Grand Ole Echo
"THE STONED, STEELY SOUNDS OF '70S COUNTRY MUSIC LIVE ON IN ECHO PARK — ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS, AT LEAST. BREEZY AND BOOZY VIBES ABOUND AT THE ECHO EVERY SUNDAY AFTERNOON FROM SPRING TO FALL AT GRAND OLE ECHO, AN OPEN-ENDED COUNTRY SHOWCASE THAT FEATURES ALL MANNER OF BUZZED OUTLAWS AND COUNTRY-FRIED SONGWRITERS BUT ZEROES IN ON THE HAZY DAYS OF WILLIE AND WAYLON AND RONSTADT. THE PARTY TAKES ADVANTAGE OF BOTH THE ECHO'S MAIN PERFORMANCE SPACE AND ITS SUNNY BACK PATIO, WHERE RAY'S BACK PATIO BBQ SERVES UP SLOW-ROASTED PORK ON A WHITE HAMBURGER BUN FOR $6 A POP. KIDS ARE WELCOME AND RUN FREE WITH JOYOUS ABANDON; HANDSOME YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN LOUNGE AROUND WITH CANS OF BUD; VINTAGE WESTERN SHIRTS AND COWBOY BOOTS HANG FOR SALE ON RACKS BY THE SIDE OF THE STAGE. IT'S THE MUSIC, THOUGH, THAT KEEPS FANS COMING BACK EVERY WEEK, WITH HOT-SHOT LOCAL ACTS SUCH AS COUNTRY-FRIED ROCKER ELIJAH OCEAN AND THE FLAWLESS BLUEGRASS HARMONIES OF DEAR LEMON TREES SHARING THE STAGE WITH TOURING AMERICANA ACTS. CAN'T-MISS SPECIAL TRIBUTES, LIKE THOSE DEDICATED TO MERLE HAGGARD AND TOWNES VAN ZANDT EARLIER THIS YEAR, BRING OUT SCORES OF L.A.'S FINEST ROOTS SINGERS AND MUSICIANS. IF YOU SQUINT HARD ENOUGH, YOU COULD MISTAKE THE WHOLE AFFAIR FOR A NASHVILLE HOUSE PARTY CIRCA 1978".- CHRIS KISSEL , LA WEEKLY
"That's just one example of the type of collaborations in store at the Grand Ole Echo, whose definition of Americana is much more wide-ranging and diverse than its Nashville namesake, booking everything from southern rock to psychedelic alt-country to bluegrass to old fashioned honkytonk." - Jonathan Bernstein, American Songwriter
The Echo Park crowd knock back longnecks and listen to bands that can include (former) local fixture, Mike Stinson,or former members of the Blasters. Members of Wilco, and The Black Crowes have been known to show up and even take the stage.” - Los Angeles Magazine
“Sunday afternoons, put a kick in God’s day with the Grand Ole Echo, a downhome celebration with three live bands plus and old-timey jam and bbq on the back patio.” - The Pasadena Weekly
American fiddle player, guitarist and singer, born January 24, 1936 in Tiel Ridge, Louisiana, USA. He has been a major figure in the popularization of Cajun music, singing in both French and English.
The Dave & Deke Combo
The Dave & Deke Combo is one of the best-loved and best-remembered rockabilly/hillbilly bands of the 1990s. During their five-year run, they recorded two CDs and several singles, toured the USA many times, toured Europe five times, backed up nearly every living rockabilly legend, and inspired and influenced many of the new bands on today's retro scene.
Formed in 1991 by Dave Stuckey and Deke Dickerson -- both refugees from Missouri who relocated in Los Angeles -- the Combo established a new and unique presence and helped bring about the West Coast retro renaissance. They distinguished themselves from other modern acts with their vocal harmonies (reminiscent of old-time "brother" acts like the Everly Brothers, the Louvin Brothers, the Delmore Brothers, etc.), Dickerson's fleet-fingered Joe Maphis licks on his Mosrite double-neck guitar, and their solid rhythm section: bassist Lloyd Martin (later replaced by Brian "Shorty" Poole) and drummer Lance Soliday. The Dave & Deke Combo is still widely loved and remembered today, ten years after its breakup.
Dave Stuckey formed a new western swing act, the Rhythm Gang, and recorded a dynamite CD for the HighTone/HMG label entitled Get a Load of This!
