Thursday, June 28, 2012


"Before We Turn to Dust," San Francisco based songwriter Sean Hayes' newest release was written and recorded in the same year he became a father. You can hear the love and struggle throughout.  In one moment Hayes is singing "you may spend all your money before you turn to dust / but you'll never spend all your love.”  In the next moment, reminiscent of Bill Withers' classic "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone," he flips it with his line  "I miss her when I'm gone/ but I've got to make my money" and goes on to intone "bring it home, bring it home, bring it home/ to my lady and my baby."

There is something raw and down-home about this music. Simple and straightforward the piano, guitar, drums, bass, occasional horns and back-up singing surround his warm, vibrato-laden voice that leads the way, down "side street alleys" or to "that spot with the jukebox where we can sing your favorite tune."

Like great Country or Soul music these songs tell simple stories that also make you want to move.  "Damn, the way you walk that thing/locked in the pocket make a body ring" from the song "Bam Bam" almost has your hips in motion from the lyrics alone.

Frazey Ford from the folk group The Be Good Tanya's joins the singing for a duet on the album's last track, a lullaby "Innocent Spring."

Hayes is notably accompanied by veterans Andrew Borger (Tom Waits/Norah Jones) on drums, Devin Hoff (The Nels Cline Singers, Xiu Xiu) on bass and relative new comers Ezra Lipp (Thao + The Get Down Stay Down) on drums and multi-instrumentalist Eric Khun (Silian Rail) on keys, drums and percussion.  The record was mixed by Eli Crews (tUnE-yArDs) at New and Improved Recording in Oakland CA.

Sean Hayes was born in New York City, raised in North Carolina, and came of musical age in San Francisco. "I remember going to sleep listening to the radio next to my bed," he says, listening to a wide variety of music from the get-go. It was not until I went to college for a year in east Carolina that I heard a banjo and a fiddle and bluegrass." He began to play a mix of traditional old-time music, bluegrass, Irish music, and original songs in Asheville, NC and Charleston, SC.

On a whim, Hayes threw some clothes and a guitar into the back of his friend's car and made his way to San Francisco. "I spent a few years in a great little folk scene in San Francisco with Jolie Holland being the queen bee. She is an amazing talent." Later, he would open tours for Holland. "San Francisco has always felt like a do-it-yourself town," he says, continuing, "There’s not a lot of music industry, but there is a lot of spirit."

Hayes cites various influences from the soul, folk, R&B, reggae, and gospel worlds, such as Otis Redding, James Brown, Joni Mitchell, 'The Anthology of American Folk Music,' 'American Primitive, Volumes 1 and 2' (pre-war gospel compilations), and Nina Simone. He adds, "I also love Bob Marley and his rhythm section. I think of him as more folk than reggae."

Over the years, Hayes' songs have been re-mixed by DJ Mark Farina ("Dream Machine"), covered by folk group The Be Good Tanya's ("A Thousand Tiny Pieces"), been featured on HBO's "Bored to Death", and used in a TV ad campaign for Subaru ("Powerful Stuff"). He sang a duet on Aimee Mann’s latest record and has toured with acts such as Ani DiFranco and the Cold War Kids.

His hometown SF Weekly has raved, "Take him anywhere, play him for anyone, and the response is always the same: People want more. They'll write down the name if they don't know it already… an impressive treat in your pocket. Hayes' music succeeds on the tension between warm, resonant soul and dirt-road folk, all laced with a wandering troubadour's coo…. the danceable folk singer… Hayes gets his groove on, laying his buttery, quavering voice over swinging drum patterns, mellifluous piano, and funky horn parts… what sets him apart is his voice -- a wounded, wavering tone that sounds like a fragile creature, very crushable.”

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle called him "a singular urban/backwoods sound and vision… extraordinary… Hayes achieves… a certain intimate rapport between the performer and audience…”

Birth, Death, Love, Sex and Money: the stuff of life, its all here on Sean Hayes newest release "Before We Turn to Dust."

Dave Sanford: Distiller Promo * 503.890.4242 *

Nick Loss-Eaton * 718.541.1130 *

Chris Powers: Rare Artists * 415.378.1960 *




Sean Hayes marries folk sounds with R&B grooves on 'Before We Turn To Dust,' out September 4th in partnership with the Orchard, all capped off with his stunning vibrato-laden vocals. 'Before We Turn To Dust' was written and recorded in the same year Hayes became a father. The album has a way of capturing the notions of birth, mortality, love, and struggle that echo throughout the album while the rhythms cause one's hips to sway, almost involuntarily, to the beat.

