7/20

Digisaurus

18 & Over | 8 pm

Digisaurus

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.

OUR LINKS


7/21

Prophets and Outlaws

18 & Over | 8 pm

Prophets and Outlaws

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.

OUR LINKS


7/22

Kangaroo Ali

Featuring original music and a Led Zepplin tribute set
Sunflower Native

18 & Over | 8 pm

Kangaroo Ali

MORE INFO COMING SOON!



    Featuring original music and a Led Zepplin tribute set

    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



      Sunflower Native

      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



        7/23

        Smackdown Trivia

        18 & Over | 6:30 pm

        Smackdown Trivia

        MORE INFO COMING SOON!

        OUR LINKS


        7/24

        Open Mic

        18 & Over | 8 pm

        Open Mic

        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)
        Singer-songwriter
        Acoustic
        Electric
        Comedian
        JAMS - just show-up with an instrument!

        FREE entry
        $1.50 pints
        45 minute slots available
        Amongst the best sound systems in town
        Try-out for playing Bottleneck shows
        Big venue experience
        Pool tables

        Contact us with any questions at:

        bottleneckopenmic@gmail.com

        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.



          7/25

          Bent Knee

          Le Grand
          You Monster You

          All Ages | 7 pm

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          Bent Knee

          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.

          OUR LINKS


          Le Grand

          MORE INFO COMING SOON!

          OUR LINKS


          You Monster You

          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



            7/26

            DigiTour: Good Times

            All Ages | 5:30 pm

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            DigiTour: Good Times

            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!



              7/28

              Faultfinder

              Melting Point of Bronze
              Braingea

              18 & Over | 8 pm

              Faultfinder

              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                Melting Point of Bronze

                Brutal/Heavy/Old School Metal

                Forged in the back of a North Lawrence welding shop.

                OUR LINKS


                Braingea

                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                  8/1

                  Travis Scott Band

                  18 & Over | 8 pm

                  Travis Scott Band

                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                    8/3

                    Brick + Mortar

                    Yoke Lore
                    Run With It
                    Vivid Zebra

                    All Ages | 7 pm

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                    Brick + Mortar

                    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.

                    OUR LINKS


                    Yoke Lore

                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                      Run With It

                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                        Vivid Zebra

                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                          8/4

                          Play Dead

                          18 & Over | 8 pm

                          Play Dead

                          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

                          OUR LINKS


                          8/7

                          Get Stoked

                          Oceans Between Us
                          Airport Novels

                          18 & Over | 8 pm

                          Get Stoked

                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                            Oceans Between Us

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                              Airport Novels

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                                8/8

                                Super Doppler (formerly Major & The Monbacks)

                                Instant Karma!

                                18 & Over | 8 pm

                                Super Doppler (formerly Major & The Monbacks)

                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                  Instant Karma!

                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                    8/11

                                    Page 7

                                    18 & Over | 8 pm

                                    Page 7

                                    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.

                                    OUR LINKS


                                    8/13

                                    The Melvins

                                    Spotlights

                                    All Ages | 8 pm

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                                    The Melvins

                                    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/

                                    OUR LINKS


                                    Spotlights

                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                      8/15

                                      Year of the Cobra

                                      Dead Country Gentlemen

                                      18 & Over | 8 pm

                                      Year of the Cobra

                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                        Dead Country Gentlemen

                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                          8/18

                                          Slow Dreamer

                                          Chase the Horseman
                                          Roeco

                                          18 & Over | 8 pm

                                          Slow Dreamer

                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                            Chase the Horseman

                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                              Roeco

                                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                8/19

                                                Moonshine Bandits

                                                All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                Moonshine Bandits

                                                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.

                                                OUR LINKS


                                                8/22

                                                Hardcore Sex

                                                18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                Hardcore Sex

                                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                  8/24

                                                  Dead Man Winter

                                                  All Ages | 7:30 pm

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                                                  Dead Man Winter

                                                  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.”

                                                  OUR LINKS


                                                  8/31

                                                  freakabout

                                                  The Dear Misses
                                                  Vigil & Thieves

                                                  18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                  freakabout

                                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                    The Dear Misses

                                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!

                                                    OUR LINKS


                                                    Vigil & Thieves

                                                    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.

                                                    OUR LINKS


                                                    9/2

                                                    Indigenous

                                                    Brody Buster One Man Band

                                                    All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                    Indigenous

                                                    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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                                                    Brody Buster One Man Band

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                                                      9/9

                                                      Prozak

                                                      All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                      Prozak

                                                      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
                                                      partner.

                                                      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
                                                      society.

                                                      “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
                                                      visually.

                                                      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.”

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                                                      9/16

                                                      Froggy Fresh (formerly Krispy Kreme)

                                                      feat. Money Maker Mike

                                                      All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                      Froggy Fresh (formerly Krispy Kreme)

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                                                        feat. Money Maker Mike

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                                                          9/18

                                                          Sheer Mag

                                                          Laffing Gas
                                                          The Whiffs
                                                          Nancy Boys

                                                          All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                          Sheer Mag

                                                          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.



                                                            Laffing Gas

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                                                              The Whiffs

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                                                                Nancy Boys

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                                                                  9/19

                                                                  EGi

                                                                  All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                  EGi

                                                                  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.

                                                                  EGi is:
                                                                  Noe Perez- guitar
                                                                  James Hernandez- guitar
                                                                  Allan Borukhovich- bass
                                                                  Devon Bates- drums
                                                                  Michael “Gonzo” Gonzalez- percussion

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                                                                  9/20

                                                                  Joe Purdy

                                                                  Amy Vachal

                                                                  All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                  Joe Purdy

                                                                  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.

                                                                  OUR LINKS


                                                                  Amy Vachal

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                                                                    9/21

                                                                    Four Year Strong

                                                                    Seaway
                                                                    Like Pacific
                                                                    Grayscale
                                                                    PLUS MORE (SEE BELOW)

                                                                    All Ages | 5:30 pm

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                                                                    Four Year Strong

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                                                                      Seaway

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                                                                        Like Pacific

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                                                                          Grayscale

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                                                                            Life Lessons

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                                                                              9/26

                                                                              Pinegrove

                                                                              Florist
                                                                              Lomelda

                                                                              All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                              Pinegrove

                                                                              More than any other single artist, Pinegrove was the driving force behind the return of teen pop in the late '90s.