Lance Soliday continues to drum with such acts as the Smith's Ranch Boys and the Lucky Stars.
Shorty Poole plays steel guitar in the new western act the Stardust Combo.
Amigo The Devil
If you’ve ever heard a room full of people yelling “I hope your husband dies” in a some harmoniously sloppy, drunken unison, you’ve probably stumbled into an Amigo The Devil show. Danny Kiranos, better known to the masses as his musical counterpart Amigo The Devil, has been challenging the expectations of traditional folk, country music purists, and rock/extreme metal fans alike with his morbid, yet oddly romantic, take on folk that has amassed a dedicated and cult like fan-base. Despite being armed with only his vocals and a banjo/acoustic guitar, the live show is worlds away from what people expect of a folk show. Loaded with sing-alongs and an unsuspecting dose of humor to make otherwise grim topics accessible for fans of every genre, the songs remain deeply rooted in the tradition of story-telling that seems to be slipping away from the human condition.
Take one glance at the iconic tintype photograph which serves as the cover to his new album, Benton County Relic, and you know immediately that Cedric Burnside is the real deal. “When I first saw it, I thought I looked like an outlaw,” he laughs.
The 39-year-old still lives on several acres not far from the Holly Springs, Mississippi, home where he was raised by “Big Daddy,” his grandfather, the late singer/songwriter/guitarist R.L. Burnside whom Cedric famously played with, just as his own father, drummer Calvin Jackson, did. Cedric was literally born to the blues, more specifically, the “rhythmically unorthodox” Hill country variant which emerged from Mississippi, where he grew up surrounded (and influenced) by Junior Kimbrough, Jessie May Hemphill and Otha Turner, as well as delta musicians T-Model Ford and Paul “Wine” Jones.
Grammy-nominated in 2015 for Best Blues Album for the Cedric Burnside Project’s Descendants of Hill Country, as well as the recipient of the Blues Music Awards honor as Drummer of the Year for four consecutive years, Cedric’s latest album offers a showcase for his electric and acoustic guitar, recording 26 tracks in just two days with drummer/slide guitarist Brian Jay in the latter’s Brooklyn home studio in a rush of creativity. It’s his first release for Single Lock Records, the Florence, Alabama label headquartered across the Tennessee River from the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and responsible for critically acclaimed records by John Paul White, Nicole Atkins, Dylan LeBlanc and St. Paul & the Broken Bones.
And while Cedric humbly refers to himself in the album’s title, the music within is anything but ancient, the rich tradition of Hill country blues dragged kicking and screaming into the modern-day with crackling electricity amid its nod to life’s essentials. If the blues has traditionally been about getting through hard times, Benton County Relic offers the kind of deep baring of the soul that enables us to transcend oppression, whether in the 19th century or in the precarious present.
There’s blood on these 12 tracks, from the matter-of-fact recitation of his poverty-stricken childhood without running water, radio or TV in “We Made It” (“I come from nothin’/I done been lower than low/I keep my head straight/No matter how low I go”) and the description of a “Typical Day” (“I wake up in the mornin’/Sun shinin’ on my face/I drink a cup of coffee/I might roll me a J”) to the loss of family endured in “Hard to Stay Cool” and the unrequited passion of “There is So Much.”
“I write my music according to how I live my life, the things I’m going through at the time,” insists Burnside, who lost both his parents, an uncle and his younger brother Cody over the last few years. “I love music so much. It’s really something I can turn to when I’m feeling down and out, and in pain. Whether it’s the heartache of breaking up with a girlfriend, or frustration at a dispute with a family member.”
Burnside has brought a music that started as an expression of grief and a will to survive into a modern-day art form that is both timely and timeless, a glimpse of myth and insight into the human condition. “Back in the day, it wasn’t heard as music, but more like ‘somebody help me, I want to get out of this situation,’” says Cedric. “These days, anybody can have the blues. Some people deal with loss by going out and getting drunk or even killing themselves. The blues is about surviving through those hard times, telling the world what you’ve been through, and how you came out of it.”
Cedric’s blues cover a wide range of different emotions. “Give It to You” is an expression of pure sexual desire, a traditional blues trope. Burnside explains, “That kind of stuff still goes on in the world today,” he says. “It has happened to me, and I’m sure it has happened to a lot more people. Whether it’s politically correct or not, it’s the truth. And that’s how I write my music. It might seem harsh or messed-up, but it’s real.”
