Glen Ackerman is a Houston area bassist, composer, and educator. Additionally, he is the band leader of his own fusion jazz ensemble. Much of his recording experience is attributed to artists working with the Texas based record company Blue Bamboo Music. Furthermore, he has composed and arranged for Houston area recording artists Kristine Mills, Cody Joe Tillman, and Henry Darragh.
As a performer, Glen prefers the Jazz idiom but has experience performing in many genres. He has shared the stage with nationally acclaimed artists such as Randy Brecker, Bill Evans, and Bill Charlap, as well as top call regional bandleaders including Woody Witt, Joe LoCassio, and Paul English.
Glen currently teaches Electric and Double bass at Houston Community College.
Henry Darragh has established himself as an in-demand musician in the flourishing Houston jazz scene. Since his 2009 debut album, Tell Her for Me, he has continued composing, arranging, producing, directing and playing for several artists and groups. He arranged Jacqui Sutton’s Frontier Jazz Orchestra debut album, Billie and Dolly, and played on her FJO’s Notes from the Frontier. He contributed an original song for Omni Brass’ Red. Henry also played trombone on the electronic album, Heavy Heights and has recorded for Karina Nistal and Zin. Henry’s 2015 sophomore release as a leader, Too Much Monday, features his sextet playing original, standards and a few other covers. Following that release, he was nominated in three categories in the Houston Press Awards. In Spring 2016, Henry completed a commission for the Houston Grand Opera for their Veterans Songbook.
In between sessions, Henry performs as a pianist, vocalist, and trombonist around town at local restaurants, hotels, clubs, private parties; local festivals such as the Bayou City Arts Festival, the Katy Jazz Festival, and the Texas Jazz Festival. Henry recently finished his doctoral studies at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston in December 2015 and has been hired on as adjunct faculty at UHCL. He recently signed on as musical director of a musical produced by Dance Houston that will show in Miller Theater in October 2017.
Tomorrow Forever, Matthew Sweet’s fifth album of new material in this century, the first since 2011’s Modern Art and 14th overall in a recording career spanning more than three decades, is teeming with his signature sounds and ongoing preoccupations. But the expansive 17-song work—available June 16, 2017, in CD, double 180-gram-vinyl LP, CD and digital configurations via Sweet’s own newly launched Honeycomb Hideout imprint through Sony’s RED Distribution—takes these familiar elements into previously unexplored territory, reflecting profound changes in his life. Essentially, Tomorrow Forever contemplates a knotty epistemological question: Does what is real extend beyond what the consciousness can readily grasp?
In early 2014, Sweet, his wife Lisa and their cats moved from their longtime home in the Hollywood Hills to their native Nebraska. They bought a house on the outskirts of Omaha, 40 miles from Matthew’s hometown of Lincoln, where his elderly parents still lived. The 80-year-old house was spacious enough to accommodate Matthew’s high-end studio—formerly Lolina Lane, now Black Squirrel Submarine—and a vast array of instruments, as well the Sweets’ collection of big-eyed art and Matthew’s pottery-making tools.
Soon after relocating to Nebraska, Matthew’s team launched a Kickstarter fund in order to crowd-fund his next album, but before he’d even gotten the project started, life happened. As he was getting acclimated to his old/new surroundings, his mother passed away, spending her difficult final days surrounded by her family. Never before had Matthew experienced the loss of someone near to him, and it stopped him in his tracks. But an extended period of grieving was followed by one of the most fruitful sustained bursts of
inspiration in his prolific career.
“When I started cranking out stuff, I did as many as I needed for that time,” Matthew recalls. “Before Ric [Menck] showed up to play drums, I got 10 or 15 ideas going, and then we played those. I eventually recorded 38 songs, and all of them are as pro as the ones on the record. There are things that for one reason or another didn’t make it, but a lot of them go beyond what I wound up using. So in a way, I was trying to bottle the essence of something that was even more sprawling and full of moodiness. The record is actually
pretty simple compared to what went through my head while I was making it.”
With Matthew, the creative process is never calculated; ideas fly into his headspace, he grabs them as they come and takes a ride, not knowing the destination. In this flurry, they multiplied like Star Trek tribbles, eventually taking a coherent form in his mind.
