Thursday, October 16, 2014

FAST-RISING JOE FLETCHER NEW ALBUM ‘YOU’VE GOT THE WRONG MAN’ DEBUTS ON HEATSEEKERS CHART

SOLO ALBUM HERALDED BY ROLLING STONE, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, ESQUIRE AND BEYOND

SPOTIFY FEATURES “I NEVER (REPRISE)” ON THE PULSE OF AMERICANA PLAYLIST

For Joe Fletcher, 2014 has seen a rapid ascent into the top ranks of the Americana music world, with a debut at 69 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart today; packed sets at Americana Fest and Way Over Yonder (presented by Newport Folk); upcoming opening slots for The Devil Makes Three; and raves for his new solo album ‘You’ve Got The Wrong Man.’ Spotify has featured “I Never (Reprise),” which premiered at Paste Magazine, on its Pulse of Americana playlist.

“Must-see… [His] songs… wind and roll with steep changes, always ending with a birds-eye view that suddenly organizes it all into one delicate vision. The Rhode Islander-turned-Nashvillian's words flow more like folk poetry than verse-chorus status quo, picking on a honky-tonk spirit with a Tom Waits heart.”
- Marissa Moss, Rolling Stone, September 17, 2014

"Gritty... a bracing breath of fresh air.”
- Miles Raymer, Entertainment Weekly, October 3, 2014, full album stream

"Joe Fletcher is a natural storyteller... It's the lyrics that get you, the complexities of which are sometimes hidden by the musical styling. They paint the sort of deep portraits of American life many songwriters allude to but which few accomplish. There's darkness down there, but with it humor and, absolutely, a damn good time."
- James Joiner, Esquire, August 28, 2014

“Wildly imaginative… charmingly raw”
– Jon Freeman, Country Weekly, October 13, 2014

“A diamond in the rough.”
- Hal Horowitz, American Songwriter, October 7, 2014

“This band’s namesake gave up his day job as an English teacher to make music, and he goes to the head of the class with his latest release.”
- June Wulff, The Boston Globe, September 1, 2014

“Sounds a bit like pre-electric Dylan.”
- Bob Strauss, LA Daily News, September 22, 2014

“Awesome… [his] best yet.”
- Jed Gottlieb, Boston Herald, September 22, 2014

“Such a special record… Fletcher’s storytelling skills have never been better, and the characters in his songs are thoroughly developed and oh so dark.”
- Maeri Ferguson, Glide Magazine, September 25, 2014

Tour dates are here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Signature Sounds' 20th anniversary artwork





PETE SEEGER TO DOM FLEMONS: MY GRANDFATHER AND WOODY GUTHRIE BOTH PLAYED THE BONES

BACKSTAGE CONVERSATION WITH SEEGER PIVOTAL IN FLEMONS’ CARRYING ON TRADITION

HEADLINING DATES & OPENING SLOTS FOR OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW CONTINUE

Backstage at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger introduced Dom Flemons to Pete Seeger, an enthralling moment for the young American Songster. The elder told Flemons, “I like the way you play the bones. My grandfather played the bones.” (The bones are a pair of cow bones played together as a percussion instrument, related to the spoons. Old Crow Medicine Show was also backstage and that was the first time that they had met Seeger; Flemons and OCMS will play shows together in November.) Seeger also told the rising folk artist that Woody Guthrie used to play the bones but Flemons could not find a recording of Woody playing the bones until TIME Magazine debuted this duet with Sonny Terry from the new album ‘My Name Is New York: Ramblin’ Around Woody Guthrie’s Town’ earlier this year.

Flemons has been playing the bones since receiving a set as a gift at North Carolina’s Mt. Airy Fiddler's Convention in 2006. Flemons’ new album ‘Prospect Hill’ features “Marching Up To Prospect Hill,” a tribute to harmonica great Sonny Terry and harmonica and bones player JC Burris (Terry’s nephew) based on a video of the duo shot by Seeger.

Flemons is the American songster, a master of a variety of African-American musical forms and digging to a depth and breadth not seen since the emergence of Taj Mahal. Flemons plays guitar, banjo, quills, and percussion as well as the bones and dig deeply into hokum tunes, jug band material, New Orleans jazz, ballads, original folk songs, rhythm and blues, ragtime, spirituals, and fife and drum music.

Peter Cooper of the Tennessean recently profiled Flemons.

