Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Noted Author Chuck Klosterman Chimes In On Led Zeppelin

Chuck Klosterman, a New York Times bestselling author of six books, recently devoted blog space to a lengthy analysis of Led Zeppelin's 1979 performance of 'In the Evening' at Knebworth.  It's insightful, detailed, and incredibly amusing.  In fact, I think Klosterman missed only one point.  

He acknowledges the reported heroin problems that essentially rendered Jimmy Page and John Bonham as non-factors during the band's In Through the Out Door sessions, and Page looks horrible during this concert.  (He even appears to have problems keeping his upper lip over his teeth.)  Though only Plant appears on-screen at 5:46, it's clear that he is looking directly at Page when he sings the line, "It's got to stop/ It's got to stop."  Given the account of Plant's frustrations with the state of his guitarist and drummer around this time as detailed in Keith Shadwick's Led Zeppelin: The Story of a Band and Their Music 1968-1980, I have to think that this was an on-stage message delivered directly by the singer to his bandmate.

Klosterman's two-sentence conclusion on the entire performance:  "This is Led Zeppelin when they sucked.  And wouldn't it be wonderful if all things were this bad?"

The Link:        

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Schultz' Earful: Fleet Foxes

By: David Schultz

Perhaps it’s not a good idea to laud effusive praise on a psych-folk rock band's debut effort. The universal hailing of Fleet Foxes 2009 self-titled debut as a magnificent work of art couldn't help but convince Robin Pecknold and the other Foxes that they were quite unique and special, something precious to be nurtured and treasured. While lavish in its generosity, the laudatory acclaim and album of the year pronouncements weren't entirely unfounded. However, an undesirable and possibly unavoidable side effect of such unqualified acceptance has emerged on Helplessness Blues, their appropriately-awaited follow-up: in building up the Foxes' self-esteem to levels only found in children attending six figure per-year pre-schools, they feel comfortable enough to subject the world to lyrics like "sim sala bim" and distorted twaddle like the end of "The Shrine/ An Argument."

Pretensions aside, the new collection of reveries found on Helplessness Blues float comfortably apace upon the resounding strum of acoustic guitars, a bevy of rustic harmonies and a homespun, gather-round-the-campfire joie de vivre. Even when not bucolically waxing rhapsodic or echoing Pecknold’s voice back onto itself, Fleet Foxes’ latest never strays far from the form of vibrant folk rock that’s synonymous with Crosby, Stills & Nash. From the bouncy of violins of “Bedouin Dress” to the medieval amble of “The Cascades” to the amiable rambles through “Helplessness Blues” and “Lorelai” (because you can’t invoke hippie imagery for more than three albums without mentioning or naming a song after a wood sprite, German muse or Gilmore Girl), Fleet Foxes broaden their range while further defining their niche as masters of the pacific folky vibe. Helplessness Blues has its overly cute pretensions but overall, it’s a rewarding listen. So, on second thought, maybe it’s not that bad an idea to encourage, indulge and occasionally effusively praise the precociously diffident artistes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Schultz' Earful: DeerVana

By: David Schultz

At this year's South By Southwest Festival, Deer Tick shunned the customary, possibly mandatory, practice of previewing whatever new material might be looming on the horizon. In an inspired bit of PR, the Americana-tinged outfit opted to close out SXSW at Lustre Pearl with a set of Nirvana covers, billing their showcase as DeerVana. After resurrecting the gimmick with a surprise late night outing at Bonnaroo, DeerVana made their New York debut with a Sunday night set to conclude the four-day Northside Festival at Brooklyn Bowl.

Nirvana effectively ceased to exist when Kurt Cobain committed suicide in April of 1994. Looking around the packed concert space of the venue, it was abundantly clear that the lion’s share of the crowd had to be pre-teens, if not younger, during the grunge rock heyday that vaulted Nirvana into the mainstream as the genre's unwanted poster children. Time has surely romanticized Cobain's legacy and much as those who were too young to have a realistic connection to Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison as people connect with their spirit through the music they left behind, Nirvana lives on in the hearts and minds of future generations. Unlike a tribute band that tries to replicate the experience of seeing a certain band, Deer Tick seemed complacent to act as a medium and just channel the grunge rock ghosts of yore.

