Roots Americana with New Orleans brass, beat up piano, strings, fiddle, and poetic, stirring lyrics that hearken to Keats, Rambeau, and Kerouac, tied to together to sound like Charlie Chaplin movies look.
Born a full turn from the white picket fences of America, Craig Kinsey was raised on Southern lore from a family of moon shiners. His teenage years were spent train hopping, walking, and driving across the country in search of ‘the old days’ Guthrie, Kerouac, and John Lee Hooker.’ This seeking out the marrow of life led him into the great silence of a monastery and out again into music’s center stage.
Growing up, Kinsey explains, meant living the hobo and prophet’s life that was so captivating in the stories his Grandmother would tell. ‘I heard it all around kitchen tables, where there was usually money, playing cards, and knives.’ This love for ‘the story’ sparked a personal study of old music, poetry, and history. He found a common thread running through works like The Underground by Dostoevsky, the French film Les Enfant Du Paradise, and American classics like The Moviegoer and Freaks. Art and a deep living of life lead Kinsey down another unusual bend.
An extraordinary new voice in country music, 18-year-old Mary Sarah unites modern and traditional country styles with her stunning new album, Bridges!
Features an awe-inspiring list of country music s brightest stars performing duets with Sarah, including Dolly Parton singing her superb hit Jolene, Willie Nelson crooning the all-time classic Crazy, the late Ray Price counting Heartaches By The Number, Merle Haggard trading vocals on The Fightin Side Of Me and a whole lot more!
This exceptional young lady has already made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry in April of this year, will be featured in Billboard magazine s Artists on the Verge column as well as Country Weekly s Who s New, and is set to join The Oak Ridge Boys for a series of live shows!
Phillip Hermans is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer of electro-acoustic and chamber music. His music has led him to reside in various locales; from New York to New Orleans, Berlin to New England, and Mexico back home to Texas. As a finalist in the Outlaws and Legends Songwriter Competition as well as recipient of the Sarah Nadler Memorial Award in Music, Phillip’s music covers a wide range of styles and mediums from traditional folk music to experimental multi-media works.
He has been featured in festivals regionally and internationally, including: Festival Visiones Sonoras 2013 (Morelia, Mexico), Festival de Musica de Morelia 2013 (Morelia, Mexico), Ye Olde New Music Festival 2013 (Hanover, NH), Sub-Tropics Festival 2013 (Miami, FL), Generative Arts Conference 2012 (Lucca, Italy), SEAMUS Conference 2011 (Miami, FL), Electric LATEX Festival 2010 (New Orleans, LA) and Inventionen Festival 2010 (Berlin, Germany).
As a recording artist he performed on John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit (2013 Cantaloupe Records) “A performance of Inuksuit this good… works best when given as much attention as possible” (WQXR Radio, Seth Colter Walls), and the attention he gave was as principal conch shell player (a brass player amongst percurssionists…). While working with the Dartmouth Contemporary Music Lab he contributed to no input-output, as composer and performer, an album with “flashes of vivid, mesmerizing colors amid some striking and gorgeous textures…” which “succeeds in guiding a listener through a rich realm of sounds” -(Tom Depmster, SEAMUS Newsletter).
Now living in central Texas, Phillip is writing and recording music while performing regionally with various ensembles. He spends time contributing articles to music journals, working as a music educator and giving workshops on music and technology.
Road tested, NPR approved. Walker Lukens and his backing band, The Sidearms, want to be important in your life. Check out “Devoted” and come see a show.
In the past two years, Walker Lukens has released two EPs, a full length album, a 7 inch and played some 175 shows in four countries and 30 states. You probably didn’t know that because Walker was not always good at using the Internet. You might know that his most recent album, Devoted, was released in April of 2013. Praised by NPR’s All Songs Considered, American Songwriter, Billboard, MTV Hive, and Houston Chronicle and locally by Austin American Statesman, Austin Chronicle, and KUT‘s Texas Music Matters, Devoted is “…a masterful and expansive collection of progressive contemporary indie pop,” according to the Houston Chronicle.
