Brooklyn NY | Alternative
Led by the musical couple of front woman Kalmia Traver and bandleader/trumpeter Alex Toth, Rubblebucket has spent the last four years building a reputation as a band that blurs the lines between psychedelic indie rock, upbeat dance, and radiant, left-field arrangements. The Brooklyn, NY by way of Boston and Vermont band has evolved into something that is "utterly post-genre—horns, synth, guitars, harmonies—a smile-inducing point on the tangent that connects Björk and Broken Social Scene", which is to say that you never know what you'll see or hear next.
2012 has been a banner year for Rubblebucket, seeing the outfit grace the stages of Bonnaroo (with a surprise guest appearance with Foster the People) among countless other festivals, collaborate with heroes tUnE-yArDs and ?love for a Fela Kuti compilation, bring their raucous live show, along with giant robot puppets and love-tunnels, to larger and larger crowds across the US and receive love and affection from Paste, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, Wall Street Journal, Daytrotter and so many more. Now, on July 18th, the band will make their debut late night TV appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The band will release a new EP in September 11, 2012, recorded at Bear Creek Studios in Seattle, WA (home to Fleet Foxes' two gorgeous albums) with producer Ryan Hadlock (Ra Ra Riot, The Gossip, Blonde Redhead). This EP takes Brooklyn's freshest octet to a new level; between Kalmia Traver's unmistakable voice and the band's hip shaking, off-kilter arrangements, this EP highlights everything that makes Rubblebucket so special.
The band's 2011 album Omega La La marked a milestone for Rubblebucket. Recorded last year at Plantain/DFA Studios with Producer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, Cut Copy, Hercules and Love Affair) at the helm, the record was their most ambitious yet, with the band dipping into everything from dancey indie-pop arrangements to Fela-Kuti inspired afro-beat stomps. The record has earned a wealth of praise, with Stereogum hailing the record’s “tricky arrangements, whistle solos, and disco guitar leads” and Paste Magazine calling the album “instrumentally rich but catchy enough to ass-kick Katy Perry off the pop charts (in a just world)—mega-melodic without sacrificing an ounce of atmosphere or creativity.”
Roadkill Ghost Choir
Deland FL | Rock
Roadkill Ghost Choir is an indie folk-rock band from DeLand, Florida.
Brothers Andrew (vocals, guitar), Maxx (drums) and Zach (bass) Shepard make up half the band while Kiffy Meyers (pedal steel, banjo, guitar), Joey Davoli (keys, trumpet) and Stephen Garza (lead guitar) complete the band's sound. It wasn't until Andrew was offered his first solo gig in 2010 that he decided to form a band to fill out the songs he recently started writing for a live setting. After the band went through several name changes in the early stages of its creation, Roadkill Ghost Choir was formed.
While the member's major influences include Wilco, Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, and Fleetwood Mac, there are also undercurrents of Radiohead and Nirvana, lending the band an impish edge with broad appeal.
In 2012 Roadkill Ghost Choir finished recording their debut E.P. , Quiet Light, with producer Dave Plakon and engineer Mark Mason at North Avenue Studio. It was mastered in Omaha, Nebraska by Doug Van Sloun (Bright Eyes, She and Him). The Quiet Light EP will be re-released on July 9th through Wolfbomb Productions.
Andrew Shepard - Vocals/Guitar
Zach Shepard - Bass
Maxx Shepard - Drums/Vocals
Joey Davoli - Keys/ Trumpet/ Vocals
Stephen Garza - Guitar/Vocals
Kiffy Myers - Pedal Steel/Banjo
West Tisbury MA | Rock
Willy Mason (born 21 November 1984) is an American singer-songwriter. He is the son of Jemima James and Michael Mason, both folk singers who - according to Willy - have influenced his music. When Mason was five, he and his family moved from New York to West Tisbury, Massachusetts on the island of Martha's Vineyard. He attended West Tisbury Elementary School and Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, where he participated in several local bands such as Keep Thinking, Cultivation, and Slow Leslie.