The DeerVana set shied away from the greatest hits, most significantly keeping true to Cobain's disdain for Nirvana's biggest hit and omitting "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from the playlist. Amidst faithful retellings of "In Bloom" and "Lithium," they also included the Meat Puppets influenced "On A Plain" and "Scentless Apprentice." Lead singer John McCauley admirably captured Cobain's pained and tortured vocals and showed a surprising aptitude for his unrestrained throat-scraping primal howls. With Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl often playing at a manic pace, Nirvana's live shows were rarely technical masterpieces. In that sense, DeerVana benefits from sheer numbers, three guitarists on hand to reproduce Cobain's bombast. (In all fairness though, in Nirvana's later years, a second guitarist, usually Pat Smear, would lurk about augmenting the sound). Many who think of Deer Tick as a laid back, Americana folk outfit would have their ears pinned back by their foray into grunge, especially the eruption of the rhythm section of Christopher and Dennis Ryan.

Stage divers notwithstanding, DeerVana finished the set with one homage to the Nirvana iconography. At the end of "Curmudgeon," their final song of the evening, they trashed their guitars with a determined sense of purpose, finishing the destruction with the assistance of a few bowling balls liberated from the nearby lanes. Somewhere, the spirit of Kurt Cobain must be looking down at all this, shaking his head and thinking the whole lot of us should just piss off and leave him alone. If he is, then DeerVana got it absolutely right.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Schultz' Earful: Okkervil River

By: David Schultz

With a whole host of songs conveying a modest sense of emotional urgency without the repellent tinge of desperation, Okkervil River courted a national audience who bought in to lead singer Will Sheff’s open pleas for existential companionship. The Austin, Texas outfit reached an apex with 2007’s The Stage Names on which Sheff masterfully engendered a sense of empathy, showing off an engaging sense of wordplay with literate quips on the nature of celebrity and its relevance to pop culture. With the following year’s The Stand-Ins essentially serving as a vehicle for the rest of the recordings earmarked for Stage Names, it’s been some time since Okkervil River has attempted a true follow-up. In the interim, Jonathan Meiburg left the band to concentrate on Shearwater (a band he founded with Sheff), multi-stringstress Lauren Gurgiolo has joined the group and the whole lot of them served as the backing band for a Roky Erickson comeback project.

On I Am Very Far, Okkervil River’s latest, Sheff spends large stretches of time chipping away at their hard-earned goodwill by veering from the melodic indie-pop they do so well into the realm of straight rock. Where on past efforts, the mood could easily be set with a tastefully arranged pedal steel guitar or the inclusion of melancholic horns, Okkervil River now opts for symphonic strings that sound more saccharine than symphonic. In the move to a harder sound, they’ve lost the vulnerability that set them apart from the herd. If introspective, solitary sorts like Brain Wilson were one his inspirations – "John Allyn Smith Sails” thematically and melodically incorporates The Beach Boys’ “Sloop John B” to various extents - Sheff has now moved on to more upbeat muses like Morrissey. Too much of I Am Very Far tries to be a soulful rock album, slathering strings, over-emotive theatrics and a false urgency onto the vegan bones of Sheff's compositions. With its strumming acoustic guitar setting the pace, “Rider” echoes The Stage Names/Stand-Ins as does the beating piano of “Wake And Be Fine.” However, the disconnect between expectations and reality seems the greatest on "Your Past Life As A Blast," which pushes forward on a disco beat that seems anathema to Okkervil River earnestness and “We Need A Myth” and “Hanging On A Hit,” where it seems Sheff’s compassion and sensitivity seem to betray him.

In support of their latest, Okkervil River returned to New York City for a date at the cavernous Terminal 5. Much like I Am Very Far, the ninety minute set showcased the fact that Sheff really isn't a balls-out rocker; no matter how hard he tries, he’s at his best when he’s tapping into the involuntarily detached observational mode that’s not that far removed from David Bowie in his pre Ziggy Stardust days. That side of Sheff was on full display during a fantastic reading of “A Girl In Port” where he sheds all pretense of showmanship and just delivers a poignant elegy. The show kept its focus on I Am Very Far but concluded with a triumvirate of “Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe,” “Lost Coastlines” and “Until It Kicks” that served as a vivid reminder of the heights Sheff and Okkervil River can reach.

