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Cornbread Cafe #13: The Black Bear Americana Music Festival

We celebrate the first inaugural Black Bear Americana Musics Festival with potent tracks from The Mammals, Adam Ezra Group, Belle of the Fall, The Nields, Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, The Rad Trads, Violetta Zironi, NuBluzRevue, and the Honey Whiskey Trio.

The Black Bear Americana Music Festival
First ever installment of this huge event to be held at the Goshen Fairgrounds just north of Litchfield, Conn., October 4–8.

Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #13—of the Cornbread Cafe, that new joint on the web offering tasty American Roots treats. We’re located at the five-corners of Americana, Blues, Country, Folk, and Gospel. And sometimes you can catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way.

Keep Reading

TLC #63—We catch up, then cross the line to cover the Poor People’s Campaign

Lt. Gov. candidate Quentin Palfrey, poet Clarrisa Sacherski, Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention, mystery author Chris Wondoloski, The Poor People’s Campaign

Welcome, Greylock Nation, to episode #63 of the Top Left Corner here at the Greylock Glass. We’ll hear more from Carrisa later in the show, and if you behave, I’ll even treat you to one of her recent poems she was kind enough to record and share with us.

A no-foolin'-around sized force of City of Albany and New York State Capitol police was on hand at the June 4 Poor People's Campaign event. Some twenty-seven arrests were made for trespassing and disturbing the peace; photo by Jason Velázquez.
A no-foolin’-around sized force of City of Albany and New York State Capitol police was on hand at the June 4 Poor People’s Campaign event. Some twenty-seven arrests were made for trespassing and disturbing the peace; photo by Jason Velázquez.

We have a pretty sizable show for you this week. Guests include candidate for Lt. Governor, Quentin Palfrey, Poetess Carissa Sacherski, author Chris Wondoloski, organizer of the first ever Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention Jim Wright, AND special coverage of the June 4 Poor People’s Campaign rally and action in Albany, including speaking with North County activists Sam Smith and Reverend Mark Longhurst, Poor People’s Campaign- NY organizer Barbara Smith, and Vocal-NY staff member G.G. Morgan. Keep Reading

Cornbread Cafe #010

Pickxen, Grant Maloy Smith, Scott Thorn, Mikalyn Hay, The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, Parsonsfield

Parsonsfield releases their new EP, WE, March 9, 2018; photo courtesy Signature Sounds Recordings.
Parsonsfield releases their new EP, WE, March 9, 2018; photo courtesy Signature Sounds Recordings.

From Parsonsfield on the release of WE:

“Everyone finds themselves searching for this theoretical ‘thing’ that is supposed to make them happy. Whether it’s a relationship or financial comfort, there’s a goal in our minds that once achieved, we’ll be able to start enjoying life,” says singer/songwriter and banjo player Chris Freeman. “Our circumstances, whether we’re rich or poor, are only half of what determines happiness. The rest is our thoughts, habits and connections with other people,” adds songwriter and mandolin player Antonio Alcorn. “WE is an inner journey to appreciate what you have, and to find happiness no matter what your lot in life.” Keep Reading

Cornbread Cafe #009

Chris Andres, Janie Barnett, The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, Almond&Olive, Keeton Coffman, Honey Whiskey Trio

Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson of Almond&Olive; submitted photo.
Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson of Almond&Olive; submitted photo.

From their website:

Alms and Davidson believe that, when possible, using their platform of musical creation and performance to give back to those in need is a natural extension of their personal goals – to make the world a better place for those who live in it. With that charge, once finished, their debut album will be also be used to help give back. Alms and Davidson have decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from the initial sales of the album to the Jackson Galaxy Foundation (JGF), a foundation founded by Animal Planet’s Jackson Galaxy. JGF will use the funds donated by A&O to help animal shelters bolster their animal adoption programs, rehab crumbling animal housing and enhance vital community animal welfare programs.

Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #9—of the Cornbread Cafe. I am the mongrel, and I’ll be your host today. Be sure to ask your waiter about about this week’s specials, which are all prepared using only the finest ingredients in American Roots music. Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And you can sometimes catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. *

 

Featured in this Episode:

Chris Andres • “Tired Old Town”Tired Old Town
Janie Barnett & Blue Room• “Buy That Thing You”You See This River
The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow • “Poisonous Me”The Heart of the Run
Almond & Olive • “Standing at the Precipice”Standing at the Precipice
Keeton Coffman • “The Tribe” Killer Eyes
Honey Whiskey Trio“The Lone Wild Bird”Rye Woman

We’re going to get right into the music this show, because the hardcopy of the EP, Tired Old Town, by Chris Anres with Gary McDannold showed up in the mail just a couple days ago, and I have been impatient to share it with you. I couldn’t decide between the five tracks on this 2017 release, so I figured we’d go with the title track, Tired Old Town, to get things goin’.

Chris Andres, with Gary McDannold

Events

See, look it that. I invite musicians to send me their music, they do, it shows up on show just like that. And it’s just that easy. Look for the contact link at cornbread.cafe for more info. It’s been an episode or two since we’ve picked from the all-natural Country section of the menu, so I guess that why that tune hits the spot just right. Chris Andres leans more than a little bit towards the outlaw end of the Country spectrum, and all I can say is thank God for outlaws or wouldn’t have any friends at all.

 

 


Janie Barnett

Events

Janie Barnett; submitted photo.
Janie Barnett; submitted photo.

Now, back on Episode #6, I was honored to have Janie Barnett as our guest. I played a portion of our conversation on the show, and then made the entire interview available separately via an audio player in the show notes. If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to go back and listen to both. I didn’t include the clip that I’m gonna share with you now in the main show in Episode 6. Call me superstitious, but I think I felt like if I held on to it, if I didn’t let it out of its cage, or the song she discusses, maybe I could somehow keep this thing from happening. Maybe I could shield my children, everybody’s children, by just not talking about it. But I’m a fool to fool myself that way. And waiting until a calmer time to have this conversation means waiting until the pain subsides. Thank you Janie for preserving that pain in your music, your work. Thanks again for talking about your very powerful song, “Buy That Thing.”

 

 

The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow

Events

That was “Buy That Thing” off Janie Barnett’s 2017 release, You See This River. Remember you can pick up that LP by visiting the show notes for this episode at cornbread.cafe and looking for the iTunes, Amazon, or other purchase links. And, since these links are usually our affiliate links, you help support this program with your purchase, at no extra extra cost to you.

Next, I was going to play a track off the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow’s self-titled September release. But I had my Cornbread library on shuffle yesterday, and the tune, “Poisonous Me” from their 2016 live album “Heart of the Run” came up. And I was like, “I’ve played that on the Cafe, haven’t I?” I had to go back and check, and the answer was no, no I haven’t. I guess I’ve just played it for myself so often I kinda figured I must have. So let’s spin that right now to correct that oversight. Here’s “Poisonous Me,” by the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow on the Cornbread Cafe.

 

 

The festival scene is starting to kick into gear around the country, and I hope you get to experience as many as you can. Really, if music were an ecosystem, festivals would be the natural habitat for Americana bands and the Rootsians who love them. Coming up this weekend is the

Wintergrass Festival

February 22 – February 25
Hyatt Regency, Bellevue Washington,
just across the lake from Seattle.

And the fourth annual Back Porch Festival returns March 1–4, with all-star line-ups of American roots artists at the Academy of Music and The Parlor Room in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Reserve your body space at signaturesoundspresents.com/back-porch/ or, actually, just go to our show notes at cornbread.cafe and click the link to get you there.

I would provide info about SXSW, coming up March 9–18 in Austin, TX, but until they put me on the press list, I can’t very well do that, now can I? You’d think for $1,650 per pass, they could afford to hire someone to put music podcasters on the press list, right? Hell with ‘em, I say. Besides, I’m busy that week.

Almond & Olive

Events

Anyway, in this next set, I have to play the only tune I have from Keeton Coffman that I have NOT shared with you yet on this show, I think. The tune is “The Tribe” off his 2017 release “Killer Eyes,” which would definitely be in the running for a Cornbread Award, if we had such a thing here. But he just released his video for “The Tribe” this week, and like the rest of the videos from that release, it fits the music perfectly. You can check out the embed in the shownotes.

 

 

Keeton Coffman

Events

First though, let’s hear from one of our most recent discoveries, Almond&Olive, out of Chicago. We featured their song “We Will” on Episode #6—now let’s hear the title track off “Standing at the Precipice.”

Both of those songs are just pristine, aren’t they? Go together pretty well, too, if I do say so myself. You know, in addition to buying music and merch from the artists you hear on the show, you can connect with them through their sites or social media pages. I always provide the link s if I’ve got ‘em. And when you find those songs that really resonate with you, why not shoot the artists a quick not and tell them how much you enjoyed hearing their tunes on the Cornbread Cafe. It won’t help them pay the rent, but it does let them know that their efforts are appreciated.

 

 

Honey Whiskey Trio

Events

Last up is a song I’ve been saving up, though I can’t say I’ve known what for. This week, I know. From the Honey Whiskey Trio’s 2017 release, Rye Woman, is a song of comfort that you might just know. And I think I’ll let the Honeys have the last word on this episode, so I’m just going to send out “The Lone Wild Bird,” along with my deepest sorrow, to the families of Parkland, Florida.

 

Buy Rye Woman directly from the Honeys

 

 

 

 

 

* Note: Artist links provide access directly to artists’ websites or social media homepages. All album links provide access to song or album purchase options, often through our affiliate programs with Apple Music or Amazon.com, which help make this show possible.

Musicians’ bio info comes from the artists, their websites, or their publicists. Click on names below to visit their websites where you can get the full story, photos, and very often video.

The Cornbread Cafe #8: Not a Valentine’s Day episode. Unless’n you want it to be.

Tanya Gallagher [explicit lyrics], Kate Lush, The Suitcase Junket, Bumper Jacksons, Faint Peter, Birds of Chicago

Tanya Gallagher; photo courtesy tanyagallagher.com.
Tanya Gallagher; photo courtesy tanyagallagher.com.