Purely in terms of its guitar payload, the new album is a breathtaking Fourth of July fireworks show, with axes trading volleys from the left and right channels in old-school-stereo fashion, as Sweet breaks out a lineup of killer players, each sporting a distinct style, like a modern-day Moby Grape or Buffalo Springfield. They shine on incandescent tracks like “Trick of the Light,” the power-pop instant classic that opens the album, the bristling, Zuma-esque midtempo churner “Bittersweet” and the glorious four-guitar jangle fest
“Music for Love.”
Guitarists Jason Victor (Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3, Dream Syndicate), Val McCallum (Jackson Browne), John Moremen (The Orange Peels), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks) and Paul Chastain (Velvet Crush) blaze away in various combinations alongside the rhythm section of Menck (Chastain’s partner in Velvet Crush) and Sweet on bass and guitar; from song to song, he adds keys and Mellotron to his lead vocals and backing harmonies. The Bangles’ Debbi Peterson drums on four tracks and The Zombies’ Rod Argent brings his elegant piano touch to “Haunted,” which unfurls with a “Layla”-like majesty, and “Hello,” in which Matthew straps himself into his time capsule for another journey to and from the future.
On the second song, “Entangled,” he ruminates on the nature of time, a metaphysical notion he’s tackled throughout his discography, the rock & roll equivalent of Kurt Vonnegut’s celebrated novel Slaughterhouse Five. “Follow time as it flows both ways,” the chorus begins, “Dreaming in another direction/In universes all around/We’re meeting in another dimension/Each one unaware.” The song was inspired in part by Matthew’s monitoring of physics courses online. “‘Entanglement’ is a physics term,” he points out.
“Einstein defined it as ‘spooky action at a distance.’ It’s a hard-to-understand concept, where, if you change an electron on one end, the electron it’s paired with changes on the other end. They don’t have to be in the same place. Because you do one thing on this end, you know another thing happens on that end.”
This interactive relationship could serve as a metaphor for the way Tomorrow Forever came together: Much of this interaction was done long-distance, 21st-century-style, as song files flew back and forth between Matthew and his collaborators over the Internet. After he and Menck finished a basic track, typically consisting of drums, bass, rhythm guitar and a scratch vocal, he sent it to each musician he’d asked to contribute to the song in question, with the open-ended instruction, “Play whatever you want.” When the finished part arrived, Matthew experienced the cyberspace equivalent of “Look what came in the mail today.” He then wove the part into the track, building it piece by piece, while adding his multi-tracked backing vocals, any additional instrumentation he felt was needed and a lead vocal—although in several cases he wound up sticking with the original scratch vocal.
As the ideas swarming in his head were coalescing into batches of songs, Matthew’s fans were coming through big time. In the end, their donations to the Kickstarter fund would enable him to optimize every aspect of the project, from the elaborate gatefold packaging featuring Harlequin cover girls painted in the early ’60s by Maio from his own collection to the album mastering by Abbey Road’s Sean Magee, best known for his nuanced remastering of The Beatles’ and John Lennon’s catalogs.
“Because of the generosity of the people who contributed, I wanted to make sure that everything on the record was really good and solid,” Matthew says. “They’ve been waiting for it for a long time, and I feel like I owe it to them.”
Matthew’s reward to those donors who were originally promised a set of demos (as it turned out, he didn’t cut any) is Tomorrow’s Daughter, a 12-song LP culled from the sessions; longtime fans will draw parallels between this limited-edition satellite record, as he describes it, and the previous companion pieces Goodfriend and Son of Altered Beast. When that one arrives, 29 of the 38 songs will be in circulation.
Matthew doesn’t know where this flood of inspiration came from, but he has an inkling. “Maybe it came from being in a new place, getting to recreate my studio here,” he speculates. “Also, I feel connected to being here in a way that I haven’t felt before—the feeling of having two feet on solid ground. But having said all that, after my mother died, I couldn’t even think about writing songs or starting to record for months and months. And in the end, I’m pleased, because I feel like I do get close to dealing with my feelings about her death at certain spots on the record. So that does inform it, but at the same time, it doesn’t completely overtake it being a rock & roll record, or enjoyable rather than purely depressing. I had a lot of feelings about her death, and dying, but then I just sat down and wrote a bunch of songs. Some of them are connected to emotional stuff for me, obviously, because the songs aren’t devoid of feeling.”
That’s an understatement. “Haunted” is laced with mortal dread, while “You Knew Me” digs deep into the complicated nature of blood ties, concluding with a hard-earned epiphany: “You knew me/I knew you too/Afraid of yourself/Afraid of me/Afraid of myself/Afraid of you.” The penultimate “Hello” ponders the possible existence of multiple universes and parallel dimensions, opening into the climactic “End Is Near,” which closes the album on a note of unvarnished directness and gut-punch poignancy. A thorny contemplation of the finality of life, the song burrows down to the raw nub of the human condition.