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                                                                              Florist

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                                                                                Lomelda

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                                                                                  9/27

                                                                                  Frankie Cosmos

                                                                                  Ian Sweet

                                                                                  All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                  Frankie Cosmos

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                                                                                    Ian Sweet

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                                                                                      9/29

                                                                                      Old Salt Union

                                                                                      Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy

                                                                                      18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                                                      Old Salt Union

                                                                                      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.

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                                                                                      Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy

                                                                                      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.

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                                                                                      10/4

                                                                                      Whethan

                                                                                      Bearson
                                                                                      Opia

                                                                                      All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                      Whethan

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                                                                                      Bearson

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                                                                                        Opia

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                                                                                          10/8

                                                                                          Koo Koo Kanga Roo

                                                                                          Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship

                                                                                          All Ages | 3:30 pm

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                                                                                          Koo Koo Kanga Roo

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                                                                                            Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship

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                                                                                              10/11

                                                                                              Benjamin Booker

                                                                                              She Keeps Bees

                                                                                              All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                              Benjamin Booker

                                                                                              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.

                                                                                              OUR LINKS


                                                                                              She Keeps Bees

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                                                                                                10/12

                                                                                                Big Thief

                                                                                                Mega Bog

                                                                                                All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                Big Thief

                                                                                                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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                                                                                                Mega Bog

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                                                                                                  10/20

                                                                                                  Barb Wire Dolls

                                                                                                  Svetlanas
                                                                                                  57
                                                                                                  Wick & the Tricks

                                                                                                  All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                  Barb Wire Dolls

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                                                                                                    Svetlanas

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                                                                                                      57

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                                                                                                        Wick & the Tricks

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                                                                                                          10/21

                                                                                                          Thee Commons

                                                                                                          All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                          Thee Commons

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                                                                                                            10/28

                                                                                                            Stone Foxes

                                                                                                            All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                            Stone Foxes

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                                                                                                              11/5

                                                                                                              Turnover

                                                                                                              Elvis Depressedly
                                                                                                              Emma Ruth Rundle

                                                                                                              All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                              Turnover

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                                                                                                                Elvis Depressedly

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                                                                                                                  Emma Ruth Rundle

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                                                                                                                    11/7

                                                                                                                    Spafford

                                                                                                                    All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                                    Spafford

                                                                                                                    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.

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                                                                                                                    The Bottleneck Interview with Jamie Laurie of Flobots

                                                                                                                    flobots1

                                                                                                                    Flobots (image via http://liveloudmedia.com/flobots)

                                                                                                                    Denver-based alternative hip hop band Flobots play The Bottleneck October 28th. Jamie Laurie recently discussed artists that inspired him to love hip hop, creative process and his passion to create music without boundaries.

                                                                                                                    What first got you starting out in music? How’d you get going? What was your first musical memory?
                                                                                                                    I remember in 5th grade people making fun of me like, “Hey, what kind of music do you like? Why don’t you listen to music?” It wasn’t in my world. I wasn’t thinking about who my favorite band was. Once I did start listening, the first tape ever, honestly, was Willie Nelson. My dad had this tape of Willie Nelson and I liked the songs on there, then I got into the stuff that was on the radio. The first hip-hop I was into was J.J. Fad and Supersonic. Just stuff on the radio that still I think holds up pretty well.
                                                                                                                    I like Young MC and some of that pop stuff, but before long I got really into more They Might Be Giants and R.E.M. and some of the alternative radio stuff. I think it was really De La Soul and Native Tongues were some of the first hip hop artists I was into. Pretty soon after that, I was into more revolutionary hip hop like the Coup. They are still some of my favorite or most formative, influences for that.
                                                                                                                    The early ’90’s was a pretty great time for hip hop with Hieroglyphics, Outkast, the Roots and all those groups expanding what the music could be. I fell in love with West Coast underground. Quantum, Living Legends, Soulsides, all that stuff.

                                                                                                                    Quantum is really something else. Those beats are so fresh.
                                                                                                                    It’s amazing. It was an experience actually going into the industry, making the music myself. It was amazing getting a chance to meet some of those folks and have them, for a second, treat me like a peer when I’m still just looking at them like a fan.

                                                                                                                    Your music, it goes beyond styles. You’re not boxed in at all. You’re doing your thing.
                                                                                                                    Right. That’s one of the things I always admire. Especially about West Coast underground at the time. I always felt like people on the East Coast, because that’s where hip hop sort of lived in the ’90s. It’s like “Oh, that’s where the real hip hop is” people. In my little mind, it was like those people sound more similar, but I would listen to the range between E-40 and the Grouch. We were exploring. They’re just doing absolutely completely different things.
                                                                                                                    I fell in love with the ability of artists who really find their own personal style and that became an ambition for me. When Flobots really got going, we thought, at that point there were no barriers, even musically. What do we have to sound like? What does the music have to sound like? The Roots had shown that we could be a live band and be an authentic hip hop group. I think, for us, it was like, “Look, we’re coming out of Denver, Colorado. We’re coming out of very different social conditions than many other artists. We have things to say that we could say, that are unique to us and that’s why every one of us are on this Earth is just express our own truths most fully.” So we thought, there’s no boundaries anymore. Let’s have a viola. If there’s a viola player that’s excited about this band and wants to be part of it, let’s start there. Let’s bring in live musicians. Let’s just be ourselves as fully as we can be and that’s what music’s all about.

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                                                                                                                    Flobots (image via http://www.facebook.com/theflobots)

                                                                                                                    Don’t you feel like having a live band with you, doesn’t that push you lyrically? It gets you fired up as well.
                                                                                                                    It does and it also forces you to think responsively to the music. There’s songs where it’s like, “Alright. This music’s really busy, so I need to be simple.” Or, “Hey, this one is a whole lot of space, so now I can fill it in.” It’s definitely a lot more to think about in the creative process, because it’s not just put on the beat and I’ll do a rap. it’s what is the emotional journey of this song going to be and how can I contribute to that with my lyrics.