“Virginia taught me love, it taught me heartache, but most importantly it taught me that a home away from home can exist. These songs represent an incredible time of personal growth.”

— Tanya Gallagher

Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #8—of the Cornbread Cafe. I am the mongrel, and I’ll be back in the kitchen today cooking up a sampler platter of the best from a sprawling menu of American Roots music. Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And you can sometimes catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. *

 

Featured in this Episode:

Tanya Gallagher“3002 Miles” (explicit lyrics)Virgina
Kate Lush“Good Good Love”Let It Fly
The Suitcase Junket“Swamp Chicken”Pile Driver
Bumper Jacksons“Corina Corina”I’ve Never Met a Stranger
Faint Peter“Texas” Redoubt
Birds of Chicago“Etoile d’Amour (Stardust)”American Flowers

Keep Reading

The Cornbread Cafe #6: INTERVIEW with Janie Barnett, too many new tracks to list!

Janie Barnett discusses her gracefully drifting release, You See this River.

Janie Barnett; submitted photo.
Janie Barnett; submitted photo.

 

Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #6—of the Cornbread Cafe. I am the mongrel, and I will be your waiter today. Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And you can sometimes catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. We hope to become your new new fave hang for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.

 

Click the play button on this audio player to hear the complete interview with Janie Barnett.

 

This is episode six of the Cornbread Cafe, and do I have a special treat treat for you this time around. Actually I have a whole hour of special treats, as always, but one of them is especially rare and wonderful. We have with us Janie Barnett, who if she were the last Americana musician to be minted in this world, would be give us a perfect last lingering chord in the genre.

Artists Featured in this Episode:

Janie Barnett, “You See This River,” You See this River
Janie Barnett, “Better Times Are Coming,” You See this River
Molly Pinto Madigan, “Seven Tears,” The Cup Overflows
Bees Deluxe, “Industrial (espionage),single
Gus McKay, “Married a Snake,Salt Flat Mojo Blues
Heather Maloney, “Let Me Stay,” by Just Enough Sun
Almond & Olive, “We Will,” Standing at the Precipice
Birds of Chicago, “American Flowers,” American Flowers
Janie Barnett, “Sweet Thursday,”  You See this River

Note: Artist links provide access directly to artists’ websites or social media homepages. All album links provide access to song or album purchase options, often through our affiliate programs with Apple Music or Amazon.com.

 

On her just released album, You See This River, Janie crafts stories dug out your family’s cedar trunks up in the attic, memories traced in carbon copy from old letters in the shoebox in the back of the closet. Her ballads are painted in emotions as fresh as eternally wet paint. Her creations are woven from Words that seem like she could have teased them out of my own brain if I were an immeasurably more talented poet.

Some are Songs of stubbornly optimistic, inevitable love filtered through a self-knowledge even the most enlightened gurus would envy.

Some Songs echo the lives people who are really living their lives on the back stoops, in the kitchens, in bedrooms together in vulnerable companionship or the complex internal lives we’re living alone in our hearts and minds as we travel through our labors or little luxuries.

Penetrating and heartbreaking. Wise and reckless. True. Imagined. True anyway.

Janie Barnett thanks for being on the show!

(audio clip of our interview with Janie Barnett)

Upcoming Event

Janie Barnett, opening for Paula Cole
Saturday December 16, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
The Center for Arts in Natick
info & tickets

Molly Pinto Madigan's 2017 release, The Cup Overflows, builds on her impressive songwriting and vocal skills with a heightened level of self-assurance that suits her musical direction.
Molly Pinto Madigan’s 2017 release, The Cup Overflows, builds on her impressive songwriting and vocal skills with a heightened level of self-assurance that suits her musical direction.

I think it’s about time that we all get a taste of the work that I know Janie can do, does do, and has done with Blue Room on this recent release “You See This River.” Before we do, though, I need to pause and explain that I had no idea just how engaging our conversation was going to be. I will confess right here and now that I was prepared to record for 20 minutes, keep the best 10, and share them with you. When I looked up at the clock and saw that a full 30 minutes had gone by, and realized that she had so many more stories and nuggets of wisdom to share, I made the decision to keep rolling tape and figure it out later.

And I think I’ve got it figured out, now. I’ve edited the entire conversation, keeping almost every syllable, and have made the entire talk available as bonus audio here in the show notes. Just look for the audio player below the first paragraph. You’ll want to hear everything Janie has to say. And to create the most powerful, most tempting incentive, I’m going to sprinkle jewels from our talk throughout the rest of the show. That way, you still get almost as much music as usual, AND you get an exclusive interview with one of Americana’s leading ladies.

Bees Deluxe Front: Conrad Warren, Allyn “Aldo” Dorr Back: Patrick Sanders, Carol Band photo courtesy Carol Band via Patch
Bees Deluxe
Front: Conrad Warren, Allyn “Aldo” Dorr
Back: Patrick Sanders, Carol Band
photo courtesy Carol Band via Patch

So let’s have two right now from Janie—One, a searching, buoyant rendition of Steven Foster’s “Better Times Are Coming” from 1862, but first the title track off this tuneful treasure trove, You See This River.

And THAT last number was “Seven Tears” off our old friend Molly Pinto Madigan’s very recent release The Cup Overflows. Before that, we heard Better Times Are Coming and the title track from You See This River, from the very phenomenal Janie Barnett and Blue Room. You can find purchase options for their most recent as well as prior releases in the “Artists Featured in this Episode” section, above.

After hearing Janie Barnett, you’re likely to ask yourself, “This is great, but how and where can I experience the magic live?” You’re in luck, because she has a couple shows coming up in the next couple of months, including a one-of-a-kind performance December 16 opening up for Paula Cole at the Center for Arts in Natick, Mass. If you’re anywhere in the Boston Metro neighborhood, you won’t want to miss what is sure to be a powerful evening of tunes.

Gus McKay; photo courtesy Gus McKay
Gus McKay; photo courtesy Gus McKay

Next course coming out of the kitchen is a sub-genre we have not explored much yet on the Cornbread Cafe—and that’s Acid Blues. Oh it’s true blue, but just a little bit gacked out. We’ll have a double shot that starts with a band I’ve been following since my days at the helm of the Mongrel’s Howl podcast, back in 2005. In fact, that’s why I was so grateful and honored that they responded to my note asking if they wanted to be part of this new show. Ever-gracious, they obliged, and YOU dear listener, reap the benefits of my association, I promise you that.

Also in this block, we’ll hear a deeper cut “Married a Snake,” off Gus McKay’s recent release, Salt Flat Mojo Blues. I don’t know if Gus would categorize his music as acid blues, but I’ll let you be the judge of whether it belongs in the same drawer as Bees Deluxe’s newest single, “Industrial (espionage)” right here on the Cornbread Cafe.

(audio clip of our interview with Janie Barnett)

Heather Maloney; photo courtesy heathermaloney.com
Heather Maloney; photo courtesy heathermaloney.com

That’s Janie Barnett talking about the need to wrangle, and ultimately reconcile time and creativity as responsibilities of family and paying gigs eat away at the leisurely time once spent waiting for the muse to show up with inspiration. In our extended conversation, Janie shares some deeply personal perspectives on subjects like family. I really encourage you to to listen to what was, for me, one of my most absorbing interviews ever. In fact, let’s have a listen to one of my favorite gems from our talk before we hear brandy new just released tracks from Heather Maloney, Almond & Olive, and Birds of Chicago.

We just heard the title track from the just released EP American Flowers, by Birds of Chicago, available through Signature Sounds. On a different podcast, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of sharing a long conversation with JT Nero who, along with Allison Russell, makes up the principle force of the group that’s been described as “secular gospel.” That identifier certainly seems to fit, doesn’t it? The affect some of their songs have on me definitely goes beyond simply my heart and mind.

Almond & Olive; submitted photo.
Almond & Olive; submitted photo.

Before that, we heard “We Will” off the new release from Almond & Olive. This duo, sometimes known simply as A&O, is comprised of singer-songwriters Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson. The also call Chicago home, so if you think detect some shared musical DNA, you’re probably not wrong. The track comes from “Standing at the Precipice,” an album that came about less than two years after the two met in 2015.

And we started the set with another artist on the Signature Sounds label, Heather Maloney, who brought us “Let Me Stay,” from her latest effort, Just Enough Sun, which also features the instrumentation of Ryan Hommel.

You’ll be hearing plenty more cuts off each of these albums in the near future, probably just as soon as my heart recovers from the extreme emotional workout that triple of tunes put it through.

Birds of Chicago; submitted photo.
Birds of Chicago; submitted photo.

Before them, Janie Barnett gave us a deep look into the emotional dimensions of her own creative source material, and how motherhood instilled a sense of forgiveness in the artistic space she inhabits these days.

Let’s hear from Janie again as we work our way through dessert and coffee. She talks about the process of creating her new album, You See This River, one of the most consistent and structurally sound I’ve heard. She suggested we close out the show with a song she described as one of her more light-hearted compositions, “Sweet Thursday.” I think you’ll agree that it’s just the balm you need some days, these days.

(audio clip of our interview with Janie Barnett)

 

Janie Barnett; photo courtesy janiebarnett.com.
Janie Barnett; photo courtesy janiebarnett.com.

 

Well, that’s our show for the week. I know you won’t want to miss next weeks episode of the Cornbread Cafe, so I’d encourage you to subscribe through iTunes or Google Play Music—you’ll find the subscribe buttons on just about any page of our site. And when you subscribe, I’d be grateful if you left us a review—it really helps people discover us.

I’ve been your host, Jay Vee, aka the mongrel, and I thank you for listening. We’ll tuck into more heaping helpings of American Roots music next week. Take care.

The Cornbread Cafe #5: Western Centuries, Dom Flemons, Oh Susanna, & MORE

Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #5—of the Cornbread Cafe.

The Honey Whiskey Trio released Rye Woman in 2017; submitted photo.
The Honey Whiskey Trio released Rye Woman in 2017; submitted photo.

Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And you can sometimes catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. We want to be your new fave hang for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.

In this Episode:

1.  “Double or Nothing,” Western Centuries, Weight of the World
2.  “Brick Wall,” Maggie Baugh, Catch Me
3.  “Balaclava,” Eliza Edens, Lowlight
4. “Voice from on High,” Anna & Elizabeth, Anna & Elizabeth
5.  “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” Honey Whiskey Trio, Stories of Love, Death and Spirits
6.  “Jackie,” The Suitcase Junket, Pile Driver
7.  “Gimme a Pigfoot (and a Bottle of Beer),” Bumper Jacksons, I’ve Never Met a Stranger
8.  “Hot Chicken,” Dom Flemons, Prospect Hill
9.  “The Real Me,” Christian Coleman and The Blue Zen Band, The Singles
10. “Wolfsbane Wine,” Molly Pinto Madigan, The Cup Overflows
11. “I Wonder Where You Are Tonight,” Tony Trischka Territory, Great Big World
12. “Lucky” Comanchero, Thrown
13. “Dying Light,” Oh Susanna, Namedropper

Musician bio info frequently comes from the artists, their websites, or their publicists. Click on names below to visit their websites where you can get the full story, photos, and very often video.

Western Centuries

“Double or Nothing” Weight of the World

Western Centuries debut release, Weight of the World.
Western Centuries debut release, Weight of the World.

 

The worn floor of an old honky­tonk is not usually a place you’d think of as welcoming to bold new experimentation. If you’ve got something new to say, you’d better say it in the form of a brisk two­step that keeps the dancers moving. So it’s doubly impressive that Seattle country band Western Centuries is able to meld wildly disparate influences into an original honky­tonk sound that won’t make dancers miss a step. Formed originally under the name Country Hammer by Americana songwriter Cahalen Morrison, known for his innovative work as an acoustic duo with Eli West, Western Centuries revolves around three principal songwriters–Morrison, Ethan Lawton, and Jim Miller–each with a totally different perspective. Here, Cahalen Morrison channels his New Mexico roots–he grew up exploring lost arroyos and playing drums in a conjunto band–into a kind of blood­red Western drawl. His songs are as influenced by cowboy poetry or his great­grandfather’s Scottish Gaelic poetry as much as his love of George Jones. Ethan Lawton came out of the rough, working­class streets of Seattle’s South end, working in hip­hop and punk before losing his heart to bluegrass. His bone­dry vocals meld intensely with the rocksteady back­beat of his country songs, born from his love of old Jamaican 45s mixed with early bluegrass. Jim Miller comes from the jamband circuit, where he ruled for decades as a founding member of the much­loved band Donna The Buffalo. Throughout, the dancefloor was his temple, and he cribbed ideas from Louisiana Zydeco all the way to the The Band. Western Centuries’ debut album, Weight of the World, released by Free Dirt Records on June 3, 2016, introduces a band of roots music mavericks bringing refreshingly new ideas to their country roots.

 

Maggie Baugh

“Brick Wall,” Catch Me

 

Multi-instrumentalist, and singer/songwriter, Maggie Baugh is a young, South Florida based county music sensation! At 17 years old, she has a publishing deal, she is a Nashville Recording artist, singer/songwriter, guitar player and dynamic fiddle player. Maggie Baugh has played fiddle onstage with Neal McCoy and Charlie Daniels Band. (Yes, she is the one that played Devil Went Down to Georgia with Charlie Daniels – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylWjExfL5ew).

Playing guitar and singing, Maggie Baugh has opened in South Florida for Ashley Monroe (of Pistol Annie’s), Craig Morgan, Neal McCoy, Cole Swindell, Phil Vassar, Taylor Hicks, Chase Bryant, Drake White, Josh Dorr, Radio Romance, Drew Baldridge, Montgomery Gentry, John Anderson, Cowboy Troy and Old Southern Moonshine Revival.

 

Eliza Edens
“Balaclava” Low Light

Low Light, Eliza Edens' debut EP, dropped to critical acclaim in 2017.
Low Light, Eliza Edens’ debut EP, dropped to critical acclaim in 2017.

 

A native of Western Massachusetts, Eliza has been singing her whole life. Raised on the Beatles and inspired by older folkies Eva Cassidy and Karen Dalton, along with today’s alt-R&B acts Lianne La Havas and James Blake, Eliza ties together disparate influences into her vocal style. With sparse electric guitar textures, wistful melodies, and observational songwriting, her music both enlivens and partakes in the ennui of modern life, belonging somewhere between your tumbledown front porch stoop and a hazy bar in Brooklyn.

 

 

Anna & Elizabeth
“Voice from on High” Anna & Elizabeth

Anna & Elizabeth gathered and interpreted 16 traditional songs for their 2015 eponymous release.
Anna & Elizabeth gathered and interpreted 16 traditional songs for their 2015 eponymous release.

 

Anna & Elizabeth has appeared on stages across the world, including the Cambridge Folk Festival, Brighton Festival, Newport Folk Festival, National Sawdust, Atlanta Museum of Modern Art, Old Town School of Folk Music, Brooklyn Folk Fest; intimate theaters across the U.S., U.K. & Europe; and fellowships to develop their work at the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and Centrum. They have released two acclaimed full-length albums–Sun to Sun (2012) and Anna & Elizabeth (2015).

 

In winter 2018, Anna & Elizabeth will release their third full-length album; a continuing progression of their evolving sound. It is co-produced by Anna and Benjamin Lazar Davis (avant-pop outfit Cuddle Magic) and features Jim White of The Dirty Three on drums, and lauded experimental pedal steel player Susan Alcorn (Mary Halvorsen Octet).

 

Honey Whiskey Trio

“All I Have to Do Is Dream ,” Stories of Love, Death and Spirits

Stories of Love, Death and Spirits
Stories of Love, Death and Spirits

 

The Honey Whiskey Trio explores harmony in folk, bluegrass and any melody that catches the ear. Through their powerful, yet sweet harmonies, body percussion, haunting melodies and vitality on stage, Honey Whiskey Trio captivates and moves audiences. These storytellers in song found their roots in vocal jazz, all singing in Pacific Standard Time, CSU Long Beach’s award winning vocal jazz ensemble, though at different times. This foundation in jazz gives Honey Whiskey Trio an inherent flexibility to their sound, allowing them to change and adjust their tone to best fit the mood of each song.

 

In 2013, after singing together for only 5 months, Honey Whiskey Trio won the Harmony Sweepstakes National Competition, also winning Audience Favorite at both the Regional and National sweepstakes. They have gone on to headline the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival, the Women’s A Cappella Association‘s SheSings Festival, the South Eastern Minnesota A Cappella Festival, and have been featured artists at the FAR-West Folk Festival, the Rogue Valley Roots Festival, the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival,and the Shedd Institute for the Arts. Called “One of the most talented vocal harmony groups performing today” by John Neal, Harmony Sweepstakes executive producer and ”One of the very best arrivals this year on my stage. Solid in every way and fully entertaining” by Bob Stane, of The Coffee Gallery Backstage, Honey Whiskey Trio is a group you don’t want to miss experiencing live.

 

The Suitcase Junket

“Jackie,” Pile Driver

Matt Lorenz sits alone on a suitcase in the center of a complex construction of upcycled cookpots, saw blades and broken chairs. Artist, tinkerer, tunesmith, swamp yankee. A one-man salvage specialist singing into the hollow of a Dumpster guitar, slipping a broken bottleneck onto the slide finger, railing on a box of twisted forks and bones, rocking till every sound is ragged at its edges, till the house is singing back. Then, unplugging all the amps and letting one mountain ballad soar over the raw strings on that guitar. Every night is a hard-driving, blues-grinding, throat-singing search-and-rescue junket. Sooner or later everything rusts, busts, and gets tossed into the junk heap: iron, bones, leather, hot rods, muskrats, the night, theheart. The goal is to recover it. To waste nothing. To create new ways from old. This is The Suitcase Junket.

Matt Lorenz was raised in Cavendish, Vermont, the son of teachers. He learned to sing by copying his sister Kate. (The siblings are two-thirds of the touring trio Rusty Belle.) Lorenz graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 2004, having taught himself to throat-sing thanks to a South Indian cooking class. On moving day, he pulled his guitar, filled with mold and worse for wear, from a dorm Dumpster. He fixed it up and started pulling songs out of it. That was the beginning.

 

 

Bumper Jacksons

“Gimme a Pigfoot (and a Bottle of Beer)” I’ve Never Met a Stranger

The Bumper Jacksons; photos by Michael O. Snyder.
The Bumper Jacksons; photos by Michael O. Snyder.

 

The Bumper Jacksons are hot and sweet, painting America’s story from the streets of New Orleans to Appalachian hollers. Unafraid to scrap together new sounds from forgotten 78’s, the Bumper Jacksons boldly and elegantly balance paying homage to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, DIY style. Honored as the region’s 2015 “Artist of the Year” and “Best Folk Band” from 2013-2015 at the Washington Area Music Awards, the Bumper Jacksons are playfully creative with their originals and re-imagining roots music with both power and tenderness. Bursting at the seams with some of the richest threads of old America, Bumper Jacksons bring you into the center of a party where everyone’s invited and the dance floor never sleeps.

 

Dom Flemons

“Hot Chicken,” Dom Flemons, Prospect Hill

2014's Prospect Hill, Dom Flemons' first release after leaving the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is an intense whirlwind of a tour through eclectic folk styles and textures.
2014’s Prospect Hill, Dom Flemons’ first release after leaving the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is an intense whirlwind of a tour through eclectic folk styles and textures.

 

A Phoenix Native, Flemons’ involvement with music began by playing percussion in his high school band. After picking up the guitar and harmonica, he began to play coffee houses and became a regular on the Arizona folk music scene. During that period Flemons wrote his own songs and produced 25 albums of singer-songwriters and slam poets, including six albums of his own. A multi-instrumentalist, Flemons plays banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum, and quills, in addition to singing. His banjo repertoire includes not only clawhammer but also tenor and three-finger styles of playing. As a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, he was able to explore his interest in bringing traditional music to new audiences.

