Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guy Clark Releases New CD: My Favorite Picture of You

Can't wait to grab this one from Guy Clark. Garden and Gun Magazine has published Cornmeal Waltz - so check out that track. 
My Favorite Picture Of You, the first studio album in four years from legendary songwriter Guy Clark, is set for a July 23 release on Dualtone Records. As one of the most revered songwriters of his generation, Clark embodies the term “songwriter’s songwriter.” The simplicity of the recording shines brightly while capturing Clark’s beautifully understated and road worn vocals. Clark co-wrote 10 of the 11 tracks on My Favorite Picture Of You and dug very deep for each performance on this truly inspired collection.

The album’s heartfelt title track was written for Susanna Clark, Guy’s wife of 40 years, and a successful songwriter in her own right, who passed away in 2012. If a picture says a thousand words, then the cover photo of My Favorite Picture Of You declares an entire life. The cover depicts Clark, slightly blurred in the background, holding up an old photo of his beloved from the 1970s. According to Clark, Susanna walked in and found he and friend, the late Townes Van Zandt drunk, again. She stormed out of the house, which is when the Polaroid was taken.

The song is a loving tribute that melts your heart while making you smile. As a master songwriter, Guy Clark has always made us smile by infusing his wry wit into thoughtful storytelling.
Clark’s vocals on My Favorite Picture Of You exude truth, wisdom and warmth, only touching on the insight he has gained from an extraordinary life. From the delicate sweetness of “Cornmeal Waltz” to the poignant story of the veteran returned a changed man in “Heroes” to the determined “Hell Bent On A Heartache,” Clark delivers a standout album in a four-decade career overflowing with high points.

In 2004, Guy Clark was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and in 2013, he received the Academy of Country Music’s Poet’s Award, along with Hank Williams. However, Clark’s multiple Grammy Award nominations and accolades merely hint at the immeasurable impact his songs and recordings have had. He has been a mentor to artists such as Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell and his songs have been covered by a multitude of artists, including Johnny Cash, Brad Paisley, David Allen Coe, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffet, Asleep At The Wheel and many others. After 40 years of songwriting, Guy Clark continues to be lauded and admired by his peers, critics and artists young and old from different genres...and he is not done yet.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mike Beck to Release CD Tribute - Benefiting War Vets and Rescued Horses

Here's a good cause to follow - Mike Beck - old time Americana folk in the tradition of Ramblin' Jack Elliot - to release an upcoming CD Tribute that benefits veterans and rescued horses - via The Joyful Horse Project. Here's the full press release:
AUSTIN, Texas — Mike Beck calls himself a cowboy troubadour, but for him, that means far more than donning a tall hat and playing twangy guitar. He’s actually a bona-fide horseman, with years of range-riding and cattle-herding experience that gives his music an unmistakable authenticity. On his new album, TRIBUTE (Sept. 17, 2013), Beck imbues each song with the trail dust and vast vistas of his beloved American West, and celebrates the unique bond humans and horse share.

That bond holds even more significance for him since he helped develop a groundbreaking horsemanship program that pairs wounded veterans with abused or neglected horses so they can rehabilitate one another. Working with the Joyful Horse Project, an Austin-based a nonprofit dedicated to holistic equine rehabilitation and education, Beck teaches intuitive horsemanship methods he learned from legends Bill and Tom Dorrance and others. When human and animal understand how to communicate with one another, they can establish trust — the unifying, harmonious bond that empowers both. And helps them heal. Beck is donating all proceeds from album sales to this therapeutic program.

Recorded in Austin, TRIBUTE offers 11 tracks of Beck’s cowboy-themed Americana, ranging from folk balladry (“20 Bucks a Gallon”) to bluesier tunes and honky-tonkers. He employs his signature Fender B-bender on the tracks “Don’t Hurt My Heart” and “Amanda Come Home,” the latter one of two songs paying homage to military veterans. The other is a cover of Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Work Together,” made famous by Canned Heat and Bryan Ferry.

“I wanted the album to help both horses and people come together in true partnership,” Beck explains. TRIBUTE is the latest development in a partnership begun when Joyful Horse Project president Beth Rand approached Beck about starting the program.

“Veterans are amazingly well suited to the challenge of working with these horses,” says Rand. “By background and training, they are keenly aware of the bonds of trust required to perform any task with sureness and confidence. These unique talents help the horses overcome their fears and become more suitable for further training and adoption.”