NPR and San Francisco press have raved about Hayes, who is poised to break out following tours supporting Cold War Kids, Ani DiFranco, and Jolie Holland; airplay on KCRW & WFUV; a duet on Aimee Mann’s last record; a second appearance at the Outside Lands Festival alongside Sharon Van Etten, Norah Jones, Sigur Ros, Andrew Bird, Regina Spektor and others; and a song in HBO's "Bored to Death." He has also scored multiple #1 slots on the iTunes Store's singer-songwriter chart.

NPR has called him "a young man with an old soul." SF Weekly stated, "Take him anywhere, play him for anyone, and the response is always the same: People want more. They'll write down the name if they don't know it already… You can keep your Joanna Newsoms and your Devendra Banharts. When it comes to folk music, Sean Hayes is the man [and] what sets him apart is his voice." Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle called him "extraordinary."

A San Francisco Bay area artist, Hayes is accompanied by veterans Andrew Borger (Tom Waits, Norah Jones) on drums, Devin Hoff (Nels Cline Singers) on bass and relative newcomers Ezra Lipp (Thao Nguyen) on drums and multi-instrumentalist Eric Khun (Silian Rail) on keys, drums and percussion. The record was mixed by Eli Crews (Tuneyards) at New, Improved Recording in Oakland, CA.



When Rob Seidenberg, founder and head of newly launched Fiesta Red Records, and Gary Burnette, co-executive producer of 'Lowe Country: The Songs of Nick Lowe,' decided to move forward with the album, they also decided to give back to the communities which nurtured the music.

Seidenberg says, "We had seen the devastation caused by the 2010 floods in and around Nashville, the amount of damage they did, the way that they destroyed people's property and homes and displaced so many. As soon as I came up with the title 'Lowe Country,' an image flashed in my head of low-lying lands inundated with water."

The Nashville Rising Fund helps to meet the needs of flood victims throughout Middle Tennessee through the dedicated work of local nonprofits on the front lines of the recovery.

Before the album was finished, another disaster struck close to Seidenberg's Austin home: the devastating wildfires that impacted Bastrop, Texas, which lies just on the outskirts of Austin and is, in fact, home for many musicians.

Seidenberg recalls, "Suddenly it was clear that some of the proceeds should go to assisting victims of that fire as well, since Austin is as big a part of this album as is Nashville. Not only do several of the artists live in one or the other, but both of those cities play an enormous role in the sound of the album. At the heart of the album is country music, which calls Nashville home. But many of the innovative, left-of-center interpretations of the album's tunes are linked to the outlaw country tradition, which thrives in Austin. It's a place where artists blend their country music with other American popular music forms such as rock & roll. And it's exactly the kind of approach that Nick Lowe has taken for the past four decades."

The Central Texas Wildfire Fund was created to help meet the immediate and long-term needs of those people, families, and organizations affected by the wildfires across Central Texas. The fund helps affected people restore their lives and rebuild their communities. Donations made to the Central Texas Wildfire Fund go directly to the organizations assisting individuals, families and local businesses most affected by the wildfires.

Here is a postable mp3 of Robert Ellis doing "All Men Are Liars":

'Lowe Country' Track Listing:

Lately I've Let Things Slide - Caitlin Rose
Don't Lose Your Grip On Love - The Parson Red Heads
All Men Are Liars - Robert Ellis
I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass - Amanda Shires
Marie Provost - JEFF the Brotherhood
Hayes Carll - I'm Gonna Start Living Again If It Kills Me
Lover Don't Go - Erin Enderlin
When I Write The Book - The Unsinkable Boxer
You Make Me - Colin Gilmore
Heart Of The City - Chatham County Line
What's Shakin' On The Hill - Lori McKenna
Crackin' Up - Griffin House
Where Is My Everything - Ron Sexsmith

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sean Hayes publicity photos

Click for higher resolution files.

Credit for above (photo with green wall background): Freda Banks

Credit for below photo with piano: Quinn Wharton

Tuesday, June 26, 2012



4th generation Albertan rancher and songwriter Corb Lund has just completed a playful video for his new single "Getting' Down on the Mountain," the first mp3 from 'Cabin Fever' (New West / August 14), envisioning an apocalypse coming "when the oil stops, everything stops."

Here's the video, filmed in northern Alberta just before the snow melt and showing beautiful desolation, with Lund running through the tundra: 

He says, "I first started this song and it was about partying at a ski resort. Then it turned into an 'end of civilization' kind of thing. You never know how these things are going to turn out. It's a canned food and ammo rocker. I watched this movie called 'Collapse' and it is about the definite possibility of an imminent petroleum crunch of petroleum crash and it got me thinking about canned food and ammunition."

