Michael Macomber – Retro Music Review
The Gas House Gorillas often bring the show into the audience spurring fans to sing, dance and get wild. Cutting up with each other and the crowd, the Gorillas are more than a great band, they are great entertainers as well. The band’s repertoire encompasses a broad range of styles that include Jump Blues, Gypsy Swing, early Rock & Roll, Cajun Music and even the occasional funk groove. Artists as diverse as Wynonie Harris, Groucho Marx, Sam Cooke, Fats Waller, and Albert King all coexist in the Gorillas’ musical vernacular.
You may have seen the Gorillas this past Summer as they burned down clubs and festivals in the South and across the Midwest. They will soon be heading for the West coast as they bring their genre busting brand of mayhem to an ever expanding audience all over the USA.
The Gas House Gorillas are fearlessly uninhibited performers and a sure fire guarantee for a rippin’ good time!
Thanks so much for listening to my music that I call Organica™. Organica is a ferociously nuanced hybrid of Alternative Pop (AAA*) that is deeply rooted in lush vocals, ambient guitars, with thick, dynamic grooves all created by humans not machines. Yummy!
The Rolling Stones song, Heaven, inspired the concept of my new album Habit. I needed to create something gritty and ambient with lo-fi elements because my ears were saturated and over stimulated with the cloned sounds of today’s pop culture environment. Habit is a collection of songs with a penetrating pulse that defines my human condition of late. If you put together the myriad of contrasting emotions of my past two years in a set list, and you will have Habit.
As for the title and the title song, everyone’s got a Habit (or two). Be it positive or negative, a habit can be the ultimate distraction, what slowly kills you, or what sets you free. So, choose your Habit wisely. I hope you start with mine. Margo Rey
A lot of great things have happened to me lately:
Best Overall CD Project In Any Category – Muse’s Muse Awards 2009 – My Heart’s Desire
2 RockWired Reader’s Poll Nominations – 2010
Best Recording LP & Best Female Artist – My Heart’s Desire
#1 Perfect Beat Hit Club and Radio Record – Habit (Week of June 6th, 2010)
#28 Billboards Hot Dance Club Songs Chart – Habit (Week of September 18th, 2010)
#20 Perfect Beat Top 100 CD Singles of 2010 – Habit
#1 Perfect Beat Radio Record in the Nation – Get Back (Week of February 4th, 2011)
#35 Billboards Hot Dance Club Songs Chart – Get Back (March, 2011)
#17 on Billboard AC Chart – Let The Rain (November, 2011)
#21 on Mediabase AC Chart – Let The Rain (October, 2011)
#21 on Billboard AC Chart – Between Us (August, 2012)
#18 on Billboard AC Chart – This Holiday Night (December, 2012)
#4 on Recurrent AC Chart, Mediabase – This Holiday Night (December, 2012)
#9 on Recurrent Christmas Chart, Mediabase – This Holiday Night (December, 2012)
#21 on Mediabase AC Chart – Tempted (July 8, 2013)
#19 on Billboard AC Chart – Tempted (July 8, 2013)
Music has always been my clearest form of expression. I believe it is one of the most beautiful ways humanity can truly communicate – its vibration is universal and transcends boundaries, languages and cultures. It’s my great fortune to be signed with a phenomenal record label, Organica Music Group, which has allowed me to share the experience of my music and passion with you. Thanks to all who share in my groove.
*If you really want more information about me, my roots, my sign, my past, my body of work, feel free to read the obligatory bio that comes in every press kit.
