Here are some videos that have been shot at The Bottleneck over the years. If you have a cool video, feel free to send us a link through our contact page!
DIGISAURUS is the electro pop/rock project from artist and producer, James Allison.
James Allison began his musical journey with piano lessons at the age of six in his native city, London, England. As he grew, so did his discontentment with the strict, regimented environment of music education. He started teaching himself numerous instruments and eventually moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he found a supportive music community in which to cultivate his creativity. After opening up a recording studio, Allison engineered sessions with groups like Phantogram and Maps Atlases, as well as producing records for bands in the area. Allison also performed with numerous groups on guitar, synths and vocals. His extensive performance background includes tour stints with Weezer, Crystal Castles and J. Roddy Walston & The Business. Now based in Los Angeles, James dedicates himself wholly to the evolution of music and art, through technology and collaboration with Digisaurus.
After the release of debut EP, "No More Room for Love," in 2015, Digisaurus most recently released a series of three singles in 2016, concluding with "I Don't Feel Alright." "I Don't Feel Alright" was produced with Michael Landolt, whose engineering expertise spans notable acts including Maroon 5, OAR, Spin Doctors and more. The track features vocals by Fran Litterski, keyboardist in Columbia Records' electronic rock group, Magic Man.
After performing over 150 shows in 2016 with Eric Groseclose on bass and Jeff Martin on drums, Digisaurus will reembark upon the recording process in 2017 and hitting the road again this Spring and Summer.
Growing up in Dallas, Texas, Prophets and Outlaws were exposed to a wide range of music, from Neo-Soul to old school rock and roll. Mix that with the heart felt, inspiring lyrics of “The Outlaws,” 5-part harmonies, and you’ve got the sound of PAO: Texas Soul.
Every* Monday, Nicholas St. James and The Bottleneck host Open Mic! Sign-up at 9:00, music at 9:30.
TWO stages - Main stage and the Bluegrass stage
FULL band (any genre)
JAMS - just show-up with an instrument!
45 minute slots available
Amongst the best sound systems in town
Try-out for playing Bottleneck shows
Big venue experience
Contact us with any questions at:
Instruments must be provided by the musician at this time.
*no open mic will be held if there is a show scheduled.
You MAY NOT sign up any sooner than 2 weeks of the date you wish to play. You may not sign up for two consecutive weeks.
Bent Knee is unlike any band you’ve ever heard. Its borderless sound combines myriad influences from across the rock, pop, minimalist, and avant-garde spectrums into a seamless, thrilling whole. Its new album Land Animal—Bent Knee’s first for InsideOutMusic/Sony—takes its sound to a new level. It offers a suite of songs full of addictive hooks, lush melodies and enthralling twists and turns that capture the reality of life in the 21st Century—a reality of people and nations in the midst of tumultuous change. It also communicates a ray of hope and desire for listeners to embrace the fact that they’re not alone in their struggles.
“The silo-smashing Bent Knee’s unique mix is equal parts ingenuity and deliciousness,” said Jim Fusilli of the Wall Street Journal in 2016 when he first heard the group. “Bent Knee breaks new stylistic and temperamental ground,” declared Steve Smith of The Boston Globe. Other media outlets worldwide have reacted with similar enthusiasm, including NPR and the BBC, which have playlisted the band.
Bent Knee formed in 2009 as a democratic collective determined to push the boundaries of pop and rock. Lead singer and keyboardist Courtney Swain’s soaring vocals are instantly arresting. Guitarist Ben Levin is one of the most dynamic and versatile guitarists around, shifting between the raging and raucous to the sublime and meditative. Bassist Jessica Kion and drummer Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth combine into an enthralling rhythm section that’s equal parts powerhouse and nuance. Violinist Chris Baum’s kinetic violin work provides drama, grace and intrigue. World-class producer and live sound designer Vince Welch weaves it all together with a captivating, expert touch.
The band has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Its last two albums, 2016’s Say So and 2014’s Shiny Eyed Babies, were hailed as significant art-rock achievements. The group has performed hundreds of shows across the world to date. During the fall of 2016, the band played for ecstatic audiences as an opener for the U.S. leg of The Dillinger Escape Plan's farewell tour.
With Land Animal, Bent Knee has elevated its storytelling ambitions to create narratives that reflect and refract the currents we’re exposed to in the news every day.
“We’re at this bizarre point in history when our species can almost actively play God,” explained Baum, when discussing the themes running through the album. “We’re getting closer and closer through communication and technology. On the flip side, we still have many primal urges that have yet to evolve. There’s a strange balance between our technology and our biology that’s tremendously difficult to find. Land Animal explores where those animalistic urges come from and how we can harness and transform them to create a better reality.”
“The album has all kinds of songs about struggle,” added Levin. “We look at global warming, family strife, technology-mediated relationships, racism, and societal polarization. Each song is imbued with a dichotomy between who we are now as a species and where we’re going.”
As the band hits the road in support of the album, it intends to explore the diversity of thought amongst its ever-growing audience in a world where it's increasingly easy to live inside one's echo chamber of ideologies.
“I think our music is powerful and capable of uniting people with different perspectives,” said Kion. “They may think about things differently, but they’re there together, part of the concert. The fact that music and art can bring people together in that way is a really significant force that’s needed right now.”
“We haven’t made a political album with Land Animal,” said Wallace-Ailsworth. “However, it’s definitely motivated by the difficult state of the world at the moment. If people are able to take some comfort in our music or create dialog through it, those are great things for us.”
