Thursday, May 28, 2009
Singer-songwriter Tyler Hilton will kick off his tour in support of “Better on Beachwood” with a show at the Coach House on Thursday night, May 28, while Orange County-based jump blues outfit 2000 Lbs Of Blues will celebrate the release of “Soul of a Sinner” with a show at Renaissance Dana Point on May 30.
Hilton, best known as the singer-actor who portrayed a young Elvis Presley in the Academy Award-winning 2005 film “Walk the Line” released his debut on Maverick Records a year earlier; the 11-song CD “The Tracks of Tyler Hilton” generated two well-known singles, “When It Comes” and “How Love Should Be.”
A native of Palm Springs, Hilton is the rare young artist – he is only 25 – who is already a celebrated musician and actor.
Hilton will perform on a bill with Terra Naomi and Danny Maika at the Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, at 8 p.m. on May 28.
As one of the best-known blues bands in Orange County since the 1980s, the Mike Arguello-led 2000 Lbs of Blues is offering up somewhat of a different sonic approach on the forthcoming “Soul of a Sinner” disc. Although jump blues will continue to be the backbone of the troupe’s sound, Arguello said that he is stretching his musical muscle and songwriting abilities with something that is a bit edgier and darker than his previous three albums.
Of the 13 songs on the album, 12 are original tunes that range from harmonica-anchored blues to funky rockers and a Latin jazz-styled track.
Among the artists joining singer-guitarist Arguello on “Soul of a Sinner” are famed guitarist Kirk “Eli” Fletcher (of Fabulous Thunderbirds fame), harmonica player Eric Von Herzer (Social Distortion, Walter Trout) and drummer Tom Fillman (Spencer Davis Band).
2000 Lbs of Blues will perform at Renaissance Dana Point, 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point, at 8 p.m. on May 30.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Fans will have the option of purchasing a collector’s box in which to house all 14 studio albums. The catalogue will also be available digitally. The classic album Exile on Main Street will also be released in early 2010 by UMG as part of wider plans for this title.
Internationally renowned swing/pop trio Hot Club of Cowtown is set to release their first new album, "Wishful Thinking" on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.
On "Wishful Thinking," set for release August 18 (Thirty Tigers), we find the core group of Elana James (fiddle, vocals), Whit Smith (guitar, vocals) and upright bassist (Jake Erwin) reunited for their first new album in five years. Infusing their songwriting with a colorful montage of characters and perspectives, Wishful Thinking shows the band deftly embracing disparate influences – from the combustible "Can't Go on this Way," by Texas swing master Bob Wills – to the minor key gypsy violin line and longing chorus of "Reunion." The music here is elegant and imaginative: Elana’s spring-fingered violin solos and Whit's effortless, liquid guitar lines are propelled by Jake’s driving percussive upright bass. Across the entire album, there is a palpable sense of both genuine excitement and the keening longing expressed in ballads: Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia,” sung by Whit, and the album’s gorgeous closer, Elana’s "little girl lost" turn at George and Ira Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Whit’s original, “Carry Me Close,” is a song of loss and regret that echoes the classic feel of Appalachian mountain ballads.
Lauded on NPR, darlings of international stages from Japan's Fuji Rock Festival to the Stagecoach and all points in between, HCCT began as a combustible trio playing traditional music but began to develop its own sound through invitations to collaborate, tour with, and work alongside more contemporary artists. The trio was hired (and survived) tours with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, first opening for them then playing with them: Elana, a classically trained violinist and the legitimate heir to the great tradition of Western swing which she learned firsthand horse wrangling and working with Texas fiddle masters (and a few stolen encounters with traveling Romany fiddlers), became the first dedicated female instrumentalist to tour in Bob Dylan’s band in over 30 years.
An invitation from Bryan Ferry for HCCT to reinterpret his material coaxed the band into the modern mainstream. Rachel Ray put them in her cookbook! Their appearances at mega-festivals from Byron Bay (Australia) to Fuji Rock (Japan) to Glastonbury (UK), and performances on Jools Holland’s TV show, "Later,” have brought the band international acclaim and a little closer to the millions waiting to fall in love with their music. HCCT has taken a traditional idiom, dusted it off, transfigured it, and reinterpreted it on its own terms. The music is blazing, modern, and has more energy than ever.
