Monday, September 30, 2013

Album Review: The Coal Men - Escalator

Like Americana music like me? Then you need to get a hold of the The Coal Men - Escalator. Along with longtime drummer Dave Ray, Nashville based Dave Coleman knows how to write songs with meaning, not the gobblygook that passes for pop-county today. This CD has some blues tendencies, outlaw country, and pure rock - what's not to like. Just have a listen to Broken Heartland or Tennessee. The CD was recorded live at the studio so it also as that raw - live music feeling. Need more validation? The CD is released from Todd Snider's Aimless Records and The Coal Men will be opening for Snider during an October tour.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen performing "Together We'll Fly" at the 2013 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

We want to congratulation Mike Munford for being named 2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year.  You can catch Mike and the rest of Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen from this performance at the 2013 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Catching up with Holy Ghost Tent Revival and a Gumbo of Cabinet

Hard to believe that it's been three years since our MyJoogTV video with Holy Ghost Tent Revival and Flying Dog Brewery. Since I hadn't seen the band live in quite a while, jumped at the chance to catch up with the guys when they came to Jammin' Java during a mini-tour with Cabinet.  During this time, there has been a slight personnel change, Patrick settled down with marriage, but Stephen, Matt, Kevin, Hank, Charlie, and Ross have continued to crank out tight and sophisticated music. The sound has changed slightly, still some 20's dixieland (love the horns) and more classic rock. This evening Matt and Kevin fronted a few songs which augmented the diversity in their portfolio. Since our video, HGTR has continued to mature and grow stronger; make sure you check out their remaining dates on this tour and keep alert to a CD release in early Spring 2014.

As for Cabinet, what more can you say about this act? They had the entire club dancing and singing from the first song. And why not, acoustically they are a gumbo of that old time string sound, mixing bluegrass and old time country, with music bellowing from throughout the stage. And then when they went electric - watch out - they can play.  I really need to get down to The Festy to see these guys again. Cheers.

MyJoogTV Episode 2: Holy Ghost Tent Revival at Flying Dog Brewery from MyJoogTV on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mobile Apps for the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion

In preparation for the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, there are two mobile applications that will increase your already high enjoyment level even further.They are theCompass winery and brewery locator and the Rhythm and Roots Reunion mobile app. theCompass will help you find wineries, breweries, and distilleries on your travels to Bristol and a demo is available here.  We always take a side trip on our trip down and theCompass makes planning much easier.

The Bristol Mobile Application will guide you through the festival schedule and allow your to share your plans, comments, photos, through various social media sites. The most impressive features are the ability to create alerts to remind you when a favorite artist is performing and even use geo-location to guide you to the stage or venue. Pretty cool.They also provide biographic information about all the performers as well as videos so that you can research acts that are unfamiliar.  Highly receommended.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion - Celebrating the Birthplace of Country Music

This weekend I'll be in front of some stage; whether standing, sitting, or dancing; whether outside, inside a tent, or in a pool hall. All the time enjoying the incredible array of musicians that the organizers of the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion assemble each year.  For the past four years, this has been a family tradition, navigating the six hours of Route 81 visiting local wineries, viewing the schedule and complaining about conflicts, and then disembarking at the Birthplace of Country Music:
Nashville may be country music’s capitol, but Bristol is the birthplace. It was on State Street in 1927 that talent scout Ralph Peer made the very first country music recordings with The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest Stoneman, and others, for the Victor Talking Machine Company. The recordings known as The Bristol Sessions are recognized internationally as the “Big Bang” of country music.

As much as I anticipate the our annual ritual and agonized over schedules, I wondered (1) how some of this year's performers view the festival and (2) whether they might provide some insight on whom we should watch perform.

Frank Solivan
(1) The musical heritage of Bristol is pretty amazing. It was a melting pot of musical influences. "The first family of country music" was from that area. The Carter family that is. I feel pretty honored to be able to perform in the area where country music and it's off-shoots started.

(2) I definitely want to hear Lucinda Williams! Also want to check out Deer Tick. It'd be great to see The Masters of Bluegrass... [J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, Del McCoury, Jerry McCoury, and Bobby Osborne] what a heavy combo of legends!

The Black Lillies
(1) Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion is exactly what it claims to be. A reunion, a homecoming, a celebration, and a world class music festival. It's an opportunity for fans and musicians to meet once a year on the grounds of the Birthplace of Country music and celebrate what we all cherish and hold in common, a love and respect for the roots of country music. As a country music artist, playing in Bristol ranks right up there with playing The Opry, The Ryman, Tootsies, and all the other sacred country music sites.