*Adult Alternative Airplay
BEST FUNK ALBUM 2012 nominee of the Best of the Beat Awards and BEST ELECTRONICA ACT 2010 nominee of the Big Easy Awards is emerging out of a city that is inundated with musical vibrations. Gravity A exhilarates New Orleans’ rich musical tapestry with their fresh, dynamic energy and innovative sound. The quartet (established in 2004) is inspired by the soulful jazz expressions and second-line fusions of their hometown, yet still draws heavily upon the eclectic possibilities of electronic progressions. Gravity A has become the torchbearer for the city’s late night soundtrack featuring the unmistakable sound of true New Orleans funk, tight drum n’ bass breaks and intoxicating trance. The band’s unique sound is highly dependent upon the musicians’ passion for live instrumentation and improvisation, which often lends itself to a rambunctious adventure grooving through sunrise. As opposed to Newton’s well-known gravity b, Gravity A has taken their name from the force responsible for the cohesion and semblance of all subatomic matter. At a Gravity A show in New Orleans or beyond, this force is intense and irrefutable. The dance floor is transformed into a frenzy as the polar vibrations of Gravity A’s magnetic rhythms and far-reaching frequencies resonate amongst the bopping feet, shaking hips, and smiling faces.
Gravity A has performed live sets with:
Corey Glover (Living Color), Blackbyrd McKnight (P-Funk), Dr. Fameus (Allen Aucoin of the Disco Biscuits); Mike Dillon (Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade); Big Sam; Johnny Vidacovich (Astral Project); Tim Sullivan; Kirk Joseph (Dirty Dozen); Big Sam; Khris Royal; Scott Messersmith, Michael Skinkus; Jon Gross; Michael Burkart; Billy Iuso; Tim Green (local saxaphone legend).
Gravity A has opened for/ headlined after:
Dr. Fameus (Allen Aucoin of the Disco Biscuits), Break Science, Nadis Warriors, Bonobo (live band), Ooah, Orchard Lounge, Pnuma Trio, Signal Path, EOTO (members of String Cheese Incident), Lotus, Lyrics Born, Dubconscious, Girl Talk, Breakage (UK), Marcus Intalex (UK), Freaky Flow, Rebirth Brass Band, Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle; Zoogma, The Trio.
Members of Gravity A have appeared on stage with:
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey; Robert Walter (Greyboy All-stars); James Singleton (Astral Project); The Lee Boys; Leo Nocentelli, Fred Wesley; Allen Aucoin (Disco Biscuits), Juvenile, Big Freedia, Ricky B, Partners n Crime, 5th Ward Weebie, Katey Red, Nigel Hall, Russel Baptiste, Terrance Higgins, Blackbyrd McKnight (PFunk), UPRISE, Reggie Scanlan (Radiators), Willy Green (Neville Bros.), The GK Duo; Groovesect; Brian Coogan.
S.P.O.R.E. (Spontaneous.Progression.Of.Recurring.Energy.) is a high energy 5 piece Livetronica Jam Band out of Jacksonville, FL. S.P.O.R.E. creates and fuzes a unique medley of Rock, Funk, Jazz, Blues, Hip Hop, and Dancy Electronic jams featuring all live instrumentation into a psychedelic composition similar to the styles of acts such as Pink Floyd, STS9, Dumpstaphunk, Lotus, and Papadosio. Since formation in early 2012 S.P.O.R.E. has worked relentlessly to build an outstanding resume and fanbase. In the first year S.P.O.R.E. established a reputation of treating each show just as important as their largest of performances. They have performed at most premier music venues in the Jacksonville area including but not limited to The Jacksonville Landing, Metropolitan Park, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, and Freebird Live with regional and national acts such as Blues Traveler, Rusted Root, Rubblebucket, and many others. In October of 2012 S.P.O.R.E. was also booked to play their first multi-day camping and music festival in Lakeland, FL sharing the stage with national acts such as DopaPod & Arpetrio. S.P.O.R.E. also in their first year wrote and recorded their debut self titled EP that was released on September 15, 2012 at 1904 Music Hall and has been tirelessly promoting the release all over the FL area. With a fast growing and dedicated fanbase S.P.O.R.E. shows no sign of slowing down and plans on continuing their progression for many years to come. With Huge plans in 2013, S.P.O.R.E. looks forward to future participation in some major music and arts festivals and continuing to build a strong foundation on top of their original song catalog and sharing the stage with monumental national acts.