Beck jumped on board immediately. “I knew we had the makings of a great story,” he says. “It’s a win-win for all involved.”

Horsemanship and music have long intertwined in Beck’s world; he’s worked at both in California, Nevada and Montana.

“Being a horseman and musician are similar in many ways. They’re both about feel,” he told Western Horseman magazine in a 2012 feature story. In 2009, that magazine placed two of his compositions on a list titled “The 13 Best Cowboy Songs of All Time,” ranking him among heroes such as Ian Tyson, Lucinda Williams, Tom Russell and Gene Autry, the original singing cowboy. On TRIBUTE, Beck covers Tyson’s ode to America’s wild mustangs.

Beck’s even earned praise from no less a legend than Woody Guthrie contemporary Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, who says of Beck’s picking skills, “Mike Beck plays the guitar like a Byrd. His strings do things that mine could never do. They obey the slightest finger-touch commands like a fine reining horse.”
Beck will perform a benefit concert for the Joyful Horse Project on Oct. 18, followed by a two-day horsemanship clinic Oct. 19 and 20, both at Travaasa Austin. 

For pre-release album purchases and donations:

For information and bookings:

The Joyful Horse Project: Beth Rand, 512.467.4893,
Media: Jill McGuckin, 512.217.9404,
Radio: Ed Spacek, 512.261.6160,

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tony Joe White Celebrates 70th B-Day with a New Track "The Gift" via LA Times

I can't believe Tony Joe White, the ol' Swamp Fox, is 70. Wow. But he's not slowing down. In September he is releasing a new CD, Hoodoo, via Yep Roc Records. In honor of his 70th birthday (July 23, 2013), White released a new track "The Gift" from his forthcoming LP.

You can stream "The Gift" via The Los Angeles Times and\or purchase at iTunes.
“The gift is music and songs" White explains. "But it was just too powerful for this boy in the song, so he sat up in an old slave graveyard with a bottle of wine and a guitar.” As the protagonist hangs his head in lamentation, figures walk out of the past and appear before him, led by a mysterious woman. “These figures were Robert Johnson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and guys from off the plantations, and she was protecting them, because they hadn’t crossed over. They didn’t know how to. But this strange white boy on a tombstone starts singing and playing and singing this tune and…you can hear how it ends in the song, but it gives me chillbumps when I think about it.”

Austin based Sara Hickman's debut release on Kirtland Records is now available

We received this press release for Austin based Sara Hickman. Looking forward to listening...

One of Performing Songwriter's 100 Most Influential Independent Artists, Sara Hickman releases her Kirtland Records debut album Shine today. The 10-song collection, which blossomed out of simple poems and visions on pieces of paper, is an adventurous effort for the official “State Musician of Texas,” whose songs were brought to life with guidance from Los Angeles-based musician, producer and fellow songwriter Jim Jacobsen.

“Usually, I have a plan, an entire concept for a recording in mind, and I then write the songs to fit into that ideology,” explains Hickman. “However, with Shine, I just had fun. I wanted to take risks and just go with the flow, starting with those scraps of ideas.” After previously recording in Austin, Nashville and New York, Hickman also shifted her creative environment for making the album, relocating to L.A., away from family and friends to experience a different energy. She worked alone in the studio with Jacobsen, whose credits include the Eels, Parthenon Huxley, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and hundreds of TV shows and commercials. Shine was mastered by Dave McNair (Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen).
“Making music is such a weird job because who knows where it comes from?” she says. “There's nothing, then … Bam! A song exists. And if it connects with other people, that weirdness blends into blissful camaraderie. Or it pisses people off. But I guess that's what art/music is supposed to do – cause a reaction. Otherwise, you're just a feral cat, but you aren't aware of the fact.” As Rolling Stone puts it, "Tuneful, clever and carefully observed, Sara Hickman's material has all the strengths expected of a contemporary Texas songwriter, plus one more - whimsy."

Within its certain spontaneity, Shine testifies to Hickman’s diverse and emotional songwriting capabilities that appeal to a wide range of audiences. The title track offers a motivational message that inspires listeners, as Hickman puts it, “to come out of their shell.” Meanwhile, “You Are Not Alone” is also an optimistic, compassionate song that promises hope and encouragement to anyone who may be withdrawn or feeling isolated.