Like the band’s previous work, Land Animal is full of fresh, sophisticated arrangements and beautiful vocal harmonies, but it’s also its most direct statement to date.
“It’s a really juicy and immediate album,” said Swain. “With our previous album Say So, I think it took people a few listens to absorb its themes. That’s not the case with Land Animal, which delivers more instant gratification.”
“We tried to balance that with an appealing narrative arc,” said Welch. “The album starts with ‘Terror Bird,’ a song about individuals and communication issues and ends with ‘Boxes,’ a song that explores the fact that we’re all marching towards our own demise, so we better make the most of the time we have. Land Animal is an epic journey.”
At the end of the day, the band believes strongly in music as a force for positive change and delivering ideas no other medium is capable of.
“We believe music is the most efficient way to get a point across,” said Baum. “The only way to cut through the noise of a confused, globalized world is to create something that speaks directly to the soul, and that’s what we hope we’ve done with Land Animal.”
Land Animal releases on June 23, 2017. The album will be available in standard CD, deluxe edition digipak CD, vinyl + CD, and digital download configurations. It will also be available worldwide across every streaming platform, including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play, SoundCloud Go, and Amazon.
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What is DIGITOUR? Your favorite GoodTimes stars from Instagram, Musically, YouTube, SnapChat, and more! DigiTour is a safe, All-Ages, family friendly concert event where young fans can meet their faves and make friends with other fans their age!
Brick + Mortar is a two-piece indie pop outfit from Asbury Park, NJ. The duo consists of Brandon Asraf (guitars/vocals/programming) and John Tacon(drums/programming). Best described as controlled chaos, the band combines choppy rhythms, smooth bass lines, tempestuous drumming and honest lyrics, all of which culminates in something that is just as likely to show up on an indie up-and-comers list as it is to show up on a DJ’s playlist – something that is evidenced in the band’s role as a remix magnet for artists such as Baauer. Brick + Mortar is one of the few bands who can conjure up images of both carousels and cocaine, combining dancy with dark and pop with despair.
Speaking in an article with VICE Magazine, Asraf says of their most recent music video for Bangs, “The story is my chance to be in [my father's] world and tell a conglomerate of a bunch of stories I’ve heard.” The result is a gripping video reflective not only of Asraf’s father’s violent past as an international fugitive, but also of the sometimes ominous and abrasive tone of the new EP.
Coming off of the release of their EP, “BANGS,” Brick + Mortar is touring relentlessly, opening for Imagine Dragons, Icona Pop, and Jimmy Eat World, as well as performing in the summer festival circuit at mainstays including Made in America, Loufest, and Lollapalooza.
In a time where purists patiently await the return of rock and roll, Brick + Mortar is gifted enough to combine exciting elements of each genre with their no-bullshit approach to songwriting.
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As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead in 2015, this group of talented and eclectic musicians has come together to celebrate the remarkable repertoire and live experience of the Grateful Dead. More than what you’d expect from a typical tribute band, this group embraces the foundation of what made the Dead’s sound so unique by creating a landscape of masterful improvisation, rich harmonies and beautiful melodies across all genres of music.
While this group of players has never before taken the stage together, they have all been in connection for more than 20 years and possess over a century of experience writing, teaching, performing and producing music. Boerger and Comparato have played and performed together in the L.A. Ramblers, The Deal, The Coyote Project and most recently Stranger Tractor. Additionally Boerger’s music roots include Tofu Teddy, The Red Zone, The Parlor Frogs, Diamond Eyed Jack & Flint Gray. Hoopes’ credits include The EZ Pieces, Ardys & Bradford, The Secondhands and with Mahoney, venture back into the 80’s with the east coast jam band MoonRocks. Hoopes and Hamm have played together in The Yards since 2003. Bassett and Mahoney are a seasoned and accomplished percussion duo with numerous credits for session work as well as their performances in their bands Sunu (in which both Bassett and Hamm play), Truckstop Honeymoon and 40 Watt Dreams (in which Mahoney play).
Together Play Dead produces an uncanny rendition of a part of musical history that was genius, ahead of its time and may never be experienced again. To say the music and culture of the Grateful Dead had a profound effect on the course that music has taken over the years is a grave understatement. Whether you’re a card carrying Deadhead, a Hi-Fi music aficionado or just a music junkie who loves a good groove you will not want to miss Play Dead.
Let The Music Play The Band!
Dylan Bassett - Percussion
Brad Boerger - Guitar, Vocals
Joe Comparato - Bass, Vocals
Michael Hamm - Guitar, Vocals
Bradford Hoopes - Keyboards, Vocals
Kelly White - Percussion
Reggae has been an international musical constant for decades. There have never
been so many outstanding acts from all over the world producing such high-level
output. Within this momentum, Page 7 has created a new reggae and rocksteady
sound for both classic and modern audiences.
Created in 2014 by veterans of the idiom, Page 7 has the makings of supergroup.
With players formally and informally acknowledged as some of the finest
songwriters and performers in the genre, the group’s members have built up an
impressive track record that includes a combined total of over one hundred album
credits, national and international tour dates, and sharing the stage with reggae
superstars including Burning Spear, Toots and the Maytals, The Wailers, Luciano,
Tony Rebel, Yellowman, Junior Murvin, Dean Fraser, and many more.
