2/19

Open Mic

KU vs Oklahoma Watch Party

All Ages | 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.



    KU vs Oklahoma Watch Party

    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



      2/22

      Ces Cru

      G-Mo Skee
      Loogey
      Sheven
      PLUS MORE (SEE BELOW)

      $15 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

      BUY TICKETS!

      Ces Cru

      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



        G-Mo Skee

        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



          Loogey

          Loogey is an Independent American artist catching buzz for his ability to seamlessly throw his voice in and out of vocal melodies and patterns without losing his very identifiable cadence. Loogey has caught the ear of many regional fans that have seen him support artists the likes of Tech N9ne, Waka Flocka Flame, Torey Lanez, A$AP FERG, Freddie Gibbs, Naughty By Nature, Mac Lethal, JL (Strange Music), Phora, Slick Rick, Sir Michael Rocks, Ying Yang Twins, Inspectah Deck, Capadonna, King Chip, Mobb Deep, Masta Killa, Mickey Factz, Copywrite, GLC and more. Be sure to stream Loogey's sophomore album "Jaded", out now on Soundcloud.

          "Loogey has some bars! He also looks like KC, and sounds like the heart of the city fusing his rhymes with a soulful crispness that takes me back to the days I used to go to KC for my own shows."
          - Travis Brown
          Horror Movies Uncut - 11.1.17

          "Truth be told, this is one of the most pop/radio-ready rap albums we’ve heard out of Kansas City in some time"
          "Loogey does not generally sound like your run-of-the-mill white rapper, either. Instead, he relies on aforementioned singing efforts which add a dynamic to his music that is missing from the additionally stereotypical stone-cold, KC rapper persona."

          - Chris Mills
          Editor-in-Chief
          Demencha Magazine LLC Demencha.com

          OUR LINKS


          Sheven

          Kansas City | Rapper | Entrepreneur
          COEXISTING IS OUT NOW!
          Snapchat: ShevenKC
          Check out My Music ⬇️
          www.shevenmusic.com

          OUR LINKS


          Lincoln Marshall

          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



            2/23

            Mountain Deer Revival

            Ryan Manuel & the Getaway
            Steamboat Bandits

            18 & Over | 8 pm

            Their music manages to successfully close the gap between Country Rock, Americana and Bluegrass, while maintaining an honest, independent tone. The band reaches beyond talent, by writing with creativity and performing with passion. With great focus being placed on their lyrics and the feeling of their songs, MDR's music is as much a state of mind as it is a sound.

            Mountain Deer Revival

            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



              Ryan Manuel & the Getaway

              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                Steamboat Bandits

                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                  2/24

                  Haunted Summer

                  The Moose

                  $8 + F&T | All Ages | 7 pm

                  BUY TICKETS!

                  Haunted Summer

                  The songs of Haunted Summer are dreamy and hypnotic, rich with orchestral strings and sultry electronic textures, and with their EP, Something in the Water, the group crafted a captivatingly-ethereal musical journey through a nostalgic world of young love and long-forgotten memories. Consisting of husband-and-wife Bridgette Moody and John Seasons, who share songwriting duties in a true collaboration, the Los Angeles duo have shared the stage and toured with groups and performers including Taken By Trees, Islands, Deafheaven, Coeur De Pirate, Olafur Arnalds, Carla Morrison, Meiko, Basia Bulat, Federico Aubele, Laura Stevenson and more. They have toured the country and played venues such as The El Rey Theatre, The Great American Music Hall, The Levitt Pavilion, Amoeba Hollywood, The Observatory OC, The Glasshouse, Crescent Ballroom, North Park Theater, The Chapel, The Beauty Bar Las Vegas, Pianos, The Casbah and many more. Having completed a tour with Islands and other tour dates with David J of Bauhaus, Geographer and more, multiple headlining tours across the country among other countless tour dates, plus a month-long residency in San Francisco and LA, Haunted Summer is poised to bring their psychedelic sound to the world.

