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.
An alt-country band with punk roots, Vandoliers formed in 2015, bringing together a group of Dallas-Fort Worth musicians led by frontman Joshua Fleming.
Fiercely proud of their homeland, Vandoliers put their own spin on the Texas country tradition with 2016’s Ameri-Kinda, a debut album that mixed honky-tonk twang with hard-edged, rock & roll stomp. The band’s follow-up release, The Native, arrives less than one year, doubling down on Vandoliers’ modern approach to traditional influences. Rounded out by bassist Mark Moncrieff, drummer Guyton Sanders, fiddler Travis Curry, electric guitarist Dustin Fleming, and multi-instrumentalist Cory Graves, the group fills The Native’s 10 songs with barreling guitar solos, train beats, anthemic melodies, mariachi horns, and the autobiographical details of Fleming’s own travels.
“I grew up in Texas,” the singer says, “and I wanted to write about why I loved it. I wanted to use myself as a character for my own songs. The Native goes through all our favorite styles of Texas music, and tells my story along the way.”
A tribute to the band’s Texas homeland, The Native takes its listener through a swirl of East Dallas dive bars, Pantego pool halls, small towns, big cities, and the rolling ribbon of bluebonnet-covered highway that stretches throughout the state. Along the way, Fleming sings about getting drunk, getting arrested, and getting it on. Behind him, the band kicks up a storm of Western swing, electric blues, roadhouse rock & roll, Tejano, cowboy country, and twangy punk, saluting everyone from fellow Texans Bob Wills to ZZ Top in the process. There are songs about leaving town. Songs about coming home. Songs about the short-lived romances that spark, burn, and fade in roadside bars, and songs about the lasting relationships that await back at home. It’s a full cycle — a detailed exploration of what it means to truly belong somewhere.
“I was born September 1st in a little town outside Fort Worth,” goes the first line of the album’s kickoff track, “Bluebonnet Highway.” If The Native unfolds like a coming-of-age movie, then “Bluebonnet Highway” is the opening scene: a fast-moving montage of clips from Fleming’s home, filled with neighborhood girls, traffic lights and the state flowers that bloom every spring. From there, Fleming and company hit the highway with “Rolling Out,” a fiddle-fueled, horn-filled salute to the road, and wax nostalgic with the epic, driving “Endless Summer.” By the album’s end, they’re back in Dallas-Ft. Worth, spilling all the details of their journey to a friend in “Welcome Home.”
For Fleming, the real journey started years ago, when his sister took him to a Bad Religion concert. That night left a permanent impression on the young teen, who left the show inspired to make his own music. Years later, he earned his first audience as the frontman of the Phuss, a rowdy punk band that toured nationally. Business was good, but Fleming’s personal life was heading south, with songs like “I Don’t Feel Good” hinting at a troubled mind. After bottoming out, he resurfaced by meeting his future wife, falling in love, swapping his electric guitar for an acoustic, and writing a batch of songs that his country-loving partner might enjoy. Vandoliers were born, with many of those new songs filling the tracklist on the band’s Ameri-Kinda debut.
Recorded in the same studio where Willie Nelson made Red Headed Stranger, The Native was tracked to tape by producer John Pedigo. The album was finished in four days, capturing the spark and spunk of a live band whose tour dates have included shows with the Jayhawks, Old 97’s and Reverend Horton Heat. Released on the heels of Ameri-Kinda, The Native isn’t just a story about where Vandoliers have been. It’s a sign of where they’re going. It’s twang and tattoos, grit and guitars, honky-tonk and horns, Tejano and Telecasters. It’s Vandoliers.
Immediately after the in-store performance, Mucky Duck ticket-holders for the 9:30 performance will be allowed to have a meet & greet with Sarah Peacock on Hank Williams Sr.’s bus.
If you think Wonder Woman is a badass, then you’ll definitely want to meet Sarah Peacock. 1.2 million miles, 2,800 shows, and fourteen years of nonstop crushing it while flying solo is one heck of a road trip. Sarah Peacock bridges gaps between Country, Blues, Americana, and Rock-N-Roll. Her music is raw, truth telling, and fiercely unique. Essentially, at all times, Peacock is victoriously defeating the forces of evil with glorious Amazonian strength and valor.
Held hostage by a record label at 21, the troubadour life came with a rude awakening for the young Georgia native. Peacock made her home in a ‘92 Volvo with her dog and a guitar, and for nearly seven years earned a living in the corner shadows of American dive bars.
The tables turned in 2011 when an anonymous fan helped her buy out her recording contract. Since then she has released six albums, winning multiple awards for her songwriting. “Hurricane” won Best Song in the American Songwriting Awards, and “Beautiful” was a winner with International Unsigned Only. “The Cool Kids,” and “Are We There Yet” have nominated her for Best Female Artist and Best Song in a number of songwriting competitions. Peacock was also named Listening Room Network’s Artist of the Year.
