On his follow up to 2018’s The Optimist, Ryan Porter and his friends the West Coast Get Down are once again swinging for the fences and bring jazz into the spotlight for a whole new generation. Rehearsed and recorded in five-hour bursts in multiple locations, Force For Good is a fearless step forward into the future of American jazz that celebrates America’s greatest art form even as it challenges what came before it. Join us as we discuss Porter’s seemingly limitless talent, the normalization of jazz in the popular culture, and much more.
Empire of the Sun brought all the costumes, set props, and backup dancers you know and love for three-night, completely sold-out stop at The Showbox in Seattle, all in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their debut album Walking on a Dream.
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.