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Saturday, July 12
 

12:45pm

PAUL BURCH & THE WPA BALLCLUB
PB's new album Fevers (2013) on Plowboy Records--produced with famed multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin (Jack White, Beck)--features Burch's personal vision of American music, a riveting mix of irreverence, humor, and respect that weaves unimagined combinations.  His recordings have a sense of atmosphere that feels cinematic, a vibrant, haunting soundtrack to modern life unmoored to time or continent. USA Today praised Burch for “music that sounds thoroughly modern but completely unlike contemporary country” and Entertainment Weekly calls him "a modern day Jimmie Rodgers." 

Backlife

Born in Washington D.C., Burch's career began as Nashville’s hip honky tonk troubadour in the early 90s. Performing nightly at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge--the former hangout to Nashville's most revered songwriters including Hank Williams and Willie Nelson--Burch and his band the WPA Ballclub helped to make the Lower Broadway honky tonk scene a hot spot attracting international press attention, large crowds and fans like Chet Atkins and Lucinda Williams.  PB's 1996 debut, Pan American Flash, was hailed by Rolling Stone and Billboard critic Chet Flippo as “extraordinary, establishing Burch as a leader in marrying country's roots tradition with a modern sensibility” and placed #5 in the Top 10 Country Records of the 90’s by the editors of Amazon.com.
PB has also collaborated with a mix of equally ineffable artists including Ralph Stanley, Mark Knopfler, Vic Chesnutt, Exene Cervenka of X, Beverly Knight, Ray Price, and the GRAMMY nominated comeback by Charlie Louvin as well as serving as music consultant to the PBS film The Appalachians. Other highlights include Last of My Kind, a song companion to Tony Earley's NY Times bestseller Jim the Boy and Words of Love/Songs of Buddy Holly (2011), praised by Holly's wife Maria Elena, as "beautiful. Paul has everything Buddy wanted to hear in an artist--his own style and his own sound.” 

Peter Guralnick, author of biographies of Elvis Presley (Last Train to MemphisCareless Love) and Sam Cooke (Dream Boogie) says: "I'm a Paul Burch fan. How could I not be? His music never fails to achieve its purpose, what Sun Records founder Sam Phillips has deemed the unequivocal purpose of every kind of music: to lift up, to deepen, to intensify the spirit of audience and musicians alike."



1:00pm

GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS
Since first emerging in the early ‘90s as the front-man and songwriter of the internationally acclaimed trio Grant Lee Buffalo, Phillips has been drawn to the conflicts at the heart of the American experience. The resulting body of work, which consists of four GLB albums and six uniquely divergent solo albums, has placed Phillips among the most revered and admired songwriters of his generation. His post-GLB career in particular has found him exploring a wide range of palettes and textures, from the roiling synthscapes of Mobilize to the rootsy clarity of the pedal steel-laced Virginia Creeper

“History and legend have often found their way into my songs” reflects Grant-Lee Phillips. “But sometimes, I don’t have to look quite so far to find inspiration.” Walking in the Green Corn is the newest album by Grant-Lee Phillips. Its ten songs are drawn from Phillips’ intensive investigations into his native lineage. Phillips, who is Muskogee (Creek), elliptically explores the intersection of past and present, personal and political. While the songs delve deeply into the subconscious mystery of his own backstory, they simultaneously reveal the resonance and insight of ancient myth in parallel to contemporary man’s emotions, actions, and errors. 

Composed in a concentrated burst over the course of a few winter months, Walking in the Green Corn came about almost too quickly to censor—the unfiltered sum of years of rumination and discovery. As the days became shorter, the nocturnal Phillips became more productive. “I’m pretty good in the morning,” he says, a smile emerging, “which for me is about 2pm. I find that in a half-awake state, I can make a little bit of headway. Then I become more conscious as the day goes on...I have to wait until the evening and the rest of the world has quieted down to resume.” 

What initially began as off-the-cuff home recordings, designed to capture the songs at the moment of conception, soon took on a life of its own. “Initially I figured that, somewhere down the road, I’d get some musicians together in a cathedral-like space and re-record these songs,” Phillips explains. But the disarmingly warm, bioluminescent quality of his simple home recordings had the certain weathered elegance that, in Phillips’ words, “would have driven me mad if I attempted to recreate them in a professional studio environment.” With the exception of violin and vocals by Sara Watkins (formerly of Nickel Creek) and an understated vibraphone part by Alexander Burke, everything on Walking in the Green Corn was performed, sung, and engineered by Phillips. “I do my best work when nobody’s paying attention – including myself,” he recalls. 

