Merel & Tony have been writing and recording together since 2013. They recently completed their second score for radio program This American Life and their first regional tour with their band, The Woe Woe Woes. Their new single Purgatorio was recorded at IFLM Records and was released in November 2015.
“…their music combines vintage European impressions with contemporary themes and anxieties in lush, emotional arrangements.”-Troy Schulze, Houston Public Media
Bayou-born soul sensation, Durand Jones got his start in the church, after being forced to sing in the choir of his rural hometown Hillaryville, Louisiana because his Grandmother thought he sang too much at home. When his music career took him to Bloomington, Indiana, he was selected to join the legendary Indiana University Soul Revue, and it was through his involvement that he met writer/producer duo Aaron Frazer and Blake Rhein. The three began writing original soul music, recording themselves straight to tape in the basements of Bloomington – and it’s now available!
“Working with Janet was an unforgettable experience. She followed her spirit – no limits. Janet’s love for her art is evident in her impassioned musicianship and inspired songwriting. The music we created together, vibrant and full of energy, encapsulates all that she is.”-John Carter Cash (Producer, owner Cash Cabin Studios)
“From Randy Rhoads to Precious Metal, Lindsey Buckingham to John Carter Cash and all points in between – like a stint working with Meredith Brooks, opening for Midge Ure or appearing with Monte Montgomery – the ongoing tale of singer/guitarist/songwriter Janet Robin is a fascinating journey.” – Pollstar
Janet Robin can be defined in a single word: musician.
Many people attempt to make music, but few earn that illustrious title. Those in this business reserve that label for the rare individuals who consistently demonstrate a high level of talent, perseverance, taste and sensitivity over a period of time. To these people making music is not simply a pastime; it is a matter of blood and guts. That a serious addiction to making music runs through Robin’s veins is made clear from a quick review of her career.
A Southern California native, Robin’s musical education began the moment she met her guitar teacher, Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne). Under Rhoads’ tutelage, Robin became an ace six-string player and, while still in high school, parlayed this education into a position as the lead guitarist for the all-female rock band Precious Metal. Discovered by Rodney Bingenheimer of the legendary L.A. rock radio station KROQ, Precious Metal was soon signed to Polygram Records. Later moving to Chameleon/Capitol Records, Precious Metal released several albums, wrote with Heart, Poison and Cheap Trick, toured extensively and gained accolades from both fans and critics alike.
Following the demise of Precious Metal, Robin joined Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham’s band in support of his 1992 solo album, Out of the Cradle (Reprise Records). A consummate pro, working with Buckingham profoundly influenced Robin’s guitar playing, singing and songwriting, as well as her general approach to the music business. This new direction led to Robin’s 1998 debut solo album, Open the Door. Released on her own label, Little Sister Records, Buzz Weekly described the CD as “smart, savvy, fuzzy, hooky pop.” She has seen songs from this album featured in film and television; most notably on the then popular T.V. show Felicity. Ever the road warrior, she supported the disc by opening for such acts as Heart, Colin Hay, Loudon Wainwright III and the Smithereens, steadily building a wide fan base. Robin has since continued to tour heavily and averages as many as 150 dates per year.
Encouraged by the warm reception of her debut, Robin released three more albums on Little Sister including the acoustic After the Flood which was recorded in Laurel Canyon and features “Beautiful Freak” which has since become a fan favorite and one of Robin’s defining songs.
Also among these records is 2007’s Days of Summer. Recorded with producers David Bianco (Tom Petty, Teenage Fanclub, Mick Jagger) and Steve Baughman (Eminem, 50 Cent), this acoustic based EP is the work of an artist willing and able to explore the poignant emotional states of adulthood while avoiding the stereotypes brought on by most acoustic singer-songwriters. Working on the album was an experience that greatly affected her style and led Robin to many new and exciting opportunities including multiple tours in Europe.
