Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Newport Folk Festival has confirmed that Rick Massimo will do a presentation on his book I Got A Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival on Sunday, July 30. The book comes out next week on Wesleyan University Press. I Got a Song is the first book-length history of an essential American music festival
Consequence of Sound called it “fascinating” while No Depression called it “a treasure trove.” Other praise or excerpts have run in Paste, Pop Matters, and American Songwriter. Paste spoke to Massimo and Jay Sweet for a joint video interview in NYC.
Rick Massimo appearances:
July 27Books On The SquareProvidence, RI
July 30 – Newport Folk Festival – Newport, RI
August 2 - Narrows Center for the Arts - Fall River, MA

Friday, May 26, 2017

Applewood Road "Applewood Road" music video

About Applewood Road

In September 2014, three songwriters met for the first time in a cafe in East Nashville. By the next morning they had put the finishing touches to their first song, ‘Applewood Road’, which they recorded live to tape at Nashville’s all analogue studio, Welcome to 1979.

The song’s nostalgic air, along with the clear, sparse arrangement of three vocals accompanied by double bass, drew immediate positive response, and they decided to expand the idea into a full album.
Six months later, they reconvened to write, rehearse and record songs for the self-titled album Applewood Road. The songs were again performed live around a single microphone at Welcome to 1979 and recorded to two-track tape with minimal accompaniment from some of Nashville’s finest session players, including Aaron Lee Tasjan, Josh Day,  Fats Kaplin, Jabe Beyer, and Telisha Williams.

The tapes were assembled at London’s most exclusive high-end mastering suite, Gearbox Records, mastered through their vintage analogue outboard, and lacquers cut in-house on their own Haeco lathe.

Applewood Road is Emily Barker, Amber Rubarth and Amy Speace.

About Amy Speace:

Amy Speace is a folk singer, timeless and classic, and a bit out of her own era. “She has one of the richest and loveliest voices in the genre and her songs are luxuriously smart,” writes Craig Havighurst (host of Nashville’s “Music City Roots). “She’s profoundly personal yet also a bit mythic.”  Since her discovery in 2006 by folk-pop icon Judy Collins, Speace has been heralded as one of the leading voices of the new generation of American folk singers. Her latest release, “That Kind Of Girl”, received rave reviews by Billboard MagazineThe New York Times and NPR.  Recorded live in 3 days with her longtime collaborator/producer Neilson Hubbard,  with a small combo featuring Will Kimbrough (Emmylou Harris) and Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket), Girl is spare, direct and brutally honest and is her most personal collection of songs yet.

Born in Baltimore, Amy Speace studied classical acting in New York City after graduating from Amherst College and then spent a few years with The National Shakespeare Company and other Off-Off Broadway classical rep companies, doing guerrilla Shakespeare in Lower East Side parking lots, working backstage on Broadway, writing poetry in cafes and feeling increasingly like success as a theater artist was just out of reach. In that season of doubt, she bought a cheap guitar at a pawn shop in the East Village and began putting her poetry to music and in short time was appearing at local folk clubs The Sidewalk Cafe, The Bitter End and The Living Room. Judy Collins’ manager caught a set of Amy’s at the 2005 SXSW conference and brought her demo back to Collins, who had just started her own imprint, Wildflower Records and immediately signed Amy.  Her Wildflower Records debut “Songs For Bright Street,” was released to rave reviews in 2006 and featured E-Street band fiddler Soozie Tyrell and a duet with The Jayhawks Gary Louris.  That year she was nominated as Best New Artist by the International Folk Alliance.  In 2009 she released “The Killer In Me,” recorded in North Carolina with Mitch Easter (REM, the db’s), which had NPR comparing her to a young Lucinda Williams.  That record's bonus track, an acoustic version of her song "Weight of the World" was recorded later that year by Judy Collins herself, who named it “one of the best political folk songs I’ve ever heard.”  WFUV, NYC's premier AAA radio station, awarded "Weight of the World" the #4 Folk Song of the Decade.  Seeking new inspiration, in late 2009, Speace moved to Nashville, changing management and labels, and began collaborating with producer/songwriter Neilson Hubbard on a collection of songs that would become  the  cinematic “Land Like A Bird,” released in 2011 on Thirty Tigers.  In 2013, she received the best reviews of her career with the epic "How To Sleep In A Stormy Boat,” a string-laden song cycle inspired by Shakespeare, winning 4 stars from Mojo Magazine and a feature on NPR’s “All Things Considered”.  Rock critic Dave Marsh, long a fan, who contributed the album's liner notes, wrote "Amy Speace’s songs hang together like a short story collection, united by a common vantage point and common predicaments…it’s a gift to hear a heart so modest even when it’s wide open." 

