Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sights and Sounds: Walter Trout, Rhonda Vincent,, Joywave

Here is a little bit of everything. First and foremost, great news that we are getting a new studio album from singer-songwriter-guitarist Walter Trout this fall...I've received a number of interesting media releases and this is simply a re-posting and roundup of many of those.

Walter Trout and Provogue / Mascot Label Group announce October 25, 2015 release date for 'Battle Scars'

Joyful, energized guitar-and-vocal performances frame the dozen original songs
that narrate his hard-won, life-or-death struggle waiting for, and ultimately
receiving, a life-saving liver transplant.
New York, NY --- With bristling energy, unflagging virtuosity and lyrics that cut to the core of human hope and willpower, Walter Trout’s new album, Battle Scars, chronicles his horrific battle with liver failure. But the 12-song set, which will be released worldwide by Mascot Label Group’s Provogue Records on October 23 also captures the international guitar hero, on a new high — playing and singing at the peak of his abilities, infusing even his darkest numbers with creative joy that sweeps like a beacon.  "I’m thrilled about this album, about my life and about my music,” says Trout, who returned to the stage in June at the prestigious Lead Belly Festival in London’s Royal Albert Hall. “I feel that I’m reborn as a songwriter, a singer, a guitarist and a human being. I have a new chance at being the best musician and the best man that I can be. And I’m incredibly happy and grateful.”
Contrast that to early 2014, when Trout was lying in a hospital bed without the strength to move or speak, unable to recognize his own children, as he observed  his body waste away. But on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, Trout underwent liver transplant surgery and the slow process of healing began. “At first I wasn’t  strong enough to play a single note on the guitar, but as I regained my strength,  the music came back to me. Now when I pick up the guitar, it is liberating, joyful, and limitless. I feel like I’m 17 again.”
Initially, Trout hoped to capture his renewal and positivity in the songs, “but,” says Trout,  “they were coming out cliché and I wanted to write something deeper.” After Marie, Trout’s wife and manager,  suggested that he revisit the difficult experiences of his illness, the songs began pouring out. The first was “Omaha,” which resonates with smashing chords and vibrating low strings: a solo packed with pealing midnight howls. The lyrics tell a tale of a man haunted by death.  "I was in UCLA for a month, and later at the Nebraska Medical Center for five months in the liver ward — first waiting for the transplant, and then recovering from the surgery,” Trout recounts. “There were days when  somebody in the ward died while waiting. I’d hear families out in the hall crying and doctors trying to comfort them. And I knew there was a good chance that I’d be the next one to go. For ‘Omaha.’ I wanted to capture how that felt and sounded.”
The opening song “Almost Gone” is equally potent. As the fingerpicked introduction intones, Trout lays his cards on the table: “Now I get the feeling/Something’s going wrong/Can’t help but feelin’/I won’t last too long.”  The fatalism is balanced by the music — from the exquisite roar of Trout’s harmonica that follows those words to the ebullient, soaring six-string that gives the tune a tsunami of uplift. “Almost Gone” captures the strength I got from my wife, urging me to go on fighting when I was in pain, and on the verge of death,” says Trout. “I looked up into her eyes, and she gave me the power to carry on. That experience is reflected in my playing on the song.”  Another key track is “Gonna Live Again,” which gets its organic grounding from Trout’s acoustic guitar and the gentle quiver of emotion in his voice. “That’s me asking God, ‘Why me?’ When so many people died waiting, why did I survive? I’ve been given a chance to try again — a chance to be a better husband, a better father, and a better man.”
Battle Scars is Trout’s 18th album released by the Netherlands-based Provogue label and his 42nd overall, counting his pre-solo-career recordings as a member of the historic groups: Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Trout fell headlong in love with the blues in 1965 when his brother brought the first album by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band into his family's New Jersey home, and Trout heard the twin-guitar magic of Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, combined with Butterfield's gut-deep harmonica-and-vocal performances. In his music-loving home, Walter was raised to the sounds of records by Ray Charles, Hank Williams, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, John Coltrane, Bo Diddley and many other musical giants.  Trout’s practical schooling started in earnest when he arrived in Los Angeles in 1973 and got gigs backing Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Finis Tasby, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulsom, Percy Mayfield and Joe Tex. In 1981 he joined the remaining original members of Canned Heat. But the real turning point was his five-year tenure with British blues giant Mayall. Trout became part of the Bluesbreakers’ lineage of great guitarists along with Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor.
