was the first woman to host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.  In 2017, Paula released her second book, The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness, in which she offers herself up as a guinea pig in a series of thoroughly unscientific experiments. Kirkus Reviews called the book, "A deeply revealing memoir in which the pathos doesn’t kill the humor—delivers more than it promises." The book debuted at #1 on the Amazon Bestsellers List in Humor, and the audiobook was one of the five finalists for 2018 Audio Book of the Year. The book was recognized as one of eight semi-finalists for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, the highest recognition of the art of humor writing in the United States.  Paula can be heard on the big screen as “Forgetter Paula” in Disney/Pixar's Inside Out, winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. She has also starred in her own series on both HBO and ABC, is included on Comedy Central’s Top 100 Comics of All Time and won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-Up. In February 2019, Paula’s stand-up special, Cats, Cops and Stuff was named by TIME Magazine and Tig Notaro as one of The 5 Funniest Stand-Up Specials Ever. Paula resides in Santa Monica, CA, where you can find her cleaning the litterboxes of her 14 cats: Clue, Oreo, Luigi, Jem, Belle, Brittle, Mrs. Feziwig, Wednesday, Severus, Tonks, Theo, Sham Wow, Harrison, and Hardy.

A Peter White Christmas feat. Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala & Lindsey Webster (6:30pm Show)
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A Peter White Christmas feat. Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala & Lindsey Webster (6:30pm Show)

December 5, 2019

Make your list and check it twice! This holiday concert is more than just nice!! A Peter White Christmas with Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala, and Lindsey Webster is coming to town. Contemporary jazz lovers eagerly await this annual fun filled concert, which has packed fans into halls and arenas coast-to-coast year after year. Peter White is an extraordinary and fluent acoustic guitarist whose skills are worldrenowned. Euge Groove adds a dynamic charm to his music with exquisite saxophone artistry and wisdom. With several number one tracks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart, sultry and soulful young singer/composer Lindsey Webster has taken the contemporary jazz world by storm. Vincent Ingala is no stranger to contemporary jazz audiences- his charisma, energy, and musicianship will put a smile on anyone’s face. Peter recalls: “My earliest memories of Christmas were probably not much different from many other people: snowflakes, tinsel, Santa Claus, reindeer and the opening of presents surrounded by family. As a child my father taught me to play Christmas music on my first instrument, the recorder, and my love for Christmas music has endured throughout the years. I hope this tour will be an opportunity for many Smooth Jazz fans to enjoy their favorite Christmas songs in a family setting. You know, I might even bring my recorder!” Peter White’s classic acoustic guitar style can be enjoyed through an ever-growing and best-selling catalog including his latest release on Heads Up “Groovin’ ” (2016). Euge Groove is a quadruple threat; the saxophonist, composer, producer, and DJ, has built an impressive career as a free spirit who remains true to his own artistic vision. It is no wonder the charismatic saxophonist has been able to record a string of #1 hits and garner a devoted following. Euge’s latest CD on Shanachie Records is “Groove On!” (2017). “Nothing gets me more in the Christmas spirit than the music!” says Lindsey Webster. “The moment I start hearing Christmas carols I get that magical feeling that I had when I was a child...back when the thought of Santa traveling all around the world, delivering presents to all the children, was the most incredible and exciting task anyone had! As an adult, it has surely changed, but Christmas music always gets me right back into the spirit of it all.” Lindsey was named Billboard’s Number One Smooth Jazz Artist of 2016 and 2017. Her most current release is “Love Inside” (2018) on Shanachie Records. Vincent Ingala “I can vividly remember not being able to fall asleep waiting for Santa Clause to arrive on Christmas Eve. Somehow though, he always managed to get the job done while I was sleeping, and before I could catch him! I remember feeling extra special that Santa would place all of the gifts around the fireplace like a display, as opposed to them being wrapped under the Christmas tree. I would sneak downstairs multiple times with my flashlight to get a sneak peak before the sun would rise on Christmas morning! Memories such as these I will always continue to hold in my heart, they and are what makes Christmas a very magical time of the year.” Vincent’s latest release is “Personal Touch” (2018) on Shanachie Records.

A Peter White Christmas feat. Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala & Lindsey Webster (9:30pm Show)
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A Peter White Christmas feat. Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala & Lindsey Webster (9:30pm Show)

December 5, 2019

Make your list and check it twice! This holiday concert is more than just nice!! A Peter White Christmas with Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala, and Lindsey Webster is coming to town. Contemporary jazz lovers eagerly await this annual fun filled concert, which has packed fans into halls and arenas coast-to-coast year after year. Peter White is an extraordinary and fluent acoustic guitarist whose skills are worldrenowned. Euge Groove adds a dynamic charm to his music with exquisite saxophone artistry and wisdom. With several number one tracks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart, sultry and soulful young singer/composer Lindsey Webster has taken the contemporary jazz world by storm. Vincent Ingala is no stranger to contemporary jazz audiences- his charisma, energy, and musicianship will put a smile on anyone’s face. Peter recalls: “My earliest memories of Christmas were probably not much different from many other people: snowflakes, tinsel, Santa Claus, reindeer and the opening of presents surrounded by family. As a child my father taught me to play Christmas music on my first instrument, the recorder, and my love for Christmas music has endured throughout the years. I hope this tour will be an opportunity for many Smooth Jazz fans to enjoy their favorite Christmas songs in a family setting. You know, I might even bring my recorder!” Peter White’s classic acoustic guitar style can be enjoyed through an ever-growing and best-selling catalog including his latest release on Heads Up “Groovin’ ” (2016). Euge Groove is a quadruple threat; the saxophonist, composer, producer, and DJ, has built an impressive career as a free spirit who remains true to his own artistic vision. It is no wonder the charismatic saxophonist has been able to record a string of #1 hits and garner a devoted following. Euge’s latest CD on Shanachie Records is “Groove On!” (2017). “Nothing gets me more in the Christmas spirit than the music!” says Lindsey Webster. “The moment I start hearing Christmas carols I get that magical feeling that I had when I was a child...back when the thought of Santa traveling all around the world, delivering presents to all the children, was the most incredible and exciting task anyone had! As an adult, it has surely changed, but Christmas music always gets me right back into the spirit of it all.” Lindsey was named Billboard’s Number One Smooth Jazz Artist of 2016 and 2017. Her most current release is “Love Inside” (2018) on Shanachie Records. Vincent Ingala “I can vividly remember not being able to fall asleep waiting for Santa Clause to arrive on Christmas Eve. Somehow though, he always managed to get the job done while I was sleeping, and before I could catch him! I remember feeling extra special that Santa would place all of the gifts around the fireplace like a display, as opposed to them being wrapped under the Christmas tree. I would sneak downstairs multiple times with my flashlight to get a sneak peak before the sun would rise on Christmas morning! Memories such as these I will always continue to hold in my heart, they and are what makes Christmas a very magical time of the year.” Vincent’s latest release is “Personal Touch” (2018) on Shanachie Records.

John Denver Christmas Show w. Chris Collins & Boulder Canyon
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John Denver Christmas Show w. Chris Collins & Boulder Canyon

December 4, 2019

Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon have toured internationally together delighting audiences with their talent, warmth and humor. Collins and some of the original artists of Boulder Canyon originally met in Aspen, Colorado at the largest annual celebration of John Denver’s life and music. Since that first initial meeting, Chris and Boulder Canyon have gone on to tour from coast to coast to pay tribute to the music of John Denver. Although you may detect some similarities in voice and appearance, award-winning singer, songwriter Chris Collins brings amazing energy and the unmistakable enthusiasm to the stage that was a hallmark of a John Denver performance. The consummate musicians of Boulder Canyon consist of Kevin Delmolino on bass, Paul Swanton on lead guitar, Alexander Mitchell on mandolin/fiddle, Bill Powell on keyboards, and guest band members Mark Nelson on percussion, Joel Tolley on bass and Nigel Newton on keyboards. Hailed as outstanding tribute artists for their authenticity and musical style, Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon have been receiving much acclaim from audiences in theaters, venues and concert halls everywhere they perform. From sold-out shows to breaking a theater record for the largest audience ever to attend an event, Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon have emerged as top performers of John Denver's music. Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon are not an impersonation act, but seek to honor John Denver’s legacy with fresh energy and musical integrity in keeping his timeless music alive. Through the show's stunning visuals of nature and captivating performance, Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon will take you back to the days reminiscent of the concerts of one of the greatest artists and humanitarians of our time.

Eric Rachmany
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Eric Rachmany

December 3, 2019

Hailing from San Francisco, Eric Rachmany is best known as the front-man for the band, Rebelution. His musical styles range from Reggae to Rock, from Acoustic to Electronic. You won't want to miss this show!

Free Range Improv Comedy Farewell Show
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Free Range Improv Comedy Farewell Show

December 2, 2019

Three-time Rammie Award winners, Free Range Improv are back at Rams Head On Stage for the 5th time! Voted Best Local Act for 2014 and Best Comedy Show for 2015 and 2016 (beating nationally recognized comedians at their own game), Free Range Improv delivers the laughs every time in the style of the popular television show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?!"  Locally sourced, organically grown, and certified funny. That's Free Range Improv: Annapolis' own, local comedy source that puts you, the audience, center stage!

Diamond Rio: Holidays & Hits
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Diamond Rio: Holidays & Hits

December 1, 2019

Formed in 1989 in Nashville, TN the band consists of Gene Johnson (mandolin, tenor vocals), Jimmy Olander (lead guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo), Brian Prout (drums), Marty Roe (lead vocal), Dan Truman (keyboards), and Dana Williams (bass guitar, baritone vocals). Diamond Rio recently released I Made It, their tenth studio album. The title track was co-written by the band’s lead guitarist Jimmy Olander and features 11 new songs. Produced by Olander and Mike Clute, I Made It is available on iTunes and www.diamondrio.com Diamond Rio signed to Arista Records and in 1991 with the release of “Meet In The Middle” became the first country music group in history to reach No. 1 with a debut single. The band is also known for their hits “How Your Love Makes Me Feel,” “One More Day,” “Beautiful Mess,” “Unbelievable,” “In A Week or Two,” and more. They released their first-ever autobiography, Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio on Thomas Nelson in 2009. The band known for playing every note on every album recently celebrated their 25th Anniversary, has sold more than 10 million albums, won a Grammy Award, a Dove Award, six Vocal Group of the Year wins (CMA and ACM), released two Greatest Hit albums, a live and Christmas project, earned five multi-week no. 1 singles, 22 Top 10 singles, three certified Platinum and five gold albums, released an autobiography – and with zero band member changes. Known for their charity commitments including long-time spokespersons for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the band has raised over $1,000,000.00 for non-profits and received the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award.

A Very Merry Drag Brunch
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A Very Merry Drag Brunch

November 30, 2019

A Very Merry Drag Brunch with performances by Krystal Nova, Angelica Lize, Victoria Blair, and M'ara Diamond at Rams Head On Stage!

Christmas with the Celts
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Christmas with the Celts

November 30, 2019

CHRISTMAS WITH THE CELTS is an uplifting and spirited holiday musical celebration starring international music group The Celts and a cast of fantastic dancers. Launched as a live concert attraction after several successful seasons as a PBS-TV Special this show has been a proven audience pleaser and ticket seller since it’s live launch in 2012. CHRISTMAS WITH THE CELTS combines fiery arrangements of modern seasonal classics; John Lennon’s Happy Christmas, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, White Christmas, with traditional carols. The foot stomping step dancers, pipes, whistles, fiddles and a selection of both modern and indigenous instruments will bring your audience to their feet and send them home smiling! CHRISTMAS WITH THE CELTS is the perfect holiday perennial to deliver the spirit of the season!

Motown & More: A Holiday Celebration
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Motown & More: A Holiday Celebration

November 29, 2019

MOTOWN. Just the name evokes sounds and images of a past musical era full of great artists, classic songs, smooth choreography and exciting stage shows. Well, it's not all gone. MOTOWN & MORE brings it all back with an ensemble of today's most talented artists. Vocalists Gene McBride, Vic Frierson, Karen Linette, Deborah Poole-Williams and Micah Smith--each phenomenal in their own right--come together with exquisite harmonies to recreate classics and develop new musical arrangements. For the holidays, MOTOWN & MORE: A Holiday Celebration offers a brand new show with those special tunes that bring the season in with style--The Temptations’ “Silent Night” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” and Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” —just to name a few. MOTOWN & MORE, A Holiday Celebration is a seasonal favorite and has sold out Rams Head On Stage in past years.  Led by Musical Director multi-instrumentalist Gerry Gillespie (keyboards), the six piece musical ensemble of Motown & More also features saxophonists Art Sherrod, Jr. and Eddie Baccus, Jr., while producing a nostalgic evening of fun and excitement. Additional band members include: Marvin Miller, Jr., (Drums), Craig Alston (bass) and Stanley Cooper (Guitar).

Comedy Jam at the Ram feat. Danny Rouhier
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Comedy Jam at the Ram feat. Danny Rouhier

November 27, 2019

Danny Rouhier is a comedy and radio superstar. He's performed stand up all over North America at clubs like Caroline's on Broadway, The DC Improv, The Funnybone comedy chain and at festivals in Boston, DC, Detroit, Seattle and a bunch more stuff that's totally impressive. Danny has shared the stage with industry giants Bill Burr, Jim Norton, Dave Atell, Jim Gaffigan, Bob Saget, Todd Barry, Tom Green and more famous people. You can hear him every weekday from 10-2 on 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny.

Tinsley Ellis & Tommy Castro and The Painkillers: The T'n 'T Tour
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Tinsley Ellis & Tommy Castro and The Painkillers: The T'n 'T Tour

November 26, 2019

Tommy Castro - Blazing soul-blues rocker Tommy Castro’s musical roots run deep. As he unleashes his high-energy music to fans all over the world, Castro is inspired by the sounds he absorbed while coming of age on the rough and tumble side of San Jose, California. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, this was Castro’s home turf—his stomping ground. It was a place where the street-tough Mexican Americans and the counter-culture hippies came together to drink, smoke, laugh,party and listen to tunes—the hippies with their blues and rock, the Mexicans with their soul music. Mixing the blues-rock he loved and the soul music he heard blasting out from the lowriders cruising the streets, along with the socially conscious message songs of the day, Tommy’s own sound was born. He honed his guitar playing to a razor’s edge on the city’s competitive bar scene, where he learned how to capture an audience with his intensely passionate vocals, stellar musicianship and dynamic performances. Almost every major rock and soul act, from Ike & Tina Turner to Janis Joplin to Elvin Bishop to Taj Mahal, toured through the area, and Castro was at almost every show. He saw John Lee Hooker, Albert King and Buddy Guy & Junior Wells at the same local blues bar, JJ’s, where he often jammed, dreaming of one day busting out. Tinsley Ellis - Since his Alligator debut 30 years ago, Southern blues-rock guitar wizard, vocalist and songwriter Tinsley Ellis has become a bona fide worldwide guitar hero. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “It’s hard to overstate the raw power of his music.” Now, he makes his triumphant return to Alligator Records with a powerful new album, Winning Hand. Armed with his signature molten licks, melodic riffs and rousing, intense solos, Ellis, as his legions of fans will attest, is among the blues world’s best-loved, hardest working and most well-travelled statesmen. He has performed in all 50 United States as well as in Canada, Western and Eastern Europe, Australia and South America, earning legions of fans with his guitar virtuosity, passionate vocals and memorable original songs. Ellis is also revered as a guitarist’s guitarist, with famous friends including Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood, Jonny Lang and members of Widespread Panic calling on him to sit in and jam. “A musician never got famous staying home,” he says.

Damien Escobar: Elements of Love Tour
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Damien Escobar: Elements of Love Tour

November 24, 2019

Damien Escobar is a world renowned violinist, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, hailing from Jamaica, Queens, New York. His musical career spans over a decade, and his inspiring journey of making it big, losing it all, fighting to rebuild, and getting a second chance at success is as much apart of his brand identity than being among the top violinist in the world. The now NAACP Image Award nominee and Billboards chart topping artist, was once humbled by homelessness after calling it quits from his famed group, "Nuttin but Stringz." The group, comprised of Damien and his brother, Tourie-- known in NYC for playing their violins on the subway; gained global recognition when they appeared as contestants on "America's Got Talent." The competition helped to catapult the duo into stardom and they quickly experienced all the highs of being the most sought after musicians of their time. However, that glory was short-lived and the fall from grace was a hard hit, to say the very least; as the group disbanded and a bruised Damien made the decision to retire his violin. What came next was a struggle-- not only with his identity, and depression, but with finding success in other non-creative endeavors. Looking back at his journey, Damien realizes it all needed to fall apart so he could be forced to grow while putting it back together the right way. Prevailing was a process and it started with unburying his talent-- his love of playing the violin. And in 2013 Damien released his first album as a solo artist, "Sensual Melodies." Once thought of as a passion project, the album garnished over 200K downloads; landed on the iTunes Top 100 chart; and served as a springboard for a successful national tour where he headlined, for the first time, as the one and only, Damien Escobar. From there, doors that were once closed, became a little easier to push open; affording Damien opportunities to tell his inspiring story to publications like People Magazine and Huffington Post; make appearances on local and national news including "The Today Show"; serve as a guest on radio broadcasts; and even accept invitations to perform at notable events such as Oprah Winfrey's "The Life You Want" tour. Back in the spotlight, Damien decided this time around he would do more with his visibility and began his entrepreneurial walk by penning and self-publishing his very first children's book, "The Sound of Strings"; building his very own line of custom designed violins; and establishing partnerships to develop a wine line, perfume and fragrances, and a non-profit organization that would include a music program for children. Motivated by his past and grateful for his fans and future, Damien went on to release his second album, "Boundless." Growing into a self-conscious artist with more than a mission to make good music, Damien sought to inspire change and spread positivity by sharing uplifting messages and telling unfiltered personal stories to sold-out arenas across the world during his second tour. Though he's achieved more than he could have imagined after pulling himself up by his bootstraps and kick starting his solo career-- Damien Escobar's story isn't over yet. The breakout artist has partnered with Mitsubishi and is now the face and sound of their latest campaign; he's releasing new music and videos set to air on major broadcast channels; and, the world famous violinist, continues to build his brand centered around making an impact and inspiring social change. Stay tuned, there's more to come.

Laine Hardy **All Ages Matinee**
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Laine Hardy **All Ages Matinee**

November 24, 2019

Laine Hardy is an American singer and the season 17 winner of American Idol. He learned to play the guitar when he was eight, and by the time he was 14, he was performing in a band with his brother and cousins called the Band Hardy in local bars and restaurants. Although initially he did not sing, he was encouraged by his brother to sing. Laine Hardy first auditioned for season 16 of American Idol, but did not go far in that season, making it only to the top 50. He did not intend to audition for season 17, but accompanied his friend Ashton Gill to play guitar at her audition, and was encouraged by judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie to audition again. This time he made it all the way to the final and won the competition, making Alejandro Aranda runner up and Madison VanDenburg second runner up.

Suzy Bogguss
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Suzy Bogguss

November 23, 2019

Grammy award-winning and Platinum selling artist Suzy Bogguss is one to chase the muse wherever it may lead. She has covered Country, Swing, Jazz, Folk, Americana and Roots music with style and grace.  During the creative explosion that was country music in the 1990s Suzy Bogguss sold 4 millions records with sparkling radio hits like “Outbound Plane”, “Someday Soon”, “Letting Go” and “Drive South”.  Suzy’s 2015 album Lucky was a heartfelt homage to the songwriting of Merle Haggard. Some may recall she kicked off her career with 1989's "Somewhere Between," her debut album named after one of Haggard's early songs. With Lucky, Bogguss dove deeper into Haggard's catalog, taking care to hold on to that original vision of finding songs that resonated with her not just pulling out and recycling the hits. The result is a modern record with a classic vibe. Merle happily gave her the big thumbs and Suzy embarked on two years of non-stop touring in support of the album. Rolling Stone magazine included her in The Top 48 Things We Saw at SXSW two consecutive years in a row. In Fall 2016 she released Aces: Redux, to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the original release. The “redux” is a complete re-recording of her Platinum-selling album with fresh instrumentation and vocals to not only highlight the timelessness of the songs in this collection but also to highlight who she is as an artist today.  The live performance - which includes her hits and choice material from her critically acclaimed albums - has been lauded by fans, critics and buyers as "a show not to miss!” Suzy's appeal has never wavered and her fan base continues to grow with constant touring around the globe. Since 2017, Suzy has also been touring as one of three “Chicks With Hits”, a show that also features Pam Tillis and Terri Clark. She also performs yearly holiday shows in select markets with her band or trio.  Suzy Bogguss truly is an artist that knows no boundaries and one who always leaves everyone wondering what she’ll do next!

Lee Ritenour
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Lee Ritenour

November 22, 2019

Lee Ritenour, (born Lee Mack Ritenour, 11 January 1952, Los Angeles, CA, USA) has maintained a delicate balance between the individual creative vision and the group dynamic, since the beginning of his career. He did his first session work in the late '60s with the Mamas and the Papas, who dubbed him Captain Fingers for demonstrating incredible dexterity while still in his teens. Since his early recordings in the 1970s, he has earned a GRAMMY Award and 19 GRAMMY nominations, numerous #1 spots on guitar polls, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian SJ Awards, and a prestigious "Alumnus of the Year" Award from the University of Southern California. He has recorded more than 40 albums that have yielded 35 chart songs. As a young guitarist, he put his combination of diverse musical styles and brilliant technical chops to work on more than 3,000 sessions with a broad spectrum of artists, and was a founding member of Fourplay, which is considered the most successful group in contemporary jazz. Lee celebrated five decades as a guitarist in 2010 with the release of 6 String Theory, which features Steve Lukather, Neal Schon, John Scofield, Slash, Mike Stern, George Benson and B.B. King. The album also introduced Andy McKee, Joe Robinson and Guthrie Govan. The record was in conjunction with his first multi-national 6 String Theory Competition, sponsored by Yamaha, Berklee College of Music, Montreux Jazz Festival, Blue Note Tokyo, Crown of the Continents Guitar Workshop and Festival, Monster, Premier Guitar, Jazz Monthly, Music Connection, Concord Records and D'Addario. The Six String Theory competition continues to grow, and has now expanded to include a Rhythm Section competition for Piano, Bass and Drums. In 2012, the Grand Prize winners were honored to appear with Lee on Rhythm Sessions, which also features luminaries such as Chick Corea, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Dave Grusin, Marcus Miller and many others. The 2014 winners performed at the illustrious Montreux Jazz Festival and the guitar grand prize winner, Tony Pusztai, recorded a track on Ritenour's 2015 A Twist of Rit album starring greats such as: Academy® & Grammy® winning Dave Grusin, Dave Weckl, John Beasley, and Ernie Watts. Prize highlights for the 2016 competition include: Berklee College of Music Scholarships; performance at the legendary Blue Note Tokyo with Lee Ritenour and up-and-coming All-Star musicians from Japan; recording on Lee Ritenour's forthcoming album at the stunning Woodshed Recording Studio in Malibu and Scholarships and Performances at Crown Guitar Festival in scenic Montana. Other prizes include travel and hotel for performance and recording opportunities, Yamaha Instruments & Endorsements, Professional Mentoring with Lee Ritenour, Monster and D'Addario prizes. "When I first started this competition it was my hope it would grow to become a valuable entity that would have the support of so many established musicians in mentoring aspiring ones. In four short years we have reached incredible goals and I couldn't be more thrilled and grateful to have so many artists be part of this extraordinary musical process and journey." -- Lee Ritenour  On April 22, 2016, Concord Records will release The Vinyl LP Collection: a limited-edition, individually numbered box set celebrating a key period in the prolific solo career of renowned guitarist Lee Ritenour. The Collection contains five classic LPs by Ritenour: Earth Run (1986), Portrait (1987), Festival (1988), Color Rit (1989) and, on vinyl for the first time, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated Wes Bound (1993). These albums have each been remastered, pressed on audiophile-quality, 180-gram vinyl and restored with original artwork and liner notes. An accompanying 46-page booklet contains new liner notes by Ritenour plus never-before-seen photos and ephemera from an extensive scrapbook collection lovingly kept by the guitarist's late father.

John 5 & The Creatures: Invasion Tour 2019
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John 5 & The Creatures: Invasion Tour 2019

November 21, 2019

John 5 has worked with a varied range of artists. He has been a guitar player for some of the biggest headlining rock bands in the world as well as playing session with Paul Stanley, Rod Stewart, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. Here is a brief run down of just of the artists he has worked with. How does one define John 5? Is he rock? Is it country? Is he heavy metal? What about emo, industrial or bluegrass? Truth is there is no one set genre to fit John 5. In a world where music must be defined, John 5 breaks every mould by continually changing and adapting his style. Although he is unmistakably John 5 in his sound, he mixes around with the foundation with every new track he writes, every album he guests on and every time he picks up the guitar.