Mason's popularity rose after Sean Foley, associate of musician Conor Oberst, discovered his music on a local Martha's Vineyard Radio broadcast. Oberst would soon sign Mason to his new record label, Team Love and release his debut LP. Since then, he has toured with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Kweller, Unbusted, and Radiohead and played such venues as the Glastonbury Festival, South by Southwest, and the Offshore Ale House. His first commercial release was a five-track EP, known as the "G-Ma's Basement EP". This included solo acoustic recordings of "Live It Up", "Hard Hand to Hold", "Waiter at the Station", "Not Lie Down" and "Oxygen". The CD was sold during 2004 live appearances and on the internet.
In the summer months of 2004 Willy and his brother Sam travelled to Old Soul Studios in the Catskills, New York to record the debut album Where the Humans Eat. Recording sessions were mostly live, in no more than three takes, featuring Willy's guitar and vocals, and Sam on the drums. Minimal overdubs of guitar, bass and other instruments were added later. The album was released on Conor Oberst's Team Love label in the USA in October 2004, and by Virgin Records in the UK in February 2005. Where the Humans Eat and its singles ("Oxygen" and "So Long"), charted in the UK Singles Chart and Albums Chart in 2005.
In 2004, he toured the United States, driving and sleeping in a diesel-powered camper van. In November of that year, it broke down in Death Valley. He paid a local mechanic $1500 to repair the van and flew to England for some scheduled tour dates. Upon his return he found the mechanic's garage locked up and the mechanic himself long gone. The van was tracked down to a street parking space a couple of blocks away, missing most of its key components, including the radiator. The engine block itself was sitting on the sidewalk. In an April 26th, 2006 radio session, Willy says he is hoping to invest in a 15-passenger school bus.
After many live appearances throughout 2004 and 2005, culminating with a performance at the Glastonbury Festival, Willy took some time off and returned to the family home in Martha's Vineyard. He began writing new songs and put a band together, featuring Nina Violet on viola and backing vocals, and Zak Borden on mandolin. In the spring of 2006, he began touring the USA and Europe with Nina and Zak, amongst other musicians. So far this year he has supported Beth Orton, KT Tunstall, Radiohead, and Sondre Lerche.
Willy released his second album, If the Ocean Gets Rough, in March 2007. Willy provided vocals the track Battle Scars on The Chemical Brothers album We Are the Night.
T. Hardy Morris
Atlanta GA | Alternative
Venerable luminary of psychedelic grunge, T. Hardy Morris is set to release his debut solo album, Audition Tapes this summer on Dangerbird Records.
Morris is best known for his work with Dead Confederate, a band that he co-founded and has recorded and toured with since 2006. More recently, Morris formed Diamond Rugs, the raggedly righteous gang of rockers that also includes members of Deer Tick, The Black Lips and Los Lobos. Morris took some time over the past year to write a collection of songs that reflect the best qualities of his group projects while also exploring entirely new sonic territories. Audition Tapes exposes Morris’ considerable depth as a songwriter and taps into his vast experiences as a performer, having toured extensively over the past 6 years with the likes of the Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr., Deer Tick, Manchester Orchestra, Drive By Truckers and many more.
Audition Tapes was helmed by Cosmic Thug (Adam Landry and Justin Collins), the Nashville-based production duo behind the aforementioned Deer Tick, Diamond Rugs and Middle Brother projects. Hardy says of the making of the album, “For obvious reasons, I knew I wanted to record Audition Tapes onto tape, and preferably in a small studio, recorded as live as possible, late at night. So that’s pretty much what we did over in Nashville.”
Audition Tapes finds Morris abundantly inspired, oftentimes invoking the grand spirits of Elliot Smtih, Alex Chilton or fellow Georgian Vic Chesnutt. On songs such as “Quit Diggin”, “Hard Stuff” and especially the gorgeous title track, listeners are treated to intimate, fragile performances, so informal that we are invited to hear creaks and count-offs, finger taps on guitar strings and other warm and extraneous studio noise.
The whole affair is so perfectly imperfect that you feel as if you’ve stumbled upon it all on your own – a hushed secret. Dangerbird Records founder Peter Walker said, “This is the kind of songwriting and performance that you can really lean into – the record cuts through any sort of pretense and nails you straight in the heart from its first breath.”