Trout founded his own band in 1989 and cut his debut album Life In the Jungle, rapidly becoming a star in Europe. His first U.S. release, 1998's critically heralded Walter Trout, also made him a fixture of the American blues-rock scene.
Over the decades Trout has accumulated numerous honors. He is a two-time winner of the “Overseas Artist of the Year” title at the British Blues Awards, and is a three-time Blues Music Awards nominee. Trout’s six-string prowess earned the number six slot in BBC Radio 1’s “Top 20 Guitarist” listener’s poll, tying with Queen’s Brian May.
Just prior to his illness, Provogue records was poised for a major “Year of the Trout” marketing campaign and worldwide tour celebrating his 25 years as a solo artist. The label released Trout’s then newly recorded  album, When the Blues Came Calling, and reissued his catalog on 180-gram vinyl. Additionally, Provogue published his  autobiography penned with British music journalist, Henry Yates: Rescued From Reality: The Life and Times of Walter Trout.  “Unfortunately, that tour didn’t happen,” Trout says. “Instead I had to cancel an entire year of touring. That’s what the song on Battle Scars, ‘My Ship Came In’ is about: My ship came in and I missed it! I’d waited all my life for a record label to get behind me to that extent, and then that plan fell apart.”
Trout is now moving triumphantly forward in his 50th year as a guitarist. He is in the midst of a global tour with his band: keyboardist Sammy Avila, drummer Michael Leasure, and new bassist Johnny Griparic, who joined in time to record Battle Scars in Los Angeles’ Kingsize Soundlabs with Trout’s longtime producer Eric Corne.  “I don’t take this lightly,” Trout declares. “Marie says that all of the people who donated to our fundraiser for my medical expenses” — which generated more than $240,000 – “bought stock in me and my liver. When I play for them now, I have a responsibility to give back and offer the very best that I have.”
Confirmed appearances include:
8/20     Denver, CO                                                     Oriental Theatre
8/22     Taos, NM                                                       Taos Blues Festival
8/29     Los Angeles, CA                                             Ascencia Urban Blues Festival, Raleigh Studios
9/10     Las Vegas, NV                                                Big Blues Bender
9/11     Las Vegas, NV                                                Big Blues Bender
9/20     Ventura, CA                                                    California Beer Festival
9/25     Solana Beach, CA                                           Belly Up
9/26     Huntington Beach, CA                                   Huntington Beach Library Theatre
10/02   San Francisco, CA                                          Biscuits and Blues
10/03   San Francisco, CA                                          Biscuits and Blues
10/04   Sacramento, CA                                              California Auto Museum
10/07   Yakima, WA                                                   The Seasons Performance Hall
10/09   Tacoma, WA                                                   Jazzbones
10/10   Burlington, WA                                              Skagit Center
10/17   Anchorage, AK                                               Williwaw
11/07   Frederikshavn, Denmark                                 Frederikshavn Bluesfestival
11/08   Malmo, Sweden                                              Sverige
11/10   Silkeborg, Denmark                                         Kedelhuset
11/11   Copenhagen, Denmark                                    Amager Bio
11/13   Harstad, Norway                                            Nordic Hall
11/14   Tromsa, Norway                                            Kulturhuset
11/17   Stockton, UK                                                  Arc
11/18   Glasgow, UK                                                  ABC
11/20   Holmfirth, UK                                                Picturedrome
11/21   London, UK                                                    Forum
11/24   Leamington Spa, UK                                      Assembly
11/25   Frome, UK                                                      Cheese & Grain
11/28   Amsterdam, Netherlands                                Carre
12/01   Hamburg, Germany                                        Fabrik
12/02   Berlin, Germany                                             Kesselhaus
12/03   Bochum, Germany                                          RuhrCongress
12/05   Zurich, Switzerland                                        Kaufleuten
12/06   Munich, Germany                                          Theaterfabrik
4/10     St. Petersburg, FL                                           Tampa Bay Blues Festival (headliner)