Kevin Griffin: Anywhere You Go Tour
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Kevin Griffin: Anywhere You Go Tour

November 20, 2019

It happened at just the right time... Three decades into an illustrious and multifaceted career, Kevin Griffin finally decided to write and record his very first full-length solo album Anywhere You Go.The Better Than Ezra frontman, award-winning songwriter, and Pilgrimage Festival co-founder has added yet another persona to his resume: solo troubadour. Buoyed by minimal production, sweeping vocal harmonies, and narrative lyricism, he’s penned some of his most intimate, inimitable, and irresistible tunes to date. “My guiding rule was to do something different...”says Griffin from his home in Franklin, TN.“...to just do the opposite of my first instinct. I wanted to bring all the music that I’m moved by into a collection of songs that didn’t pull from my usual bag of tricks. I started with no expectations, considerations, or concessions other than just wanting to make music that I loved, and I think because of that the whole process has been a joy. I wanted to make a collection of the music that inspires me—from when I was a kid in the seventies to the songs I hear on Spotify playlists now. The title speaks to that. Sonically, the songs go in a lot of different places.” Over the past year, Griffin started toying with ideas for the songs that would eventually comprise the record. Taking his time, he reacquainted himself with classics such as Neil Young’s Harvest and Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks as well as devouring music from the likes of Dawes, Father John Misty, and Mac DeMarco, to name a few. The first single, “Hacienda” produced with Butch Walker, struts along on an unshakable riff backed by Stax-Volt harmonies and Mariachi horns. The propulsive beat and piano take the listener from the exhaust filled air of LA to the tequila-soaked nights of a Mexican hideaway...odd characters abound. “I was on vacation and the bar was playing all this amazing old music...Gram Parsons, The Band, The Byrds...oh, and Joe Walsh with his great guitar hooks and hilarious, vivid lyrical imagery. I just thought,’ no one is making music that sounds like this anymore’. That night, on a beat-up guitar the hotel’s concierge let me borrow, Hacienda, was born.” Griffin complemented the tune with a classic 70s-style sunburnt music video shot all onan iPhone throughout multiple locales, from Hollywood Boulevard and a pool retreat in the hills to the lush jungles of Tulum, Mexico. The album’s third track, “Got Off Easy” hinges on a lo-fi beat and acoustic rhythm guitar. With sharp delivery and clever storytelling, he lyrically shares, “a vivid recollection of the naïveté...the cluelessness of youth when you think you’ve got all the answers, drinking cheap wine over scrabble, and misquoting great literature—you look back and wonder how you made it to here...without everything just falling to pieces. You got off easy. “When I Metcha” shuffles from lithe acoustic guitars punctuated by whistling and hand claps into a falsetto-driven confessional chant, “I told ya when I metcha that I’m no good.” “We all know someone who’s in a relationship that’s not working,” he says. “People who are in unhealthy relationships often seek out the same type of situation. It’s about someone who continually gets in a relationship to try and change the other person, but it doesn’t work. It’s the like the classic parable of the Scorpion and The Frog.” The midnight swing of “Someone Tonight” lays bare the vulnerabilities and longing of faceless strangers travelling to an unknown destination. It might just be the song that ultimately defines the album. The rustling build up of “No One Makes It Out Alive” culminates on another hummable hook that proves impossible to shake. Whether it’s the vibrant and vivacious vocal cameo from his kids on “Bad Old Days” or a Thin Lizzy-style guitar solo on “Bleed For It,” he continues to forge new territory with countless surprises up his sleeve. Anywhere You Go Is a natural next step for Kevin. Better Than Ezra’s legacy encompasses the double-platinum 1995 classic “Deluxe” and its instantly recognizable#1 smash single “Good,” the gold-selling Friction, Baby in 1997 with“Desperately Wanting”,2001’s Closer with“Lifetime” and ubiquitous “Extra Ordinary” and the 2005 epic Before The Robots. The latter yielded “Breathless” notably performed and recorded by Taylor Swift. That particular legacy continued in 2014 by way of All Together Now and the hit “Crazy Lucky.” As a songwriter, the New Orleans native stands out as a five-time BMI Pop Award winner and ARIAA Award winner. Moreover, he has landed multiple number ones, including Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue” and Howie Day’s “Collide.” Other credits span cuts for Christina Perri, Train, The Struts, Barenaked Ladies, Blondie, James Blunt, and many more with his cumulative tally of album and song sales exceeding 30 million copies. Additionally, he spearheaded holiday music super group Band of Merrymakers famous for its debut Welcome to Our Christmas Party and performances on The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, and NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center. He also co-founded and remains a partner in the popular Pilgrimage Music Festival now in its fifth year. Past performers have included Justin Timberlake and Foo Fighters to name a few. Now with his solo output, listeners get to hear and know Kevin like never before.

Eric Gales
Rams Head On Stage

Eric Gales

November 19, 2019

On 8th February 2019, Eric Gales returns with his brand new album ‘The Bookends’ on Provogue/Mascot Label Group and it features collaborations with B. Slade, Doyle Bramhall II and Beth Hart. The challenge for making ‘The Bookends’ was for Gales to challenge himself. “As a guitar player it’s been established that I can play a little bit, just a little bit,” he smiles. But for this album he not only wanted to push himself as a musician, but also as a vocalist, to build up his vocal discography. “What spearheaded that was the artists that I have on the record,” he says. Written over a nine month period, the album was recorded at Recorded at Studio Delux, Van Nuys (CA), The Dog House, Woodland Hills (CA), Blakeslee Recording, North Hollywood (CA) and the day before he was due to fly to LA for pre-production the original producer David Bianco tragically died. It was Bianco’s management who then suggested Matt Wallace. “I heard his work and the kind of people he has produced such as Maroon 5, Faith No More and all these sorta cats. When we met up together it was just perfect. I just trusted the guy and it ended up being great, I love Matt Wallace,” says Gales. Three-time Grammy nominated and Emmy Award winning vocalist B. Slade appears on two songs, ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ and bonus track ‘Pedal to the Metal.’ “When he came in during pre-production and we were writing, it was so intense. At first I was a little afraid to sing in front of this guy, because this is what this dude does, he’s a phenomenal person and he just brought it out of me,” he says before continuing. “I don’t know if he was really aware of who I was before we met, but the day that he walked in and he heard the songs, his mind was blown. That was before he even saw me playing guitar, so when he saw me playing he said ‘in my life I ain’t never seen nobody that can play like this.’” The notions of change (‘Reaching for a Change’, ‘Somebody Lied’) and love (‘How Do I Get You’, ‘Whatcha Gon’ Do’) are throughout the album. On ‘Something’s Gotta Give’, Slade’s and Gales vocals take turns to yearn “I tell ya people have lost their mind, happy children so hard to find, desolation all in the streets, plenty babies don’t have food to eat, hey, I ain’t preaching, that’s not my thang, I just know we’ve got to make a change.” ‘It Just Beez That Way’ features Gales beatboxing and playing Slide guitar on record for the first time. Talking about being in the studio he elaborates; “The whole vocal thing was something I consciously wanted to push and Matt was on the same page, saying, ‘there’s gonna be sometimes you might not like me because I’m gonna push you because I feel that I know what you can do, and its more than just guitar playing’. It was just really powerful and moving.” Doyle Bramhall II and Gales’ friendship dates back to the 1990s and Eric Clapton’s right hand man features on the triumphant ‘Southpaw Serenade’, while powerhouse vocalist Beth Hart joins Gales on a rousing rendition of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends.’ “Why that song? Well we both have similar stories,” he says. “We’re survivors you know, drug addiction and her from depression. If you’ve got the right support and you can have help from your friends it will all be awesome. It is such a powerful piece.” Previous album ‘Middle of the Road’, was released in February 2017 and reached #1 on the iTunes Blues chart and #4 on the Billboard Blues chart. It made Classic Rock Magazine and Total Guitar albums of the year with the latter saying it was “the album that should define his career.” Classic Rock said “the notes drip from Gales’ fretboard like warm honey”, The Guitar Magazine exclaimed it’s the “the injection of danger and unpredictability that the blues-rock scene desperately needs”, Blues Matters professed “truly the man is blessed”, whilst Powerplay said “the more you listen to it the more the brilliance of Eric Gales becomes apparent.” Since then he has toured almost non-stop; playing shows with Gary Clark Jr., Beth Hart, Gov’t Mule and called through Australia, Argentina, Chile, US and Europe – including the Rockin’ The Blues run with Gary Hoey, Quinn Sullivan and Lance Lopez. He played his first ever headline tour in the UK and Ireland to sold out crowds, took a starring role as part of Supersonic Blues Machine at the UK’s Ramblin’ Man Fair and also found time to play a one off reunion show as The Eric Gales Band. This is not to mention his collaborations with funk royalty Bootsy Collins (‘World Wide Funk’), The Apocalypse Blues Revue (Shannon Larkin/Tony Rombola of Godsmack) and Supersonic Blues Machine (‘Californisoul’). It’s no wonder why he is the guitarists’ favourite guitarist, counting fans in the likes of Carlos Santana, Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge), Joe Bonamassa, Tony Rombola (Godsmack) and Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders).

Herman's Hermits feat. Peter Noone (4:30pm show)
Rams Head On Stage

Herman's Hermits feat. Peter Noone (4:30pm show)

November 17, 2019

At the age of fifteen, Peter Noone achieved international fame as “Herman”, lead singer of the legendary pop band Herman’s Hermits. His classic hits include: “I’m Into Something Good”, “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”, “Just A Little Bit Better”, “There’s A Kind of Hush”, “No Milk Today” and many more. Ultimately, Herman’s Hermits sold over fifty-two million recordings. In all, fourteen singles and seven albums went gold.  As “Herman”, Noone graced the cover of nearly every international publication including Time Magazine. He performed on hundreds of television shows and appeared with such luminaries as Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin and Danny Kaye. He was cast as the engaging “Duke of Cheshire” in ABC’s musical version of The Canterville Ghost. Soon thereafter, he portrayed the title role in Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Pinocchio. He also starred in three highly successful feature films for M-G-M: Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter, Hold On! and When The Boys Meet The Girls. With characteristic zeal, Peter took on leading roles in full-scale theatrical productions of Dick Wittington, Aladdin and Sinbad The Sailor. These live stage spectaculars were mounted at major theatres throughout Great Britain and Noone received critical acclaim for his outstanding work. In the eighties, Peter starred on Broadway in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. He won rave reviews for his superb portrayal of the dashing, young hero, “Frederic”. His performance was so well received, that he went on to reprise the role at the world-famous Drury Lane Theatre in London. Noone charmed audiences worldwide as he continued to play “Frederic” with both the U.S. National Touring Company and the International Touring Company of “Pirates”. Peter’s acting career flourished with guest-starring roles in prime-time television series such as: Married With Children, My Two Dads, Dave’s World, Easy Street, Too Close For Comfort, and Laverne and Shirley. In a memorable episode of Quantum Leap, he shed his “nice guy” image to portray “Dwayne”, a scheming promoter with murderous intentions. He starred as “Apoo”, a frustrated African relief worker, in the Los Angeles stage premiere of Topokana Martyr’s Day and as Alfred Von Wilmersin the U.S. National Tour of the smash Broadway hit Romance, Romance.

Herman's Hermits feat. Peter Noone (7:30pm show)
Rams Head On Stage

Herman's Hermits feat. Peter Noone (7:30pm show)

November 17, 2019

At the age of fifteen, Peter Noone achieved international fame as “Herman”, lead singer of the legendary pop band Herman’s Hermits. His classic hits include: “I’m Into Something Good”, “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”, “Just A Little Bit Better”, “There’s A Kind of Hush”, “No Milk Today” and many more. Ultimately, Herman’s Hermits sold over fifty-two million recordings. In all, fourteen singles and seven albums went gold.  As “Herman”, Noone graced the cover of nearly every international publication including Time Magazine. He performed on hundreds of television shows and appeared with such luminaries as Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin and Danny Kaye. He was cast as the engaging “Duke of Cheshire” in ABC’s musical version of The Canterville Ghost. Soon thereafter, he portrayed the title role in Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Pinocchio. He also starred in three highly successful feature films for M-G-M: Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter, Hold On! and When The Boys Meet The Girls. With characteristic zeal, Peter took on leading roles in full-scale theatrical productions of Dick Wittington, Aladdin and Sinbad The Sailor. These live stage spectaculars were mounted at major theatres throughout Great Britain and Noone received critical acclaim for his outstanding work. In the eighties, Peter starred on Broadway in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. He won rave reviews for his superb portrayal of the dashing, young hero, “Frederic”. His performance was so well received, that he went on to reprise the role at the world-famous Drury Lane Theatre in London. Noone charmed audiences worldwide as he continued to play “Frederic” with both the U.S. National Touring Company and the International Touring Company of “Pirates”. Peter’s acting career flourished with guest-starring roles in prime-time television series such as: Married With Children, My Two Dads, Dave’s World, Easy Street, Too Close For Comfort, and Laverne and Shirley. In a memorable episode of Quantum Leap, he shed his “nice guy” image to portray “Dwayne”, a scheming promoter with murderous intentions. He starred as “Apoo”, a frustrated African relief worker, in the Los Angeles stage premiere of Topokana Martyr’s Day and as Alfred Von Wilmersin the U.S. National Tour of the smash Broadway hit Romance, Romance.

That 70s Party w. Superflydisco (Dance Floor!)
Rams Head On Stage

That 70s Party w. Superflydisco (Dance Floor!)

November 16, 2019

Are you ready to dance to the disco classic of the 70's??? Do you still have that polyester body suit that turns heads faster than a stopwatch??? Rather than celebrating a specific act or persona, Superflydisco pays tribute to the era of 70's funk/disco surrounded by glitter, disco balls and bell bottoms. People have described SFD as "the modern-day love child of Sly & The Family Stone, Rick James and The Bee Gees”. They've been serving this particular flavor since 2005 and over the years, the roster of players has been a virtual "who's who" of the Northeastern Region's pro musician circuit. These players have shared the stage with such artists as Prince, The Ohio Players, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rick James, Whitney Houston, Gloria Gaynor and many many more... Superflydisco is just what you need to bring that party to the next level! A 10-peice live band with horns playing all the funky disco 70’s hits that create an energy that’s nearly impossible to resist. Got your polyester? Got your bell-bottoms? Got your platforms? This show will invariably become a costume contest to see just who has the most disco-luscious flare!!! So BRING IT!!!!

Brian Newman
Rams Head On Stage

Brian Newman

November 15, 2019

Jazz isn’t what it used to be, but for trumpeter and vocalist Brian Newman, that’s entirely the point and his debut album for Verve, SHOWBOAT, is primed to prove it. American trumpet legends like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Lee Morgan are already a part of music history. They’re revered and loved in the way they should be. As Newman explains, learning from them is paramount, but replicating them is pointless. “I don’t want to do what’s already been done,” he says. “We are bringing jazz to another level but still referencing the tradition. Jazz shouldn’t be placed in a glass jar.” SHOWBOAT provides Newman with the opportunity to bust the art form out of its constraints, to allow the jazz influences of Miles Davis and Chet Baker to find room with his love of rock bands such as Nirvana, NOFX and Thin Lizzy. SHOWBOAT’s eclectic track listing reflects Newman’s hybrid tastes which includes the jazz instrumental “Spooky” which became a hit by the band Classic IV when lyrics were added, to “Pennies from Heaven,” introduced by Bing Crosby in 1936, to a rousing version of Tom Waits’ “Jockey Full of Bourbon.” Those in the know, are aware that Brian is a long-time friend and colleague of Lady Gaga, and was the bandleader and trumpeter for her “Cheek to Cheek” album and tour with Tony Bennett. Gaga joins Brian on a smoky torch rendition of The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Growing up in Cleveland, the 12-year-old Newman envisioned his future as a New York City jazz musician when famed drummer Louie Bellson (player for the likes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie) visited his music class. “He went around the class and asked us what we wanted to do,” remembers Newman. “I put my hand up and said, ‘I want to do what you do – I want to be a New York City jazz musician.’” In the young man’s mind, it was written, but not everyone thought so. One teacher had him play 4th trumpet in the second-tier high school jazz band, and flatly told him he’d never make it. “I knew he was wrong, but it also made me realize that no one was gonna give me anything and I had to work hard to get where I wanted to be.” Newman honed his skills and enrolled at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, but decided to leave music school in order to move to New York City in 2003 and pursue his long-term dreams. But just like everyone else in Gotham, Newman first had to first prioritize the short-term dream; making rent. “I put a suit on, and I must have walked around town asking people ‘are you hiring’ for about three weeks!”  He scored whatever bartending and waiter jobs he could, including one in the now defunct Lower East Side institution St Jerome’s – a grimy rock and roll dive bar known for good times, good music and some good people. “That’s where I first met Stef,” recalls Newman. The “Stef” in question is known to the wider world as Lady Gaga. “She was a go-go dancer, a DJ, a party promoter. She did it all. I remember seeing her play once with a disco ball, two dancers and a track. Her family were there selling CDs!” It was during this time that Brian and Gaga discovered their shared passion for jazz as well as tattoos – the two spent many hours together getting body art and they both have the exact same tattoo on their arm of Miles Davis’ trumpet based on a sketch done by Tony Bennett. Newman’s hustle was just as strong. He did his fair share of sitting in at West Village jazz clubs like Smalls, Fatcat, Cleo’s and seeing bands at the Village Vanguard. Random Craigslist gigs, wedding bands, recording sessions for hip-hop acts, nothing was too small during those lean early years in New York. He also became a part of the city’s burlesque scene, where he would meet his wife, Angie Potani, a former Miss Cyclone in Coney Island and the christening of their daughter was featured in the documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two. Eventually, Newman and his quartet settled into residency at the Plaza Hotel’s famed Oak Room (where they recorded their 2012 release “Live From New York City”) and a twice-weekly residency at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar. Newman’s buddy Gaga went on to sell millions and play stadiums all over the world, but she never forgot her old friends on the Lower East Side. Newman was occasionally called upon to add his trumpet to her live appearances, including a Today Show performance in 2010, and a huge Radio 1 Festival in the UK during 2011. Most recently, Brian got the chance to perform with Wynton Marsalis for performances tied to the US Tennis Open in NYC and he co-produced with Lady Gaga the track, “La Vie En Rose,” featured in the film, A Star Is Born. But when she took some time off from the pop world to indulge in her love of jazz with Tony Bennett on 2014’s “Cheek to Cheek,” Gaga brought in Newman and his quartet to give the album a more modern dynamic. Gaga has also brought Newman on as the bandleader and arranger for the Jazz & Piano show of her Las Vegas Residency at The Park Theater. Both the “Cheek to Cheek” album and subsequent tour exposed Newman and the quartet to millions of new fans, but it also demonstrated their ability to Bennett’s sons Dae, and Danny. Dae produced their debut album “Eyes on the City” and after becoming President and CEO of the Verve Label Group, Danny signed them to Verve for the release of SHOWBOAT. Songs like “San Pedro” captures the quartet’s hard-earned musical abilities, and their thrilling power as a unit, while the catchy “Sunday in New York” showcases how Newman can bring the city he loves to life, with both his vocal warmth and his evocative lyrics. But this is a jazz album that makes a point of reaching far and wide. “You Don’t Know What Love Is” is a lovelorn ballad that could touch fans of Ella Fitzgerald and Adele in equal measures. Newman and the quartet are determined not to be hemmed-in (or fenced-off) by their own technical talent and the recent years spent honing their skills performing in clubs in NYC made the timing just right to record this album. After all these years, Newman is exactly what he said he would be; a real musician in New York City. He’s a fixture of the city’s music community, but there’s still so much more to reach for. Showboat marks the point at which Newman becomes someone that jazz agnostics living in far-flung corners of the world will love, just as much as the regulars at the West Village haunts he used to frequent. “We can make jazz accessible,” concludes Newman. “That’s what I want to do – and I am going to do that.” And as you already know, when this guy sets his sights on something, he usually does it.

Eddie From Ohio
Rams Head On Stage

Eddie From Ohio

November 14, 2019

Too energetic to be labeled just "folk", and not angry enough to be pegged "alternative", Eddie from Ohio continues to defy description with their unique blend of vocals and acoustic instrumentation. A bedrock foundation of hand and stick percussion and a textural flavoring of guitar/bass/harmonica support the four-part harmonies and lyrically-driven original music. While this combination has drawn comparisons like the Grateful Dead meets Peter, Paul & Mary, or like Jewel fronts the Bare Naked Ladies, EFO fuses a multitude of musical influences to create their own trademark sound. Performing Songwriter writes, "The manic strumminess recalls Ani DiFranco or Dave Matthews, but there's also a deep undercurrent of high, lonesome mountain harmony that should appeal to fans of Alison Krauss and Union Station." With this trademark sound, EFO has produced nine CDs independently (selling upwards of 150,000 copies to date), toured from Florida to Washington State, cultivated massive postal and email lists, received air play from hundreds of radio stations worldwide, been invited to play the Main Stage at prestigious festivals like Philadelphia Folk, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (Hillsdale, NY), Telluride Bluegrass Festival (CO) and Strawberry Music Festival (CA), appeared on syndicated radio programs Mountain Stage, West Coast Live and World Cafe, & were awarded "Best Contemporary Folk Group" by the Washington Area Music Association six times since 1997. Not bad for a Virginia-based band that began in 1991 playing covers in neighborhood bars when three James Madison University graduates (Robbie Schaefer, Eddie Hartness & Michael Clem) teamed up with Virginia Tech alumnae Julie Murphy (now Murphy Wells). After a popular seven year Tuesday night residency at Bad Habits Grille in Arlington, VA, EFO graduated from town taverns to renowned listening rooms and concert series throughout the country, where their tight harmonies and humorous lyrics, set against an eclectic array of musical forms, can be featured to best advantage. Since signing with a national booking agent in 1996, the band has covered the country, from The Somerville Theater outside of Boston to The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. The band continues to perform but on a more limited basis since September, 2005 when vocalist Wells was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, after an intense year of chemotherapy, Wells is on the road to recovery and remains active in cancer cure fundraising. In 2006, bassist/guitarist Clem released his first solo CD (produced by Hartness), and guitarist Schaefer has found quite a calling in children's music, having produced a successful CD and hosting a nightly satellite radio show on XMKids, as well as putting out a new solo CD in December 2008, Strange & Lovely World. Percussionist Hartness continues to keep the beat for a number of local acts and stays active in the world of audio engineering. Wherever and whenever the four reconvene on the stage, an EFO show is always an experience to remember.