Combining the best traditions of reggae with a hybrid of pop and traditional
elements from around the world, Page 7 creates a powerful live music experience
that listeners from all walks can enjoy. Fans of reggae music should prepare
themselves with open ears and an eye on the horizon for the newest addition to
reggae’s international sound.
The Melvins formed in Aberdeen/Montesano, WA in 1983 the founding members were Buzz, Mike Dillard (drums), and ex-Mudhoney bassist Matt Lukin. Buzz, Mike, and Matt all went to high school in Montesano. The name Melvins came from a grocery clerk at the Thriftway in Montesano where King Buzzo served as clerk and vandal. Melvin was the most hated fellow employee and they felt it to be an appropriately ridiculous name.
When Mike couldn't cut it, as rumor has it because the songs were getting too mathematically complex, Dale was recruited out of the Iron Maiden cover band he played in at the age of 15. Matt was replaced by Lori Black (Lorax) (Shirley Temple's daughter) when they left Aberdeen for San Francisco.
The Melvins have had quite a few bass player changes during their tenure. Check out the bassist morgue to learn more. The Melvins live in Hollywood, CA right now.
The Melvins Discography is an exhaustive resource of their many releases. They were on a major label Atlantic Records for three albums, although most would agree they're not the type of band that would appeal to a major label. They knew this while they were being signed and just took advantage of the drunken blitz the record companies were on in signing any band connected to a supposed Seattle "grunge" sound.
Dale filled in for Nirvana when they were between drummers and he appears on Incesticide and Bleach as a result of those sessions. Buzz has a side project called Fantômas with Mike Patton (Faith No More/Mr. Bungle) who is also owner of Ipecac Recordings the label the melvins are currently releasing material through. He also plays guitar in the hardcore/grind "supergroup" Venomous Concept, featuring members/former members of Napalm Death and Brutal Truth (also released through Ipecac). Melvins have also released music on Boner Records, Alchemy Records, Amphetamine Reptile Records, Alternative Tentacles Records, and numerous others in the manner of 7"s and whatnot.
Dale has a side project called Altamont. Kevin Rutmanis (bassist, 1998 - early 2005) used to be in the band Cows, he also is in another Mike Patton project along with Duane Denison of the Jesus Lizard called Tomahawk. I would completely recommend anything a Melvins member has released. Melvins have toured with KISS, White Zombie, NIN, L7, Primus, Tool, and Rush, among others and were also on the Ozzfest tour in 98. They toured with a second guitarist at one point David Scott Stone (a great noisician). If you ever get the chance to see them live be sure to give them gifts, they prefer Cracker Barrel gift certificates.
Purchase tickets at: http://pipelineticketing.frontgatesolutions.com/
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Backwoods bravado, patriot’s pride, country soul, keg-thumping beats — these are the qualities that Moonshine Bandits have championed since they began burning up the California club circuit back in 2003.
Their message spread as they rolled from there through the heartland, the dirty South and beyond on their tour bus. No matter whether color their collar is or even if they wore a collar at all, people heard something of their story in their music — and popped back a cold one to celebrate that connection.
Plenty of their trademark sound and message resonates through Baptized In Bourbon, their new album — reverence for God and country on “Red, White & Blue Collar” (“We answered to the call when Uncle Sam cried/You know we always stand for what is right”), a celebration of backwater saloons and Saturday nights on “Stomp Like Hell” (“Before the bar doors close, I’m a-get to stepping/I’m gonna stomp like Hell just to get to Heaven”), a promise to stand firm for freedom on “Raised Up” (“If you ain’t proud of where you’re from, get the hell out of town”).
But there’s more — a new depth that encourages reflection, even hints of doubt. None of this compromises the defiant pride that’s always threaded through the songs of Bird and Tex, aka Moonshine Bandits. Still, something has changed since they released Blacked Out in 2015.
Tex knows why. “This year has been a whirlwind of touring,” he explains. “We’ll play at a bike rally in Oregon one day and then fly to Alaska. That’s had a lot of input on this album, especially on our songwriting. We’ve always been entertainers first, songwriters second. Now I feel like our songwriting has caught up to the entertainment part of who we are.”
In these past couple of years, he and his fellow bandit Bird have been in transition personally as well as artistically. They’ve gone from bus tours to jetting out for extended weekend jaunts. While playing for their die-hard, “blu-core” fans, vestiges of wilder days do appear, sometimes bringing old ways into conflict with new responsibilities.
Tex lays out the question candidly. “When we’re away from our family, is the way we’re living acceptable to God, with all the partying and crazy shit we do on the road?”
This dilemma was somewhere in whatever dream Tex was having late one night when he woke up suddenly. “Three words came to me: baptized in bourbon,” he remembers. “I texted Bird and my manager and said, ‘Hey, I don’t know what this means but it could be some pretty heavy stuff.’ The whole album started with that title.”
The Bandits and producers, Burn County, withdrew to a cabin/studio deep in a forest in the state of Washington. They talked about things they’d experienced, lessons they’d learn and questions that remained. Conversations evolved into lyrics; feelings took on musical shape; tape rolled. And after two weeks they emerged with Baptized In Bourbon, a project unlike anything they’d ever cut before.
“We didn’t sit down and say, ‘Hey, let’s do a themed album,’” Bird insists. “But the themes we were thinking of seemed to carry over song after song. It was like a circle. It wasn’t all heavy. There’s a lot of fun songs on the album too. But basically, Baptized In Bourbon isn’t just about bonfires and keg parties. There’s a lot more to it than that.”