“That’s what happened: it really snuck up on me. By the end of the year, I had most of the album written and recorded. Little by little I’d play the songs back for my wife Denise (Siegel), on long drives up the San Joaquin Valley. She’s an artist and writer with uncanny ears and instincts. She kept me aimed in the right direction, brought a lot of objectivity to the project. Denise was my co-producer here.” 

The mix of euphoria, wonder, and caution brought about by fatherhood—a heady emotional cocktail that fueled Phillips last album, the critically lauded Little Moon—also played a hand in this project, as his thoughts turned to his own mixed heritage. He has always found his ancestry, which encompasses both Native American peoples and European settlers, to be a fertile source. “Connecting to my ancestry is like having this deep trunk that’s embedded in the earth, with deep roots. It was always something that was important to my grandmother, who was Creek, and to my mother. 

“So, after becoming a father, I wanted to be able to answer all those questions I know I’ll be asked one day, when my daughter takes an interest in where we come from.” 

The opening “Vanishing Song” functions equally as an ode to rediscovering the ancient songs of his forefathers and as a longing for a purity and wisdom long corrupted by modern man’s material lust. A similar theme pervades “Fool’s Gold,” of which Phillips says, “Perhaps there is no other kind of gold. Look what it does to us, look how it drives people mad. Look how it drove a whole nation westward and all the suffering that came with it.” 

Exploring timeless myths and rituals also lead Phillips to discover a certain palpable awe and majesty in life around him that mirrors his ancient inspirations. The loping “Grey Horned Owl” celebrates a beast long associ- ated with insight and wisdom, equating its constancy and calm strength with the unwavering dedication of a de- voted partner. 

“Thunderbird,” perhaps the album’s most stark and intimate performance, finds Phillips overwhelmed by the mighty bird of myth—and equally enchanted with the mysteries and uncertainties of earthly attraction. 

Walking in the Green Corn shares an elemental purity and richness with Virginia Creeper, but further pairs down both the performances and the compositions. “It comes down to the purest form of expression that I can offer,” Phillips explains. “I have to get off on my own, allow myself to disappear to do my best work.” 

Walking in the Green Corn comes together as an evocative penetration into our own troubled era. And yet, the album’s optimistic title track completes the album on a meditative, redemptive note—implying that the potential for change and betterment is within reach, and that perhaps the best solutions can be found by looking backwards and forward simultaneously. 



1:15pm

1:50pm

POOR OLD SHINE
Poor Old Shine is a roots band with a grassroots ethos. The Connecticut quintet prizes the human element that underpins their music, from songwriting to recording to album design and even choice of record label: Poor Old Shine released its self-titled debut studio LP, recorded with Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Joy Kills Sorrow), Nov. 5, 2013 on Signature Sounds.

“You can’t have music without people, whether it’s electronic music or the oldest Delta blues players,” singer and banjo player Chris Freeman says. “The people behind it are really important, and we always want to make sure that everything we do feels handcrafted and pure.”

Artists


2:05pm

2:15pm

2:55pm

3:35pm

3:35pm

4:15pm

4:40pm

GASLIGHT TINKERS
Northern Fiddle, Afro-pop, Caribbean, Reggae, Funk, and Latin grooves meet traditional. It's the future of the music of the past; it's a live remix; it'll move your feet and intrigue your mind.

The Gaslight Tinkers is a genre onto itself.  The band's afro-pop, funk and reggae rhythms create a powerfully danceable sound to elevate traditional New England, old time and celtic fiddle music, merging boundless positive energy with melody and song. Barely a year in existence, the band has lit up New England from clubs and live radio to major festivals and barn dances.