John Hiatt
Rams Head On Stage

John Hiatt

November 13, 2019

“You know how writing goes for me,” John Hiatt says, offering a glimpse into his creative process. “I get a couple of lines going, and then I just tag along as the songs start to reveal themselves. You’ve just gotta jump inside and take the ride.” Hiatt has been on that ride—as have we all, tagging along right beside him—for more than four decades now. In fact, since the release of his 1974 debut, Hangin’ Around the Observatory, rarely has more than a year or two passed without a new Hiatt collection hitting the shelves. But after wrapping up a year of touring in support of 2014’s Terms of My Surrender—the singer-songwriter’s 22nd studio effort overall—he found himself, for the first time in a long time, unsure of what would come next. Not that he panicked. “I’ve been lost before,” Hiatt says, with the self-assurance of a man who has experienced a thing or two over his long and varied career. “Although usually I have some sort of notion or clue where to go.” But this time? He laughs. “I had no sense whatsoever.” As for the cause of this uncertainty? “Life, really,” he says. “Or just changes in life. My wife and I made the decision to sell our farm [in Williamson County, Tennessee] and move back into Nashville. I wanted to spend more time with my family. I was aging, with all that entails or doesn’t entail. Stuff was just happening.” During this period of transition Hiatt did manage to compose a new song—a dusty, road-worn meditation titled “Robber’s Highway.” But the lyrics he penned (“I had words, chords and strings / now I don’t have any of these things”) sounded almost ominously prophetic. “I was just thinking in terms of somebody who’s out there hammerin’ away with his music, wondering what it’s all coming to,” Hiatt explains. “And maybe the songs just aren’t there anymore…” Fast-forward a few years, however, and it’s clear that, for Hiatt at least, the songs are still very much there. And The Eclipse Sessions, his newest collection, offers up his strongest set of ‘em in years. Long celebrated as a skilled storyteller and keen observer of life’s twists and turns, Hiatt can get at the heart of a knotty emotion or a moment in time with just a sharp, incisive lyric or witty turn of phrase. And the 11 tracks presented here, from the breezy opener “Cry to Me,” to the stark “Nothing in My Heart,” the lost-love lamentation “Aces Up Your Sleeve” to the rollicking “Poor Imitation of God,” demonstrate that the singer-songwriter, now 66, is only getting better with age, his guitar playing more rugged and rootsy, his words wiser and more wry. And while he may have started slow this time around, once Hiatt got going, the material that would eventually comprise The Eclipse Sessions came quickly. Following his move back to Nashville in 2017, he recalls, “I put together a little area in the basement of our new house, a space for me to write in. And the songs just started coming again.” From there, things picked up steam. Hiatt’s longtime drummer, Kenneth Blevins, suggested they visit a friend of his—musician Kevin McKendree—at his farmhouse studio on in Franklin, Tennessee. There, Hiatt, Blevins and bassist Patrick O’Hearn set up shop and began recording the new songs as a trio, with McKendree producing. “I was on acoustic and singing, Kenneth was on a small drum kit and Patrick was on electric bass or upright bass as the song required,” Hiatt recalls. After the basic tracks were done, he continues, “Kevin would put either piano or organ on, and his son, Yates [McKendree], who’s just an incredible musician, would come in and add some electric guitar. But the main tracks were me, Kenneth and Patrick doing everything together live, including vocals.” This stripped-back approach put the focus right where it ought to be—on Hiatt’s guitar and voice. “I want to push what I do up there in the mix, because it’s all I got,” he says, then laughs. “Might as well go all in at this point!” Hiatt certainly does go all in on The Eclipse Sessions. There’s a grit to these songs—a craggy, perfectly-imperfect quality that colors every aspect of the performances, right down to Hiatt’s vocals, which are quite possibly his most raw and expressive to date. “They ain’t pretty, that’s for sure,” he says about the creaks and cracks that punctuate his phrases in songs like “Poor Imitation of God” and “One Stiff Breeze.” “But I don’t mind a bit. All the catches and the glitches and the gruffness, that sounds right to me. That sounds like who I am.” It’s the sound of an artist not only living in but also capturing the moment. Which, in Hiatt’s estimation, places The Eclipse Sessions in a lineage alongside two of his greatest works—1987’s mainstream breakthrough Bring the Family, which sprung from an impulsive four-day session with an all-star combo led by Ry Cooder, and 2000’s Crossing Muddy Waters, an unplanned and largely unplugged effort that set Hiatt on the rootsier path he’s still pursuing today. “The three albums are very connected in my mind,” Hiatt says. “They all have a vibe to them that was unexpected—at least to me, anyway. I didn’t know where I was going when I started out on any of them. And each one wound up being a pleasant surprise.” To be sure, pleasant surprises abounded during the recording of The Eclipse Sessions—and not only inside the studio. True to the album’s title, Hiatt and his band were hard at work on the very day August 21, 2017—a solar eclipse traveled the length of the continental U.S. “I think we recorded three songs that day, and then we took a break to go outside and watch everything happen,” Hiatt says. The eclipse itself, of course, was hardly unpredicted. But what Hiatt observed amongst his fellow Nashvillians during that moment of totality—his city was one of a few spots in the U.S. to be plunged into near complete darkness—did give him pause. “It seemed everything stopped for a minute or two,” he says. “It was like a magical little bit of time, a harmonic convergence or something. Like everybody was on the same page—and that page wasn’t Facebook! So it reminded me of old times in Nashville.” He laughs. “Getting nostalgic for the old days, as old farts do…” Old fart? Not Hiatt, not now. He’s more the guy in The Eclipse Sessions’ “Over the Hill”—“long in the tooth” but still taking “huge bites of life.” Hiatt can only smirk about that line. “I thought that was a funny one,” he says. “Like, ‘This is a kick… I’m trying to make aging sound appealing!’ ” Or the troubadour in “Robber’s Highway,” peeling himself out of a hotel bed in order to make it to the next show. “We’ve all had nights like that—‘Can’t feel the fingers of one hand / last night felt like a three-night stand,’ ” Hiatt says, quoting the song’s first lines. “I mean, that’s a laugh amongst most of us who have ever been out there on the road. But playing music is the most wonderful gig in the world. It’s just that the cost is high. I don’t know that people necessarily know the price.” It’s a price that Hiatt willingly, and for the most part, quite happily, continues to pay. Since 2000 he’s been on a remarkable late-career run, releasing nine acclaimed studio albums and embarking on numerous tours in the U.S. and abroad. In fact, even as he prepared for the release of The Eclipse Sessions, his tenth record this century, Hiatt could be found traveling the robber’s highway in Europe with his old backing band, the Goners (featuring slide guitarist extraordinaire Sonny Landreth) for a tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of his 1988 album, Slow Turning. “It’s been cool to be out with the original band and playing those songs again,” Hiatt says. “Because for me it was one of those records that helped to build up the following I’ve had for the past 30 years. We really took a leap with that one.” As for whether Hiatt could have ever imagined that, at 66 years old, he’d be experiencing yet another great leap with The Eclipse Sessions? “I would never have imagined any of it,” he responds. “If you’d had told me this 40 years ago I would’ve just said, ‘C’mon…you’re pullin’ my leg!’ So to have this kind of longevity, and still be healthy and have a wife and family and kids and everybody’s doing well… no, I would never have dreamed it. I would have thought it’d gone away a long while ago.” Gone away? Hardly. In fact, with The Eclipse Sessions, Hiatt might very well be gearing up for yet another new beginning. He considers the possibility. “Maybe,” he says, then laughs. “Or a last gasp! You be the judge!” He laughs again. “Either way, it’s good with me.”

Sonny Landreth & Cindy Cashdollar
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Sonny Landreth & Cindy Cashdollar

November 12, 2019

Sonny Landreth and Cindy Cashdollar are making some rare duo appearances in 2019. Louisiana’s slide guitar wizard will deliver his bottle-neck style slide chops while Austin's sweetheart of the steel guitar will showcase the renowned talent that earned her a spot in the Texas Music Hall of Fame. Revered for his unique slide guitar technique, Sonny Landreth has collaborated with many legendary performers including John Hiatt, Jimmy Buffett, Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton. Sonny will perform at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival in Dallas on September 20, his third Crossroads appearance. Cindy Cashdollar's expertise is in great demand on both steel guitar and dobro. She has worked with many leading artists in various genres including Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Rod Stewart and Ryan Adams. With the iconic western swing group Asleep At The Wheel, she garnered 5 Grammy awards and was the first woman to be inducted into the Texas Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2011. Performing a mix of original songs with contemporary and traditional blues and roots music, the show is electric, virtuosic, and tastefully delivered by these two great instrumental masters.

Crack The Sky **All Ages Matinee** (Show Added by Popular Demand!)
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Crack The Sky **All Ages Matinee** (Show Added by Popular Demand!)

November 10, 2019

Since their debut album in 1975 (Rolling Stone's Debut Album of the Year) and through their 20+ albums to date, Crack The Sky continues to put on high level live performances, punctuated by extreme dynamics, quirky rhythms, dual guitar solos, and Palumbo’s lyrical/satirical view of the world.

The Big Damn Blues Revolution Tour feat. The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Dom Flemons & JD Wilkes
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The Big Damn Blues Revolution Tour feat. The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Dom Flemons & JD Wilkes

November 10, 2019

The Big Damn Blues Revolution Tour brings together three amazing artists who are master musicians and showmen. They also have a special bond in the blues-roots-folk music that they love and live. This unique tour showcases the best their genres have to offer and culminates every night in a special jam session with all three artists. The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - 2019 BMA Award Nominee The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band are the greatest country-blues band in the world. They are led by Reverend Peyton, who most consider to be the premier finger picker playing today. He has earned a reputation as both a singularly compelling performer and a persuasive evangelist for the rootsy, country blues styles that captured his imagination early in life and inspired him and his band to make pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. Now The Big Damn Band is back with an explosive new record and world tour. Reverend Peyton's guitar work on the new record Poor Until Payday is phenomenal and howls the blues. It debuted at #1 on the iTunes Blues Chart and #4 on the Billboard Blues Chart. Dom Flemons (ex Carolina Chocolate Drops) - Grammy award winner, two-time Emmy nominee Dom Flemons is known as “The American Songster” since his repertoire of music covers over 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes. Flemons is a music scholar, historian and a multi-instrumentalist. He is considered an expert player on the Banjo, Fife, Guitar, Harmonica, Jug, Percussion, Quills, and Rhythm Bones. In 2018, Flemons released an album titled “Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys” and received a Grammy nomination for “Best Folk Album.” Flemons co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops who won a Grammy for “Best Traditional Folk Album” in 2010 and were nominated for “Best Folk Album” in 2012. JD Wilkes (Legendary Shack Shakers) - JD Wilkes is a true renaissance man - musician, visual artist, author, filmmaker and self-proclaimed "southern surrealist". He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (notably on harmonica and banjo), having recorded with such artists as Merle Haggard, John Carter Cash, Mike Patton, and Hank Williams III. Wilkes is perhaps best known as the founder of the Legendary Shack Shakers, a Southern Gothic rock and blues band. Fans of his work with Legendary Shack Shakers include Stephen King, Robert Plant and former Dead Kennedy's frontman Jello Biafra. Rolling Stone named Wilkes as the “best frontman” at the 2015 Americana Music Association Festival for his performance with the band. Regarding the group’s "southern gothic" lyricism, Billboard Magazine said "[Wilkes writes] mind-blowing lyrics rife with Biblical references and ruminations of life, death, sin and redemption.” Legendary Shack Shakers have toured with the likes of Robert Plant and The Black Keys, among others.

Brandon 'Taz' Niederauer **All Ages Matinee**
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Brandon 'Taz' Niederauer **All Ages Matinee**

November 9, 2019

Sixteen-year-old Brandon Niederauer, nicknamed “Taz” for his ferocious guitar playing, is living proof that dreams really do come true. Having performed in some of the most legendary venues in America with many of the most prominent musicians of our time, the young guitarist, singer, and songwriter has already earned himself quite the reputation.   It all started at eight years old, when Brandon watched the movie School of Rock. Already inspired by his father’s record collection, Brandon instantly realized he was destined to play guitar. From that moment on, his guitar rarely left his hands. Just four years later, Brandon was cast in the principal role of guitarist “Zack Mooneyham” in the Tony Award-nominated Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway production, School of Rock the Musical.   Based in New York City, Brandon has had the opportunity to play with many of his musical idols. In recent years, he’s shared the stage with multiple members of the Allman Brothers Band, including Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Butch Trucks, and Oteil Burbridge, as well as a variety of other notable musicians, including Buddy Guy, Stevie Nicks, Lady Gaga, Slash, Jon Batiste, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Gales, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Dr. John, Gary Clark Jr., Col. Bruce Hampton, Eric Krasno, George Porter Jr., Robert Randolph, Karl Denson, Doug Wimbish, and John Popper. He has also performed with Tedeschi Trucks Band, The String Cheese Incident, Umphrey's McGee, The Revivalists, Dumpstaphunk, Blackberry Smoke, Galactic, and countless other bands.   Since making his national television debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at just ten years old, Brandon has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Good Morning America, and The View.   In 2018, Brandon reunited with Andrew Lloyd Webber, performing in January with Sarah Brightman at The Phantom of the Opera’s 30th Anniversary celebration, and in April alongside Sara Bareilles, Alice Cooper, and John Legend in NBC’s live broadcast production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Brandon is currently featured in Spike Lee’s Netflix series, She’s Gotta Have It, and performs concerts for audiences across the country and around the world.

Crack The Sky
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Crack The Sky

November 9, 2019

Since their debut album in 1975 (Rolling Stone's Debut Album of the Year) and through their 20+ albums to date, Crack The Sky continues to put on high level live performances, punctuated by extreme dynamics, quirky rhythms, dual guitar solos, and Palumbo’s lyrical/satirical view of the world.

Crack The Sky
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Crack The Sky

November 8, 2019

Since their debut album in 1975 (Rolling Stone's Debut Album of the Year) and through their 20+ albums to date, Crack The Sky continues to put on high level live performances, punctuated by extreme dynamics, quirky rhythms, dual guitar solos, and Palumbo’s lyrical/satirical view of the world.

The Manhattan Transfer
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The Manhattan Transfer

November 7, 2019

Riding a wave of nostalgia in the '70s, the Manhattan Transfer resurrected jazz trends from boogie-woogie to bop to vocalese in a slick setting. Originally formed in 1969, the quartet recorded several albums of jazz standards as well as much material closer to R&B/pop. Still, they were easily the most popular jazz vocal group of their era, and the most talented of any since the heyday of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross during the early '60s. Beginning with their first performances in the early 1970s, THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER have become the cornerstones of contemporary music. Originally launched by Tim Hauser in 1969, Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel and Laurel Masse were the group by 1972. Cheryl Bentyne joined the group in 1979 after Laurel Masse left. Known for their amazing harmony and versatility, incorporating pop, jazz, R&B, rock and roll, swing, symphonic, and a cappella music, the group was signed by the legendary Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic Records. The group made their recording debut with their self-titled album in 1975. Known primarily as an East Coast cult act, they expanded their following by starring in their own 1975 CBS-TV variety series as a summer replacement for the Cher Bono Show. Starting as an underground group in New York City, The Manhattan Transfer garnered international popularity when “Chanson D’Amour” from the 1976 Coming Out album became a number one hit in Europe. One of the co-writers on The Junction – the group’s new album which draws inspiration in part from The Transfer’s classic 1975 version of Glenn Miller’s “Tuxedo Junction” — is the group’s new member, bass vocalist Trist Curless. Curless began subbing on the road for the late band founder Tim Hauser in 2013, officially joining after Hauser’s passing in late 2014.

Los Straitjackets
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Los Straitjackets

November 4, 2019

Los Straitjackets are the leading practitioners of the lost art of the guitar instrumental. Using the music of the Ventures, The Shadows, and with Link Wray and Dick Dale as a jumping off point, the band has taken their unique, high-energy brand of original rock & roll around the world.  Clad in their trademark Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling masks, the 'Jackets' have delivered their trademark guitar licks to 16 albums, thousands of concerts and dozens of films and TV shows. Viva Los Straitjackets!

Joseph Arthur **All Ages Matinee**
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Joseph Arthur **All Ages Matinee**

November 3, 2019

It’s been three years since Joseph Arthur has released a brand-new solo album, and with the upcoming release of Come Back World (October 11th) he’s crafted his most personal and powerful album to date. “The interesting parts of our stories aren’t the famous people we meet,” Arthur remarked. Or the times when everything is basically working. Or when we get to lay in comfort with a partner watching Netflix and the world go by. The interesting parts are when all those things break down and you’re left in isolation to finally deal with the roots of whatever had been thwarting your existence all along. The interesting parts are when the world has turned its back on you and you have turned your back on it or them. When darkness could seemingly swallow you whole if it hasn’t already. When there is no such thing as hope and so you manufacture it from a dream which only angle is to survive. Come Back World is an album about rebirth and survival.” The title track “Come Back World” will be available on all major streaming services beginning this Friday August 2nd.  The album is available immediately for pre-order at Joseph Arthur’s website: http://josepharthur.com Produced by Joseph Arthur and Chris Seefried, the upcoming release features several other amazing artists including: Ben Harper, Patrick Carney, Jesse Malin and Greg Dulli. Joseph Arthur will embark on a solo tour right on top of the release date beginning in Kansas City on October 4th. For many of these upcoming shows, he’ll be joined by Jesse Malin who will co-headline. Tickets for all shows will go on sale this Friday. Over the course of his career to date, Joseph has released fourteen albums under his own name, eleven official EP’s and has been involved with several high-profile side projects including last year’s collaboration with Peter Buck under the name Arthur Buck, Fistful Of Mercy (with Ben Harper & Dhani Harrison), and RDNM with Jeff Ament and Richard Stuverud. Recently Joseph Arthur also launched a new Podcast called “Come To Where I’m From” which to date has featured celebrities, comedians and musician from across the board. Recent guests include, Rosanna Arquette, Mark Lanegan, Todd Barry, Keith Morris and Joan Osborne to name a few. The podcast is available in both audio form everywhere Podcasts are found (iTunes, Spotify and Google podcasts) as well as multi-camera Video format on YouTube, with new episodes launching twice a week. All episodes can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/josepharthurofficial. 

Paul Thorn
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Paul Thorn

November 3, 2019

Paul Thorn has created an innovative and impressive career, pleasing crowds with his muscular brand of roots music – bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern American, yet also speaking universal truths.  Among those who value originality, inspiration, eccentricity and character – as well as talent that hovers somewhere on the outskirts of genius, the story of Paul Thorn is already familiar. Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured the young Elvis generations before, Paul Thorn has rambled down back roads and jumped out of airplanes, worked for years in a furniture factory, battled four-time world champion boxer Roberto Duran on national television, signed with and been dropped by a major label, performed [on stages with Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Sting, and John Prine among many others, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet fully accessible music of our time.  He’s also appeared on major television shows such as Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live, been the subject of numerous National Public Radio (NPR) features and charted multiple times on the Billboard Top 100 and Americana Radio Charts.  In 2018, Paul released an album titled Don’t Let the Devil Ride, which he describes as “the culmination of my whole life in music, coming back to my roots.” It marks his first time recording gospel music - featuring guests such as the Blind Boys of Alabama, the McCrary Sisters, and Preservation Hall Horns - and his creation of a body of strikingly original songs that address the foibles of human relationships without necessarily favoring the sacred over the profane.

Oleta Adams
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Oleta Adams

November 2, 2019

Since the runaway success of her 1990 debut album Circle of One (which went Platinum), and the impassioned hit single "Get Here" (the Brenda Russell composition that became an unofficial anthem of the 1991 Gulf War) Oleta Adams has inspired a growing legion of fans in the U.S. and Europe with journeys of the heart via songs that draw deeply from her roots in gospel, while crossing effortlessly into the realms of soul, R&B, urban, and popular music. Her success, nurtured by worldwide tours with Tears for Fears, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, and Luther Vandross, has been solidified by four Grammy nominations and a seemingly bottomless well of creative energy.

Jon McLaughlin
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Jon McLaughlin

November 1, 2019

Singer-songwriter and skilled pianist Jon McLaughlin is ushering in the holiday spirit this fall with his new EP and a string of tour dates. Born and raised in Anderson, Indiana, Jon began taking classical piano lessons at an early age. During high school he began incorporating his piano skills into soulful pop music, then enrolled in the music program at Anderson University, where he studied piano and spent his free time writing songs. After signing with Island Records and releasing his debut album INDIANA, the song “Beautiful Disaster” quickly climbed up the charts, with “Beating My Heart” following quickly after. Hollywood took notice of the young songwriter and in addition to using his music for films and commercials, Jon himself was offered a role in the hit film Enchanted, performing his song “So Close.” The song was later nominated for an Academy Award, and in 2008 he found himself onstage at the Oscars reprising the tune in front of 32 million US viewers. In between the hit songs and television appearances, true to his hardworking Midwestern roots, Jon spent his nights opening for the likes of Sara Bareilles and Kelly Clarkson, recording with Demi Lovato and writing for other artists. Jon eventually parted ways with Island and has been forging his own independent path for the past few years. He is currently gearing up to release a holiday EP this fall, with a new album on the slate for 2018.

Bret Michaels
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Bret Michaels

October 30, 2019

As front man for the legendary rock band Poison, Bret Michaels has sold 25 million records and scored an amazing 15 chartbusting Top 40 singles including "Talk Dirty To Me," "Something To Believe In," "Nothing But A Good Time" and the timeless #1 smash "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Bret Michaels is, if nothing else, a true survivor. He has survived a lifelong battle as an insulin dependent diabetic, a well publicized near fatal car crash in 1994 and the countless musical trends and fads of the last two decades. "As soon as I ever start to just go through the motions I'll quit," confessed the singer, songwriter, producer, director and actor in a recent interview. But there's little chance he'll even slow down let alone quit anytime soon. In fact, after more than 25 years in the business this award winning, multi platinum superstar's career continues to move at warp speed.

Incognito featuring Maysa
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Incognito featuring Maysa

October 28, 2019

Incognito - Incognito is recognized as one of the best funk/jazz/soul/dance outfits in the world. A pioneer of the "acid jazz" movement who has delighted listeners and dancers for decades, Incognito has scored hits with versions of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" and Ronnie Laws' "Always There," selling more than a million records worldwide in the process. Maysa - A unique, instantly identifiable vocal sound encompassing both Jazz and R&B. Grammy-nominated ,Soul Train Award Winning Soul/Jazz singer Maysa, celebrates her 28th recording artist in 2019. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Maysa Leak knew early on that she would be a musician. "I was six years old when my mom took me to see Purlie," she recalls. "When Melba Moore came on stage and sang her heart out, I knew at that moment I wanted to make people feel the way she made me feel."  Maysa's journey took her from singing upon graduation with Stevie Wonder for a year to becoming the lead singer for Incognito in the 90s. In 1995 she recorded her first solo album.,MAYSA which debuted to rave reviews from critics and listeners alike. Maysa kicks off the fall of 2019 creating her untitled 14th studio album for her brand new record label, BLUE VELVET SOUL RECORDS. "I am so proud to release this album myself and for the first time in my life I will own my masters, so I will do everything in my power to make this album my masterpiece. It will be soulful, spiritual, danceable and sensual, " Maysa states.

Splash'N Boots Kids Concert!
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Splash'N Boots Kids Concert!

October 27, 2019

Splash’N Boots rose to prominence in the hearts and minds of families through music, live shows and television. Their music creates family dance parties; it is a soundtrack to bedtimes, mealtime and all moments in between. Since their inception, Splash’N Boots have released twelve original music albums, resulting in five consecutive JUNO Award nominations for Children’s Album of the Year between 2014 and 2018. Their most recent album, You, Me and The Sea, saw them collaborating with much loved singer-songwriter Alan Doyle (formerly of Great Big Sea) and recently was awarded the JUNO Award for Children’s Album of the Year. Recording in Newfoundland, Canada, the new songs are infused with the essential elements of Newfoundland kitchen parties with a good dose of step dancing, fiddling and even a dreamy bedtime waltz. The duo have over 925,000 streams on Spotify (250,000 streams in 2018 alone), and enjoy an ongoing conversation with their community on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They’ve also won Canadian Children’s Music Group of The Year at the SiriusXM Independent Music Awards three times. On television, they appear daily in over 8.5 million homes across Canada with their number one TV show, which is broadcast daily on Canada’s top children’s television network, Treehouse TV and Disney Jr. Canada. The show is also featured on Kidoodle TV, a worldwide streaming platform, and had over 1 million streams within the first 6 months on the channel. To date, they have written and starred in over 100 episodes and have also written and produced an original segment for season 49 of Sesame Street. They’ve also been featured in televised performances with The Wiggles and Fred Penner. At their live shows, the family audience is encouraged to show up and participate as the yellow and blue crew. “It’s a collective experience for us and the audience. Our goal is always connection – bringing kids closer to their families, and also to each other” explains Taes Leavitt (Boots) “Our hope is that our music will connect, and also inspire kids to stand up tall in who they are, and know that they are always loved,” continues Nick Adams (Splash.) Unique and inventive, they constantly strive to create opportunities for parents and children to share moments. They’ve toured in North America, Dubai, Bermuda, Australia, and Italy. Splash’N Boots are committed to raising awareness for important causes. They do ongoing performances and outreach with Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital, Camp Ooch (a camp dedicated to serving children affected by cancer), team up with Kids Up Front (a charitable organization who distributes tickets to kids and families who can’t access them), and have a longtime relationship with Starlight Foundation (a charitable organization dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously ill children and their families by bringing them joy, laughter and relief.) They shepherd their own grassroots organization, Lucas’ Letters, a pen pal program that connects children with Autism and they are the first children’s act to partner with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket sold in their cross-Canada 2018 tour went to support access to music education and adaptive instruments for young children via Musicounts. In 2018, the band created the Big Heart Award. The duo gave a seven-year old boy named Nicholas, who was being severely bullied at school, a yellow and blue heart-shaped pillow to hug when he was feeling scared and lonely. The pillow was to remind him that he is loved and that he will always be part of the Yellow and Blue Family. For his birthday, Nicholas told his friends and family to bring money instead of presents so he could buy heart pillows for other kids who needed love. He showed up at a Splash’N Boots show and told them what he’d done. Nicholas’ inspiring love movement was embraced by Splash’N Boots and it led them to create their Big Heart Award. To date they have presented over 75 people, of all ages and abilities, who are doing amazing things in their communities or who could just use an extra bit of love and support with the Big Heart Award. The award represents exactly what Splash’N Boots aim to be for children and families; a chance for them to be seen, heard, and loved for exactly who they are.

Jay And The Americans
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Jay And The Americans

October 26, 2019

Very few bands have ever reached the musical heights of Jay And The Americans. From 1962-1971, this group charted an unprecedented dozen top 10 records. With three original band members, Sandy Yaguda (aka Deane), Howie Kirschenbaum (aka Kane), and Marty Kupersmith (aka Sanders) and the addition of “Jay” Reincke, the third Jay and probably the best yet, they have recreated the authentic sound of all of their great hits that everyone remembers. Hits include "Cara Mia," "Come A Little Bit Closer," and "This Magic Moment."

Jay And The Americans
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Jay And The Americans

October 26, 2019

Very few bands have ever reached the musical heights of Jay And The Americans. From 1962-1971, this group charted an unprecedented dozen top 10 records. With three original band members, Sandy Yaguda (aka Deane), Howie Kirschenbaum (aka Kane), and Marty Kupersmith (aka Sanders) and the addition of “Jay” Reincke, the third Jay and probably the best yet, they have recreated the authentic sound of all of their great hits that everyone remembers. Hits include "Cara Mia," "Come A Little Bit Closer," and "This Magic Moment."

