Tipping their hat to you from Shaky Town Northeast, CB Brand has been living up to it's
moniker as "The Loch Ness Monster of Country Rock Outfits" for years now: appearing
through the foam in grainy photos and sound recordings while reeling apologues bandied
about in the bars and living rooms of regional hamlets. They've dusted floors and stages
up and down the Golden State and Great Basin, releasing the maidenhead "Cloud EP" 7"
on Wonder Valley Records in 2006 and more recently a cassette only eponymous release
on NYC's Whip Records and wide soundtrack acreage in Calvin Lee Reeder's cinematic
fiesta "The Rambler". Folks are still raving about the Big Sur New Year's Eve 2016-17
three hour marathon dance party that had the Fernwood Resort hanging it from the rafters!
With Chadwick Brown vocally/rhythmically steering the group of Sean Hoffman on guitar,
Kip Boardman on bass/keys, and Steve Didelot on drums, the band slides across the
spectrum of Americana Country and Boogie Rock Music akin to the little amber lamp on
an old Wonderbar radio leading down the road to the sparkling river of the lost weekend
ahead. Peppered in with original classics, including the California regional hit "Let's Go
Get Stoned" and the favorite-in-Kuala Lumpur "She Came With The Whiskey", CB Brand's
set will flip through a well stocked rock and roll-odex to work out a few hand-tooled
versions of songs from backcountry waypoints on the musical map and on down the road
to that Stuckey's glowing in the distance...
Find them on the freeways, or in the lounge...
Lasers Lasers Birmingham (Solo Set)
Take the laid back, disaffected, self-referential ennui that hangs thick in the smog of Los Angeles and combine it with the classic swoon of pedal-steel straight from the heart of The Ozarks and you’ll start to approach the foundations of Lasers Lasers Birmingham, the new project from former Vanish Valley multi-instrumentalist Alex Owen.
Imagine a classic sawdust honky tonk populated with cowboy boot clad, line dancing locals tipping their hats to check their latest Snapchat messages. This is the intersection of cultures at which Owen’s new Royal Blue EP begins, but make no mistake; this is plain speaking country music. Having toured the west coast, and headlined such coveted LA venues as The Troubadour, The Echo, and The Satellite, Alex Owen is a seasoned Americana storyteller with a gilded voice. Honing his skills in past projects like Vanish Valley and We Fear The Bees, Owen has taken center stage, evoking contemporary Los Angeles life through the lense of his Springfield, Missouri upbringing. With Hammond organ, steel guitar, and barn-burning swagger, Lasers Lasers Birmingham brings to mind Waylon Jennings and Sturgill Simpson, with the smooth influence of Neil Young and the modern wit of Father John Misty.
Alex was inescapably drawn to the guitar during his college years in Missouri, soloing for kicks with his friends. He found himself playing folk rock in the deserts of Phoenix, and ultimately followed the call of the west coast to Los Angeles where he settled with his wife Soraya.
Lasers Lasers Birmingham’s first EP was a self-distributed, eponymous cassette on which Owen played all the instruments except the drums. The tone of the project was honed on the rough edges of LA’s lonely barrooms and plastic scene— the town didn’t know it was itself inspiring a new release. “People don’t go to shows because they love the band. They go because they love themselves— How the band makes them feel.” As Owen labored in the dark amid LA’s ironic beards and big floppy hats, the seed of his second release was born.
The title track Royal Blue laments lost love over classic steel guitar and twinkling country piano, but does so using the extended metaphor of an Instagram filter. 70’s classic Americana is both evoked and subverted in Hard Man To Please as twangy guitars duel over a swaggering dance number. Shedd Aquarium’s solid punch of a snare is the heart beat that carries a swelling, stadium-swaying ode to a day of debauchery which is guaranteed to arrest the listener. Any Way You Slice It confronts the pathetic routine of addiction while showcasing the songwriter at his most spare— Just a musician, his guitar, and an aimless sorrow that knows no source nor destination. “Like any craftsman, I like making things other people can use,” says Owen, “As a carpenter would with a well-made chair, I want to make art that’s also highly functional.” With tracks playing on KCHUNG and other local radio stations, Owen built a following that has supported him through stints at LA country music mecca The Escondite, as well as appearances at The Lexington, Lot 1 and many others. “In LA pretty much no one has a penny for your thoughts. Music gives me a vehicle to communicate in a way I can’t in everyday life.” says Owen, looking up from a game of Candy Crush on his iPhone as a Hank Williams cover blasts from the band behind him at Sassafrass Lounge in LA. “It’s such a gift when a song feels like it was written just for you. I want to do that for other people.”
The Royal Blue EP features Alex Owen on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, “Mustang” Lang on keyboards, John Schreffler Jr on pedal steel & telecaster, Seb Bailey on bass, Mikey G on drums, and features the back up vocals of Jake Gideon who also produced and engineered the EP.
Tawny Ellis is an accomplished singer, songwriter, sculptor, actress and producer.
Instruments: Lap steel, omnichord, tenor guitar, percussion.
Tawny is known for her thought provoking lyrics and musical composition. Her work has a distinctive quality rooted in sweet Southern folk indicative of Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris but most noteworthy, Ellis' voice: “It's the sort of voice one could make a meal of, in the vein of Neko Case or Ray LaMontagne, -- not to mention country singers from years, if not ages, past” (Guitar World Magazine).
Singing since childhood, Ellis’ sultry sound and complicated rhythms come from experience. Although a Savannah, GA native, Ellis traveled across America due to her nomadic childhood before landing in Southern California where she meets longtime collaborator Gio Loria, who along with Ellis brings her lush melodies and lyrical storytelling to audiences around the world. With music tours in North America and Europe and recording in studios in New Orleans and France, Ellis’ life on the road brings adventure and reward. Ellis recorded at historical FAME studios in Muscle Shoals Alabama setting down a four track EP, Ghosts Of The Low Country.
Ellis beyond being a considerable musical talent is an accomplished sculptor with an ancestral connection to one of the world's most famous sculptors/painters, Edgar Degas. Her lineage to the Impressionist renders with certainty a family-born ability beyond convention or mere popular notion as Ellis creates sculpture pieces elaborately similar to that of Degas’ work. There are no accidents, as Ellis creates her first sculpture in the fourth grade. Her work can be found all over the world including an architectural piece commissioned by the city of Monrovia, CA to highlight an historical landmark.