+ Saturday, 6/23/18 @ 1:00pm
+ Saturday, 6/23/18 @ 5:00pm
Caroline Rose Meet & Greet
+ Sunday, 6/24/18 @ 3:00pm
+ Thursday, 6/28/18 @ 5:30pm
– Author Session – Thomas O’Keefe
+ Monday, 7/2/18 @ 5:30pm
+ Friday, 7/6/18 @ 5:30pm
Fantastic Negrito Meet & Greet
+ Tuesday, 7/17/18 @ 5:30pm
The RockNRoll HiFives
+ Wednesday, 7/18/18 @ 5:30pm
+ Saturday, 7/21/18 @ 3:00pm
+ Wednesday, 7/25/18 @ 5:30pm
BJ Barham (American Aquarium)
+ Friday, 7/27/18 @ 5:30pm
Kevin Galloway (Uncle Lucius)
As a co-founder (w/ brother Bill Clifton) of Fresno’s The MoFo Party Band, John Clifton has solidified himself as one of Central California’s most in demand Blues frontmen since he started in the late ’80’s. His from the gut vocal and harmonica presence and high energy performances have captivated audiences worldwide.
Hitting the road hard since the early days and performing over 150 dates a year, John regularly tours in the U.S. and has headlined some of the most well known venues and festivals throughout Europe such as the Beersel Blues Festival in Belgium, and the Blues Express and Polish Boogie Festivals, both in Poland. He has also electrified audiences on festivals and in venues throughout the islands of New Zealand and Fiji!
IN 2016, The John Clifton Blues Band performed on the Doheny Blues Festival, California’s largest and most prestigious festivals, with Edgar Winter and Lynyrd Skynyrd headlining. He also injected a shot of adrenaline to the acclaimed Edition de Bain de Blues Festival in France.
With style and prowess on the level of Kim Wilson and Rod Piazza, John has always kept it real with his own voice and identity and never set out to be a copy of any of his musical heroes. As a showman he delivers straight from the heart, soul, and gut, staying clear of the typical clichés and novelties.
He also keeps things fresh and exciting by effortlessly infusing styles from West Coast to Chicago Blues, classic R&B and Soul, to some hard driving vintage Rock’n’Roll.
John’s reputation and performances have earned him the respect of many of the greats as he has been invited on stage with the likes of James Cotton, Rod Piazza, Tommy Castro, John Mayall, Huey Lewis, Willie Big Eyes Smith, Luther Tucker, Kim Wilson, Billy Boy Arnold, James Harman, and Rusty Zinn. He was also given the honor of opening for BB King, winning and being a multiple nominee for the Modesto Area Music Awards, and receiving the “Declaration of Appreciation” from the State of California for his contribution to the arts.
John has performed as a featured harmonica player 7 times and the prestigious Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blow out show and has been ask to join in as a guest on many occasions with Mark Hummel and many other of the top blues harmonica players in the world
In addition, John was asked to tour and record as the featured harmonica player with Big Bill Morganfield, Blues Hall of Fame inductee and son of Muddy Waters, on his 2016 release “Blood Stains On The Wall”.
He has also brought his skills as a producer to the studio with a band from Poland called The Boogie Boys, featuring piano giant Bartek Szopinski, and winning the Polish Blues Award for “Best Blues Album 2013” for their CD “Made In Cali”.
Producer David Z best known for his work with Prince, Etta James, Billy Idol and many others, chose John’s song “Anytime Is Cool” for the 2017 motion picture release “Shattered” John and Band were also asked to appear in the movie and were featured in the first scene.
John captured the attention of Scott Abeyta, owner of Rip Cat Records in Southern California, and was added to a roster that included The Blasters, the 44’s, and Kid Ramos among many other great names. He released his first solo album “Let Yourself Go” in 2015 to worldwide acclaim and airplay, and the single “Let Your Self Go” charted in the Top 10 on the Duke University WXDU Americana Show.