He sings, "don't want to be around when the shit goes down… brother can't you spare some ammo."

The video was directed and shot by Fish Griwkowsky and edited by Justin Lachance.

Interestingly, the song is neither major or minor, with the root chord being a D5. He explains the origins of the song; the guitar parts; and more in this YouTube video:

Corb clarifies, for those wondering about his look in the video, "The beard is real, in answer to numerous inquiries."

Thursday, June 21, 2012



Spirit Family Reunion packed Mercury Lounge on Friday, celebrating the release of their debut LP 'No Separation.' The sold out show comes with a wave of acclaim for the band, who are next set to grace the stage at Newport Folk Festival July 28 and Celebrate Brooklyn August 4. Here's some of what we're reading:

"Spirit Family Reunion fit right in with the bands they'll be sharing the stage with at this year's Newport Folk Festival [and] the rowdiness of other revival bands like The Felice Brothers and Deer Tick."
– Brooklyn Vegan

"For those who like their tunes a little more homegrown and banjo-filled, I highly recommend this New York band's brand new release, 'No Separation.'"
– USA Today

"Beautiful and raucous… best of what's next"
– Paste Magazine

"[Spirit Family Reunion was] seemingly transporting the crowd to an alternate universe where percussion was both invented and perfected with the washboard... In this world, the harmonica is always played with Dylanesque eloquence, perfection is a ragged, imperfect thing and the crowd always claps at the right time, completely in rhythm. Through it all, there was plenty of dancing, foot stomping and hollering…"
- House List (Bowery Presents blog)

"We couldn't be more excited."
– Baeble Music

"Rabble-rousing Brooklyn folkies Spirit Family Reunion deliver foot-stomping, throaty, joyful songs. We defy you not to tap along."
– Time Out New York

"The group, inspired by church revivals, has drawn comparisons to The Band."
– American Songwriter

"Ready-to-break... rousing and raucous."
– No Depression

"Raucous… With the blessing of Levon Helm (they were the last band to open for him before he passed away) and a growing army of fans on the back of their album No Seperation, Spirit Family Reunion are dragging traditional Americana back into the spotlight."
- Elmore Magazine

Monday, June 18, 2012


Caitlin Rose

Nashville’s Caitlin Rose first appeared on the radar of music critics late last year with the release of her widely praised debut full-length Own Side Now. Rarely does an artist display this level of uninhibited honestly and vulnerability in her writing; the fact that this wisdom is found at the start of Rose’s career promises that she’s not going away any time soon. Drawing inspiration from female greats like Linda Ronstadt, Patsy Cline and Stevie Nicks, Own Side Now is an exquisite collection, showcasing a maturity that few possess at such a young age. Time magazine named it one of the Top 10 Albums of 2011.

Although steeped in the country tradition, Rose’s music is not constrained by that heritage. Her confessional style and wry observations place her very much in the 21st Century, but it is her heart-wrenching honesty, lyrical prowess and dexterous lyrical delivery that sets her apart from her peers

The Parson Red Heads

A band whose music harkens to the most prolific and inventive elements in the canon of West Coast psych-folk, the Parson Red Heads celebrated the release of Yearling, their second album, in 2011 and toured supporting that release with Blitzen Trapper, Viva Voce, Alela Diane and Fruit Bats. Yearling delivered on the great promise that has been steadily building during their eight years as a band. Some of the album was recorded over a series of many months first in a familiar setting, Red Rockets Glare Studio in their former home of Los Angeles, with close friend and sometimes member Raymond Richards producing. But most of the songs on the record were done later on unfamiliar terrain, at Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium in North Carolina with alternative pop legends Chris Stamey and Mitch Easter producing and engineering, respectively.

Robert Ellis

“The best of these folks who write songs make you think about time, and I find myself thinking about time a lot when I listen to Robert Ellis. When he and his Boys are plugged in, the final hours of a night race along in a sweaty, whiskey-soaked blur. And when he sits on a stool -- with just his guitar, voice and songs -- time slows down, as he spins tales of love and life and the way they twist together and are torn apart as we march along to some destination chosen by the great rearranger.

