Listen Up to Chip Taylor!
The New York Times says it best about Chip Taylor: "If you only know him as the guy who wrote 'Wild Thing' and 'Angel of the Morning' - you don't know him. Chip Taylor is making some of the most distinctive acoustic music around these days." A country and rock trailblazer, Taylor returns with his largest and most unique collection of songs yet, the three-album set, The Little Prayers Trilogy. These eclectic songs, written over several years, might have found themselves wandering and homeless, but have found a place to belong in Little Prayers.
The first disc, Behind An Iron Door, features a disparate, international cast of characters often facing injustice and turmoil. However, the prisoners, dissidents and traitorous heroes find not despair but hope and power of prayer in these emotional songs. Americana superstar Lucinda Williams back Taylor up on two unforgettable tracks.
Love and Pain, the second disc, is more fun and lighthearted but no less passionate. Literally recorded in a garage, these raw and catchy songs feature Taylor's longtime band including guitarist extraordinaire John Platania (Van Morrison). Several of these songs will keep Taylor's Americana chart success streak going.
The final disc, which gives the whole collection its name Little Prayers, is an intimate recording destined for late night listening. Featuring mostly Taylor alone, with some help from co-producer Goran Grini, these songs pack a heavy punch and demand your attention.
Hal Ketchum In Stores This Month!
Hal Ketchum's brand new release, I'm The Troubadour, will hit the shelves October 7. CLICK HERE to pre-order your copy today. "I had pretty much thrown in the towel," says chart-topping country music legend and Grand Ole Opry member Ketchum, describing his recent five-year respite from the music industry. "I wasn't interested in putting out another big country album. I've done that. I've been there, man."
Yes, he has. Ketchum has proven his worth in country music. Now, he branches out. Ketchum's I'm The Troubadour, out October 7 on Music Road Records, finds him letting his songwriting expand into folk, blues, rock and soul.
According to Ketchum, he's had this musical renaissance in him all along. "I like to say that I've been successfully misunderstood for 30 years," he says. "I mean, I was a cabinet maker from Gruene, Texas. I got a record deal and I had a number one record out of the box and suddenly I was a 'country' singer. The genre served me very well and I'm really grateful for the opportunities that the country music world brought to me, but creatively, this record was a beautiful departure for me. It's opened me up again."
His new album marks a return after 15 years fighting multiple sclerosis. "I wasn't really planning on doing another album," says Ketchum, who has produced no less than 15 Top 10 singles and sold more than five million albums in his career. But when Jimmy LaFave and Kelcy Warren of Austin's Music Road Records heard his songs, they knew they had to convince Ketchum to write another album. "We had a great talk, and they said 'Hal, you've made these great country records, but we really want to challenge you to reach outside of your comfort zone and write from your heart,'" Ketchum recalls. "So that was my goal."
Ted Hawkins Americana Happy Hour a Success!
In anticipation of the upcoming record Cold and Bitter Tears: The Songs of Ted Hawkins (produced by Jenni Finlay, Brian T. Atkinson and Shinyribs front man Kevin Russell), Russell and Tim Easton performed a slew of songs from Hawkins' catalog last month in Nashville during the Americana Music Convention at a festiveTed Hawkins Happy Hour. It created quite the splash! CLICK HERE for the feature in Elmore Magazine. CLICK HERE for the feature in Engine145.
Production of the record begins in November, and the album will feature Valerie June, Gurf Morlix and Peter Case, Danny Barnes and Bill Frisell, Randy Weeks, James McMurtry, Shinyribs, Jon Dee Graham and many more! The collection marks the first tribute album dedicated to the soulful Venice Beach street performer, a legend overseas later in his lifetime but a songwriter largely overlooked in the United States. Hawkins simply sang songs like the lyrics had been stamped on his heart at birth. High watermarks such as “Sorry Your Sick,” “Cold and Bitter Tears,” “Watch Your Step,” “Whole Lotta Women,” “The Lost Ones” and other classics prove the point. Look for it in 2015 on Finlay and Atkinson's label, Eight 30 Records. More details coming soon.
Mary Gauthier Takes Over the World
Mary Gauthier is on a roll! She's on six-week tour of the UK and Europe with her new release Trouble & Love at #1 on the Euro Americanan Chart.