The album boasts guest performances by Kid Ramos, Rusty Zinn, brother Bill Clifton, Bartek Szopinski, Marty Dodson, and Bob Welsh. Scott Abeyta holds down the main guitar duties, and fellow Fresno music icons Roger Perry, Jake Finney, and John Shafer are also featured.
2018 Brings a new CD on Rip Cat Records “Nightlife” .The new CD has been getting great reviews and song “Still A Fool” from Nightlife was the #10 of the top new releases on Top 15 Rack of Blues Radio show on BB Kings Bluesville on Sirus XM Radio. Also an extensive tour in support of “Nightlife” in the Mid West and East Coast for the summer 2018.
John Clifton…one of those rare musicians that has dedicated himself to the Blues and has found continued success and relevance by remaining dedicated, excited, hardworking, and focused.
“The Change” is the debut solo album from singer/songwriter and longtime Uncle Lucius frontman Kevin Galloway. “It’s a love letter, and a promise to my newly formed family”, says Galloway. “My wife and I have two children under the age of 3 now. After touring almost incessantly with a band for over a decade, I’ve decided to take a different approach. This album is a sincere reflection of my mindset while reorganizing priorities.”
As for the sound, Galloway and producer Vorpahl call it “Gulf Coast Country Soul”. Of the band, Kevin comments, “We put together some great players and they really found something special. It’s organic and undeniably in the pocket.”
In the lush tobacco fields of North Carolina where BJ Barham was raised, people work hard. Families stay nearby, toiling and growing together. BJ loves those farms and his tiny Reidsville hometown, but he had to run off and start American Aquarium, a band now beloved by thousands.
BJ couldn’t stay. But he couldn’t really leave, either: he’s still singing about the lessons, stories, and lives that define rural America––and him.
“I moved to the big city to go to college and fell in love with music,” BJ says. “But half the songs on our record are about small towns––little pieces of my childhood. I’ve had moments where it turns out a piece of broken English my father repeated twice a week is the most accurate way to say something. So I put it in a song.”
American Aquarium’s seventh studio album Things Change offers the band’s finest collection of folk-infused Southern rock-and-roll to date. Stacked with BJ’s signature storytelling––always deeply personal but also instantly relatable––the record questions and curses current events, shares one man’s intimate evolution, and leaves listeners with a priceless gift: hope.
“In my early 20s, I was not as hopeful,” BJ says. “Now, as I’m getting ready to become a father, I think I have to be hopeful––especially with the situation our country is in now. For her sake, I have to be positive.” He pauses. “Her” is his daughter, due in the spring of 2018. BJ adds, “Being self-aware has always been a blessing and a curse. But that’s what’s always made my songwriting relatable to people. I don’t hold back. I’m almost too honest.”
BJ’s candor has fueled American Aquarium’s runaway appeal, visible most clearly in consistently sold-out shows across the country and throughout Europe – between 200 and 250 dates a year. Much has changed for the band and BJ since their acclaimed last effort, Wolves. In 2017, every American Aquarium member save BJ quit the group. American Aquarium has featured about 30 players since BJ founded the outfit in 2006, and while each member has left indelible marks, the band has always been anchored by the literary songs and sometimes roaring, sometimes whispering, drawl of BJ Barham. BJ’s personal life also underwent seismic shifts: He got sober. He got married. Soon, he’ll be a dad.
Featuring a new band lineup that includes Shane Boeker on lead guitar, drummer Joey Bybee, bassist Ben Hussey, and Adam Kurtz on pedal steel and electric guitar, as well as a reinvigorated frontman in BJ, Things Change is American Aquarium’s first release on a label after selling thousands of records on their own. “As an artist, your goal is for the newest thing you do to be better than the last. You’re slowly whittling away the bullshit to try and get to the truth,” BJ says. “With this album, I learned how to cut some of that fat so that it’s just truth. It’s our best record.”