“Call on Me” is a song penned for his three daughters, ages 13 to 17, about being there emotionally, if not always in person, given his hectic touring schedule. “I just want them to know, what I do is not just for the fans, but for them, too.”
The traditional “Death Bell Blues” is a tribute to his own “Big Daddy,” R.L. Burnside, who used to perform the song, once covered by Muddy Waters and countless others. “I did it the same way ‘Big Daddy’ did it,” he says. “I want to let the people know where my music comes from.”
On “Ain’t Gonna Take No Mess,” Cedric insists he’s performing the music he wants, regardless of what anybody else says. “I’ve been playing almost 30 years now,” he exclaims. “It’s who I am, what I am. I am Hill country blues. This is my whole life, and I’m not going to listen to anyone who tells me what I can and can’t do. I just thank God that Single Lock Records let me be with my music.”
Cedric has both played and recorded with the North Mississippi Allstars (Luther Dickinson gave him his first electric guitar), Widespread Panic, Jimmy Buffett, Bobby Rush, Hubert Sumlin, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. He was also featured playing drums alongside Samuel L. Jackson in Craig Brewer’s 2006 feature film, Black Snake Moan, which was in part a tribute to his grandfather R.L. and other iconic bluesmen.
Now planning to tour with collaborator Brian Jay to promote the new album, Cedric eschews politics in favor of the personal. “I know there’s a lot going on in the world,” he says. “But I try to give it all to God and let Him handle it. Politics divides people. The blues brings them together. A bluesman has to find a way to make it through.”
Cedric Burnside isn’t content with just making it through. On Benton County Relic, he brings the blues alive for a new generation of fans weaned on the likes of White Stripes and the Black Keys. And why not? That’s all he’s ever known.
With a singular combination of soul-deep dedication, striking good looks and a remarkably expressive vocal style, country singer-songwriter James Intveld is a formidable talent. A performer with a virtually lifelong resume, Intveld's been playing music since early childhood, a passion that's carried him from a start as a talent-show winning teenager to headlining international tours and sharing stages with some of country music's biggest stars. Recognized as one of Los Angeles' most reliable and gifted players, Intveld has an impressive track record as sideman with Harry Dean Stanton’s honky-tonk renegades The Repomen, lead guitarist for acclaimed roots-rock spearheads the Blasters and, on his own, as a solid attraction who routinely draws SRO crowds. As an actor, Intveld has made numerous film and television appearances and he’s worked both sides of the camera; notably, he provided vocals for Johnny Depp's title character in John Water's cult classic Cry Baby and his film career even extended to the director’s chair--he personally helmed the 2005 Western Miracle at Sage Creek starring David Carradine.
For Intveld, though, it’s all about music, a dedication that’s allowed him to develop an extraordinary repertoire of his own finely wrought originals and hundreds of classic pop, blues and country songs. Intveld’s devotion imparts an innate nobility to his performances, a rare quality that’s consistently reflected in his flawless performances and recordings. As featured on Intveld’s first-rate solo albums, 2001’s Somewhere Down The Road and the current Have Faith (which hit 29 on the Americana chart), his mix of hard country, gospel mysticism and blues informed, forceful rock & roll operates at a high level of communicative skill and exquisitely proficient musicianship. Whether delivering his wistful, sensitive ballad “Woman’s Touch” or the vintage Wynn Stewart hit “It’s Such a Pretty World Today,” Intveld’s involvement and knack for artful re-definition combine to create innovative and irresistible new stylings that are his alone.
Raised in Compton, California just a stones throw from the site of legendary LA country music television show Town Hall Party, Intveld got his first musical instrument--a drum kit--at age 5, graduated to guitar at 8, joined the guitar mass at the family’s church and by 10 formed his first band. Several years later, his father began driving him to country music shrine the Palomino, where Intveld promptly began winning the regular Monday talent competition with knock-out versions of Elvis Presley and Hank Williams Sr. hits. By 1980, Intveld, with equally gifted brother Ricky on drums, formed a kicking rockabilly band that spearheaded the burgeoning revival movement and quickly became a fixture at spots like Club Lingerie, The Roxy and Whisky a Go-Go. The band got noticed--teen idol Rick Nelson hired Intveld’s bassist and brother as his touring rhythm section, but after they perished in the infamous New Year’s Eve plane crash, Intveld was so shaken he quit playing altogether.