Hickman doesn’t just write and sing about those who face day-to-day challenges, she lives it. She is renowned for civic outreach initiatives, having raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Dallas Dance for Life, House the Homeless, Bryan’s House, Amnesty International, homeless shelters and Mothers’ Milk Bank. She has visited Romania to deliver clothing, money and supplies to orphans, and personally raised more than $50,000 for the Hill Country Youth Ranch, a safe haven for severely abused children in Ingram, Texas. Austin has twice celebrated “Sara Hickman Day” in 1996 and 2009 to honor not only her musical accomplishments, but also her dedication and community involvement.

Hickman has been lauded by the Dallas Observer and the Austin Music Awards in categories including Best Musician, Best Producer, Best Indie Release, Best Major Label Release and Best Female Vocalist. The Maverick Report proclaimed, "Cut to the chase - Sara Hickman. Genius. Not only is she a singer-songwriter par excellence, but she possesses a self-confidence and empowerment unheard of for a creative artist in this industry."

Coinciding with the release of Shine, Hickman is pleased to have built a promising new relationship with Luna Guitars. The mission of Luna Guitars is to craft fine stringed instruments with artistic sensibility that are comfortable, affordable, and inspirational to people of all ages and walks of life. Hickman found the guitar manufacturer to be an ideal match and will be taking Luna Guitars on the road for her 2013 Shine tour.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Greencards to release Sweetheart of the Sun

We are happy to report that The Greencards will be releasing a new CD August 20th, titled Sweetheart of the Sun. Check out the clip for Black Black Water, premiering exclusively on USA TODAY. Here's what the band has to say:

On August 20 we will release our first themed record on our independent label, Darling Street Records. Produced by Gary Paczosa, Sweetheart of the Sun embraces these closely related subjects and weaves them throughout our twelve-song record: Water. Travel. Motion.
Our first independent release, The Brick Album in 2011, was only made possible because of our collaboration with you guys, our supporters. And now with Sweetheart of the Sun we turn the tables and present new music to you on our own.
The songs we wrote, the music we made are the result of working closely with some of the incredibly talented friends we have around us, along with personal life experiences. We are inspired to no end by our collaborators: Carl Miner, Jedd Hughes, Kai Welch, Gary Paczosa, Sons of Fathers, Aoife O'Donovan, Luke Reynolds, Jon Randall and Andrea Zonn, all of whom contributed to making this album.
We designed Sweetheart of the Sun to be listened to in it's entirety, segueing songs in and out of one-another. We hope digital listeners will choose full-album download over single downloads and enjoy this musical journey.
We'd love Sweetheart of the Sun to be heard by as many people as possible, but as most of you know The Greencards became independent artists in 2010.This means we do not have record label backing, so we we need your help to get the word out. Please consider sharing this newsletter to your friends and sharing our video on facebook, twitter pages and other social media sites. I know we've discovered some of our favorite music this way!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Brotherhood Tour: Los Lobos & Los Lonely Boys Bring Tex-Mex to Wolf Trap

Last night we were fortunate enough to grab lawn seats Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys at the Wolf Trap - Filene Center.  This was the second time I've seen the two bands paired together at Wolf Trap and in my eyes they are so close, they are listed consecutively on the site (11 & 12).  The three brothers started the night and even though their last few CDs haven't received the critical acclaim as their self titled debut CD, they are remarkable musicians. And they showed it this evening, JoJo on bass, Henry on lead, and Ringo behind the drums - these bros rock. Yes, they had to play the obligatory Heaven in their encore - but everything else was pure jamming.

Los Lobos followed and continued a twenty five year tradition of playing outstanding Latin infused rock. Most of the songs were from the 20th anniversary re-release of Kiko -  which I had to add to my collection - particularly since the band was signing anything after the show. 

The two bands continue the Brotherhood Tour all summer and into the fall, with Alejandro Escovedo joining in. That's the only way this evening could have been better. Cheers.