She's played The Opry four times ove the last seven weeks, and her signature song "Mercy Now" was named the 11th Saddest Country Song of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine.
CLICK HERE to purchase Trouble & Love.
CLICK HERE for more about Mary Gauthier.
Kent Finlay: Dreamer Finds Publisher
Jenni Finlay is currently co-writing Kent Finlay: Dreamer with Brian T. Atkinson, author of I’ll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt. BIG NEWS: Texas A&M University Press has come onboard to publish book as part of their esteemed John and Robin Dickson Series. In the book, you’ll find the best of both worlds: Jenni’s intimate interviews with her father about his entire life and Brian T.’s detailed conversations with songwriters and aritsts (George Strait, Eric Johnson, Todd Snider, Randy Rogers and dozens more) about his astounding influence. No stone remains unturned. Look for the book soon, a captivating tale telling the story of arguably the most influential mentor, songwriter and venue owner in Texas music history. CLICK HERE for more.
David Olney Covers Scene
The late, great Townes Van Zandt was the best songwriter in the whole wide world, Steve Earle said in an oft-cited quote, “and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.” Seventeen years after Van Zandt’s death, the Americana artists who followed in his wake still speak of him the way rockers invoke John Lennon or Jimi Hendrix — as a standard bearer who represents a pinnacle of credibility and craft.
Had he been the coffee-table-orating type, however, whose name would Van Zandt have declared as the all-time best songwriters?
“Anytime anyone asks me who my favorite music writers are, I say Mozart, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Bob Dylan and Dave Olney,” Van Zandt once wrote. “Dave Olney is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard — and that’s true. I mean that from my heart.”
Read the full COVER STORY posted online from NASHVILLE SCENE by SKIP ANDERSON.
Shelley King Hits the Road
Shelley King hits the road this month, touring the Northeast. CLICK HERE for tour dates below and be sure to catch Shelley's fiery show when she's in YOUR neck of the woods:
10/4 - One 2 One Bar, Austin, Texas
10/5 - KEOS Benefit, Bryan, Texas
10/9 - Hill Country Barbecue, New York, N.Y. (with Cary Morin)
10/10 - The Village, Providence, R.I. (with Cary Morin)
10/11 - Burritoville, Sullivan, N.H. (with Cary Morin)
10/16 - Hill Country Barbecue, Washington, D.C. (with Cary Morin)
10/18 - Hummingbird house concert, Austin, Texas
10/21 - Roots & Branches of Americana radio show, KNBT-FM, New Braunfels, Texas
10/22 - KDRP-FM Texas Radio Live at Guero's, Austin, Texas
10/23 - Strange Brew, Lounge Side, Austin, Texas
10/24 - McGonigel's Mucky Duck, Houston, Texas (Building A Fire release show)
10/25 - Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas
10/26 - Poor David's Pub, Dallas, Texas (Building A Fire release show)
Shelley King's new record, Building A Fire, is available now! CLICK HERE to purchase your copy today!
Early raves include this comment from the Alternate Root: “She creates a spiritual-like connection that speaks volumes about the ways in which people live, love and relate to their environments. Drawing on her rural Arkansas gospel, Americana and blues roots, King writes deeply felt song lyrics about relationships and personal experiences.”
From AXS Examiner: “At once fiery and lyrical, Building a Fire is one of the best CDs to come out of Austin this year. ... Her latest offering showcases her voice and lyrical prowess at their finest. No shrinking violet, King has a sexy, yet empowered voice that makes her vulnerable and invincible at the same time.”
From the Austin Chronicle: “Building a Fire
assembles an audio dictionary of Texan roots music. King's powerful, twanged alto takes care of the rest. The kickoff cut blends Louisiana zydeco with blues sensibility, the singer's no-holds-barred vocal mastery front and center.” Later this month, Shelley will be finishing up a new video for Building A Fire. Join here mailing list HERE and be the VERY FIRST to see it!
Sid Griffin In Stores NOW! The Trick Is To Breathe (Prima Records) is the first solo album by Sid Griffin (the Coal Porters, the Long Ryders) in a decade. Recorded in Nashville, Tenn. at the home studio of Thomm Jutz in February 2014 over four days, the album is available now! CLICK HERE to purchase your copy today.