2012 here in the USA, saw Robin release her album Everything Has Changed that bridges the gap between passionate acoustic music and gutsy rock n’ roll. With the help of her dedicated fan base, Robin was able to raise the funds ($20,000) for that studio effort. The loyal support enabled her to team up with producer John Carter Cash (Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) at Cash Cabin Studios outside of Nashville. The son of Johnny and June, Carter Cash was a producer on the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line and produced several records with his father as well as a Grammy Award winning record for June. Built by Johnny in 1979, this studio is where the country legend recorded much of his later work including his final recording, American V: A Hundred Highways, which was released posthumously and co-produced by Rick Rubin and John Carter.
Robin had previously released “Everything Has Changed,” in Europe, with Hypertension Music based in Hamburg, Germany. Coupled with the strength of her growing European following and introduced to the German based label by friend and frequent touring partner Colin Hay (Men At Work), Robin signed a licensing and distribution deal with Hypertension for a Winter 2010 European release of Everything Has Changed. The company also did the booking for Robin throughout Europe and after the initial release in Europe, she secured a January 2010 tour with Midge Ure (Ultravox – co-organizer of Live Aid, Band Aid and Live 8).
Janet enjoyed the experience of working with Cash so much that she returned this 2016 to record her latest studio effort “Take me as I am” again with John Carter Cash as executive producer and Chuck Turner producing and engineering: “We have talked at great length about this project and he understands my desire and vision to record an album that is representative of the energy brought out in my live performances,” Robin says of John Carter Cash. “It’s just great to work with a producer that lets me be myself, yet brings out the best in my work. There weren’t many restraints working with John and the vibe and history at Cash Cabin is overwhelmingly inspiring. John seems to “get me.” The official release for “Take me as I am” in the USA will be Oct. 17th, 2016 and the European/UK one will be in January 2017.
She has since had several successful headlining tours in the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, UK, and France where she plays solo acoustic shows, and with a her band, to sold out crowds in clubs (200-400 cap venues) and festivals (1,000’s) across Europe. Janet recently finished a 34 date whirlwind summer tour in 5 countries in Europe, culminating with a featured solo performance at the renowned “Blues & Jazz Festival” in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland.
In addition to pursuing her solo career both in the U.S. and abroad, few musicians are able to work with the great variety of artists that Robin has been fortunate enough to be around. Besides the aforementioned Lindsey Buckingham, Robin has toured, performed with, recorded, or written songs with Tommy Emmanuel, Peppino D’Agostino, Meredith Brooks, Monty Montgomery, Michelle Shocked, Maia Sharp, Marcy Levy (co-writer with Eric Clapton on “Lay Down Sally”), Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), Garrison Starr, Anne McCue and many more. Her most recent side-woman gig was the touring guitarist of Air Supply in 2009. In 2015, She was featured on the bill for the prestigious “All Star Guitar Night” which features some of the top guitar players in the world, during the LA NAMM convention. Touring nearly 150 dates a year with her own project, she has seen her solo career rise to higher and higher levels each year.
Robin has also had songs placed in TV and films such as “One Life to Live,” “All my Children,” “Felicity,” “Free Enterprise,” and many more. She has also recently completed the original score for the short film “Traces” directed by Joseph Culp (actor Robert Culp’s son) and the film was accepted into the prestigious Palm Springs Short Film Festival and the Hollywood Film Awards, in June 2012. In January of 2015, Janet was also hand-picked to coach and consult actress Jennifer Jason Leigh for 2 months on location and in Los Angeles for a special guitar scene in the Quentin Tarantino film, “The Hateful Eight.” The actress was nominated for an Academy Award. And in June/July of 2015 she was also hand picked for the guitar position in the musical “Girlfriend” to rave reviews at The Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, California.
Along with Janet’s busy solo career she has started a side project featuring 4 amazing guitar players- “The String Revolution.” Combining 4 guitarists each with their own unique contribution to a “band” sound. They have finished their first release and it was mixed by the prestigious Matt Hyde in London who worked previously with famed guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela. The record was released Oct. 15, 2016 and touring dates to follow.