Macy Gray
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Macy Gray

October 25, 2019

That unmistakable rasp, unshakable grasp on soul, and funky spirit ensured Macy Gray her status as a 21st century icon since her arrival with the triple-platinum How Life Is in 1999. Selling over 25 million total albums globally, winning a GRAMMY® Award and two BRIT Awards, collaborating with everyone from Ariana Grande to Galactic, and enchanting fans all over the world, her voice has consistently resounded throughout pop culture. Hailing from Canton, Ohio, Macy remains an undeniable force of nature, selling out venues in nearly every corner of the globe two decades into her storied career. Most recently, 2016’s Stripped earmarked a creative high point, garnering unanimous acclaim from Vogue, Vice, and many more. that signature rarity millions continue to treasure. Now, her tenth full-length album, RUBY [Artistry Music/Mack Avenue], reaffirms and reasserts that signature rarity millions continue to treasure. Channeling the spirit of the “grimy” R&B and smoky jazz closest to her heart, Macy made a leap forward by looking back to formative inspirations. However, she updated those elements with enriched, entrancing, and enigmatic soundscapes brought to life by producers Johan Carlsson [Michael Bublé, Maroon 5], Tommy Brown [Jennifer Lopez, Fifth Harmony, Travis Scott], and Tommy Parker Lumpkins [Janet Jackson, Justin Bieber]. Take the first single “Sugar Daddy.” Co-written with none other than pop superstar Meghan Trainor, the track swings from jazz-y piano into a cooing verse that’s as sweet as it is sassy. Her voice takes hold on the hook, “Be my, be my sugar daddy and provide me with your candy.” RUBY canvases a wide spectrum for the songstress. Raucous horns that feel ripped from a classic seventies flick augment the grit on “Cold World” as “Jealousy” spins a covetous narrative that soars as it seduces. Gary Clark Jr. adds six string firepower to “Buddha.” Everything culminates on the reggae-inspired “Witness,” which shuffles between mainland soul and island grooves as she croons, “I wish I was Jesus. I would make sure to fix it. Can I get a witness?” Macy’s talents resound beyond music as well. She starred in Tyler Perry’s Black Reel Award-winning For Colored Girls and would grace the screen everywhere from Brotherly Love, Paper Boy, Lackawanna Blues and Cardboard Boxer to NETFLIX’s hit Fuller House. Moreover, she made a now legendary appearance in Training Day alongside Academy® Award winner Denzel Washington -- one of many on-screen hallmarks. Audiences will feel that too as she brings the record to life nightly in North America, the UK, and Europe on her 2018-19 tour.

The Doo Wop Project
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The Doo Wop Project

October 24, 2019

The Doo Wop Project begins at the beginning, tracing the evolution of Doo Wop from the classic sound of five guys singing tight harmonies on a street corner to the biggest hits on the radio today. In their epic shows DWP takes audiences on a journey from foundational tunes of groups like the Crests, Belmonts and Flamingos through their influences on the sounds of Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, and The Four Seasons all the way to DooWopified versions of modern musicians like Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Maroon 5. Featuring stars of Broadway’s hits Jersey Boys, Motown: The Musical, Chazz Palminteri's A Bronx Tale, and more the Doo Wop Project brings unparalleled authenticity of sound and vocal excellence to recreate -- and in some cases entirely reimagine -- some of the greatest music in American pop and rock history.

Jesse Cook
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Jesse Cook

October 23, 2019

“I want to take people to places they haven’t been.” Jesse Cook, Juno winning master guitarist, known for his intoxicating fusion of world music, has travelled the globe looking for sounds that resonate with him. “I like finding common ground for different music traditions, a space where music from around the world can come together,” Cook explains. “A place where modern sounds can mix with ancient timbres.” He was born in Paris, to Canadian parents. After moving back to Canada, Cook started guitar lessons. “My teacher played flamenco. Then, when I’d visit my dad in France, he was living next door to Nicolas Reyes, the singer of the Gipsy Kings. I saw gipsy kids on the corner playing that way too.” It was as if the world conspired to get me interested in this style and I was hooked.” It was when he heard the Paco de Lucia, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin album, Friday Night in San Francisco that the die was cast. “I was captivated by the sheer virtuosity and freedom, that people could play whatever they wanted, creating in that space between jazz and flamenco.” Cook also helps foster this spirit of cultural exploration visually through his photography on Instagram as well his popular weekly video releases on his YouTube channel and through Facebook.

The Bros. Landreth
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The Bros. Landreth

October 22, 2019

Before they were The Bros. Landreth, Joey and Dave were only looking for a good excuse to spend a little more time together. They had spent their respective early years backing up other artists and touring the world as hired musicians until one particularly long and challenging tour prompted Joey to call his older brother with a simple proposal, “When I get home, let’s sit down and make some music together” That phone call would be the turning point – seeing them focus on their own roots rock sound that went on to be celebrated on their acclaimed debut album, Let It Lie.  Originally released in their hometown of Winnipeg in 2013, Let It Lie was re-released in 2015 after signing a record deal with Nashville-based Slate Creek Records. The album received widespread acclaim, won multiple awards including a JUNO, and propelled the band to play over 400 tour dates around the world. A Rolling Stone review praised the band’s “quiet storm of slide guitar solos, blue notes, three part harmonies”. Lifelong musical hero, Bonnie Raitt, was equally impressed after catching the band’s set, saying "I haven't liked a band as much as The Bros. Landreth in a long time. To hear this kind of funky, southern style rock played with such originality and soul will knock you out." Then, the band went on a hiatus. A break afforded Joey Landreth the opportunity release and extensively tour his debut solo album Whiskey in 2017, furthering his reputation for being a first-rate guitar slinger, songwriter, and performer in his own right. Joey’s booming solo career might have delayed the timeline for the brothers, yet they never stopped writing songs that would eventually be recorded for their long awaited, follow-up release. “The time off that we took between touring Let It Lie and coming back together to make this next album was really difficult.” Dave says. “It was tough, but we needed to do it. Being away from each other gave us some really valuable perspective. It let us realize just how important it is for us to make music together and that’s something that we won’t soon forget.” Teaming up in studio with drummer Ryan Voth, guitarist Ariel Posen, and longtime producer Murray Pulver, their soon to be released album is an exciting evolution of the band’s sound, honed by thousands of hours on stage and filtered through the lens of the last many years on the road. “We’ve got hundreds and hundreds of shows and thousands and thousands of miles under our belts. This next record has a confidence that we didn’t have - couldn’t have with the first.”  The Bros. Landreth’s journey took some unexpected turns, but ultimately reaffirmed two brother’s earnest desire to make honest music together. Slated for release fall of 2019, the follow-up album is called ’87, a nod to their starting point, the year they became brothers.

Crime of Thrones: We Kill. You Laugh.
Rams Head On Stage

Crime of Thrones: We Kill. You Laugh.

October 21, 2019

Now that the battle for the Iron Throne is over and peace has been brought to Westeros and Essos, all of our favorite characters (or what is left of them) are enjoying the serenity that the truce between the dynasties has wrought. In fact, they have found that they have much more in common than they thought, and they all ultimately agreed that the Iron Throne was ridiculously uncomfortable and should be replaced. The Throne has been traded out for a Barcalounger that Dani found on sale – and it even has a cup holder! However, is it possible for this group of survivors to resist their ultimately bloodthirsty natures and keep the peace in the Seven Kingdoms? Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Barcalounger begins. Beware. Murder is coming.

Leonid & Friends Performing The Music of Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears Show Added! (3pm All Ages Show)
Rams Head On Stage

Leonid & Friends Performing The Music of Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears Show Added! (3pm All Ages Show)

October 19, 2019

In just three short years, Leonid & Friends has blown the minds of legions of fans with their uncanny ability to capture the spirit, musicality and fire of American supergroup Chicago, while also covering the music of Earth, Wind & Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears. And what is even more stunning is that Leonid & Friends hasn’t seen Chicago perform live, yet replicates the band’s complex arrangements amazingly note for note. "Chicago has never been in Russia and none of us have attended their concerts," said Leonid Vorobyev, a multi-instrumentalist who is the band’s leader. "We have only audio records and videos (to help us learn Chicago songs)." Vorobyev wasn’t always a fan of horn bands, and as a teenager gravitated to the hard driving guitar-based sounds of the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Deep Purple and Grand Funk Railroad. "In the early 1970s in the USSR, electric guitars, amplifiers and drums were rare to find so at school we were playing self-made instruments," Vorobyev explained. "We were allowed to rehearse in the same room with a horns band. Those musicians almost always were drunk and quite often tried to play with us our rock songs. It was nightmare and I hated them all!" But that all changed when Vorobyev heard Chicago. He became an instant fan. "I loved so much the brilliant mixture of rock guitars, drums and jazz horns with bright vocal harmonies," he said. In 2014, Vorobyev decided to indulge his love for the band by gathering a few fellow musicians in a studio to record a video of them playing his favorite Chicago tune, Brand New Love Affair. No charts or scores of the song existed so Vorobyev transcribed the tune by ear. The result was a YouTube video that quickly went viral. Since then Leonid & Friends has recorded videos of other Chicago hits including Make Me Smile, 25 or 6 to 4, and Saturday In The Park. The process of getting each tune just right is a painstaking labor of love. In addition to scoring and arranging, Vorobyev oversees mixing and mastering of each song. However, he credits his highly skilled bandmates for making each tune sing. "All of my musician friends are highly professional," he said. With several successful Moscow concerts under their belt, Leonid & Friends are focused on bringing their heartfelt Chicago tribute to the U.S. "We have enormous amount of requests from U.S. fans,” he said. “There is also a dream of many Russia musicians to perform for a real American audience. We are excited to meet our many American friends." Scott Schwebke has been a journalist for more than 30 years and a longtime fan of Chicago dating back to its incarnation as CTA. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Denver Post, Orange County Register and various publications across the U.S.

Leonid & Friends: Performing The Music of Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears
Rams Head On Stage

Leonid & Friends: Performing The Music of Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears

October 19, 2019

In just three short years, Leonid & Friends has blown the minds of legions of fans with their uncanny ability to capture the spirit, musicality and fire of American supergroup Chicago, while also covering the music of Earth, Wind & Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears. And what is even more stunning is that Leonid & Friends hasn’t seen Chicago perform live, yet replicates the band’s complex arrangements amazingly note for note. "Chicago has never been in Russia and none of us have attended their concerts," said Leonid Vorobyev, a multi-instrumentalist who is the band’s leader. "We have only audio records and videos (to help us learn Chicago songs)." Vorobyev wasn’t always a fan of horn bands, and as a teenager gravitated to the hard driving guitar-based sounds of the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Deep Purple and Grand Funk Railroad. "In the early 1970s in the USSR, electric guitars, amplifiers and drums were rare to find so at school we were playing self-made instruments," Vorobyev explained. "We were allowed to rehearse in the same room with a horns band. Those musicians almost always were drunk and quite often tried to play with us our rock songs. It was nightmare and I hated them all!" But that all changed when Vorobyev heard Chicago. He became an instant fan. "I loved so much the brilliant mixture of rock guitars, drums and jazz horns with bright vocal harmonies," he said. In 2014, Vorobyev decided to indulge his love for the band by gathering a few fellow musicians in a studio to record a video of them playing his favorite Chicago tune, Brand New Love Affair. No charts or scores of the song existed so Vorobyev transcribed the tune by ear. The result was a YouTube video that quickly went viral. Since then Leonid & Friends has recorded videos of other Chicago hits including Make Me Smile, 25 or 6 to 4, and Saturday In The Park. The process of getting each tune just right is a painstaking labor of love. In addition to scoring and arranging, Vorobyev oversees mixing and mastering of each song. However, he credits his highly skilled bandmates for making each tune sing. "All of my musician friends are highly professional," he said. With several successful Moscow concerts under their belt, Leonid & Friends are focused on bringing their heartfelt Chicago tribute to the U.S. "We have enormous amount of requests from U.S. fans,” he said. “There is also a dream of many Russia musicians to perform for a real American audience. We are excited to meet our many American friends." Scott Schwebke has been a journalist for more than 30 years and a longtime fan of Chicago dating back to its incarnation as CTA. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Denver Post, Orange County Register and various publications across the U.S.

Hiroshima
Rams Head On Stage

Hiroshima

October 18, 2019

Hiroshima, a group whose music falls between R&B, pop, world music, and jazz, has long had its own niche. The band integrates traditional Japanese instruments into their musical blend and has generally been both commercial and creative within its genre.  In the three-plus decades since Hiroshima first convened, the Los Angeles-based ensemble of Dan Kuramoto (keyboards/ woodwinds/ composer/ producer), virtuoso June Kuramoto (koto/ composer), Kimo Cornwell (piano/keyboards/composer), Danny Yamamoto (drums/percussion), Dean Cortez (bass) and Shoji Kameda (taiko drum/percussion) have blended jazz, pop, and rock with traditional Japanese folk music and instruments. The resulting sound was a pioneering voice in the contemporary world music movement of the late 20th century. Ever evolving, the Grammy-nominated group, highlighted by the sound of June Kuramoto’s shimmering koto (noted by Stanley Clarke to be the world’s best) creates music and sounds totally unique--with depth, heart and soul.

Ten Years After
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Ten Years After

October 18, 2019

Hiroshima, a group whose music falls between R&B, pop, world music, and jazz, has long had its own niche. The band integrates traditional Japanese instruments into their musical blend and has generally been both commercial and creative within its genre.  In the three-plus decades since Hiroshima first convened, the Los Angeles-based ensemble of Dan Kuramoto (keyboards/ woodwinds/ composer/ producer), virtuoso June Kuramoto (koto/ composer), Kimo Cornwell (piano/keyboards/composer), Danny Yamamoto (drums/percussion), Dean Cortez (bass) and Shoji Kameda (taiko drum/percussion) have blended jazz, pop, and rock with traditional Japanese folk music and instruments. The resulting sound was a pioneering voice in the contemporary world music movement of the late 20th century. Ever evolving, the Grammy-nominated group, highlighted by the sound of June Kuramoto’s shimmering koto (noted by Stanley Clarke to be the world’s best) creates music and sounds totally unique--with depth, heart and soul.

Lee Ann Womack: Solitary Thinkin' Acoustic Tour
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Lee Ann Womack: Solitary Thinkin' Acoustic Tour

October 17, 2019

Artists don’t really make albums like Lee Ann Womack’s THE LONELY, THE LONESOME & THE GONE anymore. Albums that seem to exist separate and apart from any external pressures. Albums that possess both a profound sense of history and a clear-eyed vision for the future. Albums that transcend genres while embracing their roots. Albums that evoke a sense of place and of personality so vivid they make listeners feel more like participants in the songs than simply admirers of them. Anybody who has paid attention to Womack for the past decade or so could see she was headed in this direction. THE LONELY, THE LONESOME & THE GONE (ATO Records) — a breathtaking hybrid of country, soul, gospel and blues — comes from Womack’s core. “I could never shake my center of who I was,” says the East Texas native. “I’m drawn to rootsy music. It’s what moves me.” Recorded at Houston’s historic SugarHill Recording Studios and produced by Womack’s husband and fellow Texan, Frank Liddell (fresh off a 2017 ACM Album of the Year win for Miranda Lambert’s ‘The Weight of These Wings’), THE LONELY, THE LONESOME & THE GONE marks the culmination of a journey that began with Womack’s 2005 CMA Album of the Year ‘There’s More Where That Come From,’ moving her toward an authentic American music that celebrates her roots and adds to the canon. It also underscores the emergence of Womack’s songwriting voice: She has more writing credits among this album’s 14 tracks than on all her previous albums combined. Womack had made the majority of her previous albums in Nashville, where the studio system is so entrenched it’s almost impossible to avoid. Seeking to free herself of that mindset, Womack says, “I wanted to get out of Nashville and tap into what deep East Texas offers musically and vibe-wise.” So Womack and Liddell took a band to SugarHill, one of the country’s oldest continually operating studio spaces. In an earlier incarnation, the studio had given birth to George Jones’ earliest hits, as well as Roy Head’s mid-‘60s smash “Treat Her Right”; Freddy Fender’s ‘70s chart-topping crossovers “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights”; and recordings from Lightnin’ Hopkins, the Sir Douglas Quintet, the 13th Floor Elevators and Willie Nelson. Womack found the lure of East Texas irresistible. "I love local things, and I missed local music,” she says. “I grew up in Jacksonville. It was small, so I spent a lot of time dreaming, and about getting out.” It required only a short leap of logic to view Houston, and specifically SugarHill, as the place to record. Womack and Liddell found a perfect complement of musicians, players who clicked right away and became a one-headed band. Bassist Glenn Worf (Alan Jackson, Bob Seger, Tammy Wynette, Mark Knopfler and others), drummer Jerry Roe (numerous Nashville sessions and his band Friendship Commanders), guitarists Ethan Ballinger, Adam Wright (Alan Jackson, Solomon Burke and others), and Waylon Payne (son of singer Sammi Smith and Willie Nelson's longtime guitarist Jody Payne) formed the SugarHill gang. Engineer and co-producer Michael McCarthy, known for his production work with Spoon, brought vintage gear from his Austin studio and help capture a sharper sound for sessions recorded entirely to analog tape. “I got everybody out of their comfort zone and into a new element,” says Womack. “And it was funky there. This place was not in the least bit slick. Everybody there, all they think about is making music for the love of making music. Everyone comes in with huge smiles and positive attitudes. It was much different than what we were used to." Womack had brought a handful of songs to record, including the gospel-inspired original “All the Trouble”; the poignant “Mama Lost Her Smile,” in which a daughter sorts through her family’s photographic history looking for clues to a long-secret sorrow; and the love-triangle conversation “Talking Behind Your Back,” which she penned with Dale Dodson and Dean Dillon, the writer of several George Strait classics. To make the final cut, Womack and the band had to be able to get to the heart of the songs and shine their light from the inside out. A trio of long-time favorites found their way onto the album, too. Womack joined a long list of legendary voices irresistibly drawn to Harlan Howard’s “He Called Me Baby,” putting a sultry Southern groove underneath its mix of sensuality and sorrow. On “Long Black Veil,” a tale of betrayal and closely held secrets that became a ‘50s classic as recorded by Lefty Frizzell, she taps into a ballad tradition that runs centuries deep. Womack recorded the album’s final track, a haunting version of George Jones’ “Please Take the Devil Out of Me,” standing on the same gold-star linoleum floor where Jones cut the 1959 original. Capturing the reality of East Texas music isn't always easy. Being in Houston and at SugarHill helped make that happen, inspiring an approach to the recording process that everyone embraced from the first note played. "Music down there — including Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur and all the way through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — is this huge melting pot,” Womack says. “I love that, and I wanted that in this record. I wanted to make sure it had a lot of soul in it, because real country music has soul, and I wanted to remind people of that."  “When you make albums, and aren’t just going for singles, you really have to treat them with respect,” Liddell adds. “We did that at SugarHill, taking a bunch of like-minded lunatics and seeing what happened." In Houston — with all its history, its eccentricity, its diversity and its lack of pretense — those like-minded lunatics found a place where they could flourish.  “We all felt we weren’t going someplace just to make a record,” Womack says. “We were going someplace to make a great record.” Don’t just take her word for it, though. Listen. And when Womack and the music take you there, you’ll find you want to stay.

JJ Grey: Front Porch Sessions Tour
Rams Head On Stage

JJ Grey: Front Porch Sessions Tour

October 16, 2019

From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to headlining major festivals, JJ Grey remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a blue-collared spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His presence before an audience is something startling and immediate, at times a funk rave-up, other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human. When you see JJ Grey and his band Mofro live—and you truly, absolutely must—the man is fearless. Onstage, Grey delivers his songs with compassion and a relentless honesty, but perhaps not until Ol’ Glory has a studio record captured the fierceness and intimacy that defines a Grey live performance. “I wanted that crucial lived-in feel,” Grey says of Ol’ Glory, and here he hits his mark. On the new album, Grey and his current Mofro lineup offer grace and groove in equal measure, with an easygoing quality to the production that makes those beautiful muscular drum-breaks sound as though the band has set up in your living room. Despite a redoubtable stage presence, Grey does get performance anxiety—specifically, when he's suspended 50 feet above the soil of his pecan grove, clearing moss from the upper trees. “The tops of the trees are even worse,” he laughs, “say closer to 70, maybe even 80 feet. I'm not phobic about heights, but I don't think anyone's crazy about getting up in a bucket and swinging all around. I wanted to fertilize this year but didn't get a chance. This February I will, about two tons—to feed the trees.” When he isn't touring, Grey exerts his prodigious energies on the family land, a former chicken-farm that was run by his maternal grandmother and grandfather. The farm boasts a recording studio, a warehouse that doubles as Grey's gym, an open-air barn, and of course those 50-odd pecan trees that occasionally require Grey to go airborne with his sprayer. For devoted listeners, there is something fitting, even affirmative in Grey's commitment to the land of his north Florida home. The farms and eddying swamps of his youth are as much a part of Grey's music as the Louisiana swamp-blues tradition, or the singer's collection of old Stax records. As a boy, Grey was drawn to country-rockers, including Jerry Reed, and to Otis Redding and the other luminaries of Memphis soul; Run-D.M.C., meanwhile, played on repeat in the parking lot of his high school (note the hip-hop inflections on “A Night to Remember”). Merging these traditions, and working with a blue-collar ethic that brooked no bullshit, Grey began touring as Mofro in the late '90s, with backbeats that crossed Steve Cropper with George Clinton and a lyrical directness that made his debut LP Blackwater (2001) a calling-card among roots-rock aficionados. Soon, he was expanding his tours beyond America and the U.K., playing ever-larger clubs and eventually massive festivals, as his fan base grew from a modest group of loyal initiates into something resembling a national coalition. Grey takes no shortcuts on the homestead, and he certainly takes no shortcuts in his music. While he has metaphorically speaking “drawn blood” making all his albums, his latest effort, Ol’ Glory, found him spending more time than ever working over the new material. A hip-shooting, off-the-cuff performer (often his first vocal takes end up pleasing him best), Grey was able to stretch his legs a bit while constructing the lyrics and vocal lines to Ol’ Glory.  “I would visit it much more often in my mind, visit it more often on the guitar in my house,” Grey says. “I like an album to have a balance, like a novel or like a film. A triumph, a dark brooding moment, or a moment of peace—that's the only thing I consistently try to achieve with a record.” Grey has been living this balance throughout his career, and Ol’ Glory is a beautifully paced little film. On “The Island,” Grey sounds like Coleridge on a happy day: “All beneath the canopy / of ageless oaks whose secrets keep / Forever in her beauty / This island is my home.” “A Night to Remember” finds the singer in first-rate swagger: “I flipped up my collar ah man / I went ahead and put on my best James Dean / and you'd a thought I was Clark Gable squinting through that smoke.” And “Turn Loose” has Grey in fast-rhyme mode in keeping with the song's title: “You work a stride / curbside thumbing a ride / on Lane Avenue / While your kids be on their knees / praying Jesus please.” From the profane to the sacred, the sly to the sublime, Grey feels out his range as a songwriter with ever-greater assurance. The mood and drive of Ol’ Glory are testament to this achievement. The album ranks with Grey’s very best work; among other things, the secret spirituality of his music is perhaps more accessible here than ever before. On “Everything Is a Song,” he sings of “the joy with no opposite,” a sacred state that Grey describes to me: “It can happen to anybody: you sit still and you feel things tingling around you, everything's alive around you, and in that a smile comes on your face involuntarily, and in that I felt no opposite. It has no part of the play of good and bad or of comedy or tragedy. I know it’s just a play on words but it feels like more than just being happy because you got what you wanted — this is a joy. A joy that doesn’t get involved one way or the next; it just is.” Grey's most treasured albums include Otis Redding's In Person at the Whisky a Go Go and Jerry Reed's greatest hits, and the singer once told me that he grew up “wanting to be Jerry Reed but with less of a country, more of a soul thing.” With Ol’ Glory, Grey does his idols proud. It's a country record where the stories are all part of one great mystery; it's a blues record with one foot in the church; it's a Memphis soul record that takes place in the country. In short, Ol’ Glory is that most singular thing, a record by JJ Grey—the north Florida sage and soul-bent swamp rocker.