“I had a lot of different feelings, but I didn’t necessarily sit down to write a song about this feeling and that feeling,” Matthew recalls. “I just wrote batches of songs, and then it became clear what they might be about. For as long as it took to make the record, I didn’t agonize over writing, or rewrite songs; it was all quick and mysterious, like always. It’s just that I was dealing with moving for the first time in 20 years, and dealing with my mom—just the shock of it all, in general, was what made it take as long as it did. What I mean is, I
don’t think any of it was overwrought; most everything is just the first thing anyone played.”
When an uncommonly gifted artist trusts and follows the lead of his intuition, the results can be magical. In terms of its musical density, thematic depth, emotional immediacy and sheer scale, Tomorrow Forever could be described as Matthew Sweet’s All Things Must Pass. That wasn’t the plan—there was no plan. It just turned out that way.
“Right after we moved here,” says Matthew, “I made this video for Kickstarter, and in it, if anything, I was promising myself that I was going to make a really heartfelt record.”
Nick Diaz’s life journey and musical ventures have led him to travel to New Orleans, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and his current home of Austin, Texas. Along the way it seems that although his environment changed, the tribulations of love and intimacy would always remain a constant, as expressed on his new EP, The Love Balloon. The roots rock outfit of Buenos Diaz bring a refreshing interpretation to one of the most respectable movements in American music, staying true to the staples of old school blues melody, without being pretentious and never losing sight of having a good time.
Nick Diaz immersed himself in the culture of classic Texas Rock n’ Roll at an early age, studying the music of legends like Jimmy Vaughn, Ian Moore and T Bone Walker while becoming a part of the Houston blues scene. Nick began to learn the guitar without the assistance of a mentor or school program, using his pure appreciation for the music he grew up with as his drive to develop as a songwriter. His performance skills eventually led him to be a part of the production team for David Fishof’s Rock and Roll & Roll Fantasy Camp and play for a multitude of high profile acts, until he moved to San Francisco. After spending time reflecting on the relationships, break-ups, and musical developments of his travels, he moved to Austin to begin working on his first release as Buenos Diaz.
The Love Balloon is a tribute to the pain of lost love as well as an excellent showcase of Nick’s capabilities as a modern blues guitarist. The album is danceable and fun while still maintaining a smooth, never too serious melancholy. While the album aesthetic is similar to that of classic Texas Rock n’ Roll acts, tracks like “The Love Balloon” incorporate a crooning warmth similar to that of 50’s soul ballads, making an even more interesting platform for Nick to execute his effortless guitar solos. The album was recorded at Beebe Gunn Studios, Houston, TX and features Nick Diaz (vocals, guitar), Mark Riddell (bass, vocals), Matt Johnson (drums), Barry Seelen (organ), Mike St. Claire (trumpet) and Smoota (trombone).
Having a sixth sense is something Pisces people take for granted. But March-born singer-songwriter Suzanna Choffel’s latest album, Hello Goodbye, contains one song that proved remarkably prescient even to her. When Choffel wrote “Go Forth,” an inspirational ballad whose lyrics seemingly impart advice from a loving parent, she thought the only thing she was trying to hatch was the album. A week later, she learned she was pregnant with her first child.
Several of Hello Goodbye’s songs could be associated with major events in Choffel’s life. She’s had many in the last few years, from appearing on season three of The Voice and moving from her Austin hometown to New York for three years, to earning a major grant from Black Fret, an Austin artist development group, and performing before thousands of January 2017 Women’s March participants at the Texas State Capitol.
But just as that song predated knowledge of her pregnancy, many tracks on this album — an earthy, lush folk-funk mélange of blues, jazz, soul, dreamy electro-pop and her unique vocal colorings — predated those experiences, along with such events as a scary brush with mortality after leaving her baby for the first time to perform in France. (Fortunately, only possessions were lost when the chateau where she was staying burst into flames.)
Ironically, those post-recording experiences serve as detailed illustrations of the album’s central theme: How to reconcile the push-pull of opposing desires? For Choffel, that manifests as a struggle to balance the seemingly conflicting pursuits of family life and musical adventures. But swimming in opposite directions is what Pisceans do.
Even the album itself reflects that duality; its vinyl-oriented sequencing creates a distinct mood shift from side A to side B.