An accidental side project was born in East Nashville in 2015, when Applewood Road was formed.  The trio of Speace, Amber Rubarth and Emily Barker  met in 2015 at a coffeeshop in East Nashville and, after writing one song together, were signed to a deal with the London-based Gearbox Records. Their eponymous debut was recorded in 4 days around one microphone at Nashville's analog studio Welcome To 1979 and was released in the UK in February 2016 to astonishing 4 and 5 star reviews. The Sunday London Times called the album “a flawless set that has to be the most haunting release of the past year” and The Telegraph wrote “There’s a Moorish magic to the harmonies of this country-folk trio that recalls the vintage appeal of the Everlys and the Andrews.”  Applewood Road appeared that summer at Glastonbury Festival, The Cambridge Folk Festival and on the Andrew Marr Show. 

About Amber Rubarth:

"Part of the new old-soul generation." - HUFFINGTON POST

"She has developed a unique gift of knocking down walls with songs so strong they sound like classics from another era." - ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE

Amber Rubarth has a playful simplicity and insightfulness to her musings on life that has connected with people around the world.  She has performed in villages across South Africa and small clubs in Japan, at Carnegie Hall, and backed up by a full chamber orchestra, as well as hundreds of clubs and theaters throughout Europe and the US. "She has developed a unique gift of knocking down walls with songs so strong they sound like classics from another era." -Acoustic Guitar Magazine.  The word has spread organically around her independently released albums, attracting glowing features from The Huffington Post, NPR, and BBC Radio.  She has been hand-picked to open tours for songwriting legends Emmylou Harris, Kenny Loggins, Richie Havens, Marc Cohn, Loudon Wainwright III and Dr. Ralph Stanley and was awarded Grand Prize in NPR's Mountain Stage New Song Contest.  A live recording of Rubarth from Memphis' legendary Sun Studio is currently airing on PBS.Rubarth's forthcoming record, Wildflowers in the Graveyard, is a collection of songs centered around the theme of of life/death/rebirth in nature and relationships.  It opens with her raw vocals and a finger-picked guitar, "There are wildflowers springing up at the graveyard / An oak tree that's been standing here so long / And dandelions pretty in the sunshine / 'til the wind blows and they're gone." All songs are self-penned and recorded analogue straight to 2" tape with engineer and co-producer Matt Andrews (Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, Dawes) in her hometown of Nashville.  The record has a bold magnetic energy that draws you in to each nuance and detail, revealing layers with the elegance of a wildflower in a land consumed by fireworks.In addition to her solo music, Amber recently made her acting debut co-starring alongside folk troubadour Joe Purdy in the new feature film American Folk, which won Best of at the Cleveland International Film Festival and will release in the Autumn 2017.   She has also scored and composed for films including the highly acclaimed Sundance Film Festival winner Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (with Paul Brill) and the award-winning documentary Desert Runners.  She also is the founder of two collaboration projects, Brooklyn indie band The Paper Raincoat, an iTunes Indie Spotlight featured in commercials for Google and Aquafina, and the UK-based harmony folk trio Applewood Road, whose debut album was named The Telegraph's Best Albums of 2016.
Wildflowers in the Graveyard will be released worldwide Summer 2017.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