We talk about his folk and his country as though they’re hot and cold handles on a faucet.
The temperatures are perhaps different but it all has a fluid consistency. There are quieter
songs about making a home and louder songs about breaking a home, but they’re all
about being here now . . . even if they sound old as time while still being well built for
the future. All of it could easily be classified as country, of a sort with the great writers
and players Robert studies and admires, from George Jones to Paul Simon. Why deal
with something as cold as genres. It’s American music through and through.
-- Andrew Dansby

Amanda Shires

Brought up in Lubbock and Mineral Wells, Texas, 5-string fiddler/singer/songwriter Amanda Shires played with the Texas Playboys as a teenager and was a founding member of the Thrift Store Cowboys. In 2005, while still a regular member of that group, Shires released her solo debut, Being Brave, a mostly instrumental showcase for her traditional fiddle chops. But the fertile Texas music scene was overripe with side-person work for the talented young player and backup singer, so she relocated to Nashville—“to get uncomfortable and make myself grow some guts,” as she put it once—and proceeded to write and record the first two albums to really put her on the roots-music map: 2008’s Sew Your Heart with Wires, a collection of duets co-written and recorded with singer-songwriter Rod Picott; and what Shires calls her “true” solo debut, 2009’s West Cross Timbers, which No Depression dubbed one of the year’s best 50 releases.

Because she was on the road so often—averaging 120-160 dates per year in the States and in Europe—it took Shires 16 months to record her follow-up, 2012’s Carrying Lightning. But that album has garnered tremendous critical acclaim and attention from the likes of NPR (Tiny Desk Concert, All Songs Considered) and such publications as The Wall Street Journal and Texas Monthly. In the meantime, she appeared in the movie Country Strong, has resumed her extensive touring schedule, and frequently accompanies Justin Townes Earle and Jason Isbell, among others.

JEFF The Brotherhood

Jake and Jamin Orrall, aka JEFF the Brotherhood, are seen by many to be latter-day pioneers of the Nashville rock scene, but they see themselves as brothers who can't remember not playing music together for fun. Their family-owned, vinyl-centered record label, Infinity Cat Recordings, has been a pillar of support for Nashville bands since 2002 (with 60 releases to date) and was named "Nashville's Best Record Label 2010" by the Nashville Scene. But their first love has always been the Brotherhood known as JEFF.

Known for their relentless touring and their "we'll play anywhere" mentality, they have built a reputation for stripping rock music down to its basics, and delivering mind-bending live shows with Jamin's three drums and three cymbals and Jake's three-string guitar and ferocious vocals. JEFF the Brotherhood's work ethic practically defines D.I.Y., from their simple but compelling videos to their self-produced and critically acclaimed albums, EPs and singles.

Hayes Carll

Hayes Carll is an odd mix. Wildly literate, utterly slackerly, impossibly romantic, absolutely a slave to the music, he is completely committed to the truth and unafraid to skewer pomposity, hypocrisy and small-minded thinking. In a world of shallow and shallower, where it’s all groove and gloss, that might seem a hopeless proposition. His “Another Like You” was American Songwriter’s #1 Song of 2011 and his most recent full-length, KMAG YOYO, was the Americana Music Association’s #1 Album and made Best of Lists for Rolling Stone, SPIN and a New York Times Critics Choice.

But more importantly than the critical acclaim is the way Carll connects with music lovers across genre lines. Playing rock clubs and honkytonks, Bonnaroo and Stones Fest, he and his band the Gulf Coast Orchestra merge a truculent singer/songwriter take that combines lean freewheeling squalor with brazen Gen Y reality and a healthy dose of love amongst unhealthy people. Like so many writers before him, there’s no agony in the ecstasy--just the wonder of capturing the perfect character in the song. When you’re six beers down on a 12-pack night, you know Hayes Carll understands. And at a time like that--whether in your own backyard or some jam-packed bar--that’s the best kind of friend to have.

Erin Enderlin

Erin Enderlin has had songs recorded by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Terri Clark, Lee Ann Womack, Adam Brand, and Luke Bryan. These include Jackson’s top 5 hit “Monday Morning Church,” which won an NSAI award as one of the 10 “Songs I Wish I’d Written” honored in 2005, as well as Lee Ann Womack’s single “Last Call,” which won the same award in 2009.

Hailing from Conway, Arkansas, Enderlin moved to Nashville in 2000 to attend Middle Tennessee State University. Having her grandparents (H.D. and Wanda Clinton) to thank for an early introduction to country music, Erin’s influences include Reba McEntire, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Tim McGraw, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. She just recently completed her first solo album, which was co-produced by Jamey Johnson.