Fortunately, Intveld’s devotion to music prevailed .By the mid-1980’s he was back in full swing with a new band and an infamously dance floor packing residency at Pasadena's One West. The momentum steadily built, leading to the Cry Baby gig, supplying vocals for an Oldsmoblile commercial starring Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, his stint with Harry Dean Stanton (that band toured as far afield as Australia), a role in Sean Penn's directorial debut Indian Runner and signing up as the Blasters lead guitarist. Despite a heavy touring schedule and an increase in acting jobs, Intveld’s need to express himself never wavered; he had to break out on his own terms, quit the Blasters and cut his well received first album, James Intveld, issued in 1995 by Germany's Bear Family.
Along the way, Intveld's been spotted accompanying everyone from CMA Entertainer of the Year Freddie Hart to legendary comedian Steve Allen, written songs for rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson, directed an award winning short film based on a letter by James Dean (it took first place honors at the 2007 Silver Lake Film Festival) and ceaselessly mining new artistic territory. Dividing his time between touring and living in Nashville (where he recently made his Grand Ole Opry debut), Intveld's ardor and commitment are as constant and reliable as his always first-rate music.
Classic country has a new contemporary hero in Zephaniah OHora.The debut album from the NYC song slinger has been dubbed a "modern classic country masterpiece," earning OHora widespread critical acclaim and appearances at major US and European festivals in 2018.
Saving Country Music calls This Highway, "classic country mastery” and in a live review wrote, "Zephaniah OHora live is everything you want him to be like with his record: it’s a completely indefinable, indescribable something-ness that all those old greats had.”
After listening to This Highway, one might wonder how could such and album come out of New York? To find the answer, take a trip to Brooklyn and visit honky tonk bar, Skinny Dennis, named after Guy Clark’s bass player Skinny Dennis Sanchez. OHora has been the director of music programming and resident artist since the doors opened in 2013.
It's no surprise then that OHora has spent years honing his craft, performing classic country with some NYC's best musicians. From his Western Swing and Ray Price tributes with Honeyfingers, to a Red Simpson era truck driving country collaboration with Jim Campilongo (co-producer of This Highway), to his current weekly residency with his group The Last Roundup Boys, who perform three hours of Merle Haggard classics and obscurities.
The last several years of dedication and immersion in the form resulted in the impressive debut, which Wide Open Country declared "classic country perfection". The thought and precision of the work has distinguished OHora other among critics from other artists on the scene. "Rest assured that Zephaniah OHora is no put-on, Howdy Doody show relying on styling and vintage duds for his country authenticity. This is a singular singer, songwriter, and performer," wrote Saving Country Music, an observation echoed by American Songwriter. “Channeling the country icons of decades past is something of a trend these days, but only a handful of artists are able to pull off such homage without devolving into mimicry. Brooklyn’s OHora is one of those artists.”
At 14 years old, Ruby Boots -- real name Bex Chilcott -- left a conflicted home in Perth, Western Australia to do grueling work on pearling boats, and she hasn't stopped migrating since. Her nomadic streak has taken her around the world, and eventually to Nashville, TN.
Don't Talk About It charts this drifter's odyssey, tattered passport in hand. Behind her commanding and versatile voice, sharp guitar playing, and adept songwriting, Ruby Boots confidently maneuvers past the whirlwinds life has tossed on her occasionally lost highway. It's an album of hope, breakthrough, and handling the unknown challenges around the next bend.
The roads taken, the miles traveled and the voices heard during Ruby's life's trek resonate throughout Don't Talk About It. Informed as much by the wide-open landscapes of her homeland as the intimate writing circles of Nashville, the album may range far and wide but always maintains a firm sense of place. Echoes of first wave UK power pop and jangly punk intersect with the every(wo)man indie and pop-inflected muscle of Best Coast. Classic rock touchstones from T. Rex to the girl-group-wall-of-sound to personal hero Tom Petty meld with a weary poet's eye recalling Hope Sandoval.
On her Bloodshot Records debut, Ruby continues to map out a polished-yet-fearless, bare-knuckled self, previously hinted at on her last album, Solitude. In 2016, Ruby met with Lone Star state-bred studio wizards The Texas Gentlemen and the album's eventual producer Beau Bedford. The group had stopped off in Nashville on their way to back Kris Kristofferson at Newport Folk Festival and a mutual admiration society quickly coalesced. The collective pulled a handful of songs from the 40 she had waiting and began recording at their Dallas-based studio Modern Electric Sound Recorders.