But HCCT understand that the beauty and danger that makes great music lies not only in the notes that are played, but from secrets that are held close to one’s heart. They are true proponents of the old adage less is more – they never sacrifice taste and simplicity for mere dazzle. “Bob Dylan taught me that you have to keep some mystery,” confesses Elana. “Don't give it all away. The power's in holding some things back.”
HCCT is currently touring the UK for Wishful Thinking (released May 4 in Europe and the UK). The band is amassing daily 4-star reviews for their live tour dates, including The Guardian and The Independent, complemented by five sessions on BBC radio. HCCT will be alternately touring the US and abroad through the end of 2009 and well into 2010.
Friday, May 22, 2009
The album, produced by Dan Rothchild, finds Hay's distinctive and emotive voice tackling everything from the Internet frontier of the mid-1990s ("Transcendental Highway") and loss ("If I Go," "Goodbye My Red Rose") to his own roller-coaster music career ("My Brilliant Feat").
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Performing a 13-song set comprised mostly of requests from the large and enthusiastic audience packed around the small stage, the Los Angeles native used a number of different guitars and a harmonica, and chatted with the audience and told stories in an intimate setting rarely afforded the artist.
On Sunday, Trucks and the other members of his band undoubtedly made countless new fans with a powerful display. Legendary singer-guitarist Elvin Bishop joined the band on stage for one song, with both Trucks and Bishop playing slide guitar in tandem for a historic performance, while the Derek Trucks Band's members showcased songcraft and growing artistry with a performance of "Get What You Deserve."
Omega Events has continued to find ways to expand the reach of audiences by booking classic artists, and new names that promise to take the blues into the 21st century. So the decision to book the Derek Trucks Band and have Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings follow was welcome for lovers of new music. Jones and her eight-member Dap-Kings were fuel for those who wanted to get close in front of the Renaissance Stage and move to her infectious and accessible blend of Motown, jazz, blues and R&B.
She ended her set with a powerful "100 Days, 100 Nights."
His performance to finish things off was highlighted by "Let the Good Times Roll" and night-ending "The Thrill Is Gone."
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
But that's a good dilemma to have when the performances are as strong as those of the 10 artists I had a chance to catch in Dana Point.
Fans of the Stray Cats may be out of luck in terms of catching that classic trio this summer, but the rockabilly faithful were treated to the next best thing via Brian Setzer & the Nashvillains' headlining an 80-minute set on the Doheny Stage. Opening with the one-two punch of "Red Hot" and "This Cat's on a Hot Tin Roof," singer-guitarist Setzer and his outfit proceeded to tear through 19 songs that included newer originals as well as classic rockabilly staples and reworked Stray Cats hits.
While Setzer has never been known for top-tier vocals, the guy sure can play guitar. Just about every selection allowed him room to amaze the packed crowd with his fretwork. "Peroxide Blonde in a Hopped up Model Ford," "Slow Down" and the night-ending "Rumble in Brighton" were all standouts. The lengthy concert also provided stand-up bassist Ronnie Crutcher and pianist Robbie Chevrier spotlights to display their strong chops.
As entertaining as Setzer was, his wasn't the best set of the day. Several others outdistanced it thanks to artistic ambition or sheer will. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals might not be the usual choice to appear at a blues fest, but the young Vermont outfit's winning mix of blues, R&B, classic- and roots-rock, gospel and soul impressed mightily during a 75-minute set on the Renaissance Stage.
Potter, 25, is a charismatic singer backed by a revamped lineup making its first-ever public appearance. Although longtime lead guitarist Scott Tournet and drummer Matt Burr remain with the Nocturnals, bassist Catherine Pepper and rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco proved they are the perfect fit for the band.
Going back and forth from her mic at center stage to the seat behind her Hammond B3 organ, Potter led the crowd through a musical world that somehow blended the magic of Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Joni Mitchell and Etta James without sounding anything close to those legendary names.
Several selections from the band's 2007 album "This Is Somewhere" easily replicated the joy of that recording, including "Ah Mary," "Apologies" and "Stop the Bus."
Highlights of Bishop's set included his signature hit "Fooled Around and Fell In Love," bolstered by emotive slide guitar work, as well as his collaboration with Németh, who provided guest vocals and strong harmonica firepower on "Night Time Is the Right Time."