The Unsinkable Boxer

The Unsinkable Boxer are a Glasgow, Scotland-based band focused around the musical leanings of vocalist/ tunesmith Colin Taylor. His latest incarnation has been described as '
“intelligent pop for music lovers” and “melody laden music not to surf on top of , but to dive into.” His previous work has been hailed in the UK by such luminaries as BBC Radio 2's Johnny Walker and Bob Harris. The eponymously titled 2010 debut combines a classic British sound with flourishes of Americana. At times epic , at times sparse, it delivers the sweetest punch to the heart. A new album is in the can and is currently being mixed in Seattle with plans for a release before the end of 2012.

Colin Gilmore

Colin Gilmore is one of the latest in a long string of talent to come out of Lubbock, Texas. He grew up surrounded by the sounds of Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Joe Ely and his father, Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Moving to Austin at age 14 put him right in the thick of the burgeoning punk rock scene. "That was where the creativity and passion were," he recalls. Colin has toured the world with two albums under his belt. The latest, Goodnight Lane, received 4 stars in Mojo and Uncut, and developed a solid fan base. He is currently recording his third album.

Chatham County Line

Chatham County Line is an all acoustic, suit-wearing, single-mic performing outfit formed at the turn of the century from the Y2K ashes of a couple of terrible bands in Raleigh, NC. They put out their first album in 2002 and with it's original compositions and hard lean towards the traditional bluegrass sound the folks down at Ye Old Bluegrass Magazine began to dust off their "Best Band Ever" Award.  Unfortunately for them, following the release of their third record Speed of the Whippoorwill, everyone realized that these boys weren't so easily pigeonholed and they'd spend the next two records just furthering that confusion. 2012 finds CCL relentlessly touring behind Sight & Sound, their July released double-live album and DVD combo super-set. Look for another brilliant studio release from these pigeons in 2013, and as always, remember live is the way to experience life.

Lori McKenna

Lori McKenna didn’t begin performing her songs in public until age 27, after she and her husband already had three children. Eventually, she became a staple of the Boston folk music scene, where she became friendly with Mary Gauthier. “We were the two old ladies in a sea of young faces,” she jokes. When Gauthier picked up and left for Nashville, she brought McKenna’s music to the attention of her publisher, who got it into the hands of Faith Hill, who fell hard for McKenna’s songs. Hill recorded three of them for her album Fireflies. McKenna’s way of articulating the love, pain and pathos of domestic life had a huge impact on Hill, and Hill’s very public championing of her music led other artists to McKenna’s songs. Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Alison Krauss, Keith Urban and LeAnn Rimes are among the many that have recorded her songs in recent years.

The increased acclaim for her songcraft led to a record deal with Warner Brothers, who released her 2007 album Unglamorous. Working with Tim McGraw (who co-produced the album), an appearance on Oprah and an opening slot on McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul tour made public McKenna’s talents. Her most recent release, 2011’s Lorraine, makes it clear that McKenna continues to be a master at chronicling the small, difficult moments between romantic partners as they navigate their relationships

Griffin House

Although Springfield, Ohio native Griffin House didn’t begin playing guitar and writing songs until he was 18, the power of his music struck an emotional connection with audiences immediately. The athletically gifted House shocked his family by turning down a golf scholarship to focus on a new path making music. “Sports were really a big part of me and how I grew up,” he says. “So deciding not to take that scholarship was a turning point for me in choosing a new path for myself, a new life making music.” There were some issues to deal with first, however -- he couldn’t play the guitar he’d bought from and friend, nor had he ever written a song.

His intelligent and heart-felt lyrics and melodies in such songs as “The Guy Who Says Goodbye to You Is Out of His Mind” and “Better Than Love” have garnered commercial and critical acclaim alike. From being featured on the CBS Sunday Morning Show, to touring with the likes of John Mellencamp and the Cranberries, House continues to gain national recognition and currently is headlining his own tour across the U.S.

A singer-songwriter acclaimed by a galaxy of artists from Bob Dylan to Elton John, Chris Martin to Michael BublĂ©, and Steve Earle to Lucinda Williams for his insight into the human heart and a melodic purity (to paraphrase admirer Elvis Costello) unheard since the heyday of Paul McCartney, you’ll find Ron Sexsmith straight after the Sex Pistols in any self-respecting encyclopedia of modern music.

