If there’s a performer today that embodies the oft-applied moniker of “songwriter’s songwriter” it’s Houston favorite, Matt Harlan. With songs that are already well known in many circles Harlan’s studio work is just beginning to make its mark with his debut studio release, “Tips & Compliments”.
Matt’s songwriting has been getting some recognition lately with his album debuting at #1 on the Euro Americana Charts, awards from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Billboard World Songwriting Contest, American Songwriter Magazine, the Wildflower Arts & Music Festival, Snowbird Mountain Music Festival and as a Regional New Folk winner at Kerrville.
You can also catch Matt featured alongside Texas music legends Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Nanci Griffith and others in the recent documentary, For the Sake of the Song.
Revered roots music troubadour Seth Walker recently took up residency in New Orleans. Upon his relocation the Big Easy, the North Carolina-native completed a trifecta for time spent living in hallowed southern music cities. His journey began in Austin where he fast became a staple of the Texas blues scene. He’d later relocate to Nashville to absorb its rich songwriting history. Clearly, however, it is the influence of his current home in NOLA that inspired the gospel-soaked fervor and gritty guitar burn at the core of his latest album, Sky Still Blue. Abetted by producer Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers), Walker revels in the devil-on-my-trail grizzle and longing blue notes that make songs like ‘Trouble,’ ‘High Wire’ and ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ resonate so convincingly. Yet, as Walker’s fans have come to expect, there s always a sweet melody, a turn of phrase wrapped in a wink-and-a-smile or an undeniable pop hook close at hand. Sky Still Blue is a masterful work conveyed through Walker’s expressive, soul-burnished voice, agile guitar artistry and impeccable southern songwriting, all of which have garnered him a reputation as one of the most acclaimed modern roots artists in the country over the last decade.
After leaving an indelible mark during a successful run on season three of NBC’s The Voice, and earning high praise from the likes of CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton along the way, the rest of America now knows what her fans learned long ago—Emily Earle is one of the most uniquely talented and genuine singer/songwriters to come along in quite awhile. And she has only just begun.
After cultivating her talents during three years at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Emily set out for New York City, where she further honed her one-of-a-kind style by playing Gotham’s subways and some of the city’s top venues. Influenced by a diverse array of artists such as Sheryl Crow, Joni Mitchell, and Hall & Oates, she likens her songwriting process to painting, whereby simple words are transformed into emotions by adding melodies and rhythms much the same way a drawing evolves with the addition of colors and textures.
Buoyed by her growing experience and confidence, Emily served notice that she is a rising star when she auditioned the iconic Johnny Cash song “Ring of Fire” to secure her spot on The Voice. Now living in Nashville, Emily Earle continues her musical journey every day. In addition to her national television appearances, she has also performed on stage in Las Vegas with CeeLo Green and The Muppets, toured with her uncle (legendary American singer/songwriter) Steve Earle, and has had her work featured on AmericanSongSpace.com.
Tom graduated from the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music just south of Cleveland, OH with a degree in drums/percussion. While in school, he gained attention from local newspapers and radio stations with his self-released, “Uplift EP” Upon graduation in 2011, he relocated to Nashville, TN to record with producer, Warren Whitten at the world-renown Tracking Room Studio on Music Row, as well as The Brown Owl Studio. This EP sparked Tom’s strong beginnings as a Nashville artist.
As of April 1, 2013, a new record was released, showcasing Tom’s unique style and ability to tiptoe across genre norms. It was recorded with producer, Gus Berry at Berrytown Studios in Nashville. Tom is quickly gaining attention throughout Nashville as he performs locally with many up and coming artists. Tom tours solo and also, quite a bit with other artists (i.e. Emily Earle), performing all over the U.S.
Saxophonist Woody Witt and guitarist Mike Wheeler will be playing selections from the new album Absinthe: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (Blue Bamboo). Joe LoCascio, who plays on the album with Witt, will be on hand to emcee and sign copies of the CD.
Dr. Witt is a Professor of Jazz Studies at Houston Community College Town and Country campus and an Affiliate Artist at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Woody also serves as the entertainment director of Houston’s premiere jazz club, Cézanne. His extensive performance experience includes events with the Houston Symphony, The Temptations, Randy Brecker and Ray Charles, to name just a few.
Mike Wheeler was born in Houston Texas in 1961 and grew up listening to the western swing music that his grandfather played on guitar. He formed various pop and rock groups in his teens until finding his true path in jazz. He studied in San Antonio with Jackie King before going to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Mike later received a Bachelor of Music from the University of St.Thomas, Houston.
Well established in the Houston Music scene: Mike has worked in clubs, formed jazz groups, and played with most of the major orchestras and performance groups in the Houston area including the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with jazz artists such as Clark Terry and Joe Williams. He has also backed up many pop artists such as Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride, Andy Williams, Larry Gatlin, Jennifer Holiday, and John Denver to name a few. In addition to leading his own jazz group, he has worked on many projects, including some with alto sax great Jimmy Ford, who was one of his major musical mentors. His first CD entitled Indian Summer , which was produced by Willie Nelson, spotlights his guitar style. In addition to performing and recording, he teaches private lessons in the Houston area and is currently instructor of jazz guitar at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Houston.
