7th Annual Beatles vs. Stones Christmas Bowl for Charity feat. Mayhem, Langhorne Slim, The Howling Brothers, Bill Lloyd, Grimey's Follies w/Cory Chisel and Nikki Lane, Sadler Vaden, Blank Range, Derek Hoke, The Danberrys, Natalie Prass, DeRobert and the Half-Truths, and tons more covering Beatles and Stones
The greatest rock ’n’ roll face-off that never happened may very well be the Beatles versus the Rolling Stones, but no matter which side of the war you’re on, you always win. Mike Grimes and the crew behind the seventh annual Beatles vs. Stones show aren’t trying to pick the victor, either, and if you go to this two-night stand at The Basement, you’ll hear Mayhem (Jerry Pentecost and friends) cover the Stones’ Sticky Fingers in its entirety on Friday, and the Beatles’ Rubber Soul on Saturday. Each night, there will be a couple of hours of live music preceding the main event, and while we don’t want to give away too many surprises, Grimey tells us you’ll get to see Natalie Prass take on “Blue Jay Way,” Nikki Lane on “I’ll Cry Instead,” and The Danberrys on “Dead Flowers,” to name just a few. All door proceeds (the suggested donation is $7 each night) benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.
Nashville TN |
Have you ever listened to a record and thought to yourself, "Man! I wish I could have played on that album!" That's where MAYHEM comes in. MAYHEM is a collective of Nashville's best up-and-comers, playing classic albums we all love and grew up on. The group is the brainchild of Jerry Pentecost (Jonny Corndawg, By Lightning!, De Novo Dahl, Tristen, My So-Called Band, Hands Down Eugene, Brandon Jazz and His Armed Forces, BOOK CLUB, etc). They have tackled several records from Huey Lewis and the News' "Sports" to Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." They performed two Rolling Stones albums with Bobby Keys and are in talks with some other major hitters about future albums. Most recently, they tackled Prince's "CONTROVERSY" with Dez Dickerson of Prince and the Revolution. Other special guests included: Matt Mahaffey (Beck, Self), Greg Mangus (Cameo, Set'em Up Joe), Joel J. Dahl (De Novo Dahl, By Lightning!), Trisha Brantley and Sara Beck (Guilty Pleasures), Dave Daeger (John Carter Cash) and Jimmy Matt Rowland (Jamie Lidell).
Portland OR | Alternative
There is nothing like the challenges and camaraderie of the road to inspire a songwriter who thrives upon the emotional energy and exhilaration only travel can deliver. Some singers are devoted to the pursuit of perpetual motion, and Langhorne Slim releases his wild soul in ways that come out of the discipline of live performance.
The 13 songs that compose Langhorne Slim & The Law's new "The Way We Move" are road-tested, rollicking and very rock 'n' rolling tunes that the songwriter perfected with his loyal band, and come out of the kind of good times and bad experiences that songwriters of Langhorne's lofty stature can turn into life-affirming rock 'n' roll. You could also call what Langhorne Slim does folk music, but then there's his sly, charming and open-hearted feel for pop music -- those summertime melodies that nudge you into a grin even when the song is about something bad.
For Langhorne Slim -- Pennsylvania-born self-taught guitarist who moves to Brooklyn at 18, begins feeling out his place in a burgeoning punk-folk scene, wends his way to the West Coast, and finds himself celebrated from Newport to Portland as one of today's most original singers and songwriters -- "The Way We Move" represents the sound of a band devoted to living in the moment. Riding the success of his 2009 full-length Be Set Free, Langhorne went through some changes over the last three years -- he lost his beloved grandfather, who is the subject of the new record's moving "Song for Sid," and moved on from a relationship that had lasted five years.
And there was the physical moving -- the literal side of the record's title. Pulling up stakes from his home of two years, Portland, Ore., Langhorne also has been touring non-stop with The Law. As he says, "I'm in a bit of a transitional period -- currently, the road will be home. That's just kind of my spirit, to be slightly restless." Perfecting their rangy sound out on the endless grey ribbon, Langhorne and The Law -- bassist Jeff Ratner, drummer Malachi DeLorenzo and banjo player and keyboardist David Moore -- went down to rural Texas in the summer of 2011 to work on new material. With some 30 tunes to consider, the quartet soaked up the Lone Star sunshine and developed arrangements and approaches for Langhorne's latest batch of songs.