Over 11 albums, Sexsmith has amassed a sizable and consistently enthralling body of work that few songwriting recording artists can match for consistently sky-high quality. As legendary record producer to artists from Dylan to U2, Daniel Lanois, says in Love Shines, the documentary about the making of Sexsmith’s most recent album, Long Player Late Bloomer, “Not a lot of people have Ron’s gift: the ability to see a tiny snapshot of a feeling, then expand upon it and deliver a beautiful song. The songs are like Polaroids.” Among the many artists who have covered those songs are: Rod Stewart, Michael BublĂ©, k.d. lang, Feist, The Brodsky Quartet, Curtis Stigers and….Nick Lowe.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012



Fiesta Red Records is launching with 'Lowe Country: The Songs Of Nick Lowe' (September 18), featuring "heir to outlaw country royalty" (New York Times) Hayes Carll, "the timeless voice" (Associated Press) of Robert Ellis, "blistering" (SPIN) band JEFF The Brotherhood, "brilliant" (Huffington Post) artist Ron Sexsmith, one-time Oprah musical guest Lori McKenna, UK sensation Caitlin Rose, frequent Justin Townes Earle and Jason Isbell collaborator Amanda Shires, and others.

Proceeds from the album will benefit victims of the 2010 Nashville floods and Texas wild fires of last year via The Central Texas Wildfire Fund (administered by the Austin Community Foundation) and The Nashville Rising Fund (administered by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee).

Here is a postable mp3 of Robert Ellis doing "All Men Are Liars": 

'Lowe Country' presents 13 artists--most of them up-and-coming and/or left-of-center--interpreting songs from Lowe’s 4½-decade career. They range in age from 23 to 48 and reside in such disparate locales as Glasgow, Toronto, Austin, Portland, Raleigh and Music City. They are the leading lights of a new generation of artists who use classic country music as a springboard for their unique musical explorations.

The album’s musical world is rich and varied, swooping from the lush vintage sounds of Caitlin Rose and cosmopolitan bluegrass of Chatham County Line to the haunting sparseness of Amanda Shires and rollicking jamboree of Ellis; from the laconic comedy of Carll and dulcet, west-coast sounds of the Parson Red Heads to the twisted tribal stomp of JEFF the Brotherhood and beyond.

Lowe has recently received a wave of attention, opening shows for Wilco. The New York Times hailed his "remarkable second wind," GQ included him among the "greatest living music masters," NPR called him "one of the great living songwriters," and Rolling Stone noted him as "one of the sharpest lyricists in rock."

Music industry veteran Rob Seidenberg founded Fiesta Red Records, which is based in Austin. Prior to that, he lived and worked in New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA as, among other things, the president of Mammoth Records; a record producer and music supervisor; an A&R executive at Hollywood Records and Rykodisc; and a journalist/editor covering the worlds of music and film. He has worked with such artists as Los Lobos, John Wesley Harding, the Posies, Joe Henry, and the Minus 5. Fiesta Red is also releasing a single on Austin-based band Full Service with additional releases to follow. Fiesta Red Records will be distributed by RedEye in the US and Canada and ADA abroad.

'Lowe Country' Track Listing:

Lately I've Let Things Slide - Caitlin Rose
Don't Lose Your Grip On Love - The Parson Red Heads
All Men Are Liars - Robert Ellis
I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass - Amanda Shires
Marie Provost - JEFF the Brotherhood
Hayes Carll - I'm Gonna Start Living Again If It Kills Me
Lover Don't Go - Erin Enderlin
When I Write The Book - The Unsinkable Boxer
You Make Me - Colin Gilmore
Heart Of The City - Chatham County Line
What's Shakin' On The Hill - Lori McKenna
Crackin' Up - Griffin House
Where Is My Everything - Ron Sexsmith

Tuesday, June 12, 2012



Fourth-generation Albertan rancher and former punk/metal bandleader and rising Americana songwriter Corb Lund has crafted a series of sharply drawn character studies with the new 'Cabin Fever,' out August 14 on New West Records. His 2009 US debut 'Losin' Lately Gambler' earned him an Americana Music Award nomination for New & Emerging Artist as well as an NPR segment; NPR praised Lund's "boot-kickin' Canadian cowboy [featuring] layered (and very often very wry) storytelling." Click here to listen.

Mixing wry observations with imagery from cowboy life and elsewhere, 'Cabin Fever' places Lund in the company of songwriters like Hayes Carll, James McMurtry, and Dave Alvin. He cites his time in the punk/metal band The Smalls in his writing. Lund says, "Chaos and irreverence informs the way I write. I'm also drawn to harmony and chord choices that are outside the norms of country."

Carll also joins Lund on the hysterical "Bible on the Dash," for which he flew to Alberta to co-write and record in person. In fact, Lund and his band The Hurtin' Albertans did very few overdubs. Lund says, "Some of my favorite records are really raw and feel casual and real. We didn't use any click tracks. There's cohesion with a band that plays live together so much and has been together for ten years."