                                                                                                                    Kind of like adding to the sound or pulling away from the sound? Contrast?
                                                                                                                    Right, absolutely. I think, hip hop is doing very well these days because so many people have thought about so many different things. You look at Kanye, who was a producer first for at least a decade and then starts bringing in the lyrics and it’s no surprise that his lyrics feel like they’ve been put together by a producer. Like, “Alright, where do I want to take people? How clear do I want to be? How cryptic do I want to be? What’s the crescendo of this verse?” He’s thinking about those things. I think that makes better music when people pay attention to, how does the emotional arc of the verse match the emotional arc of the music and vice versa?

                                                                                                                    Taking people on a full journey with a song.
                                                                                                                    Right. It challenges you to think, maybe, more in depth. I revise way more than I ever did before. I used to go, “Okay, what’s the music? Cool? I wrote a verse. Alright, I’m done.” Now it’s like, “Wait, maybe that verse isn’t everything it could be. Let’s try a new verse.” On the new album we have, I have probably written 3-4 verses for every song and I love where it ended up.

                                                                                                                    Basically, you’ve gotten better at drafting ideas.
                                                                                                                    Exactly. Honestly, it took me a while to not be stubborn because I’d be like, “What are you talking about? I already wrote a verse for that. It’s done. No, I can’t change that word because then I’d have to change that other word.” I’ve just learned to have more confidence in the finished product. I think of it like a sculpture where you, you know there’s something that already lives in that rock and your job is to remove the parts that are obstructing it. By the end, it’s like I’ve peeled back all the layers and revealed what the song really is. It’s taken a while, as an artist, to be humble enough to realize that the first thing I did wasn’t necessarily the work of genius that I thought it was in that moment.

                                                                                                                    That’s got to be a fun challenge, looking over your past work and trying to expand all the time. You never want to stagnate.
                                                                                                                    Right. Exactly. There’s lots of ways to move forward. You can move forward by just creating a whole lot of things or you can move forward by saying, “Alright, let’s keep wrestling with this song until it is so undeniably compelling that you know it’s finished.”

                                                                                                                    You never want to put anything unfinished out there. You have a certain standard of what you want. How often do you find yourself writing songs? How often do you find yourself writing lyrics? Is it every day or is there a certain time of day that works for you?
                                                                                                                    It’s fun to do in the morning. It’s fun to just get up and write but, honestly, it’s all over the map. There was a year, 2010, where I actually made a commitment that every day I would put a new verse up on YouTube and so I did this thing called “The Rhyme of the Day.” It basically meant I wrote a new verse every day. Sometimes, I used old ones that I’d never put out. That was really as a creative exercise. As a artist you can have this feeling, “I have all these ideas. When am I going to get to try them?” In the course of a band where a song is a big production that involves a lot of people, it was easy to think like, “I never get to write a verse that just speaks to what happened that day in the news, or whatever whim I had that day,” so it’s the little idea factory needed to be satiated. Taking a year to just indulge in that was pretty gratifying.
                                                                                                                    In the process of the last two years of writing this album, it was kind of a back and forth. Someone would come with a bass line and it’s, “Alright, let me react to that bass line. Here’s a verse that reacts to that bass line. Now, based off that verse, we want to do a new bass line. Okay, cool. Let’s bring in this guitar, this. Oh, look the song has evolved and now it’s not really about what it was about. Now, it’s more about this. Alright, let’s do a new verse, let’s try that out.” I don’t know if you ever worked with a t-shirt designer or someone who’s like, “Here’s some potential logos. Here are seven ideas. I like this one, can you take that and expand it?” It kind of feels cool to be a craftsman like that too and also to reach back into that crafts place back into the soul place and see what I’m doing. Let’s go back to what I’m trying to say and what is authentic to me about the song.

                                                                                                                    Everything is tied into each other, connected, like in the creative process.
                                                                                                                    Exactly and songs reveal themselves. We have a song on the new album called “Carousel.” I’m trying to remember what we thought it was about in the beginning, but now it’s very clear. It’s a song about that feeling when you’re just playing with your phone, looking for something that you will never find. Whether it’s laying in bed late at night or in the early morning before you get out of bed, just being stuck in this little swirl of this pretend world of likes and follows and instant approval from other people that you’re seeking. I think it consumes so many of us. The song’s about that. The Carousel is that. It took a while to figure that out. First, it was just this chorus, this other set of ideas. It’s exciting when you listen to the song and let it reveal itself to you.

                                                                                                                    Yeah sure. We should definitely talk about that too. How do you approach a live show differently than your work in the studio? How do you go about it?
                                                                                                                    For us, the way we came up in Denver was because of our live show. My grandpa used to say, “Your audience is like a greased pig. If they can get away from you, they will.” We think of it from the audience perspective. If I was standing out there, what would I want? What would hold my attention? What would I actually feel good about if I paid and came to a show, brought some friends and told them to trust me, this is going to be good? What are the things that I would want to see happen? How would I want to feel? Were there elements of the show that would actually engage me?
                                                                                                                    We put a lot of energy into the live show. It’s great having a live band because if you have a bad ass viola solo right before lyrics that captivate people, all of those things go a long way. We really look at our shows as almost like church for a secular world. Come here, we want you to move your ass, want you to intellectually be on board but we want to touch your soul too. We try to send people on a journey that at the end of the night they’ll be like, “Hey, I’m satisfied, I feel good.”
                                                                                                                    With the election and the climate in the country, it’s really easy to sit at your computer, look at Facebook and just be like, “Hey, we all hate each other. Everyone’s a horrible person and there’s no hope for anything.” Actually, that’s not true and the best way to remind ourselves it’s not true is just to be in a community of people where we can actually celebrate just getting together. It doesn’t mean there’s not things that need desperately to be transformed, because we do. We need social movements. We need to confront hard questions about police violence or climate change. Those need to be transformed. Those systems need to be transformed to be more human things. We can do that in a way that invites everybody into the process and to the solution.

                                                                                                                    Music, live especially, is the catalyst for positive change.
                                                                                                                    Yeah, I think it definitely can be. It can be a lot of things, it can be catharsis, it can rally, be a place to pour out our anger, pour out our pain but the over all effect of doing that in a group of people is that we remember that we are not alone. I think that’s the problem where you sit at your computer and you have all these feelings, but you have them by yourself. There’s no affirmation of ultimately moving towards something because there’s other people that feel the same way and we can do something about it. The concert is a shortcut to that feeling. That’s why it was important for us to go out on a show where we’re doing this, really, because we just looked at the situation right now and we need to be out there talking to people.