Friday, July 5, 2013

D.C.'s Weekend Live #Music at #Wine #Beer (July 5-7)

Here is the weekend roundup (July 5th-7th) for live music at the local wineries and breweries surrounding Washington D.C.. Calendars available at and

Friday July 5th
Demetrious - Sunset Hills Vineyard & Winery Purcellville, VA
Lenny Burridge - Dry Mill Vineyards & Winery Leesburg, VA
Dangerous Mood - Notaviva Vineyards Purcellville, VA
Jim Counter - Paradise Springs Winery Clifton, VA
Todd Marcus - Black Ankle Vineyards Mt. Airy, MD  
Old Bay String Band - Elk Run Vineyards Mt. Airy, MD
7th Son of WV - Quattro Goomba’s Winery Aldie, VA
Joe Ham - 8 Chains North Winery Waterford, VA
Lawrence McKenna - Doukenie Winery Hillsboro, VA
Emily Guagliardi - Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards Hamilton, VA  
Crys Matthews - Port City Brewing Company Alexandria, VA

Saturday July 6th     
Steele and Oglevee - Breaux Vineyards Hillsboro, VA
Andy Hawk & The Train Wreck Endings - Casanel Vineyards Leesburg, VA
Karl Stoll - Sunset Hills Vineyard & Winery Purcellville, VA 
Gary Smallwood - 868 Estate Vineyards Purcellville, VA
Jerry Irwin - Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn Delaplane, VA
Joe Daniel - Hidden Brook Winery Leesburg, VA
Rob Thorworth - Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard Dickerson, MD
Eric Campbell - Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards Hamilton, VA
Adam Bruno - Notaviva Vineyards Purcellville, VA     
FarAway - North Gate Vineyards Purcellville, VA
2nd Story Duo - Paradise Springs Winery Clifton, VA
Human Wheels - Tarara Vineyard & Winery Leesburg, VA
Jason Masi - Quattro Goomba’s Winery Aldie, VA
Mercury Rising - Dogfish Head Alehouse Fairfax, VA  

Sunday July 7th

Billy Caldwell - Breaux Vineyards Hillsboro, VA
Steele and Oglevee - Dry Mill Vineyards & Winery Leesburg, VA 
Jim Counter - Sunset Hills Vineyard & Winery Purcellville, VA
Jon Fritz - Barrel Oak Winery Delaplane, VA
Emily Henry - The Wine Kitchen Leesburg, VA
Matthew Mills - Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn Delaplane, VA
Mike O’Connell - 8 Chains North Winery Waterford, VA
Jonathan Lee - 868 Estate Vineyards Purcellville, VA
2nd Story Band - Hidden Brook Winery Leesburg, VA
Freddie Long - Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard Dickerson, MD
Chelsea McBee - Port City Brewing Company Alexandria, VA
Doug Parks - Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards Hamilton, VA
Wait and See - Paradise Springs Winery Clifton, VA

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Album Review: Blackmore's Night - Dancer and the Moon

A couple weeks back I received a review CD that seemed vaguely familiar. The name of the band is Blackmore's Night, then I realized that the Blackmore side of the equation was Ritchie Blackmore of early Deep Purple fame. In other words, the Deep Purple played on the classic rock stations. Not having followed Blackmore, I assumed a rockin' Smoke on the Water style CD - that is after all, my favorite Deep Purple song. Wrong. Nothing that I imagined. Oh yea, there is still plenty of rockin' guitar - but this time surrounded by flutes and French Horns and the mesmerizing vocals of his wife, Candice Night. For Blackmore's Night plays Renaissance music, and not the upbeat dance styles like Great Big Sea or Scythian - but more traditional old time Renaissance music - ballads and minstrels.

And it works; Blackmore & Night nail this. And I know what you are thinking, Renaissance music. But just like Blackmore expanded his musical repertoire - we all need to do the same. Starting right here.  This is one CD I'm forcing all my rock-n' roll friends to listen. And did I say Night's voice is mesmerizing? Unbelievably so. Pair this CD with your favorite mead - for me - Orchid Cellar Winery Knight.
  • I Think It's Going To Rain Today - soothing voice followed by some rockin' guitar
  • Troika - Fleetwood Mac meets Abba
  • The Last Leaf - when I fell in love with Night's voice; forget that Blackmore is part of the band
  • Lady in Black - Rennaissance Rock
  • Minstrels in the Hall - gypsy jazz guitar instrumental
  • Temple of the King ** - has it all - guitar - vocals - story
  • Dancer and the Moon - traditional - wood winds - almost ABBA-ish in a good way
  • Gilliard - traditional instrumental
  • The Ashgrove - wins in the best guitar in a lullaby category
  • Somewhere Over the Sea -  the angel is singingopver the sea
  • The Moon is Shining (Somewhere Over the Sea) ** - get your percussion and guitar ready - this is not your everyday minstrel song
  • The Spinner's Tale - is that a flute?
  • Carry on... Jon - another instrumental - Blackmore struts his stuff 
** Fan Favorite