Matt Lorenz started The Suitcase Junket in 2010 to test the boundaries of how much sound can come out of one performer without loops or electronic tricks. He honed his foot-drumming skills while performing with the junk-folk band Rusty Belle. His first album Sever and Lift came out in the spring of 2010. His new release Knock It Down just dropped in November.
In August of 2008 frontman and multi-instrumentalist Noah Adams drifted into New Orleans and quickly found himself enchanted with its wild and authentic, booming musical styles.
Dane “Bootsy” Schindler
After recruiting New Orleans native drummer Dane “Bootsy” Schindler, they formed what would later become the Dirty Bourbon River Show, playing their first show at the end of the year under the moniker “Buck Johnson and the Hootenanny Kid.”
Charles “Big Charlie” Skinner
After picking up ringleader/vocalist Charles “Big Charlie” Skinner and multi-instrumentalist Wayne Mitchell, the Dirty Bourbon River Show began to grow into an interactive multi-genre variety hour-style band. Drawing from a rich diversity of musical backgrounds, they began in American roots music and branched out into folk, rock, blues, jazz, latin, gypsy, circus, and traditional New Orleans styles.
The Dirty Bourbon River Show made their debut at the legendary Tipitina’s during homegrown night on March 11th, 2009. After picking up bassman Jimmy Williams that summer, they embarked upon their first regional tour of the south. The contagion of their whiskey-soaked New Orleans eclecticism began to spread fast. That fall they recorded their debut studio album, Volume One.
Less than a year after their homegrown debut, the Dirty Bourbon River Show headlined Tipitina’s on February 5th, 2010, releasing their first full length LP.
Debut CD Release Party – Tipitina’s – New Orleans, LA – February 5th, 2010
Showing no signs of slowing down, for their second summer of touring the Dirty Bourbon River Show cut a second 30 min record called Free Love and caravaned around the south – gypsy style – giving it out for free. The contagion doubled.
That fall they finished up a 6 month burlesque residency as the house band and ringmasters of the Big Busk! – blending together a unique rock’n’roll comedia erótica variety hour heralded by the press as being a “genetically theatrical love affair.” Additionally, they continued touring the surrounding area – going as far as North Carolina with the Holy Ghost Tent Revival.
The Dirty Bourbon River Show began their third year with the release of a 3rd studio album – Volume II – at the Blue Nile on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans. It was their most ambitious record yet; the already-lush orchestrations of the band began to see even more multi-instrumentalism, large vocal and horn harmonies, and an elevated level of musical interplay between the members. To support its release touring increased…
As spring turned to summer the Dirty Bourbon River Show saw the departure of Wayne Mitchell, leaving the band to pursue a career in biomathematics. New Orleans native Matt Thomas (Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Something Delicious) replaced him as resident soloist, bringing to the table both tenor and baritone saxophone, along with clarinet and vocals.
Now permanently aligned as a full-time professional touring act, Dirty Bourbon spent the 2nd half of 2011 extending the reach of their show further up the Eastern Seaboard and out into the Rocky Mountains. On 11/11/11 they released their 4th studio album – The Old-Timey AfroPop Jibberish Junction – attempting to give it away for free again like Free Love. They couldn’t keep enough copies on hand to quell the demands, and it had suddenly become obvious, now more than 200 shows later, that the Dirty Bourbon River Show was becoming something great…
Showing no signs of slowing down, Dirty Bourbon began the year by releasing their 5th studio album, Volume Three. To support it’s release they moved all of their stuff out of the 8th ward and into a storage unit and then took to the road, touring the country for eight straight months.
1/2 down, 1/2 to go…
The tour proved extremely successful, solidifying their circuit across the South, Southeast, Midwest, and expanding their reach further into new North Eastern territories. To cap off the year they released their 6th studio album – The Most Peculiar Thing – on December 21st at the Blue Nile in New Orleans.