                                                                                                                    Making something happen.
                                                                                                                    It reminds us that we’re not alone, you know?

                                                                                                                    Yeah, of course. It benefits everybody.
                                                                                                                    Right, exactly. Anyway, thank you to whomever is reading this. If you’re not sure about coming to the show, come to the show. We promise you it’ll be a good time. Even if you never listen to our music or think you don’t agree with our politics or something, come to the show. We want to see everybody there.

                                                                                                                    The Bottleneck Interview with Evan Hawkins of Through the Roots

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                                                                                                                    Through the Roots (image via http://www.throughtheroots.com/)

                                                                                                                    Through the Roots is a California-based band. They are playing The Bottleneck October 27th. Lead singer and guitarist Evan Hawkins recently discussed how he became interested in reggae, his songwriting approach and the beginnings of Through the Roots.

                                                                                                                    Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?

                                                                                                                    I did come from a musical family, my father was a musician, he played guitar and bass for ?Marvin Gaye and other Motown acts in his day. My brother was a singer, so I guess I just found my abilities naturally.

                                                                                                                    What was your earliest musical memory?

                                                                                                                    My earliest musical memory was spending countless hours at my best friend’s house playing all of the instruments that his father had collected. I think that is really where I found my obsession with playing them.

                                                                                                                    What was the first album you bought?

                                                                                                                    I honestly can’t remember, but it was probably Hanson or Offspring Americana or something. 

                                                                                                                    What first got you interested in reggae?

                                                                                                                    My mom used to play reggae for me around the house when I was very young. At that young age I really found a love for the grooves and easy listening.

                                                                                                                    What do you remember most about your first time onstage?

                                                                                                                    I just knew that was where I belonged. I never felt insanely nervous or anything. The stage is my comfort zone.

                                                                                                                    How did Through ?the Roots first get started?

                                                                                                                    Started writing songs in my first and second year of college. I had a close friend that influenced me who passed away, and I wrote a song for him, “man down.” Once I found that people were digging the music, I got some guys together and we started putting more music together and playing shows. 

                                                                                                                    How does your creative process work when songwriting?

                                                                                                                    Normally I just like to be in a quiet place with a good vibe. I normally make the music first and then find something to write about that fits the mood.

                                                                                                                    How did “Bear With Me” come together?

                                                                                                                    Eric Rachmany and I came up with the riddim for the song in 2013 on the “Give Thanks” tour. The song sat untouched and was revisited when I first toured solo with them on the “Count Me In Tour.” Eric came down to San Diego and we finished it in the studio together. 

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                                                                                                                    Through the Roots (image via http://www.throughtheroots.com/)

                                                                                                                    What have been the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                                                    I would say every day is a new obstacle, none bigger than the other. In this industry you have to learn to adapt, while maintaining the grind. We’ve had our bus burn down, switch our members, tour for countless years not making a dime. Starting a band is no joke. However, it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever been a part of. We are very fortunate to have this outlet. 

                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                                                    Never give up, even when it seems impossible. You’re hardest day, might make someone’s greatest day. 

                                                                                                                    The Bottleneck Interview with Max Doucette of Skydyed

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                                                                                                                    Skydyed (Image via https://www.facebook.com/Skydyed/)

                                                                                                                    Skydyed is a Colorado-based band. They play The Bottleneck September 28th. Guitarist and keyboardist Max Doucette recently discussed how he became passionate about music, the evolution of Skydyed’s sound and their creative process.

                                                                                                                    Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?

                                                                                                                    To a certain extent yes. My dad is also a guitar player and though he never took it to a fully professional level, he was certainly the one who first got me started as musician. My guitar that I tour with was actually handed down to me from him from his musician days which I’m very grateful for. My great-uncle was also a big influence on me guitar-wise and many other members of my family have sung or played piano as a hobby. Shane’s family had no musical background before him, but they supported him from a very early age giving him the resources he needed to grow. Andrew’s dad on the other hand made a lifelong career as a professional musician and was a huge influence on him too.

                                                                                                                    What was your earliest musical memory?

                                                                                                                    Honestly it’s probably from the old VHS tapes my parents have of me as a little kid dancing to various children’s songs, although I don’t actually have the memory. Earliest memory I can remember would probably be the first time I tried playing my dad’s guitar just whacking on the strings having no idea what I was doing, but being absolutely mesmerized by it.

                                                                                                                    How did Skydyed first come together?

                                                                                                                    Skydyed really started as a reggae-rock band between a couple friends and myself in high school. Andrew and I were already friends then and it was around the time he joined that we both started dabbling in electronic music that he joined the group. After we moved to Colorado post-graduation our original lineup kind of fell apart and it was there we met Shane who eventually joined us once we started developing our new sound.

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                                                                                                                    Skydyed (Image via https://www.facebook.com/Skydyed/)

                                                                                                                    How does your creative process work when writing a song?

                                                                                                                    It often starts out as one of us just making a simple demo in Ableton and then if everyone likes it we’ll start building upon that as we go, but sometimes two of us or everyone will sit down and start something together. For example, Andrew and I will often both leave the drums open for Shane, or I’ll leave a lot of the bass parts and arrangement open for Andrew, or Andrew will give a lot of room in his compositions for Shane and I to add on to. It’s really just writing on the fly between the three of us so that we can end up with something we all like and think others will like as well.

                                                                                                                    Your songs have a really great flow to them. Do you try and record tracks as live as possible?

                                                                                                                    Not necessarily, we do a lot of the writing within Ableton itself but we try to approach it in a way that we can replicate live after the fact. Every now and then an idea will be something someone comes up with on the spot, but usually we spend a lot of time tinkering with various sounds and trying new things out to see what sticks. Something Andrew really brought to the table is putting an emphasis on making sure our arrangements are really solid and not too repetitive feeling, so I think he deserves a lot of credit for that. Shane is also quick to change up the beat a lot which gives everything a lot of movement I think.

                                                                                                                    How do you go about writing a setlist?