However, one need not base their judgment on Robin solely on those with whom she has been associated. Only a listen to her albums or a ticket to one of her shows will prove the opening claim to be true. For what underlies the Janet Robin labels of singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, and road warrior is a single word: musician.
AGES (Normaltown Records), the third release from White Violet, is a record of unprecedented pacing. Bandmates Nate Nelson (songwriter, instrumentalist, producer) and Brad Morgan (instrumentalist, songwriter) plan to release tracks in five digital volumes, two tracks at a time, over the course of one album cycle. At the end, the album will be released on vinyl in its entirety. Each volume is a parcel to unpack and take in, a piece of the gradually unfolding puzzle. Each experience is like a bright correspondence with a stranger who, at the end of which, you meet to hear them speak their heart in full. The album will be written over the course of the cycle–amping emotional proximity to the material onstage–giving AGES an authentic narrative. In an age where we have access to endless streaming, sculpting a record into multiple releases is not only strategic and pioneering, but also an invitation to have a conversation; letting the listener join the band in a slow burn experience. AGES is about feeling time: the time between volumes, the time it takes to become comfortable in your work, the time that marks the experiences behind you and still ahead. Justly, White Violet’s first track of AGES Vol. 1 (releasing May 13) is titled “Time” and introduces a musical transition for the band. Drum machines set a beat to cruising through seconds and thoughts; merging into the synths of the second track, “Both of Our Views”, which send out a call for later tracks to respond. Throughout AGES, Nelson’s vocals and Morgan’s guitar playing will seamlessly move in and out, teasing synth pop territories. Like watching landscape shift through the window of a moving car, the sound design for the album will change over the course of the releases. AGES Vol. 1 was recorded in Nelson’s home studio, Cortright Recordings, and The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, and was fully mixed by Nelson. “This is a stream of consciousness release,” Nelson says. “Songwriting and recording are one in the same for me. I don’t finish songs outside of the studio. The whole recorded composition has to be moving and working together before I’ll consider a song finished. By recording and producing it ourselves, we can take the time to explore each song to its fullest potential.” The band’s live shows, which will take place in tandem with each release, are a blend Nelson’s recording and performing process. The combination creates full sonic stage presence with a stripped down, focused sound. One featuring both live and sequenced drums and bass along with vast looped guitar and synth soundscapes. All highlighted by projected visuals. It is an ever-evolving experience to match the growth of the band. White Violet formed in Athens, Georgia in 2011. Their first record, Hiding, Mingling (2012), was highly conceptual. A struggle within a dreamscape full of spare, sonic references to youthful memories in Georgia. Their second release, Stay Lost (2014), was recorded over the span of a few weeks in Kernersville, NC, with master engineer Scott Solter. The work was focused and isolated making for a satisfying but standardized mode of producing music. Ethereal guitars, airtight melodies, and eccentric and galvanizing rhythms proved creative prowess. But now, with AGES, the creative process is alive as time passes, and it moves and breathes as the band works and lives. It is intimate and artistically immediate. Savor the story; it is one for the ages.
Franks & Deans started in the winter of 2013, by Rob DeTie, and Michael “Pip” Ullemeyer. Armed with a Punk Rock background, and a half assed attempt at life, they set out to destroy, and annoy, the world, one crooner classic at a time. In December of that year, Jordan “HOSS” Hoss brought his “Tattooed Crooner” act to the group, adding more vocal arrangements, and range, previously unobtainable by DeTie. After a string of shows, opening for the likes of the Reverend Horton Heat, the Toasters, and New Cold War, the band decided to reluctantly persuade Ryan “Arpee Sampson III” Sampson to move from the landlocked paradise of Boise, Idaho, to Las Vegas, in September of 2014. This addition brought a third harmony, and mediocre guitar playing, that has enticed the fans to walk out the door to this day. Their combination of Ska, Punk, and songs of yesteryear has been enough to make “Old Blue Eyes” turn grey. In October of 2015, they released “How Did You All Get In My Room”, on Squidhat Records, to mild reviews. Along with their twirling pixie, Miss Nickole Muse, they’ve been playing coast to coast, to anyone who gives a damn. For a great combination of all things Frank, Sammy, Jello, and Joey, make sure to check out Franks & Deans in a town near you.