Jeff Ratner had joined the group at the time of Be Set Free, and brought on multi-instrumentalist David Moore not long after. Moore and Ratner go way back, having moved to New York around the same time, and they've played together in what Jeff estimates are 15 bands. Langhorne's association with Malachi is equally deep. As the group played together through tours with the Drive-By Truckers and the Avett Brothers, and made appearances at the Newport Folk Festival and Bonnaroo, their bond became ever stronger, their music more confident. This is what you hear on "The Way We Move" -- forward motion meeting deep cohesion, all in the service of Langhorne's amazing songs and compelling vocals.
"We wanted Langhorne's songs to shine, and be as raw as the creatures that we are," Jeff says of the recording process. The band set up in the Catskill, N.Y. Old Soul Studio, a 100-year-old Greek Revival house retooled for recording. With studio owner Kenny Siegal co-producing, Langhorne & The Law fearlessly ran through an astounding 26 songs in four days, with Langhorne putting finishing touches on new tunes as they recorded. Langhorne says it was an intimate affair in Old Soul, with Moore's "banjo room" in a coatroom and the piano in the living room.
It comes through on "The Way We Move" -- the live feel of the sessions, which found Langhorne singing along with the band on every track. "Singing with the band that way, it's almost like I was performing on stage," he says. Cutting everything live to tape gave the band exactly what they'd been looking for: a super-charged evocation of their raucous, friendly stage performances. Langhorne and Jeff value in music for its rawness, and it doesn't matter whether that rawness -- the insurgent spirit that unites the Clash and Charlie Poole -- comes from in punk, country, soul or folk. Langhorne is a fan of Porter Wagoner, Jimmie Rodgers, Waylon Jennings, and early rock 'n' roll in general. But there's nothing referential or detached about the music Langhorne & The Law make. Langhorne writes songs that are yearning, sad, happy, defeated and optimistic, with hints of '50s rock 'n' roll balladry.
"We all love Wu-Tang Clan as much as we love Bowie, or Brazilian psychedelic pop," Langhorne says. On "The Way We Move," David's probing piano often provides focus for Langhorne's tales of love and loss. "On the Attack" begins with a delicate, watercolor section that turns into an ingenious variation on a classic soul ballad -- Solomon Burke meets punk blues in a smoky folk club. Langhorne addresses it to a current or past love. Similarly, "Past Lives" sports a piano introduction that gives way to a melancholy 6/8 ballad that perfectly supports lyrics about possible past lives and their interaction with the present.
It's a spirited, inspired slice of real rock 'n' roll -- exuberance meets hard-won experience in an explosive combination. David's banjo and Malachi's walloping drums add up to a new kind of folk music. The music drives, but there's no loss of subtlety. And when the group lays into the garage-rocking "Fire," with its funky electric piano and supremely callow lyrics about first kisses and the hot-burning passions of adolescence, it's clear Langhorne is one of the great rock 'n' rollers of our or any time.
Road-tested as the band is, the new music also shows just how far Langhorne Slim has come as a singer. He croons, exults and sings the blues throughout "The Way We Move." And there are his lyrics, which are about strange dreams featuring women who want him dead even as he desires them, the pressures of small-town life, ambition, and how much he appreciates his mother's love and support. That's all Langhorne and his life -- his mother, he says, really was amazingly supportive of his ambitions to become a musician, as was the rest of his family.
It comes through as you listen to his virtuoso demonstration of a singing style that seems alive to every fleeting emotional shade of meaning. Langhorne puts you in mind of John Lennon's singing from time to time -- it's nothing exact, and Slim doesn't do much music that is very Lennon- or Beatle-esque, but it's something in the timbre, and the openness of his vocals. It's worth repeating here that Langhorne learned Nirvana songs as he began to explore the guitar and songwriting, and Kurt Cobain's intense singing is another reference point.
But these guys don't play the reference game, and like to keep it raw. The new record moves in ways that are fresh for Langhorne Slim & The Law, and demonstrates all the ways we can go forward while keeping an eye on the mirror. They're laying down the law. It's very American, and when Langhorne Slim contemplates whether or not he fits in to any narrow-cast definition of this country's music, he replies with a perfect, laconic joke: "I think we fit in most places that would take us."
