SPEEDBUGGY USA REVISITS THEIR COWPUNK ROOTS ON KICK OUT THE TWANG (JULY 6, 2018)
Speedbuggy USA isn’t a band that you can keep down. Their last release, South of Bakersfield, came after a seven-year hiatus that had front man, Timbo, surviving and healing from a brain aneurism. Kick Out The Twang follows a year in which he had a major house fire just weeks before the band left on a seven week European tour. Kick Out The Twang shows just what this band can do in the face of adversity. This is lead guitarist, Seth Von Paulus’ 2nd time producing, engineering and mastering, and marks the bands 9th LP.
Speedbuggy USA was one of LA’s pre-eminent cowpunk bands and you can hear that influence on this record. It’s an eclectic album of Americana, roots, country, rock, soul and blues that Von Paulus claims has “Great storytelling songs and some cool guitar licks.” Truckers, bull riders, rail riders, and heartbreaks all share space on the record. Identifying as a “blue-collar guy who’s pounded nails for years” Timbo said that he is “…always finding myself writing songs about the shattered spirits of the working class.”
VIDEO PREMIERE FOR “HONKY TONK SINGER” AT AMERICANA UK
Kick Out The Twang has a European release date of July 2nd and will be touring Europe in support of the release. The US release date is set for Friday, July 6th, 2018. Keep your eyes on this space!
“Nobody remembered when the party started, but it was a hoot and a holler. Pret' near ever' American roots style plain folks dig was represented. The melodies was fired up with punk lightning and fit together so comfortable-like that you just felt glad all over. Then some liquored-up joker knocked out the light and the fun really got goin’…”—DC Larson, Damnation Dance Party
“Last Train to Clarksville opens this ninth album from the L.A.-based Speedbuggy USA, offering an early clue that this so-called cowpunk group mean business.” —Jeff Burger, Morton Report/No Depression
BEN BOSTICK TO RELEASE HELLFIRE
Following Hot On The Heels Of His Praised Eponymous Debut Album (June 29, 2018)
Hellfire is Bostick’s sophmore release and he’s once again teamed with producer, John Would (Warren Zevon, Fiona Apple) for this collection of 11 high-energy country tunes. Bostick’s eponymous debut was released in 2017 and was well received by the Americana and country music critics and fans. His last album was expansive, varied, sometimes funny, sometimes soft-spoken and sometimes wistful. Hellfire occasionally has humorous moments, but as an album it is loud, fast, and angry. Fascinated by the tendency of people to turn their suffering outwards in the form of rage and resentment, Bostick explores these themes on Hellfire. Despite the darker theme, Hellfire is upbeat, raucous, honky tonk bar music. The sound is raw and live and fast and the lyrics are of a whole.
"Ben Bostick is one of the most interesting new players in the country and rock scene of the Californian city...Hellfire" fully confirms the qualities of the enthralling performer in a selection in which texts often with 'noir' tones combine strongly lively and compelling sounds, often close to a boiling rock'n'roll that recall certain things of Blasters or first, rough Dwight Yoakam" --Remo Ricaldone of LonestarTime (Italy)
"Following on from Mr. Bostick’s eponymous debut would have been a tall ask, insanely brilliant, to capture the same intensity would have meant making the pact with the beast itself, however such treaties work when you are holding all the aces and the Devil doesn’t know the rules in play at the Hellfire.”—Liverpool Sound and Vision
THE FURIOUS SEASONS TO RELEASE NOW RESIDING ABROAD
Folksy Americana Pop Band Releases Their 2nd Album As A Trio
(Available June 22)
"Now Residing Abroad is so quiet, you listen closer, drawn by the unhurried craft; NPR should have made stars of these talented everymen eons ago." --Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover
This folksy Americana pop band is releasing their 2nd Album as a trio. Veteran Los Angeles singer-songwriter and guitarist, David Steinhart founded the band, Pop Art in 1984 and Smart Brown Handbag in 1993 (Both bands still have cult followings). In 2008 The Furious Seasons was formed when Steinhart was joined by his brother, Jeff Steinhart on upright bass and Paul Nelson on guitar and harmony vocals.
