Ultraviolet Hippopotamus - Square Pegs, Round Holes CD - In an era which seems like everything has been done before, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus has carved themselves a niche sound of its own with genuinely heartfelt, imaginative lyrics coupled with compelling composition and explosive instrumentation. The music created by this five piece band from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is progressively diverse, often switching between many different genres during the course of a show. Sometimes even throughout the duration of a song. Their live shows have become an avenue for the band to build upon the core of their songs, exploring new ground, creating tension and taking risks for those moments of pure improvisational ecstasy, giving fans an original experience within every show.
"... UV Hippo provides hope for the future of jam bands and the jam scene..." -Marquee Magazine
Thievery Corporation - Culture of Fear CD- With over 1.2 million albums sold in the U.S. across 15 years of making music, Thievery Corporation serves up their sixth studio album titled Culture of Fear. They continue to blend musical styles in their trademark fashion; space-rock jams lead to hip-hop inspired grooves, airy down-temp trances and dub-reggae infused vibes throughout the journey.
Tracks include "Web of Deception," a 70's space-rock-funk homage to bands like Mystic Moods Orchestra, "Take My Soul," a rock/soul/electronic jam featuring longtime Thievery Corporation Persian singer LouLou, an epic instrumental titled "Fragments," as well as collaborations with Bitter Sweet vocalist Shana Halligan on "Is It Over?" and Boston hip-hop artist Mr. Lif on the title track, "Culture of Fear."
Over the years, Thievery Corporation has become known for the carnival-esque atmosphere of their live shows, during which they bring out a 15-member live band of musicians and vocalists. The group has sold out shows at such famed venues as the Hollywood Bowl, London's 02 Shepherds Bush Empire, and the Theatro Vrahon Melina Merkouri in Athens, Greece, among many others.
Kevin Kinsella - Great Design CD - 2011 sees Kevin Kinsella heading in an exciting new direction. With the release of his third solo album "Great Design", Kinsella expands his sonic palette with elements of acoustic rock and soul, while maintaining his roots in reggae. "Great Design" showcases his agility as a songwriter; Kinsella's combination of styles is deeply evocative and accessibly upbeat, summoning the likes of Jack Johnson & Michael Franti. It's "Thanks and Praise" music with wide commercial appeal.
From founding reggae heavyweights John Brown's Body, to starting his own independent label, I-Town Records, to recording with the mysterious and prolific roots reggae outfit 10 Ft. Ganja Plant, Kevin Kinsella has flourished in establishing a contingent of talented young artists. Now it's time for Kevin to focus his massive talents on his solo efforts. He has been busy over the last few years writing and recording songs for "Great Design" and is now ready to have you fall in love again with his timeless songwriting and memorable melodies.
We look forward to having Kevin tour continuously throughout 2011 and well beyond. He is already well known in jam band circles for extensive tours both as a solo artist and with John Browns Body, sharing the stage with such luminaries as Burning Spear, Toots and the Maytals, Gym Class Heroes and Michael Franti & Spearhead. Be on the lookout for Kevin, who will be touring in support of "Great Design", starting with dates in April with jam band kings Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad.
Gillian Welch - The Harrow & the Harvest CD - Acony Records proudly presents The Harrow & The Harvest, an album of ten new songs from Gillian Welch. The acclaimed duet's first album in eight years is an all acoustic affair. Produced by David Rawlings.
Copperhead - Copperhead CD - This is the original Copperhead CD, produced by Tom Dowd, featuring their first single, "Long Way From Home", an epic Copperhead song that became the title song for the movie "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man", and "Busted" which was featured on the soundtrack of "Dr. Giggles", and "Whiskey" a classic rocker that was made into a video for MTV.
Neil Carswell - Keep You Guessing CD - Neil Carswell, the singer well-known as the former front man of the band "Copperhead" has just completed an epic album entitled "Keep You Guessing" just released on Aspirion Records. Accomplished both on stage and in the studio, Neil's career includes national touring and the release of the 1992 Copperhead album for PolyGram/Mercury records produced by legendary producer, the late Tom Dowd. Although Copperhead had major national success, it disbanded in 1995. Fans of the hard rockin' southern band still follow Neil's career and will be pleasantly surprised at the metamorphosis of this artist.
A record for the ages, "Keep You Guessing" was produced by Stu Kimball (Dylan guitarist), Phil Greene, and Neil Carswell. The record showcases Neil's strong, melodic voice and heartfelt song writing backed by a powerfully diverse group of musicians and singers, and top-notch production. Mixed by Ben Fowler and mastered by Richard Dodd, "Keep You Guessing" is a World-class record of substance with enormous crossover potential.
The roster of well-known players on the record include: Stu Kimball (producer, guitarist), Chris Anderson (guitarist, The Outlaws and Blackhawk), Johnny Neil (keyboards, The Allman Brothers and Govt. Mule), Larry Campbell (multi-instrumentalist, guitarist for Levon Helm), Don Herron (multi-instrumentalist, Bob Dylan and BR549) Judd Fuller (bassist, Rodney Atkins), Kevin Rapillo (drummer, Rodney Atkins) Barry Goudreau (Grammy winning Guitarist, Boston) as well as Victor Krauss (bassist), Mike Levesque (drums) and Kim Keyes (vocalist).
Tim Reynolds & TR3 - From Space and Beyond (2 CDs) - "The best I could ever hope for," is how Tim Reynolds describes TR3's first live double CD "From SPACE and Beyond." Culled from three shows TR3 performed in November 2009-- at SPACE in Evanston, IL, the Recher Theatre in Towson, MD, and the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA--FSAB has a classic, live rock album feel. The double CD has a mix of TR3 favorites, two new songs, "I Must be Going Insane" and "Belly of the Beast" which Reynolds first began playing acoustically, but quickly translated it into TR3's electric repertoire, along with a few covers.