But the dark side takes another swing in 2015. And, big Nashville promises are especially good at grave digging. From RCA Studio A “project golden child” to street orphan practically overnight, Peacock was ghosted by her entire team and producer without explanation. Spirits crushed, she hit the road. Solo. Again. That was the catalyst that launched her next album, “Dream On,” and landed Sarah her first tour bus. But less than 4 months later, she was watching it burn to the ground at a California truck stop. Sarah’s fans quickly came to the rescue with a fundraiser, which is what kept her on the road. That special connection between Sarah and her fans is what put her in Hank Williams Jr.’s former tour bus, one year after the devastating loss. “You have to be unstoppable, even when you don’t believe you are.” That’s the Modus Operandi for the now half Tennessean, half Texan road warrior.
When she’s off the road, Peacock is active in the anti-bullying and animal rescue communities. She helped start a rock school for kids and recently formed her own 501(c)3, The Band Waggin,’ benefiting animal health and rescue programs.
In 2017, she signed with In Tune Entertainment and American Roots Records. Peacock is sponsored by Taylor Guitars, Fender, 1964 Audio, Strymon, and Mississippi Cold Drip Coffee. Her upcoming EP, “Hot Sheet Motel,” is a collection of 5 songs that reveal the secrets of one woman’s journey through the shadows.
Wreckless Eric is Eric Goulden. He was given the name to hide behind. After a while he realized he was stuck with it. Onstage he hides behind nothing, he tells the truth with big open chords, lilting enchantment, squalls of feedback, dissonance, bizarre stories and backchat.
Eric began his recording life on Stiff Records in 1977 with his enduring hit Whole Wide World when he was little more than an ex-teenage art student. Eventually he sidestepped the mechanics of stardom to become Britain’s biggest underground household name, much loved and often underestimated.
He shuns the dictates of nostalgia and doesn’t do comebacks for the simple reason that he never went away. His 2015 album ‘amERICa’ reminded those who’ve kept the faith and new generations of fans what he’s all about.
“Many artists of Wreckless Eric’s era and tradition have imitators, but few of yesteryear’s outliers can catch up with their descendants, let alone best them. amERICa is that rare record.” Pitchfork
He won’t recreate 1978 for you, he’ll blow your mind instead.
Forty two years of touring and recording have left Eric in good shape and his brand new album Construction Time & Demolition does exactly what the title suggests.
He’s coming to town.
Construction Time & Demolition – the new Wreckless Eric / Eric Goulden album – out 30th March 2018
Forming in Austin, Texas in the summer of 2015, Lola Tried began as a project started by local singer/songwriter Lauren Burton. After meeting Ray Garza (Lead Guitar, Keys) in August 2015, she decided to form a full band project, adding Ray Flynt on drums and Greg Spencer on bass. Taking influence from the likes of Swearin’ and Lemuria, Lola Tried blends melodic vocals with the grittiness of modern indie rock. After spending the summer in the studio, Lola Tried released “Popsicle Queen” in February 2017.
Big Bill was formed in 2011 by brothers Eric and Cody Braden, along with their old high school buddy David Fitzhugh. They developed a particular sound, at once aggressive and sardonic, straightforward yet kinda nonsensical, based on a worship of bands such as The Monks and Big Boys, and a tendency to go for long walks in the sun and let their brains melt. Various lineup changes (due to illness and life) later, Big Bill continue to sharpen their edge in the wonderful world of Austin underground music, performing many times at Hotel Vegas, Cheer Up Charlie’s, Beerland, Barracuda, The Mohawk, Sahara Lounge, Swan Dive, The Sidewinder, etc. Longtime drummer Alan Lauer is a powerhouse drummer with elegant precision and a clock-like mind. Alex Riegelman plays bass like a pit stop crew changes a tire: fast, efficient, and with flair. They continue to write and record, and are looking to release their debut LP sometime in 2017.
The Bayou Saints, led by the incomparable vocalist, Arséne DeLay, combines rock, jazz, and country to create a unique genre-defying New Orleans sound.
“Jon Read is an artist and a musician. With his band, the Wiggins, he makes the kind of music that they’ll play on oldies stations fifty years from now after the plug gets pulled, the blood gets spilled, the power returns, and people get back to partying like they party right now. The Wiggins’ music is a loud, hissing mix of idiosyncratic garage and punk, and Blues.”
