Sunday, February 28, 2016

Paul Stanley brings Soul Station to the Coach House

KISS singer Paul Stanley brought his new group Soul Station
to the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Feb. 26, 2016.
Photo: Bob Steshetz
REVIEW: KISS singer Paul Stanley proves he has plenty of soul in Orange County debut of his new ensemble

It's no surprise there were plenty of KISS fans on hand at the Coach House on Friday night (Feb. 26, 2016) to catch the local debut of singer-guitarist Paul Stanley's new group dubbed Soul Station. But what may have been a bit surprising to some unschooled members of the capacity crowd was not only the complete lack of any KISS classics in the set list, but the fact that "the Starchild" performed sans makeup and never even touched a guitar during the 90-minute performance.
Paul Stanley at the Coach House.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

The good news is the 64-year-old hard rocking icon's performance was not only very good and made for a fun-filled night of music courtesy of his outstanding backing 12-member ensemble Soul Station. Stanley and company crackled life into more than a dozen soul and Motown classics in versions that featured arrangements mostly faithful to the studio versions while gaining an additional edge afforded by the concert setting. 

Opening with a rousing version of the Temptations' "Get Ready," this was a performance where every song covered was a bona fide classic. As Stanley noted after the opener: "Tonight's about a lot of the music I grew up loving."

Stanley used his falsetto as the instrument of choice throughout most of the night, generally able to hit all the high notes associated with iconic ballads (the Delfonics' "La-La Means I Love You," an especially impressive take on the Miracles' "Ooo Baby Baby") and uptempo soul standards (Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" with Stanley showing off some dance moves; Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"). Stanley not only hit those lofty notes, but delivered the songs with authentic emotion that gave the overall performance an artistic sense of purpose more than justifying future outings from Soul Station.
From left, Nelson Beato, Crystal Starr, Paul
Stanley and Ayana Layli. Photo: Bob Steshetz

The three terrific backing singers (all of whom were featured singing lead vocals from time to time) were the obvious ingredient in replicating the vocal sound of the soul era; a top-tier trio of horn players, ace rhythm section (including long-time KISS drummer Eric Singer), several keyboardists and stellar guitarist Rafael "Hoffa" Moreira (the latter who drew several cheers throughout the night for his flashy fret work, notably during an extended cover of the Isley Brothers' "Who's That Lady") all helped make this a night to celebrate a sound that got many on their feet and dancing in a venue where such displays are rare.
Tom Griesgraber playing Chapman
Stick at the Coach House.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

Opening the night was Tom Griesgraber, an Encinitas-based composer who performed an instrumental set of original works on a Chapman Stick, a unique instrument that is able to fuse sounds from the guitar, bass guitar and even keyboards. 

His virtuoso talents on the Stick were highlighted on the beautiful Americana-styled "Rebecca" and dazzling rhythm-defying "War Dance."

For more information on Tom Griesgraber, visit his official Web site at

Review by Robert Kinsler

All photos courtesy of Bob Steshetz

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sights and Sounds: Doheny Blues Fest, Walter Trout, James, Record Store Day update

There is plenty of music news to catch up on, so let's get started...

Doheny Blues Festival less than three months away and there is more big news as it relates to additional acts (Lynyrd Skynyrd and Walter Trout were among the big names announced earlier this month). Here is a poster featuring the latest big names added to the diverse and promising two-day festival coming to Doheny Beach in Dana Point on May 21 and 22, 2016.

Visit the official Doheny Blues Festival Web site for more details and ticket information.

Speaking of Walter Trout, if you can't hit Dana Point to catch him in May, here is the full media release with details on his forthcoming tour of the U.S.

Walter Trout announces extensive U.S. tour in support of most recent album, 'Battle Scars'

Provogue / Mascot Label Group Album Presents The Guitarist and Blues
Singer-Songwriter's Narration Of His Hard-Won, Life-Or-Death Struggle
Waiting For, And Receiving, A Life-Saving Transplant

Walter Trout performing at
Doheny Blues Festival in May 2011.
Photo: Bob Steshetz
New York, NY --- Walter Trout hits the highways of the U.S. this March for the long-anticipated tour to support his recent studio album Battle Scars.  The tour begins on March 10 in Las Vegas, and will run through June.  Alongside headline dates across the country, Trout will appear at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, headline several festivals including the Tampa Bay Blues Festival and the Beale Street Music Fest in Memphis. Trout will also perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville for Lead Belly Fest (which follows his recent show-stopping appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York).  He will then return to Europe for an extensive tour of prestigious festivals overseas.