If you are looking to get a new Okkervil River album, pick up Black Sheep Boy and its Appendix. Not many people got them when they were originally released, so there's a really good chance it'll be new to you.

Clarence Clemons (1942 - 2011)

Friday, June 17, 2011

WYCC Chicago PBS Sun Studio Sessions Airdates

Starting tonight Friday, June 17th, Chicago PBS affiliate WYCC Channel 20 (tv station link) begins airing Sun Studio Sessions each Friday night for the next 13 weeks as part of a large music block that includes Austin City Limits and Live from the Artists' Den. Sun Studio Sessions begins at 7:30pm, followed by ACL at 8:00pm and Arists' Den at 9pm.

As part of their cover story for their member magazine, WYCC describes Sessions as a "highly anticipated" series "where legends of the past hold open the doors for the stars of today and tomorrow." As one of the show producers, I certainly agree with the latter. Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and many more legends walked through these doors as unknowns. It is a privilege to stand on that hallowed ground and an honor to welcome today's rising stars to this unique venue.

June 17 - The Walkmen
Critically acclaimed, New York based indie-rock band with shimmering guitars and soaring vocals. Featured on NPR's "All Songs Considered" and have performed on multiple tv shows including CBS’ David Letterman, on this episode the Walkmen perform several songs from their You & Me album, including "Canadian Girl" and "I Lost You." They were one of seven artists who've come tape the show appearing at this years Bonnaroo festival.

June 24 - Teeny Tucker Blues Band
Daughter of famed bluesman Tommy Tucker, Teeny is making her own mark on the genre by performing at major blues festivals around the world including the main stage of the Monterey Blues Festival. BluesBlast nominated her for the "2008 Best Female Blues Artist" of the year. On this episode, Teeny talks about her evolution as a blues singer and performs songs from her latest record including, "Ain't That the Blues"
and "Keep the Blues Alive."

July 1 - Truth & Salvage Co.
Harmony-laden roots rock band that Rolling Stone says: "draw[s] on irresistible history (Buffalo Springfield, the Band)…[with] what it takes for a long haul." Performed on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and on this episode, Truth & Salvage perform several songs from their debut record including "Pure Mountain Angel" and "Old Piano."

July 8 - Backyard Tire Fire
Relentless road warriors whose music has a "storyteller’s touch and a guitar god’s muscle" (Paste Magazine), Back Yard Tire have performed on NPR's nationally broadcast "Mountain Stage and on Sirius/XM's Acoustic Café. On this episode the band shares some stories behind their songs and performs multiple tracks from their latest record, including "Brady" and "Good to Be."

July 15 - Jenni Alpert
Heard on ABC's Castle, NBC's Lipstick Jungle, MTV's The Real World, and CBS's CSI Miami, the diversity in singer-songwriter Jenni Alpert's emotionally driven songs converge modern day pop influences and a wide spectrum of vocal styles reminiscent of Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor and Aimee Mann. On this episode Jenny talks about her approach to songwriting and performs fan favorites including “Heaven” and “Untied.”

July 22 - Ryan Montbleau Band
The band performs its jazz-infused rock on 200+ show dates a year including at major festivals such as Bonnaroo and New Orleans’ Jazz Fest. Ryan was named Best Male Vocalist in the 2007 Boston Music Awards. On this episode, Ryan and band perform multiple tracks typically featured in their live show, including "75 & Sunny" and "Honeymoon Eyes."

July 29 - Langhorne Slim
Rolling Stone selected this eclectic, singer-songwriter as an “Editor’s Pick” and he has performed on David Letterman, been featured on NPR's nationally broadcast "Mountain Stage;” and plays major festivals such as Austin City Limits Festival and the Newport Folk Fest On this episode, Langhorne shares some thoughts about his songs and the performance includes “Diamonds & Gold” and “Restless.”

Aug. 5 - Garrison Starr
Haling from the Memphis suburb of Hernando,Mississippi, singer-songwriter Garrison Starr has performed on CBS' Saturday Early Show and her “Beautiful in Los Angeles” was the featured song on the season one finale of MTV's The Hills. Garrison is accompanied on this episode by Jay Nash, and her performance includes “Hey Girl” and "Gasoline."