The Dirty Bourbon River Show released their 7th studio album – Volume Four – in New Orleans on May 25th. Following a four month tour to promote its release (which included high profile appearances at Voodoo Festival Main Stage w/ The Cure, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, and the 69th Annual Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in Washington, DC), the Dirty Bourbon boys are now spending the month of December preparing for the release of their 8th studio album – Accordion Anthology – which will be made available to the public on the New Years Eve.
One of the most prolific and original groups in hip hop, the infamous Mobb Deep are still a very active force in today’s music industry with twenty years of experience. The group has appeared on records that have sold over 40 million copies. Aiming from the Queensbridge neighborhood of NYC, the duo has been responsible for delivering some of the most popular and forever current anthems in rap music. . Tracks like “Survival Of The Fittest’” “Shook Ones Part II” and “Quiet Storm RMX” have remained significant and still move crowds from NY to Tokyo. Mobb Deep’s ability to perfectly describe their gritty surroundings and lifestyle always made them a first choice for music writers and critics across the board. Mobb Deep have graduated to the role of cult group; today, they are followed by a new wave of cutting edge music listeners, as well as their original core foundation of hip hop aficionados.
“Southern Rock Muscle ~ Soulful Rock n’ Blues”: Orlando Sentinel. A combination of blistering rock and southern soul, Thomas Wynn and The Believers is a 5-piece fiery ensemble playing the original music circuit, touring nationally and making “believers” wherever they go. If you like Tom Petty, The Band, The Black Crowes, CCR & Pink Floyd, you’ll love TWTB. Known for their powerful LIVE performances, TWTB is currently on tour with the likes of JJ Grey & Mofro and The Revivalists.
Hailing from a musical family, the sibling-led band is heavily influenced by Thomas and Olivia’s father, Tom Wynn, the original drummer of Cowboy, one of Capricorn Studio’s (Allman Brothers) legendary bands from the 1970s. His influence, as well as their faith and rearing in church, undoubtedly shaped their songwriting and musical interests. Their deeply rooted principles certainly laid the foundation for what the Wynns bring to The Believers’ sound. Thomas’ spirit-moving vocals are uniquely supported by sister Olivia’s engaging and captivating voice and presence. Her strong vocal harmonies and wide-eyed response is the perfect companion to his yearning banshee cries.
Voted BEST OF ORLANDO #1 ROCK BAND 2009-2012 . . . TWTB is Southern Rock Muscle ~ Soulful Rock n’ Blues!
TW&TB has delighted audiences of all sizes, including festival goers at Magnolia Fest, Bear Creek, Orlando Calling, Blackwater Music Festival, BamaJam, Tropical Heatwave, Antiwarpt, Pojo Music Fest and FMFs. The group has also shared the stage with national acts Gov’t Mule, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Leon Russell, Drive-By Truckers, Donna The Buffalo, Leftover Salmon, JJ Grey & Mofro, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Honey Island Swamp Band, Cross Canadian Ragweed, The Lee Boys, Charlie Daniels, just to name a few.
REAX Magazine recently said… “For once, you have a Florida band that is truly Florida. They look like Florida, they sound like Florida – with a touch of Molly Hatchett, The Band, Neil Young, and The Black Crowes. Not fad hipster, not transplant Florida, but Florida Florida. These guys are on the leading edge of creating a new southern rock scene. The sum of the parts is the strongest live shows in the region. Powerful melodies and hooks, grinding jams with soaring guitars and tight drum work, and a front man that carries the audience to new heights.”
“Better every time! Wynn plenty comfortable as demonstrative frontman, accentuating hard-charging hybrid of Southern rock & gospel with magnetic stage presence-makes us Believers! channels old-school Memphis R&B and rock, allowing Wynn to let his gritty tenor be carried away by emotion. really love this band” — Jim Abbott/Soundboard, Orlando Sentinel
BEST LIVE BAND – OMNi Awards 2011
Doug Stanhope is a stand-up comic. Has been since 1990.
His material ranges from true-life graphic perversion to volatile social criticism. Doug is vulgar, opinionated, brutally honest and shockingly uninhibited and is certainly not for everybody.