“Side A is more low-key, sweet and soft, and side B is more of the funky dance tunes,” Choffel explains. It’s not a concept album, but she notes, “As we laid out the tracks, I realized it kind of told a story — not intentionally, but that’s how it fits together. You want to take people on a journey.”
Without her journey to New York, it would have been a different story musically. “I think it took me moving away to embrace some of the rootsier, funkier sounds that found their way on here,” Choffel says. “Especially in ‘Sinkin’ Down,’ ‘Lately For You’ and ‘Keep on Movin’ — some of the grittier, bluesier ones.”
On that last one, a swampy rocker, the Greyhounds’ Andrew Trube slithers slide guitar riffs around Tedeschi-Trucks Band drummer JJ Johnson’s cymbal taps and New Bohemian Brad Houser’s bass notes as Choffel casts a spell with her breathy alto. She starts low and slow, but as she sings Your blood is hot from your head down to your soul/It’s hard to stop a fire once it’s out of control, her smoldering passion intensifies. As syncopated hand claps and Johnson’s relentless rhythm strokes finally send her over the edge, her voice explodes into Patty Griffin territory.
Producer David Boyle, who’s worked with Griffin, Bebel Gilberto and several other Choffel favorites, encouraged her to connect with her rawer blues/soul/R&B side. “I absolutely adored R&B and hip-hop in high school,” she recalls. “I really do feel like that’s my roots — from ever since I heard Stevie Wonder when I was a baby, to getting into Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu and so many others.”
She taps it further in the flowing pop-soul groove of “Hello, Goodbye.” Like “Continental Drift,” the opening track, it examines that afore-mentioned conflict.
“It’s what a lot of what my lyrics end up being about,” Choffel admits. In the title tune, a Beatles nod only in name, she reflects on love and transition, and how some doors must close before others can open.
We never even had to start it, we knew there was a fire there all along.
Laughing late into the night on a stage of changing lights and even now that it’s all gone,
Oh you are the light I’m trying to find, the sight inside my blind blind mind.
Oh you are the hello hello hello to every goodbye.
In that one, her decision is clear. In “Continental Drift,” she’s puzzling it out, her poetic lyrics sounding like an inner voice insisting, And so you have to decide on which plane will you reside/One will rise an empire and the other one will fall. Here, Choffel’s vocals float on the dreamily ambient vibe created by Charlie Sexton’s mando-cello, David Garza’s acoustic guitar and backing vocals and Johnson’s brushed skins. That atmospheric, Zero 7 quality also permeates “Inspire Me,” on which Choffel plays lead ukulele, and “Go Forth,” which also addresses ambivalence.
Side A ends with “I Could Be Loved,” also written when her relationship felt less certain. Boyle kept it uncluttered, with light jazz guitar and understated drum taps. There’s also a slight Bob Marley-inspired reggae inflection that’s drawn some friendly ribbing from pals who recall her Voice stint; her final song was Marley’s “Could You Be Loved.” (Her elimination earned loud protest from Rolling Stone, which praised her as “one of the only singers on anyone’s team … who had the sort of voice you’d want to listen to for an entire album.”)
She began using that voice at a young age, writing songs and playing piano before kindergarten. She played sax in her high-school band, then added guitar, and performed in various bands while attending Texas State University before earning a degree in musical technology from the College of Santa Fe. After a sojourn in Brazil, Choffel released Shudders & Rings, her first album, in 2007. In 2008, the track “Raincloud” earned 350,000 YouTube hits in 24 hours, causing the Austin American-Statesman to crown her the city’s first YouTube superstar. In 2009, she was named Indie Artist of the Year at the Austin Music Awards; she’s also scored several songwriting competition wins. In 2011, Choffel released Steady Eye, Shaky Bow; it was later released in Europe as Archer.
Hello, Goodbye flows naturally from those works while exploring new territory. Case in point: “New Word,” the product of a writing-group exercise in which participants must use a particular phrase in a song, is rendered as sophisticated, Madonna-influenced club-pop.
But the album ends on a different note with “Wish You Well,” a lovely benediction in which Garza’s harmony vocals and acoustic guitar counterpoint Choffel’s dusky alto as she sings, Oh we are the hearty and we are the weak/We are only as good as the words that we speak/If my heart is a temple, my tongue will be the bell … And I wish you well.