“The Sermon” starts mournfully, with strings and a quiet acoustic guitar. Then a preacher breaks in, a beat kicks off and from the pulpit we hear the query that underlies all of Baptized In Bourbon: “In light of knowing that God is with us, and in light of knowing that He sees us always, how are we going to respond with our lives?”
The answer appears to be that you celebrate, you rock hard, you love without hesitation and fight without fear when you have to. And, if you’re Moonshine Bandits, you drive this story home with help from a gang of gifted guest artists: Crucifix on the slamming “I’m A Hellrazor,” Bubba Sparxxx on “51Fifty,” The Lacs on “Cards I Was Dealt,” Uncle Kracker on “Baptized In Bourbon,” Colt Ford and Outlaw on “Dad’s Pontoon,” Matt Borden on “Shook Me Up,” Jelly Roll on “Wild Ones” …
… and maybe most memorably, the legendary David Allan Coe. David Allan Coe has done some shows with the Bandits to rowdy audiences. Apparently he liked what he saw when Tex and Bird sent him their arrangement of his classic anthem “Take This Job And Shove It.” He volunteered to join with them in the studio and later on stage. Coe also personally called both Tex and Bird to thank them as well as tell them he enjoyed their energy-filled live show.
“I’ve always said there are three guys I wanted to work with before I quit music,” Tex says. “Two of them are dead; the third is David Allan Coe. We decided to shoot a video together at Shawshank. The night before we met in his hotel room. It was like we were old friends, listening to him talk about songwriting. The next day we went to the prison, where he had done three or four years of his life. We were kind of skeptical about what might happen because there’s a lot of emotion involved. Hell, I threw up after going into some of the cells. But he had a great time. Then that night, when we played a show in Bucyrus, Ohio, he did the song with us so we could have the footage.”
Bird smiles at the memory. “Then when we stopped the show to do it again, he gets on the microphone and starts rocking Kid Rock’s ‘Sitting Here Wasting Time.’ It was incredible to see a 77-year-old guy rap to a slow drum beat. The crowd went bonkers. I’ll never forget that. We were so proud to earn his respect.”
Baptized In Bourbon doesn’t stop there. The guys spin parallel stories on successive tracks, featuring male and female archetypes that their blu-core followers can recognize. “‘Renegade Rides Again’ says that you don’t know when the life we’re living is going to catch up with us. Then you go to ‘Hell On Heels,’ which is about some of the girls we’ve met,” Tex says, with a knowing laugh. “It’s pretty much all a true story. We don’t even embellish it. But that’s what happens when you run in this type of circle.”
This is the music that Moonshine Bandits will take on the road later this year, most likely on a bus tour this time. Maybe it’s a bit of a risk to mix the sacred and profane, the rowdy and the introspective, on record and then onstage. But the payoff here is twofold: Their music demands attention from first note to last. And because they enjoy a strong mutual trust with their fans, honesty is essential to that bond.
“I’m away from my wife and kids,” Tex sums up. “My partner has lost numerous fiancees because of this ride. Yeah, we’re out partying — not too crazy to where we’re out of control. And Bird’s dad is a preacher. So sometimes we do wonder if this lifestyle is acceptable. But this isn’t just about our lives. It’s a universal thing.”
At heart, we’re all blu-core. We all hear some of our truth in what Moonshine Bandits are throwing down. Maybe it’s time for us all to be Baptized In Bourbon.
Playing a bull-bodied, emotionally resonant brand of Americana-infused indie rock, Dead Man Winter is a group led by Dave Simonett, best known as one of the founding members of the progressive bluegrass group Trampled by Turtles.
Furnace marks a whole lot of firsts for the accomplished songwriter. It’s his first time putting his long-running, popular string band, Trampled by Turtles, on hiatus to focus all of his efforts on a more personal project. It’s his first time speaking so plainly and literally about something happening in his private life. And it’s his first time dedicating an entire record to a single topic — a topic so significant and intimate that he questioned whether or not he should even release it into the world.
“I'm not even that big of a fan of breakup records, myself,” he says. “I mean, there's some I really love. Like Blood on the Tracks, fuck, I love it. But it was just kind of a necessary — that's the only way I know how to let it out. It would have been pretty hard to write about anything else at the time.”
There is palpable sadness and moments of poignant reflection, to be sure, but Furnace also propels Simonett forward with an undeniable sense of newfound freedom. At some points, like on the upbeat third track, “Red Wing Blue Wing,” you could describe the music as downright rollicking.
Like many of his contemporary songwriting peers, Simonett turned to his art to process the feelings that were swirling inside of him. “Right when we split up I went on this huge creative tear, and wrote a bunch,” he remembers. “And then as everything kind of settled in and the process started moving, life got really complicated, and it shut down for a long time. So I did something I've never done before: I went on a writing retreat. In the middle of winter, last winter, I went to this cabin in Finland, Minnesota, just like me in this little cabin for the week, with snow up to the windows and 20 below the whole time, and just wrote. And when I got to that place, I couldn't stop it.”
Ultimately, Simonett found the relief he was hoping for when it came time to make the record. Unsatisfied with the piecemeal approach that he used to cobble together the first draft of the album, Simonett rounded up his longtime friends from the Minneapolis roots rock scene — drummer JT Bates, guitarist Erik Koskinen, bassist Tim Saxhaug (also of Trampled by Turtles), and pianist Bryan Nichols — to record the album live to tape. The five of them holed up in the historic Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minn., a ski chalet-like studio nestled deep in the woods where legendary albums like Nirvana’s In Utero were recorded.
