When You Awake has been chosen as one of the Top 40 Music Blogs by Glastonbury Music Festival for the fourth year running and is a judge for their Emerging Talent Competition.
When You Awake founder Jody Orsborn is the official blogger for the Railroad Revival Tour. The first tour took place in April 2011 and featured Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show on a train tour across America.
Jonathan Wilson playing the title track to his just-dropped second album, Gentle Spirit (out now via Bella Union), in Los Angeles in early 2011. Check out When You Awake contributor Kandia Crazy Horse’s thoughts on the record, plus Phil Upchurch’s version of Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Way I Feel”, after the jump. (more…)
Wild West ain’t a concept that went the way of the covered wagon, as Tobie Gene Levingston’s new photo-history Soul On Bikes about Oakland, California’s East Bay Dragons Motorcycle Club released this past July, can attest.
These bikers pictured from the Club’s 1970s mid-period (it began as a car crew in the 1950s) are sho’nuff cowboys. Check out additional photos of the Club here.
We are sad to have missed the Jayhawks’ — reunited an’ it feels so good — recently at Manhattan’s Webster Hall. Yet that doesn’t mean we cannot revel in the new reissues of arguably the finest band of the 1990s alt-country wave. Hollywood Town Hall & the chef d’oeuvre Tomorrow the Green Grass are available now. View the clip above of Gary Louris, Mark Olson et al performing “Waiting For the Sun” for their network tv debut on Letterman back in the day (circa 1991) — if y’all need a refresher.
Canadian-bred, New York-based musician Serena Jean performing the Lucinda Williams’ tune “Fruits of My Labor” live at Jeph Duarte’s venerable Brooklyn County Fair. Southam is currently in the midst of a month-long residency at Williamsburg’s Pete’s Candy Store (last one is tonight), where she’s been offering up her country-rock repertoire — while working on the follow up to her 2010 record, Town & Country. With sidemen including steel ace Thomas Bryan Eaton (who just dropped a new EP, When You’re Dancing), Basement Band/Ghost Gamblers member Jeff Malinowski, and Ollabelle’s Tony Leone — the shifting lineup has featured guest stars like Alana Amram, Scott Metzger (who performs with Serena Jean as duo Kitty Baby), & Favourite Sons. Definitely worth stopping by if you happen to be on that side of the country.
Dylan LeBlanc singing “Changing of the Seasons” unplugged in the Larmer Tree Gardens back in September 2010. Amidst recording the sequel to his debut record, Paupers Field — which placed in our 2010 year-end round up — young Dylan is currently gearing up for a tour last this month throughout the midwest with the great Lucinda Williams. Check out the dates after the jump. (more…)
Canadian singer-songwriter Doug Paisley performing his tune “At the End of the Day” live at the Viva Radio studios back in July 2010. The tune originally appeared on Constant Companion, the great second release of Paisley’s which dropped in October 2010 via Brooklyn’s No Quarter Records. The album features Leslie Feist chiming in on two tracks and fine keyboards from The Band icon Garth Hudson, prominent due to a decided lack of clutter or swagger that can often undermine otherwise good twang recordings tagged with “alt-.” Definitely worth a listen.
Josh T. Pearson and Dustin O’Halloran- Country Dumb
Josh T. Pearson performing the first single, “Country Dumb”, from his upcoming album Last of the Country Gentlemen (out March 14th via Mute Records). The Texan has been wowing ’em in the UK with an upcoming tour starting off with a sold out show on 23 February at the Slaughtered Lamb in London, but is only now getting round to his U.S. live debut as a solo act at this year’s upcoming South-By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. For those of you who will be going, be sure to mark him down on your must see acts list. Some of his sound’s a bit meta, but y’all know somebody who kicks the following lines can’t ever punk the Briarpatch: “I come from a long line in history of dreamers / Each one more tired than the one before / All of us too poor to pay attention / Sweet dreamin’ was all we could afford”. Read more about Josh and download a piano version of “Country Dumb” after the jump. (more…)
Why not celebrate Dr. King’s week by reveling in the upsurge of multicultural roots music groups? Brooklyn’s great twang outfit Ghost Gamblers certainly fits the bill — featuring Kamara Thomas & Amal Bouhabib as it does, alongside the talented Gabriel Berezin, Jeff Malinowski, Gordon Hartin & John Durgee. This is reflected in the band’s cosmic sound having no rigid boundaries; check out their Ghost Stories, Vol. 1 on iTunes. And don’t let Little Big Town claim all the credit for reviving a Fleetwood Mac-style mix gender frontline, as, with two songcrafting couples at its core, this sextet is killin’ it. Ghost Gamblers is hibernating for the winter, but serving the scene via other incarnations such as the Basement Band (which is set to tear the roof off of Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Rod & Gun this Saturday 22 January — for those on the East Coast. Come early for the fresh fish & beer). And frontwoman Kamara is laboring hard at a studio in downtown Manhattan — with fellow GG/Basement Band lead Jeff Malinowski at the knobs — recording a solo album, Past Is Primer, set for late 2011 release (most likely on Earl Greyhound’s label Hawk Race). Check out the Ghost Gamblers mixtape and the video for their on-the-G-train version of Amal’s beautiful composition “Oh My God” (courtesy of Karina Mackenzie’s Bridge Sessions) after the jump.
We over here on the East Coast are mourning the loss of fair weather by digging into tunes by some fresh, emerging roots artists from warmer climes — including Humboldt, Tennessee native Valerie June. This clip features the young bluesician singing one of her originals, “I Will Not Be Blue,” at Memphis’ famed Ardent Studios in 2009. This genuine country gal & daughter of a bricklayer has come a long way since fronting the neo-soul-folk duo Bella Sun with her former husband, gracefully channeling such heroes as the Carter Family and Jessie Mae Hemphill. Lately, Valerie June has been shuttling between her Memphis home base and Brooklyn, spreading her briarpatch vibe at NYC venues from the historic Weeksville homestead to Terra Blues to City Winery (where she delighted on a bill with Bush-pardoned Fugees associate John Forte a couple of weeks back…now, if that ain’t the blues, don’t know what is). When these ears think of Ardent, not long departed friends/heroes Alex Chilton & Jim Dickinson come first to mind. Valerie June was one of the last artists slated to work with Dickinson at his famed Zebra Ranch before his untimely passing. Dig this and ponder what might have been…
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