Better yet was John Hammond thrilling a packed and rapt crowd packed in around the Backporch with his acoustic, Mississippi-style delivery of originals and classics by Howlin' Wolf and Buddy Guy.
When it comes to England’s Doves, it’s best to drop any natural impulse to compare the Britpop trio with Radiohead, Travis, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Oasis or any of a number of outfits from the other side of the Atlantic. As evidenced by the group’s 90-minute set at House of Blues Anaheim on Friday night, May 15, 2009, singer-bassist Jimi Goodwin, guitarist-vocalist Jez Williams and drummer Andy Williams continue to be as inventive, interesting and talented as their better-known musical counterparts.
While songs such as “Jetstream” and “Winter Hill” -– both off the band’s latest album, Kingdom of Rust –- are accessible and melodic, there are also dense layers of sound and incredible arrangements that fully come across despite the obvious challenges of playing in front of an enthusiastic, capacity crowd. The country-western rhythm that propels Kingdom’s title cut and the hard-edged attack of “The Outsider” are obvious illustrations of Doves’ wide-ranging approach, and the simultaneously eerie and artful atmospherics worked as well live as they do in the recording studio.
Doves, whose sound was enhanced this night by a keyboardist, performed much of the time in front of a large screen upon which dramatic images were projected, heightening the band’s cinematic approach. Other key moments that displayed firepower: the arresting “Almost Forgot Myself,” the reflective “Ambition” and the wistful “There Goes the Fear.”
Opening for Doves was New Hampshire-based Wild Light, an energetic quartet that served up a strong set of ’80s-influenced rock enlivened by keyboards. The highlights of the outfit’s set were the driving electronic rocker “My Father Was a Horse” and “California on My Mind,” the latter a song in which the drummer used a tambourine in his right hand and a stick in his left to achieve a particularly interesting dynamic mixed with great singing
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Story and photo originally posted on the Orange County Register Web site on May 11, 2009.
Before catching Keane at the Grove of Anaheim on Sunday night, May 10, 2009, I hadn't seen the British band since a show at the Greek Theater on September 30, 2005.
Back then, the young trio was riding high after an impressive performance on the main stage at Coachella a few months earlier. In addition, the group's full-length debut "Hopes and Fears" was an immediate commercial success; indeed the album has gone on to sell more than 5.5 million copies around the world since its release in 2004.
But when lead singer Tom Chaplin announced he was admitting himself for treatment resulting from alcohol- and drug-related use in summer 2006, the future of the band seemed in doubt.
Fast forward to Keane's tremendous and rousing show at the Grove of Anaheim on Mother's Day. Performing the best material off all three of their full-length albums, Chaplin, keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley, drummer Richard Hughes and touring bassist Jesse Quin (who was also featured on the band's 2008 disc "Perfect Symmetry") hit all the right notes across a blazing 90-minute set before a near-capacity crowd.
From its earliest days, Keane could effectively unleash powerful rock celebrations wrapped in big choruses, with Chaplin's amazing tenor soaring over propulsive songs such as "Bend and Break." While Chaplin's voice is still the most lethal weapon in Keane's arsenal, artful arrangements and dynamic songcraft – combined with the instinctive ability of the band to connect with the crowd – lifted this concert to loftier heights than the first times I caught Keane four years ago.
There is no denying the power of "Bedshaped," the affecting song that has long served as an effective closer at Keane performances and hit home again this time. However, this 18-song set was enhanced by the wide-ranging set list featuring songs from 2006's "Under the Iron Sea" and 2008's "Perfect Symmetry."
Chief among the highlights was the night-opening "The Lovers Are Losing," a particularly sonically-dark "A Bad Dream" and beautiful acoustic-styled "Try Again."
"This is our first time in Anaheim. Thank you Orange County," Chaplin said in introducing "Again and Again," a '80s-styled dance rocker where he got to showcase his growing skills on guitar.
In performing "Perfect Symmetry," the singer approached the audience and was embraced by countless hands as he sang the lyric "Wrap yourself around me" as if it had been choreographed – one of many magic moments that resulted from the energy between the crowd and band this night.
Two other points in the night were standouts I won't soon forget: "Somewhere Only We Know" buoyed by the kind of joyous sing-along usually reserved for vets like Paul McCartney and U2, and the regular set-ending selection "Crystal Ball" with a strobe light blasting as the crowd clapped rapid fire and Keane played at full volume.