“Making the album was this one great week — we just shut ourselves off in Pachyderm. We lived down there for the time. I don’t think I checked my email for like five days, it was awesome,” he says. “The vibe was just to make it feel like we’re playing in a room together. That can be a really joyful way to record. And then I had to go back to my lawyer’s office, you know? So I really treasure that.”
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Vigil and Thieves is a Kansas City indie alternative quartet formed in early 2014. Previously described as “grandiose” with a “heartbreaking heaviness,” the band has honed in on dynamic and lyrically-driven song structures that have been compared to live poetry. Their debut album, ‘[defective] book one,’ was released in September 2014, followed by an east coast tour in support, and has since received high praise from publications including Liberty Press, CAMP Kansas City Magazine, and I Heart Local Music.
They are currently in the studio tracking their next album that holds true to their optimistically tragic aesthetic while demonstrating a dark, robust and refined sound. Stay tuned for upcoming tour dates in Winter/Spring 2016.
Born and raised on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, Indigenous front man Mato Nanji (Ma-TOE NON-gee) dedicates his latest release Time Is Coming (on Blues Bureau International) to the indigenous youth and all young people on the indigenous reservations.
Mato Nanji’s father, the late Greg Zephier, Sr., was a well-known and highly respected spiritual advisor and spokesperson for the International Indian Treaty Council. In addition to this leadership role, he was an accomplished musician and a member of the musical group, The Vanishing Americans. Formed by Greg and his brothers in the ‘60’s, The Vanishing Americans toured nationally and shared bills with such legends as Bonnie Raitt. Besides being heavily influenced by the music his father and uncles were making, Mato was exposed to Greg’s vast collection of blues records by legendary artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King. Consequently, Mato embraced and began utilizing his own musical talent at a young age. With the experience, love and wisdom of their father to guide them, Mato, his brother, sister and cousin formed the band Indigenous while in their late teens.
After much time invested in practicing and building a following, they began touring extensively across the country. In 1998, they released their award winning debut album Things We Do. The title track’s video, directed by Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals), won the American Indian Film Festival Award and was shown at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Indigenous’ music caught the attention of blues icon B.B. King and the young band was invited to play on his annual B.B. King’s Blues Tour in 1999. Sadly, Mr. Zephier would pass away before seeing his children receive this great honor.
With momentum gaining, Indigenous’ 2000 sophomore release, Circle, was produced and arranged by Stevie Ray Vaughan’s longtime friend and collaborator, the late Doyle Bramhall, Sr. Three more cds; Fistful of Dirt (2002), Indigenous (2003) and Long Way Home (2005) would follow before the 2006 decision by the siblings to ‘disband’ and pursue their own musical paths but Mato carried on with the Indigenous band name. “Playing with my family for 10 years was a lot of fun, but it was time to grow and keep moving forward.”
Mato continued touring and in 2006 released Chasing The Sun. Two of the cd’s songs, “Come On Home” and “Leaving”, were featured on the hit Discovery Channel show The Deadliest Catch. “Come on Home” was also featured on FX’s Sons of Anarchy.
On 2008’s Broken Lands, an intensely personal record, Mato and Leah, his lyricist and wife, pay tribute to his Native heritage. The album decries the poverty, isolation and reality of life on the reservation with “Place I Know.” The album gains its title from the line, “all is lost in these broken lands.”
Of The Acoustic Sessions (released in 2010), Mato commented, “It’s a collection of some of my favorite songs that celebrate 10 years of releasing albums. Every song that I have ever written began with the acoustic guitar, so it only felt natural to create an acoustic album.”
Indigenous featuring Mato Nanji (2012) would mark Nanji’s debut on the Blues Bureau International label and the beginning of his collaboration with noted producer, Mike Varney. Joining Mato on the disc’s opening track “Free Yourself, Free Your Mind” is the soulful Jonny Lang. On it, the two guitar-masters trade vocals and guitar solos. It’s truly a blues lover’s ‘match made in heaven’.
In addition to his Indigenous ‘day job’, Mato Nanji has been a member of the critically acclaimed Experience Hendrix Tour since 2002. Playing alongside original Jimi Hendrix band members Billy Cox and the late Mitch Mitchell, the tour roster includes some of today’s blues greats including Buddy Guy, Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon (Double Trouble), Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, and Robert Randolph.
Once the 2012 Experience Hendrix Tour concluded, Mato and fellow EHT tour mates David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) would collaborate and release the hard-driving, psychedelic blues-infused 3 Skulls and the Truth (Blues Bureau International) disc. The album’s no-holds barred setting is the ideal foundation for the three veteran axemen to simply ‘let it fly’.
February 2013 would bring the Mato Nanji-inspired release from trance-blues artist Otis Taylor, My World Is Gone (Telarc). Mato and Otis explore the plight of the American Indian people in a lightning bolt of musical creativity and social commentary. "Mato inspired the entire direction of this album," says Taylor. "We were talking about history backstage at a Jimi Hendrix tribute concert he had just played, and, in reference to his people, the Native American Nakota Nation, he said 'My world is gone.' The simplicity and honesty of those four words was so heavy, I know what I had to write about."
"My dad was my favorite musician so he really influenced me a lot with everything. I just felt it was time to pay tribute to him and his band," says Nanji. That tribute, Vanishing Americans, was released on May 21, 2013 and promptly found its place on iTunes Top 10 Blues Chart. Blues Rock Review (6/5/13) said: “each song is brought together with heavy and powerful guitar riffs akin to those of Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix, while bellowing, raspy vocals turn a talented guitarist’s vision into a relatable song for many, just as any praiseworthy blues album should.”