The album rips right open with "It's So Cruel," strutting through the door with dual harmonic, bawdy, fuzzed-out guitars, reminiscent of a glammy, '70s southern-rock-soaked Queens of the Stone Age. It all captures the meteoric emotional flares of an adulterous relationship destined to fail. The Gentlemen spell a Stetson-hat wearing Wrecking Crew as they lay down dusty gothic vibes in the Nikki Lane co-written "I'll Make It Through," building towards a crescendoing, persevering, bright chorus. (Lane also sings background vocals on the album's title track.) On "Believe in Heaven," doo-wop beats, dark choral echoes, and a plucked string section lead into ZZ Top full-bodied rawk riffage.
But the most defining of tones come through in spirit, when on the a capella "I Am A Woman" Ruby reaches towering vocal peaks, shredding raw, putting it all out there.The song could be a traditional spiritual, as she belts: "I am a believer / Standing strong by your side / I'm the hand to hold onto / When it's too hard to try... I am a woman / Do you know what that means / You lay it all on the line / When you lay down with me."
Of the song Chilcott says, "'I Am a Woman' was conjured up amid recent events where men have spoken about, and treated women's bodies, the way no man, or woman, should. This kind of treatment toward another human being makes every nerve in my body scream. These kinds of incidents are so ingrained in our culture and are swept under the carpet at every turn -- it needs to change. As tempting as it was to just write an angry tirade I wanted to respond with integrity, so I sat with my feelings and this song emerged as a celebration of women and womanhood, of our strength and our vulnerability, all we encompass and our inner beauty, countering ignorance and vulgarity with honesty and pride and without being exclusionary to any man or woman. My hope is that we come together on this long drawn out journey. The song is the backbone to the album for me."
Don't Talk About It smoulders with a fighting spirit and pulls influence and experience -- both musically, emotionally, and beyond -- from many pins in the map, but is 10 songs harbored in the singularity that is Ruby Boots.
The album has garnered praise from Rolling Stone, Noisey, Wide Open Country, Chicago Reader, No Depression, and more.
Since the release of Don't Talk About It, Ruby Boots has performed at Willie Nelson's Luck Reunion, Stagecoach Festival, Bonnaroo, and The Long Road Festival in the UK, as well as toured with Langhorne Slim, Nikki Lane, Nicole Atkins, Ben Miller Band, and Low Cut Connie.
Dallas Moore’s old-school country sound developed honestly, following over 20 years of sharing stages and studios with his honky-tonk heroes. Satellite radio support, paired with a willingness to perform over 300 shows a year, finds the seasoned veteran positioned to reach the Americana masses with his forthcoming album Mr. Honky Tonk.
Tastemakers have taken note already, with the Dallas Moore Band crowned the Ameripolitan Music Awards’ 2017 Outlaw Group of the Year. The award came after three prior nominations for the band No Depression credits with bringing “hangovers and excitement to outlaw country fans everywhere.”
Recent career strides caught the attention of producer/country-music heavyweight Dean Miller, son of Roger Miller and an accomplished songwriter himself, having penned tunes with George Jones, Hank Williams III, Jamey Johnson and more. Miller entered Baird Music Group’s Nashville studio with Moore and his band to record what was originally planned to be a five-song EP. “Out of all the things we’ve ever done, I think Dean captured what I do way better than anyone else we’ve ever worked with,” Moore says. “It was the best recording experience I ever had.”
The EP turned album after its barnstorming title track—a song Moore actually wrote 20 years prior—gained serious traction on Sirius XM satellite radio’s Outlaw Country channel. The album’s other tunes came more recently, all of them written in the past year and a half, making them clearer snapshots of how sharing stages (and rounds of shots) with his country-music idols has impacted his songwriting. “In the last several years, I’ve been real blessed to tour with a lot of my songwriting influences, and they’ve helped me improve my craft,” Moore says. “Guys like Dean Dillon, Billy Joe Shaver and Ray Wylie Hubbard have been so supportive. It’s really cool when your heroes become your friends, and that’s what happened in the past several years.”
Moore’s stage show—already seen in years past by fans of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd—has improved with every opportunity to open for an iconic country or Southern-rock artist. “If you’re playing in the slot before Dean Dillon,” Moore says, “You’d better not suck.”
