Spirit Family Reunion
Brooklyn NY | Country
Spirit Family Reunion play homegrown American music to stomp, clap, shake and holler with. Ever since they started singing together on the street corners, farmer's markets and subway stations of New York City, their songs have rung-out in a pure and timeless way. When Spirit Family Reunion gather to sing, there is communion. Strangers and neighbors come to rejoice in the sound, and there is no divide between performer and spectator.
In a strange barroom or a grand music hall, at a barn dance or on the sunny street corner, Spirit Family Reunion keep the book open, and that old familiar feeling that was almost lost is again new.
"Dusty acoustic guitars, wailing fiddles and weeping accordions, with a woozy-yet-skintight rhythm section-- and topped off with burr-edged vocals that sound like they've been soaked in a Mason jar for generations -- it's the type of music that blurs the line between past and present so thoroughly, and so deftly, that time feels irrelevant."
-Paste Magazine Best of What's Next
Whiskey Bent Valley Boys
Pewee Balley KY | Folk
Now these boys will take you through the hills of Ol’ Kentucky, bearing the stories, traditions and liquor that date back a century. This old-time band delivers with an intensity that would knock the socks right off of their forefather’s feet.
Hailing from the backwoods of Pewee Valley, Kentucky, the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys pay homage to their Southern kin -- songs from the tobacco fields to the rivers, iron skillets to moonshine stills. Upbeat and professional, the band possesses the skill to honor history and preserve the instruments, their style and every authentic nuance of the day. With their diverse fashion sense on stage, from overalls to string ties, straw hats to silk vests, along with a turbo-charged performance, their approach breathes fire into this vintage genre.
John England and the Western Swingers
Nashville TN | Country
John England & the Western Swingers is a six piece band based in Nashville, TN, which plays the lively, happy music called Western Swing. Western Swing originally developed in Texas and Oklahoma during the 1930's. With fiddle, steel guitar, piano, electric guitar, bass, and drums, it's music for dancing and listening, and combines the down-home quality of country music with the sophistication and improvisation of hot jazz.
The group has played their lively music at Nashville's Robert's Western World every Monday since July of 2001. The Swingers can also boast of appearances at New York's Lincoln Center, the Grand Ole Opry, the Legends of Western Swing Festival, the "Midnight Jamboree", and many concerts and private events in the mid-South area. The band has also been a featured part of the Rockettes Christmas Show for 5 years, and has been profiled by Downbeat magazine, the Nashville Tennessean, and other print media.
Nashville TN | Singer-Songwriter
Jacob Jones has spent his entire life on the move and so between alt-country music and his GQ-approved KEEP ON MOVIN! Dance Party DJ sets, so pursuing a life of a troubadour wasn’t quite the stretch for him as it might be for others. Having lived in various Indiana, Kentucky and Georgia towns by the age of ten and spending a brief stint of time in New York City before recently making Nashville his home, Jones has been pursuing Americana rock ’n roll in earnest for over half a decade now.
Thus far Jones has found success with his LP Bound For Glory and EP Volume One EP, consecutively. “Jacob’s brand of whiskey-fueled, hangover loomin’ country tunes (chased with rock and roll roots) makes for a raucous good time at his live show and supreme listening on his self-released LP,” said American Songwriter.
But this January 29th 2013, Jones will be releasing his next full length, Good Timin’ In Waynetown. This record combines the alt-country tones of Jason Isbell and the raw rock sensibilities of Chuck Berry to make for the sounds of the perfect southern gentleman.
Whether its an anthem about a night out on the town like the title track, a rollicking call for more good times on “Play It Loud, Ray!” or a swoon worthy song to his sweetheart on “My Girl Is Sweeter Than Yours” Jacob Jones knows how to, as his website’s headline suggests, “honky tonk yourself to death.”