The Gaslight Tinkers were born when Garrett Sawyer (electric bass guitar) and Peter Siegel (mandolin, guitar, banjo picker and songwriter) met over coffee to craft a new sound.  Peter, having played in the folk scene for decades with the likes of Pete Seeger and Judy Collins, brought a deep knowledge of traditional folk music. Garrett, with his broad experience in world music (having toured in the US with Senegalese hip-hop band Gokh-Bi System and the Caribbean with Trinidadian soca star Kurt Allen) brought an intuitive concept of danceable global grooves to the table.  The two knew they needed a fiddler to realize their vision, and fortunately happened upon Zoë Darrow.  Zoë is an award winning fiddler and clogger who from the age of  four has lead her own trio, “Zoë Darrow and the Fiddleheads,” performing Scottish, Irish, and Cape Breton fiddle tunes for many enthusiastic crowds.  Zoë is a Western Massachusetts favorite. Drums were needed too, and soon they knew who they wanted to play them: ethnomusicologist and world beat drummer Dave Noonan, who brought his experience of performing with numerous reggae/world/dance bands including The Equalites, Ed Mann’s Dub Jazz Unit, Fenibo, and Little Shop of Horas to the table.

The Gaslight Tinkers shake the stage with traditional melodies and contemporary grooves from around the world.  The sounds and energy of Zoë, Garrett, Peter, and Dave is irresistible and utterly danceable. 



5:15pm

5:50pm

PAUL BURCH & THE WPA BALLCLUB
PB's new album Fevers (2013) on Plowboy Records--produced with famed multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin (Jack White, Beck)--features Burch's personal vision of American music, a riveting mix of irreverence, humor, and respect that weaves unimagined combinations.  His recordings have a sense of atmosphere that feels cinematic, a vibrant, haunting soundtrack to modern life unmoored to time or continent. USA Today praised Burch for “music that sounds thoroughly modern but completely unlike contemporary country” and Entertainment Weekly calls him "a modern day Jimmie Rodgers." 



5:50pm

6:40pm

7:15pm

7:25pm

8:20pm

8:45pm

8:50pm

TROMBONE SHORTY AND ORLEANS AVENUE
Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews has God-given talent, natural charisma and a relentless drive to bridge music's past and future. His third outing for Verve Records, Say That To Say This, co-produced by Andrews and kindred spirit Raphael Saadiq, sounds like nothing else out there, as Andrews and his longtime band, Orleans Avenue - guitarist Pete Murano, bassist Mike Ballard and drummer Joey Peebles - continue their natural musical evolution. In a very real sense, the torch is passed from one great New Orleans band to another on the new album, which features the first new studio recording from the original members of the legendary Meters in 36 years, as they revisit their 1977 classic "Be My Lady," with Andrews singing lead and playing horns.

"It's really funky, like James Brown funk mixed with New Orleans Meters and Neville Brothers mixed with what I do on top… And we have a bit of R&B from Raphael's side," said Andrews about the new record. Saadiq added, "If you're a producer or musician, you want to work with other great musicians because it only betters you… I was just honored to be a part of the project."Say That To Say This follows Trombone Shorty's Grammy-nominated For True which spent twelve weeks at #1 on Billboard's contemporary jazz chart and garnered rave reviews from major news outlets including Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Billboard, USA TODAY, and NPR. Since For True's release, Andrews has performed at The White House and played on recent releases by everyone from Zac Brown to Rod Stewart to Eric Clapton and Cee Lo Green. He's appeared on the covers of Downbeat and Jazziz Magazines, as well as performed on Conan, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In May 2013, he took on the highly prestigious slot closing the entire New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (previously held for over two decades by The Neville Brothers). Andrews has also taken steps to help young students in his own community by creating and fostering a mentoring program at Tulane University via his Trombone Shorty Foundation.

Good things continue to happen for Trombone Shorty, thanks to his virtuosity, his dedication, and his ability to move people. That he pursues his passion with such humility and unpretentiousness makes his still-unfolding story as compelling as the music he's making along the way.



9:45pm

 
Sunday, July 13
 

12:20pm

12:45pm

1:00pm

1:00pm

1:45pm

2:00pm

2:10pm

ANA TIJOUX
One of the most respected MCs in any language, Ana Tijoux is set to explode with her brand new record La Bala (the bullet), the follow up to her Grammy-nominated album, 1977. Born in France—where her parents were exiled during the military dictatorship in their native Chile—Tijoux became a household name in Chile with her first band, Makiza, as well as voicing the main character in the popular animated series Los Pulentos. After going solo, she quickly gained fame throughout Latin America with a string of hits including the smash “Eres Para Mi” with Julieta Venegas. But the world really began to take notice when she dropped 1977, an album full of classic beats and her signature flow that harkened back to the 90s and the golden age of intellectual hiphop.