With a spare, yet elegant arrangement in which every note, every breath has its place, the gorgeous duet is both a gentle lullaby and an enthralling finale — one that leaves you thinking, so what if Hello, Goodbye took its sweet time getting here? Like that other bundle of joy, its arrival is certainly welcome — and unquestionably worth the wait.
Finger Guns is a Houston based Emo band that formed in the summer of 2015 with their release of a split album with The Daphne Blue (Formerly Valens). Since then, they have gigged tirelessly around the Houston area and surrounding Texas cities.
Deriving from influences such as Small Brown Bike, American Football, and Pavement, their debut album, “Life On The Floor” displays a mix of many punk sub genres in both English and Spanish that the band holds near and dear. It was also an effort realized completely by the band itself, using no outside help to write, record, mix and master the entire album.
Waterparks will be performing a very short set and will be signing after their performance. Wanna be here for the pre-kickoff party before their performance with All -Time Low later that evening?
STARTING MONDAY, 6/26, AFTER 5:00PM –
Pre-buy the “Double Dare” vinyl or purchase the “Double Dare” CD From Cactus Music and receive a WRISTBAND to this event.
NO HOLDS and NO PHONE ORDERS.
A Sundae Drive is kinda punk, shoegaze, new wave, dream pop & indie rock. Since ’05, ASD’s been making melodies & harmonies play w/ noise & effects. Songs of love & loss, childhood mishaps, politics & justice, & some good old-fashioned angst are the themes revisited by these 4 out of Houston. We are Zeek (guitar & vocals), Sergio (guitar & vocals), Mike (drums) and Jennifer (bass, keyboards, & vocals).
It has been said that the sum is always greater than the parts. The parts can be good but together they are exceptional and that holds true in the case of MVP. The Milligan Vaughan Project or MVP is a musical partnership between Austin’s highly acclaimed vocalist Malford Milligan – and – guitar slinger Tyrone Vaughan both of whom have a rich musical history steeped in The Blues and Rock and Roll. It was at an early age that both were introduced to music that would become an integral part of their lives.
Some of Tyrone’s earliest memories go back to the early days of Antones, Austin’s legendary Home of the Blues. The legendary Muddy Waters gave him one of his harmonicas which he proceeded to blow on, and Muddy put cotton in Tyrones ears before starting his set. He found himself sleeping in Boz Skaggs guitar case and as a kid wearing out his toy guitars in no time. His first true guitar given to him on his 5th birthday by his uncle Stevie Ray Vaughan was an old Harmony scored at the local pawn shop. Later on it was Stevie, Lou Ann Barton and WC Clark all pitching in and buying Tyrone a Fender Musicmaster. Stevie Ray was very proud of that small neck guitar and happy that his nephew was following in his and his father Jimmie’s footsteps. Since those early years, he has performed with Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Doyle Bramhall, Doyle Bramhall II, (Little) Jimmy King, SRV’s Double Trouble, Pinetop Perkins, John Popper and Eric Gales. In April of 2015, Vaughan joined Royal Southern Brotherhood (RSB) featuring Cyril Neville on vocals, in result of 2 albums on Ruf Records, one recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL and the other album recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice LA.
No stranger to the blues, Malford Milligan was born in Taylor, Texas but as a young child music took a back seat to just trying to get by. In 1981, after a short stay in Lubbock, TX as a student at Texas Tech, Milligan moved to Austin to begin studies at the University of Texas. Instead of academics, singing took precedent and Monday night blues jams became the beginning of a life in music. His local band, Stick People, launched his career as a talented singer. In 1994, he helped form the Texas super group, Storyville, David Holt, David Grissom and the rhythm section from Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble, which included bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Storyville released two stellar albums on Atlantic Records along with the independently released CD/DVD titled LIVE AT ANTONES. As a session singer, Milligan was in great demand. He toured and worked on albums together with other outstanding musicians, including Hal Ketchum, Marcia Ball, Alejandro Escovedo, Sue Foley and Eric Johnson. He has also appeared on The Voice NBC TV series on September 30, 2013 and was recently named “Vocalist of the Year” at The Austin Chronicle Music Awards.
Both Malford and Tyrone have a deep love for the Blues, along with a strong mutual respect for each other, and both share a part in Austin’s rich musical history. At the time when each were looking to see what the future held and what musical path they might take – one phone call followed by a short meeting brought the two together – and The Milligan Vaughan Project was launched. There is a feeling of family here. Though not technically related the bond between them is still strong. The stage is where they are both most comfortable and the synergy between these two musicians which will bring you to your feet.