When Sid Griffin started recording 30 years ago, the term Americana didn't exist. Now, he is considered one of the genre’s founding fathers. With the now-legendary Long Ryders, he crossed punk’s spirit with country music chops and pioneered cowpunk and alt-country. Currently a Coal Porter playing acoustic music, Griffin now uses bluegrass instrumentation to play original folk/Celtic songs. “It is the familiar heard anew,” he says.
The Trick Is To Breathe announces Sid Griffin is back on the world stage as a solo artist, globetrotting troubadour and singer-songwriter who recently wrote liner notes for Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes Complete, part of Sony Legacy’s Bootlegs series. “I am in a good space as the saying goes and The Trick Is To Breathe is going to help keep me there. Yes, I am an American who lives in Europe but my heart resides south of the Mason-Dixon and it shows on this album. I can’t wait to tread the boards again and play these songs for the people.”
Curtis McMurtry Continues Nationwide Tour Curtis McMurtry's Respectable Enemy is available NOW! CLICK HERE to purchase your copy today. Check out the tour dates below and don't miss a show near you:
October 3, Shine Yeah, Hickory NC October 5, Mountain Stage, Charleston, WV October 10, Ruta Maya Stage, @ ABIA, Austin, TX October 11, Iguana Grill, Austin, TX October 14, The Blue Door, OKlahoma City, OK October 16, The Washington, Burlington, IA October 17, Fitzgerald's Side Bar, Berwyn, IL (Birthday Show!) October 20, Knuckleheads, Kansas City, MO October 19, Sunday Roadhouse, Omaha, NE October 26, Catfish Concerts, Austin, TX
CLICK HERE for the review in No Depression. CLICK HERE for the feature in The New York Times. Curtis hits the road this month! CLICK HERE for more about Curtis McMurtry
Stay Tuned for the Next Catfish Concert
Jenni Finlay Promotions and Brian T. Atkinson have been presenting the intimate Austin house concert series Catfish Concerts for more than a year now and we're going stronger than ever now! Catfish Concerts features solo/acoustic performances by some of the top artists of Americana (including David Olney, Mando Saenz, J.T. Van Zandt, Randy Weeks, Adam Carroll and Owen Temple, Susan Gibson, Walt Wilkins, Will Sexton, Tim Easton, Greg Trooper, Susan Gibson, Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay and many more).
Join us Sunday, October 26 for an incredible performance by Curtis McMurtry! Can't make it to Austin? You can tune in LIVE HERE.
“Catfish Concerts is among the most intimate, friendly and inspired and inspirational house concerts in the country and most likely the world. It's like hanging out with your favorite folks in a treehouse, built by your favorite uncle, the one who paints and writes poems all day. I’ll tell you what I think Catfish is: a genuine piece of heaven that you can touch with your hands, while you drink good local beer and listen to great songs. Thank you, Jenni and Brian, for creating such a space and event.” – Walt Wilkins “The cool thing about Catfish Concerts is that it really has the feel of when I was a kid in South Austin, except you guys are way too calm and take it way to seriously.” – John Townes Van Zandt II
Listen Up to Bryan Hayes!
Bryan Hayes recently re-recorded his debut album as the newly titled Still Just A Man…10 Years Later. “Ten years is a big milestone for me, an independent songwriter and traveling musician,” Hayes explains. “We felt like going back in and revisiting some of those songs was a way to say thanks to the folks who have been with us this entire time."
Still Just a Man....10 Years Later celebrates his journey. “Ten years ago I was a singer-songwriter in Memphis doing the open mic thing,” Hayes explains. “That was the kick-off for my musical career. The fact that we're still growing and reaching out farther and selling more CDs than we ever have is big. Some of these songs have evolved and some have stayed about the same but all are still a vital part of our live shows today. I've been exposed to a lot more music in the past 10 years and I've gotten to open for some of the icons who were the reasons I started playing music in the first place. That's made me work harder.”