International accolades soon followed, with praise from mainstream press around the globe as well as taste makers like Thom Yorke, and the album ended up at the top of the “Best-of” lists of Amazon, Billboard, and iTunes, amongst others. Now she’s back with La Bala, a continuation in sound and spirit from this global activist and MC. Collaborations with the Oscar and Grammy winner Jorge Drexler, as well as Cuba’s hip hop stars Los Aldeanos, are just some of the highlights of the album. The first single, “Shock”, is her reaction to the student movement that has marked the last 6 months in Chile, where high school and college students have taken over their schools in a protest against the constitution that was made during the dictatorship, and the for-profit education system which they feel leaves them behind. The video for the song was filmed in one of these high schools, and its release in Chile was a true watershed moment, where seemingly everyone was talking about the impact it was making on the movement.

In concert Tijoux now takes the stage with her full band to flesh out the intricate arrangements of the new album. Her shows are a whirlwind trip through hip-hop, jazz, and funk, spiced up with a bit of politics and her great sense of humor that has made audiences around the globe fall in love with her.

Artists


2:40pm

3:25pm

BARNSTAR!
Barn Star has impeccable hygiene. We have big hats, and really loud high voices. One guy's dad is in the band, which is pretty cool. And most of us are handsome. Well, handsome for bluegrass.

Artists


3:30pm

LADY LAMB THE BEEKEEPER
More than anything, Aly Spaltro has 20,000 second-hand DVDs to thank for her first album. Despite being recorded at a proper studio in her recently adopted home of Brooklyn, Ripely Pine showcases songs conceived during her tenure at Bart’s & Greg’s DVD Explosion in Brunswick, Maine. Little did customers know, the same store they’d drop off their Transformers movies was providing the ideal four-year cocoon for the development of a major musical talent.

Aly worked the 3pm-11pm shift. Each night, after locking up, she’d walk past Drama and Horror, pull out her music gear from behind a wall of movies, and write and record songs until morning broke. She did this every day, drawing strength from the monotony of her routine.

During those nightly creative spells, Spaltro tested out multiple techniques, approaches and instrumentation. She brought whatever state she was in that day to the music, which served as raw expressions of her lyrical thoughts. Anger, confusion, love, happiness, and sadness reigned, and the songs ran rampant, with little form or structure. Isolated for those many hours, Aly let melodies morph together, break apart, and pair up. This is how she taught herself to write music and sing.

Spaltro chose to give herself a band name, because she had only two outlets for giving out her music; Bart’s & Greg’s, and a record store next door, the beloved independent Bull Moose. She arranged her CDs on the counters as free offerings, and seeing how she was often the employee at the register, didn’t tell people it was her music.

That’s how Lady Lamb the Beekeeper became one of the most beloved performers in Portland. Her live shows were unhinged, as melodies followed an internal logic only apparent to Spaltro herself. She sang and played guitar, and the songs offered a vivid yet brief snapshot into her expansive world. Their full glory remained in her head for reasons of access and cost. And anyway, who the hell would be able to play along with her, seeing how they followed no formal logic? Thus, she developed as a solo performer, careening from hums to screams within seconds, but always maintaining self-control.

At 24, with six years of taking music seriously under her belt, when she ventured to the next milestone—recording an album. This would be the first time she did so in a professional studio (not just her and her 8-track) and the first time she shared the process with anyone else. Luckily, she met Nadim Issa at Let ‘Em Music in Brooklyn. He was taken enough by her abilities to dedicate nine full months towards the recording of Ripely Pine, and she with his producing abilities to ease comfortably into making him a part of her recording process. She wrote everything. All the songs, all the arrangements. And the two of them assembled an album that finally fit what existed in Spaltro’s mind. Keeping the songs’ stark rawness, the record is a pure representation of her sound.

Ripely Pine shouts the introduction of a new talent from every groove. Here, finally, are recordings of Lady Lamb that come as close as possible to conveying the intense majestry of her live shows. And, much like her performances live, a narrative breathes through the record’s progression. The album opens with urgency and anger, settles into reconciliation and reciprocation, and ultimately reaches towards resolution, realizing infatuation leads to a loss of self; instead, embracing one’s own strengths is the most powerful thing of all.