“Mato continues to refine his guitar and vocal vocabularies with each new release and is also expanding his songwriting skills with his wife Leah,” said producer Mike Varney of Time Is Coming (May 2014). From the infectious opening track of “Grey Skies”; the Soundgarden/Rage Against the Machine influenced “Won’t Be Around No More”; and the gut-wrenching blues of “Don’t Know What To Do”, and at all points in between, Mato Nanji “tears at his guitar strings, bending and shaking them to within an inch of their life, it is clear that he is no mere copyist. He is a genuine virtuoso…” (Rhys Williams, bluesblastmagazine.com 5/14).
Ultimately, Mato dedicates Time Is Coming, to the Indigenous youth and all young people on the Indigenous reservations. Of the song says Nanji; “still to this day, the struggle continues to just live in peace. Growing up here on the reservation I’ve seen a lot of broken families…broken homes. I feel our families’ “Tiospaye” are the core of what makes us who we are. Now family and its meaning is not as strong as it used to be for our people…almost non-existent. So I send my heart and soul out to the indigenous children having a tough time in their lives and in their homes. This record is inspired by them and made in their honor. I hope for the best for all. Tomorrow is another day.”
The Plateros, a three piece award winning family band from the Navajo Nation in Tohajiilee, New Mexico consider Mato Nanji and Indigenous one of their greatest musical influences.
Levi and The Plateros played their first show, a festival in Bird Springs, AZ in December 2004, and by April 2005, they would find themselves onstage performing at the largest PowWow in the world, The Gathering of Nations. Lead guitarist Levi, with his natural born talent, slid across the stage with power chords and screaming blues that amazed the packed crowd. He was just 13 years old.
In the years to follow, Levi, along with his cousins Douglas Platero on drums and Bronson Begay on bass would receive numerous nominations for native music and video awards, and their cd Hang On would take home a win for Best Blues Album at the 2009 New Mexico Music Awards.
In 2012, they joined Indigenous for The Kinship Tour, with The Plateros opening the double bill. They would join Mato for blistering encores that would bring the proverbial house down.
Touring in support of Time Is Coming in the summer of 2014, Mato Nanji would once again call on Levi, Douglas and Bronson to hit the road with him. This time, though, would be different. They would be onstage as Indigenous' rhythm section; Mato and Levi trading leads and solos while Bronson and Douglas provided the strong, stable rhythmic foundation that allowed the two guitarists to 'tear it up'.
As the band made its way across the east coast, the after show buzz was audible. The incendiary chemistry of Mato Nanji, Levi Platero, Bronson Begay and Douglas Platero innate.
They are Indigenous.
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Normal is not a word that people used to describe Prozak. Not his appearance, not his music,
not his views on life and society. So, it makes perfect sense that the Saginaw, Michigan rapper
selected Paranormal as the title of his new album on Strange Music.
“I chose that title because genre-wise I can do rock-rap, the hip-hop, storytelling, a little bit
of the dark stuff,” reveals the artist-director also known as The Hitchcock of HipHop. “I’m
Paranormal to the music industry. One thing I keep hearing from people whether it’s A&Rs or
publicists is that they’ve got to figure out how to market me. After hearing that so much, I felt
like what I do is paranormal to the scene. My music is something that’s outside the range of
normal. This is not cookie-cutter hip-hop. You can’t say this is gangster rap or backpack rap or
that this is just for the hipsters. You’re not going to be able to categorize it that simply. I make
complex music for complex people.”
Indeed. Bolstered by production from Mike E. Clark (Insane Clown Posse, Kid Rock),
Michael “Seven” Summers (Tech N9ne, XV), Robert Rebeck (Tech N9ne, Kottonmouth Kings)
and The Legendary Traxster (Mariah Carey, Ludacris), Paranormal takes listeners on a powerful
lyrical and sonic journey into the mind of one of rap’s most compelling artists.
“The Tell A Tale Of Two Hearts,” for instance, was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s short
story “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Prozak’s song, which sounds like Tim Burton meets hip-hop,
discusses what happens when two people are in love and one of them dies suddenly. The twist
is that the deceased person is still present in their lover’s life. They do not want to leave their
Prozak then teams with a live band and DJ Starscream from Slipknot for “The End Of Us.”
This hardcore track features Prozak exploring the consequences of living in a consumer-driven
“Everybody is worried about buying $300 and $400 cellphones,” Prozak says. “It's like we’re
farm-raised, like guinea pigs right from birth. Everything is marketed to you from the time
you’re old enough to even understand what it is. It just happens at the beginning and goes all the
way through life. The funny thing is in the genre of hip-hop, everyone is worried about image.
All it does is push everything even further. Everybody's worried about $800 outfits and 20-inch
rims, but none of these people even have a lifestyle that can support that. It’s about consumerism
and everybody being brainwashed into thinking that they’ve got a have these things in order to
be accepted. It spiraling out of control and eventually it will all collapse.”
Another volatile subject Prozak examines on Paranormal is prejudice. On the charged
song “Hate,” he looks at the implications of persecution based on racial, religious and economic
grounds. Shot in a train station from the 1880s that had segregated waiting rooms, the song’s
explosive video features appearances by stand-ins for The Pope and members of the Ku Klux
Klan and Taliban.