                                                                                                                    We usually first consider the tempo and key changes first as we try to be as fluid as possible and not spend to much time in silence on stage. We’ll also consider what kind of instruments begin and end each song. Something I’ve started dabbling in is figuring out what songs blend together well so we can mix things up live a bit more a like a full on jam band would per say. Even though we often extend out songs out live in improv/solo sections we have yet to really dial in those kind of changes that you often see in the big names of the scene, something I personally look forward to seeing us develop with our sound.

                                                                                                                    Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                                                    I can’t think of anything that the whole band together would say, but I’ve always been a big fan of the phrase from the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti that is, “Truth is a pathless land” which I often look at from an abstract point of view not just the literal meaning.

                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                                                    There is no final plateau as a musician, so always look to improve your craft. Never become arrogant no matter how far you get. Always show respect and appreciation to your fans and musical peers. Also, be sure to remember professional music is not just an art, it is also a business whether you like it or not. Most importantly of all never forget that music is beyond ourselves and to never lose sight of the the underlying importance it has to this world and the people in it.

                                                                                                                    Lawrence Locals The Dear Misses Rock The Bottleneck Stage for Lawrence Field Day Fest on Friday, July 15th

                                                                                                                    The Dear Misses

                                                                                                                    Todd Anderson/Vocals and Rhythm guitar, Cody Stapleton/Lead guitar and Backup Vocals, Bret Collins/Drums, Shane Berggren Bass/Backup Vocals

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    If you love vocal hooks and thick rhythm, then you’ll love alternative, indie-rock band The Dear Misses. This Lawrence-based band rocks The Bottleneck stage for Lawrence Field Day Fest on Friday, July 15th. Catch them live at 8:15PM.

                                                                                                                    How did you pick your band name? When did you form The Dear Misses?

                                                                                                                    The band name started as Dear Misses and it was designed to be an acoustic project whose songs were geared toward love, lust and all of that mushy stuff. Dear Misses is like Dear Mrs. but leaving the last name open-ended. Love songs to my future someone.

                                                                                                                    After Cody and Todd made the decision to plug in the electric guitars and make a full band project it eventually turned into THE Dear Misses which then created a sort of double meaning.

                                                                                                                    All the musicians in this band have been plugging away for the better part of a decade and a half trying to “make it” in this business and all of the opportunities that we missed along the way lead us to this. So you could say that those misses are dear to us.

                                                                                                                    How would you describe your musical style?

                                                                                                                    Our musical style is hard to pin point to one genre as most musical endeavors are these days.  There are some tones of the early 2000 emo movement, some colors of progressive alternative, and some throw back elements of 90’s alt deriving from British and American groups alike, harnessing open standard chords with some dirt on the top with lead lines that sow them together. All of the songs try and grab you by the vocal hooks and thick rhythm section.

                                                                                                                    Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process? Are there any reoccurring themes in your songs?

                                                                                                                    Inspiration comes at you at all different times of day no matter where you are. Most of us carry around cell phones with recording capabilities so we can record any melody or any riff that comes to mind as we go. Most riffs are put together on our own time and brought to the practice space to be given a test run. The overall song inspiration comes from the feeling that we get from the music that we love. We try and convey that in our riffs and vocals alike. Our mission is to really hook the listener. We really want these songs to stick in our listeners head and make them feel inspired themselves to do something great in their own lives. We are trying to create something beyond ourselves. As far as themes go We have touched on subjects about love, passion, and anxiety.

                                                                                                                    What’s your music making process?  

                                                                                                                    Making music starts at home in our respective home studios. We put together riffs when they come to our heads and if they stick, we end up shaping the song and putting into a form that we can bring to the practice space.  If they vibe well, we will finalize the song as best we can. Vocal melodies come first and the words to the lyrics usually come last. Songs can derive from a vocal melody all the way to a drum beat. The beautiful thing about this is that our songs are coming from every which way which is allowing us to grow at a speedier pace.

                                                                                                                    Has your music evolved since you first started playing music together?

                                                                                                                    Our music has very much evolved. We have the same spirit we started with in that we just want to create. Any success that comes from that will make that much more pure of an experience. The music has always been rock based but we have explored all ends of the rock music that is in our hearts whether that be clean guitars and poppy melodies all the way to distorted low tuned guitars with gritty and loud vocals.

                                                                                                                    What’s your favorite thing about the music scene in Lawrence?

                                                                                                                    Our favorite thing about the Lawrence music scene is how eclectic and open minded musicians and music fans are alike. It’s such a family vibe that a show could consist of 4 or 5 bands all with different styles and everyone would have the same amount of fun no matter who is playing

                                                                                                                    dear misses2What other bands inspires your band musically?

                                                                                                                    Each member has a slightly different music taste, but for the most part we all meet in the middle. If you were to have us throw different bands into a hat you might find, Thrice, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, Ben Folds, Early Radiohead and Say Anything.

                                                                                                                    Does The Dear Misses have any rituals/traditions you do before/after performances?

                                                                                                                    As far as a pre-show ritual, we just try to stay loose not drink too much before we get on stage. We are usually as social as we can be, which leads to drink drink drink. So to answer your question. Stay sober. (just kidding) We try and stretch, get into a huddle and say a few positive things before we start the rock.

                                                                                                                    Besides music, what do you guys like to do in your spare time? 

                                                                                                                    Todd likes to golf, Bret likes to work out, Shane like to play Frisbee golf, and Cody likes to play music and take selfies.

                                                                                                                    What have been the biggest challenges you’ve guys had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                                                    The biggest challenge we are running into is honing into a very specific style. right now we are still very broad in what our style actually is. We could take this project in any different direction and have personal success with it, but are wanting to make this band count as much as we can, so picking the right direction to go is very delicate at this moment.

                                                                                                                    Any advice to other bands starting out on the music scene?13606500_898471793594724_4363945182159391034_n

                                                                                                                    Stay true to yourself and never make it about business. Make sure you are happy in your personal life because all of your shit will follow you into the band which should be a positive and healthy experience for anyone that tries it.

                                                                                                                    What’s in store for the future of The Dear Misses? Anything you would like share, from new merch to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?

