Casey Rae is a man of many talents, and with William Burroughs and the Cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll he adds “author” to that list. Equal parts history of and on-ramp to all things Burroughs, Cult tells the tales of the long strange trips that artists throughout rock ‘n’ roll history took to worship before their pope of dope,” how the words of one man influenced our modern world in ways we can hardly imagine, and much more!
Brad Mehldau, simply put, is one of the most respected living jazz players on the planet. He’s also one of the most prolific. Think Stephen King levels of prolific, but for music. Many of you may know him from his work covering some Radiohead tunes, but rest assured he is much MUCH more than that. In fact, on his new album Finding Gabriel, he is doing nothing less than searching for the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Suffice to say the album is HEAVY, but it’s also one of the most exhilarating listens of the year in any genre.
PledgeMusic is a crowdfuning platform that aims to help artists of every genre and creed achieve their dreams. Every artist except Wheeler Walker, Jr. it would seem. In an unprecedented move, the artist friendly org recently cancelled the country star/comedian's campaign to raise funds for his upcoming sophomore album, and we've got some questions.
On their second album as a duo, guitarists Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers) are travelling down well worn musical paths, but still manage to kick up some dust along the way. We journey deep into Mount Royal and find out where the music they're making is taking bluegrass and folk, and contemplate a new dawn of acoustic music in a super-untz age.
PLUS! Son Volt is BACK. Crank up "Back Against The Wall" off of their new LP, Notes Of Blue, and be ROCKED.
Jay Farrar has the distinction of having been in two of the genre-defining bands of the alt. country movement, first as a member of Uncle Tupelo and then as the leader of Son Volt. Released in 1995, Son Volt’s debut album Trace has become known as a classic of the genre. Last week, Rhino released a remastered and expanded version of the album for its 20th anniversary, and Farrar came to the Birchmere on Wednesday night as a solo artist (backed by original Son Volt pedal steel player Eric Heywood along with Gary Hunt on electric guitar, mandolin, and fiddle) to support the reissue.
Sometimes a band name doesn’t attempt to be funny, even though it ends up that way. Take Charlottesville’s Sons of Bill, for example. Three of the five members are, in fact, the sons of a guy named Bill. Through three albums and one EP (as well as a new 7” released for last month’s Record Store Day) Sons of Bill have ripped high quality, high energy Son Volt-esque alt-country. Last year’s Sirens, produced by Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven guru David Lowery (who adds his own fantastic drawl here and there), was a glorious amalgamation of old school outlaw country and southern rock but with notable added depth. In short, if there were a band that summed up the intellectual/southern/hippy feel of Charlottesville, Sons of Bill are probably it. They rarely stray outside their comfort zone, but that’s a good thing – any odd asides in the midst of the wonderful Americana they’ve mastered would seem forced.
They’re an amazing live band, honing their talents during a seemingly relentless touring schedule. All five members are extremely talented, and their extended live jams are the stuff of legend. The brothers’ familiarity continually shows as they trade riffs and solos. And the band always seems to kick it up a few notches higher when playing in their home state, so tonight’s show at the State Theater should be a damn good one.
Central Virginia is well represented tonight as the Dericks – also from Charlottesville – will open the show. The Dericks have a more pure country sound and some damn good melodies (think of early Whiskeytown). It’ll be a night of music that will make you want to fire up the barbecue and let summer roll in.