The Howling Brothers
The Howling Brothers are an American band through and through. From down right dirty blues, to hard driving fiddle romps, the brothers keep audiences on their heels with their diverse sets and energetic picking and singing. "...Howling Brothers songs, while lyrically simple, pack the sonic whallop of blistering angst and attitude. Contrasted by songs full of melodic heart tugs, and still more songs that are just plain ole killer!" (Kim Buie, Thirty Tigers in Nashville, TN)
Nashville TN | Rock
Bill Lloyd is a Nashville based songwriter, musician, recording artist and producer who is most often remembered as half of the late ’80’s RCA country-rock duo, Foster and Lloyd. Lloyd’s diverse musical activities include working as a producer (ranging from Carl Perkins to MTV reality show indie-rockers, The Secret), a session player (from Brit-pop icons like Ray Davies of The Kinks and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze to country legends like Buck Owens and Steve Earle), a sideman (Poco, Marshall Crenshaw and with Cheap Trick when they perform The Beatles Sgt. Pepper with orchestra) and as a songwriter (with songs cut by Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Keith Anderson, Hootie and the Blowfish and many more). He has recorded a string of critically acclaimed solo records that blend his melodic power pop sensibility with finely tuned song craft. During his three-year stint as the Stringed Instrument Curator at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, he helped create the quarterly series Nashville Cats, that he continues to host. He’s the music director for the First Amendment Center in Nashville. He also organized and plays in Nashville’s high concept cover band, The Long Players recently profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered.
Appleton WI | Alternative
Cory Chisel is an old believer. You can hear it in his music – there’s a wisdom beyond his years in that voice. You can see it in his story – the son of a preacher, sheltered from pop music, raised on hymns and Johnny Cash. “Mom played piano and organ, my dad did the preaching, the thing that my sister and I could add to the service was to sing.” As fate would have it, the kid was born to do it.
He grew up in the Iron Range town of Babbitt, Minnesota, and the rural flatlands of Appleton, Wisconsin. Along with the family’s spiritual doctrine, came a musician uncle, who taught Cory about the blues: Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson.
This musical education put young Cory on a path that was well worn by the greats who came before him and influenced him: people like Cash, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding. For Cory, songwriting is a by-product of existing. We all talk to ourselves. Cory does so with a melody. Those internal conversations are the seeds, the building blocks of his songs. “Where a painter, in order to express himself, would reach for a canvas and paints, I go to the guitar and try to build it out. Or sometimes songs just come fully-formed, usually, if I’m really sleep-deprived and driving for whatever reason, it’s like a radio station that my brain picks up.”
“Old Believers” is the second LP from Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons. The record, in Cory’s words, is about rebuilding, and there’s a directness that comes through in the songwriting. “Life is a series of creating things, living with the inevitable destruction of those things, and then finding within yourself the ability to create again.”
There’s brutal honesty in the soulful rock of “I’ve Been Accused.” The song suggests that sometimes with personal growth comes unhappiness, but ultimately you’ve got to step up. No pain, no gain. “Never Meant To Love You” is timeless, like something straight out of “The Great American Songbook.” It’s a story of unexpected love, plainly and elegantly told. For “Please Tell Me,” Cory says, “I went to my guitar instead of going to a phone and sent the message that way.” “Seventeen” deals beautifully with the simple truth of realizing that a certain portion of your life has passed.
The album was recorded in Nashville and produced by a great singer-songwriter in his own right, Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs). The two met while making Cory’s first album. They sat down to write a song together, and quickly found they were kindred spirits. “We had such a common language in the way we attacked music-making. Brendan is really great at bringing direction and bringing something out of me that is almost indescribable. He’s also the guy who can get behind the boards and pull it off.”
What Benson pulls off is an album of rich, authentic, rock-and-roll, drawing a straight line between the gospel and blues of Cory’s youth, and classic rock. He’s able to find the right space and color for each song, whether it’s the dangerous and dark mood of “Foxgloves,” the bright Brill Building meets Graham Nash vibe of “Laura,” or the straight-up traditional rollin’ and tumblin’ blues of “Over Jordan.”
The sound is filled out by a great cast of Nashville players including Jon Graboff and Brad Pemberton of The Cardinals (Ryan Adams), Matt Scibilia, and the Howling Brothers. The thing that truly brings this record to life, is Chisel’s long time keyboard player and singing partner Adriel Denae. Their voices fit together magically. It’s a fitting nod to her contribution that she opens “Old Believers” with the gorgeous prologue, “This Is How It Goes.”
“I think one of the best things about being a songwriter and about living a life as an artist, is that you really don’t get rid of anything, you kind of just drag it with you the rest of your life, and hopefully you can feel that on this record. We’re still dancing with those same inspired moments. This record is a culmination of all that.”