More recently, Lukens has put together a 5-piece backing band called The Side Arms. Having already shared stages with such national acts as Band of Horses, The Walkmen, Reignwolf, Heartless Bastards, Walker Lukens & The Side Arms are making a name for themselves. “At one moment heartbreakingly soulful, the next barn burningly raucous, newcomer Walker Lukens’ set had listeners in the palm of his hand,” writes Austin Fusion Magazine.
The modern soul songs of Quinn Deveaux, sung in his sweet tenor over a spare guitar or carried by his band’s bright tones, evoke old images aplenty—from those gutbucket bar rooms where rock-n-roll was born, to the pine-walled shacks, nearby, where its gospel-forebears rent their souls. But this artist’s singular sound, making old tones new, is Quinn’s alone. His acclaimed Blue Beat Review has been thrilling San Francisco’s lovers of rollicking early R&B, and a good time, for years. And now, with two LPs of his own fresh tunes set to drop this fall, the Bay Area’s best-kept secret is stepping out. Get on board: he’ll take you there, wherever you’ve got to go.
Fronted by the extraordinary Chloe Chaidez, Kitten has drawn ecstatic praise for their rejuvenation of classic post punk and New Wave pop. “While most hyper-young artists are working at the bleeding edges of dance music, Kitten’s rich and atmospheric rock is surprisingly ageless,” applauded the Los Angeles Times in a recent live review.
Many a green song writer has squeezed callow lyric from near-empty diaries, hoping that one day life might catch up with their words. Robyn Ludwick entered the world of song primed by years of life lived. When pen did come to paper, it teemed with ink–and was driven by a hand softened by love and strengthened by life.
Her earliest nights found her sprawled across the folding chairs of many a Hill Country dancehall, eyelids closing on her grandparents, as they twirled each other over creaky wooden floors. Her older brothers would grow to be Two of Texas’ favorite sons, Bruce and Charlie Robison.
While her schoolmates were embracing the rituals of small-town Texas; Robyn was teaching herself guitar and sneaking off to Austin, immersing herself in the city’s wealth of live music. Eventually she’d settle there, where rent was paid working the door at the world famous Continental Club. Robyn shared many a lean meal with her brothers in those South Austin days. From their Goodwill couch, she plotted a stable future for her and the family she hoped to one day have. She shelved dreams of a career in music and enrolled in The University of Texas School of Engineering and eventually took work in that field. Just after she and husband John “Lunchmeat” Ludwick had their first child, and felt their road had been paved, Robyn was laid off. The intensity of such life changes woke Robyn’s sleeping songwriter.
“It just pretty much poured out at that point. I guess it was time, you know.” Robyn cashed in her pension, and dove headlong into her craft.
The critics agreed that it was time, as 2005’s For So Long , Produced by the legendary Danny Barnes of Bad Livers, was named a top 10 album of the year by both the Austin Chronicle, and renowned Austin public radio station KUT-FM. It went to No. 1 on the Euro-Americana Music Chart and earned her a raved-about SXSW 2006 showcase (sponsored by No Depression, the Americana magazine), and a slot at the 2006 Austin City Limits Music Festival.
After many acclaimed performances for American and European audiences, Robyn got to work on her second album. Too Much Desire, another set of soulful originals. Released in 2008 to many a stunning review, contributions from Grammy nominee Eliza Gilkyson, Rich Brotherton, Mike Hardwick and more, coalesce with a timeless execution on Robyn’s part, the effect of which is, as AllMusic puts it: “…elegant and graceful as a straight razor; it takes no prisoners, makes no apologies. In other words, it’s just drop-dead gorgeous.”
Out of These Blues, features a dizzying cast, including Producer/Multi-instrumentalist Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Blaze Foley), Ian “Mac” MacLagan (Small Faces, Faces, Rolling Stones), John Ludwick, Eddie Cantu, Gene Elders (George Strait, Lyle Lovett), Trish Murphy and Slaid Cleaves.
Look for Robyn’s latest set of orignals, (Producer/Multi-instrumentalist Gurf Morlix) when it hits the rack July 2014.
Left of the Dial and The Record Ranch Present: Gary Floyd Meet and Greet and DJ set!