Another crew of country luminaries performed on the album, including harmonica legend Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Chris Stapleton), famed Nashville session bassist Michael Rhodes and pedal-steel master Steve Hinson. “We walked in to the studio and saw all of these incredible players lined up,” Moore says. “I thought they were there to play with someone else!”
Even with such ample backing, the main attraction on Mr. Honky Tonk is still Moore and his deft skill as a songwriter and lyricist. Like so many of his inspirations, he’s an ace at spinning relatable stories. On “Killing Me Nice and Slow,” he weaves an impactful tale of lost love (“It’s a long way down when you’re higher than a Georgia pine on love and whiskey the night before / Then you hear the slamming of the door”). From there, Moore puts his spin on time-tested country tropes such as celebrating place (“Texahio,” a nod to splitting time between Texas and his native Cincinnati) and balancing Saturday-night hellraising with Sunday-morning God praising (“Shoot Out the Lights”).
Moore’s mother—a bluegrass and gospel performer herself—bought her son his first guitar when he was 16 years old. Before that, sports had been his first priority. “My big claim to fame back in those days—one year I beat out Ken Griffey Jr. for the most home runs in the league,” Moore says. “But then I got a guitar the next year, and I quit—I walked away as a winner!”
A few years later, Moore enrolled at Northern Kentucky University to study jazz and classical guitar. But he found his true calling in a less high-brow environment around the same time, performing on the local bar scene in a country house band. Multi-night stints playing classic covers set a precedent for the Dallas Moore Band’s sound and unrelenting tour schedule. And Moore’s gruff vocals have made him an ideal singer of songs about hard luck and harder living as far back as his 1991 debut LP, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.
Once Mr. Honky Tonk arrives in February, expect Moore to play nonstop in support of his new album. He played a whopping 327 shows in 2017, and that was without an album to promote. Who knows, he might just play solo or with his band every single night in 2018.
Josh Desure jumpstarted his career in the music business tour managing for Midland, hitting the road with the trio as they toured their debut album On the Rocks. After a last-minute opening stint for the band in Bakersfield, Desure hung up his tour-manager hat and decided to give music a real go. “Stranded Son” is his only official release, but the song is more than enough to prove Desure’s musical chops, a panoramic slice of folk rock with just enough twang. - Rolling Stone
Desure is a writer of deeply moving songs that'll smack you in the face with emotion. He believes in the power of pure transparency in his music. "It builds a stronger connection," he says of his affinity for raw, unbridled performances. That's how the light gets in, to borrow a line from the great Leonard Cohen.
Sounds Like: The soundtrack to a long, epic nighttime drive through the desert
For Fans of: David Ramirez, Andrew Combs, Rayland Baxter
Concrete and Mud is a confident career-defining album, rooted in Texas twang, southern stomp, and old-school funky-tonk - it reached #10 on
the Americana airplay chart (was #19 on the overall year-end album chart) in the U.S. & #5 in Europe. At 28 years old, Morrow's found his footing
as an artist. The first single, "Quick Fix" was an infectious hook laden stew of syncopated beats with bubbling clavinet, slinky guitars and doubled
vocals. There's also an undercurrent of classic country running throughout the mix. The second single, “Paid By The Mile” is all about the romance
of life on the road. It peaked at #14 at Americana radio’s singles chart. It’s the first single from the album being worked at the Texas/Red Dirt format
and is bubbling under there. Texas/Red Dirt & AAA non-com will be our radio focus in February & March. A third single, “Heartbreak Man” will be
readied for Americana, AAA non-com, & Texas Red Dirt radio in the Spring. Concrete and Mud “is about the fabric of America, and how the Mississippi
is a metaphor for what binds very different people together," says Morrow, whose album builds a similar bridge between opposing camps: country and
rock & roll; the West Coast and the American South, concrete and mud. "The sentiment is," he adds, "the things that unite us are stronger than the
forces that divide us.” He’ll be on tour sharing these songs all year.
It’s twenty-eighteen in the southwestern corner of America. There’s snow in the distant mountains and the slow desert sunset creeps through the windshield of the Mercury on 40 West. The young man is driving home, wherever that is.
He was born in a small woodland house in the Hudson Valley, raised in rural Maine, and enlightened by time spent in New York City. He’s landed in Los Angeles for now, where the Sunset Strip is a wasteland, Silverlake has peaked, and the spirit of Laurel Canyon echos through the hills of Highland Park. The end of the world is a damn inspirational place to be.