Prozak takes a more optimistic approach with “Million Miles Away.” On this thoughtful
selection, he wonders if humans would be able to create a utopian society if they could wipe the
slate clean and start over. While filming the video for “Million Miles Away,” Prozak and his
team traveled throughout Michigan, Illinois and Missouri and had people explain the one thing
they would change about the world if they could.
As his songs and their subject matter demonstrate, music is about much more than image for
Proazk. It’s about substance.
“People write about stuff that interests them and that they feel passionate about,” he says. “The
topics on my album are the things that matter to me. To me, all you have is life. You have to
look at the things that are going on that are incorrect or the things that are affecting your life, the
hypocrisy of what’s going on out there. All that stuff matters. I know that this is entertainment
and that people listen to music and watch music for an escape from reality. I wouldn’t say that
I’m a political rapper, but a lot of those things do matter. In making music for people, I believe
you have somewhat of a responsibility to put something positive out there or bring attention to
things that people should be aware of for part of a greater good.”
Prozak’s razor-sharp focus has helped him become one of rap’s most formidable independent
artists. During the last decade, he’s appeared on four national tours and done more than 1,000
performances, where his moshpits rival those of any heavy metal show. The Michigan rapper
earned a lofty 3.5 Mics in The Source for his 2008 album, Tales From The Sick, and has
collaborated with Tech N9ne, Twista, Cypress Hill and Insane Clown Posse, among others.
As a filmmaker, Prozak released the first two installments of his A Haunting On Hamilton
film series, which opened with sold-old screenings of 2,000 people per screening in Saginaw,
Michigan. He also directs his own music videos, ensuring that his art is properly presented
Now, with Paranormal, Prozak has delivered a project that hits hard lyrically and aurally, the
type of release that stays with a listener long after the music stops.
“I wanted to put out the best record that I thought I was capable of, an album that would really
define who I am,” Prozak says. “If you want to know who I am or what kind of artist I am, this
record will set that tone completely. It’s a really deep record. To me, it’s an album. It’s not a CD
of tracks. It’s an album. It has that feel.”
A tear in the firmament.
Beyond the noxious haze of our national nightmare - as structures of social justice and global progress topple in our midst - there lies a faint but undeniable glow in the distance.
What is it?
Like so many before us we are drawn to the beacon. But only by the bootstraps of our indignation do we go so boldly into the dark to find it.
And so SHEER MAG has let the sparks fly since their outset, with an axe to grind against all that clouds the way. A caustic war cry, seething in solidarity with all those that suffer the brunt of ignorance and injustice in an imbalanced system.
Both brazen and discrete, loud yet precise, familiar but never quite like this - SHEER MAG crept up from Philadelphia cloaked in bold insignia to channel our social and political moment with grit and groove. Cautious but full of purpose.
What is it?
By making a music both painfully urgent and spiritually timeworn, SHEER MAG speak to a modern pain: to a people that too feel their flame on the verge of being extinguished, yet choose to burn a bit brighter in spite of that threat.
With their debut LP, the cloak has been lifted. It is time to reclaim something that has been taken from us. Here the band rolls up their sleeves, takes to the streets, and demands recompense for a tradition of inequity that's poisoned our world.
However, it is in our ability to love - our primal human right to give and receive love - that the damage of such toxicity is newly explored.
Love is a choice we make. We ought not obscure, neglect, or deny that choice.
Through the tumult and the pain, the camaraderie and the cause, the band continues to burn a path into that great beyond.
But where are we headed?
On NEED TO FEEL YOUR LOVE, they makes their first full-length declaration of light seen just beyond our darkness. Spoken plainly, without shame:
It is love.
This - is SHEER MAG.
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Progressive and fresh, EGi pushes the boundaries of genre specifics to create a soundscape reflecting the freedom that gives purpose to the acronym’s definition: Ethereal Groove, Incorporated. With a sound that has been described as, “what it would feel like to live in The Never Ending Story”, the band’s versatility and appreciation for many genres of music can be heard in their fusion of rock, funk, instrumental post-rock and hard, progressive rock. Starting from tightly arranged structures, EGi builds improvisational passages and high energy jams that seek to lift the band and audience to a higher plane.
Hailing from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, EGi’s fanbase has grown to encompass the Midwest region as a whole, and they have begun making regular forays into Colorado, while beginning to open up parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. With dual guitars, bass, drums and percussion, the quintet’s “brothers in arms” dynamic works seamlessly on and off the stage.
Noe Perez- guitar
James Hernandez- guitar
Allan Borukhovich- bass
Devon Bates- drums
Michael “Gonzo” Gonzalez- percussion
From his home state of Arkansas to his home in Los Angeles, Joe Purdy has recorded a baker’s dozen worth of albums. His songs have turned up on numerous TV shows and film soundtracks. Most notably, however, in recent years the singer, songwriter and self-described “hillbilly” has come to see the world and his role in it somewhat differently, charting this direction on his latest album, "Who Will Be Next?” Here he firmly plants his feet deep in the tradition of folk artists such as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs, applying his unique skills as writer and vocalist as a passionate observer and participant of our times.
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Old Salt Union is known for playing music by their own set of rules. While the men who make up this group are not complete rebels, they are certainly thinking about the future of music. They find influence in the bluegrass roots of The Del McCoury Band and Sam Bush, but also draw inspiration from Bill Evans, Danny Elfman, Punch Brothers, and many more talented musicians. What makes Old Salt Union so special is their ability to stretch the boundaries of traditional bluegrass music by incorporating in-depth musical arrangements, a catchy hook, and an uncanny pop sensibility. They truly are a new generation of bluegrass in the industry.
