Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sights and Sounds: The Gourds, Nick 13, Marcia Ball, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers

Upcoming albums and tours abound. Some recent releases are posted below.

The Gourds to perform at Americana Music Conference on October 12, 2011 at Mercy Lounge in Nashville

37-date National Tour begins on Monday, August 1

New Album Old Mad Joy recorded at Levon Helm Studios with producer Larry Campbell

Available September 13, 2011

The hard-touring band The Gourds - whom the New York Times called "one of the best performing bands in America" - are gearing up for a 37-date summer and fall tour. The band has earned a reputation for incredible concerts. Frontman Kevin Russell has described the live show as “kind of a cross between a revival, a house party, a pep rally, and a pow wow.”

The Gourds will also be performing during this year’s Americana Music Conference in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge on October 12, 2011.

The tour will give audiences a chance to hear new songs from the band’s Vanguard Records debut Old Mad Joy created at Levon Helm Studios with producer Larry Campbell (Musical Director of Helm’s ‘Midnight Rambles’ and formerly with Bob Dylan). Old Mad Joy will be available on September 13, 2011.

In a recent review, the Houston Press raved, “Don't be surprised if they hit 80 home runs this year as they tour hard behind what will likely be the most important album of their storied career.”

The band has played roughly 150 shows a year since 1998, so they possess an intuition with one another as performers and an utter command of the stage. Initial tour dates below with more to be added.

The Gourds 2011 National Tour
8.01 The Golden Light Cantina - Amarillo, TX
8.02 KTAOS Solar Center - Taos, NM
8.03 Crested Butte Mountain Resort - Crested Butte, CO
8.05 Knotty Pine Supper Club - Victor, ID
8.06 Northern Rockies Folk Festival - Hailey, ID
8.07 Choppers - Big Sky, MT
8.20 Nutty Brown Cafe - Austin, TX
9.09 The Compound Grill - Phoenix, AZ
9.10 The Orpheum Theater - Flagstaff, AZ
9.13 Echo - Los Angeles, CA
9.14 Moe's Alley - Santa Cruz, CA
9.15 The Palms - Winters, CA
9.16 Slim's - San Francisco, CA
9.17 Lobero Theatre - Santa Barbara, CA
9.22 Courville's - Beaumont, TX
9.23 Threadgill's - Austin, TX
9.24 Kessler Theater - Dallas, TX
9.28 The Linda - Albany, NY
9.29 The Higher Ground - Burlington, VT
10.01 Sullivan Hall - New York, NY
10.04 World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
10.06 The State Theatre - Falls Church, VA
10.07 Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
10.08 Albino Skunkfest - Greer, SC
10.12 Mercy Lounge - Nashville, TN – Americana Music Conference 

10.14 TBA - Houston, TX
10.27 Tractor Tavern - Seattle, WA
10.29 Harrigan Centennial Hall - Sitka, AK
11.05 Discover Downtown Music Fest - Corpus Christi, TX
11.11 The Henry Strater Theatre - Durango, CO
11.12 Fox Theatre - Boulder, CO

11.14 TBA - Lincoln, NE
11.17 High Noon Saloon - Madison, WI
11.18 Shank Hall - Milwaukee, WI
11.19 Martyr's - Chicago, IL
11.20 Lafayette Brewing Company - Lafayette, LA
12.10 The Paramount Theatre - Austin, TX


Southern California country/Americana musician Nick 13 has announced additional dates to his much anticipated US tour. Heartfelt singer-songwriter Audra Mae will tour in support in August and former frontman for The Juliana Theory and thriving Americana artist Brett Detar will support in September and October. Tour dates and ticket info can be found here.

Hitting the road in support of his critically acclaimed, self-titled debut, Nick 13 will entertain packed venues across the country beginning in August with his blissful amalgam of honky-tonk, roots, country western and American music.