So did a side trip Hayes downplays in conversation: Fighting in the war in Iraq. Naturally, that mission pushed his songwriting toward the back burner. “There was a two-year window in 2009 and 2010 when I was deployed to Iraq and I had to put the guitar in the closet,” he says. “I was either at Fort Benning Georgia training or in Iraq. As the military tour started winding down, I picked up the guitar again in Mosul, Iraq and started writing again and reconnecting with music and how much I love and missed songwriting.”
You'll notice exponential growth. “When I came back, we were even more committed to writing and recording,” Hayes says. “That was something that helped me grow as a songwriter. I've been exposed to whole other cultures and life outside small town Tennessee. You don't go into a war zone in another country and not come back seeing with different eyes. I think my songwriting's more mature and I touch on political topics that I might not have as a young songwriter. I think the lyrics are deeper.”
Still Just a Man...10 Years Later marks a reflective moment in a career built from the ground up. Hayes' debut Just a Man (2004) earned a loyal following in the mid-South and boosted his touring schedule as well as earning two “Best Of” Memphis Songwriter Awards. His second album Long Hard Road (2006) took Hayes and his band The Retrievers to the regional level with independent Internet radio play over the Southeast. His Tangle Me Up In You EP (2013) grew his audience even farther and earned opening slots for Randy Houser, Turnpike Troubadours, Billy Joe Shaver and several others.
He recently finished recording his forthcoming fourth studio album, a collection engineered and produced by Nashville-based Grammy winner Andy Hunt. The record, tentatively scheduled for a Spring 2015 release, will feature a dozen new songs.
CLICK HERE for more about Bryan Hayes
Jess Klein Nationwide Tour
Jess Klein returns from a tour of Germany, Denmark, Belgium and the UK.
Jess will perform at Strange Brew Loungeside in Austin on Thursday October 16 with her full band which includes Billy Masters on guitar, Dave Madden on keyboards, Brian Mendes on drums and Mark Addison on bass.
Jess and her band will also film a segment for the Songwriters Across Texas series at the Broken Spoke on Tuesday, October 28.
Then Jess departs for a tour of the East Coast and Midwest US:
11/4 THE BLUE DOOR, Oklahoma City OK
11/5 EVANGELINE'S MUSIC HOUSE, St Louis MO
11/6 THE WASHINGTON, Burlington IA
11/7 ASTER CAFE, Minneapolis MN
11/8 AMAZING GRACE, Duluth MNMon Nov
10 SCHUBAS, Chicago IL
11/11 SOUTHGATE HOUSE, Newport KY
11/13 THE LIZZIE ROSE TEA ROOM, Tuckerton NJ
11/14 SIMON HOUSE CONCERT, East Sandwich MA
11/15 GROOVIN IN NEW FAIRFIELD, New Fairfield CT
11/16 FOUL RIFT HOUSE CONCERT, Belvidere NJ
11/18 ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL STAGE 3, New York NY
11/19 WORLD CAFE LIVE UPSTAIRS, Philadelphia PA
11/20 BURLAP AND BEAN, Newtown Square PA
11/22 THE VILLAGE, Providence RI
11/23 ROSIE'S CAFE CONCERTS, Brick NJ
11/25 ATWOOD'S TAVERN, Cambridge MA
11/29 PIN DROP CONCERTS, Spring Lake MI
11/30 NATALIE'S, Columbus OH
CLICK HERE for more about Jess Klein
Radney Foster "California" Contest
“Can’t you hear California calling your name / a siren song once you hear it, nothing is the same / made ancient Spaniards sail / made Guthrie ride the rails / Oh, California.” Radney Foster’s current single, “California,” from the new album Everything I Should Have Said, is an alluring refrain for millions of people who have been seduced by the California coast.
Now fans have the chance to win a trip to California’s beautiful wine country to see Radney Foster perform at the famed City Winery in Napa on Saturday November 22, 2014. The trip includes round trip airfare for the grand prize winner and one guest, two nights (November 21 and 22) at the River Terrace Inn, ground transportation to and from the City Winery, an exclusive meet and greet with Radney, and more.