                  ---

                  The five tracks on the Something in The Water reinforce the group's ghostly vibes, with Moody's ethereal vocals blending seamlessly with spaced-out and hazy orchestral dream-pop, allowing the music to take control of your headspace like a ray of light seeping in through the cracks of a long forgotten and rundown gothic mansion. -The Portland Mercury (CT)

                  The pair’s blend of experimental guitar riffs, ethereal orchestral features, and Moody’s trance-like vocals—plus a ton of oddball electronic sounds that add even more texture—creates a sound that sticks with you. -The Seattle Weekly (Azaria Podplesky)


                  Bridgette Eliza Moody and John Seasons are the group’s mainstays, but they have smartly added other musicians to the mix, taking their music to a bolder, higher level. The use of clarinet especially enhances and grounds their sound as Moody's augmented vocals and Seasons’ languid guitar licks add ethereal layers. -The Inlander (Laura Johnson)

                  OUR LINKS


                  The Moose

                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                    3/1

                    Donovan Frakenreiter

                    John Craigie

                    $18 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                    BUY TICKETS!

                    Donovan Frakenreiter

                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                      John Craigie

                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                        3/3

                        Mosquitto Band

                        Hi Lux
                        Pale Tounges

                        All Ages | 8 pm

                        Mosquitto Band

                        Mosquitto is a Psychedelic Rock Band from Los Angeles, Ca. Heavily influenced by the Zombies, Beachboys and drugs



                          Hi Lux

                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                            Pale Tounges

                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                              3/4

                              Tiny Moving Parts

                              Mom Jeans
                              OSO OSO

                              $13 + F&T | All Ages | 6:30 pm

                              BUY TICKETS!

                              Tiny Moving Parts

                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                Mom Jeans

                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                  OSO OSO

                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                    3/6

                                    Mike Love

                                    Jungle Man

                                    $12 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                    BUY TICKETS!

                                    Meet Mike Love. One of reggae music’s rising stars. Born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii to a musical family that spans generations, Mike Love brings a multitude of influences to the table, all tied together by the common goal of making the world a better place.

                                    Mike Love

                                    Revolutionary music may seem hard to come by in these days and times. Long gone is the era of artists like Bob Marley, The Clash, Stevie Wonder and Patti Smith getting airplay and bringing their messages to the masses. But that doesn’t mean that the revolution isn’t still brewing in the hearts and minds of many people around the globe.

                                    Meet Mike Love. One of reggae music’s rising stars. Born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii to a musical family that spans generations, Mike Love brings a multitude of influences to the table, all tied together by the common goal of making the world a better place. Through the grassroots method of releasing his albums independently, on his own Love Not War Records label, and performing 250 plus shows a year, Love has built an ever growing following for his unique and inspiring music. He has toured with many artists in the circles of conscious, roots music, including Trevor Hall, Xavier Rudd, Nahko and many more. Over the past few years he performed to enthusiastic audiences at the California Roots Festival, Wakarusa, Wanderlust and the Montreal Jazz Fest, just to name a few. He has also enjoyed great success and exposure through the web on outlets like YouTube, with one of his videos just recently hitting 5 million views!

                                    On his award winning debut album, The Change I’m Seeking, Love harkens the legends of roots reggae in both his lyrics and his sound, but never relies on any one genre to hold him down. Coming from a wealth of influences, Love fuses the simple rhythms of classic reggae with the complex changes of the classical and rock music he was first trained on to come up with a style wholly unique to him. On his follow up album, Love Will Find A Way, released September 1st, 2015, Love further refines his sound and message, with grand and striking arrangements and deep heartfelt emotions, he takes you on a journey which many describe as "life changing". He calls for immediate and drastic change in environmental impact on "Step Lightly", affirms his connection with fans on "I Love You, and shows a vulnerable and touching insight into his personal life on "Advaya's Song" and "No Regrets".

                                    But it’s his message, his passion, the wisdom behind his words that truly resonate with his fans. “It’s always been about the depth,” Mike Love explains, “I’ve never been into music that was shallow. I’m still learning about where I’m going and where I want to be. All the music is a learning tool for me too. I just make myself open to it and the messages come through. It’s just as teaching and healing for me as it is for anyone.”

                                    His songs take you on a journey, one of healing and inspiration. One designed to help you on your path to knowledge, wisdom and understanding. On “Permanent Holiday” he takes you on a lyrical quest for freedom, both his and yours. He laments the ills of the world but also discusses solutions and ideas to change them. On "Earthlings" he sings about being vegan, about animal cruelty and about holding yourself accountable for your actions. These are songs with messages designed to affect change in a time when it is so desperately necessary.

                                    With tours already booked in the U.S., Canada, Central America and Australia, 2016 is shaping up to be a big year of even more growth for Love and his musical family!