Aug. 12 - Joshua James
Featured on NPR's "Live from the World Cafe"; iTunes' Best of 2009″ Singer/Songwriter category; Paste Magazine "Next 25 Artists You Need To Know." Variety: calls James "a young Midwestern singer-songwriter who writes hard-bitten songs of family tragedies and sings them in a voice that’s as sun-bleached and wind-battered as a Nebraska cornfield." On this episode, Joshua performs talks about his songwriting and his performance includes "Black July" and "Ribbon Bows."

Aug. 19 - Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles and Justin Townes Earle
Featured on NPR's nationally broadcast "Mountain Stage" and Fresh Air” programs; Americana Music Association "2009 New and Emerging Artist" nominee; Rolling Stone describes them as a "friendly pop–rock attack" with "bits of twang, rockabilly and Fifties pop." On this episode, Sarah performs live set stalwarts, including "Daniel Lee" and "Diablito."

Justin Townes Earle is a world touring troubadour who has graced many stages including the historic Ryman Auditorium, the Letterman show and the Bonnaroo music festival. Justin won the Best New and Emerging artist award at the 2009 Americana Music Awards. Playing acoustic and accompanied by fiddle and stand-up bass, Justin and band seer through four songs, including "Harlem River Blues' and "Ain't Waitin."

Aug. 26 - Shannon McNally and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
With her music living just on the country side of Americana, Shannon has performed on Conan O'Brien; David Letterman and NPR's "Mountain Stage." Grace Potter and band have performed their blues-fueled rock on Jay Leno and Rolling Stone named them a band to watch in 2010. On this episode, Shannon’s set includes “Holdin’ On, Holdin’ Out”, while Grace Potter and band perform "Night Rolls On" and "Put Your Head Down."

Sept. 2 - Eli Reed & the True Loves

Performed on the UK's BBC Jools Holland tv show (US broadcast on Ovation channel); Rolling Stone says: "...a soul singer who conquered both street corners and punk clubs with a mix of grooved-out rave-ups and slow-burning ballads." On this episode, Eli talks about his musical influences and performs several songs including "Take My Love With You."

Sept. 9 - Jakob Dylan & Three Legs
Grammy winner, Jakob Dylan and band perform several tracks from Jakob's latest record "Women & Country: and shares a story about meeting Sun Studio founder Sam Phillips.

As Season 2 has been airing around the country (check local PBS listings), season 3 of Sun Studio Sessions is already being filmed and will include Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses, Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea, Ha Ha Tonka and more.

For more schedule information on the WYCC PBS 20 Chicago, you can visit their website here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Schultz' Earful: White Denim

By: David Schultz

The Grateful Dead famously sang about Casey Jones, the loose cannon of a train conductor with a penchant for working while under the influence of serious narcotics. If you ever wondered about what went through Casey's head while he sped on down the line, White Denim's latest, D, may give some insight to the soundtrack scoring Mr. Jones' inner thoughts. Moving along at renegade pace, the Austin, Texas outfit’s fourth studio album is their finest, most satisfying yet, once again, capturing the essence of what makes White Denim the most exciting band in the country.

Far from being a traditional riff rock band, White Denim fires off guitar riffs as if they've bought them wholesale. Once one grabs you, they've moved on to another at a lightning quick pace. Always a creative unit, D marks a significant step forward, moving from crisp, Talking Heads like angular rock to full-on aural assaults that seems to make the maximum use of everything in their arsenal. The newfound breadth of their sound can be attributed to the recently added guitarist Austin Jenkins, a worthy complement and foil for James Petralli. On songs like "It's Him" and "Bess St.", the two ratchet up the intensity with visceral delight, weaving their guitars around the strident drumming of Joshua Block and the thunderously powerful bass of Steve Terebecki, one of the great young unheralded bassists. If Phish or any iteration of the Grateful Dead unleashed "At The Farm" on an unsuspecting audience, they would lose their collective shit and not stop talking about it for weeks.

Wynton Marsalis once explained Miles Davis’ allure with the pseudo-mathematical explanation "sustained intensity equals ecstasy." White Denim has always been a band that proves that point. When the instruments cooperate, White Denim’s live shows consist of a seamless run through their entire catalog with segueways that are more lane changes than gear shifts . Some songs get full workouts, others are touched on briefly. D brings that philosophy into the studio, the measured psychedelic exploration of “Is And Is And Is” builds to a passionate vocal eruption from Petralli; “River To Consider” works around a conga beat and the right amount of jazz flute and “Drug” and “Anvil Everything” have arena rock aspirations in the same way that some of the acid-fueled Dead jams reached those heights.