 

 

Christian Coleman and The Blue Zen Band

“The Real Me,” The Singles

Mama Died and Left Me
Papa Died and Left Me
Raised by Wolves on The Mean Streets

Christian Coleman is a 25 year veteran of the Wasatch Front Music Scene. Described as “Bob Dylan meets Muddy Waters”, his solo repertoire consists of Decades of Original Material combined with Classic Blues material from the 1940’s to the present, and Americana Classics that define the Contemporary American Songbook. A One-Man juggling act of Vocals, Guitar, and Harmonica, Christian always brings a signature passion and trademark intensity to every performance!!!

 

Molly Pinto Madigan

“Wolfsbane Wine” The Cup Overflows

Molly Pinto Madigan's 2017 release, The Cup Overflows, builds on her impressive songwriting and vocal skills with a heightened level of self-assurance that suits her musical direction.
Molly Pinto Madigan’s 2017 release, The Cup Overflows, builds on her impressive songwriting and vocal skills with a heightened level of self-assurance that suits her musical direction.

 

Molly Pinto Madigan, the silver-throated leading lady of the erstwhile folk/roots combo, has released a new CD, “The Cup Overflows.” Molly invited me to share a track from this collection with you, and I had a tough time deciding between them all.

 (from her bio)

“Hailed for her angelic voice and haunting compositions, Molly Pinto Madigan won first place in WUMB’s Boston Folk Festival Songwriting Contest and was named “Artist of the Year” at Salem State University, her alma mater. Since her debut as the lead singer for the teen bluegrass band Jaded Mandolin, Madigan has submerged herself in the dark, luscious world of ballads, drawn to their magic, and her original songs echo with the whisperings of the American and European traditional music.”

 

Tony Trischka Territory

“I Wonder Where You Are Tonight” Great Big World

Tony Trischka and Territory will perform songs from "Great Big World" and more at the Hancock Shaker Village 08/19. Click the image to buy the album via our Amazon affiliate link.
Tony Trischka and Territory will perform songs from Great Big World and more at the Hancock Shaker Village 08/19. Click the image to buy the album via our Amazon affiliate link.

 

Trischka, 2012 United States Artists Friends Fellow, is considered to be the consummate banjo artist and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 45 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he has brought to the instrument.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka’s interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio’s “Charlie and the MTA” in 1963. Two years later, he joined the Down City Ramblers, where he remained through 1971. That year, Trischka made his recording debut on 15 Bluegrass Instrumentals with the band Country Cooking; at the same time, he was also a member of America’s premier sports-rock band Country Granola. In 1973, he began a three-year stint with Breakfast Special. Between 1974 and 1975, he recorded two solo albums, Bluegrass Light and Heartlands. After one more solo album in 1976, Banjoland, he went on to become musical leader for the Broadway show The Robber Bridegroom. Trischka toured with the show in 1978, the year he also played with the Monroe Doctrine.

 

Comanchero

“Lucky,” Thrown

 

 

Since 2003, Comanchero has crafted an Americana sound that combines old traditions with new, Country with Rock, Bluegrass with Blues, Honky-Tonk with Funk, and Roots with Rockabilly. While unique in their own sound, there is something strikingly familiar in Comanchero’s songs that weave influences ranging from The Allman Brothers, The Band, Little Feat, & Led Zeppelin, to today’s contemporaries such as Wilco, The Drive -By Truckers, & Mumford & Sons.

Highlights:
– Boston’s Americana Jam Band since 2003
– Four studio albums
– Songs licensed by PBS (Road Trip Nation) and ABC (20/20 with Diane Sawyer)
– Direct support for artists such as: ZZ Top, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Yardbirds, & Passion Pit
– Winner of Relix Magazine’s “Jam Off” competition & featured in magazine and monthly CD
– Nominated by Red Line Roots for Favorite Local Rock and Rollers
– Over 500 performances including international (Ireland, UK tour)

 

 

Oh Susanna

“Dying Light,” Name Dropper

"Name Dropper," by Oh Susanna; 2015
“Name Dropper,” by Oh Susanna; 2015

 

Suzie Ungerleider began performing as Oh Susanna in the mid-1990s, crafting a persona that matched the timeless qualities of her music, sounds that drew from the deep well of early 20th Century folk, country and blues, yet rooted in her finely-honed storytelling skills. This Canadian songstress has a voice that can pierce a heart of stone. Her superbly crafted songs often tell stories of troubled souls who rebel against their circumstances to attain a quiet dignity. These are tales of longing and love, of small town joys and pains, of our simple feelings and strong passions. These are tales that look into our beautifully flawed human hearts.

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Will Call #60: Tony Trischka annexes the Berkshires into his Territory

Tony Trischka and Territory brings some legendary American Roots cred to the Barn Music Summer Series at Hancock Shaker Village.

Tony Trischka (left) will play with his band, Territory, Sean Trischka (right) and Jack Pickerl; photo courtesy the artist.
Tony Trischka (left) will play with his band, Territory, Sean Trischka (right) and Jack Picker; photo courtesy the artist.

 

This is Will Call, #60—I’m your host, Jason Velazquez, and I thank you for tuning in. This episode is sponsored by Headwater Cider, who believes that cider is best when you grow what you press and press what you grow.

Tony Trischka and Territory

Saturday, August 19, doors—6:00 / show—7:00 p.m.
Final concert of the Barn Music, Summer Series
Hancock Shaker Village
1843 West Housatonic Street
Pittsfield MA, 01201
(413) 443-0188 | (800) 817-1137
Tickets: $20

Tony Trischka and Territory will perform songs from "Great Big World" and more at the Hancock Shaker Village 08/19. Click the image to buy the album via our Amazon affiliate link.
Tony Trischka and Territory will perform songs from Great Big World and more at the Hancock Shaker Village 08/19. Click the image to buy the album via our Amazon affiliate link.

I have to start out by saying that this was originally going to be a Top Left Corner episode. Then the opportunity to have a conversation with Tony Trischka dropped into my lap.

No lover of American Roots music could pass up the opportunity to talk with one of the world’s most renown and emulated banjo players. I’d have to be a fool.

Knowing he’d be busy, I figured on a 10 or 15 minute interview that would fit nicely into the middle of TLC. Then I looked at the clock towards the end of our talk and saw that over three quarters of an hour had passed. When I listened through the audio, I realized there was nothing to cut other than a few stray “ummms.”

My solution? Fire up a new episode of Will Call, keep the whole conversation and play some great music. Tony Trischka and his band, Territory, close out the Barn Music, Summer Series at Hancock Shaker Village this Saturday, August 19, and if you’re still undecided about whether or not to grab one of the precious few remaining tickets, here’s one of my fave tracks from his 2014 release, Great Big World, “Single String Medley.”

Be sure to check out his website to get access to photos, videos, info and more. Ready to start pickin’ and a grinnin’ yourself? Why not take some classes from Tony himself?

Left to right, Earl Scruggs, Béla Fleck, and Tony Trischka; photo courtesy the artist.
Left to right, Earl Scruggs, Béla Fleck, and Tony Trischka; photo courtesy the artist.

 

About Tony Trischka

 

Trischka, 2012 United States Artists Friends Fellow, is considered to be the consummate banjo artist and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 45 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he has brought to the instrument.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka’s interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio’s “Charlie and the MTA” in 1963. Two years later, he joined the Down City Ramblers, where he remained through 1971. That year, Trischka made his recording debut on 15 Bluegrass Instrumentals with the band Country Cooking; at the same time, he was also a member of America’s premier sports-rock band Country Granola. In 1973, he began a three-year stint with Breakfast Special. Between 1974 and 1975, he recorded two solo albums, Bluegrass Light and Heartlands. After one more solo album in 1976, Banjoland, he went on to become musical leader for the Broadway show The Robber Bridegroom. Trischka toured with the show in 1978, the year he also played with the Monroe Doctrine.

On Tony’s latest album Great Big World (Rounder Records – released February, 2014) his instrumental expertise and boundless imagination are as sharp as ever. One of the most ambitious and accomplished of his career, the album is a deeply compelling showcase for his expansive instrumental talents, far-ranging musical interests and distinctive songwriting skills, as well as his sterling taste in collaborators. With contributions from his band Territory, Steve Martin, Michael Daves, Noam Pikelny, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot and many other special guests the 13-track set finds Trischka embracing all manner of possibilities, while keeping one foot firmly planted in the traditional bluegrass roots that first inspired him to make music.

Tony continues to maintain a national and international touring schedule with his band of extraordinary musicians.

TLC #42: Dom Flemons kicks off Barn Music Series at Hancock Shaker Village

Concert with Dom Flemons in the 1910 Barn kicks off Berkshire season of American roots music at Hancock Shaker Village

Graphic including Dom Flemons (left); photo courtesy the artist. Karl Mullen (right)l; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Graphic including Dom Flemons (left); photo courtesy the artist. Karl Mullen (right)l; photo by Jason Velázquez.

(Hancock Shaker Village, official release)

HANCOCK, Mass.—When Grammy-award winning Dom Flemons kicks off Hancock Shaker Village’s new Shaker Barn Music series on June 16, he’s continuing a long tradition of music by the Shakers, whose musical roots run deep, with a musical heritage that led to the creation of more than 10,000 American folk songs.

A musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet, Flemons is a founder of the storied Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band that won a Grammy for its 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig.  Today, Flemons tours throughout the US and internationally as “The American Songster,” mixing traditional music forms with a contemporary approach to create new sounds.  Flemons mesmerizes audiences as he draws from a wide range of styles, including ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, Southern traditional, string band, fife and drum, and jug band music. “Onstage he’s an absolute blast, charming and funny, full of energy,” wrote No Depression Magazine.