– Tex Kershcen, Indian Jewelry
“What better way is there to express yourself than through music?” asks singer-songwriter Chelsea Williams. Her question is almost rhetorical, as Williams, in full obedience to her heart’s most urgent commands, documents her emotions in song in ways that can feel astonishing. Sometimes those feelings are carefree and luminous; other times they’re troubled and turbulent. But when channeled through her captivating voice and intoxicating melodies, they work their way into the thicket of your senses before coming to rest in your soul.
Whether Williams is the music industry’s best- or worst-kept-secret is open to debate. Sure, she’s performed on The Today Show and has opened for big names such as the Avett Brothers and Dwight Yoakam, and she’s even had a high-profile guest shot on a Maroon 5 video, dueting with Adam Levine on the group’s No. 1 smash “Daylight (Playing For Change).”
But the truly incredible part of the golden-voiced chanteuse’s story has taken place at Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, where she’s performed acoustically for the past few years. During these appearances, Williams has managed to move an unprecedented 100,000 copies of her three indie records – Chelsea Williams, Decoration Aisle and The Earth & the Sea. Her customer base has even included the likes of Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard, who was so impressed by what he heard that he bought a CD. Even one of Williams’ biggest influences, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, walked away with an album.
“The Promenade is huge part of my life,” says Williams. “It’s one of the only spots that I know of in Los Angeles that has such a high volume of foot traffic. People are out and about enjoying themselves, and they know that they’re going to hear musicians. It’s incredible when I get comments like, ‘I was having a really bad day, but your music totally brought me out of it.’ That’s what I love about music myself – the ability to take somebody on a journey that they weren’t planning on.”
Kirk Pasich, President of Blue Élan Records, might not have been anticipating such a journey when he first caught one of Williams’ outdoor gigs, but he quickly knew it was one he wanted to take over and over. And so now we have Williams’ debut on Blue Élan, Boomerang, a thoroughly winning and transcendent mix of Americana, indie-folk and lush pop that places the young artist front and center among the preeminent performers of the day. “My aim with this record was to maintain integrity, creatively and musically,” she states. “I wanted to let creativity rule the process and not be afraid to step outside of what was expected of me.”
Williams musical journey began early. Born in Columbus, Ohio, she was still an infant when her mother picked her up for a move to Glendale, California. “My mom had dreams of being a songwriter herself,” she explains. “She was always writing and playing guitar and singing around the house. I used to fall asleep in the living room while listening to her playing music with her friends. I think it all sort of seeped into my head and stayed with me.”
It wasn’t long before Williams joined in on her mother’s living room jams. “It just seemed very natural to me,” she says. “Music always pulled me in. We would go to Disneyland, and I would always run toward the stage whenever a band was playing. I just wanted to be a part of it.” Her mother’s CD collection – Carole King, Todd Rundgren and James Taylor were favorites – made the first impression on Williams, but she soon discovered Bob Dylan. “We didn’t agree on Dylan,” Williams laughs. “I think my mother didn’t like his voice, but it seemed so beautiful to me.”
By the age of 13, Williams took up the guitar and started writing her own first songs. “It seemed so normal to me because that’s what my mom and her friends were doing,” she remembers. “I didn’t even worry about whether what I was writing was good or bad. I just enjoyed doing it.” In high school, her listening habits included solo artists such as Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan and Elliott Smith, but she eventually discovered bands like Radiohead and the Pixies. Williams recalls how hanging out with the “indie rock kids” at school led to an interesting musical exchange: “I introduced them to Dylan, and they hipped me to Death Cab for Cutie. It was pretty cool.”
Even before graduation, Williams hit the local clubs and coffee houses, and once she had her diploma in hand she made her way onto the stages of Hollywood, performing at the Knitting Factory, Hotel Café, Room 5, and On the Rocks. “They were great learning experiences, but in truth, I didn’t like to play those gigs,” she explains. “They didn’t pay very well, and you oftentimes had to go out of pocket just for the chance to be seen and heard.” Williams discovered that busking on the streets of Glendale offered a better opportunity to get her music across. “There were people walking around with Starbucks cups, and you had little kids trying to break dance,” she says. “The people really listened.” From there, she decided to take her act to the burgeoning outdoor scene of the Third Street Promenade.
With the Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean as her backdrop, Williams truly found her voice. Recording her music on her own (“I did a lot on my computer with GarageBand”), she found enthusiastic buyers willing to lay down $5 and $10 a CD. Connections were made – people gave her business cards and asked her to sing on sessions – one of them being producer Toby Gad, famous for his work with Beyonce and Natasha Bedingfield. The two worked on a collection of songs that yielded a full album, which strangely enough, resulted in Williams’ first taste of heartbreak.
“Toby pitched me to Interscope, and they bit,” she explains. “They said, ‘We love you and we love the album, and we want to release it as soon as possible.’ I was thrilled.” And then, a perplexing thing happened… as in nothing happened. “The label wanted me to do more writing, which I did, but then it became obvious that they weren’t going to release the album,” she says. “I couldn’t understand it.”