Playing together since 2007, with Mick Vaughn on bass and Dan Martier on drums, Reynolds feels that TR3 has solidified into a consistent rock band with wide-ranging influences. "We play songs with a progressive rock feel, but also roots, funk and hard rock tunes. We're pursuing a certain musical feeling, rather than trying to be a genre-specific band," says Reynolds. Reynolds feels that TR3 has been able to progress in a really good way and is amazed that they've come so far given his touring schedule with the Dave Matthews Band over the past few years. "I was really psyched to get into rehearsal and learn a bunch of new songs with Mick and Dan and then back on the road with TR3. We have a real band vibe. It's like every year we play I feel like we get tighter in certain ways and deeper into each other's ways and that makes it more fun." Reynolds feels that "From SPACE and Beyond" is also the product of great mixing from Rob Evans, who also worked on TR3's studio album, "Radiance," and he's more than pleased with the end result. "Initially I was hesitant to use the music from our first gig of the tour (at SPACE) after not playing together for a while, but we ended up using more than 50% of the songs from this gig. There was a lot of built up energy, great stuff from Mick and Dan, and the live interaction caused us to be more spontaneous and looser."
During his breaks from the Dave Matthews Band, Tim Reynolds will continue to tour relentlessly with his electric power trio, TR3. The live double CD also features special guest Jeff Coffin.
Seun Anikulapo Kuti & Egypt 80 - From Africa with Fury: Rise CD - With the mighty new From Africa With Fury: Rise, Seun Anikulapo Kuti heads up Egypt 80, the extraordinary combo first fronted by his renowned father. The album follows Kuti's critically praised debut, 2008's Many Things, which was unanimously hailed for continuing Fela's musical legacy. From Africa With Fury: Rise sees Kuti finding his own idiosyncratic voice as songwriter, singer, and band leader, its songs and sonic approach marked by provocative edge and mature self-assurance.
Co-Produced by Brian Eno, John Reynolds, and Kuti, with additional production by Godwin Logie, and mixed by John Reynolds and Tim Oliver, the album captures Seun and Egypt 80 s extraordinary power, fraught with the scorching rhythms and kinetic funk energy that has earned the band as ever, under the leadership of alto saxophonist Lekan Animashaun worldwide acclaim as one of today's most incendiary live acts. With Kuti's booming vocal stylings at the forefront, songs like 'African Soldiers' and 'Mr. Big Thief' are fueled by call-and-response hooks, breakneck tempos, and combative, topical lyricism which firmly sets the classic Egypt 80 sound in the modern era.
'I wanted to do something completely different,' Kuti says. 'Not different by trying to be American or European with my sound, just trying to make a very different album from my last album. My last album, it was my first time in control, I was not as confident as in saying what I wanted. This time, I said, Okay, I can be more confident in how I express myself, I can say what I want, be as complex as I want. '
Rubblebucket - Omega La La CD - On Omega La La, Rubblebucket takes a dramatic step forward with their sound, grafting their afrobeat rhythms with a creative take on dancey indie pop. Listening to the crystal-clear, minimalist production of the album, DFA veteran Eric Broucek's influence is apparent. The album opens with 'Down in the Yards,' a track that builds off the ebb and flow of a droning, two-note guitar riff, only to explode into a triumphant chorus anchored by the band's horn section. That track is followed up by the bouncy, Afro-Cuban-inspired rhythms of 'L homme,' a buoyant psych-pop gem. 'Silly Fathers'and a reworked version of 'Came Out of a Lady' show off the band's penchant for creating pop songs that stick in your head.
Sonny Moorman Group - Crossroads Motel CD - "I came to play" says Sonny Moorman. "I was raised in the bars my folks owned in and around Hamilton, OH and got to hear world class artists Lonnie Mack, Cal Collins, Dumpy Rice, Troy Seals, Wayne Perry, and a score of others up close and personal and learned one thing - all the hype in the world doesn't mean a thing unless you can back it up!" Those are words Sonny has lived by through the decades of roadhouses, bars, and juke joints from coast to coast. He backed it up gig after gig, night after night, and year after year until his own "hype" got too big to go unnoticed any longer. After a decade of playing rock bars in Michigan with a variety of bands and a five year "visit" to LA during which he graduated from Musician's Institute and played with "Z Deluxe" (Warren Zevon's 1982 tour band), Moorman returned to Ohio - and to the Blues.
When Cincinnati Blues icon Big Ed Thompson suffered his debilitating stroke, Sonny was brought in to handle the guitar and vocal chores in Big Ed's band - the Cincinnati Blues All-Stars. The CBA's ETH Records release - Live at Burbank's chronicled the band during this period, and Living Blues Magazine was effusive in it's praise for Moorman's playing and singing. Not satisfied with the stylistic limitations of the All-Stars, Sonny moved on - to the Blues/Rock power trio format that is his vehicle to date.
Noted music Journalist Randy McNutt may have said it best, " He can flat-out play--and sing... Sounds have been passed from blues giant Freddy King to Lonnie Mack to Sonny Moorman"
June 30-July 3 - High Sierra Music Festival - Quincy, CA
July 1-3 - Super Ball IX - Watkins Glen, NY
July 14-17 - All Good - Masontown, WV
July 21-24 Gathering Of The Vibes - Bridgeport, CT
July 21-24 Northwest String Summit Music Festival - North Plains, OR
July 28-30 The Big Up 2011 - Ghent NY
*July 28-31 Floyd Fest - Floyd VA
*Look for the Home Grown Music Booth at this event!
Video of the Week:
Zach Deputy performs "Into the Morning" live at MoBoogie
Thanks for reading! Treat yourself to some good music this week.