Written in his cabin in Alberta, New York City, Austin, and Las Vegas, 'Cabin Fever' offers a portrait of a survivalist preparing for the apocalypse ("Gettin' Down On The Mountain"); a tale of a rural man losing a woman to the allure of New York City life ("September"); an ode to his vintage BMW motorcycles ("Mein Deutsches Motorrad"); the broken-hearted anthem "(You Ain't A Cowboy) If You Ain't Been Bucked Off"; new drinking songs such as "Drink It Like You Mean It" and "Pour 'Em Kinda Strong"; the yodeling introduction and physicality of "Priceless Antique Pistol Shoots Startled Owner"; and another throwback to his punk days, the laugh-out-loud desire to date "The Gothest Girl I Can."

Houston Press said, "Lund and 'Losin’ Lately Gambler' present us with a new and meaningful 21st century addition to the traditions of Western and cowboy music, something to succeed the likes of Ian Tyson and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott." 'Losin' Lately Gambler' also scored a top ten placement on the Americana radio charts.

A Juno Award winner who has multiple Canadian Gold Records to his name, he has played on bills, at festivals, and special events with The Who, Emmylou Harris and Robert Plant, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell. He has also won the Canadian Country Music Awards Roots Artist of the Year seven times running.

Cabin Fever track list

  1. Gettin' Down On The Mountain
  2. Dig Gravedigger Dig
  3. Bible On The Dash           
  4. September                                               
  5. Mein Deutsches Motorrad           
  6. Cows Around
  7. (You Ain't A Cowboy) If You Ain't Been Bucked Off
  8. Drink It Like You Mean It           
  9. Priceless Antique Pistol Shoots Startled Owner
  10. The Gothest Girl I Can
  11. One Left In The Chamber
  12. Pour 'Em Kinda Strong

Monday, June 11, 2012


Spirit Family Reunion drummer Peter Pezzimenti and friend Brian Belott formed a partnership to collect an archive of found recordings when the latter found what would become a staple of the band's set. A thrift store in Colorado unveiled an acetate of a song called "Give Me Wings" by the mysteriously named Cunningham. "It's an aluminum disc sprayed with acetate, a ten inch," recalls Pezzimenti. "He was one of the most powerful singers we'd found and we named him King Cunningham. He was a preacher."

"We collect reel-to-reels, wire recordings, answering machine tapes, and such, personal recordings made by amateurs, all one of a kind," says the drummer, who is also an abstract painter. He and Belott hosted WPS1's Lost and Found Sound show, affiliated with the Museum of Modern Art.

"I played it for the band without saying who it was one night." Spirit Family Reunion picked up their instruments and the arrangement came together immediately.

The band took the song, sped it up, and added their infectious harmonies and propulsive percussion, and recorded it for their debut album 'No Separation,' out June 15.

The acetate also had a b-side, with Cunningham and his daughter dueting on the song.

Brooklyn Vegan recently previewed 'No Separation.'

Paste Magazine is streaming 'No Separation' in its entirety.

Among other tour dates, Spirit Family Reunion will perform June 15 at Mercury Lounge, July 28 at Newport Folk Festival, and August 4 at Celebrate Brooklyn. Additional tour dates:

Spirit Family Reunion is Maggie Carson (banjo and vocals), Mat Davidson (fiddle and vocals), Nick Panken (guitar and vocals), Pezzimenti (drums and vocals), Stephen Weinheimer (washboard, drums, and vocals), and Ken Woodward (upright bass and vocals).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Corb Lund bio

 Cabin Fever

Goth girls to survivalists, bovines to bibles, antique pistols to vintage motorcycles: Alberta-born honky-tonker Corb Lund’s songcraft covers it all. From a rustic retreat deep in the Rocky Mountain forest, Cabin Fever, Lund’s enthralling new album, evolved from a period of introspection and hard traveling. Just like the prolific Lund’s subjects run the gamut, so do the sonics on the live-sounding long-player, ranging from rockabilly to Western swing, cowboy balladry to country-rock. And, of course, the occasional yodel…

Cabin Fever follows on the boot heels of Lund’s 2009 New West debut, the critically acclaimed Losin’ Lately Gambler, his sixth album. Backed by his longtime band, The Hurtin’ Albertans, the JUNO Award recipient has won kudos in his native land; the Canadian Country Music Association has named Lund Roots Artist of the Year annually 7 consecutive years from 2004 - 2010.