Shaker Barn Music: Dom Flemons

Friday, June 16; doors 7:00 p.m.
(Opening act: Long Journey)
1910 Barn, Hancock Shaker Village
1843 West Housatonic Street
Pittsfield, Mass.
Tickets $15 in advance/$20 day of show
Call 413.443.0188 x115, or order online

In 2016, Flemons performed at Carnegie Hall as part of a Lead Belly tribute, and also at the opening ceremonies for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.  In 2016 he also paired with legendary British guitarist Martin Simpson on the album Selection of Ever Popular Favourites.  His newest album, which will be released through Smithsonian Folkways, celebrates the stories and songs of black cowboys, who played an important role in the American West.  Flemons has a podcast called American Songsters Radio in conjunction with North Carolina Public Radio.

Dom Flemons; photo courtesy the artist.
Dom Flemons; photo courtesy the artist.

A Phoenix Native, Flemons’ involvement with music began by playing percussion in his high school band.  After picking up the guitar and harmonica, he began to play coffee houses and became a regular on the Arizona folk music scene.  During that period Flemons wrote his own songs and produced 25 albums of singer-songwriters and slam poets, including six albums of his own.  A multi-instrumentalist, Flemons plays banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum, and quills, in addition to singing.  His banjo repertoire includes not only clawhammer but also tenor and three-finger styles of playing.  As a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, he was able to explore his interest in bringing traditional music to new audiences.

“Flemons has been a torchbearer in contemporary American roots music,” wrote The Boston Globe, “blending his love of old-time styles with a scholarly interest in their history.”

Karl Mullen and Amrita Lash are Long Journey; photo courtesy the artists.
Karl Mullen and Amrita Lash are Long Journey; photo courtesy the artists.

Opening for Flemons on June 16 is Long Journey, a duo of Amrita Lash and Karl Mullen, whose harmonies are as sweet and fierce as bourbon on a summer night.  Hailing from Williamstown, MA, Long Journey coined the term “fierce folk” to describe their powerful sound.  The textured and soaring harmonies of Mullen and Lash take original and traditional songs exploring love, yearning, life, death, and everything in between to unexpected places.  Their debut album was released in 2016 and a second album is scheduled for release in September.

 

Dom Flemons is the first concert in Hancock Shaker Village’s Shaker Barn Music series, dedicated to American roots music.  Bringing an exciting roster of emerging and national musicians to the Berkshires, the Shaker Barn Music series will present national acts, giving audiences the opportunity to see gems like Dom Flemons, Tony Trischka, and others.  Exploring the links between old and new, tradition and innovation, and the connection of community, the series is being curated by Karl Mullen who, after having run legendary music venues for 30+ years including World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and Club Cafe, Rosebud, and Metropol in Pittsburgh, focuses here on bringing emerging and established talent to this region. Most of the performances will open with local artists.

Karl Mullen curates the Barn Music Series at the Hancock Shaker Village; photo/effects by Jason Velázquez.
Karl Mullen curates the Barn Music Series at the Hancock Shaker Village; photo/effects by Jason Velázquez.

“The moment I saw the 1910 Barn I knew it was a magical place for roots music and I jumped at the opportunity to curate it,” noted Mullen.  “This year we plant the seeds: six amazing artists – musicians who could perform on any stage – will inaugurate this special, intimate setting.  Individually, each artist will knock your socks off.  Taken as a whole, the series is bound to be a highlight of the summer.”

All performances in the Shaker Barn Music series take place in the hayloft of the 1910 Barn, which heretofore has seen…cows and hay.  The June 21 concert begins at 7pm. Doors and the Barn Bar open at 6pm.  Seeds Market Cafe at Hancock Shaker Village is open for dinner before each show. Located steps from the heirloom vegetable and herb gardens, Seeds Market Cafe’s fresh-picked menu items celebrate Shaker-inspired, neighborhood-sourced food, prepared by regional farm-to-table chef Brian Alberg.  Visitors can also grab a picnic dinner at Seeds and enjoy it on the grounds, enjoying the spirit and nature of the Shaker’s heritage.

Shaker Barn Music summer series

Dom Flemons; with guest, Long Journey
Friday, June 16
Doors open 7:00 p.m. / Show 8:00 p.m.

Sarah Lee Guthrie; with guest, Eliza Edens
Saturday, July 1
Doors open 7:00 p.m. / Show 8:00 p.m.

Western Centuries; with guest, Wes Buckley)
Thursday, July 13
Doors open 6:00 p.m. / Show 7:00 p.m.

An Evening with Anna & Elizabeth
Wednesday, July 26
Doors open 6:00 p.m. / Show 7:00 p.m.
Shaker Barn Music:

Tony Trischka Territory
Saturday, August 19
Doors open 6PM/Show 7PM

Milton
Saturday, September 23
Doors open 6:00 p.m. / Show 7:00 p.m.

Where: 1910 Barn, Hancock Shaker Village
Tickets: $15 ADVANCE/$20 Day Of Show

Call 413.443.0188 x115 or order online

Shaker Barn Music Series Sponsored by Blue Q, Bright Ideas Brewing, Encore Audio Event Services, No Depression, Rural Intelligence 

About Hancock Village

Home to the Shakers for more than 220 years, Hancock Shaker Village is now an outdoor history museum dedicated to preserving the Shaker legacy and making that story relevant and illuminating for today’s visitors. Situated on 750 acres of picturesque farm, field, and woodland in the bucolic Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Village consists of 20 historic buildings, a working farm and heirloom gardens, and a premier collection of 22,000 authentic Shaker artifacts.

1843 W Housatonic Street

Pittsfield, MA 01201

413.443.0188

HancockShakerVillage.org

 

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The Cornbread Cafe #4: Desirae Bronson, Bumper Jacksons, Maggie Baugh, Comanchero & MORE

Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #4—of the Cornbread Cafe.

Desirae Bronson, submitted image.
Desirae Bronson, submitted image.

Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And you can sometimes catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. We are the Internet’s new fave hang for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.

In this Episode:

Desirae Bronson, “Feel Good Song,” A Little Bit Jaded
Birds of Chicago, “Estrella Goodbye,” Real Midnight
Bumper Jacksons, “Many Paths,” I’ve Never Met a Stranger
Christian Coleman and The Blue Zen Band, “4th Street Boogie,” Blues, Boogie, Rock and Roll
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, “Everybody Loves You,” Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
Maggie Baugh, “Catch Me,” Catch Me
Codie Prevost, “Melting Into You,” All Kinds Of Crazy
The Suitcase Junket, “Evangeline,” Pile Driver
Comanchero, “Have You Seen Her,” Thrown
Comanchero, “Alabama Moonstruck,” Dead Gringo
Francesca Brown, “Collide,” Collide
Honey Whiskey Trio, “Who’s Gonna Be Your Man,” Rye Woman
Fantastic Negrito, “Night Has Turned to Day,” Self-titled EP

Musician bio info comes from the artists, their websites, or their publicists. Click on names below to visit their websites where you can get the full story, photos, and very often video.

Desirae Bronson

“Feel Good Song,” A Little Bit Jaded


Among the hordes of musical artists Desirae Bronson emerges with beauty and wholeness in a refreshing, homegrown style. Her smoky-velvet voice weaves simple County-Folk-Rock melodies into your mind through lyrics that convey life in a way everyone can relate to. Having begun her career in the unlikely city of Boise, Idaho, this singer/songwriter has found her way on stage with headliners such as Clint Black,The Band Perry, Jana Kramer, Joe Nichols, Trace Adkins, Little Texas and Thompson Square as well as headlining her own shows in concert houses, venues and festivals all over the Northwest. In 2013 she was chosen as RAW artist “Musician of the Year”, Winner of First Place in the National Radio Talent Contest (receiving over 100,000 votes), and a finalist in Nashville’s Music City Songwriting Competition. Her albums title track was also placed on the Big Bang Theory last spring. It won’t take long for you to realize that she has that special something listeners crave. Her album “This Is Me” demonstrates that she is “not afraid to let you see” who she is and what she is about.

 

Birds of Chicago
“Estrella Goodbye,” Real Midnight

In so many ways, we are a word weary culture, ever searching for ways to communicate in fewer and fewer words, letters, syllables…Our online, blogged out, you-tubed attention spans are truncated and fragmented like never before. Birds of Chicago, the collective centered around Allison Russell and JT Nero, reassert the simple notion – radical in these times – that beautiful words and music can still tap deep veins of emotion.

real midnight’s gonna come/ real midnight’s’ gonna come
real wolves at your door/ with blood on their tongues
now what you gonna do/ with your days left in the sun ?
ha da la ha

Stark, elemental imagery that feels like scripture, or a lost folk song recovered; the Birds draw heavily on the gospel tradition and the music feels like a new, secular gospel of sorts. For Birds of Chicago, every word counts. Every note counts. No gold-dusting, no filler. Music is the good news and Real Midnight, the band’s poignant new Joe Henry produced album, throbs with an urgency that feels quietly seismic.

 

Bumper Jacksons

“Many Paths,” I’ve Never Met a Stranger

The Bumper Jacksons; photos by Michael O. Snyder.
The Bumper Jacksons; photos by Michael O. Snyder.

The Bumper Jacksons are hot and sweet, painting America’s story from the streets of New Orleans to Appalachian hollers. Unafraid to scrap together new sounds from forgotten 78’s, the Bumper Jacksons boldly and elegantly balance paying homage to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, DIY style. Honored as the region’s 2015 “Artist of the Year” and “Best Folk Band” from 2013-2015 at the Washington Area Music Awards, the Bumper Jacksons are playfully creative with their originals and re-imagining roots music with both power and tenderness. Bursting at the seams with some of the richest threads of old America, Bumper Jacksons bring you into the center of a party where everyone’s invited and the dance floor never sleeps.

https://www.bumperjacksons.com/merch-1

 

Links mentioned in the show:
No Depression | The Journal of Roots Music
American Music Association

Christian Coleman and The Blue Zen Band

“4th Street Boogie,” Blues, Boogie, Rock and Roll

Mama Died and Left Me
Papa Died and Left Me
Raised by Wolves on The Mean Streets

Christian Coleman is a 25 year veteran of the Wasatch Front Music Scene. Described as “Bob Dylan meets Muddy Waters”, his solo repertoire consists of Decades of Original Material combined with Classic Blues material from the 1940’s to the present, and Americana Classics that define the Contemporary American Songbook. A One-Man juggling act of Vocals, Guitar, and Harmonica, Christian always brings a signature passion and trademark intensity to every performance!!!