Flemons expounds on his idea of the American songster here.

Dom Flemons Tour Dates

October 15 – Rocky Mount, VA – Harvester Performance Center
October 17 – Black Mountain, NC – Lake Eden Arts Festival
October 18 – Black Mountain, NC – Lake Eden Arts Festival
October 19 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern
October 23 – Easton, MD – Avalon Theatre
October 24 – New York, NY – City Winery (Wesley Stace's Cabinet of Wonders)
November 4 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
November 6 – Urbana Champaign, IL - Krannert Center
November 10 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
November 12 – Blacksburg, VA – Burruss Auditorium (Virginia Tech) *
November 13 – Ashland, KY – Paramount Arts Center *
November 14 - Louisville, KY - Palace *
November 15 - Memphis, TN - Orpheum *
November 20 - Athens, GA -The Classic Center *
November 21 - Birmingham, AL - Alabama Theatre *

* With Old Crow Medicine Show

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sugar Ray & The Bluetones bio

    Sugar Ray and the Bluetones begin their 35th year of bringing you the best in Blues Music with their release Living Tear To Tear (Severn Records) which debuted at #1 on the Living Blues Album Chart. 
    Singer and harmonica player Sugar Ray Norcia has been fronted this exciting band since its inception-but also spent seven years in Roomful Of Blues, and was also in the original line-up of Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters.  You can hear him on recordings with these two great Artists as well as recordings with Michelle Wilson, Pinetop Perkins, “Big” Walter Horton, and over fifty other Artists.  Sugar Ray also earned a Grammy Nomination (2014) for his work on Remembering Little Walter (Blind Pig Records) and won two Blues Music Awards (Memphis, TN) for that recording.
    “Monster” Mike Welch-aptly named by Dan Aykroyd at the Original House of Blues (Cambridge, MA) at the ripe old age of 13, and has been wowing audiences the world over to this day.  He has been the guitarist with the Bluetones for over thirteen years and continues to do solo projects on his own and with with other artists.  You can hear Mike on recent releases by the Mannish Boys, Duke Robillard, Sugaray Rayford, and has also been featured on a recording with the late great Johnny Winter.
    If  you were to think of any modern Blues Legend chances are that Anthony Geraci has backed them up-B.B. King, Otis Rush, Big Mama Thorton, Chuck Berry, Big Walter Horton and countless others have had Anthony’s fiery piano accompanying them. Anthony was  nominated for a Grammy in 2000 for his work on Super Harps I (Telarc Records) that also features James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Branch, and Sugar Ray Norcia. You can also hear Anthony on Ronnie Earl’s first two releases on the Black Top record label; They Call Me Mr. Earl, and Smokin’.
    Bassist Michael “Mudcat” Ward has been featured on more recordings then we can count! Among them are recordings with Jimmy Rodgers, “Big” Walter Horton, Hubert Sumlin (that also includes Eric Clapton and Keith Richards), Otis Grand, Sleepy LaBeef, J. Geils and many more.
    Drummer Neil Gouvin has been with Sugar Ray since they were both in high school together.  Neil has been on every Bluetone recording and has also been featured on the John Hammond Jr. Grammy nominated Found True Love. Neil has also been featured on recordings by Otis Grand, Ike Turner and others.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

SIGNATURE SOUNDS CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITH SPECIAL SERIES OF CONCERTS

THREE DAYS OF CELEBRATION WITH CHRIS SMITHER, LAKE STREET DIVE, CROOKED STILL AND MORE IN NORTHAMPTON, MA
NOVEMBER 28, 29, 30

Northampton based record label Signature Sounds Recordings will celebrate it’s 20th Anniversary with a series of special concerts at The Academy Of Music Theater (274 Main St.) and The Parlor Room (32 Masonic St.) in Northampton on Thanksgiving weekend November 28th- 30th. These concerts will feature performances by 18 artists who have recorded for the label in the past two decades.

Signature Sounds was formed in 1994 by Jim Olsen and Mark Thayer to promote the burgeoning roots music scene in the Pioneer Valley. Prior to the formation of the label the partners worked on a number of commercial and fund raising projects at Thayer’s home-based studio in Palmer, MA.The label was originally housed in Olsen’s Whately home. From the beginning, the label focused on new and developing artists. Signature has released over 150 albums to date and has played a part in launching the careers of such notable artists as Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Erin McKeownMary Gauthier, Crooked Still, Eilen Jewell and others while also working with established singer-songwriters like Chris Smither, Patty Larkin and Richard Shindell. 

