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).
Kat Edmonson (born August 3, 1983) is an American vintage-pop vocalist, songwriter, and actress. She has released three albums to date, two of which debuted and peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Heatseekers chart. Her fourth studio album, “Old Fashioned Gal” will be released on April 27, 2018 under Spinnerette Records.
While typically associated with the jazz genre, Kat Edmonson’s compositions incorporate traditional pop, chamber pop, early Rock ‘n’ roll, blues, bossa nova, country pop and folk, as well as more traditional jazz and swing styling. Edmonson coined the term “vintage pop” to describe the type of music she makes and defines it as being reminiscent of “popular music from bygone eras”.
Sue Foley is a multi-award-winning musician and of one of the finest blues and roots artists working today. She is a veritable triple-threat of musical talent as a guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist. As with many blues women of the past, Foley has a long history of defying convention and being a positive role model for aspiring, young female musicians.
The Canadian has been working professionally since the age of 16, and by the age of 21, Foley had relocated to Austin, TX and began recording for Antone’s—the esteemed blues label and historic nightclub that helped launch the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others. In the two decades that have followed, Sue Foley has been busy touring and recording steadily, all while toting her signature pink paisley Fender Telecaster. In 2001, she won the prestigious Juno Award (Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) and also holds the record for the most Maple Blues Awards and has earned three Trophies de Blues de France. She has also garnered several nominations at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN.
With 11 recordings under her own name, an instructional DVD and book, as well as various compilations and projects, Foley is set to release her new album, The Ice Queen (March 2, 2018) on Stony Plain Records. “I’m extremely excited to be working with Holger Petersen and Stony Plain Records. Holger is one of the most knowledgeable “real music” people in the business”, says Foley. “Stony Plain is known to put out great music and I know The Ice Queen has found her home.”
Recorded throughout 2017, The Ice Queen represents Foley’s full circle journey – her return to the roots of her career in Austin with producer Mike Flanigin. The album was recorded with her long-time friends and collaborators Jimmie Vaughan and Billy F Gibbons (ZZ Top) as well Chris ‘Whipper’ Layton from Double Trouble, Charlie Sexton, and members of the Tedeschi Trucks and Gary Clark Jr bands.
“When I was a teenager I idolized Jimmie Vaughan and Billy F Gibbons,” Foley says. “They’re both legends now so this feels like a historical event (at least it does for me). And I grew up sitting at the feet of players like George ‘Big Beat’ Rains, Derek O’Brien and The Texas Horns. I spent many nights watching Charlie Sexton and the Arc Angels with Chris Layton. I learned and grew more musically in my years in Austin than at any point in my life. The fact that all these mega-talented musicians have graced my album is beyond anything I hoped for. I am still pinching myself.”
A flood of inspiration and themes can be found on each of the tracks – ranging from lost love, anguish, and struggle to release forgiveness and rebirth. Mostly recorded live-off-the-floor, Foley’s emotional vocal delivery, conviction, accessible yet inspired lyrics and intrepid guitar playing are all laid out, bare and raw for the songs to reveal.
Opening with the radio-friendly and funky “Come to Me”, The Ice Queen also features upbeat and rollicking tracks “Run”, “The Lucky Ones” (a duet with Jimmie Vaughan) and “Gaslight”. There are several bluesy and soulful tracks including “81”, “The Ice Queen”, “Fool’s Gold” (featuring Billy F Gibbons on vocals and harmonica)”, “If I Have Forsaken You”, and a cheeky, guitar-heavy cover of Bessie Smith’s “Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair”. Foley also provides some more mellow and unexpected songs on The Ice Queen with the jazzy “Death of a Dream”, the flamenco-blues hybrid “The Dance” and a beautiful cover of the Carter Family’s “Cannonball Blues”.
The Ice Queen represents Sue Foley’s indefatigable commitment to her craft, and her transparency with the journey that birthed her, further proving that you can’t keep a good blueswoman down, particularly when she is The Ice Queen.
Halo Circus are a highly acclaimed Los Angeles based electronic duo featuring star singer Allison Iraheta and producer Matthew Hager. Formerly a four piece rock band, Halo Circus have returned as a compelling synth-pop duo, with a sparkling new album Robots and Wranglers, mixed by Grammy Award winner Craig Bauer (Rihanna, Kanye West). The record is a concept album that sees the duo at the top of their game, seemingly right at home making a stylistic electronic record that feels like it was always there, right in the duo’s creative wheelhouse. Gone are the rock stylings of Bunny, replaced this time around with finely crafted synth-pop gems, clad with sometimes minimal, occasionally lush electronic arrangements. What remains in the fold is Iraheta’s recognizably dark vocals and introspective lyrical approach—hallmarks of the band and the kind of superstar traits that have won over fans nationwide. The album is already being hailed as “a cinematic, electronic work of fiction set in 2018.”
The recent flurry of attention surrounding Halo Circus has resulted in massive opportunities for the group. Allison Iraheta has lended her powerhouse vocals to various notable projects, including appearing on the recent NIN EP “Add Violence,” on the song “Less Than.” In addition, new FOX singing competition The Four—featuring Sean Combs, DJ Khaled, and Meghan Trainor—reached out to Allison to help work on the pilot, citing her as a trailblazing artist that is pushing the boundaries of music and the business of music. More recently, Allison performed at renowned industry giant Clive Davis’ Grammy party, in a duet with superstar Latin crossover artist Luis Fonsi on the track, “Echamela La Culpa.”
With the release of Robots and Wranglers arriving this Spring, Halo Circus’ future is lit with a newfound optimism. More at home as a duo than ever before, Iraheta and Hager have tapped into the reduced essence of their creativity and are ready for their formal arrival. Armed with a new album of inspiring electro-pop tracks, and one of the most supportive fanbases in the country, they will be hitting the road this March on a nationwide tour.