You wanted the meh, you got the meh. Here’s Franks & Deans!
PARTYBABY is the LA based 4 piece fronted by Jamie Reed and Noah Gersh, who, despite being only in their mid-20s, are both veterans of the modern rock scene (Gersh with Portugal. The Man and Reed with 30 Seconds to Mars). Their music can perhaps best be described as loud, hook-heavy rock in the spirit of Nirvana, Cheap Trick, Weezer, Ziggy-era Bowie, The Stooges, Smashing Pumpkins and The Cars. Their self-produced debut album, The Golden Age of Bullshit, is mixed by Andy Wallace (Nirvana, The Cult, Run-DMC, Jeff Buckley).
George West is the moniker of Vik Montemayor, a seasoned drummer turned producer who explores an eclectic mix of sounds, interspersing chilled melodies with hints of abstract yet solid drum patterns. Largely inspired by road trips and beach getaways, the project is named after a small town in South Texas, which West passed during 8 hour road trips between Houston and Dr. Gonzalez, Mexico as a child.
Montemayor has already built up a following around his live set, and has played a number of festivals including Free Press Summer Festival.
From samples of matachines dancing in downtown Mexico; water dripping into a puddle; and sounds in the woods, the life of West’s music comes from field samples recorded on his iPhone, which are then chopped, and worked into a song.
Citing the diversity of growing up between a small town outside of Monterrey, Mexico and Houston, Texas as being a big influence in his music, Montemayor creates music evocative of calmness, road trips, beach getaways with a loved one, wide open spaces, country side, sunsets, or just a trip on your own to find yourself.
From the Keeping It Weird land of Austin, Texas comes the epitome of that town’s gloriously quirky musical ways, it’s the return of the mighty Uranium Savages! SteadyBoy Records is thrilled to have these musical savages back again for their second release with the label. This time, the loose aggregation of Austin luminaries brought in producer Shawn Sahm to inject a heaping helping of TexMex in the spirit of their old pal (and his dad), Doug Sahm. It’s a good fit for the comedic musical stylings of this rowdy bunch. Once again, the song titles tell you a lot, like “Make Austin Great Again,” “Get Loose,” and “Gotta Rock,” (as in “in my shoe”). And once again, we can’t name all the titles because a Parental Advisory warning label comes with this release, too. The Uranium Savages. They gotta rock. In their shoe.
–Rush Evans SteadyBoy Records
1974. It was a special time in Texas for music. A new sound was emerging and taking flight. There was a warmth to it, an easygoing feel unlike anything that had come before. It didn’t sound like Nashville, and that was the idea. It sounded like the laid-back time and place from which it sprang. In fact, that was the very reason Willie Nelson left Tennessee and headed home to Texas in the first place. Jerry Jeff Walker, BW Stevenson, and so many other musicians with a meaningful story to tell fell right in with the new scene, the new sound, the new Texas music. They called it progressive country, outlaw country, redneck rock, a bunch of things. But at the end of the day, it was just music with heart. Rex Foster was a step ahead of the rest. He was in that magical hill country town called Luckenbach before all of them. In fact, he’d already put out an album in 1969, years ahead of Willie’s beard. He was the real deal among singing Texas troubadours.