Writer, musician, and educator David Ensminger proudly announces the imminent arrival of bona fide Texas punk icon
Gary Floyd, the irreverent, howling, blues-voiced agitator-slash-front man of the Dicks (Alternative Tentacles, SST), Sister Double Happiness (SST, Warner Bros., Sub Pop),
and Black Kali Ma (Alternative Tentacles) to a meet and greet at Cactus Records to celebrate the book Left of the Dial, which features
a lengthy, detail-rich interview with Floyd. Plus, both men will discuss the upcoming biography of Floyd while also spinning some of
their favorite records culled from the store’s massive selection.
Left of the Dial features interviews by musical journalist, folklorist, educator, and musician David Ensminger with leading figures of the punk underground: Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Dave Dictor (MDC), and many more. Ensminger probes the legacy of punk’s sometimes fuzzy political ideology, its ongoing DIY traditions, its rupture of cultural and social norms, its progressive media ecology, its transgenerational and transnational appeal, its pursuit of social justice, its hybrid musical nuances, and its sometimes ambivalent responses to queer identities, race relations, and its own history. Passionate, far-reaching, and fresh, these conversations illuminate punk’s oral history with candor and humor.
Rather than focus on discographies and rehashed gig memories, the interviews aim to unveil the secret history of punk and hardcore ideologies and values, as understood by the performers. In addition, Ensminger has culled key graphics from his massive punk flyer collection to celebrate the visual history of the bands represented. The book also features rare photographs shot by Houston-based photographer Ben DeSoto during the heyday of punk and hardcore, which capture the movement’s raw gusto, gritty physicality, and resilient determination.
Interviews include Peter Case (Nerves, Plimsouls), Captain Sensible (The Damned), Tony Kinman (The Dils), El Vez, Charlie Harper (UK Subs), The Deaf Club (an oral history of the landmark San Francisco club), Mike Palm (Agent Orange), Gregg Turner (Angry Samoans), Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Gary Floyd (Dicks, Sister Double Happiness), Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE), Shawn Stern (Youth Brigade), Kira Roessler (Black Flag, Dos), Jack Grisham (TSOL), Keith Morris (Circle Jerks, Off!) Fred “Freak” Smith (Beefeater), U-Ron Bondage (Really Red), Vic Bondi (Articles of Faith), Lisa Fancher (Frontier Records), Dave Dictor (MDC), and Thomas Barnett (Strike Anywhere).
Brad Boyer is a singer/songwriter from Houston, TX who has honed his craft in the beer joints, ice houses, and road side honky tonks as well as the finer listening rooms of the big city. He tells his stories with honesty and clarity wrapped in a genuine Americana feel. As a Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Finalist, his debut album of original material (produced by Rich Brotherton) was well received and earned him the Texas Music Awards “Rising Star” award in 2012. Keep your ears open for a new release in 2014!
Grifters & Shills writes and performs timeless music with deep ties to the past and a very assertive outlook on the present. They pay homage to the paths long taken, but continue forging the trail using their own voice and style.
A number of hybrid genres have emerged as enchanted listeners try to find a name for what they have seen and heard at a Grifters & Shills performance. Featuring tight vocal harmonies, guitar, banjo, percussion, harmonica, mandolin, and bass, they’ve been called everything from bluegrass to blues, from Americana to outlaw.
But the best one by far, is roots music. Because at the heart of it all is a deep appreciation for where all of this music comes from. And, by extension, where all of us have come from.
They are releasing their newest album ‘Watershed’ on July 12th, 2014. Previously, they released two albums under the name Westbound—Now & Then (2012) and Blackjack Road (2010), and one album as Grifters & Shills – Trainwreck Junkard (2013). Music from these albums is playing on left-end-of-the-dial radio stations all across the country.
Their instrumentation and vocals have also been featured on albums from other artists, including Texas favorites Myrna Sanders (Big Head Diva; 2012) and Zach Tate (End of Time; 2012). The band has also appeared in Musician’s Friend advertisements in Guitar World, Mix, Electronic Musician and Modern Drummer magazines.
Grifter [grif – ter]: A practitioner of confidence tricks; a person who operates a side show at a circus, fair, especially pertaining to slight of hand tricks
Shill [shil]: one who acts as a decoy (as for a pitchman or gambler); one who poses as a customer in order to entice others to participate, as at a gambling house, auction, or confidence game