As a trio, Steinhart has assembled one of his finest small orchestras in The Furious Seasons. Co-produced with music engineer, Glenn Nishada, Now Residing Abroad consists of 13 songs of acoustic music with folk, pop, Americana and as Steinhart puts it, “kind of jazz overtones.” The music is easy to listen to and can seem overly restrained if you listen casually, but upon closer listening there is a depth, passion and attention to detail that will draw you in. Taking a soulful approach to the music Steinhart’s “husky yet melodic” vocals help make The Furious Seasons’ sound uniquely their own. The band has shared the stage with John Hiatt, David Lindley, A.J. Croce, America and Donovan.
“You are about to find your new musical obsession.”—No Depression
"The richly detailed lyrics deserve a careful listen, David Steinhart’s lead vocals are excellent, and the acoustic guitar work, which reminds me of Aztec Two-Step, is a treat. "-- The Morton Report
"Songcraft still matters. Just listen to the Furious Seasons' excellent sixth album Now Residing Abroad, the second full-length set featuring the specific lineup of singer-songwriter/guitarist David Steinhart, his brother Jeff Steinhart on upright bass and Paul Nelson on guitar and harmony vocals. The trio paints vivid and luxurious Americana tapestries that enhance lyrical tales covering everything from life in Los Angeles and the pain of divorce to subliminal political jabs ("The Loyal Canadians") and love songs ("So Sorry Adele"). Several of the most impressive cuts take an authentic look at life's fast-moving years; the opener "Expo Line" and "Tethered" are both poignant and deeply affecting."--Music Worth Buying --Robert Kinsler--You might like if you enjoy: Chris Hillman, Bruce Cockburn, America
“Their new album titled "Now Residing Abroad" features 13-tracks of relaxed melodies and wonderful harmonizing, beginning with soft, jazzy shuffle of "Expo Line.”’—The Record Journal
"With jazzy elements underpinning the folkie vibe, the well worn writing comes from the heart and the performance comes from the soul. Hard hitting stuff that doesn't need to be over played to make it's point, it's a celebration of direct simplicity that connects over and over and over."--Midwest Record
GERRY SPEHAR TO RELEASE ANGER MANAGEMENT
This 2nd Release Is A Good Old-fashioned Topical Protest Album In The Spirit Of Woody Guthrie-- With Psychedelic Guitar And Funky Horns (Release Date: May 18, 2018)
Gerry Spehar who has written an album directly in response to the divisions in our country that have roiled to the surface since the 2016 elections. Anger Management (May 18, 2018) is Woody Guthrie-esque in it's approach, but also goes beyond the folk troubadour angle. It's a stylistically diverse, hard hitting album with some great players such as Paul Lacques from I See Hawks in LA and legendary fiddler Brantley Kerns. We feel that it's an engaging album with a great story to tell.
Anger Management is the follow up to his 2017 release, I Hold Gravity and on it Spehar goes full Woody Guthrie in his rebuke of today’s political climate. He’s an unabashed man on a mission, coming from a distinct and specific political point of view. The album spans the gamut of the roots music spectrum—from acoustic folk to country to bluegrass, from knee deep swampy blues to New Orleans mambo to psychedelia – and he enlisted some heavy friends to in making the album.
Produced by Paul Lacques (I See Hawks In L.A.) and Spehar himself, the musicians on the record include fellow I See Hawks alumnus Paul Marshall (bass) and Shawn Nourse (drums), Double Naught Spy Car rhythm section Marc Doten (bass) and Joe Berardi (drums), Brantley Kerns (fiddle), Rick Shea (pedal steel), and Tommy Jordan (horns) just to name a few.