Greg Cote loves his friends, to begin with. There can be no doubt whatsoever about that. So much does he love friends and friendship that he went on his first tour, LONG before he was ready to do so, simply to so he could finally meet a long time internet pal. That weeklong trip around Texas changed Greg forever. When he got home he kept writing and kept trying his best to put the sounds in his head out into the world. When the sounds became too numerous and intense for just one person he called his real-life friend Jolene who he had secretly wanted to be in a band with for ages. Jolene is a top shelf bassist and all around solid human the match just made sense. Greg happened to run into Moe while attending a midnight showing of Space Jam and that just seemed to perfect of a meeting to not invite him to be in the band right then and there. They played their first show as a full band July 30th, 2016 and since then the jams have flowed like a river. For us it’s about the music bIt’sits also about the people. It’s about real connections. Its about loving the people and things you love with no sense of irony or shame. Lets all be Real Life Friends.
“The horn-heavy, continually evolving collective Free Radicals produces a wildly eclectic fusion that has as many influences as there are items in the Houston, Texas, pawnshop in which they honed their sound during all-night jam sessions.” – The New Yorker
In 1998, Free Radicals’ first CD “The Rising Tide Sinks All” warned against George W. Bush’s Iraq War four years before it started. Pakistan’s leading English newspaper, Dawn, later referred to the CD as “a premonition waiting to become true.” In 2012, Free Radicals’ fourth CD “The Freedom Fence” satirized nationalism and border walls four years before Trump made them a cornerstone of his campaign for president. Now on its 22nd year, Free Radicals presents a new 7″ “No State Solution,” their seventh release. Following quickly on the success of their 6th CD, “Outside the Comfort Zone,” No State Solution includes remixes by Nick Cooper and DJ Sun.
Free Radicals is a horn-driven instrumental dance band with a commitment to peace and justice, and is the 13-time winner for “Best Jazz” in the Houston Press Music Awards. Equally comfortable performing in clubs, street protests, punk rock house-parties, art openings, weddings, funerals, and breakdance competitions, Free Radicals prides itself in adaption, and in hitting the streets to support targeted populations.
“They know how to play and aren’t afraid to take you places you’ve never been. A winner throughout—just be sure to strap in before lift off.” — Midwest Record
“I’ve fallen in love with their raucous style in only 4 bars… their music isn’t just on the edge, it’s fallen off the cliff!” — Contemporary Fusion Reviews
“Everything seems to energize by drawing on an inexhaustible source.” — Music Zoom (Italy)
“Redefines serious jazz.” — Lemon Wire
“The beautifully constructed music here just goes straight to your feet.” — Jazz Views
“Quite a special band, with a very special album.” — Gonzo Weekly
“With each song a concise tidbit, even if the solos are stratospheric, they return to earth quickly. Fun and frantic!” — Jazz Weekly
“Free Radicals create unique songs that plant themselves firmly on their own unique planets.” — The Vinyl Anachronist
“The [band]… consistently opposes war, and supports environmentalists, civil rights fighters, immigrants to the US. It equally consistently criticizes the establishment, the presidents – from Bush to, of course, Trump, as
well as ‘well-fed America,’ which indifferently watches what is happening in the ‘third world’ countries.” –Jazz Quad (Russia)
Raised mostly in a holler on the border of West Virginia and Virginia. Formed this past summer while working on a cattle ranch in East Texas. This family band is a second generation alt-country four piece that brings garage-rock speed and power, southern rock harmonies and Modest Mousey punk pomp to their music.
After working, practicing and finding their sound, Western Star jumped headlong into playing as many shows as possible: Texas to Baltimore, Baltimore to Boston. Regularly gigging over the past two years, they’ve opened up for Old 97’s at a sold-out 9:30 Club in Washington D.C., are able to pack the Ottobar in Baltimore, and, hitting Manhattan’s Mercury Lounge early on as a headlining act, Western Star has been rocking nightclubs in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Asbury Park, Baltimore, Harrisonburg, Virginia Beach, Raleigh, Greensboro, Nashville, Mobile, New Orleans, Shreveport, Tyler, Dallas and Austin, getting around and doing two week legs and weekends as much as they can handle. They’re new album, Fireball, is available via Saustex Records
Bayou City Funk is a collection of All-star musicians and brass players that have come
together to form (one of) Houston’s premiere funk band. All members have been involved with
other musical projects, but a shared passion for funk and roots music was the catalyst that
forged this talented group of seasoned players. Drawing inspiration from the originators and
pioneers, to the heavy hitters shaping the modern funk scene, BCF built their unique sound
that spans the spectrum of funk. Their debut album ‘Down to Funk’ captures both the eclectic
funkiness of the Bayou City, and the spirit of their high-energy performances.
Galveston, Texas might be known as a coastal destination for Texas vacationers, but for the pedal soaked music of El Lago, Galveston is home. Mixing sounds that remind you of what would happen if Cocteau Twins and Ringo Deathstarr covered the music of Spiritualized, the band has been known to cause a stir with their dreamlike performances.
The four piece has always crafted plenty of soundscapes to complement the vocals of lead singer and guitarist Lauren Eddy, and their recent recordings with Austin Sepulvado (Buxton, Dollie Barnes, Ancient Cat Society) and Grammy winning engineer Steve Christensen (Robert Ellis, Khruangbin, Destiny’s Child, Steve Earle) seem to capture the magic that the band crafts together.
Debut full length Colors is out now on Miss Champagne Records. The band is set to perform and tour in support of the album, including a set at In Bloom Music Festival and an August tour.
Performing songs from the new Guess Genes album as well as the Ancient Cat Society album which was just issued on vinyl.