At first, Williams was crushed and even briefly considered quitting music (“I considered becoming a geologist”), but after extricating herself from the deal she realized it was all for the best. “After I got some distance from the album I’d recorded, I felt like it didn’t represent me anymore,” she says. “So I dusted myself off and hit the streets again, and after a while things came back around.”
By the time Williams met up with Kirk Pasich at the Promenade, she had a batch of new songs that would fully reflect her commitment to processing emotions with honesty, courage, hope and humor. Working with producer and multi-instrumentalist Ross Garren (Kesha, Ben Folds, Benmont Tench), she turned those songs into Boomerang, an album that grows in depth and meaning with each listen.
On the wistful pop symphony opener “Angeles Crest,” Williams paints a vivid picture of her childhood, envisioning the mountains she and her mother once drove by. With clear-eyed perception she looks back at the road once traveled and stares down the future on “Fool’s Gold” (“I wrote it right when I parted ways with my prior label. It’s me processing the situation”). Opening her throat with the bracing line “I was frozen by a mighty cold wind,” Williams further recounts that painful label experience on the aching country ballad “Dreamcatcher.” “Out of Sight” is a striking, chilling piece of torch-song blues, on which she casts off a previous personal entanglement with the mantra “out of sight, out of mind.” But on the buoyant, aptly titled “Rush” she finds herself caught up in the dizzying first flush of a new love. “It’s all about being in that moment,” she says, “all the crazy fears and hopes that come with the possibilities of a relationship.”
A stronger, wiser but no less hopeful Williams looks back on the recording of Boomerang thusly: “For me, this record has been an exercise in taking the reins and forging my own path in music and in life. I had never been given a record budget that came with so much creative control before. With that kind of freedom came a greater sense of responsibility and a greater pride in the work we were creating. I am so proud of the record Ross and I created.”
And with a characteristic note of levity, she adds, “I’m so happy that I didn’t give up music to become a geologist.”
Based in Houston USA, ‘Texas Mod Crushers’ play punk rock songs in the old school style of
speed freak, bastard offspring of 50’s straight up rock ’n’ roll. Doing originals and a few well chosen covers, TMC are a 5 piece that formed in 2010; the name coming from a common
ownership and love of classic old British café racer bikes and a vibrant banter and camaraderie
with vintage scooter enthusiasts in and around Houston.
Most of the current line up were around when punk kicked off so are steeped in the energy and
musical revolution of that era. Co-founder, lead guitar and joint lead vocalist, Texas Dick
Mankowski has an illustrious career going back to the mid 1980’s. He believes in the classic
Gibson-into-Marshall recipe for a spicy rock tone. Lead vocals are shared with fellow co-founder,
Bassist Andrew Wupper, an aficionado of all things punk rock, and rhythm guitar is provided by
the formidable ‘Skunk’. Drums are battered by English interloper, Phil Walsh, and latest recruit,
Mel Hell on vocal duty is a renowned ‘ high priestess of Joan Jett-style music previously fronting Houston’s rock’n’punk band Zipperneck.
In early October, the band released a debut 4 track CD; ‘Just For Kicks’ in association with Ace
Corner Barber, where they headlined the Ace Corner rock event on Friday night and closed out
the whole weekend on Saturday. Just For Kicks has quickly picked up radio play and attention in
the UK. One track is featuring on the CD issued with December’s Vive Le Rock magazine
1 David Ensminger – Houston Press
With Blues rock guitar and bass alongside vocals reminiscent of Dead Kennedys, Texas Mod
Crushers play punk rock songs with an old-school speed freak twist. Vive Le Rock magazine
of TMC track ‘Papa Whiskey’ that features on their ‘RECHARGE’ CD .15 of 2016’s YearBusting
Tracks. Texas Mod Crushers; the name pretty much sums it up the fury and attitude of this pulsequickening thrashy alt-rock new CD that came our way. Café Racer Magazine – December 2016
A band that everyone needs to see live, Texas Mod Crushers will bring their Texas punk to
life in three piece suits, while playing three chord punk in style. David Garrick – Free Press
You Ain’t Punk took over Fitzgerald’s on Saturday as Houston / Texas based acts performed
sets of covers of their favorite punk rock heroes…. Texas Mod Crushers took on Social
Distortion, and usually when a band decides to cover Social Distortion it turns into a poor Mike
Ness impersonation but this wasn’t the case Saturday night. The band perfectly channeled
the spirit of “Social D” nailing songs like “Sick Boys” and “Story of my Life”. Mike Damante –
Houston Chronicle 2015