He writes and records. The hard work shines through in his craft without a scrap of it being over-thought. It’s American music. It’s conceived on highways between cities past their prime. It’s born from memories and dreams of fresh starts. There’s rich history to draw from in Nashville, Memphis, Muscle Shoals, Bakersfield and Austin, but he doesn’t desire a repeat. He celebrates the richness of a multi-generational record collection while adding a fresh voice to the conversation, and the music is new.
Every year Elijah Ocean crisscrosses the country singing his songs and making memories. With four full-length LPs under his belt and a fifth in the chamber, Ocean is just hitting his stride.
For now there’s a much-needed diner booth in Needles on 66. Welcome to California. Set your clocks.
INTO THE BLUE -- Alice Wallace
By Holly George-Warren
“It’s a song about taking the risk to do what you love,” Alice Wallace says of the soaring track, “The Blue,” which yields a lyric entitling her spellbinding new album. With Into the Blue, the California-country singer-songwriter conjures the atmospheric sound of the Golden State’s canyons and deserts, mountains and crashing waves, its crowning beauty and its tragic losses. At the same time, the supple-voiced Wallace tells her own and others’ stories, weaving tales that resonate as we grapple with so many disturbing national issues.
Into the Blue is Wallace’s fourth album but marks her debut on the brand-new Rebelle Road label, an imprint founded by a trio of women dedicated to strengthening the California Country music community and expanding visibility for female artists in the Americana/roots genre. “They care so deeply about giving women a stronger voice in the music industry,” Wallace attests. Having spent the past six years writing songs and touring the nation – from AMERICANAFEST® to county fairs, barrooms to coffeehouses – Alice Wallace is ready to break out. “It takes bravery to ‘sail away into the blue’ and grab it,” she says. “It took me until about six years ago to finally take the plunge, quit my job and go for it. I haven’t looked back since.”
It was after Wallace’s return to her birth state of California that she fully embraced her calling as a singer-songwriter. Her musical family had relocated to rural St. Cloud, Florida, when she was a child. She grew up around the sounds of her parents playing guitars and singing, with “Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, their favorite,” she recalls. She also absorbed the country rock of ‘70s-era Linda Ronstadt on the turntable. “I really taught myself to sing by mimicking their styles,” she says. “The powerful belt that Linda has. The emotive lilt to Emmylou’s voice. Trying to navigate those different elements helped me find my own voice nestled in between all that.” She first picked up guitar at age 10, with her dad teaching her to finger-pick at 15, and by senior year in high school, Wallace was performing original compositions at the local Borders bookstore. It was in college that she discovered yet another calling: yodeling, that haunting vocal style that blends blues, country, and western. Wallace’s own “A Little Yodel” added her to the ranks of legends Patsy Montana and Carolina Cotton.
In 2008, when the Wallace family relocated back to Southern California, she joined them. There, she began focusing on writing, performing, and touring, both solo and with a band. Since 2013, she performs some 200 dates a year. One of those with whom she’s shared stages is singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard, who says she and her “stunning” songcraft have that “Steve McQueen ‘Cincinnati Kid’ cool.” Pundits agree: she won the 2017 Female Vocalist of the Year at the California Country Awards and the previous year’s Best Country/Americana Artist at the L.A. Music Critic Awards. She was recently singled out by the Los Angeles Daily News and Pollstar for her “dead-on lovely version” of Ronstadt’s “throbbing” “Long Long Time” at the “Palomino Rides Again” event celebrating the legendary California honky-tonk.
Into the Blue represents Wallace’s evolution as a recording artist, showcasing her growth as a songwriter as she embraces a fuller sound, backed by some of Americana’s most distinctive players. Co-produced by Steve Berns and Rebelle Road’s studio veteran, songwriter and musician KP Hawthorn (who’ve made a name for themselves working with artists in the West coast Americana scene), the album is brimming with soul. The formidable rhythm section, including drummer Jay Bellerose (Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Aimee Mann) and bassist Jennifer Condos (Jackson Browne, Graham Nash), underpins instrumentation ranging from Tom Bremer’s crunchy electric guitar to Kaitlin Wolfberg’s lush string arrangements to keys and pedal steel from Jeremy Long (Sam Outlaw).