No surprise that Spaltro ultimately sings a mantra of individuality. A listen to Ripely Pine proves she has a lot to say for herself and certainly doesn’t need anybody’s help to do it.



4:00pm

THE DEADLY GENTLEMEN
Roll Me, Tumble Me, the Deadly Gentlemen's third album and Rounder Records debut, boasts ten winsome examples of their playfully irreverent, vibrantly rootsy songcraft. Although the Boston-based quintet employs acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and double bass—a lineup that's usually associated with traditional bluegrass—their music defies conventional genre restrictions, filtering a bottomless assortment of influences through their own decidedly distinctive songwriting sensibility and uncanny instrumental rapport. The result is timelessly resonant music that's rooted in tradition, yet effortlessly contemporary and boundlessly entertaining.

Throughout Roll Me, Tumble Me, such beguilingly melodic, emotionally evocative tunes as "I Fall Back," "Bored of the Raging," "A Faded Star" and "Beautiful's Her Body" match banjoist/vocalist/songwriter Greg Liszt's lilting melodies and pointedly poetic lyrics with his bandmates' eloquent musicianship and unconventional vocal blend to bring his compositions to life, reflecting the unique individual and collective backgrounds that have contributed to the Deadly Gentlemen's evolution from quirky side-project to singular musical force.

Roll Me, Tumble Me also points to the Deadly Gentlemen's rich musical history by reinventing three songs that appeared in very different versions on prior releases: the witty title number and the rousing "Working," both from the band's self-released debut The Bastard Masterpiece; and the bittersweet "It'll End Too Soon," which Liszt originally recorded as a member of the acclaimed alt-bluegrass outfit Crooked Still.

The Deadly Gentlemen's members had all led eventful individual musical lives before they joined forces. In addition to touring and recording extensively with Crooked Still, Greg Liszt attended college at Yale and earned a Ph.D. from M.I.T. in Molecular Biology. His innovative four-finger picking technique helped him to win a place as a member of Bruce Springsteen's live band for Springteen's Seeger Sessions tour.

Mike Barnett began his career as a child fiddle prodigy, touring with bluegrass legend Jesse McReynolds at the tender age of 15. He's also studied at Boston's prestigious Berklee School of Music and excelled as a jazz violinist, while his world-class talents have won him gigs as a member of the David Grisman Quintet and the Tony Trischka Band.

Bassist and singer Adam Chaffins, the newest member of the Deadly Gentlemen, has toured worldwide with Susan Werner, the Belfry Fellows, World Party, the Carter Brothers, and many others. Originally from Kentucky, Adam holds a music degree from Morehead State University and currently lives in Nashville, TN. 

Mandolinist Dominick Leslie is another former child prodigy, having achieved a series of career milestones before he'd reached the age of 16. More recently, he's won considerable attention for his live appearances with banjoist Noam Pikelny, the Infamous Stringdusters, and the Grant Gordy Quartet.

In contrast to his bandmates' backgrounds in acoustic music, guitarist Stash (short for Stanislaw) Wyslouch grew up on heavy metal before submerging himself in bluegrass and country. His history in hard rock still manifests itself in his propensity for wringing unexpected sounds out of his guitar and screaming at the top of his vocal range. His resume also includes membership in Eric Robertson and the Boston Boys as well as Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers.

When Liszt first hooked up with Barnett and Grisman in 2008 to record the first Deadly Gentlemen project The Bastard Masterpiece, the music they came up with was an experimental mix of spoken-word vocals and banjo-driven grooves that Liszt now describes as "Eminem meets the Soggy Bottom Boys." By the time the current lineup solidified in time to record the 2011 followup Carry Me to Home, the group's style had begun to evolve towards the sound that's featured on Roll Me, Tumble Me, reflecting the five musicians' wide range of interests and diverse assortment of personalities.

"It's very much been a developing project, and it's evolved into something that feels more natural and less like an experiment," says Liszt, explaining, "It started as an arty side-project to our other bands, and the songs on The Bastard Masterpiece were basically old bluegrass songs that we turned into extended poems with groove-based banjo music. There was a big evolution when we recorded Carry Me to Home, which had kind of a gang-vocal style, with all sorts of coordinated shouting, rapping and singing. Now we've evolved from there into something that's a little closer to conventional song structure."