Black Jake and the Carnies
The band, comprised of Black Jake (banjo, vocals, songwriting), Gus Wallace (fiddle), Andy Benes (mandolin, backing vocals), Jumpin' Joe Cooter (bass), Billy "the Kingpin" LaLonde (percussion, backing vocals), and J.C. Miller (accordion, backing vocals), are six hard-working men from Ypsi who wallow in the imagery of sideshows and carnivals. "When you grow up in a small town, you have hair down your back and everyone's a redneck, you get called a freak a lot," Jake told Detroit’s Metro Times in 2011. "So I get attracted to the outcasts, the freaks, being somebody who's on display."
He’s not wrong. When Black Jake & the Carnies played a prison show in Belgium as part of the Belgium/Netherlands/Germany tour in 2011, the touring company said that they were the only band they'd ever seen who got the prisoners to jump up out of their seats and dance. And everybody knows how hard convicts are to please.
Since the band’s formation, it has played with artists and groups as varied and prestigious as Split Lip Rayfield, Joe Buck, Tommy Ramone, Jayke Orvitz, Langhorn Slim, Greensky Bluegrass, Frontier Ruckus, the Real McKenzies, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, O'Death, and the Meatmen. In addition, the band has performed at respected festivals and events like Theatre Bizarre, the Beaver Island Music Fest (three times), Muddy Roots, and the Wheatland Music Fest (twice). The Theatre Bizarre appearance in 2010 also represents the biggest crowd that the band has played to, coming in at 2500. “Theatre Bizarre was closed down that year, so they moved it to the Fillmore on 36 hours-notice,” says the band. “We ended up closing out the night on the big stage, and finished up playing with a stage full of people (including the Detroit Party Marching Band, lots of side show folks and burlesque dancers).”
Allmusic said that, “While the band's music, a combination of Jake's smartly penned originals along with the odd '80s pop cover, certainly stands on its own, Black Jake & the Carnies' stage performances combine audience-participation carnival games, periodic spinning of a wheel of fortune/misfortune, some pretty outrageous costumes, and enough raw energy to jump-start a Volkswagen. Jake's banjo is even adorned with colored blinking lights. Yes, this is a band that knows how to have a good time and has fun doing so.”
Greg Molitor of Music Marauders said, "The bluegrass/folk/insanity theme works really well for these Carnies! Black Jake and Carnies was hands down the most energetic, wild, and flat-out enjoyable set of the entire weekend. I was a skeptic at first, but as soon as I saw the first Carnie jump from a 10 ft. speaker to the stage WITH HIS INSTRUMENT, I was sold. Sign me up for the next circus please!?"
Jeff Milo of iSPY Magazine said, "All the Carnies cut rugs like pure bottled lightning, they don’t play so much as they gracefully pummel, they pinball, even, from song # 1 to song #13 ½ …or however long their sweaty sets go. Set aside their eclectic music, the Carnies’ blend spindly bluegrass and honky-tonk croons to some psychobilly-bent for punk-spat pirouetting; swampy yet sophisticated, old timey like a jukebox’s warble but warped and shoved and shunted with a rock n’ roll romp."
Nashville TN | Country
Jim Lauderdale is a Grammy® Award winning musician and one of the most respected artists working the Bluegrass, Country and Americana music communities today. He is considered one of Nashville's "A" list of songwriters with songs recorded by artists such as Patty Loveless, Shelby Lynne, Solomon Burke, The Dixie Chicks and George Strait, who has had numerous hits with Jim’s songs. Jim’s music has been featured recently on the ABC hit show “Nashville” and he had several tracks on the soundtrack of the successful film “Pure Country.” Jim is also in high demand as a player, touring with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello.
Jim, who frequently collaborates with legends like Ralph Stanley and Elvis Costello, is also a critically acclaimed solo artist with dozens of studio releases, including his latest Carolina Moonrise, written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter and Buddy and Jim the critically acclaimed new duets album recorded with long time friend Buddy Miller of which Mojo states: “Miller and Lauderdale's duets has both the easy familiarity of old friends and the musicianship of old pros.”