Rhonda Vincent goes from 'All-American Bluegrass Girl' to global genre-crossing trailblazer

Vincent Picks Up Nominations for 2015 IBMA Awards and 46th Annual GMA Dove Awards

Brian Zahorodniuk / Visualz Photography
To say that 2015 has been a big year for 'The Queen of Bluegrass' Rhonda Vincent would be an understatement. She has transcended beyond the All American Bluegrass Girl who stole the nation's heart with her genuine songs and charismatic personality, by expanding her sound globally. With a highly successful European summer tour, IBMA and Dove nominations, along with a Christmas album on the way, it has been a monumental year for the 15-time "Entertainer of the Year."

"I was so surprised to find out the Czech Republic is the "Bluegrass Capitol" of Europe. The response to our shows was overwhelming" said an excited Rhonda Vincent. "I guess you could say we're bluegrass jet setters, as we've traveled to 9 different countries in only the last 30 days, and I'm loving every minute, as we share our music with the World!"

The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced their finalists for the 2015 awards ceremony, and Vincent has secured a nomination for "Female Vocalist of the Year." After winning this exact award an unprecedented 7 consecutive years, from 2000 - 2006; in addition to "Entertainer of the Year" in 2001, she is no stranger to this annual event. Also, up for "Guitar Player of the Year" is fellow Rage member Josh Williams, who is already a 3-time winner in this category.

After exploding into the Gospel genre with her 2012 album Sunday Mornin' Singin' LIVE!, Vincent returns to this familiar territory, after picking up 2 nominations at the 46th Annual Dove Awards, both coming in the category for "Bluegrass Song of the Year." The song, "God is There," is the inspirational collaboration with fellow Bluegrass singer/songwriter Lizzy Long. The cut comes from Long's latest album,Blueberry Pie, and sees Vincent and Long trading vocals back-and-forth on the touching ballad. Also nominated is the track, "Daddy Was an Old Time Preacher Man," which is part of Volume Five's latest album Voices. The song was originally written and recorded in 1970 by Country icon Dolly Parton, alongside the late Grand Ole Opry Member and TV star Porter Wagoner. The awards take place in Nashville, Tenn. on Oct. 13 at the Allen Arena.

Not to be limited by genre boundaries, Vincent is also featured on two brand new Pop and Folk songs. "One Life" is the latest single by Canadian sensation Chris Janz, and was released earlier this month. The encouraging tune takes listeners on a journey, with its heartfelt lyrics and catchy melody. Vincent is also featured on Jon Pousette-Dart's brand new album Talk. The project, produced by Nashville's legendary producer Bil VornDick, was released in late July.

Vincent is also back in the United States, following her SOLD OUT 2015 European Tour. The extraordinary excursion kicked off in Jablonec, Czech Republic on July 9 with what was supposed to be one show, but turned into a two-show affair after the first quickly sold out seven months in advance. The area has a history of being major supporters of the genre, often being referred to as the "Bluegrass Capitol" of Europe. From there, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage made their way to Breim, Norway, where they performed a show at a historic church, and at Norsk Country Treff for over 8,000 fans. Next, the most awarded band in bluegrass music history, traveled to Amsterdam to play at the world famous Paradiso, which has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including The Rolling Stones. Then came the Best Music 2015 on the Marketplatz in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany, and to close things out, Vincent made her highly-anticipated return to Laufen, Switzerland for two more sold-out shows.

Rhonda Vincent & The Rage will soon hit the road again, aboard the Martha White Bluegrass Express, and begin a countdown of 41 remaining performance dates for 2015. They travel next to Canada, then back to the USA for the rest of the year!

Learn more about Rhonda Vincent at

Ken Lewis Presents
A streaming video tutorial subscription service for all levels of musicians and singers

Ken Lewis is proud to announce the launch of, providing an easy, motivational approach for learning how to sing or play an instrument from the privacy of your computer, tablet or phone. Launching with over 400 music video lessons to start, provides conveniently accessible and affordable resources for the novice and/or aspiring musician, as well as the seasoned musicians eager to polish their skills, in an easy-to-follow, monthly subscription streaming service, with prices starting as low as $9.99 / $14.99 / $19.99. 

Founded by Ken Lewis, a Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist and producer with over 23 years of experience making major label records, provides fun and affordable music lessons for all ages that will inspire and awaken the spark of music inside everyone.

Pick your favorite instrument and start learning now, from’s award-winning instructors at affordable prices! launches with over 400 video tutorials teaching voice, piano, guitar, drums, bass, rhythm section, extensive music theory, and MSO Kids animated episodes. New video and resource content will be constantly added to the site, with over 200 more lessons already created.

MusicSchoolOnline’s instructors are all top-level professional musicians who have major credits with artists playing on Gold, Platinum, and Grammy nominated records. Prospective students can hear their work on songs like Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”, Alicia Keys “Girl On Fire”, Kanye West’s “Power” and countless others.  Lessons generally pair teaching a skill with learning a current or classic song utilizing that skill, so your playing improves while you stay interested. Learning is made easy with on screen graphics, chords, finger positions, tab, split screens, chapter markers, and supplemental materials.

Forget traveling to take expensive private lessons!