 

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams

“Everybody Loves You,” Larry & Teresa Williams
Multi-instrumentalist-vocalist Larry Campbell and singer-guitarist Teresa Williams have rocked many a venue, as both center stage performers and invaluable assets to world class acts. A shortlist of artists who’ve benefited from their talents, live and in studios, reads like a Who’s Who of Music Icons: Bob Dylan (Larry spent eight years on the Never Ending Tour), Paul Simon, Little Feat, Hot Tuna, Phil Lesh, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, and, for one miraculous seven-year stretch, Levon Helm. Now, with an eponymous debut album, the couple brings it all back home. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams may have been simmering awhile, but the timing is perfect; the eleven tracks, produced by Campbell, distill everything into a potent, infectious blend of Americana style and timeless soul, offered with a relaxed generosity that can only come from rich experience.

 

Maggie Baugh

“Catch Me,” Catch Me

Multi-instrumentalist, and singer/songwriter, Maggie Baugh is a young, South Florida based county music sensation! At 17 years old, she has a publishing deal, she is a Nashville Recording artist, singer/songwriter, guitar player and dynamic fiddle player. Maggie Baugh has played fiddle onstage with Neal McCoy and Charlie Daniels Band. (Yes, she is the one that played Devil Went Down to Georgia with Charlie Daniels – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylWjExfL5ew).

Playing guitar and singing, Maggie Baugh has opened in South Florida for Ashley Monroe (of Pistol Annie’s), Craig Morgan, Neal McCoy, Cole Swindell, Phil Vassar, Taylor Hicks, Chase Bryant, Drake White, Josh Dorr, Radio Romance, Drew Baldridge, Montgomery Gentry, John Anderson, Cowboy Troy and Old Southern Moonshine Revival.

 

Codie Prevost

“Melting Into You,” All Kinds Of Crazy

Codie Prevost is a Canadian country music sensation. When he was 14 he picked up his first guitar, and since then his career hasn’t stopped accelerating. He began his journey on the path to fame by playing guitar, and writing songs simply to entertain his friends and family. Little did the world know that those family concerts would spark the pilot light on one of the biggest engines in Canadian country music. Codie has been nominated and won dozens of awards for his art, from the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards to the Canadian Country Music Awards.

Codie grew up on a 2,000-acre farm, where his mother runs a small town bar. He has two sisters, one older and one younger. During family events Codie would listen to his mother and his uncle as they played guitar and sang songs. These family concerts were what began to grow the love of music within Codie.

Festival Update
Festival International de Louisiane • Lafayette, La. • April 26–30
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival • N’awlins, La. • April 28 –May 7
Mid West Music Fest • Winona, Minn. • April 27–29
MerleFest 2017 • Wilkesboro, N.C. • April 27–April 30

Comanchero

“Have You Seen Her,” Thrown

“Alabama Moonstruck,” Dead Gringo

Since 2003, Comanchero has crafted an Americana sound that combines old traditions with new, Country with Rock, Bluegrass with Blues, Honky-Tonk with Funk, and Roots with Rockabilly. While unique in their own sound, there is something strikingly familiar in Comanchero’s songs that weave influences ranging from The Allman Brothers, The Band, Little Feat, & Led Zeppelin, to today’s contemporaries such as Wilco, The Drive -By Truckers, & Mumford & Sons.

Highlights:
– Boston’s Americana Jam Band since 2003
– Four studio albums
– Songs licensed by PBS (Road Trip Nation) and ABC (20/20 with Diane Sawyer)
– Direct support for artists such as: ZZ Top, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Yardbirds, & Passion Pit
– Winner of Relix Magazine’s “Jam Off” competition & featured in magazine and monthly CD
– Nominated by Red Line Roots for Favorite Local Rock and Rollers
– Over 500 performances including international (Ireland, UK tour)

 

The Suitcase Junket

“Evangeline,” Pile Driver

Matt Lorenz sits alone on a suitcase in the center of a complex construction of upcycled cookpots, saw blades and broken chairs. Artist, tinkerer, tunesmith, swamp yankee. A one-man salvage specialist singing into the hollow of a Dumpster guitar, slipping a broken bottleneck onto the slide finger, railing on a box of twisted forks and bones, rocking till every sound is ragged at its edges, till the house is singing back. Then, unplugging all the amps and letting one mountain ballad soar over the raw strings on that guitar. Every night is a hard-driving, blues-grinding, throat-singing search-and-rescue junket. Sooner or later everything rusts, busts, and gets tossed into the junk heap: iron, bones, leather, hot rods, muskrats, the night, theheart. The goal is to recover it. To waste nothing. To create new ways from old. This is The Suitcase Junket.

Matt Lorenz was raised in Cavendish, Vermont, the son of teachers. He learned to sing by copying his sister Kate. (The siblings are two-thirds of the touring trio Rusty Belle.) Lorenz graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 2004, having taught himself to throat-sing thanks to a South Indian cooking class. On moving day, he pulled his guitar, filled with mold and worse for wear, from a dorm Dumpster. He fixed it up and started pulling songs out of it. That was the beginning.

 

Francesca Brown

“Collide,” Collide

Francesca Brown’s music is best described as Americana. It is rooted in folk and country, but has elements of blues and hints of 90’s alternative rock at moments.

Francesca brown was born in San Clemente California, but spent much of her childhood moving between northern Illinois and southern California.  Some of her earliest and fondest childhood memories were spent in Hemet California, which at the time was a small agricultural town.  It was here where she remembers falling in love with desert landscapes, Native American art and culture, a simplistic way of life, and the surrounding snow capped San Jacinto Mountains.  As a child her family took frequent visits to the artist mountain town of Idyllwild, which still serves as artistic inspiration in her life today.
From about the age of nine up through high school, she lived in and around Rockford Illinois near the Wisconsin border.  It was pretty rural, but close enough to cities like Chicago and Madison to be exposed to great music and culture.  She spent a lot time at outdoor music festivals and concerts with her mother and siblings seeing artists such as BB King, Lonnie Brooks, Buddy Guy, Little Richard and The Smashing Pumpkins to name a few.

 

Honey Whiskey Trio

“Who’s Gonna Be Your Man,” Rye Woman

The Honey Whiskey Trio explores harmony in folk, bluegrass and any melody that catches the ear. Through their powerful, yet sweet harmonies, body percussion, haunting melodies and vitality on stage, Honey Whiskey Trio captivates and moves audiences. These storytellers in song found their roots in vocal jazz, all singing in Pacific Standard Time, CSU Long Beach’s award winning vocal jazz ensemble, though at different times. This foundation in jazz gives Honey Whiskey Trio an inherent flexibility to their sound, allowing them to change and adjust their tone to best fit the mood of each song.

In 2013, after singing together for only 5 months, Honey Whiskey Trio won the Harmony Sweepstakes National Competition, also winning Audience Favorite at both the Regional and National sweepstakes. They have gone on to headline the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival, the Women’s A Cappella Association‘s SheSings Festival, the South Eastern Minnesota A Cappella Festival, and have been featured artists at the FAR-West Folk Festival, the Rogue Valley Roots Festival, the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival,and the Shedd Institute for the Arts. Called “One of the most talented vocal harmony groups performing today” by John Neal, Harmony Sweepstakes executive producer and ”One of the very best arrivals this year on my stage. Solid in every way and fully entertaining” by Bob Stane, of The Coffee Gallery Backstage, Honey Whiskey Trio is a group you don’t want to miss experiencing live.

 

Fantastic Negrito

“Night Has Turned to Day,” Fantastic Negrito EP

Fantastic Negrito won his first Grammy Award for 2017 Best Contemporary Blues album.

Listen to my June 2015 conversation with him just after his NPR Tiny Desk Concert win.

Fantastic Negrito's June 24, 2015 release, "Fantastic Negrito" is as raw, tender, funny, and honest as you could ever want.
Fantastic Negrito’s June 24, 2015 release, “Fantastic Negrito” is as raw, tender, funny, and honest as you could ever want.

Fantastic Negrito is the incarnation of a musician who is reborn after going through a lot of awful shit. In fact, the name Fantastic Negrito represents his third rebirth, literally coming back from death this time. The narrative on this man is as important as the sound, because the narrative is the sound. Songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to “make it”, who “got it”, and who lost it all. For anyone who ever felt like it was over yet hoped it wasn’t, this is your music; blues harnessed, forged in realness. For anyone who ever considered getting their old high-school band back together, this is your inspiration. These are singular songs by a true musician who writes and produces. They are his fuel as he embarks on the third comeback of his life.

The Cornbread Cafe #3 — Echo Sparks, The Suitcase Junket, CATFOX, Long Journey & more


Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #3—of the Cornbread Cafe.

D.A. Valdez, Colleen Kinnick, and Cindy Ballreich are Echo Sparks; submitted photo.
D.A. Valdez, Colleen Kinnick, and Cindy Ballreich are Echo Sparks; submitted photo.

I am the mongrel, and I will be your waiter today. Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And you can sometimes catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. We are the Internet’s new fave hang for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.