Recorded at 3CG Records in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Things Change was produced by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter John Fulbright and features cameos from Americana standouts including John Moreland and Jamie Lin Wilson. Brazen album opener “The World is on Fire” is a richly layered rock-and-roll anthem that documents BJ and his wife’s stunned reaction to the last presidential election. Emotional and conversational, the song taps into widespread feelings of confusion and fear: “She said, ‘What are we going to do? What’s this world coming to?’ / For the first time in my whole life, I stood there speechless.” But what begins as despair builds into defiant faith, as BJ growls a call to action to cap off one of his favorite songs he’s ever written. “I’m complaining about the state of things, and then the third verse almost serves as a challenge to myself: hey, you’re in charge of another human being. You can create change,” he says.
Driving rock-and-roller “Crooked + Straight” explores the small-town consequences of questioning religion and the tightness of family in the face of one member’s rejection. His father’s advice anchors the song. “I come from a blue-collar family. I’m the only one who didn’t go into farming. I learned if you want something, you have to go out and take it. You can’t expect anything from anybody,” BJ says. “You can only go out there and work harder. My dad always said you can outwork anybody else.” Love for hard work and the people who carry it out appears repeatedly throughout Things Change. Guitar-heavy “Tough Folks” is a snarling ode to those with dirt under their fingernails, while bass- and pedal-steel-infused “Work Conquers All” spins a tale in praise and pursuit of Oklahoma’s state motto.
The album’s love songs are the kind of achingly beautiful that only comes with maturity and a willingness to expose one’s own flaws. Haunting “Shadows of You” recalls a lover’s flight as the protagonist longs for what he let get away. Gorgeous “Till the Final Curtain Falls” celebrates loyalty and pledges endless devotion. The moving title track takes an often doleful topic––people’s tendency to change––and turns it on its head, tracing BJ’s personal growth and recognizing his now-wife’s steadfast love.
BJ’s other two favorite tracks are album standouts. Moving “When We Were Younger Men” addresses the break-up of American Aquarium head on. As BJ professes love for his former bandmates over stripped down acoustic guitar, his voice is honeyed and deep. “It’s an open letter to five guys who I spent eight years of my life with seeing the entire world,” BJ says. “I think anyone who has ever had to walk away from a friendship or has had somebody walk away from them will relate to the song.” Stunner “One Day at a Time” is self-perceptive and vulnerable, detailing BJ’s battles with himself. Even within his career full of well-written gems, the song is a towering accomplishment.
“At the end of the day, if you’re not writing songs to affect other people’s lives, you’re in it for the wrong reasons,” BJ says, reflecting on the new album, where he’s been, and where American Aquarium is headed. “Money may come and go. You may never get fame. But if you sit down and write songs to affect people, you can do it your whole life and be happy.”
“Fuck a popstar. Fuck pandering. Fuck fakeness. Fuck fear.” Fantastic Negrito is the incarnation of a musician who is reborn after going through a lot of awful shit. In fact, the name Fantastic Negrito represents his third rebirth, literally coming back from death this time. The narrative on this man is as important as the sound, because the narrative is the sound. Songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to “make it”, who “got it”, and who lost it all. For anyone who ever felt like it was over yet hoped it wasn’t, this is your music; blues harnessed, forged in realness. For anyone who ever considered getting their old high-school band back together, this is your inspiration. These are singular songs by a true musician who writes and produces. They are his fuel as he embarks on the third comeback of his life.
The first life (‘who am I and where am I going?’). Fantastic Negrito was raised in an orthodox Muslim household. His father was a Somali-Caribbean immigrant who mostly played traditional African music. When, at the age of 12, Negrito’s family moved from Massachusetts to Oakland, he was hit with an intense culture shock. Oakland in 1970s was a million miles from Negrito’s conservative childhood. He went from Arab chants to Funkadelic in one day, living in the heart of one of the wildest, most infamous, most vibrant black communities in the nation. Shit was extra real in Oakland.
By the time he was 20, Negrito had taught himself to play every instrument he could get his hands on. He was recording music, but he was also caught up in street shit. This went on for several years until a near death encounter with masked gunmen. After that Negrito packed his bags and headed to LA, armed with a demo on cassette.