Memphis TN | Rock
Cory Branan is a natural-born storyteller. As with any of his
musical and literary pedestal sitters, from John Prine and
Leonard Cohen to Raymond Carver and Márquez, his seemingly
conversational, painstakingly crafted anecdotes benefit from a
hard-eyed stare at hydra-headed experience.
MUTT—Branan’s Bloodshot debut—also bears the marks of his “American gumbo” heritage: a winding path from nascent guitar shredder in the small, state-line town of Southaven, Mississippi, to fledgling troubadour in Memphis’ lauded underground music scene, and now a Nashville-based itinerant road warrior thrilling Thunderdomes as varied as Warp’s Country Throwdown and Chuck Ragan’s Revival Tour. While his music tips its hat to road-map influences from Motown to Mellencamp, the Delta bluesmen to folk pickers of ’60s Greenwich Village, the united result is a singular sound spurred on by years spent on tour honing something rare that is altogether its own.
Denton TX | Singer-Songwriter
Seryn is a 5 piece band who calls Denton, Texas their home. When listening to the well layered textures of guitars, ukulele, accordion, bass, viola, banjo and various percussion, it's hard to imagine This Is Where We Are is the band's debut effort. The band's strength resides in their vast musical talent and understanding of dynamics. Their beauty is gracefully displayed through chilling harmonies. Each member and their voice carry the same importance. One is not complete without the other.
Nashville TN | Instrumental
The Steelism tapes may have just as well been unearthed at 926 East McLemore Avenue—a relic from a not-so-forgotten past. Songs like “Mint Julep” and “9 to 5 Jive” would have made Atlantic and Stax record execs giddy, circa 1962. But Steelism, for all its vintage chops, is happening now. It’s the project of Jeremy Fetzer and Spencer Cullum, Jr., guitarists who share a classical education in Steve Cropper licks, ELO synthesizers, and a dog-eared copy of Bill Keith and Winnie Winston’s seminal Pedal Steel Guitar book.
Fetzer, an Ohio-born guitarist with a natural affinity for the Telecaster, and Cullum, Jr., a pedal steel-playing Brit from Essex, east of London, channel the sounds and ambiance of rock and roll’s gold-plated past on their debut EP, The Intoxicating Sounds of Pedal Steel & Guitar. The duo met in Nashville and was soon together on a European tour backing Nashville’s Caitlin Rose. Their early songs create a musician’s roadmap: the languid “Sète, France” was penned on the Mediterranean coast, while “Lewis & Clark” can be traced to a Bozeman, Montana motel. The EP moves from a strolling Sunday afternoon soundtrack to raunchy surf rock and pedal steel-talkbox homage to Pete Drake. On “9 to 5 Jive,” you can almost see the hip shaking girls from Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser” video. Intoxicating, indeed.
Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy
Athens GA |
Shonna Tucker grew up in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, listening to the same salty-sweet mix of soul and country that made up the Arthur Alexander and James Carr singles recorded there decades before. She played bass in the Shoals scene from her high-school years until starting an eight-year stint as bassist and singer for the Drive-By Truckers. The music she makes today in Athens, Georgia, flows from the same vein as the music she grew up with: songs that haunt and float like Dolly’s “Down from Dover” and ones that pulse and move like Otis’ “Hard to Handle,” rockers that are right at home on the stage of the 40 Watt downtown and folk songs that are at home among the donkeys and hens on her farm outside town.
Shonna’s band, Eye Candy, includes four of the most prolific players in the Athens music scene: John Neff on guitar and pedal steel, Bo Bedingfield on guitar, Neil Golden on keyboards, and Clay Leverett on drums. For nearly twenty years, John has been one of the town’s most sought-after collaborators in the studio and on the road. Bo is singer/songwriter and leader of the Wydelles, and has backed up several other local songwriters on drums and guitar. Clay led the Athens rock band Lona for eight years before starting honky-tonk band the Chasers, and has played drums and toured with Bright Eyes and Now It’s Overhead. Neil, former member of the Glands and Elf Power, also writes and sings for Golden Brown.
Shonna Tucker and Eye Candy’s debut album, A Tell All, was recorded by Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk), and features ten songs about love and jealously, nights spent on the road and nights spent in the kitchen, the things men do to women and women do for men.