Of the two opening acts on the bill, the Portland-based duo the Helio Sequence turned in the better and more memorable set. Singer-guitarist Brandon Summers and fiery drummer-keyboardist Benjamin Weikel showcased their blend of accessible and driving electro-tinged rock via gems such as "Shed Your Love" and "Keep Your Eyes Ahead." The song "Lately" recalled "Joshua Tree"-era U2 with effects-heavy guitar and Summers' towering vocals.
Nashville-based singer-guitarist Mat Kearney and his backing quartet turned in a pleasing, but somewhat conventional 40-minute set of singer-songwriter folk-rock. His radio-friendly material included the melodic "Fire & Rain," urgent "Crashing Down" and popular new single, the tuneful "Closer to Love."
The banjo virtuoso will perform as part of the Music at the Library concert series at 6:30 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m. at the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library.
Brown, who grew up in the San Diego area and graduated from La Jolla High School, is considered one of the best banjo players on the planet. And while it was bluegrass music that inspired a 10-year-old Brown to pick up the instrument in the early 1970s, today she blends jazz, Americana, folk and Celtic styles together in a sonic brew that is as groundbreaking as it is beautiful.
She comes to Orange County in the wake of the April 9 release of "The Company You Keep," her tenth full-length release. The title is actually an acknowledgment of several areas of her professional life.
"It has a two-fold purpose," Brown said in a recent interview, where she spoke by phone from her home in Nashville, Tenn.
"The first thing I was thinking about was just wanting to do an album that brought the members of the quartet to the forefront just because the guys I am playing with have been on this musical journey with me from the beginning, basically from the first gig I did. And pianist John R. Burr in particular just brings an incredible gift to this music. I mean, my music would not be the same as it is now if I hadn't been playing with John all these years. I'm sure you can tell from listening to the record, he has great jazz chops but a wonderful folk sensibility, and we started playing together in 1993 – that's 16 years now. I can't believe it."
In addition to Brown and pianist John R. Burr, the rest of the quartet features bassist Garry West and fiddler-mandolin player-percussionist Joe Craven.
The second layer in the title of "The Company You Keep" addresses Compass Records. The independent record label was launched by Brown and West (the couple are married and have two young children) in 1995 and has released hundreds of albums by celebrated artists, including Colin Hay (Men at Work), the Bittersweets, Beoga, the Gibson Brothers and Bearfoot.
Brown admits that balancing the duties as band leader, record label executive and mother can be challenging.
"I think the way I juggle my work is the same way that any mom juggles her work," Brown explained. "And I've found that the way that seems to work best for me is that some days are more about being at the office and other days are more on the road and it's all about the music. But it is a completely different time from when I could just sit down with my banjo anytime I wanted and write a tune or just kind of daydream and play. I don't really get to do that anymore."
But listening to Brown's latest album, and the beautiful work she displays on the Celtic-flavored "Drawing Down the Moon" and jazz-styled "Rocket Summer," it's easy to hear why Brown continues to make time to champion the banjo.
"It's a challenging instrument just because most people insist on thinking it has to be like 'Hee Haw' and bank robbery music and car chase music," Brown said.
"It's just a perpetual challenge that we (banjo players) face. They (some listeners) don't recognize or they are reluctant to buy into the idea that the banjo has a long history in lots of different kinds of music and there is no reason why it can't play lots of different kinds of music, and there is absolutely no reason to be afraid of the banjo."
For more information on Brown's upcoming shows, visit http://www.musicatthelibrary.com/ or call the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library at 949-493-1752.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Where: San Juan Capistrano Regional Library, 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano
When: 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on May 9
How much: $10 for adults; $5 for children under age 12
Contact: Call 949-493-1752
Eric Bibb has been performing and impressing audiences for most of his life. The New York native is the son of singer Leon Bibb and the nephew of jazz pianist-composer John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
Local audiences have two chances to catch Bibb when he performs as part of the Music at the Library concert series in San Juan Capistrano, playing shows at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on May 9.
Recorded in Nashville and Stockholm, Sweden, “Get Onboard” features both Raitt and Ruthie Foster as well as a talented band including keyboardist Glen Scott, guitarist-bassist Tommy Sims and drummer Lemar Carter.