The second life (‘I want to be a star…I think’). It didn’t take long for Negrito to find himself entrenched in the ‘Hollywood’ lifestyle; “clubs and bitches and bullshit politics that have nothing to do with great music.” Negrito signed with a big time manager and soon after that, a million dollar deal at Interscope …and soon after that, creative death.
The record deal was a disaster. Gangsta rap was ruling the airwaves and Negrito was in the wrong place at the wrong era. Negrito came out of the deal with a failed album and his confidence gutted. He was infected by the constant emphasis on ‘what would sell’; which looks, hooks and gimmicks would attract an audience. He lost all sense of himself. The songs stopped coming to him, so he quit. He sold all of his shit and he quit.
In 2000, Negrito was in a near fatal car accident that put him in a coma. For four weeks it was touch and go. Because his muscles atrophied while bedridden, he had to go through months of frustrating physical therapy to regain use of his legs. Rods were placed throughout his body. And worst of all, his playing hand was mutilated. Though he rehabbed intensely for several years, the damage was permanent. In 2008, he returned home to Oakland.
The third life (the birth of Negrito). Back in Oakland, Negrito forgot about life as a musician. He got married, he planted vegetables, raised his own chickens, and made money growing weed. He also settled into being a man, on his own, clear of the distractions of wanting to be a star. This is when his specific POV of the world came into focus. His conservative Muslim values melded with the liberal, multi-cultural world of Oakland. The cynicism that comes from struggle made room for the hope that comes from cheating death. He truly knew who he was. He was confident about his place in the world because he understood it as much as any man can. And then his son Kyu was born.
With Kyu’s entrance into the world, all the creative energy Negrito bottled for years came rushing. His musical choices were sharp and without doubt. He began recording without the hindrances that come with chasing trends. “Fuck what’s hot now, what moves me?” Negrito turned to the original DNA of all American music, the Blues. The beating life had given him primed him to channel his literal and musical forefathers: the Blues musicians of the Delta.
For Fantastic Negrito, “derivative” is the devil so to ensure his sound is his own, every chord comes from a place of immediacy. Immediacy opens the door for instinct. Instinct is God’s tool that makes an artist into an individual. Negrito leaves the original sounds of Lead Belly and Skip Woods intact and builds bridges to modernity by looping and sampling his own live instruments.
When you listen to Negrito, you’re invited to hear the story of life after destruction. Your dream can die. You probably will give up. But from there, you can start everything over.
Get a sneak peek into Houston’s favorite Independent Music Festival with two of the billed artists: Yvonne Goodwyne and Kyle Hubbard. 5th Annual Madness on Main Street is a multi-stage, multi-genre music fest. Presented by 8th Wonder Brewery.
Yvonne Goodwyne: Vonne is a multi-instrumentalist producer who creates enticing sounds.
Kyle Hubbard: Kyle Hubbard is a hip-hop artist from Houston, TX with a style that stresses strength in lyrics through an accessible presentation. His debut album, “You’re Not That Special”, won several awards in 2012 and was ranked third on Houston Chronicle’s “Top 10 Albums of 2012” list. His 2015 project, “Majestic Hotel” was on Houston Press’ “Top 15 Rap Tapes of 2015” list.
Jesse Dayton’s story reads like a who’s who of American music. Want to talk about being “born into it”? Imagine a 15-year-old kid born and raised on the Texas/Louisiana border, playing his Telecaster guitar in all-black zydeco bands in Lake Charles, Louisiana; honky-tonk country bands with members left over from the Starday Records’ George Jones days around his hometown of Beaumont, Texas. Dayton was underage and sneaking into night clubs to play shows ’til 3am with east Texas blues legend Little Mack Minor (cousin of Lightning Hopkins and Mance Liscomb), until eventually he was spotted by Gulf Coast hit producer Huey P. Meaux. Mr. Meaux approached Dayton and asked him to record with zydeco star Rockin Dopsey at Houston’s hit factory, Sugarhill Studios. And the story just keeps getting better.