JJ Grey: Front Porch Sessions Tour
Rams Head On Stage

JJ Grey: Front Porch Sessions Tour

October 15, 2019

From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to headlining major festivals, JJ Grey remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a blue-collared spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His presence before an audience is something startling and immediate, at times a funk rave-up, other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human. When you see JJ Grey and his band Mofro live—and you truly, absolutely must—the man is fearless. Onstage, Grey delivers his songs with compassion and a relentless honesty, but perhaps not until Ol’ Glory has a studio record captured the fierceness and intimacy that defines a Grey live performance. “I wanted that crucial lived-in feel,” Grey says of Ol’ Glory, and here he hits his mark. On the new album, Grey and his current Mofro lineup offer grace and groove in equal measure, with an easygoing quality to the production that makes those beautiful muscular drum-breaks sound as though the band has set up in your living room. Despite a redoubtable stage presence, Grey does get performance anxiety—specifically, when he's suspended 50 feet above the soil of his pecan grove, clearing moss from the upper trees. “The tops of the trees are even worse,” he laughs, “say closer to 70, maybe even 80 feet. I'm not phobic about heights, but I don't think anyone's crazy about getting up in a bucket and swinging all around. I wanted to fertilize this year but didn't get a chance. This February I will, about two tons—to feed the trees.” When he isn't touring, Grey exerts his prodigious energies on the family land, a former chicken-farm that was run by his maternal grandmother and grandfather. The farm boasts a recording studio, a warehouse that doubles as Grey's gym, an open-air barn, and of course those 50-odd pecan trees that occasionally require Grey to go airborne with his sprayer. For devoted listeners, there is something fitting, even affirmative in Grey's commitment to the land of his north Florida home. The farms and eddying swamps of his youth are as much a part of Grey's music as the Louisiana swamp-blues tradition, or the singer's collection of old Stax records. As a boy, Grey was drawn to country-rockers, including Jerry Reed, and to Otis Redding and the other luminaries of Memphis soul; Run-D.M.C., meanwhile, played on repeat in the parking lot of his high school (note the hip-hop inflections on “A Night to Remember”). Merging these traditions, and working with a blue-collar ethic that brooked no bullshit, Grey began touring as Mofro in the late '90s, with backbeats that crossed Steve Cropper with George Clinton and a lyrical directness that made his debut LP Blackwater (2001) a calling-card among roots-rock aficionados. Soon, he was expanding his tours beyond America and the U.K., playing ever-larger clubs and eventually massive festivals, as his fan base grew from a modest group of loyal initiates into something resembling a national coalition. Grey takes no shortcuts on the homestead, and he certainly takes no shortcuts in his music. While he has metaphorically speaking “drawn blood” making all his albums, his latest effort, Ol’ Glory, found him spending more time than ever working over the new material. A hip-shooting, off-the-cuff performer (often his first vocal takes end up pleasing him best), Grey was able to stretch his legs a bit while constructing the lyrics and vocal lines to Ol’ Glory.  “I would visit it much more often in my mind, visit it more often on the guitar in my house,” Grey says. “I like an album to have a balance, like a novel or like a film. A triumph, a dark brooding moment, or a moment of peace—that's the only thing I consistently try to achieve with a record.” Grey has been living this balance throughout his career, and Ol’ Glory is a beautifully paced little film. On “The Island,” Grey sounds like Coleridge on a happy day: “All beneath the canopy / of ageless oaks whose secrets keep / Forever in her beauty / This island is my home.” “A Night to Remember” finds the singer in first-rate swagger: “I flipped up my collar ah man / I went ahead and put on my best James Dean / and you'd a thought I was Clark Gable squinting through that smoke.” And “Turn Loose” has Grey in fast-rhyme mode in keeping with the song's title: “You work a stride / curbside thumbing a ride / on Lane Avenue / While your kids be on their knees / praying Jesus please.” From the profane to the sacred, the sly to the sublime, Grey feels out his range as a songwriter with ever-greater assurance. The mood and drive of Ol’ Glory are testament to this achievement. The album ranks with Grey’s very best work; among other things, the secret spirituality of his music is perhaps more accessible here than ever before. On “Everything Is a Song,” he sings of “the joy with no opposite,” a sacred state that Grey describes to me: “It can happen to anybody: you sit still and you feel things tingling around you, everything's alive around you, and in that a smile comes on your face involuntarily, and in that I felt no opposite. It has no part of the play of good and bad or of comedy or tragedy. I know it’s just a play on words but it feels like more than just being happy because you got what you wanted — this is a joy. A joy that doesn’t get involved one way or the next; it just is.” Grey's most treasured albums include Otis Redding's In Person at the Whisky a Go Go and Jerry Reed's greatest hits, and the singer once told me that he grew up “wanting to be Jerry Reed but with less of a country, more of a soul thing.” With Ol’ Glory, Grey does his idols proud. It's a country record where the stories are all part of one great mystery; it's a blues record with one foot in the church; it's a Memphis soul record that takes place in the country. In short, Ol’ Glory is that most singular thing, a record by JJ Grey—the north Florida sage and soul-bent swamp rocker.

Steven Page Trio
Rams Head On Stage

Steven Page Trio

October 14, 2019

Steven Page’s distinctive and powerful tenor is among the most instantly recognizable voices in popular music. Newly minted as a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame with former bandmates, Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page reunited with the band he co-founded for their induction this past March – a night capped off by an exhilarating two song performance at this year’s JUNO awards.  With a strong focus on his own career, Steven Page will have a busy year ahead. A new album, his fourth solo effort, DISCIPLINE: HEAL THYSELF, PT. II, will be released later this year and Steven, along with trio mates Craig Northey and Kevin Fox, will be touring the UK, US and Canada through 2018 and 2019. The extensive US tour will see the band hit the road in the fall, making stops at over 30 cities through September, October and November 2018. Steven Page has continued his artistic evolution with a diverse array of solo projects in music, film, theatre and television. He has composed six Stratford Festival scores, has collaborated and toured North America with Toronto’s innovative Art of Time Ensemble. Steven journeyed across Canada and the U.S. as host of TV’s The Illegal Eater and became a Chopped Canada Champion last year. Steven Page appeared in the Riddle Films production of Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas and is currently working with playwright Daniel MacIvor on a musical commissioned by the Stratford Festival called Here’s What It Takes, a theatre production featuring Page-composed songs. Still the dynamic stage presence he’s always been, Steven Page is the consummate entertainer, performing music from both his solo career and his BNL years.

Tiffany
Rams Head On Stage

Tiffany

October 13, 2019

A legendary pop star, Tiffany has earned two number one hit singles I Think We're Alone Now and Could’ve Been, and set a record as the youngest female artist to top the Billboard charts with her debut album. In 2000 Billboard Magazine described Tiffany’s album The Color of Silence as ‘thoughtful, intelligent, and full of grace’ and ranked it among the ‘Top Ten Best Albums of the Year.’ She has sold over 15 million albums to date. Tiffany obtained a long and storied career in a short amount of time, and today her goal is to continue writing songs for herself and others, cementing her status in the industry as a powerhouse hit maker and go-to songwriter. Her current album, Pieces of Me, is her 10th studio album and is her best work ever. As a writer and co-producer Tiffany brings us into her world and it’s clear to see her passion and vulnerability on this latest project. Pieces of Me will be the door that opens our eyes to the deeper soul of this artist. With rave reviews for her new pop/rock sound and recent live shows, Tiffany is committed to worldwide touring and is so excited to take this music to her fans everywhere.

Jimmie Vaughan
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Jimmie Vaughan

October 12, 2019

When it comes to the blues today, there are a handful of guiding lights to make sure the music stays true to its powerful source. The sound of pleasure and pain that first sparked musicians to create such a sound is a force that can never be underestimated. The mojo has to be there. For Jimmie Vaughan, he's dedicated his life to making sure the blues not only stays alive, but remains full of life and an inspiration to all who listen. It's a spirit he holds close to him, and for over 50 years of holding the blues close inside him, Vaughan isn't about to stop now. Jimmie Vaughan's new album, BABY, PLEASE COME HOME, is a rolling and righteous celebration of everything the blues can be. The songs can go up, down, sideways and even off in their own distinctive direction, but one thing is certain, each and every one of them is packed with pure feeling and striking originality. That's because while the blues is almost as old as America itself, every time a musician lends their soul to living inside these songs, something new comes out. There is a constant reinvention for musicians like Vaughan, because the blues demands it. There can be nothing less than a revelation, because that's how the music stays alive. It is almost like an alchemy exists, where instruments and voice join together to make a joyful noise. And above all else the blues, in the capable of hands of Vaughan and his musical cohorts, is a path to salvation. One that is birthed in the ability of songs to make life on earth a better place to be. Sometimes it takes decades to finally arrive at a place called home. When a young player starts out as a teenager to find a spot to call his own, there can be enough twists and turns to throw even the most dedicated of souls off the mark. Life can be a tricky endeavor, and between the bright lights and the dark nights, that road ahead can be full of false starts and deceiving roadblocks. But on BABY, PLEASE COME HOME Jimmie Vaughan proves without doubt all his efforts and energy have taken him to the promised land. Maybe that's because blues is really the art of distillation, seeking the sound where there are no extraneous notes, or unnecessary additions to the feeling of freedom. It takes years to get there, and patience is most definitely a virtue. Above all else, feeling is the most important element of all. With that, all else can be conquered. "Playing what you feel has always been my main goal," Vaughan says. Considering the Texas guitarist and singer has had the kind of career that makes him a living legacy, those are no idle words. His first group when he was starting high school played Dallas' Hob Knob Lounge six nights a week, learning the kind of lessons that can't be taught. They have to be lived. Other bands in the '60s convinced the young man it was time to find a way to play the music he felt the strongest about: the blues, That took him to hitchhiking to Austin in the early '70s and carving out a new crew of blues players who shared his musical excitement. Jimmie Vaughan started in the lead, and has remained there. After worldwide success with the Fabulous Thunderbirds during the '80s, it came time to leave that band and build his own path in exploring different approaches to the blues. He did not hesitate. And what Vaughan discovered was that he could take it anywhere; there were no boundaries. "I wanted to find out what I could really do," he says, "and when I started singing it gave me a whole new side to explore. When I was young I didn't really pay much attention to categories of music. I just heard what I liked and decided to explore that. And that's really what I'm still doing." For the past few years, Jimmie Vaughan has been recording a series of albums dedicated to the songs he's always held in high esteem, recorded by artists that inspired him from his very earliest days of performing. The sessions have been held in studios near Austin, and he was surrounded by fellow musicians who understand that music is intended to ignite the heart and fill the soul. There can be no shortcuts or sleight-of-hand when playing these songs. They come from writers and performers who responsible for so much of modern popular musics, some well known but many are other who are still names not known outside the blues world. On BABY, PLEASE COME HOME, some of those original artists are Lloyd Price, Jimmy Donley, Lefty Frizell, Richard Berry, Chuck Willis, Bill Doggett, T-Bone Walker, Etta James, Fats Domino, Gatemouth Brown and Jimmy Reed. In so many ways, this is a list of some of the prime purveyors of America's greatest music. That it can range from seminal bluesmen like Jimmy Reed to one of the founding father of modern country music Lefty Frizell proves the point that Vaughan has always believed: music is not about what it is labeled, but rather how it makes the listener feel. On BABY, PLEASE COME HOME, those feelings are played to the hilt by some of Jimmie Vaughan's long-standing A-team, including George Rains, Billy Pitman, Ronnie James, Mike Flanigan, Doug James, Greg Piccolo, Al Gomez, Kaz Kazonoff, T. Jarred Bonata, John Mills and Randy Zimmerman. They are joined by guest vocalists Georgia Bramhall and Emily Gimble. These sessions, mostly held at San Marcos, Texas' Fire Station studio, were the kind of recordings that are based on musicians who have been playing this music for decades. They've come to have a near-silent style of communication, where a look or a smile communicates much more than words ever could. As bandleader, singer and guitarist, Jimmie Vaughan is a master of how everything is captured for posterity. His singing voice has grown into a study in strength. And while sometimes he might say, "Sometimes you can sing and sometimes you can't," like everything else the Texan touches, Vaughan knows when it's right and never stops until it is. He has always looked to his soul as the ultimate barometer of when the music is right, and when that is satisfied Vaughan knows he has found that spot where the music is ready to be shared. The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards once said, "The blues. It's probably the most important thing America has ever given the world." To which Jimmie Vaughan would likely add, "Amen."

Johnny A. & Kasim Sulton: Songs & Stories **All Ages Matinee**
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Johnny A. & Kasim Sulton: Songs & Stories **All Ages Matinee**

October 12, 2019

Johnny A - One of the most revered guitarists working the scene today, Boston’s own Johnny A. has created a 3 plus decade-spanning career built on his virtuosic playing, compositional fortitude and distinctive style. Sure, lots of folks throw around the phrase “let the music do the talking,” but only a few have the fortitude to really do it – to just go out there and play, shunning flash, shrugging off image and reeling in the listener on the strength of the songs alone. Johnny A. is that kind of performer. This Massachusetts-based guitarist and bandleader has proven himself capable of generating heat at venues from working class bars to international Festivals like Montreal Jazz Festival, Japan's FUJI Rock or Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival – and every sort of venue in between. And when the house lights are turned up he’s just as adept at captivating serious students of the six-string with a virtuosity that earned him the rare honor of having his name placed on Signature Gibson® and Epiphone® guitars. That take-no-prisoners attitude has been ingrained in Johnny A. since he first set foot on a stage, whether as leader of locally-acclaimed Boston acts or in the company of acclaimed artists like Bobby Whitlock (Derek and the Dominos) or J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf – whose band he anchored for more than seven years, and most recently (2015-2018) as the touring lead guitarist for the iconic British Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, The Yardbirds - occupying a seat previously held by Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. “I want to create instrumental music and deliver it like a vocalist,” he says “You can be a great player, on any instrument, and people will take notice…but what people really remember is someone who brings them a great melody.” It fully came to the fore in 1999, when he independently issued his first solo album, Sometime Tuesday Morning – a disc that got rereleased by Steve Vai’s Favored Nations/SONY-Red label and went on to sell 100,000+ copies and produced “Oh Yeah,” a single that went to #1 across the USA on the AAA charts (a feat no instrumental song had accomplished in more than a decade). With four solo releases under his belt, this Grammy nominated artist was also voted “Blues Artist of the Year (2010 Boston Music Awards) and was inducted into the Boston Music Hall of Fame (2014). The journeying continues and ever the restless spirit, Johnny A. continues to glide across genres effortlessly. His current offering “Just Me…And My Guitars” celebrates songs, in a solo intimate presentation, that influenced him as an aspiring young musician. Kasim Sulton - A true journeyman, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Kasim Sulton has toured and recorded with artists as diverse as Meat Loaf, Todd Rundgren, Ringo Starr, Joan Jett, Hall and Oates, Cheap Trick, the re-formed version of The Cars, Blue Oyster Cult, and Don Felder. He has also played and or sang on over 150 albums as well as writing the Top 20 Hit “Set Me Free” that appears on the Adventures In Utopia record. In 1981, Kasim signed with EMI America and recorded his first self titled album. Taking a brief leave from his Utopia duties, he formed his own band and played to audiences across the US. Through the 80’s and into the 90’s Kasim toured and recorded with Joan Jett, Patty Smyth, Hall & Oates, and Cheap Trick. After lending his vocals to the million+ selling album Bat Out Of Hell II, Kasim was asked by Meat Loaf to join his band as the rhythm guitarist and keyboard player. He switched from that position to Musical Director and Bass player in 1998, producing the Meat Loaf VH1 Storyteller’s record in 1999. Kasim never stopped writing his own songs and has released three critically acclaimed solo albums. Often described as ‘a musicians musician’, Kasim continues to maintain a strong presence in the music industry. His current solo shows are a combination of original material complimented by memorable selections from the myriad of artists he’s worked with throughout his career. The audience is always treated to behind-the-scenes stories for a glimpse into a life spent touring and making records with some of the best known artists of our time.

Phil Vassar: Hitsteria Tour
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Phil Vassar: Hitsteria Tour

October 11, 2019

Phil Vassar is one of a handful of musicians to have multiple hits as a songwriter AND as an artist. He has 10 Number 1s, 15 Top 10s, and 26 TOP 40s. Top songs include “Just Another Day in Paradise,” “Carlene,” “Six Pack Summer,” “American Child,” “For a Little While,” “My Next Thirty Years,” (Tim McGraw), “Right on the Money,” (Alan Jackson), “I’m All Right,” “Bye Bye” (Jo Dee Messina), and many more. American Soul is Phil’s ninth album. He also recently launched “Songs from the Cellar,” a wine-infused musical conversation airing across the US and Europe.

Phil Vassar: Hitsteria Tour
Rams Head On Stage

Phil Vassar: Hitsteria Tour

October 11, 2019

Phil Vassar is one of a handful of musicians to have multiple hits as a songwriter AND as an artist. He has 10 Number 1s, 15 Top 10s, and 26 TOP 40s. Top songs include “Just Another Day in Paradise,” “Carlene,” “Six Pack Summer,” “American Child,” “For a Little While,” “My Next Thirty Years,” (Tim McGraw), “Right on the Money,” (Alan Jackson), “I’m All Right,” “Bye Bye” (Jo Dee Messina), and many more. American Soul is Phil’s ninth album. He also recently launched “Songs from the Cellar,” a wine-infused musical conversation airing across the US and Europe.

Renaissance
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Renaissance

October 10, 2019

2019 - Renaissance celebrate their 50th Anniversary and will be performing a retrospective of Renaissance classics Renaissance is a band with a rich history unique unto themselves as progressive rock pioneers who rose from the ashes of the seminal UK rock band, The Yardbirds. Their career has spanned forty plus years spearheaded by the 5 octave voice of Annie Haslam and the masterful songwriting skills of Michael Dunford. The band also featured John Tout on piano, Jon Camp on bass and Terry Sullivan on drums, all of whom further molded the sound of the band through the powerful technical command of their instruments. They were first acknowledged for uniquely blending progressive rock with classical influences and symphonic arrangements.  Renaissance are widely considered to be the band that most successfully and routinely utilized the sound of a full orchestra in their recordings. In the early years, Renaissance toured Europe extensively. It wasn’t long before influential progressive rock stations in the US, such as WNEW (NYC), WMMR (Philadelphia) and WHFS (Washington) were turning America on to Renaissance. Before too long the band started thrilling concertgoers on the world’s most distinguished stages, from Carnegie Hall in NYC (with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra), to the Royal Albert Hall in London (with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Chorale Society). In 1978 they had a top ten hit in the UK with ‘Northern Lights’, which has become a classic radio favourite, still demanding regular airplay to this day. The band eventually disbanded in the late 1980’s at which time Annie Haslam launched a solo career.  In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original founding of Renaissance Michael and Annie in 2009 decided to form a new touring band which consisted of; Rave Tesar on keyboards, David J Keyes on Bass, Tom Brislin on keyboards, Frank Pagano on drums. In 2014, Renaissance released their first album in 13 years entitled ‘Symphony of Light’. The album is a testament to the unforgettable melodies that Michael Dunford infused into his work (Michael died prematurely in 2012). The album begins with powerful lyrics by Annie Haslam in the title track about the life of ‘Leonardo da Vinci’, followed by ‘Waterfall’, a song written about the rainforests in Brazil. The album’s music will bathe the listener in sonic flavors from far off countries, lush orchestral arrangements and unusual lyrical content, and with guest appearances from Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and John Wetton (Asia/King Crimson/UK). The current personnel of Renaissance include: Annie Haslam lead vocals, Rave Tesar keyboards, Leo Traversa bass guitar, Geoffrey Langley keyboards, Frank Pagano drums and Mark Lambert on acoustic guitars.

Rickie Lee Jones
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Rickie Lee Jones

October 9, 2019

Two-time Grammy winner Rickie Lee Jones exploded onto the pop scene in 1978 and has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona over 15 critically acclaimed albums. A cultural phenomenon, Rolling Stone magazine put her on its cover twice in two years, and Saturday Night Live gave her an unprecedented three songs for her second appearance. Rickie is both a character in the songs and the songwriter singing, defying convention with her sometimes brazen sexuality and the mixed bag of jazz, rock and what has come to be known as 'confessional' songwriter performances.

Keiko Matsui
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Keiko Matsui

October 8, 2019

“Creating this album was like going on a soul quest, as I tried to figure out how to express the things I was thinking and experiencing during this past year,” confides pianist, composer and humanitarian Keiko Matsui (pronounced Kay-Koe, meaning ‘happy, celebratory child’ in Japanese). “This music energizes me and I am overwhelmed with emotion when I listen to it. I hope people will allow themselves to go inside the music and become a part of my journey,” says the stunning, profound pianist and world citizen who is celebrating a triumphant 25 years of recording in the US. In the words of Duke Ellington, Keiko Matsui is ‘beyond category.’ The courageous, spiritually-driven and consummate artist who enjoyed the distinction of being an invited guest and performer at the second International Jazz Day, sponsored by UNESCO and held in Istanbul in April 2013, transcends boundary. Her unique melting pot of musical influences have garnered her a devout international following. The eloquent and soft-spoken but yet deliberate musician tours relentlessly and seeks to make a genuine connection with her audience. “Everybody has so many things going on in their lives but my concerts are special for me. The music creates a oneness. The exchange I share with my audience is the root of my energy. It’s like my mission.” Matsui has worked alongside the best including Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Hugh Masakela and Bob James. A true humanitarian, Keiko has lent her voice to raise awareness for such causes as The Daniel Pearl Foundation, The United Nations World Food Programme, Be The Match Marrow Registry and The National Donor Program and Marrow Foundation. She has also lent her efforts to the continued revitalization and healing of Japan in the wake of the recent Tsunami and Fukushima disasters. “I still have these images of kindergarten teachers holding their kids in order to protect them. I also think about all of the older people who did not make it and the children who lost parents,” reflects Keiko, the first Japanese musician to top the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts. “But when I think about the people who did survive, I think that they may be the strongest souls there are. Out of this pain, I have found the greatest strength from these individuals.” Keiko Matsui’s new recording Soul Quest, is a riveting new collection of songs that unfold like an epic journey. With an all-star cast that includes such heavyweights as producer and drummer Narada Michael Walden, guitarist Chuck Loeb, saxophonist Kirk Whalum and bassist Marcus Miller, among others, Keiko explores themes of love, loss, spirituality and environmental consciousness. “I become very serious when I am recording a new album. I carry a notebook around with me and take notes as ideas come to me,” confesses Keiko. “These notes focus my vision. Each recording is like my baby, so I feel such obligation. When I am gone these songs will still be here.” Reflecting Keiko’s universal approach to her life and music, Soul Quest was recorded and conceptualized on several corners of the globe– New York, Japan, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Eastern Europe. Soul Quest opens with the transcendental and majestic “Dream Seeker,” a melodic prayer that Keiko holds for all mankind. “I want everyone to have a dream and to seek it.” She co-wrote the song with guitarist and producer Chuck Loeb and it features the flamenco-like and ethereal guitar of Loeb along with the soaring soprano saxophone of Andy Snitzer. Soul Quest’s first single “Black Lion,” was inspired during a rigorous Eastern European tour in which Keiko and her band played an exhausting five countries in five weeks. They were even detained at one point due to problems with travel visas. However, the courageous and optimistic pianist drew inspiration from happier times during her tour. “I was in Georgia and after the concert we all went to a restaurant called ‘Black Lion,’ where I saw this painting that caught my eye. The owner explained it was by a famous Georgian painter named Niko Pirosmani who was suffering from a broken heart after a failed romance.” Inspired by the sadness of this painting Keiko manages to uplift us with the searching and soaring notes of her piano. “Black Lion” and the title track were produced by Derek Nakamoto, who Keiko has known her entire career and who also worked with her on her previous album. “A Night With Cha Cha,” is another remnant from Keiko’s Eastern European crusade and is dedicated to a liquor she was introduced to in Georgia. The track features celebrated saxophonist Kirk Whalum, who makes a return appearance after recording with Keiko on the acclaimed CD, The Road… Soul Quest finds Keiko Matsui doing several firsts, including recording with Chart-topping producers Chuck Loeb and Narada Michael Walden. She recorded with Loeb at his home studio outside of New York. The guitarist produced five of the album’s tracks and together with Keiko he co-wrote three songs. “Chuck is a great producer and such a sweet human being. I got to spend time with his family and they are all beautiful, including his dog Annie and cat, Kit Kat,” recalls Keiko laughing. “I never had that kind of peaceful environment during a recording.” Keiko and Chuck join forces on the catchy “Top Secret,” with its bluesy undercurrent, percolating rhythmic pulse and the muted trumpet of Giulio Carmassi. The two also collaborate on the Keiko written “A Night With Cha Cha” and Loeb’s Quiet Storm inspired “Proof.” The duo also penned together the tunes “Two Hearts” and “Dream Seeker.” “I first met Narada Michael Walden in 2006 at a Grammy party,” shares Keiko. “I knew his work well as a producer and I was very surprised when he told me he loved my piano playing.” Narada and Keiko had plans to record one song together but after they discovered their great synergy together in the studio, they collaborated on a total of three songs – “Moving Mountain,” “Antarctica – A Call To Action” and “Stingo.” The process of recording with Walden was atypical for Keiko. She explains, “Usually before I go into the studio I spend a great deal of time preparing arrangements and production. This time I flew to San Francisco to meet Narada and we got started right on the spot. It was very challenging but at the same time I was able to be myself. It was a real adventure. Their song “Moving Mountain,” is an improvisatory piece that was done in one take. Keiko recalls “When we finished recording, I really felt like we moved a mountain!” Narada and Keiko also join forces for the pianist’s sublime and lilting waltz “Antarctica A Call to Action,” which opens with primordial rhythms and addresses the fact that Antarctica is melting and it is affecting all the animals and entire planet. I hope the music can send a message to the world.” If you listen carefully to the song’s quiet moments, you can hear authentic whale sounds! Keiko is also joined for the first time on record by bassist Marcus Miller. “Marcus made such a great track he made me cry. The conversation we have together where the song transitions is powerful. He pulled out everything and made it such a great experience.” Soul Quest also finds Keiko and Narada Michael Walden paying tribute to Keiko’s all-time favorite musician – Sting. The joy they have creating this song is evident as they both pay homage to the iconic rocker with “Stingo,” a nickname Narada coined for his close friend. In April 2013, Keiko Matsui had the distinction of participating in the second International Jazz Day celebrated around the globe and held in Istanbul. She performed at the star studded event that included luminaries Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter Hugh Masekela, George Duke and countless others. Keiko who performed with Rubén Blades states, “It was special for me and wonderful to be with so many musicians I respect. The day was dedicated to world peace and it was great that the event united us all beyond our culture and differences.” The devastating effects of the March 11, 2011 Japan earthquake and Tsunami left close to 30,000 innocent victims dead or missing. Lives were changed forever not only in Japan but the world. Keiko who was in Japan at the time of the earthquake states, “I felt like my life was going to end that day. In the Northern part everything was shaking. Luckily my family was fine but I had family in Sendai who were unreachable for ten days.” She goes on to explain that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster went on to cause further destruction but that progress is slowly occurring. “There is still lots of recovery needed and so much loss. It has really made a big impact on all of us. Living with less light in these times has reminded us how to live and how much energy it takes to live. I have been dedicating all of my shows to this and making sure to share our story. I am so grateful for all the prayers, emails and support that people have shown me.” Keiko Matsui made her US recording debut in 1987 with the recording A Drop of Water. Under Northern Lights followed in 1989 and her subsequent albums of note include No Borders (1990), Night Waltz (1991), Cherry Blossom (1992), Doll (1994), Sapphire (1995) and Dream Walk (1996), which remained on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart for over 15 months and further cemented her reputation as a force to reckon with. In 1997, she launched a tour dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer, and released a foursong CD entitled A Gift of Hope that benefitted the Y-Me Breast Cancer Organization. Her music was prominently featured in Say It, Fight It, Cure It, a Lifetime special profiling several courageous women battling breast cancer. “My fans come from all backgrounds and I have been approached by various foundations to join in their efforts. When I hear of a cause that resonates with me that I can dedicate my music to then I am always willing. It is my way to show gratitude and give back,” states Keiko Matsui. In 1999, the pianist performed at “A Golden Moment,” a skating concert featuring Olympic figure skaters Kristi Yamaguchi, Tara Lipinski, Ekaterina Gordeeva, and Katarina Witt, which benefitted the Susan G. Komen Foundation. 1998 saw the release of her album Full Moon And The Shrine, which was accompanied by the acclaimed PBS-TV special Keiko Matsui: Light Above The Trees. In 2000, the special earned Keiko a National Smooth Jazz Award for “Best Long-Form Video Achievement” and she was honored with an award for “Best Female Artist.” She claimed the award again in 2001. In 2002, she released the poignant recording The Ring, which was meant to communicate a message of peace, compassion, and humanity to listeners around the world. Keiko Matsui’s CD Deep Blue (2001) topped Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts for three consecutive weeks. Keiko is the first Japanese artist to achieve this honor. In 2003 she enjoyed success with her recording The Piano, which featured reinventions of some of her most loved original works. In 2004 the title track of Keiko’s Wildflower was used to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s efforts in Africa. “I decided I wanted to support the WFP after learning about the tremendous problems in Africa and how humanitarian assistance can change people’s lives for the better,” shares the activist. Keiko has also collaborated with A3M (Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches) in numerous charity concerts. In addition proceeds from her 2001 mini-CD, A Gift of Life, went to The National Donor Program and Marrow Foundation in support of A3M. In December 2009, the highly sought-after pianist was asked to put together a Christmas show at the Blue Note club in Tokyo, which was a major success and in November 2010 she made her highly anticipated debut at the Blue Note in NY, which was sold out. In 2011 Keiko recorded with fellow pianist Bob James on a four hand piano project called Altair & Vega. Keiko’s depth as a composer has also allowed her to contribute music to soundtracks in Japan, the U.S. and Russia. She also released her critically heralded Top 5 Billboard Recording The Road… which featured Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona and saxophonists Kirk Whalum and Jackiem Joyner among others. “I always want to dedicate my music to world peace and to use my music to give back to the planet,” declares Keiko Matsui. With the release of Soul Quest, her mission is complete and the results promise to be long lasting."