“One of the year’s best Americana albums.”
– Sarah Zupko, Pop Matters, May 4, 2017
“One of our favorite albums of the year.”
– Robert McCormick, Inked Magazine, May 9, 2017
NPR asked JD McPherson about the making of his album ‘Signs & Signifiers’ and JD told them, “When we were making this record, Jimmy, the producer, he walked around with a metronome and he'd mess with the metronome and dance around until he found the most danceable beats per minute and that's what we record at.” He’s applied similar magic behind the dials at his own Hi-Style Studio in Chicago to Jake La Botz’s ‘Sunnyside,’ out last week on Hi-Style Records and the result earning raves as a potential best album of 2017.
“How I Wish She Was Mine” embeddable single
Jimmy, who also co-produced Pokey LaFarge’s breakthrough ‘Something In The Water,’ confesses that scaling up to those golden early rock & roll grooves on ‘Sunnyside’ took some work, "The biggest challenge for me was figuring how to translate Jake: I always knew him as a stripped down solo act. Discovering how to capture the solitude and emotional depth of Jake's solo artist sound while enriching it with musical accompaniment was a challenge."
Jake recalls, "I learned a lot about developing my songs by working with Jimmy. I've always been a kind of loner type – in everything, not just creating – but giving over to collaboration with the arrangements I found a lot of discoveries happening for me. I began to really appreciate Jimmy's sensibilities and looked forward to his input. I even started to write songs with his arrangements in mind as well as the sound of the Hi-Style studio."
Sutton, along with Alex Hall, had built the Hi-Style Studio to capture sound with all ribbon, tube, and dynamic microphones passed through tube mixers and preamps onto ¼-inch tape.
Demoed years, earlier, the title track’s demo formed the basis of the vulnerability on its final rendition. Jimmy reveals, “I wasn't crazy about the guitar sound. But we added some piano and listened to it and I started to love it. When we came back to the demo a couple of years later we realized we had something great to build around. We added drums, bass, backing vocals and it became, what I think, is one of the best songs on the album."
NPR World Café has confirmed a performance/chat.
Jake La Botz Tour Dates:
May 31 – Music City Roots - Franklin, TN                       
June 3 - Kiki's House of Righteous Music - Madison, WI                          
June 4 - Record Release Show at The Hideout - Chicago, IL                       
June 5 - Raccoon Motel - Davenport, IA                             
June 6 - The Southgate House Revival-The Lounge - Newport, KY           
June 8 - Record Archive - Rochester, NY                            
June 10 - Atwood's Tavern - Cambridge, MA                                 
June 14 - Kung Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, PA                     
June 19 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tim Duffy bio

Tim Duffy’s career has been driven by the musical traditions of the American South. His championing of these traditions starts with the people who make the music. For decades now, he has provided for musicians’ basic needs, guided their careers, and documented their lives in stunning photographs.
            After living for a time in the Old Town section of Mombasa, Kenya, Tim returned to the States and completed an M.A. in Folklore at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He formed relationships with several traditional musicians and began searching for a legendary bluesman they told him about named Guitar Gabriel. In Winston-Salem, North Carolina Tim not only found Gabe, but also a community of impoverished musicians who, despite their material lack, were rich in the traditions of the African American South. Tim set about doing what he could to, first, take care of their basic needs and, then, to get them gigs and document their music. The Music Maker Relief Foundation was born. In the 22 years since its founding, Tim—along with his wife and Managing Director, Denise, and their dedicated team—have assisted and partnered with over 300 artists, issued over 150 CDs, and reached over a million people with live performance in over 40 states and 17 countries around the globe. Tim has been recognized by the ABC Evening News as “Person of the Week,” and has been featured in stories by Time, NPR, CBS, PBS and several local media outlets.
            Given the nature of Music Maker’s mission, Tim gained in-depth experience with booking, promotion, artist development, and other managerial aspects of the music industry. Drawing on this expertise, he established Music Maker’s Next Generation program, and brought the Carolina Chocolate Drops to the public’s attention. These young African American musicians reinvigorated a range of traditional music styles, wowed audiences in the States and abroad, and won a Grammy in 2011. Members of the group remain close Music Maker associates. Tim continues his management work with Next Generation artists like Lakota John and Spencer Branch.
            Photography has been at the heart of Tim Duffy’s Music Maker journey. Tim took pictures initially for documentary purposes, but soon realized that some of these images told rich, visually and emotionally intricate stories. The great depth of Tim’s photographic vision became clear when he turned to the photographic methods of the 19th century, including the platinum palladium process dating back to the 1870s. His wet plate portraits transport viewers into the space of the living past that he has worked so hard to preserve. These images have been on display at the Atrium Gallery of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the Morris Museum in Augusta, GA, and several galleries in North Carolina, New York, and Kentucky. Some of his plates have become part of the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of African American Culture and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


