Bird Streets – Carry Me

anna azarov photography

Bird Streets is the music of songwriter John Brodeur. In need of a creative rebirth after years on the music-industry margins, Brodeur reached out to his friend, the producer and multi-instrumentalist Jason Falkner, to suggest they record together.

The album yielded by this pairing is both fresh and familiar–a dynamic collection of introspective indie-rock and power-pop that draws liberally on the music of decades past without being bluntly nostalgic, with Brodeur’s voice like an old friend you’re meeting for the first time. The Falkner-produced debut, simply titled Bird Streets, is out now on Omnivore Recordings.

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Blues Traveler – Accelerated Nation

Blues Traveler formed in Princeton, New Jersey in 1987. The band’s music spans a variety of genres, including blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock. It is known for extensive use of segues in live performances, and was considered a key part of the re-emerging jam band scene of the 1990s, spearheading the H.O.R.D.E. touring music festival.
Currently, the group comprises singer and harmonica player John Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, drummer Brendan Hill, bassist Tad Kinchla, and keyboardist Ben Wilson. Tad Kinchla and Ben Wilson joined the band following the death of original bassist Bobby Sheehan in 1999.
While Blues Traveler is best known among fans for their improvisational live shows, the general public is most familiar with the group from their Top 40 singles “Run-Around”, “Hook”, and “But Anyway”. They gained mainstream popularity after their fourth studio album, four, released in 1994 and became a sleeper hit almost a year later. Sheehan’s death and Popper’s struggle with obesity put a damper on the group’s success, and A&M dropped the band in 2002. In the years following, the band has bounced around through a succession of independent labels and record producers, and gotten increasingly experimental with their recorded output.
Blues Traveler’s latest album, Hurry Up and Hang Around, is slated for release in October 2018.

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Richard Thompson – The Rattle Within

In 2017, Ivor Novello Award-winning and GRAMMY® Award-nominated legend Richard Thompson gave himself up to the music itself. Picking up a guitar, emotions echoed through his deft fleet-fingered fretwork, poetic songwriting, impassioned picking. Those transmissions comprise his nineteenth solo album and return to New West Records, 13 Rivers.

“I never really think about what songs mean,” he admits. “I just write them. Some of them reflect on what happened a few months ago or even a year ago. It’s a process of surveying my life and where I was at.”

In 2017, Thompson began composing ideas for what would become 13 Rivers at his California home. Off the road, he focused on writing. As a result of the defined time period, the music possessed a distinct cohesion.
“I wrote the songs as a group to hang together,” he elaborates. “They belong together in some way and seem to possess a commonality since they were written in the same time and space.”

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The Molochs – I Wanna Say To You

Flowers In The Spring is where the Molochs worked harder, thought harder and fought harder to be the kind of band that the times demand: “I like to think the world just needs some good solid songs out there,” founder Lucas Fitzsimons says. “It’s simple. It’s not easy … but it’s simple.”
America’s Velvet Glory had sparked their first-ever U.S and European tours, first-ever festival sets, first-ever international press and more. (Top music mag Mojo even said they’d made one of the year’s best albums—“Any year!”) Follow-up Flowers bloomed almost exactly a year later at Long Beach’s Jazzcats studio between December of 2017 and January of 2018, where Fitzsimons and longtime band member Ryan Foster had recorded Glory. By the time they’d returned, they had a slate of songs that had come to Fitzsimons in flash moments, written on nerve-wracking transcontinental flights or on isolated nights in an L.A. apartment, captured at once in bursts of insight or rescued from almost-abandonment in discarded notebooks.
As on Glory, inspiration from Syd Barrett, Dylan, Nikki Sudden and kindred spirit Peter Perrett of the Only Ones was at work, but the Molochsare endlessly (appropriately?) ravenous when it comes to things to read and listen to and learn from. On Flowers they’d refine and recombine their sound, working in that long tradition of poets who cover (or discover) themselves in pop songs. “To Kick In A Lover’s Door” blows Flowers open with the wit and precision of the Go-Betweens, and “I Wanna Say To You” draws more from some of Creation Records’ dreamiest dreamers than it does from any esoteric 60s howlers. “Flowers In The Spring” and “Pages Of Your Journal” could be two lost Kinks singles from two different Kinks eras—that Ray Davies-ian venom stays the same, of course—and the charming/disarming “Too Lost In Love” makes feeling down sound like cheering up, just like the Clean did.

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The Magpie Salute – Send Me An Omen

Magpie Salute was pulled together by guitarist Rich Robinson and continues a story-line he began in the Black Crowes with guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien. Completing the group is vocalist John Hogg, who shared Hookah Brown with Robinson, along with keyboardist Matt Slocum and drummer Joe Magistro, both veterans of Robinson’s solo records and tours over the years.
Produced by Rich Robinson and recorded at Dark Horse Studios in Nashville TN, the 12-song HIGH WATER I represents a musical union of swaggering rock ‘n’ roll, psychedelic blues, and campfire-worthy storytelling that first took flight in 2016 when Robinson assembled the band for a now seminal Woodstock gig.