Wallace uses an intoxicating array of vocal styles to bring her songs to life: a dusky alto on “The Lonely Talking” (co-written with KP Hawthorn); gospel-tinged belting on “When She Cries” (inspired by the end of a six-year drought in California), and a soaring soprano on “Santa Ana Winds.” The latter, a country-rock chronicle of California’s devastating wildfires, is a co-write with Dallas artist Andrew Delaney, a frequent collaborator whom she calls “the most brilliant lyricist I’ve ever met.” Wallace inhabits his stirring “Elephants,” giving voice to women who refuse to be “quiet as a mouse in a room full of elephants.” The Wallace-Delaney-penned “Echo Canyon” is, she says, “a southwestern cowboy ballad that’s a modern take on a yodel song.” Wallace’s heart-wrenching “Desert Rose” tells of a young mother’s struggle to give her baby a better life across the border.
Lyrically, the heart of the album is the luminous anthem, “The Blue,” says Wallace. It describes her own journey to “get over my fears and go for the thing I love the most.” She knew that being a traveling troubadour and committing herself fully to music could be a dangerous choice. “In some ways, I wish I had done it sooner,” she says. “But I’m also glad I have the life experience to help fuel my songwriting and survive life on the road.” The highly charged emotional feel of “The Blue” derives in part from its exquisite layered harmonies – Wallace’s vocals joined by those of her father, mother, and brother. Known as “blood harmony,” when kinfolk sing together, it conveys a rapturous kind of purity and strength. That buoyancy radiates throughout Alice Wallace’s Into the Blue, lifting her listeners up, transporting them into the world of a seasoned troubadour looking back from a dream realized and dues paid without regret.
Teddy & the Rough Riders
A country rock n roll band out of Nashville, TN
Blue Rose Rounders
Leroy from the North
Leroy From the North is a Los Angeles based Indi band. Sounds like a velour track suit with a cowboy hat.
American country music singer and songwriter
Sie Sie Benhoff
Crooning classic country and soulful serenades, with a hot honky tonk combo
High Life Cajun Band
The High Life Cajun Band plays straight out Cajun dance music. The sounds and rhythms of a Friday night dance in southwest Louisiana are alive and kicking when this band begins to play. With the accordion and fiddle at the helm of the melody, and the guitar and drums bringing the beat, the melodies of Acadiana pulse and push dancers across the floor. If you can’t make it to the prairies of Louisiana, catch the High Life and they’ll be sure to take you there (at least for the night)!
Have More Fun String Band
The Have More Fun Stringband plays hard driving dance tunes, crooked gems, and sings gospel and country songs with force. 2 time 1st Place Band winners at the Goleta Old Time Fiddler’s convention, each and every time they are on stage - they BUST DOWN!
Wicklow Atwater is a high energy string band from Atwater Village, Los Angeles, California. Wicklow Atwater harmonizes the old time styling of Americana roots music with a modern day propensity. With the core of the band being childhood chums from the Atwater Village neighborhood of LA they bring to the stage a natural verve of a fine tuned garage ensemble.
Purveyors of country blues, tinged w/ whiskey & honey
After 5 years on the road, 4 albums under their belt and multiple international tours, Water Tower have been brewing up a storm in the folk music world. The boys have collaborated live with members of bands like Frank Turner, Kitty Daisy and Lewis, the Red Stick Ramblers, and the Foghorn Stringband and shared the stage with acts like Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford and Sons, Wilco, Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, and Woody Pines. They have toured extensively in both the USA and abroad, and performed live on the BBC, NPR, and RTE. Their all original sound is infectious and has spread far and wide to audiences of all ages and walks of life. Based in Portland, Oregon these young gents got their start busking on street corners playing traditional old time and bluegrass, eventually honing their sound as a solid dance band playing square dances and bluegrass festivals up and down the west coast.
However, the boys wanted to take the music further and thus, their new sound was born. Loosely based in the traditions of bluegrass, punk rock, blues, cajun, folk and country their sonic creations transcend all musical boundaries. Their songs feature tight 3 part harmonies and powerful instrumentals. This combined with the lightning energy of their stage performances has made them a favorite amongst music connoisseurs throughout the US and Europe alike. Their latest record, "Sole Kitchen" (Self-Released 2010) features 13 original works with song contributions from each member of the band. The album was recorded by punk rocker Mike Herrera of MXPX and Tumbledown at his Monkey Trench Studios in Bremerton, WA.