He started his career in Las Vegas doing jack-off jokes for free drinks. Not much has changed, save for the mullet.
Doug has built a wide-ranging television resume of dubious achievement. He hosted The Man Show on Comedy Central as well as the ubiquitous pseudo-porn for the sexually crippled, “Girls Gone Wild”, both solely and shamelessly for financial gain. He has appeared on “The Howard Stern Show”, “Comedy Central Presents”, “Premium Blend”, NBC’s “Late Friday”, “Spy TV” BBC’s “Floor Show Live” while on ecstasy and wrote, produced and starred in Fox’s “Invasion of the Hidden Cameras” and has even popped up on “Fox News with Greta Van Sustern” and “The Jerry Springer Show”. In 2010, he was the Voice of America on the BBC’s “Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe”.
None of it compares to seeing him live; Doug is a two-time winner of Time Out New York’s “Best Comedy Performance of the Year”.
He’s appeared at multiple major comedy festivals including Montreal Just For Laughs, Aspen US Comedy Arts, Chicago Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotland, where he won the Strathmore Press Award for Best Act of the Fringe in his debut year.
Selected by both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter as one of the Top Ten Comics To Watch, Doug has released four CDs and three DVDs including “No Refunds” on Showtime in 2008.
Fox Street is quickly gaining a reputation for being one of the hardest working rock and roll bands on the Colorado music scene. Voted Denver’s “Best Traditional Rock Band” at the 2013 Westword Music Showcase, the group also played raging headline shows for packed houses at The Bluebird Theater and Larimer Lounge. In the February 2014 edition of Colorado Music Buzz, Fox Street was named amongst the “best jam bands” in Colorado:
“Fox Street just might be the most unique band on this list, fusing a honky-tonk inspired soul sound in with the funky freshness of the jam scene… The press train continues to add critical acclaim to the band… Fox Street is a top band to watch in 2014.”
While the band is proud to be a part of the vibrant Denver music community, they have been making strides on the national scene as well: Fox Street was named a “must see” act at Musikfest 2013 (America’s largest free music festival in Bethelhem, PA) by both theLos Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune.
Fox Street boasts a big, soulful rock n’ roll sound laced with three-part harmonies, screaming guitars, soulful sax, and a devastatingly funky rhythm section. It certainly helps that the members of Fox Street share varied influences throughout American roots music — blues, jazz, country and a whole lotta funk — but also having shared the experience of taking Fox Street on the road together which gives the band a certain tightness and a dynamic range that simply cannot be acquired any other way. Over the past five years, Fox Street played hundreds of shows, maintained a relentless coast-to-coast tour schedule and spent countless of hours in the studio with Denver engineer/producer Josh Fairman (New Mastersounds, Ivan Neville, Kinetix) crafting two internationally acclaimed, self-produced, full-length albums: Welcome to Mighty Pleasin’ (2010) and Tough Talk (2013).
It’s the Fox Street sound that’s landed the band gigs sharing the bill and often the stage with contemporary touring acts like Tedeschi Trucks Band, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Robert Randolph and The Family Band and Galactic; as well as members of legendary groups including The Allman Brothers Band, Little Feat, and The Meters.
2014 is set to be another landmark year for Fox Street — In addition to writing and recording new music and expanding their United States tour schedule, the band is currently booking its first European trek for Fall 2014 built around a headline appearance at RAWA Blues Festival in Poland (world’s largest indoor blues festival).
Look out for the band to headed your way soon — Check out www.foxstreetband.com or keep up with Fox Street tour dates and new releases on Facebook or Twitter.