Justin Hayward
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Justin Hayward

October 7, 2019

Having chalked up fifty years at the peak of the music and entertainment industry, Justin Hayward’s voice has been heard the world over. Known principally as the vocalist, lead guitarist and composer for the Moody Blues, his is an enduring talent that has helped to define the times in which he worked. Over the last forty-five years the band has sold 55 million albums and received numerous awards. Commercial success has gone hand in hand with critical acclaim, The Moody Blues are renowned the world over as innovators and trail blazers who have influenced any number of fellow artists. Justin is honoured with the Moody Blues on the Rock Walk Hall of Fame on Sunset Boulevard and this year the band will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Born and brought up in Swindon in the UK, Justin’s interest in music started early when he was five years old and his grandfather bequeathed him his large collection of 78 rpm recordings. “It opened a world of imagination to me,” says Justin. Having taught himself to play the ukulele, he soon progressed to guitar and by his early teens he was playing in local groups. Upon leaving school at 17 he answered an advertisement in Melody Maker newspaper and successfully auditioned for UK Rock and Roll hero Marty Wilde. “I got the job playing guitar for Marty – it was a dream come true for me”. Justin credits Marty with encouraging him to become a songwriter; he made several recordings with Marty’s ‘Wilde Three’ and also appeared with them at the London Palladium. They remain close friends to this day: “Marty is still my hero”. Having started the ball rolling as a songwriter in his own right with a couple of solo singles, he joined the Moody Blues in the summer of 1966. Hitting his stride immediately with the single ‘Fly Me High’, he followed it up with the classic hit songs ‘Nights in White Satin’ and ‘Tuesday Afternoon’ from the seminal album ‘Days of Future Past’. This album went on to become a favourite of the NASA astronauts and was taken aboard the Atlantis shuttle space craft by Chief astronaut “Hoot” Gibson on many missions. This purple patch showed no sign of abating as Justin created other classic, era and genre-defining hits ‘Question’, ‘The Voice’, ‘I Know You’re Out There Somewhere’, ‘The Story In Your Eyes’ and ‘Your Wildest Dreams’. These laid the foundation for the incredible success story of the Moody Blues – as well as his solo work – which continues to this day. When the Moody Blues took a break from touring in 1975, Justin worked on the Blue Jays album, followed by the hit single ‘Blue Guitar’ (recorded with the members of 10cc). Although the Moodies continued to record and tour at the highest level, Justin also found time to create several solo albums: ‘Songwriter’, ‘Night Flight’, ‘Moving Mountains’ and ‘The View From the Hill’. In the 1980s, he was made a member of the famous ‘SODS’ (The Society of Distinguished Songwriters) and in 2012 he was elected ‘King SOD’. He also collaborated in 1989 with Mike Batt and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and recorded the album ‘Classic Blue’. In March 1997, Justin was chosen as the subject for the TV show ‘This Is Your Life’ in the presence of many of his friends including Marty Wilde, Lionel Bart and astronaut “Hoot” Gibson. Justin was presented with ‘The Golden Note’ award from ASCAP in 2005, the top honour for a British writer, and he has appeared in Nashville regularly with other songwriters in showcase events. In 2013, The Performing Rights Society in the UK awarded him his second Ivor Novello statue for ‘Outstanding Achievement’. Justin records in Italy and France of which he says, “Spending time making music in a beautiful place with your friends is every songwriter’s dream”. Justin undertook extensive solo tours in both 2016 and 2017; and in 2018 Justin will again head out on the road bringing his wonderful music to his fans in the UK and Europe, as well as North America. As well as live shows, Justin has released several solo recordings; an album of new songs ‘Spirits Of The Western Sky’ – for Eagle Rock – was released in 2013 followed by several solo tours, and in 2014 a ‘live in concert’ DVD ‘Spirits…Live’ was made available, which reached No1 on the Billboard Video chart. 2016 saw the release of ‘All The Way’ (Eagle Rock Entertainment), a compilation from Justin Hayward’s solo career. “All The Way” includes Justin’s solo songs, a recording with The London Philharmonic Orchestra, solo live performances and unique versions of classic Moody Blues tracks and the brand new song “The Wind Of Heaven.” Justin said, “My acoustic solo tours give the perfect balance to the big production of the Moody Blues concerts. I’m so lucky to have both”. Whilst releasing solo albums and DVDs and working on many different projects, including new solo recordings, Justin continues to tour with the Moody Blues all across the world; Justin has toured with the band extensively in the US, but also the UK, Europe in each of the last few years.  In January 2018, the news broke that The Moody Blues were finally to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This recognition comes not before time but means a great deal to the band. At the time Justin commented, “I’m extremely grateful to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, first for creating the supreme temple to all that has brought endless joy into my life since I was a small boy, and now, after all these years, for including us. It’s a privilege to be celebrated in the same building, on the same street even, as my own heroes - Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers - and now, at last, with us, my heroine Nina Simone. But all the thanks must go to The Moody Blues fans for giving us a wonderful, wonderful life in music - our induction has now validated the music they so love, and I’m so, so pleased, for us all. Yippee!” Whilst the acceptance intro the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a truly global endorsement it is of course the music that matters. 2018 sees the 50th anniversary of the ‘Days Of Future Passed’ album. The band are marking this with some North American dates and the release of the concert recording ‘Days Of Future Passed Live’. With the solo dates of 2018 still to come, Justin certainly keeps himself busy. “I have spent most of my life, so far, on the road”, says Justin. “Playing live and creating a small piece of magic in a room is like a drug to me, one that I never want to give up”. His is a talent that has helped soundtrack more than a generation and created a legacy that remains undimmed. As if 2018 isn’t busy enough for Justin Hayward, he will be embarking on his North American “All The Way” tour with his trio (Mike Dawes and Julie Ragins), beginning August 4 in Plymouth, NH, performing material from All The Way, a retrospective of songs from across his career.

Langhorne Slim
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Langhorne Slim

October 6, 2019

As the phenomena of instant connection and the need for constant self-improvement further implant their tendrils into our culture, the ability to truly connect with each other and ourselves has begun to fade. As we all reach for our smartphones to gaze upon the manufactured perfection of the lives of those we admire, we lose sight of what makes our own lives important. Nashville's Langhorne Slim interlaces this theme throughout his new album. "Everyone's searchin' for something better around every corner, but it's already right here," Langhorne says. "We're all born whole -- through livin' we fall apart... The songs on Langhorne Slim's newest album, Lost At Last Vol. 1, out November 10, 2017, challenge the idea of social rigidity: the attitude that there's a "correct" way for us to live and a side we should be on. He urges the world to see through the idea that by following that path and focusing only on fitting the mold, one will have lived a good life. He re-interprets the sound of the free-spirited yet vulnerable everyman heard on 2015's The Spirit Moves and brings forth anew the call for us to abandon "the fold" and re-connect with ourselves and each other. Langhorne Slim is no stranger to the world of popular culture and commercial success. Lost At Last Vol. 1 is his sixth full-length album; throughout his career he has been defined by reflective songwriting and passionate delivery. Slim's last album cycle alone garnered him his third appearance on Conan O'Brien's late-night show, as well as a feature on CBS Saturday Morning, and the highest charting debut of his career. O'Brien, a personal fan of Slim stated, "After one listen, I became an instant, almost obsessive fan." Slim has consistently toured on his own, and has appeared on extensive worldwide runs throughout his career with artists such as The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Gregory Alan Isakov, Josh Ritter, The Devil Makes Three, Sara Watkins, and more. He's also appeared on many festival stages, such as Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Lost At Last Vol. 1 is a record that Langhorne wanted to do differently from the start. "Almost immediately after recording our last record, The Spirit Moves," Slim says, "I felt a deep desire to make another album. One that would take a step sideways in order to take a step forward; one that would be very personal and raw...in the making of this record, I made a deal with myself to trust my own voice and vision more than I ever have before, and to go willingly wherever it led." The title alone reflects his need to pen a great wealth of songs, as if the thoughts and inspiration took on a life of their own and just needed to come out. Recorded over the span of around six months in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Catskill, NY, and clocking in at about 34 minutes, it's a short but intense listening experience. Several songs are under two or three minutes long, but they pack vivid imagery into concise packages in a way that shows a significant diversion from the songwriting on his previous records. Slim keeps his record-making in the family with this release; longtime band member Malachi DeLorenzo co-produced the record along with Kenny Siegal, and DeLorenzo also mixed several tracks in addition to playing drums on the record. Slim reflects truths that we may or may not want to admit; in "Life is Confusing," he muses that "life is confusing, and people are insane." He stands resolute in the face of trial: ."..you could break my heart, but you'll never break me," he sings on "Never Break." He calls upon the listener during this time fraught with challenges to unplug from the trajectory our culture has deemed is "right" and find strength in our own vulnerability, in our own instincts. "We look to our phones, drugs, sex whatever to find ourselves when it's already right here," Slim says. These songs join in the rallying call for the wild ones in us all.

Mason Jennings
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Mason Jennings

October 5, 2019

When Mason Jennings started writing songs for his new record, Songs From When We Met, he was in a setting he had never written in before. "I was living out at a farm for a month and walking through some old woods on the property every day. There was a river. And each day an owl would come find me, and then perch above me, day or night. I saw lots of snakes. Songs just came to me there. They were coming in so fast they just about took my head off. It was unlike anything I’ve experienced before,” recalls Jennings. In Native American animal medicine snakes symbolize rebirth, owls symbolize seeing what others cannot and turning darkness into light. Both are themes throughout the album and the music has a clear hopeful feeling. Songs From When We Met pulls you in from the start, with Jennings telling the listener, "Get into my car now...let's leave the city". “Cursive Prayers is the first song I wrote for the album. I hadn’t written anything in a long time and any time I tried writing things I wrote were very dark. This song is so hopeful and full of love it surprised me. I think it was the beginning of things getting better in my life, like a message from another dimension."  "The last record was made in a real dark time for me. I was battling a lot of dark energy. Since then I’ve healed a lot and a lot of changes have taken place. I got divorced. I’ve been healing from agoraphobia. It’s been a rough patch but thankfully this record is about healing and hope. I fell in love and got married so it is mostly about love." A great ambassador for the album is the slow grooving "I Know You". "The lyrics at the end of this song sum up the love tone of this album: “Most people don’t make sense to me, I don’t know much in this world you see, but I know you.” The story of Songs From When We Met comes to an end with the track "Magic Is Real". "The rain on this track is real. We opened the doors of the studio and put mics up and that’s the sound of rain on the trees in Wisconsin. Rain is healing." At the time in his career where a lot of musicians burn out, Mason has new energy and drive. "I’m just happy to have found true love and to be healing from that dark time. I was struggling to find hope and it found me. Music just burst out of me this year. It’s always been a life line but this is the most open I’ve felt." Key Players: The album features Mason on guitar, piano, bass and drums. He is accompanied by one of his favorite bands The Pines. "They are magic. They got inside these songs and really brought them to life. I produced an EP for them last year and it reminded me how good we worked together. It is always a pleasure working with them. They are Great humans".  The album was recorded with Grammy winning engineer Brian Joseph (Paul Simon, Bon Iver). "His studio has tons of windows. It is an old renovated barn in Eau Claire Wisconsin. He’s got tons of amazing wasp nests, bones, books, hanging lights. The walls are covered in ropes. It’s so beautiful. He’s got bees out back. The studio sits on beautiful land and lots of natural light. Very helpful". Then the recordings went off to Los Angeles to be mixed by another Grammy winner, producer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, The War On Drugs.) "He’s an amazing person and sound engineer who has mixed three of my albums. He’s another magic being. He brings out the essence of a recording and makes it hit so hard. He’s a rare guy. I’m happy for him that he’s winning Grammys now. He deserves it".  The Mason Jennings history: Mason Jennings was born on the Island of Hawaii, but at an early age his family moved to the opposite of tropical, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At 13, he started playing guitar and writing songs. Mason later dropped out of high school and decided to move to Minneapolis to pursue his musical career. Jennings made this decision after a friend of his father’s sent him cassette tapes of the Replacements, Jayhawks, and Prince. After non-stop listening he felt like it would be a great home for his music.  Jennings produced his self-titled debut album in 1997 on a Tascam analog four-track in the living room of a rented home, playing all instruments himself. In October 1998, he began a weekly gig at Minneapolis' 400 Bar. The two-week gig ended up lasting four months.  Birds Flying Away, Mason's second record, revealed his penchant for singing first-person narratives of imaginary rustic characters. In 2002, Jennings released a studio album, Century Spring, and a "fans only" collection of acoustic songs, Simple Life. Mason released all three albums (and re-released his earlier albums) on his own record label, Architect Records. In 2004, Mason released Use Your Voice, which included the songs "Keepin' It Real," ostensibly written at the request of Shrek 2 producers (but not used in the film), and "The Ballad of Paul and Sheila," an acoustic dirge for late Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone. Later that year came a DVD entitled Use Your Van, which chronicled the recording of Use Your Voice and the promotional tour that followed. Andy Grund filmed the DVD. In June of 2005, Jennings signed with Glacial Pace, a subsidiary of Sony's Epic Records headed by Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock. Minnesota's Star Tribune credited Brock with convincing Mason to sign after he opened for several Modest Mouse shows in 2004. Jennings had long avoided the major labels, citing desires to maintain creative control and dodge big-label politics. Mason recorded his sixth album, Boneclouds, at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, MN with producer Noah Georgeson. Jennings recorded two Bob Dylan songs "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" which Christian Bale lip-synched in the film “I'm Not There”. In early 2008, Mason signed with Jack Johnson's record label, Brushfire Records. Jennings released In the Ever in May 2008. The title was inspired by his son referring to where he was before he was born as, "In the ever". Blood of Man soon followed and received a coveted 4-Star review in Rolling Stone, who also cited, “What makes Mason Jennings one of the best singer songwriters you’ve never heard of is his ragged intimate voice and his simple ruminations on God, war, hope and gratitude.” In 2010, Live at First Ave., his first live album, was released. Later that same year, Jennings released The Flood, an album made up of songs he had recorded in the 1990s on a cassette tape he had lost. A friend sent a copy of the tape to Mason and after rediscovering the songs, he decided to re-record them in a stripped down fashion to stay true to their intent.  In 2011, he released Minnesota, his first new album of original songs since 2009's Blood of Man. The single from the record "Raindrops on the Kitchen Floor” Jennings explains is "one of those songs that kind of wrote itself, I felt the only thing it needed was a secret weapon in the chorus. So I asked my friend, Jason Schwartzman from Coconut Records to help me out." On November 12, 2013, he released Always Been. The first single from the album was "Lonely Street", was followed by "Wilderness". He released Wild Dark Metal in 2016. He got divorced and after taking some time off to focus on painting, to recover from depression and to heal from agoraphobia, he began touring again. He remarried in 2018 and released an album of love songs inspired by his new relationship, Songs From When We Met, available now.

Technicolor Motor Home
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Technicolor Motor Home

October 5, 2019

Two-time Rammie Award winners for Best Tribute Band, Technicolor Motor Home is back! A mix of elegance and function, this 10 piece band pays its homage to the recent touring versions of Steely Dan.  “For years Steely Dan did not tour because their songs were too darn difficult to replicate on stage. And when they did tour, they had something of an orchestra in tow. So it was surprising to learn that a local group was tackling such elegant and beloved pop music. Led by Crack The Sky's keyboardist Glenn Workman, the band not only plays selections from every Steely Dan album, it does so with the necessary precision and passion, horns and back-up singers included. TMH proves you can buy a thrill - just check out one of their shows.” -Baltimore Magazine

The Doobie Others: A Tribute to The Doobie Brothers
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The Doobie Others: A Tribute to The Doobie Brothers

October 4, 2019

There’s no one in the industry today that can recreate the sound and style of the world famous Doobie Brothers like the Doobie Others can. Seven of Long Island’s top professional musicians have pooled their talents, years of performance experience, and their love of the Doobies to become the very best Doobies tribute show in the country today. Inspired by the Brothers superior song writing, the Doobie Others deliver powerful harmonies and a fun filled high energy performance covering a catalog of Doobies hits spanning both the Johnston and McDonald eras. Yes, the Doobie Others masterfully play them all, from Listen to the Music to What a Fool Believes, from Long Train Running to Minute by Minute, from Black Water to Takin’ it to the Streets, and all the rest. If you have a favorite Doobies tune (and everyone does) it will surely be included in a Doobie Others Tribute Show, a show that’s certain to delight and provide great entertainment to folks of all ages.

Paul Reed Smith Band with Special Guests
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Paul Reed Smith Band with Special Guests

October 3, 2019

Newly signed to the Favored Nations record label, the Paul Reed Smith Band has performed all over the world including England, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Italy. The music is “Chesapeake Gumbo” – an Annapolis/ Baltimore music style that is a combination of funk, rock, R & B, jazz, fusion, gospel, New Orleans Meters, hip-hop and melodic instrumental music. That about sums it up!

Sister Hazel
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Sister Hazel

October 2, 2019

Originating from Gainesville, FL, Sister Hazel is comprised of five gifted, seasoned musicians whose well-spring of natural talent has been called "one of the Top 100 Most Influential Independent Performers of the last 15 years" by Performing Songwriter Magazine. Song "All for You," topped the adult alternative charts during the summer of 1997 and the success propelled their album to platinum status.  In their first showing on the country music charts they made a strong debut with “Lighter In The Dark” at #4 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, #6 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart, #30 on Billboard's Top Current Albums chart and #79 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The band landed on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart again in 2016 with “Unplugged From Daryl's House Club” at #75. In February 2018, “Water,” Volume I of a collectible compilation series titled, “Elements,” landed on the Billboard Country Albums chart at #9 and at #2 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart along with making their debut on the most revered stage in country music, the Grand Ole Opry.  Living up to their fan-centered reputation, the band was a pioneer in the themed cruise industry by co-founding "The Rock Boat" and annually hosts events like the “Hazelnut Hang,” and "Camp Hazelnut" that focuses on creating unique experiences and interacting with the fans. Sister Hazel has been equally attentive to connecting with their audience through social media having amassed over a million social followers. In addition to the events and touring, the band also gives back with “Lyrics For Life.” Founded by singer Ken Block, the charity unites musicians and celebrities for concerts and auctions to benefit cancer research and patient-care charities.