With bristling energy, unflagging virtuosity and lyrics that cut to the core of human hope and willpower, Trout’s Battle Scars, chronicles his horrific battle with liver failure. The 12-song set, released worldwide by Mascot Label Group’s Provogue Records, 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 2015 at the esteemed Lead Belly Festival at 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.”

Trout looks forward to playing the songs from his recent release for his US fans. Speaking from his home in Southern California, he relates: “The songs come out a little bit different each night, as I feed off inspiration from the audience. It is still a therapeutic experience for me to play these songs about my journey to death’s door and back, and each time I share them with a live audience, I heal a little bit more.”

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’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 chart-topping 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 three-time winner of the “Overseas Artist of the Year” title at the British Blues Awards, and is a three-time Blues Music Awards nominee (US). In 2015, Trout won the Sena European Guitar Award, and honor he shares with a handful of acclaimed previous winners such as Brian May, Steve Lukather, and Slash. Trout’s six-string prowess earned the number six slot in BBC Radio 1’s “Top 20 Guitarist” listener’s poll.

Trout is now moving triumphantly forward in his 50th year as a guitarist. He is joined on the road by keyboardist Sammy Avila, drummer Michael Leasure, and bassist Johnny Griparic, with a special appearance by son Jon Trout.  “I don’t take this lightly,” Trout declares. “My wife, 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:
3/10     Las Vegas, NV                                               Boulder Station Casino
3/11     Phoenix, AZ                                                    Rhythm Room
3/30     Taos, NM                                                        Taos Mesa Brewing
4/01     Woodlands, TX                                              Dosey Doe - The Big Barn
4/02     Austin, TX                                                      Scoot Inn
4/04     Dallas, TX                                                       The Kessler Theater
4/07     Jacksonville, FL                                              Mojo Kitchen
4/08     Boca Raton, FL                                              Funky Biscuit
4/09     Stuart, FL                                                        Terra Fermata
4/10     St. Petersburg, FL                                           Tampa Bay Blues Festival (headliner)
4/13     New York, NY                                               BB King's Blues Club
4/14     Pawling, NY                                                   Daryl's House
4/15     Fall River, MA                                                Narrows Center For The Arts
4/16     Norfolk, CT                                                    Infinity Music Hall
4/19     Atlanta, GA                                                    Smith's Olde Bar
4/20     Franklin, TN                                                    Music City Roots (Live HD Webcast)
4/22     New Orleans, LA                                            New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
4/25     Washington DC                                              Howard Theatre
4/26     Wheeling, WV                                                River City Ale Works
4/27     Columbus, OH                                                Woodlands Tavern
4/30     St. Louis, MO                                                 Old Rock House
5/04     Milwaukee, WI                                               Shank Hall
5/05     Minneapolis, MN                                            Famous Dave's
5/06     Clearlake, IA                                                   Surf Ballroom

5/07     Kansas City, MO                                            Knucklehead's Saloon

James is set to return with the release of the UK band's 14th studio album, Girl At The End Of The World. Read all about the new album and how to pre-order the full-length release (and watch the official video of "To My Surprise" off the disc), which is set to land in the U.S. on March 18, on the Music Minded site.

Finally, Record Store Day is thrilled to announce its Ambassador for 2016, Grammy Award-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees...

