Author Archives: Live and Breathing

Brownout: 
Hot Pants Road

Before forming the Latin rock/salsa band Grupo Fantasma, guitarists Adrian Quesada and Beto Martinez, bassist Greg Gonzalez, trumpeter Gilbert Elorreaga, sax player Josh Levy, trombonist Leo Gauna, drummer Johnny Lopez, and conguero Matthew “Sweet Lou” Holmes were all in an Austin, Texas, funk band called the Blimp. In 2003, shortly before Grupo’s Movimiento Popular came out, Quesada suggested starting up a funk outfit again, mostly with the intention of simply playing covers and having fun. Culling inspiration from groups like Santana, Earth, Wind & Fire, and P-Funk, and calling themselves Brownout, the octet members realized they sounded good enough to release a 7″ in 2005 on England’s Freestyle Records, a single that ended up doing so well — and garnering so many follow-up requests — that soon a 12″ was issued too.

Shakey Graves: 
The Pansy Waltz

As a musician, Alejandro Rose-Garcia goes by the name Shakey Graves. Shakey Graves came about in 2005 the year Alejandro says he caught a ghost of his very own. “I kept him in a cage and he sang songs for me when I fed him cigarettes and certain key substances.” He and his ghost have lived in New York, lurked around as part of the Antifolk scene out there, traveled across the united states on trains, recorded in the desert, froze in Chicago, played songs on the TV, wore a mustache.

Black Lillies: 
The First Time

Born in the rumbling cab of a stone truck and aged in the oak of Tennessee’s smoky night haunts, The Black Lillies have come to the forefront of the Americana scene in little more than a year. Founded by multi instrumentalist and vocalist Cruz Contreras (co-founder of Robinella and the CCstringband), The Black Lillies have created their own unique brand of country, roots, rock and blues via Appalachia.

Jon Whitlock Trio: 
Open The Blinds

Jon whitlock, Meade Armstrong and Jessica Watson make music that is loud and soft, high and low, fast and slow by picking, bowing, strumming and plucking strings together and apart and each with their own voice they sing words that sometimes rhyme… and sometimes do not.

JP Harris & the Tough Choices: 
Maria

You thought country music ain’t what it used to be. Think again. J.P. Harris and The Tough Choices have been resurrecting the ghosts of a time when real, hardcore Honky Tonk ruled the airwaves; before the words “pop” or “new” ever met the word “country.” Leaving home at the young age of 14, J.P. Harris has lived the songs HE writes for well over a decade, getting his start around fires in sheep-herding camps in the southwest and hobo jungles across the country.

Sam Lewis: 
Never Again

Music was one of the few constants in Sam’s life. His family never stayed anywhere for long, which meant that friendships were forged between himself and the music he absorbed, from Roy Orbison to Van Morrison to Willie Nelson. The influence of Ray Charles can be felt from the first note to the last beat, making Sam’s debut a complimentary companion to Charles’ own, two-volume Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.

Jim Oblon: 
No Streets of Gold

The talented Oblon made a name for himself internationally playing guitar, bass, and drums on Paul Simon’s 2011 album So Beautiful or So What. Drawing from the well of American roots music including blues, R&B, and vintage country, Sunset is an understated wonder of musicianship and strong, classic songwriting.

Nikki Lane: 
Long Nights

Nikki Lane turns the vulnerable singer-songwriter stereotype on its ear, crafting songs that crucify ex-boyfriends and have no problem with one-night stands as long as she can bolt town right after. Her cooing-yet-brutal vocals are a perfect fit with an aching, mournful guitar.

Rolling Nowhere: 
Yellow Line Fever

Born in the North Georgia hills and defying current genre classification, Rolling Nowhere has been described as a Psychedelic Junkyard Roots band with a sound that evolves with every show. Their sound combines Classic Country, Old Timey Folk, Blues Roots and Psychedelic Rock ‘n’ Roll. The band has down home 3 part harmonies, a mutual love of songwriting, and a wide array of instrumentation including; the Canjo – a washboard percussion experiment, upright bass, telecaster guitar, drums, dobro, banjo, and mandolin. – See more at: http://www.rollingnowhere.com/#sthash.rwNRXIZJ.dpuf

Joe Fletcher: 
Florence Alabama

Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons is an Americana band that began in Providence, RI in 2005. In the center of this revolving cast of musicians, songwriter Joe Fletcher remains at the helm of this country blues-based outfit while still playing many solo acoustic shows throughout the land every year.