The Deadly Gentlemen's growth into a formidable creative unit and engaging, uplifting live act—along with the expanded fan base and growing critical acclaim that have accompanied the band's musical development—eventually led to the busy musicians making a conscious choice to commit the bulk of their energies to the group.

"There was a point in 2011 when we all sat down and decided that we wanted to make the Deadly Gentlemen our main focus, and that we needed to go on tour and get our chops up and figure out the best way to deliver this music. We all agreed that if we all just got into the van, it would go somewhere, and it has."

Liszt and his bandmates handled Roll Me, Tumble Me's production chores in collaboration with noted Nashville engineer Erick Jaskowiak, cutting the instrumental tracks in a makeshift studio set up for the occasion in a house in Eclectic, Alabama, before bringing the tracks home to Boston to record their vocals.

"This album definitely feels like a big turning point for us," Liszt observes. "I think it shows that we'd done a little bit of maturing, but at the same time I think that we've still managed to maintain some of the craziness of our earlier records. We really went through every song and every performance with a fine tooth comb, to make sure that all of the pieces fit together, which is something that we'd never done before.

"One of our main priorities on this album was to capture our serious side and our humorous side, because both of those things are equally important to us," Liszt asserts. "On its most fundamental level, music has to be fun, and we always have a lot of fun when we play together. But at the same time, we want the music and lyrics to have some substance in the way that they speak to people on an emotional level."

Indeed, Roll Me, Tumble Me neatly demonstrates that the Deadly Gentlemen's remarkable creative chemistry is too eclectic and unruly to be contained within a single genre, and that the joy and intensity that they put into their work is contagious.

"The Deadly Gentlemen is very much a group of personalities, and everybody in the band is highly individualistic," Liszt notes, adding, "Sometimes being in this band feels like being in the kind of sitcom you would come up with if you were trying to fictionalize a band with five extremely exaggerated characters. It definitely adds a lot of interest to our daily life, and there are moments where I wonder if I should be acting more like a dad. But there's definitely a very deep fellowship—some might say bromance—between the five of us.

"We all have similar tastes, and all five of us have chosen a similar sort of life path," he concludes. "We've all chosen a certain commitment to this kind of music and the lifestyle that goes along with it, and we're all very much on board with the mission of the Deadly Gentlemen. We're committed to being in the kind of band that tours fulltime and makes a series of albums over a long period of time, and going wherever that path takes us."



4:35pm

THE IGUANAS
The word" Americana" gets tossed around rather loosely these days; it can mean anything from a hipster with a recently-discovered acoustic guitar to a decades-long denizen of the Grand Ole Opry. But when you set aside the Johnny-come-rootly types from the real deal, it's a sure bet that you're going to stray into Iguana territory. Based out of New Orleans for the past couple of decades - save for a short, Katrina - imposed exile in Austin - the Iguanas define a sound of Americana that crosses cultures, styles, eras, and even languages.

Collectively or individually the members of the Iguanas have played or recorded with everyone from Charlie Rich, Alex Chilton, and Willy DeVille to Emmylou Harris, Allen Toussaint and Pretty Lights. Their latest album, Juarez, is their first studio recording since 2012's Sin to Sin. The Iguanas' two-decade road has taken them all over the map. While bassist Rene Coman is the only member of the band who is a native of the Crescent City, a languid swampiness deeply suffuses their sound. But there's far more depth to it than the New Orleans patina that rests, sometimes lightly, sometimes heavily, on anything the city touches.

It's almost as if the Iguanas dragged sand up from Juarez and mud from the Mississippi Delta, threw them both into the white-hot crucible of rock, and built their foundation from there, with drummer Doug Garrison anchoring their sound deep in the groove.

"Spanish was spoken around the house when I was a kid," says saxophonist/vocalist Joe Cabral, "but I was listening to all kinds of stuff: Herb Alpert, Boots Randolph, country music, rock, polkas. The area of south Omaha where I grew up was the classic American blue collar ethnic melting pot of Irish, Italians, Poles, Mexican-Americans, who all brought these pieces into the mix."