"First and foremost, I have to be honest when I say that I was sadly uninformed when it came to the genius of the great Gerry Spehar … until now. Anger Management is the modern equivalent to all of those old and beautiful Woody Guthrie-esque protest songs that are held dearly in the annals of history. And while those old folk songs are definitely special for very good reasons, Gerry Spehar has created something uniquely different, and actually a bit more impressive in my own opinion. Gerry blends classic old timey folk songs with a brilliant seasoning of blues and rock & roll, and even a bit of a country ballad feel at times, that makes for an album that is not only important to our current political climate, but also sounds absolutely amazing!" --TRAINWRECK'D SOCIETY Ron Trembath
"In his 1997 song “Christmas in Washington,” troubadour Steve Earle implored “Comeback Woody Guthrie.” Gerry Spehar may have produced that comeback in spirit with his latest release. The Colorado singer/songwriter pulls no punches with his current political statements on this CD, leaning a bit more on the country side of folk than Woody but still infusing a bare–bone hominess that catches the ear and exemplifies the words."--Music Morsels Mark E. Waterbury
"Raised by a Colorado family of coal miners, ranchers and homesteaders, Gerry Spehar returns with thirteen songs, once again carrying his authentic country boy credentials convincingly well. There's plenty of protest, a pinch of the burlesque and the spirit of Hank Williams looming in the wings." --(AW), Northern Sky
"All of the other tracks are excellent but worth special mention is ‘Greed’ which has a Latin groove with clear observation on what makes the world go round, ‘Pearl Harbor’ which asks the question of why wars still rage and ‘Son of an Immigrant’ which makes the point that most people – especially in the USA – are immigrants."--Americana UK
"Gerry Spehar is the Woody Guthrie of this time. In a sublime way, in catchy songs, he denounces the contemporary political and social situations. Highly recommended!"--Keys and Chords
CHICAGO BASED FOLK BALLADEER MARSHALL TO RELEASE CARNIVALS AND OTHER TRAGEDIES (July 20, 2018)
A Golden Throated Troubadour in the Spirit of Ian Tyson and Tom Paxton
Carnivals and Other Tragedies is the third full-length release from Marshall and is a collection of 7 original songs which center on a hybrid acoustic / electric approach and spanning the gamut of singer-songwriter based folk, roots and rock. Based out of Chicago and a product of the Old Town School of Folk Music school of songwriting. In particular the song "Carnival Ride" is a great showcase of Marshall's sound and approach. The album is a collection of easy going songs which occupy a certain space in time, balancing both sides of the coin, rooted in the fundamentals of happiness and sorrow, optimism and disappointment, love and heartache.
JAMES SCOTT BULLARD RELEASES FULL TILT BOOGIE (April 27, 2018)
Owning Up To Old Demons And Bad Choices Makes For A Great Country Record
Bullard may be a new name to your ears, but he is not new to the country/Americana music scene. Having shared the stage with David Allan Coe, Butch Walker, Dex Romweber and The Steel Woods, Bullard released Full Tilt Boogie on April 27th, which marks his 9th release and 6th LP release. Bullard is a man with many stories to tell and he tells those stories with truth and passion.
Too rock and roll for mainstream country and still ‘too country’ for mainstream rock and roll, Bullard has found his niche among the outlaws. Fringe characters have championed Bullard’s music; bikers, rodeo riders, and renegades, but his audience also includes bankers, lawyers and grandmothers. “I’ve seen it all in my audience,” said Bullard, “I had a couple of 20-something young girls up-front and right next to them was a 70 year old woman who danced, clapped and whooped it up right along with them. I loved that.” Harry Kaplan, of Twangrila (an Americana music website) described Bullard as a “poet” and declared, “Something tells me Bullard will soon be a household name in country music like Simpson and Price.”
“I grew up in the very rural south,” he explains. “I don’t mean this to sound arrogant at all, but there’s something about being from the south that you just ‘know’. There’s something here in the rivers and in the soil that bleeds artistic expression. The blues were born here, which morphed into country and bluegrass and woven into gospel. Hank Williams, Little Richard, Elvis, Lynyrd Skynrd, The Allman Brothers and Tom Petty all came from here. What more proof does one need?”