And he still is. Rex still makes music, that is, when he’s not making jewelry out of dug up bones. And his two creative worlds just collided with his latest excavation: he found the tapes of his unreleased album from the summer of that year, 1974. It sounds like Texas, it sounds like 1974, it sounds like Rex Foster, and it’s a rare gem. SteadyBoy Records is extremely proud to release Rex’s Lost Recordings. They were made in a place called Comfort, Texas, fittingly enough. It’s never too late to go back to Comfort and 1974. Rex Foster can take you there and then.
Lone Star Hippie started out as a few other free thinking Texas bands have. A vision, a guitar, and a garage. Founder, Michael Morris is not new to music. Morris got his first drum set at age 9, and by age 12 he was playing professionally full time. By age 18, he had expanded his musical talents to include singing, playing guitar, and songwriting. Throughout his career, Morris has played and toured worldwide for a number of bands and is featured on multiple studio recordings. In 2012, he was featured on the Grammy nominated album “Can’t Sit Down” with CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band.
In 2006 Morris began writing ideas into song, which eventually lead him to record LSH’s first album. With his son, Chanse Morris, behind the drum kit and family friend Gus Hieden filling in on bass, the then trio formed the vision of what is now “Lone Star Hippie.” In the summer of ’09 Mike was blessed to meet Houston studio producer and engineer, Frank Davis. In the 1960’s Davis worked for Walt Andrus Studios. Along with record label International Artist, they recorded many of the legendary Texas psychedelic bands such as: The 13th Floor Elevators (Roky Erickson), The Golden Dawn (George Kinney), The Moving Sidewalks (Billy Gibbons) The Red Krayola, The Lost and Found, The Bubble Puppy, blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins and more. Frank invited Lone Star Hippie into his studio to record their debut album, with Jerry Page engineering. Page founded the TX psyche punk band “Crust” and has toured and recorded with “Chrome/Helios Creed” and “The Crazy World of Arthur Brown”. In August of 2010 Lone Star Hippie’s self-titled debut album was released; featuring Michael Morris (songs/vocals/guitar/bass), Chanse Morris (drums), Gus Hieden (bass), and 2014 Grammy Award Winner, Stan Chambers on lead guitar.
After the release of the album, Jerry Page joined LSH on bass guitar for select shows, replacing Hieden. Page is rock solid, with a great ear for music. There’s a brilliant rawness about his style. Leading the bass-line, is Lone Star Hippie’s newest member, William vonReichbauer, who also plays with the Houston based trio “The Mean .44’s”. His upright bass is completing reinventing some of LSH, and we are thrilled to have him join us and are excited for the transition! Chanse Morris is a driving force on drums; contributing an aggressive rock-style to the band. Chanse was still in high school when featured on Lone Star Hippie’s first album, and has become a major player in the progression and direction of the band. Lead guitarist, Morgan Wright (T-Bird) joined the band in 2010, shortly after the first album was released. Michael Morris and Wright are long time friends and schoolmates; growing up together in Baytown, TX. Wright brings his own style of songwriting, training and musical grooves to the table and can hold his own with Houston’s finest lead guitarists. Miranda Herbert Aston joined LSH in April 2014 on vocals, flute, and percussion. Herbert is trained in music, with degrees in the Theater Arts. She has a look and style that’s often compared to Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and brings a new, enlightening element to the band.
Morris’ main musical influence derives from 60’s psychedelic rock music. It’s this influence that weaves throughout Lone Star Hippie’s sound. From desperate soulful ballads, to melodic lyrical head bobbers, to spinning fuzz driven soul shakers, Lone Star Hippie always rocks the stage wherever they perform! LSH continues to grow and evolve as a unit and is currently in the studio with Richard Cagle, CEO of Montrose Records, arranging and putting it together for the second album. The mojo is there and the vision is clear: to make soulful, psyche-infused music.
Lone Star Hippie is like a rock-n-roll groove gumbo, where the more ingredients you add the better. Throw in some of life’s personal trials and journeys through the mind, body, and spirit, and LSH sends a better message to all in this modern day.
Rocksteady and traditional ska music from a 7-piece band of hooligans.