For those planning on attending the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point on May 16 and 17, the upcoming Bibb concerts should definitely set the right tone.
Friday, May 01, 2009
NEW SINGLE “NO SURPRISE” OFFERS FIRST GLIMPSE OF NEW ALBUM, THE BAND’S FOLLOW-UP TO ITS MULTIPLATINUM DEBUT
NEW DAUGHTRY ALBUM DUE JULY 14, 2009
(Los Angeles, CA) Daughtry will debut “No Surprise,” the first single from the band’s second album, during the Wednesday, May 6 episode of "American Idol." It is the first track from their 19 Recordings/RCA July 14 release. Daughtry is currently in the studio finishing the yet to be titled album, which follows the band’s GRAMMY-nominated, quadruple-platinum debut.
“American Idol fans have been so loyal to this band, we wanted to give them the first listen to our new single,” says singer Chris Daughtry.
Daughtry, bassist Josh Paul, drummer Joey Barnes, and guitarists Brian Craddock and Josh Steely recorded the new album’s 10-plus songs in Los Angeles. Boasting a more gritty sound, the new album features a band sharpened by two years on the road, where they’ve graduated from clubs and theaters to opening arenas for Nickelback and Bon Jovi.
The new album follows the runaway success of Daughtry’s 2006 debut, which scored three #1 songs and was the biggest-selling artist release for two years running. The accolades garnered by Daughtry include multiple wins at the American Music Awards, the World Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.
Active in the fight against global poverty and disease, Daughtry supports the ONE Campaign. Last year, the band performed at both political conventions to raise awareness for the ONE Campaign and encourage first-time voters.
Daughtry proves rock steady
Review: He and his band kick off a national tour with a blend of 'American Idol' fever and melodic post-grunge.
By ROBERT KINSLER
Special to the Register
The 27-year-old singer-songwriter was signed by RCA Records, released an album of mostly original material in November 2006 that quickly went platinum, and kicked off a national club tour with an impressive concert before an adoring capacity crowd at House of Blues in Anaheim on Sunday night.
The North Carolina native led his quintet, named simply DAUGHTRY, through an 11-song set that displayed his "American Idol" vocal firepower, similarly showcased on his 12-song debut.
The band's accessible, modern post-grunge brew, which draws easy comparisons to Three Doors Down, Creed and "Throwing Copper"-era Live, pleased just about everyone. Added to that was Daughtry's authentic and likable persona, which drew screams from the younger members of the audience and near-universal strong applause throughout his hour-long set.
The good news for those hoping he might have more than 15 minutes of fame is that the band proved itself able to propel the melodic rock explored in "Gone," "It's Not Over" and "Crashed" (the night's opening selection), and his hardest rocker, "What I Want." Guitarists Jeremy Brady and Josh Steely, as well as drummer Joey Barnes and bassist Josh Paul, looked as thrilled to be there as Daughtry, and all played well together.
Early in the set, Daughtry showcased his confidence. In "Used To," he used his soaring tenor without bombast, even while walking up to the front to reach out to fans. And the biggest surprise was to come: The group dealt a knockout with a mostly faithful and compelling version of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday."
And while there were occasional lulls between songs while equipment and instruments were adjusted, such is understandable as this unlikely young band embarks on its first tour in the wake of almost-instant success.
Indeed, Daughtry might well have been thinking he and his band were playing at nearby Disneyland as part of some kind of fantasy, rather than before 1,000 or so enthusiastic fans.
"This is our biggest show yet; thanks so much," Daughtry said early on. And he continued to thank the audience throughout the night.
The evening kicked off with a 30-minute set from Baltimore-based Cinder Road. Thanks to strong songs such as "Should've Known Better," "I'm So Sorry" and "Get In Get Out" – delivered by energetic singer-guitarist Mike Ruocco, fiery lead guitarists Pat Patrick and Chris Shucosky, drummer Mac Calvaresi and bassist Nat Doegen – the band's accessible material boasted solid songwriting, catchy choruses and powerful musicianship recalling Sister Hazel or a hard-edged Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Sadly, New York City quartet Eve to Adam failed to justify its position on the bill. With the exception of the hard-rocking "Rise" and folk-rock tune "Comin' Home," the set failed to deliver anything approaching the strength of the opening and closing acts.