                                                                                                                    We have a run of shows starting in July 1st and 2nd in our hometown, Hutchinson, KS, coming back to play Lawrence Field Day Fest the 15th and playing The Riot Room in KC on July17th and ending in late August as well as promoting our as of yet untitled E.P. Our main focus in the spaces between are to write as special of music as we can so we can hopefully get into the studio and on to the radio. We want to be heard more than we want to be seen.

                                                                                                                    What are you look forward to most playing at the Lawrence Field Day Fest at The Bottleneck?

                                                                                                                    Lawrence Field Day is a huge opportunity to get to know and enjoy our musical peers as well as show them what we are about so we can hopefully develop new and awesome relationships with the bands that are playing and The Bottleneck alike.


                                                                                                                    For more info on The Dear Misses, have a listen on their website.

                                                                                                                    Looking for tickets to the show? Get yours today!

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    Coral Creek Hits The Bottleneck July 2nd

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                                                                                                                    Coral Creek (Image via http://www.coralcreek.net)

                                                                                                                    Coral Creek is a Colorado-based band. Vocalist Chris Thompson recently discussed how he became interested in bluegrass, the beginnings of Coral Creek and advice to musicians just starting out.

                                                                                                                    What first got you interested in bluegrass?

                                                                                                                    Like many Deadheads, I found bluegrass music through Jerry Garcia and Old & In the Way during high school (this was in the late 80’s, I should add). My interest in bluegrass first peaked in college. I bought a banjo, got some lessons and starting copying every Flatt & Scruggs album I could find at my local library. I mostly just liked the fast banjo tunes. I wasn’t really into the county singing and all that when I was young. I just wanted to hear that banjo played real fast! So, I guess you could say “the banjo” got me interested in bluegrass. These days I’m more of a dobro junkie though and the pickin’ parties at the festivals keep me coming back.

                                                                                                                    How did Coral Creek get started?

                                                                                                                    The current configuration of Coral Creek got started at the end of 2014 as a collaboration between Bill McKay and me.  We were both playing a lot around Colorado and we crossed paths a few times, so after my wife Susannah (who’s a terrific singer/songwriter and co-founder of the band) decided to step down, I was looking for a new collaborator. We gathered up Rob Garland and Jack Watson and launched Coral Creek 2.0 at the UllrGrass Music Festival in Golden in January of 2015, where we were joined by Luke Bulla as a guest on the fiddle. Luke was a great fit, so we’ve been touring and recording with Luke as much as possible ever since.

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                                                                                                                    Coral Creek (Image via http://www.coralcreek.net)

                                                                                                                    How does your creative approach work when songwriting?

                                                                                                                    For our first album, we did not do a lot of collaborative songwriting as a band. Bill and I are the primary contributing songwriters and for the most part we bring completed works to the band. The song arrangements may get tweaked a bit, but not a lot.

                                                                                                                    For myself, I tend to draw inspiration and content from people, places and life experiences. My life is hectic and I’m a bit ADD, so my approach is to grab good ideas, musical or lyrical, when the pop into my head and try to keep track them in notebooks and voice memos until I can find some time to sit down and complete a song. It’s a bit haphazard, but time can be a pretty good filter. When I listen back, there is plenty of garbage that seemed clever in the moment, but doesn’t hold up to sober scrutiny. But then there are the little nuggets that make for great lyrical content, musical motifs or even concepts for an entire song. Every so often I’ll steal a few days of isolation and complete the songs working from my notes.

                                                                                                                    What inspires you lyrically?

                                                                                                                    I draw inspiration from people, places, current events and random life experiences.

                                                                                                                    Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                                                    Not really, but I am a fan of the Golden Rule. That one serves us all well.

                                                                                                                    What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                                                    We’re making music here, so life is good. The challenge for all aspiring musicians is figuring out how to get the music out to where people can hear and appreciate it. There is so much great music in the world, that’s always going to be a challenge, but how you measure success is relative, so I’m not sure if we’ve overcome that one or not. The new album’s getting pretty good radio play, but I don’t think we’re there yet.

                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                                                    My advice would be to concentrate on the music/product and the promotion/business in equal parts. In rare cases, an artist can be successful with one and not the other. But most will need to build both to have success.

                                                                                                                    Frogleg Brings Their Jams to The Bottleneck July 13th

                                                                                                                    Frogleg1

                                                                                                                    Frogleg (Image via Frogleg’s Facebook page)

                                                                                                                    Frogleg skillfully blends funk, reggae and bluegrass to create their sound. Guitarist and vocalist Joe Dunn recently discussed how Micro Jammers began his musical obsession, how Frogleg got started and the band’s songwriting approach. Frogleg plays The Bottleneck July 13th.

                                                                                                                    What was your earliest musical memory?

                                                                                                                    My first musical memory would have been these mini guitar toys called Micro Jammers with different buttons that played short songs when I was a young tot. I was obsessed with them. That was probably the first thing that got my eyes set on becoming a guitar player.

                                                                                                                    How did Frogleg first come together?

                                                                                                                    It first started out as an acoustic trio with Demitri and Will Effertz, who is no longer in the group. Toward the end of the summer, in 2012, Demitri got a call to put a band together and be the Thursday night house band at Bunkers Bar and Grill in Minneapolis. We went for it! Almost 4 years later, we’re still holding down Thursday’s and having a blast.

                                                                                                                    Frogleg2

                                                                                                                    Frogleg (Image via Frogleg’s Facebook page)

                                                                                                                    You incorporate so many different styles of music to create your sound. What is your creative process when songwriting?

                                                                                                                    Originally it went where Demitri and I would write songs outside of the group and would bring them to the rest of the band and we’d work them out. Recently Demitri, Elliott, Sam, Jimmy and I have been getting together at a practice space and doing collaborative writing sessions. It’s been working out really well having more brains to give input. We’re excited about the new music.

                                                                                                                    How often do you find yourself writing songs?

                                                                                                                    I varies between the members of the band but we’ve been trying to get together at least once a week whether it’s writing lyrics or just piecing the music together for something to write to later.

                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                                                    Not only try to get out and play as much as you can, but also go out to shows and support and meet other musicians and artists. Networking with your peers is key when first creating your musical brand.

                                                                                                                    After Funk Funks Up The Bottleneck June 29th.