Learn some of the most popular songs on the radio taught by some of the world’s best instructors, anywhere, any time, at your own pace, on any device, affordably!  Suggested courses will help guide the beginner’s learning experience while extensive music theory tutorials will help the very serious musicians advance their skills to the highest levels.

Beginners will easily conquer the fear of how to get started, as they learn to play a fun song on day one, such as Ken Lewis’s Guitar Lesson 1 – “Royals” by Lorde, or Alfie Magliano’s basic Piano Lesson “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith. Pause, rewind, watch again and again until you get it right! Then move on and pick your next lesson instantly. You choose what you learn.

Parents! Many of your children get little to no exposure to music education nowadays in school, unlike when we grew up. MSO Kids animated episodes will keep your children fascinated and engaged as they learn about music, while singing and playing along with Dave and our animated musical monsters, Woofgang, Banjo, Spike, and Belle. MSO Kids ukulele and recorder lessons are perfect for elementary kids learning recorder in school, and offer super, simple-to-follow on screen finger positions, while instructor Dave keeps the learning fun and easy. Your kids can learn “Let It Go” (Frozen) on recorder, and so much more. Give them the opportunity to experience the joy of making music, and while your at it, pick back up that old guitar sitting in your closet and fall in love with music all over again.

Pricing Plans and options:
- Monthly subscriptions ranging from $9.99, $14.99, and $19.99.
- 6 Month All-Access Membership available for $99.99
- 1 Year All-Access Membership available for $189.99
Please visit today to sample over a dozen free video lessons here:
For more information on instructional music video lessons, instruments, and pricing, please visit:

Joywave releases 'Now' Video 

Keeping in line with their wildy inventive and creative string of videos, Joywave has released another visually stimulating piece of film for their current single, “Now.”  A fan favorite live and currently moving up the alternative radio charts, the video for “Now (JöŚ edit) was shot and edited by guitarist, Joseph Morinelli, features a montage of Joywave’s whirlwind year on the road since the release of their debut album, How Do You Feel Now? earlier this year.

Performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, having Tony Hawk introduce their performance at this year’s X Games, releasing a slew of acclaimed remixes, touring with Bleachers, Brandon Flowers and the Kooks, which culminated in a buzzworthy performance at Summerstage in Central Park, are just some of the highlights of the last six months. 

Called out by as one of the "20 Bands You Need to See This Summer", Joywave recently announced their first headlining US tour this fall, the World Tour USA 2015 with special guests Alpine, and have already sold out their LA date on September 22nd.    Next week, the Rochester, NY based band will make their debut at two high-profile UK festivals -- Reading and Leeds, and will also perform at Lollapalooza Berlin.

Dates for Joywave’s World Tour 2015 are below as well as the link to the “Now (JöŚ Edit)” video.

WATCH Joywave “Now (JöŚ edit) HERE

·        9/18: San Francisco, CA @ Popscene at Rickshaw Stop (w/ Alpine)
·        9/19: Sacramento, CA @ TBD Festival
·        9/22: West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour (w/ Alpine)
·        9/23: San Diego, CA @ The Casbah (w/ Alpine)
·        9/25: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court (w/ Alpine)
·        9/26: Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
·        9/27: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room (w/ Alpine)
·        9/29: Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club (w/ Alpine)
·        9/30: Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall (w/ Alpine)
·        10/2: St. Louis, MO @ Firebird (w/ Alpine)
·        10/3: Indianapolis, IN @ The HiFi (w/ Alpine)
·        10/4: Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
·        10/6: Detroit, MI @ The Shelter (w/ Alpine)
·        10/7: Toronto, ON @ The Garrison (w/ Alpine)
·        10/8: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre (w/ Alpine)
·        10/9: Buffalo, NY @ The Waiting Room (w/ Alpine)
·        10/10: Rochester, NY @ Anthology (w/ Alpine)
·        10/14: Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall (w/ Alpine)
·        10/16: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall (w/ Alpine)
·        10/20: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
·        10/31: New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Festival 2015

How Do You Feel Now?

Wide Download Link:

Wide Streaming Partners Link:

Amazon Music Link (digital):

Amazon Music Link (vinyl):

Google Play Link:

How Do You Feel Now?
(Cultco Music/Hollywood Records)

1. Somebody New
2. Carry Me
3. Tongues (feat. KOPPS)
4. Destruction
5. Now
6. Parade
7. In Clover
8. Feels Like a Lie
9. Traveling at the Speed of Light
10. Nice House
11. Bad Dreams

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