Metallica is no stranger to Record Store Day, this year set for Saturday, April 16, a special day in support of independent record stores and record store culture worldwide, now in its ninth year.
"Independent record stores are part of Metallica's DNA," said drummer Lars Ulrich. "They have been pivotal in shaping each one of us into the music fanatics we've all become. We could not be any prouder to be Record Store Day Ambassadors for 2016 and are looking forward to screaming from every rooftop the next few months about everything independent record store and beyond."
Throughout Record Store Day's near-decade lifespan, Metallica's support has been more than noteworthy with in-store appearances, (remember Mountain View, CA Rasputin Records in 2008, when the band met their fans for hours to kick off the very first Record Store Day) and a healthy handful of special releases. In fact, members James HetfieldLars UlrichKirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo made big news just last year when the band's cassette-issued democollection, No Life Til Leather, ended up as Record Store Day 2015's highest seller. As well, Trujillo's lauded biopic, Jaco, about legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius, was RSD 2014's Official Film and a special Record Store Day exclusive version was released on DVD for Black Friday 2015, including a bonus CD featuring tracks from Trujillo himself.  
This year the band's official release will fit into a wider theme of Record Store Day 2016, highlighting the relationship between US record stores and their French counterparts, between Record Store Day and 'Disquaire Day', between music-loving humans in the US and France, following the tragic events in Paris in November 2015. Metallica will release Libert√©, Egalit√©, Fraternit√©, Metallica! - Live at Le Bataclan. Paris, France - June 11th, 2003, a CD featuring a live recording from the club, with the band, Record Store Day and independent record stores donating proceeds to benefit Fondation de France's Give For France charity (details here)
The live recording set list includes: "The Four Horsemen;" "Leper Messiah;" "No Remorse;" "Fade To Black;" "Frantic;" "Ride The Lightning;" "Blackened;" and encores: "Seek & Destroy;" and "Damage, Inc."
For now, let's all get ready for another great Saturday in April, when we celebrate the culture of the independent record store with Metallica.  

About Record Store Day:

Record Store Day, the organization, is managed by the Department of Record Stores and is organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and promotes independent record stores year-round with events, special releases and other fun things. 

Record Store Day, the global celebration of the culture of the record store, takes place annually in April.
Record Store Day 2016 Sponsors:
ADA, Border City Media, Caroline, Crosley Turntables, Disk Union, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, InGrooves, Music Business Association, RED, Red Bull Sound Select, Redeye Distribution, Sony Music, Universal Music Distribution, Warner Bros. Records, WEA

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Songcraft Takes Center Stage on New Discs

Americana and classic songwriting takes center stage on a number of new releases, including an essential Johnny Cash live disc, two JD Souther reissues and new albums from genre-defying master artist Emitt RhodesAussie country music outlaw Henry Wagons and songstress Skylar Gudasz.

Artist: Johnny Cash
Title: Koncert v Praze (Columbia / Legacy Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Johnny Cash
Tell me more: Koncert v Praze ("In Prague-Live) is more than a great concert recording that captured Johnny Cash on April 11, 1978. Cash was a 46-year-old artist already on his way to legendary status when he accepted an offer to go behind the Iron Curtain and perform four concerts in Czechoslovakia. And as this historic recording proves (finally released as a stand-alone CD in February 2016; for years it was only available via vinyl in Czechoslovakia), this was a fateful encounter allowing a small thaw in U.S.-Czech relations and introducing American music to audiences in the Soviet block via four sold-out shows that played out to approximately 40,000. The recording itself sounds fantastic, with the set including energetic performances of "Ring of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line" and other favorites from the groundbreaking Man in Black. Information:

Purchase 'Koncert V. Praze' on CD

Artist: Emitt Rhodes
Title: Rainbow Ends (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: JD Souther, James Taylor
Tell me more: It's hard to imagine a more dramatic return than exhibited by Emitt Rhodes on his new album Rainbow Ends. His first new album in 43 years (you read that right; 43 years), an impressive cast of talented musicians including Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and Jason Falkner (founding members of Jellyfish and currently members of Beck's band), Aimee Mann, Susanna Hoffs, Jon Brion, Wilco's Nels Cline and members of Brian Wilson's band help elevate the great songwriting displayed across Rainbow Ends. A bona fide cult hero among lovers of power-pop for his 1971 eponymous debut, the 65-year-old Rhodes' voice is a wonder able to sing melodic pop ("This Wall Between Us," "Put Some Rhythm To It") and emotive baroque pop-fused ballads ("Isn't It So," "I Can't Tell My Heart") with graceful authority. Information:

Purchase 'Rainbow Ends' here

Artist: Henry Wagons
Title: After What I Did Last Night… (Goldview / MGM)
You might like if you enjoy: Sturgill Simpson, Johnny Cash, the Felice Brothers
Tell me more: Like the late country music great Johnny Cash, Australian singer-songwriter Henry Wagons has a rich baritone voice. As he proves on his first-ever solo effort After What I Did Last Night…," Wagons (a member of the popular Melbourne-based alt-country band Wagons since 1999) is a master of blending Americana soundscapes and original songcraft.    Wagons left Down Under for Nashville to record this album, and the result is a collection of biting songs that blend lyrical wit and real-world insight at every turn. Songs twist and turn in unique ways (just listen to "Santa Fe") that thrill while simultaneously celebrating authentic country western, modern-day rock and Americana with the originality of the Felice Brothers and Sturgill Simpson. Information:

Get 'After What I Did Last Night' here

Artist: JD Souther
Titles: Black Rose; Home by Dawn (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Glenn Frey, The Eagles, Jackson Browne
Tell me more: Best known for a number of notable songs written for the celebrated likes of the Eagles (including "Best of My Love," "Heartache Tonight" and "New Kid in Town") and Linda Ronstadt ("Faithless Love"), Detroit native JD Souther's own solo works are thankfully now being reintroduced to modern-day listeners via expanded editions from Omnivore Recordings (that each include wonderful illustrated booklets too). His second solo effort, 1976's Black Rose and 1984's Home by Dawn mark the second stage of Souther releases and both are stellar. Black Rose includes plenty of Souther's infectious and artful songwriting, including the spirited "Your Turn Now" and the introspective country-minded ballad "Simple Man, Simple Dream." Among the seven bonus tracks is a beautiful live version of "Faithless Love." Recorded almost a decade after Black Rose, Souther's fourth album Home by Dawn found the artist continuing to refine his song craft. The rollicking title track, propulsive "Say You Will" (a duet with Linda Ronstadt) and gorgeous piano ballad "I'll Take Care of You" are among the many winning cuts on "Home by Dawn." Information:

Get 'Home By Dawn' here
Get 'Black Rose' here

Artist: Skylar Gudasz
Title: Oleander (Daniel 13)
You might like if you enjoy: Jenny Lewis, Aimee Mann, Big Star's Third
Tell me more: Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Skylar Gudasz's new full-length debut Oleander hits all the right notes. Like Aimee Mann, the Durham, NC-based artist has a sweet and emotive voice capable of reaching lofty emotional heights amidst a mostly-intimate approach. Highlights on this compelling dozen-song disc include the rollicking alt-country LP opener "Kick Out the Chair," Americana-minded "I'll Be Your Man," the gorgeous piano-anchored "I Want to be With You in the Darkness" and sophisticated "About Great Men." Information:

Purchase 'Oleander' here

Robert Kinsler

Friday, February 19, 2016

Coachella-bound Mavis Staples' new album 'Livin' On A High Note' out now

It is wonderful to see legendary gospel singer Mavis Staples getting so much well-deserved attention related to her new album, 'Livin' On A High Note,' available now. I caught Staples when she performed at Doheny Blues Festival in 2011 and she was fantastic; if you are going to be at Coachella, make sure to catch her on either Friday, April 15th or Friday, April 22nd...

Robert Kinsler

Mavis Staples performing at Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point
in May 2011. Photo credit: Robert Kinsler

M. Ward Produced-Record Features Compositions by Nick Cave, Neko Case, Justin Vernon and More, Written for Mavis

MAVIS!, the first feature documentary on the singer, directed by Jessica Edwards, Premieres February 29 on HBO.

Mavis Staples enjoying herself (and thrilling
crowd) at Doheny Blues Festival in May 2011.
Photo credit: Robert Kinsler
It’s an electrifying time for Mavis Staples. Her much anticipated new album Livin' On A High Note has just been released to critical raves, she picked up her second Grammy Award earlier this week and a feature-length documentary on her life is poised to premiere on HBO on February 29.

The New York Times recently called Staples’ late-career creative output an “extraordinary productive streak” that reaffirms her  “lifelong messages — faith, family, freedom, honesty, perseverance — as she both reaches back to the sound of the Staple Singers and tries some new twists.” Rolling Stone writes, “Staples says she's entering a new chapter. The proof comes in the form of High Note. While the material on Livin' on a High Note draws on the personal and spiritual, there are a few tracks that harken back to the Staple Singers' protest songs.”

In the last few weeks Staples has been profiled by The New YorkerThe Chicago TribuneGuardianUSA TodayPlayboyNewsweekPasteThe Wall St. Journal and many more, all heralding a mix of spirituality, musicality and vitality that makes Staples a unique and transcendent figure in American music.