As he enters early adulthood, Dayton begins packing clubs and theaters on the Texas scene with his trio in Houston, Dallas, and Austin. He records his first solo record titled “Raisin’ Cain” for Justice Records with featured guest luminaries, Doug Sahm, Flaco Jiminez and Johnny Gimble that hits Number 1 on the Americana Radio Charts. Jesse tours around the world opening for punk legends Social Distortion, The Supersuckers and X. Jesse is then asked to help arrange and play guitar on The Supersuckers biggest selling record, “Must’ve Been High.” While in Nashville doing press, Waylon Jennings spots him on Nashville TV show ‘Crook & Chase’ and calls Jesse out of the blue at his hotel to play lead guitar on his record, “Right for The Time.” Dayton blows off his flight back to Austin, heads to Woodland Studios where Waylon has sent a car for him, and knocks on the door. Johnny Cash answers it and says, “we’ve been waiting for you.” This leads to Dayton recording guitars on records and film with Cash, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush and Glen Campbell.
While Dayton is ignored by mainstream country radio, his cult following in the US and Europe continues to grow. A whole new crowd of Americana listening room folks, young college alternative rock fans & disenfranchised aging punk rockers embrace him. He embarks on headlining tours without any tour support from a label.
Just when you thought the story couldn’t get any cooler, horror director/rockstar, Rob Zombie hears Dayton’s record at a party, hunts him down, and calls him to write and record a soundtrack for his film ‘The Devils Rejects’ which lands him in Rolling Stone magazine. Then they co-write songs for Rob’s follow up franchise film, ‘Halloween 2’ (which Dayton appears in playing the part of character ‘Captain Clegg’). Then Dayton writes and records songs for a third Rob Zombie film (this one animated) titled, ’The Haunted World of El Super Beasto.’ After years of pounding the pavement day-in and day-out, Jesse buys a house in Austin, and heads back on tour in his 40-foot redneck RV with his band of hillbilly punks.
Dayton has had over 50 songs licensed to film and television and even ended up writing and directing a horror film shot in New Orleans called ‘Zombex’ starring Malcolm McDowell, Sid Haig, Lew Temple from Walking Dead and John Doe from the band X. The film was sold to a distributor and got a theatrical release. After stockpiling songs during his film work, he heads into the studio to record “The Revealer” (back where it all started at Sugarhill Studios in Houston), and the first single “Daddy Was A Badass” becomes a hit on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel. As this is happening, Dayton gets a call from the aforementioned, John Doe and is asked to fill in for guitarist Billy Zoom on 40-city U.S. tour with the original line-up of iconic punk band X while Zoom was taking time away from the band to undergo cancer treatment.
Jesse Dayton has been on tour non-stop for four years all over the US and Europe. His new record “The Outsider” was literally recorded while on tour in Atlanta, Denver, Nashville and Austin and mixed by Grammy Award winning engineer/producer Vance Powell (who has worked with the likes of Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell and Jack White). About “The Outsider” Dayton says, “It’s a lot like ‘The Revealer’, but even more stripped down with some sweet acoustic guitar songs and some raw electric guitar work”. All the influences are there; the George Jones-inspired singing on “Changin’ My Ways,” the Outlaw country twang of Waylon and Jerry Reed on “Belly of the Beast,” the angst and energy of The Clash and X on hillbilly protest song “ Charlottesville,” and the deep east Texas blues and Cajun rockabilly of “May Have To Do It” and “Hurtin Behind The Pine Curtain.” While there are many different sides to him musically, this all rolls into one big hybrid that Jesse Dayton has been honing for over 20 years.