                                                                                                                    afterfunk1

                                                                                                                    After Funk (Image via http://wwwafterfunk.ca)

                                                                                                                    After Funk is a Toronto, Canada-based funk band. They are playing The Bottleneck June 29th. Bassist Justin Bontje recently discussed the beginnings of After Funk, his lyrical inspiration and the band’s musical creative process.

                                                                                                                    Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?

                                                                                                                    My parents were never musicians, but always had music in their lives. They grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, a great time for music that is directly linked to the kind of music After Funk creates.

                                                                                                                    How did After Funk first come together?

                                                                                                                    After Funk came together at a university in southwestern Ontario, Jaime and Justin were randomly paired up as room mates where they were free to construct a beat laboratory for all to come and collaborate. That’s where Yanick came into the picture, he came to jam with them on keys. After winning multiple battle of the bands they decided to keep on making music!

                                                                                                                    It really just kind of happened. Justin and Jaime were paired as room mates at university where they met Yanick. After a couple jams we decided to enter a battle of the bands just for kicks. We needed a name to enter the contest and thus After Funk was born.

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                                                                                                                    After Funk (Image via http://wwwafterfunk.ca)

                                                                                                                    What is your creative approach when writing a song?

                                                                                                                    ?We try a mixture of approaches. A big one is listening before we play?. Because writing can be such a delicate process, we find it helpful to visualize before we make a bunch of noise with our instruments.

                                                                                                                    What inspires you lyrically?

                                                                                                                    ?Stories! People are interesting and awesome, and everyone has something great worth sharing. I also like to put a fantastical twist on things because I find the imagery evocative and imaginative.

                                                                                                                    Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                                                    ?Chuffy. It means anything you want it to.

                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                                                    ?When the ground starts to get steep, you know you’ve reached the base of the mountain. Work hard and keep chuffin it.

                                                                                                                    Rolling Foliage Rolls Into The Bottleneck June 18th

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                                                                                                                    Rolling Foliage (Image via https://www.facebook.com/RollingFoliage)

                                                                                                                    Rolling Foliage is a Lawrence-based band. Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Leaf recently discussed how he became passionate about bluegrass, his love of the Lawrence music scene. Rolling Foliage plays The Bottleneck with the Ragbirds June 18th.

                                                                                                                    What was your earliest musical memory?

                                                                                                                    My earliest memory musically is old Motown playing while momma cleaned house. She was always dancing around and my dad would say “easy momma, you’re gonna throw a hip out.” As far as live music, it was Cain Robberson and Joel Brummett playing guitar and washtub bass on Mass street. Cain with his eyes closed, on his knees, singing his heart out while Joel thumped that weed eater line. It was moving and inspiring for me.  

                                                                                                                    What got you interested in bluegrass?

                                                                                                                    Split Lip Rayfield got me into bluegrass. I used to live across from The Bottleneck and would always go in for free pool early in the day and get to watch the bands warm up and discuss band stuff. New Years every year was SLR and had never seen acoustic instruments played with such power and passion. You follow Split Lip and end up meeting all the die hard Winfield Bluegrass crew.  

                                                                                                                    RF2

                                                                                                                    Rolling Foliage (Image via https://www.facebook.com/RollingFoliage)

                                                                                                                    How did Rolling Foliage get started?

                                                                                                                    Rolling Foliage started a few Junes ago. I had been building stages and throwing a festival called Festy Fest and the production took up all my time. I used to tour with Deadman Flats all across the country and Europe and used to open up as a solo/loop act. Decided I wanted a band to play with and ended up with Sonny and Paul, two friends that have played in all sorts of bands (primarily bluegrass) and my music seemed to be a way that both of them could stretch out a bit and not be bound to standard bluegrass rhythms and chord transitions. We actually have a hard time classifying our sound and try not to be stuck in a single genre.

                                                                                                                    What do you enjoy most about the music scene in Lawrence? 

                                                                                                                    The music scene is amazing. I remember listening to “The Band That Saved The World” CD and thinking they are my favorite band for three years and found out they were local! Let alone, I knew a couple of the members. The amount of musicians is staggering and the quality and variety of bands is impressive. I love being able to go out any night of the week and catch a band. I thought it was primarily a bluegrass scene and I was happily mistaken.  

                                                                                                                    What is your creative approach when writing tracks?

                                                                                                                    My creative approach is probably all the other monotonous work I do. When I’m welding I like to listen to music that’s around 100 bpm and get a steady groove going. I listen to the words and generally find my own groove and topic. When I sit and pick alone I generally find a simple lick and kinda freestyle the topic I’ve been thinking of while working. I figure most of the rhymes and melody at work. Paul and Sonny especially can jump in with ease once they hear it a time or two. I’ll sit and try to write a song sometimes and end up writing a completely different one. Your mood also has a lot of impact. It’s really tough to pinpoint when you can be inspired by so many different things.  

                                                                                                                    What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                                                    The biggest challenges have collaborating schedules. I work a lot and love to build and try to accommodate music with my projects while the other guys have other bands they play with and work as well. As much as we all would like our band to pay our bills, it’s just not doable unless you’re always on the road. I think I am ready to start putting more time into the band and am eager to write new material. It’s just hard to feel it when you’re overworked.  

                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                                                    The advice I’d give to musicians would be to prioritize your moves. Get good at your material. You shouldn’t have to think about what chord you’re playing next or how the lyric melody should go. It should be natural and each word/note should be deliberate. When you half-ass play a song it gets awkward and people don’t feel it. Play a song enough times where you nail it every time and play it like its the first time anyone has heard it and have fun. Even if you’re not that good, but are having fun doing it, people will like you. Bring the energy.

                                                                                                                    Vela Brings Their Indie Rock to The Bottleneck June 17th

                                                                                                                    Vela at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                    Vela (Image via http://www.velakc.com)

                                                                                                                    Vela is a hard-hitting, Kansas City-based indie rock band. The band features Jonas Birkel on guitar and vocals and Sean Cedillo on drums. Birkel first became interested in music when his parents got him involved with playing classical music. “As far as being moved by music, I was about 4. Our family had a cassette tape called Peter and the Wolf and listening to that was mind altering. I would sit on my bed and blast it. I loved the dynamics between the heavy tones of the brass and the light woodwinds and strings. It still today is a huge influence for me,” he says.
                                                                                                                    The members of Vela first met in 5th grade. “Sean and I had always talked about starting a project and we tried it with a bunch of different people. But it never really worked out until we started playing as just a two piece,” Birkel says. Staying true to their vision, the band produces all of their own music.