The Magpie Salute will be at Sony Hall in NYC on Friday September 7.  Click here for info

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Hamish Anderson – No Good

Yahoo! Music’s “Top Ten Best New Artist” Hamish Anderson’s new single “No Good” picks up where his critically acclaimed debut album, Trouble, left off – featuring heavier rock sounds & produced by 7x Grammy winner Jim Scott (Tom Petty) with Johnny Radelat (Gary Clark Jr), Chris Bruce (Doyle Bramhall II) and Jerry Borge (Jonathan Wilson).
In 2017, Hamish performed 11 sets at SXSW & appeared at Firefly, Mountain Jam, Summerfest, Echo Park Rising, Telluride Blues & Bluesfest Ottawa. His previous single, U, was featured on NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation & NPR’s DJ Sessions. He’s a Taco Bell Feed the Beat artist, and has won Best Blues song by the Independent Music Awards in 2015 for his single, Burn.
In 2018, he toured Europe, performed at Bottlerock Napa Festival and released “No Good” his first single from his sophomore album.

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Steve Forbert – That’d Be Alright

“Big City Cat – My Life in Folk-Rock” is singer/songwriter Steve Forbert’s exceptional new memoir, co-written with Therese Boyd in which he most candidly reflects on those specific circumstances that first brought him to the public eye. Originally conceived as a stage play and screen treatment, it finds him documenting the early adventures of a small town Mississippi boy in the Big City, pursuing his quest to make music. Sharing reflections and journals he kept at the time, he weaves an absorbing narrative that fully addresses the trials, travails and triumphs that would eventually play out over the course of his prolific 40+ year career including encounters with the Ramones, Sam Phillips, Keith Richards, Doc Pomus, Levon Helm and others notables along the way.

The book is accompanied by its own soundtrack as well, an evocative new album entitled The Magic Tree that offers a series of songs gleaned from previously recorded acoustic demos, augmented with new backing tracks and fleshed out as a series of songs that ring with the verve and vitality that Forbert’s fans have always come to expect. Consistently upbeat and optimistic, they convey a firm sense that age ought not diminish a lust for living. Then again, that’s been Forbert’s mantra ever since the beginning: honoring his past while plowing his way towards the future. The Magic Tree serves as sound track to Steve’s new memoir, Big City Cat a chronicle of his forty years making music. The album rings with the verve and vitality that Forbert’s fans have always come to expect. It takes on special meaning in light of the recent health scare that sidelined him for several months while he recovered from kidney surgery and chemotherapy. Consistently upbeat and optimistic, the album’s songs convey a firm sense that age ought not diminish a lust for living. The Magic Tree underscores what revered critic the late Paul Nelson wrote about Forbert in Rolling Stone almost 40 years ago: “… Nothing, nothing in this world, is going to stop Steve Forbert, and on that I’ll bet anything you’d care to wager.”

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The English Beat – You’re Stuck

The Beat was formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, during a period of high unemployment and social upheaval in the United Kingdom. Ranking Roger, one of the band’s vocalists, added a Jamaican vocal flavour to the band’s sound with his toasting style.

Jamaican saxophonist Saxa added a Jamaican ska instrumental sound. Saxa (born Lionel Augustus Martin in 1930) had played saxophone with Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, and Desmond Dekker in the first wave of ska.

He joined The Beat to record their first single, “Tears of a Clown”, a cover version of the Motown hit by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

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Willie Nile – Children Of Paradise

The New York Times called Willie Nile “one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years.” His album Streets Of New York was hailed as “a platter for the ages” by UNCUT magazine. Rolling Stone listed The Innocent Ones as one of the “Top Ten Best Under-The-Radar Albums of 2011” and BBC Radio called it “THE rock ‘n’ roll album of the year.”

Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Jim Jarmusch, and Little Steven are among those who have sung his praises. His album, American Ride, won “Best Rock Album of the Year” at the Independent Music Awards. It appeared on over one hundred year-end Top Ten lists for 2013 and Bono called it, “One of the great guides to unraveling the mystery that is the troubled beauty of America.”

As American Songwriter said “Nile cranks up the volume and tears into these tunes with the same hunger, passion and exuberance he displays in his legendary sweat-soaked shows.” World War Willie was voted “Album Of The Year” by Twangville Magazine and the song Forever Wild was named “Coolest Song In The World” by Little Steven’s Underground Garage. In 2017 he released the critically acclaimed album “Positively Bob – Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan”. Willie has toured across the U.S. with The Who and has sung with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band.

As the induction program from the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame says: “His live performances are legendary.” He is currently working on a new project of original material that will become his 12th studio album. It is set for release in the summer of 2018.

On Sunday August 12 Willie & bass player Johnny Pisano will be doing an acoustic performance followed by a signing at Jack’s Music Shoppe in Red Bank at 3pm.

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Lucero – For The Lonely Ones

Lucero has long been admired in their hometown of Memphis, where they have hosted “The Lucero Family Block Party” every spring for a number of years. At the 2018 Block Party they celebrated their 20th anniversary as a band, with the city’s Mayor Jim Strickland officially declaring it “Lucero Day.” The group found their name in a Spanish/English dictionary. “Lucero” is variously translated as “bright star” or “morning star.” None of them can speak Spanish. It’s been two decades since original members Ben Nichols, Brian Venable, Roy Berry, and John C. Stubblefield (keyboardist Rick Steff joined in 2006) started playing shows in Memphis. The band’s first show was April 13, 1998 at a warehouse space across the street from what is now the National Civil Rights Museum, the infamous Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. Their first
set was six songs played to about six people. On August 3, 2018, record release day for Among the Ghosts, the band will be co-headlining Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. The band’s ninth studio album, Among the Ghosts, is their first for noted Nashville indie label Thirty Tigers. It was recorded and co-produced with Grammy-winning engineer/producer and Memphis
native Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Drive by Truckers) at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Service, the studio built by the legendary producer after outgrowing his Memphis Recording Service/Sun Studio.

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