"This is unrelenting, full throttle outlaw country assault with screaming guitars and riffs that sound at times like the Allman Brothers on steroids. "- Jim Hynes, Elmore Magazine
“James Scott Bullard has delivered a Southern Rock album par excellence...already on my end of year list.” — Tony Ives /Americana Music Show
"The South Carolinian’s burly baritone appeals with the rough warmth of an overly loved flannel shirt, making hard-luck tales like “Lord, Have Mercy,” “Wicked Ways” and “Jesus, Jail, or Texas” more relatable. RIYL Jamey Johnson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed.”—Pasadena Weekly
“ A solid listen front to back, Full Tilt Boogie includes the rip-roaring, bluesy "Hey, Hey Mama," the shuffling kiss-off "Jesus, Jail, or Texas", and the carefree closer "Back To You" which mines a dreamy roots rock jam-band feel. With Full Tilt Boogie, Bullard plows his own path and it's full steam ahead.”—The Daily Country
"This is straight-up entertaining fare – musically and lyrically – and I could take a whole album of it. Luckily, there’s one on the way.”— Jolene Country Music Blog
"Full Tilt Boogie is an appropriate name for this album. The boogie is certainly turned to full tilt throughout this record and James Scott Bullard has the Waylon meets Skynyrd southern rock influenced country sound down to a science. I look forward to being able to see him live with a full band sometime in the future. Full Tilt Boogie is available everywhere on April 27th and signed copies are available at James Scott Bullard’s store."--Joshua Wallace, Gary Hayes Country
"WOW! Bullard has a delightfully leathery voice and his band are red hot, to the point of melting the CD Player on that opening track; and it’s fair to say……things only get better from then on in!”—The Rocking Magpie
"This album is great from start to finish...Don’t think twice. Get this one now."-- Bob Leggett, LA Music Critic
"If you are looking for your next honky tonk hero, I think I may have found him. His name is James Scott Bullard (JSB) and he is pure, 24 karat gold."-- TwangriLa
“The raw, high-energy boogie of "Hey, Hey Mama" and the swinging tempo of "Evil Lovin'," showcases Bullard's fun, delivering an edgier country rock sound. ” — J. Pasinski/JP's Music Blog
"The title in the right hand corner is nothing but a statement, full disclosure. Brace yourself to rock!..On Full Tilt Boogie a few worlds come together. There certainly is a country/roots element hidden in all the rock. Blues rock comes in strong. Rock and roll takes its part, while the attack of classic rock rears it rocking head. For me its a match made in heaven, to stick to religious metaphors. Bullard chose to make his sound rough and loud. It leads to an album that is made for dancing at shows. Live this has to downright fantastic.”—WONO Magazine
AMERICANA SINGER-SONGWRITER JENNY VAN WEST RELEASES
HAPPINESS TO BURN (APRIL 20th, 2018)
The Heavily Anticipated Follow Up To Her Award-Winning Album, Something Real
Happiness To Burn is the follow Up To Her Award-Winning Album, Something Real and consists of 10 vocally driven originals that fuse folk, rock, swing and country. Music that Van West describes as “Confessional fiction” and “Buddhist Gospel music”.
Growing up near the banks of the Potomac River in Maryland, Van West lived all over New England before settling in Portland, Maine in 2005. Although, singing, writing and playing guitar since in her teen years, the artist took a break from writing and didn’t return until 2009. In 2015 she won the Maine Songwriters Association songwriting contest and her career has kept progressing from there.
With several tours under her belt, Van West has also dug into the musical community of her hometown, founding the Maine Immigrant Musical Instrument Project and the International Open Mic. A soothing yet riveting stage presence and a voice that engenders depth, compassion and love, with the ability to write songs that sound like instant classics. Happiness to Burn will gratify old fans and wow the new fans.
Produced by Los Angeles’ Shane Alexander, the musicians on the record include; Jesse Siebenberg (Lukas Nelson Promise of the Real) for steel and dobro, Carl Byron (Jackson Browne) for piano, organ and accordion, Ted Russell Kamp (Shooter Jennings) on bass, Austin Beede (Grateful Shred, Todd Hannigan) on drums and Justine Bennett (Jacob Dylan) on vocals
"Happiness to Burn" is more than a jazzy title track. The song's unique musicality showcases the depth of Van West's talent and creativity. To begin an album with a song that defies listeners' expectations is a bold move but will certainly widen her audience."-- PopMatters
"In my opinion, this mighty beautiful CD belongs in the top 10 of 2018 for Americana enthusiasts with a preference for country folk-tinted music. There are still 9 months to go, but the candidates will have to come up with an amazingly good prodct to beat this superb CD.”--Real Roots Café
“Her voice shines on the acoustic ballad ‘Never Alone’ as her words melt your troubles away.”--The Record Journal