From Randy Weston, Roy Haynes and Wayne Shorter to Jason Moran, Robert Glasper and Esperanza Spalding, Jazz In the New Millennium profiles nearly 60 leading jazz artists who are keeping the tradition alive and well in the 21st Century. The book includes the musicians reflecting on their own music, as well as on the state of the art form 100 years after its birth, and demonstrates why jazz continues to thrive creatively despite commercial neglect and the deliberate dumbing down of popular culture.
Author Rick Mitchell has been writing about music for 40 years, and has published three books, including Whiskey River (Take My Mind): The True Story of Texas Honky Tonk (University of Texas Press, 2007). From 1989 to 1999, Mitchell covered jazz and popular music for the Houston Chronicle. From 2000 to 2013, he served as music curator and artistic director for the Houston International Festival.
Jazz In the New Millennium (160 pages, 8 x 11, paper) will be of interest to both serious and casual jazz listeners who would like to know more about the artists who make the music, as well as teachers, students and the musicians themselves. As of August 1, 2014, it will be available for sale in print and eBook formats at www.dacamera.com and www.dharmamoon.net. The print version ($24.95) will be for sale at selected local retail outlets, including Cactus Music.
We are super pleased to welcome back hometown boys Driver Friendly to a free in-store event. Starting Friday 7/25 you can purchase the new album from Hopeless Records “Unimagined Bridges” to get a wristband to get priority autograph and poster.
On their third album, Austin, Texas’ Driver Friendly have totally nailed the totally odd combination of wildly energetic, melodic indie rock (think the Wonder Years meets a young Jimmy Eat World) and horns (think… well, horns). Tunes like “Everything Gold” are superbly catchy with just enough melody, and using a horn section that is equal parts good-time ska in its celebration and obscure second-wave emo in its longing (bonus points if the sound brings Cerberus Shoal to mind).”
3.5 out of 5 stars altpress.com
“When Driver Friendly first met in high school in North Houston, Texas their friendship quickly turned from hanging out after school to writing songs in a garage and playing shows around their hometown. As the band gained momentum and a loyal fan base around the area, they took a huge step and moved to Austin, TX- the live music capital of the world- to continue pursuing their dream.
Composed of lead vocalist Tyler Welsh, guitarist and vocalist Andy Lane, bass guitarist Chris Walker, drummer Jeremi Mattern, trumpet player Juan Lopez & trombone player Andy Rector, Driver Friendly is ready to share their melodic, high energy songs with the world! The band’s fast paced anthems ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Mesidonna’ are just a small taste of what’s to come.”
Sour Bridges play browngrass. It’s like bluegrass, but a little dirtier. Based in Austin, TX, this folk-indie-bluegrass quintet formed in early 2009 and has been kicking up dust and boots ever since. With the May 2013 release of their sophomore album CATFISH CHARLIE, Sour Bridges plan to introduce their take on bluegrass to the world of Americana music.
Comprised of artists from every different corner of the country, Sour Bridges’ sound is a combination of traditional Texas folk music, Appalachian bluegrass, and classic rock ‘n roll. CATFISH CHARLIE features 15 original tunes including the debut single “J Train” (Track 4) and the unforgettable final track, “Nice and Easy” (Track 15).
Tight vocal harmonies draw comparisons to The Lumineers and The Devil Makes Three while Sour Bridges’ honest lyrics and catchy rock ‘n roll delivery set the group apart from traditional pickin’ bands. Brother guitarists Bill and Matt Pucci harmonize perfectly with bassist Jackson Ellis to create a rich, full sound on CATFISH CHARLIE that is more similar to early doo-wop than backwoods bluegrass. With the addition of Kat Wilkes on fiddle and Dalton Chamblee on drums, Sour Bridges produce a lush, full and bright sound that is infectious, familiar, and just a little bit dirty.
“Even though these talented musicians play a variety of instruments in the band, I am most impressed by their voices.” – SonicBids
You must have a wristband in order to meet Chris. A wristband is free with the purchase of Fozzy’s new album “Do You Wanna Start A War” which is available beginning Tuesday 7/22/14. Fans who purchase “Do You Wanna Start A War” will be able to have one additional item signed by Chris. Due to time constraints, we will be required to cap the line. Don’t be left out. Pick up the new album on July 22nd.
The band Fozzy has really always been about one thing: having fun. What started out for guitarist Rich Ward as a weekend cover band soon became an internationally signed act with the biggest star in professional wrestling, Chris Jericho, as its lead singer. Their first few releases still had Fozzy playing covers but with adopted stage names and a backstory written for the movies. When you have such high-energy performers like Ward and Jericho – it still is debatably on who jumps higher, Ward on stage with his guitar or Jericho in the ring – creating a ‘for fun’ band was easy, however Ward and Jericho aren’t just entertainers. Ward is probably one of the greatest and unjustly so, underrated riffers in rock and metal today. Jericho singing ability and overall passion for music makes one wonder just how he is able to find the time to excel in pretty much everything he does. It was these qualities that pushed the band to drop alter egos, get rid of the backstory and write original music.
Kevin will be walking through the store meeting fans and handing out mixed tapes of his music and posters. Come hang with Kevin before his Warehouse Live show later tonight!
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.