                                                                                                                    Vela at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                    Vela (Image via https://velakc.bandcamp.com/

                                                                                                                    Striving to create quality music keeps Vela focused. “Everything always ever and forever in music is a challenge. That’s why I feel that every musician carries a blessing and a curse. I see many people solely try to make money off of music or show how great they are at it. But I think that if just playing music isn’t enough fulfillment then don’t do it because the gratification will never inversely relate to the amount of time and effort you put in,” Birkel says about being a musician. Vela plays The Bottleneck June 17th with Fallopian Fire, Good Ole Fashion and Trauma Parlor.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                    The Ragbirds Take Flight at The Bottleneck June 18th

                                                                                                                    The Ragbirds at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                    The Ragbirds (Image via http://www.theragbirds.com)

                                                                                                                    Catch The Ragbirds at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                    The Ragbirds combine world music, bluegrass and more to create their sound. Their latest release is the album The Threshold & The Hearth. The Michigan-based band’s music has been described as infectious global groove. Vocalist and violinist Erin Zindle recently discussed the band’s beginnings, her personal mantra and advice for musicians just starting out. The Ragbirds play The Bottleneck with Rolling Foliage June 18th.

                                                                                                                    How did you become interested in music?

                                                                                                                    My early experiences with music start with my family and the church we grew up in. My mother always sang with my brothers and I as we went about our day – at meals, in the tub, as we played, etc. My parents also sang in the choir at the Baptist church we attended.  The church used hymnals so I grew up following along in the music from a very early age which helped me be an early reader and my dad always sang the tenor parts so I grew accustomed to hearing the harmony. At Christmastime my dad’s 8 brothers and sisters would gather and sing carols in harmony with guitars. I think it is because of this climate that It was always very natural for me to sing. I started violin lessons at the age of 9 and piano a few years later.  

                                                                                                                    How did the Ragbirds first get started?

                                                                                                                    In 2005, I had written more than an album’s worth of songs that were tugging at my sleeves so I decided to record them. I asked my boyfriend, percussionist Randall Moore (who is now my husband) to record the rhythm tracks. The early songs were very much centered around the world rhythms that Randall and I laid out. We found a guitarist and bassist to record those parts and we cut the record before we even played a single show together, then we hit the ground running and haven’t stopped since. We’ve had a few lineup changes over the years, but my brother TJ Zindle joined the band in 2008 and our current drummer Jon Brown and bassist Dan Jones joined a little over 2 years ago.

                                                                                                                    What is your creative approach to songwriting?

                                                                                                                    I am a lifelong student of the songwriting process and I could talk about it for days, so I’ll try to answer this as concisely as I can. I try to approach songwriting from many different angles to keep the process fresh and to challenge myself, but my most natural way of writing is to sit down in a quiet place with a pen and paper. For me, the words are at the center of my songs and I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the words before they are ever even sung. It is like a puzzle and once the words are “just right” they practically sing themselves. This is the greatest thrill and in these moments when a song lifts off the page into my throat I feel more alive and complete than ever. I usually rush to record the melody at this point and quickly find an instrument to sketch out the harmonic structure, experimenting and editing as I shape the song into being.

                                                                                                                    What inspires you lyrically?

                                                                                                                    Working through struggles. One of the lyrics on our new album is “I’m a self-improvement junkie” (from the song “Sometimes Honestly”) and it’s so true. I’m always striving for self-awareness through my songwriting, and seeking out the message of wisdom that the song wants to teach me. I’m trying to express my trials and sorrows by finding my way through them into hope and joy.  Songwriting is the best tool in the world to help me do that. My greatest hope is that other people who hear the songs when they are in a dark place can find their way out too.

                                                                                                                    The Ragbirds at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                    Erin Zindle, of the Ragbirds (Image via http://www.theragbirds.com)

                                                                                                                    How did the song “Six Wheels” come together?

                                                                                                                    Oh, gosh. I wrote that song about 6 years ago I think. We were in the middle of one of our busiest touring years and we were constantly on the road. Touring can be exhausting and the lifestyle tends to be dominated by masculine energy. So, I was on the road with 5 boys (4 band members + our merch guy) in a van and trailer (that’s the 6 wheels) and was writing songs about our experiences which eventually were recorded for our 2011 album Travelin’ Machine. “Who’s got sugar who’s got spice?” was something I wrote in my journal one evening as I was reflecting on my need for femininity. It’s easy to lose touch with yourself in a sense when you are surrounded 24/7 by people who are very different from you.  I was so grateful on the road every time I’d get a little “girl time” – like if we’d stay with a friend, or even just the little hospitable touches that women would bring to the show experience – like home-cooked meals in a clean green room, etc. Those little moments were so refreshing and those human connections mean the world to all of us who live a traveling lifestyle.

                                                                                                                    Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                                                    I have a mantra that I repeat each morning.  It’s an acronym for the word EMBRACE, which reminds me to embrace each day.

                                                                                                                    E – Enjoy the day

                                                                                                                    M – Magnify the positive

                                                                                                                    B – Be the strongest version of yourself

                                                                                                                    R – Rise above the petty stuff

                                                                                                                    A – Accept responsibility (+ apologize effortlessly)

                                                                                                                    C – Control your tongue

                                                                                                                    E – Empathize with others

                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                                                    This new music business is full of many possibilities so it’s important to go into it knowing your own personal definition of success. If you are genuine (both vulnerable and humbly aware of what makes you unique) and always striving to learn and improve then you will succeed. It’s just that success doesn’t look anything like the old model – and it usually is not the same as fortune and fame. Know yourself and plan for the long game. If there’s anything else you can see yourself just as happily doing then do that thing, because this way, this business is a hard way to go. It’s also worth every bit of the hard work and disappointment. It’s the only job I’ve ever had. I’ve been touring in bands for almost 20 years! I always remind myself how lucky I am though, because what else could I be doing with my life that would make so many people happy? I know that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, and if you know that about yourself too, then the sky is the limit.

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