"How could we not wind up in New Orleans?" asks Rod Hodges, a little rhetorically. "I mean, at Tipitina's they might have Doug Sahm one night and Fela Kuti the next." And sure enough, even on their first album (The Iguanas, Margaritaville/MCA 1993), the band was comfortable planting Allen Toussaint's oft-covered "Fortune Teller" cheek-by-jowl with cumbia master Celso Pina 's "Par Mi Camino (Along My Way)," leading Entertainment Weekly to conclude, "never have accordions and saxophones been so much in love." People echoed that sentiment in their review of Nuevo Boogaloo (Margaritaville/MCA 1994), saying "any group that can turn on a dime from a gorgeous R&B ballad like 'Somebody Help Me' to the steamy tropical funk of "La Tentacion" is clearly here to stay."

And stay they have, through eight studio albums, countless tours and Jazz Fest appearances, and a flood that did its best to take their adopted city with it It's a testament to the band's endurance that they're still configured pretty much the way they were 20 years ago, while their one-time label, MCA, has gone the way of mousse-abused coiffures and Hammer pants.

Joe Cabral is philosophical about the band's persistence in the face of challenges that would have felled - indeed, have felled - lesser bands. "First of all, this is all we know how to do; we're musicians. But more than that," he continues, "we respect the power of the band as an entity, and each individual in the band steps up to play his part.

When it's good, that's really what it's all about." Rod Hodges agrees. "I don't want to get all heady and mystical about this, but it's not really an outward reward we're looking for. We all enjoy playing music, we all get along, and finding a group of people who can say that after all this time is a rare thing."

Artists


4:50pm

5:10pm

DARLINGSIDE
Heather Maloney and Darlingside have teamed up for their first collaborative release. The Woodstock E.P. features two new originals from Maloney and two new ones from Darlingside, along with their cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock.” Heather Maloney and Darlingside independently began their musical careers in late 2009 in Northampton, MA, crossing paths only through overlapping posters pinned up on cork boards across town and occasional side-by-side blurbs in local music rags. Buoyed by the same robust arts scene of the Pioneer Valley, both artists grew from regional headliners to nationally touring acts in a few short years. In November of 2013, Maloney and Darlingside teamed up for a tour out to the Midwest, and it did not take long for them to realize that they had stumbled upon a powerful combination. A feature in the New York Times of their cover of Joni Mitchell's “Woodstock” soon followed, and fans of both artists are now eagerly anticipating their next collaboration: a joint E.P. to be released by Signature Sounds on March 11th.


5:50pm

6:30pm

JOSH RITTER & THE ROYAL CITY BAND
“How refreshing and inspiring it is to encounter a young artist whose achievements match his ambitions.”—The Washington Post

“The 10 Most Exciting Artists Now”—Entertainment Weekly

“100 Best Living Songwriters”—Paste Magazine


Named one of the "100 Greatest Living Songwriters" by Paste Magazine, Josh Ritter is certainly that. Sold out tours, amazing reviews, stellar albums and multiple radio hits have become the standard for this immensely talented artist and captivating performer.

Ritter’s last album, The Beast In Its Tracks, hit #22 on the Billboard 200 and #8 on the Top Rock Albums chart in 2013. In addition to this commercial success, the album continues to receive widespread critical praise—NPR Music calls it, “…gorgeous and glorious,” while Pitchfork asserts, “Beast is contemplative and forgiving, a means of burying one relationship to commit to another, and Ritter nicely evokes the excitement and resignation of such a transition.” 

Of the record, Ritter says, “In the year after my marriage ended, I realized that I had more new songs than I’d ever had at one time. Far from the grand, sweeping feel of the songs on So Runs the World Away, these new songs felt like rocks in the shoe, hard little nuggets of whatever they were, be it spite, remorse, or happiness.”

Recorded during 2011-2012 at the Great North Sound Society in Parsonsfield, Maine, The Beast In Its Tracks continues Ritter’s longtime collaboration with producer and keyboard player Sam Kassirer. As Josh describes, “I hadn’t composed this stuff, I’d scrawled it down, just trying to keep ahead of the heartbreak. They needed to be recorded like that. We needed to work fast, make decisions quickly, keep the songs as spare as they could be kept, and above all never allow ourselves to blunt the sharp edges. Some of the songs were mean or evil. So be it.”

The new album follows Ritter’s 2010 release, So Runs The World Away, of which Bob Boilen from NPR declared, “I’ve come to expect good records from him...but this one took my breath away,” while the Boston Globe praised, “quite sensational…marks the finest music he has made.”