For interview requests, photos or copies of the new album please contact David Regan at Regan Management Group, LLC :: 704.414.6555 :: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born out of a blend of modern rock and southern soul, The Valley Roots are leading the way in the new revitalization of the “Muscle Shoals Sound.” Hailing from the The Shoals area, The Valley Roots combine the best of the old and new schools in a unique sound that’s fashioned from southern rock, funkadelic rhythms, and sweet soul music merging together. When The Valley Roots make music, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
NYC trio Consider the Source defy easy description. If intergalactic beings of pure energy, after initiation into an order of whirling dervishes, built some kind of pan-dimensional booty-shaking engine, powered by psychedelics and abstract math, it’d probably just sound like a CTS tribute band. Drawing from progressive rock, fusion and jazz, with alien sounds soaked in Indian and Middle Eastern styles, CTS blends disparate parts into a striking, utterly original whole. Dubbed “Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Fusion”, the band’s music strikes a rare balance between cerebral and emotional, intellectual and primal. A relentless touring schedule has won the band a fervent following from California to Israel, with fans ranging from jam-band hippies and jazz cats to corpse-painted headbangers and prog geeks.
Formed in 2004, Consider the Source features Gabriel Marin on fretless double-neck guitar, bassist John Ferrara, and drummer/percussionist Jeff Mann. Called “the guiding light for his generation of six-stringers”, Marin channels the mystical fury of McLaughlin and Coltrane into wailing melodies, kaleidoscopic soundscapes and boneshaking riffs. With a background in classical musics both Eurpoean and Indian, and an instinct for avant-jazz and destructive metal, Marin’s hypnotic fusion of styles is ever unpredictable. Ferrara’s propulsive, percussive attack, equally suited to simple grooves and impossible chords, can ground the music or launch it into space. His madcap gumbo of slap bass, Indian rhythms, earthy minimalism and complex tapping constantly pushes into strange new worlds, whilst still dropping thick booty-clap beats. Underneath them lies Mann’s rolling thunder; dense rhythmic architecture built from pure swagger and bounce. Half double-bass prog-metal, half crackle-pop Buddy Rich swing, with African and Balkan swirls, Mann’s muscular, freewheeling polyrhythms are the engine fuel for Consider’s multiversal mischief. Even when not improvising, Consider’s music is always a conversation, a roiling stew of dynamic interplay. Each member of Consider the Source alternately leads and follows, spars and assists; in any single song, alliances are made and broken, bargains struck and divorces finalized.
Touring from coast to coast, as well as Europe and the Middle East, has not only earned the band thousands of fans, but has allowed them to perform with wide variety of well-known artists, including Victor Wooten, Wayne Krantz, King Crimson Projekt, Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Wyclef Jean, Andy Statman, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Dumpstaphunk, Keller Williams, George Porter, Jr., Jeff Sipe, Panzerballet (Germany), Eatliz (Israel), Freak Kitchen (Sweden), Morglbl (France), and many others. They have performed at numerous festivals and events, including Catskill Chill, The Big Up, Burning Man, Sun Seekers Ball (Canada), Mid-Summer Meltdown, Rootwire, the NYC Fretless Guitar Festival, and the NYC Gypsy Festival. The band’s newest album, “F**k It! We’ll Do It Live” is available from considerthesourcemusic.bandcamp.com.
The Resolvers play in the style they coined “Big Band Reggae” combining classic jamaican roots and lively new orleans stylings. Siblings Ojay & Sahara Smith (son and daughter of Ernie Smith) both take turn on lead vocals roles and the band features a 4 piece horn section. Their show has been described as “explosive” and “must see”, and the band has gained the reputation as a premier reggae act. The Resolvers have shared the stage with The Wailers, Julian Marley, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Kymani Marley, Inner Circle, English Beat, Yellowman, Matisyahoo, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Mishka along many other world renowned acts in major International festivals such as Marley Fest, Jamaican Jazz & Blues Fest, Sun Fest, Aura Music & Arts Fest, Dub Fest and more.
Universal Green is a Progressive Hip-Hop band from Jacksonville, Florida. They’ve shared the stage with everyone from independent artists such as Astronautalis, to Hip-Hop legends, Too Short and Scarface. Their music ranges from rhythm and blues based songs to reggae, rock, and a myriad of other styles. The diverse backgrounds of each member lend their voices to create the unique sound and atmosphere of the band; evoking everything from break beats to gypsy music. Having played One Spark, a crowd funding festival designed to support the innovative community, the band received funding for a full length album. They are currently planning an East Coast Tour once it is released.