(2) The Bristol lineup is always stellar. I have a long list of artists to see this year. In no particular order This Mountain,Folk Soul Revival, Erick Baker, If Birds Could Fly, Uncle Lucius, Chatham County Line, Pokey LaFarge, Paul Thorn, Defibulators, Shovels and Rope, Della Mae, JD McPherson, Dave Eggar, Hayes Carll....aaannnnd....that's about all!

Jenni Lyn Gardner of Della Mae
(1) We are honored to be asked back to play and be part of history in the making that takes place every year at the RRR. The rich musical heritage that was born and still do this day takes place in Bristol in unmatched and we go there hoping to be inspired and inspire others with our music.

(2) Oh there are so many other bands I'm going to try and see perform this year. Shovels and Rope, The Masters of Bluegrass, Chatham County Line, The Black Lillies, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen... There are seriously too many to name.

Paul Thorn
(1) The list of talented artists that came from Bristol is astonishing. The Carter Family, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Jimmy Rogers are all household names. They all left behind great bodies of work that would make any town proud. I am so happy that I will get to perform at this great festival that honors them.

(2) When you are a performer you rarely get to see the other acts. It's always ''set up tear down, set up tear down, set up tear down............"

Daniel Rodriguez of Elephant Revival
(1) This festival is certainly an important festival given the musical heritage, and given that its a blast to be at.  To be walking the border of Tennessee and Virginia with great music and vendors on both sides is a great scenario amidst life.  Important enough for us to return consecutive years!!

(2) Last year I walked around without any expectations of who to listen too.  It was kind of nice to not know many of the bands there, and to just stop where the music pulls you in.  That's the beauty of Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion

Enter the Haggis

1) Editor's note: This will be the band's first foray into the Bristol area, so they will be learning about it's rich musical heritage along with us.

2) There are a few acts we're excited about. Hey Rosetta is at the top of the list - they're a Canadian band and they're incredible. Getting to see them up close on a festival stage is going to be a real thrill for us!
Elephant Revival is another act we've heard great things about but never seen. We'll be sharing a stage with them, so that should be fun. Some friends of ours will be joining us at the festival as well: The Steel Wheels, Burning Bridget Cleary and Scythian are all great bands we've played with numerous times, and they'll all put on great shows.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Album Review: Katie McNally - Flourish

Like listening to the fiddle? Gaelic styled music? Then Katie McNally's Flourish is the CD for you.This is all instrumental, all the time - Katie's fiddle backed by the flat guitar, upright bass, piano, and cello. It's soothing music, but also I can't seem to get the final sequence of Napoleon Dynamite out of my mind while listening. Not sure why. I guess its cheerful and soothing. Pair with a pint of Harp or Aberlour Scotch. Cheers.

As a new generation breathes new life into the old tunes, and as young musicians are joyously pulled between multiple traditions, Boston fiddler Katie McNally has arrived as a driving force behind Celtic fiddling in New England. Pushing ever deeper into the Scottish fiddle tradition, Katie’s new album, Flourish, brings both Scottish and Cape Breton music together around the central core of her new compositions in the Celtic tradition. Katie’s a formidable fiddler, capable of drawing forth the unspoken emotions from the old melodies, but also capable of dazzling runs on her instrument. As a tune composer, there’s a real sense of playfulness to her compositions. She writes angular rhythms into her tunes in the subtlest ways, and delights in racing through these rhythms, her fiddle bow bobbing and weaving along the tracetrack she’s created. There’s a lift in her bow, a kind of weightlessness that only the best players have. It’s remarkable to hear this kind of maturity in a so young a fiddler.

Monday, September 2, 2013

CD Review: Patricia Vonne - Rattle My Cage

Let's skip all the small talk. Rattle My Cage, the latest CD from Patricia Vonne rocks. Scheduled to be released this September 10th, the title track sets the pace in a Pat Benatar sounding jam. But let's not forget this is a Texas CD, with collaborations from Alejandro Escovedo, Rosie Flores and the Doyle Bramhall.  And this shows through the next four tracks - particularly in Que Maravilla - my favorite track. She has that sexy, mesmerizing voice when singing in Spanish. Then there's the simple, but powerful Bitter Need, just Vonne and the piano.The last three tracks are pure fun, starting with the jazzed up Paris Trance and then transitioning to some Tex-Mex in Tequileros and the instrumental Mexicali De Chispa. Pretty cool stuff. Cheers.