Like them, love them, hate them, feign recognition of them, live in ignorance of them; it doesn't change the fact that White Denim is the freshest, most invigorating rock and roll band in America.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

KOCE PBS Sunday Night Music Lineup

KOCE PBS TV, serving the Los Angeles area, presents a great block of music programming tonight on their "OC" Channel. Soundstage kicks things off at 8pm with a performance by Willie Nelson. That is followed by Sun Studio Sessions at 9pm with Shannon McNally & Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Next, the legendary Jeff Beck pays tribute to the late great Les Paul with help from friends like Imelda May, Brian Setzer, Trombone Shorty and Gary "U.S." Bonds at 9:30pm.

The KOCE "OC" Channel is found at Time Warner Cable Channel 235, Cox Cable 810, Verizon Fios 470 and digital antenna 50.2.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

KLCS TV Sun Studio Sessions June 11th 8:30pm

KLCS PBS television in Los Angeles airs Sun Studio Sessions tonight at 8:30pm, just before Austin City Limits. This week's episode features Shannon McNally and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

With her music living just on the country side of Americana, Shannon has performed on Conan O'Brien; David Letterman and NPR's "Mountain Stage." Shannon and her band are touring this summer, including next Saturday night in Oxford, MS at Proud Larry's as part of the Oxford Rythm Revival (details here).

The footage of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is from January 2008, and provides an intimate look at this great band who have exploded on the national scene since then, including rocking the main stage at Bonnaroo this weekend.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Iron Maiden Releases 'From Fear to Eternity'

Iron Maiden has released a new Greatest Hits package, From Fear to Eternity, that is geared to those that fell off the bandwagon after the 'Classic' Iron Maiden period ended with 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.  After this, the band began to fracture.  Long-time guitarist Adrian Smith left the band during pre-production for the 1990 follow-up, No Prayer for the Dying.  He was replaced by Janick Gers, who was employed by Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson for his 1990 solo album, Tattooed Millionaire.  Soon after, Dickinson himself left the band which lead to two unremarkable albums with the thin-voiced Blaze Bayley assuming vocal duties.  The highlight, if any, was 'Futureal,' the lead track from 1988's Virtual XI.  Even after the band parted ways with Bayley, the song was one of the five Bayley tracks (out of 19) that were  subsequently performed live. 

Both Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson returned to the band for 2000's Brave New World.  Janick Gers was retained, which provided Iron Maiden with a potent three-guitar attack for live shows.  The band still continues to tour and release new albums, with singer and licensed pilot Dickinson manning the controls of a Boeing 757-200, Ed Force One, for stops between cities. 

With the release of From Fear to Eternity, I thought I'd take the opportunity to list my favorite post-Classic period tracks:

1.  'Different World' (2006): The lead-off track from A Matter of Life and Death contains some potent riffage, a melodic chorus that sticks in your head, strong lead vocals from Dickinson (though they are buried too deeply into the mix), and the classic harmony guitar sound prior to Adrian Smith's brief but skilled and memorable lead break.  This track immediately convinced me that Iron Maiden was still capable of producing great music 18 years after Seventh Son.  

2.  'Be Quick or Be Dead' (1992):  Perhaps Maiden's hardest number since 'Murders in the Rue Morgue' from 1983's Killers, this track put the burgeoning thrash metal scene on notice that Iron Maiden was still alive and rocking just as hard as anyone else in heavy metal.