Established in May of 2012, Old Salt Union recorded their debut album “Western Skies” in October of the same year. While their album was independently released in March of 2013, it was clear by the overwhelmingly positive response that their fan base would grow rapidly in the following months. In January of 2014, Old Salt Union began exclusively touring the country, so that their reach would expand, exposing more fans to their type of complex, high energy, and well-executed sound.
With the release of their second studio album, “Bridge”, in August of 2014, Old Salt Union tells a tale of transition. The two years that they have been together has shown that they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of music. They have established solid roots, winning the STL Riverfront Times “Best Bluegrass Band” in 2013 and “Best Country Band” in 2014, all while traveling the country. They have made appearances at the John Hartford Memorial Festival, Wakarusa, LouFest, and Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Festival, sharing the stage with The Del McCoury Band, Sam Bush, Greensky Bluegrass, Ricky Skaggs, and more – and no ma’am, they ain’t stopping yet.
Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy is a high-energy, acoustic brass 'n' grass outfit based out of Wichita, KS. The band, whose sound has been described as a stagecoach in overdrive, has brought their eclectic blend of punk, bluegrass, dixieland, and circus tunes to packed bars, basements, and festivals across the United States since 2007.
With tunes that cover just about everything from drinkin' to
dyin' to livin' and lyin', CNS can fill the dance floor with their blazing bluegrass and circus tunes as quickly as they can provoke existential introspection with dark, slinky tunes reminiscent of a New Orleans funeral march. Blaring trombones melt into break-neck banjo solos, while the "junkyard" trap set and stand-up bass churn out hard-driving rhythms that carry the force of a Kansas freight train.
This unique blend of styles combined with the high energy maintained on stage, allows CNS to fit perfectly into any lineup including folk, bluegrass, punk, metal, ska, or jam. Always providing an energetic and drink 'em down atmosphere to any place they play, Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy has proven a dedication to their live shows with a solid understanding of what entertainment really means.
Benjamin Booker is an American musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist. He cites The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson and T. Rex as influences. His music was described by the Chicago Tribune as "a raw brand of blues/boogie/soul," by The Independent as "frenzied guitar-strumming and raw, soulful vocals that are hair-raising in intensity” and by SPIN as "bright, furious, explosive garage rock.”
Benjamin was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His family relocated to Tampa, Florida, where he attended all-ages DIY punk shows as a teenager. He attended Orange Grove Middle School, a magnet school for the performing arts, followed by Hillsborough High School, where he studied in the International Baccalaureate Program. He then attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, studying journalism with intentions of going into music journalism. After college, he moved to New Orleans to work for a non-profit organization and began playing shows.
Booker's self-titled debut album was recorded in December 2013 at The Bomb Shelter, an analog studio in Nashville. Produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff), the album was released on August 19, 2014 via ATO Records in the United States and Rough Trade Records in Europe. He went on to open shows for Jack White and Courtney Barnett.
Booker's second album Witness was written primarily in Mexico City and released on June 2, 2017. The album was produced by Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby) and announced with the premiere of its title track "Witness" (featuring Mavis Staples) alongside an essay written by Booker which detailed the experience that led him towards writing the album's title track. The album has garnered praise from Rolling Stone, the NY Times, and the Guardian.
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Every once in a while, a band comes along that leaves expectations, cynicism, and emotional distance ruined in a heap on the floor. Brooklyn's Big Thief is that band. To hear songwriter Adrianne Lenker's lilting narratives and twisted, fuzzy guitars is to love them. Lenker's lyrical storytelling is equally grounded and autobiographical as it is surreal and cabalistic. Just ask Big Thief fan Sharon Van Etten. "Some of the most compelling songs I've heard in a long time," says Van Etten. "Driving songs that take you on a real journey, with intelligent stories and twist-and-turn melodies. And fun as hell live."
The band, which includes Buck Meek on guitar, Max Oleartchik on bass, and James Krivchenia on drums, announces its signing to Saddle Creek. News of their debut album will be forthcoming, as will a slew of performances at this year's SXSW.
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Spafford is a four piece funk rock act hailing from Phoenix, Arizona. The band is comprised of Brian Moss (Guitar), Jordan Fairless (Bass), Andrew “Red” Johnson (Keys), and Cameron Laforest (Drums). Refusing to be restricted to any musical boundaries, Spafford seamlessly blends together an eclectic mixture of all of their collective musical experience. The heart of their sound is rooted in deep sonic exploration with a focus on improvisational elements. With jams stretching well beyond the typical structures of their songs, fans have flocked to their live shows to experience the unique energy captured within each performance. A focus on blending genres with a deep foundation of patient groove building has helped craft a sound all their own. Formed in 2012 by happenstance, the band has been building an organic fanbase in the Southwestern United States through word of mouth ever since. As the secret has gotten out Spafford has moved onto national touring, sharing the stage on a coast to coast tour with jam heavyweights Umphrey’s Mcgee in 2017. Reaching the next level in their ascent in an ever changing jam band landscape, Spafford has risen to the top of the next wave of acts by providing quality improvisation and a truly unique musical experience. Spafford has hit the road full time and is bringing their high energy performances nationwide.
Here are some videos that have been shot at The Bottleneck over the years. If you have a cool video, feel free to send us a link through our contact page!