"Perhaps because my i-phone decided to quite randomly to file this album under ‘Indie’ it’s stayed undiscovered at RMHQ until yesterday when the title track, which doubles as track #1 Happiness To Burn found it’s way onto the car stereo and I instinctively reacted by turning it up; not that it needs to be played ‘loud’ by any stretch of the imagination, but I wanted to hear it in all its glory." -- Rocking Magpie “…It is Jenny Van’s West’s vocals that are the focus and that sell this one.” --Michael’s Music Log
"The arrangements are beautiful as expected from this producer, but what I really am impressed about is the voice of Jenny Van West : velvety soft, full of character and an effortless sung range. A voice to fall in love with! I also advise you to take the lyrics as you listen to this album, they are clear like her music, have a nice depth, humor, and are in harmony with the music. Spoil yourself, your loved ones and your surroundings and listen to 'Happiness To Burn' by Jenny Van West." -- BluesMagazine
" The accompaniment is minimal and varied, the vocals are the focus, but the lyrics really shine as well.”—IOU Music
“Each song just buzzes and shines as each instrument and voice is given a chance in the spotlight, without overwhelming the listener.”—Red Dirt Report
“Van West is, in the most positive sense, a bit of everything. A tad of jazz, a pinch of rock, a dash of country, but especially a serious portion of professionalism !”—Keys and Chords (Belgium)
"A stunning record that shines a light on personal stories and happy moments, Van West delivers another wonderful record, lyrically and melodically."-- Thinking Lyrically
“Produced by Shane Alexander, these tracks will have you tapping your toes and snapping your fingers before you know what's happening. As such, this album is a credible and real success.”—BabySue Music Review
"In reviews about her previous albums she was sometimes compared to Patty Griffin, Bonnie Raitt, Alison Krauss and even Emmylou Harris, but we can not really agree with that. We would rather attribute her own, very recognizable sound.”—Rootstime
“Award-winning singer and songwriter Jenny Van West sands off her rough edges to bring her best to every performance.”—Take Magazine
“Winner of the 2015 Maine Songwriters’ Association songwriting contest, Jenny Van West’s original songs hit with passion and humor. Crossing the boundaries between country, swing, folk, her songs combine insightful poetry and embody the poignancy, joyfulness, tragedy, and humor of being human.”—Chris Wolff Show Maine Coast TV
Elouise collaborates with composer
César Dávila-Irizarry of American Horror Story on Transmigration (4/20)
César Dávila-Irizarry and the band, Elouise recorded a 5-song collaboration they've titled, Transmigration. Dávila-Irizarry is a 5 time BMI Award winning composer best known for his haunting and beautifully demented main title song for the hit TV series American Horror Story on AMC. Elouise is a group of musicians that are rooted in a dark Americana genre dubbed Blackgrass—A dark and cinematic sub-genre of Bluegrass. Often considered cutting edge and the darkhorse of Americana music, Elouise continues to test the boundries of the genre through experimentation and collaboration. The creative partnership with Davila-Irizarry has resulted in Transmigration—a 5 song collaborative and continued deconstruction of historical American standards and original pieces.
FULL PRESS RELEASE
“(Davila-Irizarry’s) remixing of Elouise deepens the non reality aspect and adds significantly to the already surreal universe they have created.”--Dave Bianco, Grammy Award-Winning Sound Engineer
"Oh man, I have been so excited to talk about this forthcoming EP - Elouise's music is already other worldly, but Davila-Irizarry takes it out of the stratosphere. It is due out next week, and I can't wait for you to hear it. The remix of their version of "I'll Fly Away" will melt your faces.”— Ear to the Ground: A Music Blog
“In the context of California, it would be superfluous to mention another interesting group of those regions. It's about Elouise and their upcoming collaboration with César Dávila-Irizarry - the author of the soundtrack for the series "American Horror Story." The fruit of their collaboration will be an EP called Transmigration, which will be released on April 20 and will combine elements of dark-country and gothic-American with cinematic industrial soundscapes. The network already has a clip for one of the songs.”—Viola Noir
Andrew Sheppard Steady Your Aim PRESS
Bonsai Universe Moonstream PRESS
Laura Benitez With All Its Thorns PRESS
Rich Krueger Life Ain't That Long PRESS
Steven Casper Sometimes Jesse James PRESS
STEVEN CASPER has curated a new weekly Americana series in Santa Monica, CA called “Saints and Sinners”
Heard the voices raised in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements? Southern California Americana artist Alice Wallace recently released a new single and video that addresses the experiences of many women and continues this important conversation. You can watch and listen to "Elephant" HERE
The brand new Case Garrett video for the song, “What Can I Say” just debuted on Ditty TV. You can watch the video HERE
RICH KRUEGER is a 2018 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Finalst He will be playing Saturday, May 26th at The Threadgill Theater—Set #2 4th appearance