Big Welcomes to Rich Krueger, Laura Benitez and the Heartache, Bonsai Universe (Woody Aplanalp), Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst!
Rich Krueger will release Life Aint That Long on January 26th, 2018
Krueger, who is now based in Chicago, IL, was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, NYC. He has been writing and performing with his band The Dysfunctionells since 1985. The Dysfunctionells, (who describe themselves as “THE Butt-Ugliest Band in Chicago”) have backed up the Holy Modal Rounders at their reunion at The Bottom Line in NYC, and Krueger has recorded with Peter Stampfel on his own and with the band. This summer Krueger released an EP Overpass, which was the pre-cursor to two solo albums he plans to release with Life Aint That Long being the first of the two. Overpass draws songs from each of the projects and features many great musicians from Chicago, Tulsa, Pennsylvania and New York City including John Fulbright who plays accordion on the song, “In Between Kingfish” (which is set to release with the 2nd project). Krueger’s friend and fellow musician, Robbie Fulks has claimed that “(Overpass) is the best thing Rich Krueger has done to date.”
Bay-Area’s Laura Benitez and the Heartache will release With All Its Thorns on January 26th, 2018
Laura Benitez’s new album, With All Its Thorns is an autobiographical collection of loving, open, vulnerable and ultimately heartbreaking songs. With her delicately distinctive voice, Benitez pulls from traditional country music and brings the sound to the present-day. Laura Benitez and the Heartache use the three chord tools of country music to tell the simple, unvarnished truth about love, too much whiskey, and the call of the road. Their songs range from honky-tonk shuffles to rock 'n' roll numbers to sweet old time waltzes, and cover everything from unwed motherhood ("Me or the Baby") to mean drunks ("Don't Wake the Devil"), with a whole lot of heartbreak in between. Their twangy honesty shines through in straightforward arrangements, crystalline harmonies, and spare instrumentation. Beware their catchy hooks and sweet melodies - these stray puppy tunes will follow you home and become your most steadfast companions.
L.A.-based Bonsai Universe will release Moonstream on February 9th, 2018
Moonstream is a welcome solo project and fantastic debut from Bonsai Universe and Woody Aplanalp. Aplanalp grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and has music in his blood. His father and uncle are renowned jazz sax players, Lanny and Richard Aplanalp. Picking up the guitar at the age of seven, he started playing music because, “I thought The Beatles were cool.” His first tour was as the bass player for the Nels Cline Trio, which set off a long career as a sideman. He has made his mark primarily as a guitarist, recording and touring with an unusually diverse and notable array of artists such as multiple Grammy winner Lauryn Hill, soul legend and rock n’ roll hall of famer Bobby Womack, UK chart topper, Aloe Blacc, Indian fusion master Trilok Gurtu, and the “Lion of Zimbabwe” Thomas Mapfumo. Aplanalp’s avid experimentalism on the guitar, combining disparate elements of rock, psychedelia, world music and the avant garde, have also led to collaborations with Nels Cline (2001’s Destroys All), Banyan with Stephen Perkins, and Old Californio. All of this has served as stepping-stone for the creation of Bonsai Universe and its new album, Moonstream.
Steven Casper and Cowboy Angst will release Sometimes Jesse James on February 9th, 2018
Steven Casper is a Los Angeles based singer/song writer. Born in New York, Steven spent the next sixteen years of his life growing up in Japan, Italy, Nigeria and Mexico. Some of his bands (in chronological order) were The Bullet Boys, Vena Cava, Blood Red Roses, I Burried Paul and currently Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst. Steven's roots based songs are an intertwining of Blues, Folk, and Country with hints of the Beatles, Stones, Hendrix tossed in. With Steven Casper at the helm on lead guitar and vocals, he and his band, Cowboy Angst get tighter every year. In 2013 they were recognized by Country Music Television (CMT) who called their song, “Trouble” a “recommended Americana track”. In 2015 they were declared, “One of the Hottest Unsigned Bands” by Music Connection Magazine. Now Steven Casper and the boys are back with Casper’s Sometimes Jesse James, his 8th recording and his 7th production with Ira Ingber (Bob Dylan, Van Dyke Parks).