North Carolina-bred, New York-based singer/composer/guitarist Becca Stevens has already received copious praise from the likes of The New York Times, describing her as “a best-kept secret” and “impressively absorbing.” The Boston Phoenix noted Becca’s “big voice and no-bull emotional delivery,” while The Winston-Salem Journal stated, “Stevens’ singing is remarkable, soulful, pitch-perfect and subtle in its controlled acrobatics. The arrangements are exquisitely produced, and her acoustic songs boast musical textures and colors that embrace the adventurism of jazz.”
Stevens’ intimate vocals communicate both warmth and effortless urgency, while her masterfully understated arrangements and seamlessly crafted tunes embrace inventive acoustic textures and idiosyncratic rhythmic and melodic elements. The resulting music offers a beguiling blend of head and heart that defies easy categorization, drawing upon elements of pop, jazz or folk without limiting itself to the rules of any particular genre. Her close-knit band, which includes Liam Robinson (accordion, keyboards, vocals), Chris Tordini (upright bass, vocals) and Jordan Perlson (drums and percussion) complement Becca’s own expressive work on guitar, ukulele and charango, while their earthy vocal harmonies provide a compelling counterpoint to her own personally charged vocals.
The daughter of musicians, Stevens began singing in her family’s band, The Tune Mammals, when she was two years old. She spent much of her childhood on stage, singing, acting and dancing, including a year-long tour in the lead role of The Secret Garden when she was ten. Stevens became fluent in jazz and classical guitar and in the folk music traditions of her native North Carolina—influences that still echo in her songwriting. After graduating from the high school program at the North Carolina School of the Arts with a major in classical guitar, Stevens attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York. It was at the New School that she met Chris Tordini and started to put together what would subsequently become the Becca Stevens Band. Since graduating from the New School, Stevens has served as lead singer of Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, fronting a genre-bending 18-piece jazz orchestra interpreting the songs of Björk; toured and recorded with, and written lyrics for, jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti, and most recently performed at Carnegie Hall as featured singer with pianist Brad Mehldau. She’s also toured as part of drummer/composer Eric Harland’s all-star band; and has performed with such notable players as Jeff Ballard, Larry Grenadier, Mark Turner, Ed Simon, and Greg Hutchinson.
2010 saw the debut of Stevens’ first choral composition, Soli Deo Gloria, commissioned and performed by the Melodia Women’s Choir in New York. Becca also moonlights as one-third ofTillery, a trio with fellow singer/songwriters Rebecca Martin and Gretchen Parlato. In 2011 Sunnyside records released the critically acclaimed “Weightless” a sparkling 12-song set revealing the accomplished young songstress as a startlingly original, refreshingly distinctive talent in her own right.
Credible bios are supposed to be objective and not full of superlatives and hyperbole, but it’s hard to avoid gushing when the subject is a funk army of multi-instrumentals and singers that is part freight train and part tyrannosaurus rex, who—even on an off night—can blow away a room on the basis of sheer physics alone. That’s one way to describe Turkuaz, but it doesn’t address the music. In this regard, as with any band, influences are everything. One cannot escape them as one seeks to carve out a unique sound for themselves. Still, there are so many benefits to having Sly & The Family Stone, Rick James, Parliament and Bohannon in your record collection. With this as the basis for a recipe, Turkuaz adds healthy doses of jittery, world-pop-power groove—reminiscent of Remain In Light era Talking Heads—and a passion for Motown and R&B, resulting in a refreshing twist on the funk idiom.
