Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sights and Sounds: Gary Calamar, Americana Music Association, Justin Currie

Happy Tuesday morning everybody! Here is a quick roundup of several items pulled from my inbox first thing today...

True Blood, Dexter, Six Feet Under Music Supervisor as well as Disc Jockey, Author and Former Record Store Manager’s Musical Evolution Continues with Solo Debut From a Rock and Roll Wordsmith

LOS ANGELES, CA (TUESDAY AUGUST 26, 2014) – Five-time Grammy nominated music supervisor and noted KCRW Disc Jockey Gary Calamar (www.garycalamar.com) announced today that his debut E.P. You Are What You listen To will be released October 14 via Atlantic Records.
You Are What You Listen To is Gary Calamar’s debut as a musician & songwriter of gloriously catchy, sparkly rock and roll songs, filled with abundant wit and melody. Drawing inspiration from his rock heroes, his tunes alternately crunch as well as caress. Produced by John Would (Fiona Apple), the six songs that compromise the E.P. jam their way directly into your head. They are:
1. I Got An Idea
2. Giddy
3. Minimum Day 
4. She’s So Mid-Century 
5. The Last Revolution
6. Back Door Man
So how does one go from music industry soldier to simply musician? Well, it’s actually more like an evolution than a career change. Known primarily as a five-time Grammy nominated music supervisor on shows like True Blood, Dexter, Six Feet Under as well as KCRW DJ, Gary Calamar has always been a songwriter. None other than Iggy Pop recorded his tune “Let’s Boot and Rally”. So after years of being a closeted songwriter with no time to record, up stepped Atlantic Records who heard a few demo tracks and asked to put the record out. And here we are, You Are What You Listen To
Gary’s humble beginnings in the music business began behind the counter at LA’s finest record stores: Licorice Pizza (RIP), Moby Disc (RIP) and Rhino (RIP). He managed the criminally underrated L.A. band, The Balancing Act who released 3 indie classics on IRS Records. From there he was offered a job at one of the world’s most influential radio stations, KCRW. He also co-authored the book Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again. But all the while he’s been entertaining his inner circle of music pals with his own compositions. Catchy, sparkling, glorious bursts of rock and roll mischief and majesty, they are. Real, live, can’t-get-them-outta-yer-head songs that will be released in on October 14. 
Live dates to be announced shortly. 

Americana Music Association announces its 13th Annual Honors & Awards Performers and Presenters

(Nashville, Tenn.) August 26, 2014 – The Americana Music Association reveals an initial presenter and performer lineup for its 13th annual Honors & Awards Show. As anticipated, the list reflects Americana’s “spirit of eclecticism” (New York Times) through its diverse production/curation.

Hurray For The Riff Raff
is Alynda Lee Segarra /
Photo: Josh Shoemaker
In addition to previously announced performances by Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jimenez, Taj Mahal and Jackson Browne, the tastemaker event will feature Buddy Miller, Cassandra Wilson, Hard Working Americans, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Jason Isbell, Jim Lauderdale, Marty Stuart, Parker Millsap, Patty Griffin, Robert Ellis, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Ry Cooder, Sarah Jarosz, St. Paul & Broken Bones, Sturgill Simpson, The Devil Makes Three, The McCrary Sisters, The Milk Carton Kids and Valerie June with presentations by Amy Ray, Carlene Carter, Elizabeth Cook, Emmylou Harris, JD Souther, Joe Henry, John Paul White, John Ritter, Keb Mo, Rhett Miller, Shovels and Rope, Todd Snider and Vince Gill.
The 13th Annual Honors & Awards Show — held at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 17th — will be hosted by Jim Lauderdale and feature a house band led by Buddy Miller that includes Don Was, Joachim Cooder, Tim Lauer, The McCrary Sisters and legend, Ry Cooder.
Broadcast live with radio partners SiriusXM "Outlaw Country" and online via NPR's Folk Alley, and edited for television for PBS that will air November 22 in the Austin City Limits time slot. The Americana Honors & Awards, for the first time, will also air on Australia's CMC (Country Music Channel). The show kicks off the 15th Annual Festival and Conference that runs Wed. Sept, 17 through Sunday, Sept 21.
For a full list of performers, panels, and ticket and registration information, please visit americanamusic.org.
The 15th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, a “smaller, rootsier version of South by Southwest” (New York Times) will take place September 17-21, 2014 in Nashville, TN, kicked off by the 13th annual Americana Honors & Awards Show on Sept. 17 at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
The Americana Music Association is a professional non-profit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American Roots Music around the world. The Association curates events throughout the year including the annual Americana Music Festival and Conference, presented by Nissan, the acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards program and most recently “Americana NYC” Aug. 4th – 11th — a partnership with Lincoln Center. For more information, please visit www.americanamusic.org.


Justin Currie will tour the U.S. in September and October of 2014.
Justin Currie, the lead singer and songwriter of Scottish pop-rock band Del Amitri, is pleased to announce U.S. dates this fall in support of his newest release, Lower Reaches.

Watch Justin Currie's Video "Bend To My Will" here
Visit Justin Currie's website here
The new album is the follow-up to Currie's 2010 critically acclaimed project The Great War which garnered 4 star reviews and earned Currie the moniker of "a songwriter's songwriter" from Mojo.  On Lower Reaches, Currie's pop sensibilities and radio ready vocals are ever present, but it's his songwriting that is perhaps most striking.  The new set of self-penned songs show Currie emerging as a writer of great depth and sensitivity, deftly examining life, relationships and the human condition, albeit delivered with the healthy dose of cynicism and wit that his fans have come to count on.
Currie wrote most of the songs on Lower Reaches during a solitary songwriting retreat on the Isle of Skye off the coast of Scotland.  Hunkered down in a remote cottage in the shadow of The Cuillins, the mountain range that dominates the Hebridean island, Currie had no internet and no mobile phone, just an acoustic guitar, a piano, and a ghetto-blaster on which to record his ideas.  "I suppose it was a bit like my Brill Building", he smiles. "You're being your own boss and putting yourself under pressure to write."  Currie wrote fifteen songs in eleven days, something of a personal best in terms of rapid-fire delivery. When it came time to capture the music in the studio Currie traveled to Austin, Texas to work with producer Mike McCarthy (Craig Finn [The Hold Steady], Spoon, Patty Griffin, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead).  The process was, in Currie's words, "a brilliant experience" and the resulting tracks have been heralded by the UK press as among the songwriter's recent best. Watch Justin Currie's Video "Bend to My Will" here
As singer and main songwriter in Del Amitri, formed in Glasgow in 1983, Currie wrote many of their biggest hits including ‘Roll To Me’, ‘Always The Last To Know’, and ‘Nothing Ever Happens’. During their long and distinguished career, Del Amitri released four Top 10 albums, including ‘Waking Hours’ (1989), which sold over a million copies in the UK alone. 
About Compass Records
Billboard Magazine has touted Compass Records Group as one of the leading independent labels of the past decade. The label group is home to more than 500 releases across the Compass Records, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records imprints with a roster that boasts a variety of artists including Colin Hay, A.J. Croce, Victor Wooten, Claire Lynch, the Farewell Drifters, Peter Rowan, The Gibson Brothers, Darden Smith, BeauSoleil, Michael Cleveland, and label co-founder Alison Brown. For more information, visit www.compassrecords.com.

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