Justin Townes Earle
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Justin Townes Earle

October 1, 2019

Justin Townes Earle has done a lot of living in his 37 years. For starters, there’s the quick-hit bullet points about his childhood that seem to get dredged up in every interview, article or review about the singer-songwriter and guitarist: Born the son of Steve Earle, who was largely absent during Justin’s childhood; struggles from a young age with addiction and numerous stints in rehab; long stretches of itinerancy and general juvenile delinquency; a youth he once said he was “lucky to have gotten out of alive.”  That’s before we get to the years spent honing his craft in Nashville bars and on club stages all over the world; the various bands, record labels and industry types that have been drawn toward and, at times, pushed away by him; and, finally, the celebrated and rather formidable body of work he has amassed since releasing his critically-acclaimed 2007 debut EP, Yuma.  It’s a seemingly bottomless well of material for a singer-songwriter to mine out of just three decades or so of life. And Earle at times has—most recently on his 2017 album, Kids in the Street, which the artist calls “one of the more personal records I’ve ever made.”  But when it came to his newest effort, The Saint of Lost Causes, Earle, these days sober, married and father to a baby girl, chose to focus his gaze outward. “Maybe having a kid has made me look at the world around me more,” he says.  As for how he felt after doing that?  “Frankly, I was horrified,” he says bluntly. Although, he adds, “I already sorta was, anyway.”  Make no mistake: there’s nary a party, PBR or pickup truck to be found in any of the 12 tracks on The Saint of Lost Causes. Rather, Earle is focused on a different America—the disenfranchised and the downtrodden, the oppressed and the oppressors, the hopeful and the hopeless. There’s the drugstore-cowboy-turned-cop-killer praying for forgiveness (“Appalachian Nightmare”) and the common Michiganders persevering through economic and industrial devastation (“Flint City Shake It”); the stuck mother dreaming of a better life on the right side of the California tracks (“Over Alameda”) and the Cuban man in New York City weighed down by a world of regret (“Ahi Esta Mi Nina”); the “used up” soul desperate to get to New Orleans (“Ain’t Got No Money”) and the “sons of bitches” in West Virginia poisoning the land and sea (“Don’t Drink the Water”).  These are individuals and communities in every corner of the country, struggling through the ordinary—and sometimes extraordinary—circumstances of everyday life.  “I was trying to look through the eyes of America,” Earle says. “Because I believe in the idea of America—that everybody's welcome here and has the right to be here.”  Earle tells these American stories in detail and without judgement. But he also lays out his point of view right from the start. The Saint of Lost Causes kicks off in stark fashion with the title track, on which JTE, over a desolate soundscape of acoustic guitar, deliberate snare hits and moaning pedal steel, presents a harsh vision of the world in plainspoken, almost biblical terms: "Got your sheep / got your shepherds / got your wolves amongst men,” he intones, before asking, “Throughout time / between the wolf and the shepherd / who do you think has killed more sheep?”  “That's kind of like the spooky leftist conspiracy theorist in me,” Earle says with a slight laugh, before turning serious. “But the fact is, if you look around, we live in a time where one of the number-one threats to an inner-city black youth is a police officer. It’s just bizarre. So I think sometimes how we forget how animal we are. We look at ourselves as this sort of higher-functioning being, but we miss the mark quite often at being civilized and such.”  He points to another track, the slide-guitar-and-harmonica assisted “Don’t Drink the Water” (“Folks gettin’ sick, talkin’ women and children / ask the man on the stand what he thinks killed ‘em”), as a further example of man’s disregard for his fellow man. “Several years ago one of [coal CEO and former Republican primary candidate for Senate] Don Blankenship's companies leaked a bunch of chemicals into the river outside of Charleston, West Virginia, and there’s still areas where if people take a bath they’ll get lesions on their skin,” he explains of the song’s subject matter. “We live in the richest per-capita country in the world, and we have people who can't bathe in the fucking water. Much less drink it.”  While that song and others like “Flint City Shake It”—where, over a boogie-woogie rhythm, Earle chronicles the decline of the city’s once vibrant auto manufacturing industry (“Then trouble come in ’86 / this son of a bitch named Roger Smith / cut our throat with the stroke of a fountain pen”)—cite historical events, other tracks present fictionalized narratives that are no less harrowing or true-to-life.  Take the haunting “Appalachian Nightmare,” on which Earle spins a first-person account of how a landscape of little opportunity combined with a few bad decisions can quickly lead to a premature, and literal, dead end. “It's a fictional story, but it's a story we've heard a million times growing up in the South,” he says. “I remember back in the late Nineties we had what they called the ‘Oxycontin Wars,’ which was, like, hillbillies armed to the teeth robbing the shit out of drug stores. People went buck wild and it destroyed a lot of lives.”  But Saint of Lost Causes is not all doom and gloom. There are also moments of calm, both musically and lyrically, where Earle pulls back to admire the beauty of the world around him. On the languid “Mornings in Memphis” (“one of my favorite songs on the record”), he watches the sun rise, takes a stroll down Beale Street to the banks of the Mississippi, and, finally, stands alone under a sky full of stars where all he can do is “try not to think / just listen to my heart.”  He offers a similar, if more jocular ode to his surroundings on “Pacific Northwestern Blues,” where the Nashville-bred Earle, now relocated a few thousand miles west, laments only being able to drive 20 miles an hour due to the region’s notoriously rainy conditions. “We’re moving so slow / I’m about to lose my mind,” he complains over a loping Western swing accompaniment. Says Earle with a laugh, “I've been living in the Pacific Northwest for a while, and I’ve realized that, you know, the weather really does suck up here!”  Earle may call the Pacific Northwest his home these days, but when it came time to record The Saint of Lost Causes he headed back to Music City. “I always say, ‘If you want whores and gambling, you go to Vegas. If you want to make records, you go to Nashville,’ ” he reasons. Earle co-produced The Saint of Lost Causes with his longtime engineer Adam Bednarik, and likewise brought in musicians that that he’s known for years, among them guitarist Joe McMahan, pedal steel player Paul Niehaus, drummer Jon Radford and Old Crow Medicine Show keyboardist Cory Younts. “I'm realizing that as I'm getting older and grumpier and set in my ways, I just much more enjoy making a record on my own terms and with people I know well,” he says.  To that end, Earle also worked at a studio he knew well, even if he had never actually recorded there before. Sound Emporium is a facility steeped in music history—it was opened by Cowboy Jack Clement in 1969 and has hosted country luminaries like Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers over the years—and also Earle’s own childhood. “I grew up in that neighborhood, and as a kid I used to ride my bike through the Sound Emporium parking lot,” he says. “It was always an active place in the neighborhood. So it was great to finally be able to record there.”  As for where Earle’s sound, which on The Saint of Lost Causes spans everything from traditional country, blues and folk to western swing, roots-rock and boogie-woogie, fits into the larger country music picture beyond Nashville?  “I see it the same way that Gram Parsons did,” he says. “There’s this idea of moving forward and playing with newer sounds and different modes, but at the same time making sure you keep one foot firmly planted in the past as you feel out the future. I think it’s really important to leave a trail, you know? Put down some breadcrumbs behind you.”  He’s similarly resolute when it comes to his lyrics. Ask Earle whether he is at all concerned that the bold stance he takes on The Saint of Lost Causes might raise the country-music establishment’s hackles, and he can only laugh in response.  “I've never been opposed to pissing off all the right people,” he says matter-of-factly. “But I see it two ways: If you don't like what I have to say politically or anything like that, just don't read my interviews. But you're never going to go to my shows and hear political spiel from me. We're going to play songs and have a good time, because that's what the show is all about.  “But you know,” he continues, “I'm a disciple of the Woody Guthrie school of thinking about music. I figure it’s always better to just go ahead and tell people the truth.”  On The Saint of Lost Causes, Earle proves himself a songwriter and artist who is unflinching and unequivocal in his truth.

Greg Laswell
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Greg Laswell

September 30, 2019

If you look for specific meaning in album titles, Greg Laswell’s Everyone Thinks I Dodged a Bullet (2016) wasn’t hard to figure out. But with such a monumental emotional catharsis behind him, 2018 finds him sending decidedly more mixed signals, even with the title of his newest LP, Next Time. And as it opens with the genuinely exuberant “Royal Empress,” you’d be safe to assume he’s intending to convey that this is indeed the “next time,” and that this time, he was intent on casting a wider emotional net...and letting go of the past. “I wanted a song bigger than life, or at least bigger than mine,” Laswell reveals of the opening track. The Southern California troubadour has garnered considerable critical acclaim with his uncompromising songwriting and raw, visceral delivery – rightly drawing comparisons to the likes of Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave – but also exhibiting an honesty that consistently unlocks a door to a very personal place, defined only by a singular collective of experiences. The Big Takeover described him as “a masterful, distinctive, and vital artist” - “distinctive” being the operative word. His songs have appeared in marquee network television shows, from True Blood to Grey’s Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries to Arrow – whenever a particularly poignant scene needs to be rawly soundtracked, obviously. But this is something he explores to a particularly august effect on new cinematic tracks like “Super Moon,” “For You,” and “Never Want to See You Again.” “The end of ‘Super Moon’ right after the break is an important moment for me,” he explains. “I wanted a record that sonically made me feel small listening to it.” Next Time also once again fearlessly spills all that honesty onto the lyrical page, most especially on such bare confessionals as “Choice in the Matter” - where he professes, “I swear I was doing fine / With that part of me that died.” “I feel more in control than I did on my last record,” he says. “Life is the most difficult it has ever been circumstantially, but I'm also kind of okay, even if just for moments, which is all life is anyway. My hope is that’s what came across with these songs.” To be sure, Next Time is both more revealing and more visionary, a move from emotional crisis to biographical examination. On the title track, he starkly opens up: “Like to think I’ve figured it all out / My God, how I love to inflate.” But it’s clear he’s also striving for a universality of experience and connection. “I like allowing the listeners to make my songs their own,” he explains, “so I hesitate speaking to the details of what specific songs are about. But I will say that a handful of them deal quite head-on with some heavy stuff that I’ve never addressed in music before.” In a career of dramatic arcs, Next Time - perhaps a result of the real difficulties of seeing it through - would seem to represent a musical and emotional pinnacle for Greg Laswell. Indeed, it’s the album he has surely always meant to make, while life’s little (and sometimes very big) vagaries were getting in the way. “I've found over the years that it often takes one song, or one moment in a song for me to see clearly where the record will head.” And this is surely a case of instincts, well trusted.

Garrett Park School of Music Presents Rock Ensemble Student Showcase II **All Ages Matinee**
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Garrett Park School of Music Presents Rock Ensemble Student Showcase II **All Ages Matinee**

September 29, 2019

The Garrett Park School of Music is proud to present Rock Ensemble Student Showcase II, a live rock performance showcasing Garrett Park School of Music's newest music program, Rock Ensemble. Come experience a wide range of rock songs performed by students aged 8 to 16 in four bands currently enrolled in the Garrett Park School of Music's Rock Ensemble.

Journeyman
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Journeyman

September 29, 2019

Fronted by Shaun Hague (Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Amos Lee, John Waite), JOURNEYMAN has become the #1 tribute to Clapton in a very short amount of time. The band has been selling hundreds of tickets per night in the Midwest, New England and West Coast. With over 50 years of music to chose from, JOURNEYMAN covers it all - “Layla”, “Badge”, “The Core”, “White Room”, “Lay Down Sally”, “Tulsa Time”, “Cocaine” and many more. “This show would bring Clapton to his knees" - Grace Blake / Talent Buyer, The Iridium, New York, NY "This gifted group of musicians channel the spirit, passion and musicianship of Clapton himself. The guitar playing is spot on recreating the Clapton catalog in all its splendid glory” - Patrick Norton / Talent Buyer, Narrows Center for the Arts - Fall River, MA “The best Eric Clapton tribute that we have ever worked with.” - Adam Spriggs / Talent Buyer, Saint Rocke - Hermosa Beach, CA

Gregg Karukas
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Gregg Karukas

September 28, 2019

"Gregg Karukas’ music is the epitome of class and elegance…he’s got such a nuanced touch on the piano, and his compositions are always so satisfying. Add in a great ability to communicate live, and you have an all-around great talent." -Dave Koz Grammy winning keyboardist and composer Gregg Karukas is enjoying the rare accomplishment of two consecutive #1 hit songs and three TOP 5 chart hits from his stellar 2014 CD release "Soul Secrets". His latest single, "Rio Drive" hit #1 on The Billboard and Smooth Jazz Top 20 charts which monitor the national airplay on radio and internet stations. It follows "Elegant Nights" which hit the top of the charts in January of 2015. "Only You", the third single dedicated to Gregg's wife Yvonne, hit #2 on Smooth Jazz Top 20 in July 2016. Gregg recently brought his melodic grooves to the Catalina Jazztrax Festival for his 4th headline show last October. One of urban contemporary jazz's most versatile and acclaimed artists for over 25 years, Gregg won the Grammy for producing, composing, arranging, playing all keyboards and engineering Echoes of Love, which won Best New Age Album at the 55th Grammy Awards in February 2013. He has had a diverse career in music with a long list of credits in all media; Gregg arranged and played all keyboards on the theme songs to Disney's Ducktales and Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers and is a veteran of lots of TV/Film music sessions, (Cheers, Stand and Deliver, Life Goes On, Mr. Wrong).  As a solo artist, Gregg's 11 all-original CDs have garnered consistently solid reviews for his signature piano touch, pristine production, and melodies that are both soulful and sophisticated. Always in demand as a musical director and keyboardist, Gregg has received multiple Best Keyboardist nominations at the Oasis and National Smooth Jazz Awards. His best-known songs, "Elegant Nights (#1), "Rio Drive"(#1), "Girl in the Red Dress" (#4) "Nightshift" (#1), and Jessy J.'s #1 hit "Tropical Rain" showcase Gregg's funky, melodic compositional style familiar to his fans.  "People say my music sounds romantic and uplifting - and I look so happy on stage," he says. "It's totally true. For me, the best music comes out of an inner feeling of either intense happiness or sadness. I always try to stay faithful to that original inspiration, because that is where the true 'sound of emotion' comes from." Gregg's contagious smile and positive attitude shows in his concerts, as he has emerged over the years as one of the genre's most dynamic and inspiring live performers since he first took the stage in 1987 with the original Rippingtons and toured through the years with superstars Boney James, Sergio Mendes, and Larry Carlton.

Bob Mould Solo
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Bob Mould Solo

September 27, 2019

The cliché that circulated after the 2016 election foretold a new artistic golden age: Artists would transform their anger and anxiety into era-defining works of dissent in the face of authoritarianism.  Yet Bob Mould calls his new album Sunshine Rock.  It’s not because Mould—whose face belongs on the Mount Rushmore of alternative music—likes the current administration. His decision to “write to the sunshine,” as he describes it, comes from a more personal place – a place found in Berlin, Germany, where he’s spent the majority of the last three years. Here Mould would draw inspiration from the new environments.  “Almost four years ago, I made plans for an extended break,” Mould explains. “I started spending time in Berlin in 2015, found an apartment in 2016, and became a resident in 2017. My time in Berlin has been a life changing experience. The winter days are long and dark, but when the sun comes back, all spirits lift.” These three years in Berlin would quite literally shed new light on Mould’s everyday mindset.  “To go from [2011 autobiography] See a Little Light to the last three albums, two of which were informed by loss of each parent, respectively, at some point I had to put a Post-It note on my work station and say, ‘Try to think about good things.’ Otherwise I could really go down a long, dark hole,” he says. “I’m trying to keep things brighter these days as a way to stay alive.” That makes Sunshine Rock as logical a product of the current climate as any rage-fueled agit-rock. Variations on the word “sun” appear 27 times in five different songs over the course of the album’s 37 minutes. To hear Mould tell it, the theme developed early.  “‘Sunshine Rock’ was such a bright, optimistic song, and once that came together, I knew that would be the title track, and that really set the tone for the direction of the album,” Mould says. “It was funny, because writing with that as the opener in mind, it was like, ‘This is not Black Sheets of Rain.’” Mould’s famously dour 1990 solo album still serves as a point of reference: a title track that sets the tone for the album, though on Sunshine Rock, it’s the opposite of Rain. This being Bob Mould, Sunshine Rock still has darker moments. “Lost Faith,” for example, has him quietly lamenting, “I’ve lost faith in everything / Everything, everything.” The Mould of 1990 may have wallowed in the feeling, but the Mould of 2018 jumps into a hooky, bombastic chorus where he sings, “Really gotta stop this now, this is your / Last chance to turn around, I know we / All lose faith from time to time, you / Better find your way back home.” Those cathartic moments in “Lost Faith” foreground a surprising element of Sunshine Rock: Mould’s rawest vocals since his throat-shredding days in Hüsker Dü. It started when Mould and the band—drummer Jon Wurster and bassist Jason Narducy—had extra time in the studio with Mould’s longtime engineer, Beau Sorenson. They settled on a cover of Shocking Blue’s “Send Me a Postcard,” and Mould decided to lay down vocals right there. “This was the first real vocal take during the session. I walked to the mic, not knowing how I would sing these words. Three minutes later, I went back into the control room and everyone was like, ’What the fuck, that was wild!’ I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s pretty good!’ That was the only take, and that’s what you hear on the album.” “After that moment, I learned to let go and be more spontaneous with my vocals. Because of that, there’s way more emotion on this album. Perhaps I was ironing some of that out in the past by double- and triple-tracking vocals, hoping for some perfect pop result.” The rawness of the vocals counterbalances the strings that appear on five songs. Although Mould has experimented with small-scale string accompaniment on previous albums, Sunshine Rock ambitiously incorporates an 18-piece orchestra.  “I had this idea as we were right up on recording, ‘Why not take some of these extra melodies that I’ve got kicking around and build them all into string arrangements?’” Mould says. “I like really big, dense chordal structures and rhythm guitars, those layers that come at you. This time, I was just trying to be mindful of adding more melody.” Mould wrote the string parts, which collaborator Alison Chesley transcribed for the various instruments with some input from consultant Paul Martens. The Prague TV Orchestra spent a day recording the parts while he listened remotely from his home studio in San Francisco. The process came together so easily, Mould laughs, “It’s going to be tough not to use them now.”  It all amounts to Mould’s catchiest, grabbiest album since Copper Blue, the acclaimed 1992 debut of his trio Sugar. Back then, Mould’s work in Hüsker Dü, as a solo artist, and in Sugar helped define the sound of guitar rock in the alternative age. Sunshine Rock finds him doing it again for an era that has ostensibly eschewed rock. “I’ve heard this thing about ‘guitars are dead’ at least five times, and they always seem to come back,” he says. “For better or worse, this is what I do. I think there’s a lot of people trying to aspire to make great albums. That’s really what this is about: trying to make great rock albums for people because there’s not that many anymore.” Maybe that cliché about great art coming from strife could be true—but who would’ve guessed it’d be called Sunshine Rock? “Sunshine Rock is one helluva way to wrap up the busiest decade of my career,” he shares. “The autobiography, the Disney Hall tribute show, reissues of several albums from my catalog, three current rock band albums, several world tours, and now this new album — I’m humbled and grateful to still be making new music while celebrating my lifetime songbook.”

Ace Frehley
Rams Head On Stage

Ace Frehley

September 26, 2019

Classic rock from the original KISS guitarist and R&R Hall of Fame inductee. Following a remarkable career with one of the biggest rock bands of all time, the success of Ace Frehley’s solo career, as both a recording artist and performer, has easily outpaced his other KISS band member peers. His 2014 release Space Invader was the only post KISS solo album to crack the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart, and his acclaimed 2011 autobiography No Regrets went on to become a New York Times best-seller. His recent single, Bronx Boy, debuted on Rollingstone.com on April 27, 2018 while the complete album, Spaceman, was released on October 19, 2018. Look for the yet another new album, Origins II, in the fall of 2019. With KISS on their farewell tour for the next few years Ace is in the news just about every day - mentioned in every article as the original lead guitarist with most writers commenting that KISS is not the same without Ace.

Delbert McClinton
Rams Head On Stage

Delbert McClinton

September 26, 2019

.There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Delbert McClinton and those who haven’t heard him yet. Delbert is always working on that second group. Lyle Lovett has said, “If we could all sing like we wanted to, we’d all sing like Delbert.” The multi-Grammy Award winning artist is at the top of his game with his 19th studio album, Prick Of The Litter (Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers). The new offering captures the balance of soulful energy and restraint that the legendary performer has been delivering in his live performances for decades all over the world. On Prick of the Litter, Delbert incorporates a variety of styles, and as always, just enough to keep him comfortably outside the traditional marketing categories. Prick Of The Litter blends Delbert’s signature rhythm and blues sound with a newer jazz-influence inspired by Johnny Mercer, Nat King Cole and other legendary crooners. He includes some upbeat traditional blues (“Don’t Do It”) with a romantic take on Tony Bennett’s San Francisco (“San Miguel”) while “Skip Chaser” paints a vivid picture of the perils of the profession. A highlight is the album’s closer, the gentle and hopeful “Rosy.” McClinton's road band, Self-Made Men provide a hard-driving rhythm section, powerful guitars and innovative piano, accented by punched-up horns. Delbert’s definitive vocals and distinct harmonica licks bring it all together. Delbert McClinton has been a leading Americana artist since before the genre was established. He has won two Grammy awards in the blues category for Best Contemporary Blues Album; and one in the rock category (Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group), with Bonnie Raitt for "Good Man, Good Woman". Delbert’s unique musical style grew from his Texas music beginnings. Influenced at a young age by Tejano, Western Swing, Rhythm and Blues and War songs, he developed a signature sound that served him well. Delbert grew up around Lubbock and Fort Worth, and spent his early career in the desegregating roadhouses of Fort Worth’s Jacksboro Highway, leading the house bands for Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and others, while making a local name for himself. Later, Delbert traveled to England where he headlined shows with Bruce Channel (“Hey Baby”) with a little-known Liverpool band [The Beatles] as the opening act. He then rolled into Los Angeles as songwriters began to take top billing, and headed back to Texas for the progressive movement and blues renaissance that helped kick off Austin’s role in American musical history. If you’ve seen a live Delbert McClinton show, you will recognize the synchronized energy on Prick Of The Litter that comes from thousands of miles of playing together. Delbert feels that his current road band, Self-Made Men, is the best band he’s ever had. “Jack Bruno [drums] is amazing. He played with Joe Cocker and with Tina Turner for years. I’ve been harder on drummers than anybody in the world, but Jack is right there where I need him. Dana Robbins [saxophone] and Quentin ‘Q’ Ware [trumpet] punctuate the live performances in just the right places. James Pennebaker [guitar] is family. He’s been playing with me off and on since he was nineteen. Mike Joyce [bass guitar], Kevin McKendree [piano], and Bob Britt [guitar] are among my best friends, in addition to being in the band. Mike and Kevin and I write together a lot. We wrote most of the songs on this album together.” Delbert, Kevin and Bob also co-produced Prick Of The Litter. “Going into the studio with a band that’s like family creates real magic,” says Delbert. “You have the energy of a live band. We feed off of each other. We are better together. And it always feels like they have my back.” Jimmie Vaughan and Lou Ann Barton are an added bonus on the first track. Delbert adds “I am such a fan of Lou Ann and of Jimmie. We needed a female to do a part on ‘Don’t Do It.’ Bob suggested Lou Ann, and I knew she would be perfect. I have always loved Jimmie and Lou Ann. I had talked to Jimmie about doing something on my last album but it didn’t work out. So this time, we went to Austin and they both came into the studio. We spent about two hours and had a lot of fun. They are both so talented.” Delbert wrote or co-wrote ten of the songs on the album. “By the time we wrote these songs, Mike, Bob and Kevin had been in my band for a long time," says Delbert. "We got together every Wednesday for several weeks, and then we went to Mexico and finished writing the rest of the album." 2017 is a milestone year for Delbert. In addition to the release of Prick Of The Litter, a biography is slated for release in September. He has also been nominated for Texas State Musician, a highly acclaimed state appointment akin to poet laureate. Prick of the Litter is a signature project for Delbert McClinton, and he is proud of it. “We worked hard on this and we got exactly what we wanted,” he says. “The songs, the band, the production. Everything came together. We didn’t leave no chicken on the bone,” he says. “I did what I came to do with this album. I guess I really am One of the Fortunate Few.”

Magic City Hippies
Rams Head On Stage

Magic City Hippies

September 24, 2019

If you’re playing in Miami, you’ve got to get bodies moving.  Over the years, the city has been home to Latin pop royalty and ascendant Soundcloud rappers; played host to bass-booming EDM fests and the golden years of disco legends. It’s also why Miami’s latest genre-defying dynamos, Magic City Hippies, are primed to take their infectious indie-funk around the world.  “We’re always out to entertain people,” promises singer-guitarist Robby Hunter. “Miami is a nightlife city,” he adds with a tinge of excitement. “People are oriented towards staying out all night. Anything you do has to make them dance.” As Magic City Hippies approach the Aug. 16 release of their standout debut album Modern Animal -- a mosaic of poolside grooves and lingering, sun-kissed melodies -- the trio’s origin story remains central to its crowd-pleasing mission statement.  First it was just Hunter -- hustling the Miami streets, plugging his guitar and looping pedals into whatever power source he could find. Sometimes crowds formed; sometimes others joined in. On a good night, he’d maybe earn a hundred bucks. The next stop was Barracuda Bar & Grill, a popular Coconut Grove dive where Hunter became a regular performer and forged a sublime chemistry with the rest of Magic City Hippies’ present-day lineup: guitarist John Coughlin and drummer-producer Pat Howard. They began playing ‘90s rock and hip-hop covers to weekend warriors and college crowd regulars, before live-testing their first original tracks in 2011. “There was something special when we played those sets,” Howard remembers. “We’d go for four hours, not even rehearsing. Then Robby came to the table with some originals.”  The easygoing psych-rap nugget “Corazon,” released when they were still called Robby Hunter Band, shot to No. 1 on the Hype Machine in 2013; after shifting to Magic City Hippies, “Fanfare,” the swaggering opening track off 2015’s Hippie Castle EP, topped Spotify’s Global Viral 50 chart, thanks to a burgeoning online fanbase. With brothers Ferny (keyboard) and Guillermo Belisario (bass) added to a now-indomitable live lineup, Magic City Hippies embarked on extensive tours supporting bands like Hippo Campus and Moon Taxi. Crowds doubled and tripled, confidence soared. Still unsigned and completely independent in their approach, Magic City Hippies pushed distractions aside and worked tirelessly towards their first LP. “We’ve been touring for three years,” Hunter says. “The album has a lot to do with the toll it's taken on our relationships and lives.” No kidding: Robby was fired from a full-time job and ended a relationship of over eight years. Swirling single “SPF” comes to terms with a cheating partner through beams of Toro Y Moi-inspired Auto-Tune and bass licks. “What Would I Do” rides a catchy bossa hook towards the sonic equivalent of a Miami sunset. The sultry “Modern Animal” explores the liberation of open relationships through an irresistible Tame Impala rhythm and a safari of synthesizers. Clearly, inspirations abound -- Hunter occasionally raps a la Odelay-era Beck or Anthony Kedis when he’s addicted to the shindig -- but their self-described “indie funk” sound remains uniquely their own. “People always say it’s hard to find another band we sound like,” Howard says. “I’m proud of that -- any song could be a single.” Modern Animal is set to crown Magic City Hippies as one of streaming’s ascendant indie bands, while taking their captivating live show to major festivals like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and BottleRock, alongside plenty of North American headline gigs through 2020.