Known by many as the frontman for the internationally celebrated dark rock trio Tiger Army, Nick 13 is blazing new trails as a country music artist to the delight of fans and critics alike. In a recent interview with, Nick 13 talks about his passion for vintage country and his transition from rock star to country artist. “It doesn't make sense on the surface to some folks how I could come from that sort of background musically and be as into country as I am, but that's the real connection. It's raw emotion, and it's honest. That's the thing they really share.” Read the entire interview here:

Critics are abuzz with Nick 13’s new solo album, which recently entered Billboard charts at #132, #2 Heatseekers and #22 Country Albums, calling it “a set of stylishly evocative originals” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and “a gorgeous tribute to the best country formulas out of Nashville's golden music era in the 1960's” (

Check out what other critics are saying!

“Nick 13′s brand of barroom Bakersfield country is nothing short of pure enjoyment.” –

“His self-titled solo debut is a beaut of dyed-in-the-wool hillbilly and honky-tonk, performed straight as an arrow with the skill of a master practitioner.” –

“Unlike anything currently on Country radio, this album leaves me close to speechless.” –

“Nick 13 has made one of the hands down, most solid country-western albums in a very long time.” –

“It’s worth your time to listen to the entire album from beginning to end” –

“It’s as though Nick 13 has found his true voice in country music and his dreamy crooning was made for his new honky-tonk, hillbilly digs.” –

“it’s good and as country as you can get.” –

Don’t miss country music’s newest star on tour this fall!


Nick 13 Tour Dates:
Aug 11 - Velvet Jones - Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 12 - SLO Brewing - San Luis Obispo, CA
Aug 13 - The Alley - Reno, NV
Aug 15 - Aladdin Theatre - Portland, OR
Aug 16 - Tractor Tavern - Seattle, WA
Aug 18 - Amoeba – San Francisco, CA
Aug 19 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA
Aug 20 - Rio Theatre - Santa Cruz, CA
Sept 12 - The Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
Sept 13 - Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
Sept 15 - Club Dada – Dallas, TX
Sept 16 - Continental Club – Houston, TX
Sept 17 - Sam’s Burger Joint – San Antonio, TX
Sept 18 - Austin City Limits Music Festival - Austin, TX
Sept 21 - Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
Sept 22 - Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
Sept 24 - The Bell House – Brooklyn, NY
Sept 26 - Firehouse 13 – Providence, RI
Sept 27 - Mohawks Place – Buffalo, NY
Sept 28 - Grog Shop – Cleveland Heights, OH
Sept 29 - Southgate House – Newport, KY
Sept 30 – TBA – Chicago, IL
Oct 1 - Shank Hall – Milwaukee, WI
Oct 2 - 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
Oct 4 - Knuckleheads Saloon - Kansas City, MO
Oct 5 - Waiting Room – Omaha, NE
Oct 7 - Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 8 - State Theatre – Salt Lake City, UT

For More Information:


"Based in Austin and steeped in New Orleans, Marcia Ball plumbs the richness of both musical meccas. From rootsy swamp pop and blues-drenched boogie woogie to languid ballads, Ball is equally comfortable with brash roadhouse romps and caressing love songs." -USA Today

Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist/vocalist/songwriter Marcia Ball will celebrate the release of her new Alligator Records CD, ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS, on Friday, August 5, 2011 at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. Ball's groove-laden New Orleans R&B, heart-wrenching ballads and driving Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite of music fans all over the world. Her music mixes equal parts simmering soul fervor and rollicking Crescent City piano. Over the course of her career, Ball's infectious, intelligent and deeply emotional songs have won her a loud and loyal fan base all over the world. ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS is Ball's fifth release for Alligator. Three of her previous four CDs have received Grammy nominations. Ball has also collected seven Blues Music Awards since 2001, including the 2009 "Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Of The Year" award, and was voted "Female Blues
Artist Of The Year" and "Most Outstanding Musician--Piano" in the 2009 Living Blues Readers' Poll. Ball was inducted into the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Concert information is as follows:

Date: Friday, August 5, 2011
Venue: The Coach House
Address: 33157 Camino Capistrano
City: San Juan Capistrano, CA
Phone: 949-496-8930
Showtime: 8 p.m.
Ticket price: $18
*Also appearing: Coco Montoya

Produced by famed songwriter, musician and producer Gary Nicholson (Delbert McClinton, Wynonna Judd, T. Graham Brown), ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS finds Marcia Ball at a creative peak. Ball wrote or co-wrote every song-something she had never done over the course of her forty-year career. Throughout the proceedings, her stellar musicians add power and nuance to the music, perfectly complementing Ball's expert piano playing, slice-of-life lyrics and melodic, storytelling vocals.

Born in Orange, Texas in 1949 to a family whose female members all played piano, Ball grew up in the small town of Vinton, Louisiana, right across the border from Texas. She began taking piano lessons at age five, playing old Tin Pan Alley tunes from her grandmother's collection. From her aunt, Marcia heard more modern and popular music. But it wasn't until she was 13 that Marcia discovered the power of soul music. One day in 1962, she sat amazed while Irma Thomas delivered the most spirited performance the young teenager had ever seen.

In 1970, Ball set out for San Francisco. Her car broke down in Austin, and while waiting for repairs she fell in love with the city and decided to stay. It wasn't long before she was performing in the city's clubs with a progressive country band called Freda and The Firedogs, while beginning to hone her songwriting skills. It was around this time that she delved deeply into the music of the great New Orleans piano players, especially Professor Longhair. "Once I found out about Professor Longhair," recalls Ball, "I knew I had found my direction."

When the band broke up in 1974, Marcia launched her solo career, signing to Capitol Records and debuting with the country-rock album Circuit Queen in 1978. Discovering and honing her own sound, she released six critically acclaimed titles on the Rounder label during the 1980s and 1990s. Her recordings and perfor-
mances received glowing reviews in major music publications, and Marcia was featured on leading television and radio programs, including Austin City Limits and NPR's Fresh Air and Piano Jazz.

Since the release of her Alligator debut Presumed Innocent in 2001, Ball has received more popular and critical acclaim than ever before. 2003's So Many Rivers continued the push forward, with Billboard declaring, "Ball is a consummate pro-a killer pianist, a great singer and songwriter. Powerful. Righteous." 2005's Live! Down The Road received equally impressive praise. The New Orleans Times-Picayune said simply, "Bayou boogie has a queen and her name is Marcia Ball." Billboard said, "Peace, Love & BBQ is a welcome ray of sunshine. This is a potent batch of tunes, highlighted by Ball's keyboard mastery."

Living the life she loves, Marcia has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. "Forty years of roadside attractions and the life of roaming 'round has never worn thin," she proudly says. "I love it when the wheels start rolling, when the band starts playing, when the crowds start dancing." Now, with ROADSIDE
and a long list of high profile tour dates, Ball will bring her blend of Texas roadhouse boogie and Louisiana swamp blues to fans around the globe. "What's not to like about Marcia Ball?" asked The Austin Chronicle. "Scrumptious, Southern-fried boogies, blues, and ballads with the infectious street beat of New Orleans at the core." Clearly, in whatever city she performs or wherever her songs play, there is no better roadside attraction than the foot-stomping, soul-stirring music of the great Marcia Ball.

Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers release 'Gift Horse' on Vanguard Records on Oct. 11, 2011

North American 'Boys Only (Plus Girls)' Headline Tour Kicks Off September 27, 2011!

Massachusetts rockers Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers, Kit “Goose” Karlson (keys, bass, vocals), Brian “Boots” Factor (drums, vocals) and Sam “Steamer” Getz (guitars, vocals)— return this fall with Gift Horse, their second studio release on Vanguard Records, available on October 11, 2011. Produced by Mark Weinberg, Gift Horse brings the rich legacy of rock & roll into the present tense with 11 real-life narratives about love, family, and what it means to be an American today.