Turkuaz certainly does have sheer size in their favor, but when broken down into the basic components, each stands out on their own. Founders Dave Brandwein and Taylor Shell had the cream of the crop to choose from at Berklee, but making it happen as a large touring ensemble takes more than chops: it takes the right blend of personalities. When Turkuaz takes the stage, the chemistry is clear. The special combination of elements—singers in sequined dresses, guys in tails (or sometimes all of them in jumpsuits or other complimentary outfits) horns, keys, guitars, amps and drums and smiles all around… well, it’s easy to get caught up in the explosive auditory and visual circus and find oneself dancing. Despite all of the gear and people on stage, it becomes clear that it is not the size that matters here: it is the performance.
You Knew Me When…a phrase we can all relate to, and one that speaks to the devotedness of the Music City based duo to their art, their history, and their continued musical progression. After uprooting from their Nashville home and full-time jobs in June of 2012, You Knew Me When set plans to tour the nation for a full year. Since that time they have continued to tour fulltime, playing shows coast to coast throughout the USA and into Canada, and released their sophomore album “You, Me, and the Rest of the World”. Continuing to evolve in their musical bond since the release of their self-titled debut album in late 2010, “You, Me, and the Rest of the World” is the next progression in the musical journey of You Knew Me When and is now available via www.youknewmewhen.com, iTunes, and other online retailers.
The music of You Knew Me When parades between a fusion of progressive indie-rock and folky compositions all infused with a myriad of pulsing and stirring beats. Muen Magazine stated, “Their music offers haunting, brooding, yet somehow angelic vocal arrangements along with a wall of sound in their musicianship. The ambiance they offer is second to none.” While blending their vocals, Karisa, who until recently served as a Nashville public school music teacher, provides the piano, ukulele, and glockenspiel, as Cie, who spent several years as the Global Events Production Manager for Gibson Guitar, supplies the guitar and rhythmic nuances. The cumulative result is a musical style that blends a singer-songwriter soul with a pop/rock mentality.
Although music was the calling that brought them together in Nashville, Tennessee, it took the husband and wife duo You Knew Me When nearly a decade to create music together as a united pair. Stemming from the separate musical backgrounds of Cie Hoover, who predominantly resided within the hard-rock scene, and Karisa Hoover, who could be found more often in vocal seminars and music education workshops, the two began writing music together in mid 2009. It was from that point on that the two began melding their life partnership into the musical partnership known as You Knew Me When.
You Knew Me When released their debut self-titled album in December of 2010. A true DIY effort, every facet of the album was written, recorded and nurtured by the pair in their Nashville home studio. The eleven songs on this album would prove to be the catalyst for the years and the road(s) ahead.
“Certain talented musicians have the ability to transport the listener to a different time by just hitting some strings or directing the air that fills their lungs. For Woody Pines, you find yourself in the Mississippi Delta when AM radio is king, sippin’ whiskey if you’re fortunate and moonshine if you’re desperate. “New Orleans has music seeping out of the bricks in the old French quarter,” said Woody Pines, who moved to New Orleans to study the city’s famous music scene, but now resides in Asheville, North Carolina. “We went down there to learn [the music] not just note for note, but also through the food and lifestyle that make New Orleans so special.” Although the group has been playing together for two and half years, Pines is the driving force both creatively and on stage, which has lead to some very tall comparisons. “I’m not really sure where the Bob Dylan associations come from,” said Pines. “But I love Dylan and I’m honored to be alive when he is, so I take it as a compliment.” Pines, who comes from a musical family and has been playing music since he can remember, describes the band’s sound as “one that has been created through time,” and its songs reflect that belief. “Reefer Man” immediately brings to mind a haunting, Halloween hootenanny that could have come straight out of vaudeville. “Pretty Blue Eyes” puts listeners straight into the backseat of a convertible, whipping around the back roads of the Delta on a crisp, autumn night. Several other songs by the band, such as “Nashville” and “Delta Bound,” evoke thoughts of a Southern gossip or a post-Civil War America where the blues weren’t just a style of music, but a way of life. “I pick and choose the best sounding stuff,” said Pines. “Everything from swing band to old country blues goes into our music, along with life’s influences.” By Max Bonem Athens, Ohio.