Written by Alex Levy
Nashville TN | Country
Like a modern-era Wanda Jackson, Nikki Lane turns the vulnerable singer-songwriter stereotype on its ear, craftingâ¨ songs that crucify ex-boyfriendsâ¨ and have no problem with one-night stands as long as she can bolt town right after. Her cooing-yet-brutal vocals are a perfect fit with an aching, mournful guitar. Her upcoming album, tentatively titled Seein’ Double —produced by, yes, Dan Auerbach — is one of Nashville’s most anticipated releases. “My songs always paint a pretty clear picture of what’s been going on in my life, so this is one moodyâ¨record,” she says. “There’s lots of talk of misbehaving andâ¨moving on.”
Born in South Carolina, Lane moved to New York City and, after a messy breakup, picked up a guitar and set her sights on a music career. But the cost of living in New York proved to be too high an obstacle, so she turned to Nashville, a city she had visited extensively. “I was hell bent on living in a big city, and I just couldn’t work up the nerve to come back to the South,” she says. “[When I did,] Nashville was the obvious choice for me because of my fondness for it.”
Once in town, she released the 2011 album Walk of Shame to rave reviews, as well as opening High Class Hillbilly, a pop-up vintage clothing stall, where a chance meeting with Auerbach turned into a full-fledged partnership. “During the first round of recordings, I was in an awkward mood every night I left the studio,” she says. “It was hard for me to trust that Dan was right when he said I should move a verse around or add an extra chorus. He pushed to find the right feel for each track one by one, and a few months laterâ¨ I found myself with a damn good record.”
â¨- Garden & Gun, April/May 2013
Charleston SC | Rock
Assuming the multiple roles of songwriter, engineer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Sadler began the recording process for Radio Road during the summer of 2011. This 7 song EP, also featuring background vocals from special guests Shovels & Rope, was a true labor of love... "My dad, who passed away in 2004, always wanted me to make a record where I played all the instruments" says Sadler. "So I played everything, except for pedal steel. In fact, drums were the first instrument I ever played." Influenced by Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything?, Sadler created Radio Road as a snapshot in time of his transition from Charleston rock band Leslie's bandleader to Drivin N Cryin lead guitarist and solo artist. "This record encapsulates where I am as a songwriter/artist right now and is a perfect glimpse into what's ahead" says Sadler.
Nashville TN | Rock
Blank Range is a 5 piece band from Nashville.
Blank Range released a 4 song EP "Basement" on the 27th of October,2012 .
Last Crash Landing and Ziggy Coyote engineered the recording and the EP was produced by Brett Rosenberg. They are on Sturdy Girl Records, and an independent record label out of Nashville whose mission is to bring you good tunes and good times. Avaliable at bandcamp.com.
Nashville TN | Americana
Derek Hoke has crafted a collection of equally endearing and infectious songs for his long awaited sophomore release – Waiting All Night. Out August 21, 2012 on Electric Western / Thirty Tigers, Waiting All Night picks up right where Hoke left off with his first release Goodbye Rock N Roll. There is a significant difference here though. If Goodbye Rock N Roll was slow crafted, simmered in Hoke’s brain on low, and came to life on a lazy saw dust floor one night in town, then Waiting All Night was born under the lights on stage. It’s clear that Hoke and his band have been affected by the past years of playing week after week. Nashville has a way of doing that to a singer. A way of molding a voice around the lingering smoke and whiskey hanging in the air night after night. And first and foremost, Derek Hoke is a singer. The songs, even the ballads, reach out and yearn for a late night in a dark room. It’s the same feeling you get when you leave the house at 2am to catch last call…because if you don’t you might miss something. You might miss the steel guitar or meandering piano solos and telecaster riffs. Well, get out of the house, because you won’t want to miss a tune on Waiting All Night.
Nashville TN | Singer-Songwriter
The story of The Danberrys begins in the late 1990's in Dickson, Tennessee, population just over 12,000.
Dorothy Daniel first discovered her soul mate and singing companion, Ben DeBerry, while in junior high school. "When Ben was in eighth grade, and I was in seventh grade,” Dorothy told Billboard, “(I saw him play) ’Knockin' On Heaven's Door’ at a talent show. He had this teal electric guitar, and I fell in love with him.”
Once they started dating in high school, they discovered their own musical connection not long before graduation, when Ben pulled out his guitar and strummed along while Dorothy sang a couple of Jewel tunes. During college, they went their separate ways until one fateful night when they crossed paths at a late night bar. The next day, they confessed what they both knew all along: they had always wanted to be together. Not long after that, they were married.
The five years they spent apart yielded the songs that would become the building blocks of The Danberrys. "I didn't write all that much during that time," says Ben of the years they were separated. "What little I wrote had more of a rockier, electric sound." Dorothy, however, came back to the relationship with a stack of songs on which she’d been working. "They were all songs about how much I missed Ben," she laughs, "And how I wanted to be with him."