On the M. Ward-produced Livin' on a High NoteStaples performs an assortment of songs written for just for her by some of today’s greatest songwriters including Nick Cave, Justin Vernon, Neko Case, Ben Harper, Tune-Yards, Benjamin Booker, Aloe Blacc and others. As Newsweek writes, “she always followed the lead of her musician father, Pops, in her long career by staying open to change.”

“I’ve been singing my freedom songs and I wanted to stretch out and sing some songs that were new,” says Mavis. “I told the writers I was looking for some joyful songs. I want to leave something to lift people up.”

Early Acclaim For Livin’ On A High Note

"It takes some chances while bringing out the pleasure and righteousness of her singing.” - New York Times

"Mavis Staples takes her comeback higher still here.” - Rolling Stone

“Her voice has lost none of its ecstatic expressiveness…She can still swing low into a baritone range, and she can still soar into a churchly higher register. But really it’s the way she shapes her words that makes these songs so distinctive: The way she fawns over a word like "darling" makes you want to wrap the syllables around you like a warm blanket.” - Pitchfork

“This fine album reached way beyond the church” - Q

"After more than six decades in the spotlight, Mavis Staples is still one of music’s most soul-stirring voices.” - Garden and Gun

“The album feels stunningly fresh and cutting edge; expect to see it on some Top Ten lists later this year.”  Boston Globe

Sights and Sounds: GRAMMY Museum To Open Bob Dylan Photo Exhibit February 29

Anyone who hasn't yet been to the fantastic music-centered GRAMMY Museum will have an even greater incentive to get there with the arrival on an exciting new exhibit centered on images of a young Bob Dylan captured by photographer Daniel Kramer...

The GRAMMY Museum® Presents
Bob Dylan: Photographs by Daniel Kramer

Traveling Photographic Exhibit Featuring Iconic Images Made By Renowned Photographer Daniel Kramer To Open Monday, Feb. 29, 2016

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 19, 2016) — The GRAMMY Museum® has announced its popular traveling photo exhibit, Bob Dylan: Photographs by Daniel Kramer, will get its Los Angeles premiere at the Museum on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. The exhibit documents Bob Dylan's metamorphosis from folk musician to rock & roll icon through more than 50 photographs taken by New York-based photographer and film director Daniel Kramer for a year and a day during 1964 and 1965.

"The unique photographs Daniel Kramer captured while working with Bob Dylan during one of the most pivotal moments of his career sheds a never-before-seen light on one of America's greatest songwriters," said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. "We first opened this exhibit in Dylan's hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. Now, we are thrilled to showcase the incredible work of Daniel Kramer at our home in Los Angeles just in time for Dylan's 75th birthday."

On display on the Museum's second floor through May 15, 2016, Bob Dylan: Photographs by Daniel  Kramer offers viewers a striking intimate account of the folk singer's transition into a rock superstar. This photographic "backstage view" of the singer/songwriter showcases key moments in Dylan's musical career during one of the most dynamic periods of American history.

Daniel Kramer
Daniel Kramer is one of America's most noted music and portrait photographers. His seminal pictures of Dylan in 1964 and 1965 not only revealed the rising young star to international audiences, but set a standard by which all other rock portraits would be judged. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and self-educated in photography, Kramer worked as an assistant to Philippe Halsman and Allan and Diane Arbus before gaining an international reputation of his own. His 1967 book, Bob Dylan, was critically acclaimed, as were the three Dylan album covers Kramer created — Bringing It All Back HomeHighway 61 Revisited and BiographRolling Stone magazine called Kramer "the photographer most closely associated with Bob Dylan."

Kramer's photographs have been shown or collected by the national Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; the International Center of Photography; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Folkwang Museum in Germany; the George Eastman Museum; and many other prestigious institutions.

Bob Dylan
In the 1960s Bob Dylan revolutionized popular music. Writing with the passion of a poet, the lyrical reach of a philosopher, Dylan, just in his 20s, changed the way we heard music and what we demanded from it. By blending elements of American folk music, blues, and rock, Dylan stitched together these influences to become one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. He wrote songs of serious social, political, and cultural consequence and in the process gave rock music the conscience it never had in its early years. Later in the decade he broke from folk music, found his own voice and created a unique body of work full of musical masterpieces.