So what does 2017 hold for these two talented musicians? After an inaugural performance for Austin’s SUN Radio, followed by a public show at South by Southwest, look for MVP to head into the studio to record their debut CD followed by a worldwide tour. Hold on! This ride is just starting and the future looks mighty bright indeed.
Allison Iraheta + Halo Circus is a critically-acclaimed bilingual alternative rock band, featuring its star singer Allison Iraheta. Crafting “anthems for introverts,” Iraheta digs deep into dark places and transforms this anguish into lush, unforgettable melodies. Admired by millions as a finalist on American Idol, Iraheta released her debut album Just Like You shortly after her elimination in 2009. The album sold approximately 32,000 copies in its first week, debuting at number 35 on the Billboard 200 album chart. While touring in support of the album, she met songwriter and producer Matthew Hager. The pair began writing together and later decided to form a band, leading to the formation of Halo Circus in 2012.
Halo Circus’ debut earned instant acclaim, with LA Magazine declaring, “Allison Iraheta has moved beyond reality TV, forming a group that Duran Duran bassist John Taylor called ‘the best live band in the U.S.A.’ Think: dark, anthemic rock with a knack for soaring hooks” Rock NYC also admired the band, praising, “Hard-hitting and infectious rock and pop melodies, very diverse songs with bi-lingual lyrics [English and Spanish] and even covers – but not any covers, rather powerful renditions of hit-songs – all transformed by Allison Iraheta’s powerhouse vocals – this was the most impressive part about the whole band, no matter how many groups have tried to get to this rock sound fronted by a big-voiced female, very few can do it with such ease and confidence.”
Halo Circus quickly earned a reputation for their impressive live performances, which led to a series of high profile bookings, including: The Grammys “Women Who Rock – Festival At Sea” with Heart, Emmylou Harris, and other iconic female singers; a four- week Friday night residency at the prestigious Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles; and “Say It Loud! A Night of Cultural Disruption”; at the legendary Troubadour. Iraheta also performed on The Tonight Show, making history as the only guest vocalist to sing with the show’s band for an entire week.
On February 8, 2016, Halo Circus shocked the music industry by announcing, via Billboard, the first fully crowd-sourced American tour ever to be attempted on such a large scale. Through Road Nation, the band declared that any town in America that raises $600 would get Halo Circus to play there this summer and fall. Nine weeks later, the campaign reached 100% backing by fans, making music history with the first successful US crowd-funded tour to date, with 30 cities confirmed.
Next up is the release of Halo Circus’ highly anticipated debut album, Bunny, produced by Matthew Hager and mixed by multiple Grammy Award-winner Craig Bauer (Kanye West, Smashing Pumpkins). Iraheta explains, “our aim was high: play as much as possible, and try to develop a reputation as a great live band before releasing an album. Somehow along the way we learned how to play these songs to an audience and the band actually started to take on a life of its own.”She continues, “We decided to re–record what we recorded a year before. We wanted to capture the evolution of our live sound. We wanted Halo Circus to have the opportunity to record an album with the same quality and attention to detail that was given to bands in the 90’s.” And this band’s effort for perfection is paying off. The first single off the album, “Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena)” was downloaded 647,000 times in its first week of release in a promotion with BitTorrent Bundle. The album, entitled Bunny will be released on June 24.
For Allison Iraheta, life before and with Halo Circus is like night and day. The daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, she was raised in South Central L.A., with Spanish as her native language. She draws from her background as inspiration for Halo Circus’ most popular songs: “Yo Me Voy,” “All I Have,” and “Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena).”
Individually, the members of Halo Circus are veteran musicians. Prior to forming Halo Circus, bassist/keyboardist Matthew Hager was a No. 1 Billboard multi-platinum producer who crossed multiple genres working with the likes of Duran Duran, Scott Weiland, Mindi Abair, and Mandy Moore. In addition to being an accomplished Cantonese and orchestral drummer, Veronica Bellino’s previous work with Jeff Beck and DMC of Run DMC has helped to shape her live performances with Halo Circus. Brian Stead is a relentless guitar aficionado who evokes energy and charisma. He is a thoughtful guitarist with his own voice, one that makes him unique. Together, the band is one unstoppable force to be reckoned with as they continue down the rabbit hole and embark on the next chapter of their sound.
Iraheta concludes, “Magic happens in this band. It happened when we were writing, when we were recording, and when we were failing. The only thing that mattered was keeping it honest and getting it right, whatever that means. We may be inconvenient, but we continue to attract believers.”