Eric Brace and Peter Cooper
Nashville TN | Singer-Songwriter
Grammy nominees Eric Brace & Peter Cooper have created a body of work that reflects their journalistic sensibilities, a love of harmony and wry humor, and their deep respect for the masters they've played with.
April 2013 marks the release of Eric Brace & Peter Cooper's third duo record, The Comeback Album, a sparkling set of songs that feature the pair's splendid harmonies and deft storytelling.
The duo forayed into the world of children's music with the Grammy-nominated I Love: Tom T. Hall's Songs of Fox Hollow, was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition,” in USA Today and the Chicago Sun-Times, and was named a Top 5 Americana album by Rich Kienzle in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Produced by Brace and Cooper, the album features performances by Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Bobby Bare, Duane Eddy, Jim Lauderdale, Elizabeth Cook, as well as Brace, Cooper, and others.
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper are touring partners and have collaborated on two previous albums. On Master Sessions the pair fronted a band that featured pedal steel guitar legend Lloyd Green and dobro master Mike Auldridge, and the album made numerous critics’ Best-of 2010 lists. Their first record together, You Don’t Have To Like Them Both, was a Top Ten album on the Roots, Americana, and Folk charts.
Brace and Cooper have acclaimed music careers outside their work as a duo. Brace, a former music journalist for the Washington Post leads the renowned roots rock band Last Train Home. Started in Washington, DC in 1997, and now based in Nashville, Brace & LTH have released eight CDs, several EPs, and a full-length concert DVD, with a new album in the works.
On moving to Nashville, Brace found a kindred spirit in Peter Cooper, a music writer for the Tennessean and other publications, and a professor of country music at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. Cooper released two critically praised solo records, Mission Door from 2008 and The Lloyd Green Album in 2010 on Brace’s Red Beet Records label.
On tour, Brace and Cooper’s shows are engaging and funny and reflect the pair's easy camaraderie. They can command the stage of a concert hall or festival with the same ease and intimate feel they bring to a coffeehouse. The duo has opened on large stages for John Prine, Nanci Griffith, Don Williams, Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell, Iris Dement, Chris Smither, Dan Tyminsky, Travis Tritt & Jerry Douglas, among others. They've shared the stage with Tom T. Hall, Jim Lauderdale, Suzy Bogguss, Dan Navarro, Marshall Chapman, Kim Carnes, Emmylou Harris, and others. They've recently played such U.S. festivals as Bristol Rhythm & Roots, Tin Pan South, Americana Music Festival, Folk Alliance International, 30A Songwriters, and Knoxville Rhythm and Blooms, as well as the Truck, Summertyne, and Maverick festivals in the U.K. They are frequent guest DJ’s on the legendary WSM radio station in Nashville.
The Coal Men
Founded in 1999, The Coal Men have been playing there own brand of roots rock ’n’ roll for twelve years with the same core line up. Guitarist and lead singer Dave Coleman grew up with bassist Jason “Hitch” Hitchcock in rural Jamestown, TN. After playing in high school bands, the blood brothers from the Cumberland Plateau both moved to Nashville. Coleman started writing his own songs, and through luck and fate, wrote for two years at legendary Acuff-Rose Music Publishing.
Tim Carroll, a product of rural Indiana, releases his eighth record, All Kinds Of Pain, in July 2009. As rhythm guitarist in the late-70s Bloomington, Indiana punk band, The Gizmos (Gulcher), Tim displayed his bare-bones rock ethic, then polished it in the 80s with The Blue Chieftains, his New York City bar band (Diesel Only Records).
A Nashville transplant since 1993, Tim has had songs recorded by John Prine, Asleep At The Wheel, BR-549, Robbie Fulks, Kasey Chambers, Elizabeth Cook, Bare Jr., Sunny Sweeney, Sonny Burgess and many others.
A Louisiana native now based in Nashville, Kevin Gordon is a songwriter whose work has been recorded by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Levon Helm of The Band, Irma Thomas, Ronnie Hawkins, Webb Wilder, Kate Campbell, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, and others. The title track from his Down to the Well CD, a duet with Grammy winner Lucinda Williams, has been featured on two prominent compilations: the 2001 Oxford American Southern Music Sampler, and No Depression: What It Sounds like, Volume 1, released by Dualtone. Gordon tours regularly throughout the U.S. Also a published poet, Gordon holds an MFA degree from the renowned University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.
Nashville TN | Country
In this time of style over substance––of reality with a capital "R"––Nashville singer-songwriter Jon Byrd gives us something we can actually use: honesty. Down At The Well Of Wishes, the Alabama native's second solo recording, is a remarkably above-board piece of work that demonstrates his world-class songwriting and performing skills while remaining refreshingly devoid of pretense. If you can imagine Gram Parsons or The Byrds had they actually been accepted by the country music establishment, then you have an inkling of Down At The Well Of Wishes' straightforward mix of barroom exuberance and front porch restraint.