In addition to making music together, Buddy and Jim also co-host “The Buddy & Jim Show,” recently described as “…highly entertaining…” by NPR’s Fresh Air. Each week Buddy and Jim invite artists to Buddy’s home studio in Nashville, where they tape performances and in depth interviews with a wide variety of artists and friends. Jim also hosts the popular Music City Roots each week from the Loveless Barn in Nashville and since winning "Artist of the Year" and "Song of the Year" at the first "Honors and Awards Show" held by the Americana Music Association in 2002, he has subsequently hosted the show each year.
Jim is the subject of a new documentary, directed by Australian filmmaker Jeremy Dylan called “The King Of Broken Hearts.” The feature length documentary tells Jim’s unconventional and prolific story from his North Carolina roots, being immersed in the country music scenes in both New York City and Los Angeles, to breaking through in Nashville as a songwriter.
Jim's musical influences, including the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and George Jones, can be heard in his songs with his unique sense of melody and lyrical expertise. He won his first Grammy Award in 2002 with Dr. Ralph Stanley for Lost in the Lonesome Pines (Dualtone) and then for The Bluegrass Diaries (Yep Roc) in 2007. In addition to previously mentioned releases, as a performer Jim is credited with production, writing and collaborating on over two dozen albums including Wait ’Til Spring (SkyCrunch/Dualtone 2003) with Donna the Buffalo and Headed for the Hills (Dualtone 2004) his first total project with Robert Hunter, Planet of Love (Reprise 1991,) Pretty Close to the Truth (Atlantic 1994,) Every Second Counts (Atlantic 1995,) Persimmons (Upstart 1998,) Whisper (BNA 1998,) Onward Through It All (RCA 1999,) The Other Sessions (Dualtone 2001,) The Hummingbirds (Dualtone 2002,) Bluegrass (Yep Roc 2006,) Country Super Hits, Volume 1 (Yep Roc 2006,) Honey Songs (Yep Roc 2008), Could We Get Any Closer? (SkyCrunch 2009,) Patchwork River (Thirty Tigers 2010) and Reason and Rhyme (Sugar Hill Records 2011.)
Jim's musical influences include the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and George Jones. These influences and his unique sense of melody and lyric help forge a sound that is truly his own. As a performer his credits include production, writing and collaborating on albums such as, "Wait 'Til Spring" with Donna the Buffalo, "Headed for the Hills” with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, "I Feel Like Singing Today" and the Grammy winning “Lost in the Lonesome Pines” with Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys.
His second solo bluegrass album, “Bluegrass Diaries” (Yep Roc 2007) won a Grammy in the “Bluegrass Album of the Year” category. His next album, “Honey Songs” was released in February 2008, and features an incredible lineup of musicians including James Burton, Garry Tallent, Al Perkins, Glen D. Hardin, Ron Tutt, Emmy Lou Harris, Patty Loveless, and many more.
Jim’s solo albums include “The Hummingbirds” (Dualtone 2002), “The Other Sessions” (Dualtone 2001), “Onward Through it All” (RCA 1999), “Whisper” (BNA 1998), “Persimmons” (Upstart 1996), “Every Second Counts” (Atlantic 1995), “Pretty Close to the Truth” (Atlantic 1994), and “Planet of Love” (Reprise 1991), as well as two releases in 2006, “Country Super Hits, Volume 1” and “Bluegrass” (Yep Roc), Grammy winner "The Bluegrass Diaries" (Yep Roc 2007), "Honey Songs" (Yep Roc 2008) "Could We Get Any Closer?" (Sky Crunch 2009) and "Patchwork River" (Thirty Tigers 2010).
"It's been a particularly great period for me," says Lauderdale. "Thanks to the records - I'm performing more and more, which I love. And I love that I can play the Opry one weekend, a jam-band festival the next and then a bluegrass festival the following week. That's really inspiring to me and I think there's a real thread there. The roots are the same for all of them and that's the music I'm interested in."