Dan Stuart is a songwriter, author and habitual expat currently residing in Mexico City. He was a founding member of Green on Red and Danny & Dusty in the 80’s before leaving the music business in 1995 for a decade and a half. His comeback solo record in 2012 has the same title as his 2014 false memoir: The Deliverance of Marlowe Billings, both available through Cadiz Music, London. That was followed by Marlowe’s Revenge recorded with Mexico City’s Twin Tones and released in 2016 through Cadiz Music in UK & Europe and on Fluff & Gravy Records in the Americas. The last of the trilogy, The Unfortunate Demise of Marlowe Billings, will be out in July of 2018 along with a novel of the same name.
If you want to find the hardest rocking family band in the truest sense of the word, look no further than New Jersey’s RocknRoll Hi-Fives.
Comprised of parents Joe and Gloree Centeno and their progeny Eilee, aged fifteen, and Evren, aged thirteen, the RocknRoll Hi-Fives are the newest family rockers to break onto the scene. And while hardly a brand new act, the Hi-Fives released their third EP titled “the Beat the Sound the Dragon’s Roar” on Little Dickman Records in late 2016 and have a full LP “Re-Introducing the RocknRoll Hi- Fives” coming out April 2018.
Joe spent much of the mid-to-late 90s touring the country in one of the most forward thinking guitar-based indie rock bands this writer has ever seen. Plug Spark Sanjay was a whirlwind of distortion, volume, passion and action, and many people placed their bets on their being the next great New Jersey rock band to break on to the national scene. However, as it tends to with all of us, Joe’s growing family had to take the front seat of his life while Plug Spark Sanjay became an afterthought. As Joe and Gloree welcomed their first child into the world daughter Eilee – they became full-time parents and Joe became a very part time rock and roller.
However, the gregarious Joe wouldn’t let something like having to worry about raising a family get in his way of rocking. In fact, whereas many rockers see having children as a reason to give up on their rock and roll dreams, Joe saw just the opposite. In his family Joe saw just the pieces he needed to start his own band.
The band’s grin-inducing moniker dates to before they were even a proper band. When Eilee was only a few years old Joe asked his daughter what they should name their band, should they ever start one. Eilee answered fast and sure, “The Rock-n-Roll Hi-Fives, dad.” From there it was performing very loosely at school assemblies, local parks and just about wherever the father/daughter duo might be able to set their gear up.
As the kids grew older, the band expanded as Evren began taking drum lessons and Gloree took to learning the bass, thus fully forming the RocknRoll Hi-Fives. The RocknRoll HiFives are honing in on their sound which is fast, snotty, fun, loud and filled with positive energy.
With Eilee singing lead vocals and creating sounds from her Theremin, Evren manning the drums, Gloree holding it down on bass and Joe shredding on lead guitar and backing vocals, the RocknRoll HiFives are more than gimmick. They’re a great band with great songs and a wild live show.
The RocknRoll HiFives are influenced by a mixed bag of rock n roll, indie rock, noise, punk and super heroes. Music from the Beatles, Superchunk, Guided by Voices as well as the Ramones, Blondie, Joan Jett and Slade with the awesomeness of Evel Knievel and Spiderman.
The RocknRoll HiFives enjoy sharing their love for music and proving that you’re never too old (or too young) to rock out.
All signs point to The Wild Feathers becoming the next great American rock ‘n’ roll band. The Nashville-based group—Ricky Young [guitar, vocals], Taylor Burns [guitar, vocals], Joel King [bass, vocals] and Ben Dumas [drums]—spent more than two years on the road supporting their 2013 self-titled full-length album alongside everybody from Bob Dylan to Gary Clark Jr. The record hit #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart, and they received invites to appear on Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O Brien, Seth Meyers, Craig Ferguson, ABC’s Nashville, and more. Unanimous critical praise arrived courtesy of Rolling Stone, New York Times, Huffington Post, USA Today, and countless others. Along the way, evolution stayed on their minds as they started writing songs for what will become their 2016 sophomore effort, Lonely Is A Lifetime [Warner Bros. Records].
Lonely Is a Lifetime reflects a richer confluence of influences, while maintaining their signature soul and spirit and a nod to all that time on the road together. They’ve grown as men and musicians, and they’re
ready to claim their spot in the canon of American rock music.