Judy Collins (4:30 All Ages Show)
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Judy Collins (4:30 All Ages Show)

September 22, 2019

Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century. The award-winning singer-songwriter is esteemed for her imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards and her own poetically poignant original compositions. Her stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell's “Both Sides Now” from her landmark 1967 album, Wildflowers, has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Judy’s dreamy and sweetly intimate version of “Send in the Clowns,” a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical A Little Night Music, won "Song of the Year” at the 1975 Grammy Awards. She’s garnered several top-ten hits gold- and platinum-selling albums. Recently, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen honored her legacy with the album Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins. Judy began her impressive music career at 13 as a piano prodigy dazzling audiences performing Mozart's “Concerto for Two Pianos,” but the hard-luck tales and rugged sensitivity of folk revival music by artists such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger seduced her away from a life as a concert pianist. Her path pointed to a lifelong love affair with the guitar and pursuit of emotional truth in lyrics. The focus and regimented practice of classical music, however, would be a source of strength to her inner core as she navigated the highs and lows of the music business. In 1961, she released her masterful debut, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, which featured interpretative works of social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. This began a wonderfully fertile thirty-five year creative relationship with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. Around this time Judy became a tastemaker within the thriving Greenwich Village folk community, and brought other singer-songwriters to a wider audience, including poet/musician Leonard Cohen – and musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. Throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and up to the present, she has remained a vital artist, enriching her catalog with critically acclaimed albums while balancing a robust touring schedule. Prolific as ever, Judy recorded a DVD special Judy Collins: A Love Letter To Stephen Sondheim, in her hometown of Denver, CO. Along with the Greely Philharmonic Orchestra, Judy dazzled the audience with Sondheim’s beautiful songs and her lovely, radiant voice. DVD and CD companion will be released in early 2017. Judy also released a collaborative album in June 2016, Silver Skies Blue, with writing partner, Ari Hest. Silver Skies Blue has been GRAMMY nominated for BEST FOLK ALBUM in 2017, this is the first GRAMMY nomination for Collins in over 40 years. On September 18, 2015, Judy released Strangers Again. She invited a cast of icons and young talents to sing with her on this fresh collection, from Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne and Jeff Bridges to Glen Hansard, Ari Hest and Bhi Bhiman. Judy delicately soars over a revitalized “Send In The Clowns” and breathes new life into “Hallelujah.” She puts her indelible touch on songs by Leonard Bernstein, Randy Newman, James Taylor and more.  In 2012, she released the CD/DVD Judy Collins Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art which aired on PBS. This special television program was nominated for a New York Emmy and won a Bronze Medal at the 2013 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards. Based on its success, in 2014 she filmed another spectacular show in Ireland at Dromoland Castle. Live In Ireland was released in 2014. This program also won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards and the program will broadcast on PBS in 2014 and 2015. Judy has also authored several books, including the powerful and inspiring, Sanity & Grace and her extraordinary memoir, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music. For her most recent title to be released in 2017, Cravings, she provides a no-holds barred account of her harrowing struggle with compulsive overeating, and the journey that led her to a solution.  Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has encountered along the way (Atkins, Jean Nidtech of Weight Watchers, Andrew Weil, to name a few), Cravings is the culmination of Judy's genuine desire to share what she's learned—so that no one has follow her heart-rending path to recovery. In addition, she remains a social activist, representing UNICEF and numerous other causes. She is the director (along with Jill Godmillow) of an Academy Award-nominated film about Antonia Brico – PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, the first woman to conduct major symphonies around the world–and Judy's classical piano teacher when she was young. Judy Collins, now 79, is as creatively vigorous as ever, writing, touring worldwide, and nurturing fresh talent. She is a modern day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.

Judy Collins (7:30 Show)
Rams Head On Stage

Judy Collins (7:30 Show)

September 22, 2019

Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century. The award-winning singer-songwriter is esteemed for her imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards and her own poetically poignant original compositions. Her stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell's “Both Sides Now” from her landmark 1967 album, Wildflowers, has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Judy’s dreamy and sweetly intimate version of “Send in the Clowns,” a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical A Little Night Music, won "Song of the Year” at the 1975 Grammy Awards. She’s garnered several top-ten hits gold- and platinum-selling albums. Recently, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen honored her legacy with the album Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins. Judy began her impressive music career at 13 as a piano prodigy dazzling audiences performing Mozart's “Concerto for Two Pianos,” but the hard-luck tales and rugged sensitivity of folk revival music by artists such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger seduced her away from a life as a concert pianist. Her path pointed to a lifelong love affair with the guitar and pursuit of emotional truth in lyrics. The focus and regimented practice of classical music, however, would be a source of strength to her inner core as she navigated the highs and lows of the music business. In 1961, she released her masterful debut, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, which featured interpretative works of social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. This began a wonderfully fertile thirty-five year creative relationship with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. Around this time Judy became a tastemaker within the thriving Greenwich Village folk community, and brought other singer-songwriters to a wider audience, including poet/musician Leonard Cohen – and musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. Throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and up to the present, she has remained a vital artist, enriching her catalog with critically acclaimed albums while balancing a robust touring schedule. Prolific as ever, Judy recorded a DVD special Judy Collins: A Love Letter To Stephen Sondheim, in her hometown of Denver, CO. Along with the Greely Philharmonic Orchestra, Judy dazzled the audience with Sondheim’s beautiful songs and her lovely, radiant voice. DVD and CD companion will be released in early 2017. Judy also released a collaborative album in June 2016, Silver Skies Blue, with writing partner, Ari Hest. Silver Skies Blue has been GRAMMY nominated for BEST FOLK ALBUM in 2017, this is the first GRAMMY nomination for Collins in over 40 years. On September 18, 2015, Judy released Strangers Again. She invited a cast of icons and young talents to sing with her on this fresh collection, from Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne and Jeff Bridges to Glen Hansard, Ari Hest and Bhi Bhiman. Judy delicately soars over a revitalized “Send In The Clowns” and breathes new life into “Hallelujah.” She puts her indelible touch on songs by Leonard Bernstein, Randy Newman, James Taylor and more.  In 2012, she released the CD/DVD Judy Collins Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art which aired on PBS. This special television program was nominated for a New York Emmy and won a Bronze Medal at the 2013 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards. Based on its success, in 2014 she filmed another spectacular show in Ireland at Dromoland Castle. Live In Ireland was released in 2014. This program also won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards and the program will broadcast on PBS in 2014 and 2015. Judy has also authored several books, including the powerful and inspiring, Sanity & Grace and her extraordinary memoir, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music. For her most recent title to be released in 2017, Cravings, she provides a no-holds barred account of her harrowing struggle with compulsive overeating, and the journey that led her to a solution.  Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has encountered along the way (Atkins, Jean Nidtech of Weight Watchers, Andrew Weil, to name a few), Cravings is the culmination of Judy's genuine desire to share what she's learned—so that no one has follow her heart-rending path to recovery. In addition, she remains a social activist, representing UNICEF and numerous other causes. She is the director (along with Jill Godmillow) of an Academy Award-nominated film about Antonia Brico – PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, the first woman to conduct major symphonies around the world–and Judy's classical piano teacher when she was young. Judy Collins, now 79, is as creatively vigorous as ever, writing, touring worldwide, and nurturing fresh talent. She is a modern day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.

Blue Miracle & The Jello Boys: Wilmer's Park Reunion! (Dance Floor)
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Blue Miracle & The Jello Boys: Wilmer's Park Reunion! (Dance Floor)

September 21, 2019

Blue Miracle, a staple on the mid-Atlantic music scene, have toured from ME to FL, CO to AK and everywhere in between. Their live shows are incredibly diverse, exploring funk, rock, jazz, and country--winning over fans of Santana, Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler, The Band, Gov't Mule, Maceo Parker, Grand Funk Railroad, and The Meters, all acts they've supported. Their debut CD (Blue Miracle) was produced by Johnny Sandlin (Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic), and their second CD, Stick It Out, by Derryberry (DMB, Ben Folds) and Altshiller (Phish). Approaching their 25th year with the same line-up, Blue Miracle consistently delivers a fun and exciting show!

John Splithoff **All Ages Matinee**
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John Splithoff **All Ages Matinee**

September 21, 2019

Emboldened by soul-pop power, dynamic delivery, robust production, and airtight song-craft, the Chicago-born and New York-based artist John Splithoff sparks an enthusiastic reaction from a rapidly growing fan base. “I want people to actually feel good physically when they listen to what I’m doing,” he smiles. “These songs have a strong sense of optimism and a real warmth to them. For me, it’s all about sharing that feeling.” In hindsight, he seemed predestined to do so. Childhood basketball games with his big brother would be soundtracked by unpredictable mixtapes that shuffled from Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” to Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.” Inspired by this R&B undercurrent and a Beatles obsession inherited from his old man, he traded sports for music during high school. After studying jazz and songwriting at University of Miami, John headed New York City and posted up on his best friend’s couch in Harlem, penning innumerable ideas on guitar, piano, and bass and recording early demos.“ I moved to New York without a plan,” he admits. “I really didn’t know where I was headed, but I just kept writing and there was one riff I couldn’t stop humming. Said riff comprised the backbone for his independent breakthrough single “Sing to You.” Driven by a hypnotic owl, breezy guitar, and an unbreakable bounce, the track generated a staggering 38 million streams and occupied coveted real estate on noted Spotify playlists and in the fall of 2019, reached the top 10 at Adult Radio. The simmering duet “Show Me” [feat. Madison Ryann Ward] maintained this hot streak with over 25 million streams as he inked a deal with East West Records. Meanwhile, he landed features from Billboard, Okayplayer, and more. Boasting these early fan favorites as well as five other jams, his 2018 debut EP Make It Happen merges message and melody seamlessly now.“  The title Make It Happen is a reminder to myself not to focus on the destination, but to enjoy the journey with those around me,” he goes on. “It’s a pep talk to myself and anybody else willing to listen.” With touring on deck and recent festival appearances at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and more, Make It Happen ultimately represents something of a mantra for John. “It’s a mindset,” he leaves off. Those words Make It Happen hold a lot of meaning. I hope my songs spread optimism and encourage people to be better versions of themselves. That’s what music does for me.”

The Wendi & Justin Comedy Show feat. Wendi Townsend & Justin Schlegel
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The Wendi & Justin Comedy Show feat. Wendi Townsend & Justin Schlegel

September 20, 2019

Join us for some laughs with Justin Schlegel and Wendi Townsend of 98 Rock! Also featuring Street Bike Tommy and your host/emcee, Eric Navarro!

R.E.I.G.N. ft Kirby Lane & Davonne D'Neil "Soul Night"
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R.E.I.G.N. ft Kirby Lane & Davonne D'Neil "Soul Night"

September 19, 2019

It’s been said that a family that prays together, stays together. It could also be said that a family that sings together, stays together. Family is at the heart of the contemporary Gospel group, R.E.I.G.N. Consisting of a diverse connection of family relationships – father to son, cousin to cousin and niece to uncle, the gifted singing aggregation has one mission in mind: to bring others into the family of God while exalting the name of Jesus. Known for their impeccable harmonies, dynamic delivery and riveting performances and also recognized for opening up for artists such as Lee Williams & The Spiritual QC’s, The Williams Brothers, Jason Nelson and Earnest Pugh, R.E.I.G.N., formerly known as Remnant, has been catching the attention of the Gospel music fans. Prepping their sophomore release, R.E.I.G.N. is set to inspire the nation with melodies from Heaven. Founded in 1997, the ensemble launched from their home base in Maryland, specifically in the Broadneck Peninsula area, from Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church. All of them oozing with talent and active in their church’s music ministry, the family members felt their calling extended outside the walls of their church; it was at that moment that they decided to form Remnant. They quickly gained a following locally and began performing at churches and community events. Since they started, they’ve performed at various churches, banquets and festivals throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. Known for their authentic worship, vocal prowess and superior musicianship, they built a reputation as truly gifted singers and musicians.  Ultimately, the ensemble, led by David Stansbury, stepped into the studio to record their first project. God’s Promise, a six-song EP, included tracks like "Psalm 95," "He's Worthy," "I Recommend Jesus," and the CD’s title tune. Also featured were two additional tracks, "So Many Reasons" and a unique rendition of "The Lord's Prayer". The moving songs garnered coveted airplay on Baltimore and Annapolis area Gospel radio stations. R.E.I.G.N.’s principal songwriter, Alvin Stansbury, father of David and the elder statesman of the ensemble, is responsible for the well-crafted and relatable songs recorded by the group. The combination of great songwriting and soulful execution was a formula for success. The musical offering debuted strong and further solidified the group’s bright future as artists and music ministers. Although most of their music is more modern in its approach, they are well-versed sonically and use sounds from traditional Gospel, soul and R&B to create a vibe all their own. “I would say that we are a mixture of musical styles,” says Jasmine Hall, the group’s only female member. In speaking about the elder Stansbury, Hall says, “He brings all that he gleaned from groups like the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Take 6 and Earth, Wind and Fire and merges it with today’s sounds. The combination gives us our own unique sound.” That “unique sound”, showcased on God’s Promise, set the group apart and Gospel music lovers near and far have been taking note.  In 2019, the group felt a shift in the direction of the ensemble; the desire for a new name followed. Just one day after brainstorming about the new moniker for the group, the acronym R.E.I.G.N. dropped in the spirit of Donald “DJ” Hunt Jr., a member of the group. R.E.I.G.N. stands for Revolutionary Evangelists Igniting God’s Nation and it’s the new mission of these gifted believers and talented singers and musicians. R.E.I.G.N. consists of members David Stansbury (lead vocals), Alvin Stansbury (keyboard), Jasmine Hall (alternate lead vocals), Janathan “Nate” Crutchfield (lead vocals), Donald “DJ” Hunt Jr. (vocals), William Ray (alternate lead vocals), Sean Hunt (keyboard), Wayne Curtis (bass), D'angelo Scruggs-Lee (drums) and Rashon Savage (drums, keyboard). Each member was raised in the church and all had a parent that sang in a group. With a new name comes a new project and the group is excited about the upcoming release. R.E.I.G.N. is readying a brand new project for 2019, one that is sure to give the saints music to dance to and lift hands to. Fans who have been waiting with bated breath for new music from the group will find their wait worth it with the tracks, “Leaning” and “It Was You”. R.E.I.G.N.’s first two singles from the sophomore CD will be available in the spring, with the full release dropping later in the year. The ensemble is excited about the new music, but each member of R.E.I.G.N. sees music as just a vehicle to get a very important message across to people. Alvin Stansbury says, “We don’t write or record a song just to say we completed a song. It’s important that God be the writer; He needs to be the composer. We let Him send the message.” It’s this universal message of faith that attracts all ages and ethnicities to R.E.I.G.N.’s ministry.  All of the members enjoy the ministry and the family fellowship. “One of the reasons I love being part of the group is because we really love the Lord,” says William Ray. “Another thing I love is that we are all family. When we come together, there’s nothing but love here. And most of all, all of us do our best to live the life we sing about”. David Stansbury sums it up by saying, “This group has a purpose. We are trying to change people’s lives with our music. I love what we’re doing and I love singing with my family.

Pam Tillis
Rams Head On Stage

Pam Tillis

September 18, 2019

As the child of Country Music Royalty, Pam Tillis was determined from a young age to find her own way in music as a singer and songwriter. After many false starts with her own recording career, including a pop single on Elektra and 1984’s “Above And Beyond The Doll Of Cutey” for Warner Brothers, Tillis came to the attention of Tim Dubois who headed up the Nashville office of Arista records. After much soul searching, Tillis made the commitment to make an honest country record. The album “Put Yourself In My Place” yielded 2 number ones, 2 top five singles, and one top twenty hits and in its first year the album was certified gold. Tillis followed with 3 platinum albums on Arista “Homeward Looking Angel” in 1992, “Sweethearts Dance” in 1994 and an Arista “Greatest Hits” in 1997. Tillis achieved 6 number 1 songs during this time including “Shake the Sugar Tree”, “Mi Vida Loca”, “When You Walk In The Room”, “In Between Dances” “Don’t Tell Me What To Do” and “Maybe It Was Memphis” while 14 of Pam’s other singles landed in the top ten and top twenty. Pam Tillis fell in love with music at an early age. Band, chorus, talent shows, church and the creative community of Nashville all helped to shape the young singer. Growing up, Pam was in a variety of bands, spanning from jazz and alternative country to top 40. She sang demos and lent her voice to many national jingles including Coke, Country Time Lemonade and a Coors Silver Bullet with country superstar, Alan Jackson. At the same time, Tillis worked as a staff writer for Elektra Asylum Publishing and later took a job writing for Warner Brothers Publishing, which resulted in her songs being recorded by some of the biggest names throughout all genres of music, including artists like Chaka Khan, Juice Newton, Dan Seals, Gloria Gaynor, Conway Twitty and the top ten “Someone Else’s Trouble Now “for Highway 101. Pam has performed on the stages of Broadway in New York, modeled on the pages of Glamour Magazine and is a proud member of The Grand Ole Opry. Some of Pam’s most memorable award moments are being a 3-time CMA award winner including the prestigious 1994’s Female Vocalist Of The Year Award, and being nominated multiple times for Grammy’s Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1993 for “Maybe It Was Memphis, in 1996 for “Mi Vida Loca” and in 1998 for “All The Good Ones Are Gone”. Pam is also proud to be a 9-time Academy of Country Music Award nominee, a 2-time Grammy award winner and 6-time Grammy nominee, and an American Music Award’s nominee. Most recently, Pam has celebrated an IBMA award win in 2004 for Recorded Event Of The Year “Livin’ Lovin’ Losin’” and most recently a 2012 IBMA Song Of The Year nomination for co-writing, Dale Ann Bradley’s “Somewhere South Of Crazy”. Though Pam has rolled easily with the tides and has drawn something from every new twist the ever-changing country music world has shown her, Pam Tillis has always insisted on writing and cutting songs that speak from the soul. The results have been records that emanate an almost painful beauty. With more than 30 singles charting on US Billboard charts, 10 studio albums including her favorite, the critically acclaimed 2002 “It’s All Relative” (a tribute to her father, the great Mel Tillis), and 3 other releases “Rhinestoned”, “Recollection” and “Just In Time For Christmas” off her own label, Stellar Cat Records. In 2012 Red River Entertainment released ‘Dos Divas’ a Country Duo album with fellow superstar Lorrie Morgan under the name Grits and Glamour. Whether it’s on the elaborate stages of the Grand Ole Opry or in the intimate setting of Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, you will experience that feeling of delight that comes from Pam Tillis singing exactly what she is meant to sing at that moment. Pam Tillis’ star continues to shine brightly in the 3rd decade of her career and is currently touring extensively on her own as well as with her “Grits And Glamour” tour partner, country star, Lorrie Morgan.

Jake Shimabukuro
Rams Head On Stage

Jake Shimabukuro

September 17, 2019

Almost everyone in Hawaii has strummed a ukulele at one time or another. But at the age of 14, Jake Shimabukuro realized that he was doing something a little different with the four-stringed instrument – OK, a lot different. Shimabukuro’s wholly unique approach to the ukulele started early. As a youngster growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, Shimabukuro started playing the instrument at the age of four, learning the basics from his mother, Carol, and then developing his craft further by studying the likes of musical masters such as Eddie Kamae, Ohta-San and Peter Moon. As he matured, Shimabukuro also found inspiration from guitar players, drummers, pianists, and singers. Even athletes helped fuel the intensity of his artistic fire. In 2005, Shimabukuro’s touring career really came to life with a video on YouTube. “I didn’t even know what YouTube was at the time, so I was totally surprised when people started telling me they’d seen a video of me playing ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’” he says. “Before I got a chance to check it out myself, the video had gone viral and a lot of music industry folks seemed to know about it. It was crazy!” Shimabukuro’s deeply beautiful and original take on George Harrison’s love ballad, one which captured colors and moods never associated with the ukulele before, opened the floodgates – now legions of new music lovers had to hear this instrumental marvel – and the 2006 release of Gently Weeps (produced by Mac McAnally), which mixed his own originals with equally adventurous versions of “Ave Maria” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” was an unqualified success. Shimabukuro’s records have topped the Billboard World Music Charts on numerous occasions, and as a live performer he has become one of the hottest tickets around. He’s played with world-renowned orchestras and at prestigious venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House, and has dazzled audiences at music festivals including Bonnaroo, SXSW, the Playboy Jazz Festival and Fuji Rock Festival. He even performed for that rarest of audiences: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Not too shabby for a humble young man from Hawaii and his trusty ukulele. Even with the constant demands on his time – Shimabukuro tours roughly half the year and makes frequent appearances on media outlets such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, A Prairie Home Companion and NPR’s Morning Edition – Shimabukuro’s album output hasn’t slowed. In 2016, he recorded the all-original Nashville Sessions at Music City’s famed Ronnie’s Place studio with producer R.S. Field (Steve Earle, Webb Wilder) and the ace rhythm section of bassist Nolan Verner and drummer Evan Hutchings. And now he’s returned to the same city and studio – and with the same gang, too (augmented by guitarist Dave Preston) – for his newest record, The Greatest Day, which will be released on August 31, 2018. “I had such a great time working with R.S. Field on Nashville Sessions,” Shimabukuro explains, “and I knew I wanted to continue working with him on The Greatest Day. On the last record, it was pretty much the sound of a live trio, which sounded fresh, raw and organic. We were basically writing and improvising in the studio. Now we’ve expanded to a quartet, which has added more colors and variety to the overall production. Once we recorded the live takes, we experimented with overdubs, and added horns, strings and keys, and other funky sounds. There are even some vocals on a few cuts.” The 12 tracks that comprise The Greatest Day feature some of Shimabukuro’s most imaginative and adventuresome playing yet. Half of the album is devoted to originals, on which the instrumentalist reaches new heights of compositional distinction. And on the covers, Shimabukuro’s prodigious skills allow him to achieve the impossible, transcending his material – no mean feat considering some of the classics and standards he’s tackling. Among the self-penned tunes, there’s the blissed-out title track, so effervescent and airy that it transports the listener into the clouds. Shimabukuro wrote the song the night before going into the studio. Shimabukuro, Verner and Hutchings recorded their parts first. Later, Dave Preston added a joyous, Edge-like guitar riff that really finished the tune. “It came together so quickly,” Shimabukuro says, “and when I heard the final mix, I just thought, ‘Wow, this has been the greatest day!’” “Pangram” has already turned heads in concert. Titled after a sentence that uses all the letters in the alphabet (“like ‘the quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog’”), it’s based on a chromatic scale that utilizes all the notes in the Western music scale. But even non-musicologists will ride happily along its rivers of cascading melodies and its pumping, rock-soul rhythms. Another treasure is “Straight A’s,” a carefree and vibrant ride guaranteed to lift spirits, on which Shimabukuro’s soulful soloing recalls one of his influences, Carlos Santana. The song was inspired by the A string on the ukulele. “I wanted to write something where the ‘A’ note could ring out through the entire song.” “Mahalo John Wayne” is a flat-out stunner, a delicate melody that transforms into a grand-scale cinematic symphony. Discussing its origins, Shimabukuro explains that his father’s favorite actor is John Wayne (“He named me Jake after one of the Duke’s characters, in the movie ‘Big Jake’”), and that the two of them would often watch Westerns together. “Those are some great memories of mine,” he says, “so, I’m saying ‘thank you’ to John Wayne for my name in this song. In Hawaiian, ‘mahalo’ means ‘thank you.’” As always, Shimabukuro’s playing has a wonderful quality to it – there’s an innocence, as if each phrase feels new to him. This sense of discovery is abundant on his astonishing reinterpretations of songs such as the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” now re-imagined as a driving and insistent ballad, brimming with furious jazz chords and a spirited back-and-forth between Shimabukuro and dobro legend Jerry Douglas. “It was such an honor to have Jerry guest on the record,” Shimabukuro says. “He was only going to play on one tune, but we had such a great time that he stayed and played on two more tracks. I hope we can do more together one day.” The two go toe to toe on Jimi Hendrix’s freak-flag classic “If 6 Was 9,” spiraling off into a spacey, jazz-rock odyssey that manages to be reverential to the original while simultaneously distinguishing itself as a bold new tour de force. Shimabukuro’s wild wah-wah lines form transfixing sheets of sound, and he even pulls off a neat trick, varying some of his melodies to recall another Hendrix standard, “Little Wing.” “I wanted to throw in something unexpected, because that’s what I felt like Hendrix would do.” The Zombies’ psychedelic rock nugget “Time of the Season” was one Shimabukuro often heard in his house growing up, and on The Greatest Day he trips into nostalgia with an elegant rendition that features some of his smoothest, Wes Montgomery-like phrases. “I couldn’t wait to play this one for my parents,” he says. “As soon as they heard it, they were like, ‘Oh, wow! You covered the Zombies!’ They thought that was pretty cool.” The Greatest Day concludes on a stately note, with a sparse yet exquisite reading of Leonard Cohen’s iconic hymn “Hallelujah.” Each line that Shimabukuro plays seeps into one’s heart and soul, proving that music is indeed the universal balm. “I had recorded it before, but after Cohen passed I wanted to re-record it – I felt a new emotional response to it. It seemed like the perfect way to end the album.” Only he didn’t end it there: Shimabukuro was particularly excited about his playing on a recent round of dates with bassist Nolan Verner and guitarist Dave Preston. The addition of a guitarist allowed him to solo more expressively than ever before. The digital edition of The Greatest Day includes a beautiful live version of “Blue Roses Falling” that features Shimabukuro dueting with cellist Meena Cho as well as a concert recording of “Kawika” (originally made famous by the Sunday Manoa). The CD and vinyl versions of the album include both tracks along with three more cuts including immersive takes on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and Shimabukuro’s own “Dragon,”. There’s even a slinky, ultra-funky interpretation of Bill Withers’ hit single “Use Me” that sees Preston showing off his soulful vocal chops. They were recorded live with no overdubs at various venues by engineer Brett Lind and mixed by Jack Clarke (who engineered Nashville Sessions and The Greatest Day). Shimabukuro has already been performing some of the material from The Greatest Day live, and he’ll soon work more songs into his set. In mid-July, he embarks on an extensive tour of the U.S and a fall tour of Japan. “I’m really excited to play the new songs in my shows,” he says. “Making this record was one of the highlights I’ve had in the studio. I couldn’t be happier with the sounds and arrangements. But most of all, we had a ton of fun making it.” Along with his tremendous professional achievements, Shimabukuro’s personal life is filled with riches: He’s a loving husband and proud father of two boys. While balancing career with family, he also remains firmly rooted in his commitment to community, frequently performing at schools in Hawaii and overseas, urging youngsters to find their passion and live drug-free.