 

On this Episode:

Echo Sparks, “Ghost Town Girl,” Ghost Town Girl
The Suitcase Junket, “What Was I Gonna Say,” Pile Driver
CATFOX, “Mama Don’t Say Why,” Thank You, I Love You, I’m Sorry
Long Journey, “I First Kissed You,” Fierce Folk
The Hunts, “Lifting The Sea,” Those Younger Days
Melika Miller, “Don’t Give Up Now,” by single
Munk Duane, “Stupid Pride,” Argue with Gravity
Misty Blues, “Next Time is the Last Time,” Dark and Saucy
The Delta Wires, “Goin’ Away,” Anthology
Gus McKay, “Extremely Voodoo,” Salt Flat Mojo Blues
Ray Wilson“Lone River Dance,” Coming Through in Waves
One Left, “Fare Thee Well My True Love,” This Land I Love

I think we need to clear something up before we get to the music today. A musician expressed the concern that their music wasn’t in the same league as the bulk of the artists we’re featuring on the show. I’d like to think that my response was adequately reassuring, but in hindsight, I’m kinda thinking I could have done better. So let me try again to explain what this show is and is not.

 

Matt Lorenz, performing as The Suitcase Junket; photo by Bill Foster.
Matt Lorenz, performing as The Suitcase Junket; photo by Bill Foster.

 

 

The Cornbread Cafe is a place to showcase some of the best in independent American Roots music. We play tunes that are original, authentic, and well-crafted. Period. It doesn’t matter whether those tunes come from an established artist or an emerging one. It doesn’t matter if half the songs on an EP are a little, you know, kinda “ehh.” Kinda could use a little more polish. That’s not the point of this show.

 

Catrin Lloyd-Bollard performs as CATFOX at the Castle Hotel, Aberystwyth, Wales; photo by Craig Kirkwood.
Catrin Lloyd-Bollard performs as CATFOX at the Castle Hotel, Aberystwyth, Wales; photo by Craig Kirkwood.

The point of this show…

And I should pause here to say that I should be so lucky that even half my episodes are winners…

The point of this show is that there’s this huge audience out there that’s fed up with the commercial crap that dominates the airwaves. They’re hungry for music that speaks to them, that says something real. The ingredients of American Roots music are the stuff of real life—good and bad. Not synthetically created in the marketing departments of the corporate tune factories.

 

So I don’t want hear any more excuses like that. You want us to feature your music, send us an e-mail to artists@cornbread.cafe. I’m going to point out though that we can only include about 1/10 of a percent of the music we’d like to on the podcast. But that’s OK, because we’re going to start livestreaming pretty soon, which will give us a chance to play tons more music. So send it our way.

And if you’re up for an interview, let us know that too. You could end up as a headliner like today’s featured artist, Echo Sparks out of Orange County, Calif. We spoke at length with D.A. Valdez, Cindy Ballreich, and Colleen Kinnick about…about everything, actually, which tends to happen on this show. You can listen to the full interview via the small audio player below the band’s name in the shownotes. And to whet your appetite, we’ll play an excerpt of that conversation in just a bit.

Echo Sparks

> Listen to the full-length conversation with them! <

The Hunts; photo courtesy The Hunts, via Facebook.
The Hunts; photo courtesy The Hunts, via Facebook.

You may recall that in Episode #1, we got to enjoy “Torch Song” of their 2016 release, “Ghost Town Girl.” In this episode, I thought we’d go straight to the title track, which captures several of the band’s many talents all in one track.

After that, we have another exciting treat: hailing from the Pioneer Valley in Western Mass, Matt Lorenz, who records and performs as The Suitcase Junket, unleashes his 5th release, Pile Driver, on April 21, at the Shea Theater Arts Center in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

Melika Miller; photo courtesty Melika Miller
Melika Miller; photo courtesty Melika Miller

Suitcase Junket

For those of you who haven’t heard Suitcase Junket play, some explanation is required. Yes, he’s a one-man show. No, you brain can’t comprehend that when you hear him play. It sounds like a three-piece at least, and if THAT weren’t enough, Matt learned how to do that overtone, throat-singing technique which is the other thing Mongolia is famous for besides yurts and Ghengis Khan.

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to wait so long to get a taste of what I’m teasing you with? Well…ya don’t. Cuz it just so happens that I’ve got that album right here, and I’m going to treat you to the characteristically smouldering “What Was I Gonna Say.”

 

Munk Duane is also wicked funny; image captured from the 2014 video for "Some Rivers," directed by Michael Carroll.
Munk Duane is also wicked funny; image captured from the 2014 video for “Some Rivers,” directed by Michael Carroll.

CATFOX

We’ll finish off the set with CATFOX and “Mama Don’t Say Why,” from Thank You, I Love You, I’m Sorry. First though, let’s hear a little from our conversation with Echo Sparks.

Did I mention that we, here, at the Cornbread Cafe are Not. Afraid. To be different? We’re not. Which is why when we say we play Folk, we mean we play all kinds of Folk, including psychedelic folk, which is how CATFOX categorizes her sound. I might add “Northern Gothic” as another descriptor. CATFOX is the musical incarnation of live artist Catrin Lloyd-Bollard. A Brooklyn-based actor, writer, & performer, she’s played gigs in some far-flung, and at times rather mysterious venues. We have both the studio and down-home versions of CATFOX’s latest release, Zoömagnesis, so expect to hear more from this talented artist.

 

Misty Blues; photo courtesy Misty Blues
Misty Blues; photo courtesy Misty Blues

And if you were enraptured by the Suitcase Junket’s “What Was I Going to Say,” I have some good news. I was really torn between that song and the absolutely rockin’ “Evangeline,” also off the upcoming release Pile Driver.” I went with the former mainly because I was gonna send you to the Suitcase Junket’s Bandcamp page where you can pre-order the album if you so choose. And Matt has made “Evangeline” available to listen to in its entirety, which might help persuade you to drop a little coin and support this mad genius.

 

The Delta Wires; image courtesy the Delta Wires
The Delta Wires; image courtesy the Delta Wires

Long Journey

Well, we’ve got a whole lot of audio backing up on the conveyor belt, so what do you say we play some more brand new music, eh? Karl Mullen and Amrita Lash make up the mostly acoustic duo Long Journey, which released the 2016  “Fierce Folk” to widespread enthusiasm. Both performers are also visual artists and educators who teach it forward in the hills of the Berkshires. Additionally, Mr. Mullen is a music promoter who knows a seemingly  impossible number of people in the world of Roots music. We’ll be hearing more from him, and if we’re lucky, get him on for a conversation to talk about what he has lined up for 2017.

 

 

Gus McKay; photo courtesy Gus McKay
Gus McKay; photo courtesy Gus McKay

The Hunts

After that, a song that’s been around a little while, but one that continues to lift my spirits whenever I hear it—“Lifting the Sea,” by The Hunts off their 2015 effort, Those Younger Days. We’ll keep the positive vibe going with Melika Miller’s single “Don’t Give Up Now.”

But right now, here’s “I First Kissed You,” by Long Journey here at the Cornbread Cafe.

Munk Duane

Both of the next two artists I’ve actually had the pleasure of interviewing in the past. Munk Duane is a Boston-based singer/songwriter, composer and one mean mofo on the guitar. Not only is he a legend of the East Coast Indie scene, his generosity to the podcasting community has earned him the admiration and appreciation of podcasters nationally, including yours truly.

 

Misty Blues

Gina Coleman’s performance in the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s production of “A Raisin in the Sun” was praised for its power and heart, which nudged her musical career into the Blues. Forming the fully loaded band, Misty Blues, was just about a given. We’ll hear “Next Time Is the Last Time,” off their 2016 release, “Dark and Saucy.”

 

Gus McKay

We’ll round out our Blues detour with Bay Area greats the Delta Wires with “Goin’ Away,” off Anthology followed by “Extremely Voodoo,” by Gus McKay (who’s really an Aussie—Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone). Right now, though, let’s get this set rolling with Munk Duane and “Stupid Pride.”

So, I have to wonder, after the Australians have taken over American T.V. and the movies, is this what they’re setting their sights on? American-style Blues? You think I’m kidding—I’ve got three more Aussie Blues artists in the hopper, and each one of them kicks ass.

I think we have time to squeeze in a quick peek through the festival-scope to see what the upcoming Roots scene looks like across America. Starting with:

Paluxy River Bluegrass Festival • Glen Rose Tex. • Mar 30 – April 1
Winter Wonder Grass Tahoe • Olympic Valley, Calif. • March 31 – April 2
French Quarter Festival • New Orleans, La. • April 6 – 9
Country Thunder Arizona • Florence, Ariz. • April 6 – 9
Rhythm N Blooms • Knoxville, Tenn. • April 7 – 9
Tortuga Music Festival • Fort Lauderdale, Fla. • April 7 – 9
Baton Rouge Blues Festival • Baton Rouge, La. • April 8 – 9

 

I should say that we could do a whole show looking into any one of these festivals individually. SO much history, SO much talent and experience and just plain LIFE goes into these celebrations, they’re more than just a chance for great entertainment. If you happen to make it to any of these events, send us some pics we can share, or post them on social media an tag the Cornbread Cafe so other listeners can get a sense of the experience.

Ray Wilson

We’re going to put the wraps on this episode though by making our way back to Texas—keep ending up there, right?—and we’re going to sample a track from the just released album, Coming Through In Waves, by Ray Wilson. The tune, “Lone River Dance,” is a ballad in the classic sense—a tale of choices, loss, and regrets. You’d be forgiven for becoming so entranced by the lyrics that you forget to pay attention to the instrumentation. It’s alright, you can go back and listen again.

One Left

Appropriately, we finish off this episode with the band, One Left,  an act that’s has done some solid picking over the last couple of decades—solid like curly maple. The band leader, Rick Rowland, posted recently that he’s lost all the hearing in one ear and about half in the other. I’ll try to find out what happened there, because if his talents have been stolen from us by a cruel twist of Fate, that would be way beyond unfair. The song is “Fare Thee Well My True Love,” off their 2010 release “This Land I Love.”

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The Cornbread Cafe #2 — Keeton Coffman, Alicia Beale, Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, much more


Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #2—of the Cornbread Cafe. We’ve got Keeton Coffman, Alicia Beale, The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, and SO much more!