For this outing, Lund hunkered down in the remote cabin he built with his girlfriend and former bronc rider/favorite uncle Lynn Jensen, an hour outside Edmonton. After the hand-crafted spruce and poplar building was finished, Lund’s thirteen-year relationship crumbled and his uncle passed away.  Woodshedding – literally – came next: “I ended up spending time up there alone for weeks at a time, in the winter, with three feet of snow,” says Lund. “Cabin fever is what they call it when you get a little nuts from being isolated…” 

In addition to chopping wood to keep warm, Lund did a lot of thinking and writing. Taking breaks from the cabin, he spent months in such hotspots as Las Vegas, Austin, and New York City, where song ideas continued to flow. When he and his band – guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Grant Siemens, upright bassist Kurt Ciesla, and drummer Brady Valgardson – reconvened at the cabin, they demoed a slew of new songs: the regretful ballad “The One I Left in the Chamber,” the twangy paean to survival “(You Ain’t a Cowboy) If You Don’t Get Bucked Off,” and the yearning “September,” among them. When the whiskey bottle got passed around, things got raucous: “Drink It Like You Mean It” (‘nuff said); the apocalyptic “Gettin’ Down on the Mountain” (a roadhouse favorite), the blues-rockin’ “Dig Gravedigger Dig” (a tribute to the occupation of Grant Siemens’ brother), and the Sun Records-by-way of Betty Page-inspired “The Gothest Girl I Can.” 

Cutting the tracks in an Edmonton studio, the boys decided to keep things loose and live, with no overdubs, resulting in “way more inner mesh,” says Lund. “It feels more real, like a band. The whole thing was organic sounding, and we like that.” They were joined by running buddy Hayes Carll, Texas raconteur and songsmith, who co-wrote and duetted on the wily road tale, “Bible on the Dash.”  Such vivid story songs are Lund’s forte, as are the former history major’s odes to his favorite things: “Cows Around” (where he namechecks every breed you can – or can’t -- think of), “Mein Deutsche Motorrad” (he loves those fast-moving vintage BMW bikes), and “Priceless Antique Pistol Shoots Startled Owner” (hey, have you shot an 1896 Smith & Wesson lately?). Cabin Fever’s finale is a narrative number straight out of a dime novel, the gripping “Pour ‘em Kinda Strong.”

With a dozen ass-kicking songs under his belt, Corb plans to take the show on the road, just as he’s done for the past two decades; he cut his teeth in the ‘90s as a member of Canadian speed-metal band, the Smalls. The DIY spirit lives with Lund, who traded his ax for an acoustic and has done everything from printing his band’s T-shirts to booking gigs to writing press releases. Though it may look like a quartet onstage, the Hurtin’ Albertans are really “a seven-piece band,” according to Lund, “because Grant plays a bunch of stuff,” including mandolin, banjo, Dobro, and baritone guitar. “Grant and I have a complex system of hand signals because I don’t use a set list,” says Lund. “We’ve got seven records’ worth of material now, so every show is different. I find it more interesting that way.”

Road dogs, Lund and the band headline Canadian country and folk festivals, as well as gigging at New York City nightspots and America’s finest honky-tonks. “We’re able to straddle the line between songwriter folk and straight country, which is cool,” says Lund. “We do funky clubs and we do folk rooms, along with festivals.”  In July there’s a residency at the legendary Calgary Stampede’s Centennial celebration, which is only natural, since Lund is a fourth-generation cowboy himself. He started rodeo-ing as a youngster and won his first trophy (for steer riding) at age 11. “My grandpas, parents, cousins, uncles, everybody competed in the Stampede,” says Lund. “The Calgary Stampede is a big part of family tradition.”

Just as Lund mixes up styles on his recordings and the types of venues he plays, a special edition of Cabin Fever will feature an extra disc with an acoustic version of the tracks. “The electric one’s done live, but the acoustic one’s even more live,” says Lund. “We were all sitting right beside each other and are in each other’s mikes. We kept it as unpolished as possible.” 

Listening to the acoustic disc’s banjo, guitar, and handclaps, as well as Lund’s Western-inspired songwriting, one can’t help but think the pared-down approach is yet another aspect of the Lund family tradition: After all, Lund learned to sing as a nipper when his grandfather taught him the campfire standard “Strawberry Roan,” which Grandpa Lund picked up via oral tradition from fellow trailhands. “I’ve got one foot in old-fashioned traditional cowboy music,” says Lund, “but I treat it with some abandon and irreverence. The reality is we don’t live in that world anymore – yet the cowboys were kind of punk rockers in their day.”

As for Corb Lund, his Western heritage stays with him, no matter where he roams. “My whole life is sort of a dichotomy between being a cowboy kid and living in a city,” says Lund. “I guess that informs my music too.”   On Cabin Fever, that split personality burns bright.