                                    Mike Love has shared the stage with artists like Michael Franti, Trevor Hall, Nahko & Medicine For The People, Xavier Rudd, Rebelution, John Butler Trio, Groundation, Steel Pulse, Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson.

                                    Revolutionary, Conscious, Music.

                                    OUR LINKS


                                    Jungle Man

                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                      3/7

                                      The Aquaducks

                                      Cory Phillips & the Groove Machine

                                      All Ages | 8 pm


                                      The Aquaducks have been making waves in and around Music City as a high octane funk and soul band with a live energy that is rarely matched. The Ducks' first two singles "Nightlife" and "Bill's Toupée" immediately caught the attention of local radio station Lighting 100, and have continued to receive regular air play. Described by Brooklyn, NY blog Pancakes and Whiskey as "Dripping with enough funk to fill several swimming pools," The Aquaducks have created a new sound with influences ranging from Earth Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder to Lettuce and James Brown.

                                      The Aquaducks

                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                        Cory Phillips & the Groove Machine

                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                          3/8

                                          Fools Brew

                                          All Ages | 8 pm

                                          Fools Brew

                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                            3/9

                                            Shoebox Money

                                            American Slim
                                            Kangaroo Ali

                                            18 & Over | 7 pm

                                            Shoebox Money

                                            Returning from a 9 month hiatus in April of 2017, Shoebox Money found a lineup that really works and discovered their sound with original members Patrick and Ben W. (Bass and lead guitar/harmonica) paired with new members Ben S. and Dylan (vocals/rhythm guitar and drums). Drawing equally from classic rock and blues as well as post garage rock revival and alt punk, these indie rockers produce theory driven music and put on high energy live shows.

                                            OUR LINKS


                                            American Slim

                                            Kansas City based American Slim started in the Spring of 2012.

                                            The similarities of each member are obvious: -all passionate, and all moved by watching the audience fall in love with the music. Their differences influence the band’s unique sound; bass, lead guitar, acoustical guitar, keyboards, drums, ukulele, banjo, piano, and saxophone blend together with a distinctive mix of killer vocals and smooth harmonies. American Slim’s vibe is eclectic and it’s that quality--the I-can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it-but-I-love-it sentiment, that audiences call the band’s signature sound: bits of indie, rock, blues, and funk fused together for a mix that has evolved from performing covers to writing and performing originals. The band performs almost every weekend in the Kansas City area and has been working very hard during the week to write and produce their very first EP of original music that is due for release in the Fall of 2015.

                                            OUR LINKS


                                            Kangaroo Ali

                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                              3/10

                                              Bad Bad Hats

                                              Westerners
                                              La Guerre

                                              $11 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                              BUY TICKETS!

                                              Bad Bad Hats

                                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                Westerners

                                                Cast from London and several cities up and down the east coast into Kansas City/Lawrence area, the 4 members of indie garage rock outfit Westerners may seem more like an accident than a form of perseverance paid off. Beginning with an arbitrary move to a farmhouse in nowhere, Kansas, and an almost decade long friendship, the band's songs and interests were slowly formed over a year of pleasurable purgatory out in the wilderness. Lots of whiskey. Lots of smoke. Lots of good times. Lots of distractions. Emerging from the haze around August of 2013 and enlisting friend and local band director who was then recently discharged from the coast guard to fill out the sound, they swarmed onto the local scene with a constant slew of high energy performances. Recent release of the ep "Westerners" is drawing midwest attention and praise, displaying a group who are paving a street to somewhere, brick by brick.

                                                Recent release, Westerners EP, is a 4 song, get-straight-to-the-point record that introduces the bands unique blend of garage rock and pop. Recorded and produced at Element Recordings (kc) by Joel Nanos, the ep captures the bands intense , live energy that is displayed at every event.

                                                OUR LINKS


                                                La Guerre

                                                "On “Sapphires,” Conroy has rendered a collection of intimate songs in a voice all her own, one that lives up to its luminous title."
                                                -KCStar

                                                FEMALE SINGER/SONGWRITER
                                                2013 PITCH MUSIC AWARDS

                                                OUR LINKS


                                                3/11

                                                Ceschi Ramos

                                                Dark Time Sunshine
                                                Moodie Black
                                                DopeKnife

                                                $9 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                BUY TICKETS!

                                                Ceschi Ramos

                                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                  Dark Time Sunshine

                                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                    Moodie Black

                                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                      DopeKnife

                                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                        3/13

                                                        Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

                                                        John Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers

                                                        $14 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                        BUY TICKETS!