Stephen Kellogg chose to title the album Gift Horse for a clear cut thematic reason. “There’s the old saying, ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,’” Kellogg says, “which translated as showing appreciation for what you have.’ That’s exactly what this record’s about - appreciation that I have a job right now in 2011, with all that’s going on economically in our country; appreciation for my family, because there’s nothing that I value more; and appreciation of America in general.”

Nowhere is this theme more apparent than on the first single and opening track, “Gravity.” Kellogg writes, “Gravity you’re knocking me out/ You’re shakin’ me up till I twist and I shout/ Oh, Gravity it’s okay in the clouds/ But I love it right here with my feet on the ground.”

Leading up to the release of the album, SK6ERS embark on a North American headline tour with Jon McLaughlin beginning September 27 in Birmingham, AL. Additional stops include Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. See full list of tour dates below.

With Gift Horse Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers make a bold statement with a simple message. If you are ready to embrace the core values of life wrapped in timeless rock & roll then this is the record you’ve been waiting for.

Gift Horse Track Listing:
1. Gravity
2. Who We Are, Who We’ll Become
3. Long Days, Fast Years
4. 1993
5. Charlie and Annie
6. Songs For Lovers
7. We Belong Here
8. Watch You Grow
9. My Favorite Place
10. Roots and Wings
11. Noelle, Noelle

Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers – Boys Only (Plus Girls) Tour
September 27 @ WorkPlay, Birmingham, AL (with Amy Lennard)
September 28 @ The Social, Orlando, FL (with Amy Lennard)
September 29 @ Vinyl, Atlanta, GA (with Amy Lennard)
September 30 @ Visulite Theatre, Charlotte, NC (with Amy Lennard)
October 1 @ Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC (with Amy Lennard)
October 3 @ Exit/In, Nashville, TN (with Amy Lennard)
October 5 @ Majestic Theatre, Madison, WI (with Amy Lennard)
October 6 @ Varsity Theatre, Minneapolis, MN (with Amy Lennard)
October 7 @ Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI (with Amy Lennard)
October 8 @ Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL (with Amy Lennard)
October 9 @ Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL (with Amy Lennard)
October 11 @ Rex Theater, Pittsburgh, PA (with Amy Lennard)
October 12 @ The Egg, Albany, NY (with Amy Lennard)
October 13 @ Paradise, Boston, MA (with Amy Lennard)
October 14 @ Higher Ground, Burlington, VT (with Amy Lennard)
October 15 @ Iron Horse, Northampton, MA (with Amy Lennard)
October 25 @ Memorial Opera House, Valparaiso, IN (*Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers and Chris Koza ONLY*)
October 26 @ Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI (with Chris Koza)
October 27 @ Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, OH
October 28 @ The Basement, Columbus, OH (with Chris Koza)
October 29 @ Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids, MI (with Chris Koza)
October 30 @ Lee's Palace, Toronto, ONT
October 31 @ Water Street Music Hall, Rochester, NY
November 2 @ Café 210, State College, PA (with Deep River)
November 3 @ World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA (with Deep River)
November 4 @ World Cafe Live, Wilmington, DE (with Deep River)
November 5 @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC (with Deep River)
November 25 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
November 26 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
November 29 @ Blueberry Hill, St. Louis, MO (with Graham Colton)
November 30 @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS (with Graham Colton)
December 1 @ Fox Theater, Boulder, CO (with Graham Colton)
December 2 @ Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO (with Graham Colton)
December 3 @ State Room, Salt Lake City, UT
December 4 @The Reef, Boise, ID
December 6 @ Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA
December 7 @ Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
December 8 @ Slim's, San Francisco, CA
December 9 @ Key Club, Los Angeles, CA
December 10 @ Winston's, San Diego, CA
December 13 @ HOB-Cambridge Room, Dallas, TX
December 14 @ The Parish, Austin, TX
December 15 @ White Rabbit, San Antonio, TX
December 16 @ Capital, Houston, TX

For more information, visit