Enter by visiting Radney Foster on Facebook, and following links to the contest. No purchase necessary to win. A random drawing will take place on November 1 with one GRAND PRIZE WINNER. Complete rules at radneyfoster.com. CLICK HERE for more about Radney Foster
Jon Dee Graham's (ONLINE ONLY!) album Do Not Forget
Pre-order an exclusive copy of Jon Dee Graham's Do Not Forget in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app. Fans voted for their favorite tracks to create this unique bootleg. THIS ALBUM WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE IN STORES OR AT SHOWS. Available only to those who pre-order., CLICK HERE to secure your copy today. You'll get the album the moment it’s released.
New Music From James McMurtry Due in February
Stay tuned later this month as James McMurtry unveils the first single off his highly anticipated new album. The rocking single, "How'm I Gonna Find You Now," ends a seven-year stretch between studio releases for the celebrated singer-songwriter. Listen for it on YOUR favorite radio station. A limited edition vinyl 45 will be available exclusively on McMurtry's website and at the shows during the fall tour beginning in November. The album,Complicated Game, is slated to be released February 10, 2015.
Jenni Finlay Hosts Free Music Seminar Series This Fall
Central Texas Listen Up: Jenni Finlay will host a series of FREE music seminars this fall, once a month atCheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street, San Marcos, TX), all at 6:30pm. The series is sponsored by the Cheatham Street Music Foundation. If you can't make it in person, be sure to tune in via Concert Window (all donations benefit The Cheatham Street Music Foundation) Check out the schedule below:
October 1: "How to Book Your Own National Tour" - featuring panelists Owen Temple and Davis McLarty (Dale Watson, Joe King Carrasco). (ATTEND VIRTUALLY HERE)
November 5: "How SIMS Can Help Heal the Hurt" (featuring speaker Heather Alden, managing director of the SIMS Foundation) (ATTEND VIRTUALLY HERE)
December 3: "How to Write Your Own Press Release" - featuring panelists Richard Skanse (Editor, Lone Star Music magazine); Brian T. Atkinson (Austin American-Statesman, CMT-Edge); Lynne Margolis (Grammy.com, American Songwriter). (ATTEND VIRTUALLY HERE)
Luke Pruitt AVAILABLE NOW!
Luke Pruitt's debut EP, Songs of Home, Pt. 1, is available now! CLICK HERE to purchase your copy today.
Luke Pruitt left Nashville in 2009 and moved back to his home of Fort Smith, Arkansas, thinking that his days in the music business were over. “I was burned out,” Pruitt says. “I had lost perspective on why I started playing music, which is to add to the story of the human condition. I had to come home to find that. I had to come back to my roots.” The result is a debut EP, Songs of Home, Pt. 1, in which Luke’s roots in timeless American art shine.
In “County Fair," Luke sings of a teenage kid playing his guitar for tips in hopes of saving enough money to leave home and make the great American record. There is an autobiographical bent to the song that is a reflection of a Hemingway story as much as Townes Van Zandt or Paul Simon. Luke’s resonant baritone vocals combine seamlessly with the “music first” production of Calvin Turner (Marc Broussard) that leave the listener wondering if the record was made in the heyday of the 1970’s L.A. folk scene or modern day Nashville. CLICK HERE
for more about Luke Pruitt
Jenni Finlay Tries Her Hand at Poetry
Jenni Finlay will soon release her first chapbook of poetry, entitled Table For One (Mezcalita Press). Acclaimed author Brian T. Atkinson recently wrote the book's foreword. Illustrations by the amazing Marc Harkness complement the profound poems, written during the months when Jenni was her father's caretaker during his cancer treatment and ultimate transplant. The bittersweet poems are as humorous as they are heartwrenching. Stay tuned for more details of Jenni's poetry debut! "Beyond good." - James McMurtry
Bill Wence In Stores Now
Bill Wence’s fourth Americana album since 2001,Songs That Make Me Think About You, is available now. CLICK HERE to purchase your copy today. Check out what folks are saying about this incredible album:
"The musicians on the album did a terrific job and hats off to Bill for assembling such great talent" - Harold Bradley
"I have just listened to the new CD by Bill Wence. It's a collection of well-written, well-played and well-performed songs. He has also included a couple of "evergreens", "Beyond The Sea" and "There'll Never Be Anyone
Else But You For Me." Congrats Bill, another batch of Ear Candy." - Charlie McCoy