Keeton Coffman discusses Life, The Universe, and Everything (especially music) in our extended interview below. We hear "Killer Eyes" and "What We're Reaching For" from his 2016 release, Killer Eyes; photo courtesy Keeton Coffman
Keeton Coffman discusses Life, The Universe, and Everything (especially music) in our extended interview below. We hear “Killer Eyes” and “What We’re Reaching For” from his 2016 release, Killer Eyes; photo courtesy Keeton Coffman

 

I am the mongrel, and I will be your waiter today. Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And you can sometimes catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. We are the Internet’s new hang-out for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.

 

On this Episode:

“Killer Eyes,” Keeton Coffman, Killer Eyes
“What We’re Reaching For,” Keeton Coffman, Killer Eyes
“Beautiful,” Alicia Beale, Ignite
“Take That Bath,” Francesca Brown, Collide
“Whiskey In My Tea Master,” Signs Point East
“Nothin But My Whiskey,” Honey Whiskey Trio
“Big Ol Bottle of Wine,” Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, The Heart of the Run
“Bad Man Road,” The Walker Avenue Gang, Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws
“Homewrecker,” Sam Sliva, The Drained
“What You Took,” Faint Peter, Redoubt
“Swansong,” Molly Pinto Madigan, Wildwood Bride
“Goodnight,” Oh Susanna, Namedropper

 

Alicia Beale, with "Beautiful" from <em>IGNITE</em>; image courtesy Alicia Beale
Alicia Beale, with “Beautiful” from IGNITE; image courtesy Alicia Beale

I want to start off this show with a HUGE thank you to the listeners who shared links to our launch episode on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. Without even being in iTunes, without even any marketing to speak of, Episode #1 racked up over 600 downloads almost right out of the gate, which is wicked good for a show that’s not produced by, you know, like WNYC or RADIOTOPIA or somebody. So, the management and staff of the Cornbread Cafe would like to acknowledge that we owe it all to YOU, you crazy roots-music lovin’ fools, you!

 

Francesca Brown with "Take that Bath," from Collide; photo courtesy Francesca Brown
Francesca Brown with “Take that Bath,” from Collide; photo courtesy Francesca Brown

 

 

Well, I’d never say that we’re trying to “top” a previous episode, but we did set a pretty high bar with that first show, so I’ve definitely been feeling the pressure. Choosing today’s music, and obsessively arranging each song in exactly the right order was kind of like making the first mix-tape for my sophomore year girlfriend in high school. It had to be juuuuuust perfect to demonstrate my undying adolescent love. And I’m not sure we want to go too deep into the analogy, but my promise to you is that I’ll use the same neurotic perfectionism in every single episode until you are convinced of my devotion to you and your musical edification. When I get a phone call from your parents telling me to stop leaving sticky notes with links to the show on your car windshild, then I’ll know I’ve hit the sweet spot.

 

Signs Point East, with "Back to the Start," off their EP Back to the Start; photo courtesy Signs Point East
Signs Point East, with “Back to the Start,” off their EP Back to the Start; photo courtesy Signs Point East

And what do we have for you today? We have another set of twelve exceptional tunes ranging from old-school Bluegrass to the very edge of the DMZ between Country and  Rock ’n’ Roll. And, to make it a baker’s dozen, we also have an interview with Houston-based Keeton Coffman. In Episode #1, we heard his recent hit “The Mountain” off his 2016 album Killer Eyes. The song resonated with a lot of you, and my guess is that it straddled the line between Alt-Country and Rock so comfortably, that you just couldn’t help but get hooked on it. Well, let’s have another round of that top-shelf tunage with the title track off Killer Eyes.

Extended Interview with Keeton Coffman

 

The Honey Whiskey Trio with “Nothin But My Whiskey,” which may or may not be included on their debut release later this year—only time will tell!
The Honey Whiskey Trio with “Nothin But My Whiskey,” which may or may not be included on their debut release later this year—only time will tell!

That was Keeton Coffman, with “Killer Eyes.” When Keeton accepted our invitation to come on the show and talk about that album and the just-released video for “What We’re Reaching For,” I knew exactly what I wanted to ask about. I wanted to know what drives the upbeat optimism that fuels his extremely danceable anthems. You can hear the full interview by clicking the player in the shownotes at cornbread.cafe, but here’s a preview of that conversation right now in the Cornbread Cafe.

 

I didn’t mean to start off this show with two Texans, but after getting into such a good mood with Keeton’s music, I was reminded of a song by our friend Alicia Beale, a Texas girl who now makes her home in Nashville. Alicia’s latest release, IGNITE, did exactly that to the Indie music scene last year. She was our guest on another show back in October, so you can imagine how excited we were for her when she took home the prize for Best Pop Single at the Independent Music Awards in November with “New Fling,” featuring Kristo Rewlz. Many of the tracks off IGNITE are perfect examples of the blurring of musical lines that this Cornbread Cafe was built to celebrate. Flavors of Country accent this deep track, “Beautiful,” off that breakout release by Alicia Beale.

Facetime Interview with Alicia Beale

The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, with “Big Ol Bottle of Wine," off their live 2016 Heart of the Run release; photo courtesy The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow
The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, with “Big Ol Bottle of Wine,” off their live 2016 Heart of the Run release; photo courtesy The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow

Well, I think I’ve heard myself talk about as much as I can stand for a little while, so why don’t we get some musical momentum started here, right? And, I should warn you, we’re going to go on a little bit of a bender at this point. I’ve been looking for an excuse to fire up the Dodge and make a whiskey run for a while now. Are you game? Joining us are some new friends Signs Point East with “Whiskey In My Tea,” followed by the soon to be everywhere Honey Whiskey Trio with “Nothin But My Whiskey.” And cashing out our tab are our good buds the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, and a live “Big Ol Bottle of Wine,” First though, Francesca Brown is going to intoxicate us with some poison of her own with my favorite track from her latest release, Collide, “Take that Bath”

The Walker Avenue Gang perform “Bad Man Road,” on the soundtrack of the film Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws, slated for a 2017 release; image courtesy The Walker Avenue Gang
The Walker Avenue Gang perform “Bad Man Road,” on the soundtrack of the film Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws, slated for a 2017 release; image courtesy The Walker Avenue Gang

 

You want to know how popular Roots music is getting? I’ll tell ya’. The largest contemporary art museum in the country, MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., is home to the Fresh Grass festival, now in its sixth season. The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow are actually playing a show there on St. Patrick’s Day. What kind of a wild time does THAT sound like, eh? Of course I want you to get to know all the artists on this show better—that’s why I put links every seventh word or so. But I want to make a special suggestion that you visit the Honey Whiskey Trio’s website and check out their videos section. Their harmonies on songs like “The Lone Wild Bird” are so defined and so clear as to be dizzying. They tell me that an album is due out this Spring, and when it shoots to the top of the charts, just remember you got your first taste of that sweet Honey Whiskey right here on the Cornbread Cafe.

 

Sam Silva, with "Homewrecker" from The Drained; photo courtesy Sam Silva.
Sam Sliva, with “Homewrecker” from The Drained; photo courtesy Sam Silva.

Sadly, there’s usually a good amount of air between sweet liquor and sound judgement, you notice that? And I reckon it’s a good time to throw a couple of cautionary tales into the mix to sober us all back up a bit. From the soundtrack to the movie Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws, scheduled to be released this year, we’ll hear “Bad Man Road,” by the The Walker Avenue Gang, followed by Sam Sliva with “Homewrecker,” here on the Cornbread Cafe. Buzzkill, I know, right?

Molly Pinto Madigan; artwork for Wildwood Bride, photo by Joey Phoenix Photography
Molly Pinto Madigan; artwork for Wildwood Bride, photo by Joey Phoenix Photography

Well, I think we have time for a little bit Roots music news don’t we? Not much, but some. First of all, this weekend kicks off the  South By Southwest festival, which has gotten so big that Vice President Joe Biden is a speaker and the festival has its own app for navigating time and space while you’re gliding through the marvels assembled in Austen, Tejas.

 

But SXSW ain’t the only game in town—not by a stretch. Rounding out the rest of March is:

South By Southwest (SXSW) • Austin, TX • Mar 10 – Mar 19
Suwanee Spring Reunion • Live Oak, FL • Mar 23 – Mar 26
Savannah Music Festival • Savannah, GA • Mar 23 – Apr 8
Paluxy River Bluegrass Festival • Glen Rose TX • Mar 30 – Apr 1
Big Ears Festival • Knoxville TN • Mar 23 – Mar 26

 

Joseph De Natale, performing as Faint Peter; photo courtesy Faint Peter
Joseph De Natale, performing as Faint Peter; photo courtesy Faint Peter

And, of course, you can find the link to more info on AmericanaFest 2017 WHERE? Yes, in the shownotes. You’re catching on.

We’re going to serve up a triplet of singer/songwriters who represent some of the best in poetic wordsmithing you could hope to hear on this or any show. First up is Faint Peter with “What You Took,” from the 2016 release Redoubt. Faint Peter is the Boston-born, Seattle-based Joseph De Natale, who, with this album of piercing storytelling, proves he might just be THE standard-bearer for new American folk.

Next, Molly Pinto Madigan mesmerizes us with Swan Song off her 2016 release, Wildwood Bride, which enraptured critics with brilliant lyrics sung with otherworldly elegance.

Suzie Ungerleider of Oh Susanna; photo by Heather Pollock
Suzie Ungerleider of Oh Susanna; photo by Heather Pollock

And closing out the episode will be beautiful, graceful, melancholy “Goodnight,” from Oh Susanna, off Namedropper. We’ve had the good fortune to speak with Suzie Ungerleider, who was born in Northhampton, Mass., and crafts her gorgeous melodies in Toronto, Canada.

I hope you enjoy the dessert course, starting right now with “What You Took.”

I think it’s best if I let Oh Susanna have the last word. Join us next time right here in the Cornbread Cafe.

This show was engineered and hosted by me, the mongrel, and I’m looking forward to serving up more great Roots to you and your kin next week. No reservations needed. Just bring your appetite for great music.

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