“A party on its way to becoming an institution.”
— Jon Pareles, New York Times
[The Ponderosa Stomp] is this incredible multi-day event of the less familiar names from music history. It’s a labor of love. For the last 15 years, we have not missed one. ... The number of artists that you never thought you’d get to see, and then the people you hadn’t even heard about — it really is revelatory every time.”
— Ira Kaplan, Yo La Tengo
The thirteenth Ponderosa Stomp Concert will bring the forgotten heroes and heroines of rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm & blues, blues, garage rock, soul, and rockabilly to New Orleans for a two-night concert October 6-7 at New Orleans’ Orpheum (129 Roosevelt Way).
Here’s a Spotify playlist of artists performing at the 2017 Ponderosa Stomp:
It will feature many performers who rarely grace the stage:
+ Roky Erickson performing the music of his legendary psychedelic ‘60s band the 13th Floor Elevators
+ late ‘80s/early ‘90s garage rockers The Mummies
+ “Quarter To Three” hitmaker Gary U.S. Bonds
+ “Louisiana Man” artist and Johnny Cash Show guest Doug Kershaw
+ Detroit White Stripes antecedents The Gories
+ rhythm and blues great Barbara Lynn, who was covered by the Rolling Stones
+ Archie Bell of “Tighten Up” fame
+ father of “The Voice” Winner, Sundance Head, and “Treat Her Right” singer Roy Head
+ masked Japanese garage band, The Stompin’ Riffraffs
+ piano pounder Linda Gail Lewis
+ Little Richard, Otis Redding, Ike & Tina Turner sideman turned R&B Soul Singer Winfield Parker
+ a Texas Honky Tonk Revue Featuring Frankie Miller, Darrell McCall, and James Hand
+ the “husky, soulful voice” (All Music Guide) of Evie Sands
+ Chicago blues harmonica great Billy Boy Arnold, who was recently covered by JD McPherson
+ first generation rockabilly artist Johnny Knight
+ a Swamp Pop Revue Featuring GG Shinn, Warren Storm, and TK Hulin
+ Louisiana’s Lil Buck Sinegal and the Top Cats
+ T-Bone Walker acolyte and accompanist, Chuck Willis creative collaborator, and Ray + Charles sideman Roy Gaines
+ New Orleans rhythm and blues man Willie West
+ GRAMMY-nominated Yep Roc band Los Straitjackets
+ LA’s rockabilly masters Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonics
+ and Austinites Eve and the Exiles.
More acts will be announced soon as well!
The two-night must-see concert spotlights live performances by hall-of-fame-level artists who — though they never became household names themselves — influenced contemporaries like Elvis and the Rolling Stones and made hits that inspired musical giants from Prince to David Bowie to pick up instruments. They shaped the course of popular music, but haven’t had the exposure they deserve.
The Ponderosa Stomp Festival has often represented the first chance to see these types of artists do their classic repertoire in decades, as was the case when Howard Tate’s set lead to a late-career record deal and new touring. In other cases, it has represented the last chance to see an important act, as P.F. Sloan passed away some six weeks after his Ponderosa Stomp set led to a massive ovation. The stories behind the music are documented in a two-day conference October 5 and 6 at the Ace Hotel New Orleans.
Tickets are on sale today:
Travel packages are also available:
The biennial Festival is the signature program of the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, a New Orleans-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating the legacy, revitalizing the careers, and preserving the history of American music and musicians.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ponderosa Stomp artwork

Above: Barbara Lynn, Roy Head, Lil' Buck Sinegal, credit: Kerri Mahoney Design

Above: Barbara Lynn, Roy Head, Lil' Buck Sinegal, credit: Kerri Mahoney Design

 Above: Gary "US" Bonds
Above: Frankie Miller

Above: Barbara Lynn by Joseph Rosen

Monday, May 1, 2017


Beth Bombara – the St. Louis-based Americana/indie rock artist whose album ‘Map & No Direction’ came out last month to raves, has been busy this month, too.

+ ‘Map & No Direction’ has skyrocketed to #29 on the Americana Music Association radio chart.

+ Beth has signed with Green Room Music Source for booking. Green Room also reps Gaelynn Lea, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Sarah Potenza.

+ USA Today picked up on ‘Map & No Direction,’ praising her “fine hooks and melodies” in an online review.

+ No Depression premiered her latest music video with a full Q&A. Here’s the new video for the hook-filled “I Tried,” shot in St. Louis in the snow.

+ Paste Magazine caught a set of hers, calling her “impressive."

+ She taped syndicated radio show Music City Roots in Nashville.