As with Jon himself, there's nothing forced about Down At The Well Of Wishes––no miasmatic caterwauling; no high speed picking; no obligatory reggae track. On Down At The Well Of Wishes, the songs do the work. From "When it Starts to Rain," a heartfelt acknowledgement of the trials we all share, to "In a Chest of Skin and Bone," written with longtime collaborator Butch Primm, its tracks get right to the heart of the matter––and tend to stick in your head long after the listening is through.
Recorded at Ocean Way studios in Nashville, Tennessee, Down At The Well Of Wishes pulls together some of Nashville's most respected talents, including Shannon and Adam Wright (The Wrights), Milan Miller (Patty Loveless, Grayson Capps, Gary Bennett), Pat Severs (Bill Anderson, The Everly Brothers), Marty Lynds (Marah, Last Train Home), and Jimmy Lester (Webb Wilder, Los Straightjackets)––all under the watchful eye of veteran producer R.S. Field (Billy Joe Shaver, Sonny Landreth, Justin Townes Earle).
Down At The Well Of Wishes comes as no surprise to those who've watched Jon work over the years. During the 90s, he was an integral part of Atlanta's storied Redneck Underground movement. His inventive yet understated Telecaster bending with bands like Slim Chance and the Convicts, and solo artists like country traditionalist Greta Lee, stands as a testament to that heady scene.
Critically acclaimed songwriter Amelia White's long awaited fourth album, Motorcycle Dream, has arrived. The album contrasts the pretty but gritty urgency of White's honest unaffected vocals and core band with lush vibrating guitars and keys that match the melodic beauty of her songs. The songs are lyrically cinematic, and have a strong theme of wanderlust and flight from earthly troubles. Within this, White explores addiction, political and personal bullies, her dog's near death experience, stranger's broken hearts, and new love.
Quit Your Job - Play Guitar isn’t just the title of Mark Robinson’s first solo CD—it’s his life.
Mark picked up his first guitar at age 13 in his hometown, Bloomington, Indiana (where a few years later he had his first professional guitar gig with fellow Hoosier Bobby Helms—of “Jingle Bell Rock” fame). Drawing on musical influences ranging from The Allman Brothers to Charlie Christian, Mark practiced every lick until it was perfect. But he also found his own musical path, part rock, part blues, part jazz—but most definitely Mark Robinson. He continued to play guitar in a variety of local bands while he attended Indiana University and got his degree in audio and video production, with a minor in music from IU's renowned School of Music. Mark got a job at the local television station, directing the morning "Farm Show" and stage managing IU basketball coach Bob Knight's post-game shows.
But music called, so Mark moved to Chicago, where he had a chance to play with some legends of American blues, including Lonnie Brooks, Jimmy Johnson, Koko Taylor, Son Seals, and Bo Diddley. When Mark returned to Bloomington, he continued to perform and record with nationally acclaimed acts: singer-songwriter Bill Wilson; Americana artists Carrie Newcomer, Tom Roznowski, and Bob Cheevers; soul-bluesman Tad Robinson (no relation); and rock guitarist Larry Crane (formerly of John Mellencamp’s band). And he had a day gig: video producer at IU. It paid the bills. And it allowed him to earn his Master's in Education, specializing in Instructional Systems Technology. (That and a dollar could get him a cup of coffee.)
In 2004, Mark Robinson was offered an opportunity to move to Music City and be a full-time musician. No guarantees of making a living—but a chance to do what he loved, play guitar, rather than what he had to do to earn a paycheck. It was the right move. In Nashville, Mark has performed and/or recorded with Davis Raines, Mike Cullison, Randy Handley, Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros, Tricia Walker, Kent Blazy, Johnny Neel, Cory Batten, Tom Ghent, Brian Langlinais, Mike Kearns, and many others.
In Nashville, Mark has also focused on songwriting, with cuts by other Nashville artists, and on producing, with a number of CDs and demos to his credit. In addition, he now fronts the Mark Robinson Band—performing strong originals and soulful covers. His performances are inspired by the many great talents he’s worked with over the years. Mark Robinson the sideman has morphed into Mark Robinson the artist.
Mark’s new CD, Quit Your Job - Play Guitar, is raw and soulful--blues-infused, guitar-based roots music. The songs and performances are steeped in Chicago blues, Memphis soul, rock and roll and Americana. The players on the CD are some of the finest musicians in Nashville. And Mark’s songs are as at home on Beale Street as they are on Lower Broad, and as comfortable in Southside Chicago lounges as in the studios of Muscle Shoals.
Over the course of his career Mark has shared the stage with some of the best-known names in music, including The Byrds, Johnny Winter, Steppenwolf, John Mellencamp, Dr. John, Leo Kottke, David Ball, Marty Stuart, and Lonnie Mack. But he’s never had more fun or more satisfaction than right now, right here in Nashville.