Four of those cuts made it onto the band's 2011 EP, Company Store. Touted by Larry Vanderpool of The Examiner as a record steeped in Appalachian music tradition and oozing rich soulful harmonies, Company Store won The Danberrys a 2011 Independent Music Awards "People's Choice" trophy and the honor of appearing on stage at The Ryman with the legendary Robert Earl Keen.
"We put the EP out as a total experiment," says Ben. "It was like: we have these songs, we're here in Nashville, there are 300,000 studios available and players who want to play the stuff so let's see what happens. Then WSM Radio found it and liked it and thought we were perfect for the Robert Earl show. It was quite the honor."
Stoked by the success of Company Store, Dorothy and Ben returned to the studio this past winter with engineer Wilton Wall, mandolinist/co-producer Ethan Ballinger and friends to record their first full-length album, The Danberrys. Drawing on a broader palette of moods and sounds than existed on the EP, the couple chose to lead off the set with the gentle quiet of "Here We Go Round."
"We took a slight chance leading off with that tune," notes Dorothy, "especially in this day and age, when everyone wants to grab your attention with louder and faster." Following "Here We Go Round" is the careering drive of "Rain In The Rock," a cut that's one part country gospel and one part runaway train. There's more country gospel with "Blow On Wind," a tune that owes its inspiration to Neil Young and The Band, the godfathers of Americana who regularly inspire Ben and Dorothy’s songwriting.
The Danberrys also has a chant-like ballad ("Meet Me There"), a gorgeous country hymn worthy of comparison to Emmylou Harris ("Jordan"), a song about living the Southern life ("Jimmy") and an exuberant party song a la Stephen Stills' Manassas ("Come Give It"). There's even a trucker song ("Big Rig") that Ben wrote in the studio, picking up the terminology from the back of a compilation of old highway songs.
"I thought I'd make it nonsensical," says Ben of ’Big Rig,’ "except that it's not nonsense if you have the key to the terms. I hear from the truckers that the lingo is kosher,” he laughs, “so it's not too fraudulent."
Early reviews of The Danberrys are, naturally, 100% positive. “The vocals and the harmonies are outstanding, as is the instrumentation all over the disc,” says Chuck Dauphine of Music News Nashville. “I don’t know if you can define it, but all The Danberrys need is to be heard!”
“There’s a flavor of bluegrass that’s always worked on me,” says Music City Roots’ Craig H., adding that their music is “characterized by old world tonalities, polished, modern drive and jazz-smart instrumental work.”
For their part, The Danberrys – who are still a self-managed grassroots operation – are humble yet excited about their album and about the future. “We tried to arrange the record in different ways but what it came down to was making it more than just a bunch of songs. We wanted to make it a ride you could listen to from beginning to end.”
As for the future, Ben says: “We already have demos for three more tunes on tape, so we’re getting ready to do it again.” For current and future fans, that’s nothing but good news.
Virginia Beach VA | Singer-Songwriter
Not only one of the sharpest up-and-coming songwriters in Nashville, Natalie Prass possesses a rare artistic method she infuses into all her endeavors. She handcrafts album artwork and flyers and organizes local vinyl listening parties/drawing sessions, and there appears to be little end to the homespun creativity of this bright young talent. She’s also no slouch in the pipes department either — the girl can sing. Although her debut EP is titled Small & Sweet, Prass’ brand of indie folk is not to be underestimated. While her delicate alto evokes clear benchmarks of influence — see early Rilo Kiley, Feist, Karen Carpenter, etc. — Prass never seems weighed down by the artists she’s absorbed. Instead, she has developed a refreshing guitar-grounded musical vocabulary and a knack for infectious and entrancing tunes. Still, it’s a spirit of invitation and friendship that continues to be Prass’ most pronounced attribute.
DeRobert and The Half-Truths
Nashville TN | R&B/Soul
DeRobert & The Half-Truths are the house band for Nashville, TN raw funk label G.E.D. Soul Records. The Half-Truths got their start in 2007 as a collection of studio musicians lending their talent to the fledgling G.E.D. Soul recording operation. It was with the addition of DeRobert Adams and his impressive broad range of vocal skills that the band began to solidify into the soul powerhouse it is today. After releasing a string of heavy duty raw funk 45's and a strong full length album, the band has caught the ear of funk and soul heads world wide. With the release of their five song 7 inch the "Beg Me" EP in July, the DeRobert & The Half-Truths' sound continues to grow with loads of heavy funk and raw soul.