"Very often a photographer is an historian with a camera," said Kramer. "So, if I was successful, then, yes, there are a lot of pictures. But, that's not the only thing you come away with. What you come away with is information, and something about Bob Dylan, and something about the time. You can see the change in the music, from the one microphone and acoustical guitar in a simple setting to a vast stadium, hundreds of feet of cable, huge speakers that are bigger than a person. So I think all of that, if you get that out of it, then the pictures did their job."
The exhibit will be on display in the Museum's Special Exhibits Gallery on the second floor through May 24, 2016.

About The GRAMMY Museum®
Paying tribute to music's rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music — the GRAMMY® Award. The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests will experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only the GRAMMY Museum can deliver. For more information, please call 213-765-6800 or visit For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYMuseum on Twitter and Instagram, and like "The GRAMMY Museum" on Facebook.

The GRAMMY Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Museum admission is $12.95 for adults; $11.95 for senior citizens (65+) and college students (18 years and older, valid ID required); and $10.95 for youth (ages 6–17) and members of the military. GRAMMY Museum members and children 5 and under are admitted free. Located at 800 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite A245, Los Angeles, CA 90015, with an entrance off of Figueroa Street, the Museum resides within the L.A. LIVE campus, at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sights and Sounds: Stream full-length debut from Skylar Gudasz

This morning I've been listening to the forthcoming Skylar Gudasz album "Oleander" and I have been so impressed I wanted to immediately help get the word out about this exciting young singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist based in Durham, North Carolina. Below is the media release and make sure to listen to the full album courtesy of Consequence Of Sound...

Robert Kinsler


Durham, NC based Skylar Gudasz is thrilled for the upcoming release of her debut album Oleander, out this Friday February 19th.
Consequence Of Sound is now streaming this enchanting work by a talented new singer-songwriter who they say "delivers an album of dramatic, honest, and often playful alt-country songs ... Cumulatively, the whole album is a spectacular introduction to a worthy, captivating new voice in Americana." 

Listen here   
WUNC's Morning Edition caught up with Skylar and spoke about being a member of the Big Star Third Collective, recording with renowned Chapel Hill producer Chris Stamey and traveling the world before recording her debut LP. Listen to the session and interview this Friday at
This past weekend Skylar performed alongside Debbi Peterson, Steve Wynn, Mike Mills and others at the famed Wild Honey Beach Boys Benefit concert in Los Angeles. Goldmine Magazine said Skylar's performance was a "transcendent moment" and she delivered a "magical, exceptionally sung Surf's Up ... wrapping [her] beautiful voice around the fragile, moving melody."
Beginning on March 11, 2016, in Washington DC, Skylar will hit the road with Mount Moriah. The tour will visit New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Boston, before finishing up with an Oleander Record Release show in Carrboro, NC and a performance at this year's Phuzz Phest. Full tour dates and details below.
Oleander was produced by Chris Stamey, who was drawn to Skylar's distinctiveness as a songwriter after seeing her perform alongside some of the most promising young musicians in Chapel Hill and Durham.
Chris describes Skylar as "a triple threat - a skilled singer, composer, and lyricist - with a background in both classical and pop music."
Shortly after his ambitious Big Star Third collective began playing, Chris brought Skylar aboard, introducing her to a cast that included Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, R.E.M.'s Mike Mills and the Posies' Ken Stringfellow. From Barcelona to Sydney to London, Skylar had the chance to perform alongside Jeff Tweedy, Cat Power and Ray Davies.
Back home in North Carolina, Skylar began recording new material that would become Oleander. An album full of tender songs that lean on minimal piano-and-vocal passages that ebb and flow between full-band crescendos, while others are full of grand orchestral swirls. The end result is the work of a singer-songwriter whose balance of musical talent and artistic vision comes along only once in a very blue moon.
Skylar plans to spend all of 2016 on the road. Stay tuned for tour dates, videos and more!
Pre-order Oleander here:
Tour Dates:
February 19th Flyleaf Books (6:00pm in-store)        Chapel Hill, NC
March 11th     Rock & Roll Hotel                              Washington, DC
March 12th     Boot & Saddle                                     Philadelphia PA
March 13th     Rough Trade                                       Brooklyn, NY
March 15th     Middle East Upstairs                         Boston, MA
April 1st         Cat's Cradle Backroom                       Carrboro, NC
April 15th       Phuzz Phest                                        Winston-Salem, NC