“The music industry has changed so much since we started the label” says Signature president Jim Olsen.“We launched several years before there was any on-line music retail. Our early albums were released on cassette as well as CD. These days over half the music we sell is by download. The Internet has also allowed the label’s artists to gain an international audience for their music." 

2014 has proven to be a watershed year for the label. In February, Signature released Lake Street Dive’s Bad Self Portraits album, which entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #18 and has become the best selling album in label history. The band has made appearances on numerous network TV shows includingThe Colbert ReportLate Show With David LettermanCONAN, The Ellen DeGeneres Showand CBS Saturday Morning.

From the beginning Signature has been involved in presenting live music, initially programming the popular Green River Festival and later presenting shows at clubs and theaters around the Pioneer Valley. In 2012, the label moved into it’s current headquarters in downtown Northampton and opened The Parlor Room. The intimate venue quickly proved popular and has hosted over 100 performances.

In January of this year, Signature Sounds acquired ownership of the Green River Festival from the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. The 2014 festival featured sell out attendance both days of the festival, which was a first for the festival. “We were thrilled with the response to this year’s festival” says Olsen, “We’re so excited to continue to grow and improve the event. We hope to make Green River Festival the ultimate live music event in the region."

While Signature Sounds is planning a year of special events in celebration of it’s 20th Anniversary, the Thanksgiving Weekend shows at the Academy Of Music are the focal point of the celebration. At least 18 of the label’s artists will be performing, with many special collaborations expected.  

The celebration kicks off on Friday night November 28th with a 70th birthday show for blues-folk icon Chris Smither who is also marking his 50th year as an artist. Smither will be joined by his band The Motivators, plus special guests Mark Erelli, Jeffrey Foucualt, Kris Delmhorst and Peter Mulvey. This yearSignature has released two special albums featuring the music of Chris Smither- a two-disc career retrospective called Still On The Levee and an all-star tribute album Link Of Chain – A Songwriters Tribute To Chris Smither with contributions from Bonnie Raitt, Dave Alvin, Josh Ritter and many others. Proceeding the show there will be an in depth interview Chris Smither and Jim Olsen at the Parlor Room.  


On Saturday afternoon, Tracy Grammer and special guests will present a tribute to songwriter Dave Carter at the Parlor Room. Carter and Grammer released a series of critically acclaimed albums on Signature Sounds before his untimely death in 2003. Tickets for the Parlor Room shows will be available at www.parlorroommusic.com.

The Saturday evening concert at the Academy Of Music will feature an eclectic program with Eilen Jewell and her band, Winterpills, Heather Maloney, Barnstar!The Sweetback Sisters, and Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers

Then on Sunday afternoon, the highly anticipated reunion of non-traditional bluegrass string band, Crooked Still will take place. After a decade of constant activity, the members of Crooked Still decided to take a break from touring in 2012 in order to pursue other projects and recharge creatively. Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem and Eilen Jewell's Gospel side project, The Sacred Shakers round out the show.

The weekend ends with Lake Street Dive closing out the Academy shows, along with Miss Tess & The Talkbacks and And the Kids who will release their label debut on Signature Sounds early next year.

Music Maker Relief Foundation clips

Tavis Smiley Radio interview (October 3, 2014)

The New Yorker Taj Mahal's Music Maker playlist (August 6, 2014)




SUGAR RAY & THE BLUETONES NOMINATED FOR 2014 BOSTON MUSIC AWARD

Sugar Ray And The Bluetones were nominated for a 2014 Boston Music Award in the category of Blues Artist of the Year, alongside Gracie Curran And The High Falutin’ Band, Peter Parcek, Quinn Sullivan, and Roomful Of Blues. The group’s new album ‘Living Tear To Tear’ is out now on Severn Records. Sugar Ray & The Bluetones have several New England dates coming up:

Friday, October 10 - Chans, Woonsocket, RI
Friday, October 24 - Johnny D's Uptown, Somerville, MA
Saturday, November 1 - The Flying Monkey Performance Center, Plymouth,NH (with Tommy Castro)
Thursday, December 4 - Sculler's Jazz Club, Boston, MA

This year marks the band's 35th anniversary.