3.  'The Wicker Man' (2000):  The opening salvo for the reunited (and augmented) Iron Maiden on Brave New World left no doubt that this was not a failed experiment.  Adrian Smith's headbanging opening riff based on a single A chord was stripped-down but effective, giving the song great punch before giving away to a melodic pre-chorus and chorus that is a trademark of the band.  It has been used as a opener for Iron Maiden shows many times since its release, both on the tour in support of the album and subsequent tours.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Schultz' Earful: The Antlers

By: David Schultz

In 2009, The Antlers established themselves as one of Brooklyn's standout acts with the release of Hospice, a thematic work equating a dying relationship with that of a hospice worker and her terminal patient. Unavoidably depressing, Hospice didn't wallow in its own pretensions. Rather, Peter Silberman's empathetic lyrics and The Antlers deftness for soundtracking the wandering hemispheres of the brain transformed the tale into a compelling work. This past March, the hipsters' delight anchored the always eclectic NPR day party at The Parish with a cover-to-cover recitation of Burst Apart, their intoxicatingly moody follow-up to Hospice. With the album already earmarked as one of the year's best, The Antlers easily sold-out a Friday night gig at New York City's Bowery Ballroom.

The tattoos peeking out from lead singer and guitarist Peter Silberman's shirt sleeves belie the unguarded frailty that spills out of his voice. Singing in the high falsetto range, Silberman wallows in existential uncertainty and waxes philosophical about the emotional complexity of relationships. Rather than coming across as an irredeemable wuss, Silberman offers a cerebral heft to Darby Cicci's hypnotic keyboards that when paired with Silberman's strident guitar chords flirt with the same ethereal realms as Bradford Cox and Deerhunter. Unshackled from the chains of providing traditional rhythm, drummer Michael Lerner and bassist Timothy Mislock provide the propulsive heartbeat upon which the music pulses.

Within the intimate confines of the Bowery Ballroom, The Antlers succeeded inspiring an awed reverie amongst the supportive crowd. The Antlers capped off a somewhat short set with an encore of near-equal length. Where the set proper drew from Burst Apart, the encore mined Hospice’s better moments like “Two” and “Wake.” Newer tracks like “Rolled Together” and “No Widows” won’t be mistaken for Pink Floyd songs but the soothing hypnotic vibe they generate definitely comes from the same universe and “Parentheses” miraculously skates along on a vaguely punkish drumbeat. Silberman ability to step to the mike and belt out gripping wordless choruses is spellbinding. His delivery isn't all window dressing; on "Putting The Dog To Sleep," Silberman mimics the great soul singers of yore, stepping aside like Van Morrison or Wilson Pickett to let the music provide the visceral punch.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Maryland PBS Saturday Night Music Marathon June 4th

Maryland Public Television (PBS) often dedicates a big chunk of its Saturday Night lineup on its "MPT 2" channel to music performance. Tonight, June 4th is no exception. Beginning at 11pm, they kickoff the entertainment with "Live from the Artists Den" with Jakob Dylan performing in the Refectory of the Desmond Tutu Center in NY.

At Midnight, MPT 2 turns to Memphis, running a series of "Sun Studio Sessions" performances including Five Times August "Better With You;" Vienna Teng "1 BD/BA;" Amy LaVere "Killing Him;" Adam Levy (featuring Amber Rubarth) "Washing Day;" and Back Yard Tirefire with "One Wrong Turn."

After Sun Studio Sessions, the party turns to Austin, Texas for the venerable Austin City Limits program. Tonight Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding and Madeleine Peyroux take the stage beginning 12:30am. Then the action swings back to Tennessee for Jammin' At Hippie Jacks at 1:30am. Lots of great music, with something for everyone!

KLCS TV Sun Studio Sessions June 4th 8:30pm

KLCS PBS television in Los Angeles airs Sun Studio Sessions tonight at 8:30pm, just before Austin City Limits. This week's episode features Justin Townes Earle and Sarah Borges.

Son of famed songwriter Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle is making his own mark on the music scene. Justin the 2009 Americana Music Award for Best New and Emerging Artist. He has appeared on HBO's Treme, NPR’s Morning Edition, World Café, David Letterman and The Grand Ole Opry. Justin plays the Bonnaroo Music Festival next weekend. You can view more of his tour dates here.

Featured on NPR's nationally broadcast "Mountain Stage" and Fresh Air” programs, Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles were an Americana Music Association "2009 New and Emerging Artist" nominee. Rolling Stone describes them as a: "friendly pop–rock attack” with “bits of twang, rockabilly and Fifties pop." On this episode, Sarah performs live set stalwarts, including "Daniel Lee" and "Diablito."

Sarah played the Cambridge River Festival today and plays a Billsville House Concert on June 14th, details here.

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Grace Potter Rocking The Gear circa 2006!