                                                        Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

                                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!

                                                        OUR LINKS


                                                        John Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers

                                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                          3/14

                                                          Declan McKenna

                                                          Chappell Roan

                                                          $15 + F&T | All Ages | 6:30 pm

                                                          BUY TICKETS!

                                                          Declan McKenna

                                                          British indie singer/songwriter Declan McKenna first emerged in 2015 with the shimmering, politically charged single "Brazil," which directly addressed the corruption scandal then engulfing soccer's governing body, FIFA. The teenaged Hertfordshire native had only a handful of self-released tracks to his name, having uploaded them to his Bandcamp page. Obsessed with Bowie and with an attitude recalling the Libertines and Jamie T., McKenna blended bright indie pop with textural lo-fi. As "Brazil" gained traction throughout 2015, McKenna's star began to rise, and that summer he took home the Glastonbury Festival's coveted Emerging Talent prize. Hyperbolically dubbed "the voice of a generation," he signed a management contract with industry giant Q-Prime, leading to a bidding war which resulted in his signing to Columbia. His follow-up single, "Paracetamol," arrived in November 2015, proving that he was no one-hit wonder. The EPs Stains and Liar followed in 2016, along with a string of socially conscious singles tackling such weighty topics as police brutality, religion, and terrorism. All six of his previously released singles eventually wound up on his bright, eclectic debut album, What Do You Think About the Car?, produced by Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford and released in summer 2017.

                                                          OUR LINKS


                                                          Chappell Roan

                                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                            3/15

                                                            Tigers Jaw

                                                            Yowler
                                                            Looming

                                                            $17 + F&T | All Ages | 7 pm

                                                            BUY TICKETS!

                                                            Tigers Jaw

                                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!

                                                            OUR LINKS


                                                            Yowler

                                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                              Looming

                                                              Debut LP 'Nailbiter' now available on the No Sleep Records webstore.

                                                              OUR LINKS


                                                              3/16

                                                              Dylan Guthrie and the Good Time Guys

                                                              Fall Risk

                                                              All Ages | 8 pm

                                                              Dylan Guthrie and the Good Time Guys

                                                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                Fall Risk

                                                                Based out of Lawrence, KS, Fall Risk is a jazz + funk band comprised of 9 KU students. They specialize in high energy arrangements of popular songs and party standards ranging from the 1960's all the way up to current top 40 chart toppers. The horn section adds a groovy twist to the typical rock band set up. The band operates as a music collective, featuring singers, soloists, composers and arrangers.



                                                                  3/17

                                                                  JL ( Strange Music)

                                                                  L''''''''s
                                                                  810
                                                                  Stik Figa

                                                                  $15 + F&T | All Ages | 7 pm

                                                                  BUY TICKETS!

                                                                  JL ( Strange Music)

                                                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                    L''''''''s

                                                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                      810

                                                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                        Stik Figa

                                                                        Stik Figa is a prolific MC and wordsmith from Topeka, Kansas. Raised in Memphis, Stik developed a unique and versatile skill set, combining detailed lyricism with a dirty south drawl.

                                                                        His virtuosity has led him to be featured on premier outlets such as NPR and 2DopeBoyz. After signing with Mello Music Group, he released "As Himself" a project drawing from his unique perspective and background.

                                                                        OUR LINKS


                                                                        3/18

                                                                        Bass Physics

                                                                        $13 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                        BUY TICKETS!

                                                                        Bass Physics

                                                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                          3/20

                                                                          Quiet Hollars

                                                                          Mo Lowda & the Humble

                                                                          All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                          Quiet Hollars

                                                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                            Mo Lowda & the Humble

                                                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                              3/21

                                                                              Born to Hustle Tour with Project Pat

                                                                              Bando Boys

                                                                              $15 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                              BUY TICKETS!

                                                                              Born to Hustle Tour with Project Pat

                                                                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                Bando Boys

                                                                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                  3/23

                                                                                  Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys

                                                                                  Travis Linville

                                                                                  $13 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                  BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                  Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys

                                                                                  He‟s been known as the co-founder of the three-time Grammy nominated BR549, the honky-tonk
                                                                                  heroes that almost single-handedly lit and carried the blowtorch for the mid-„90s alternative country
                                                                                  explosion. He‟s been hailed as „The Hillbilly Renaissance Man‟ for his subsequent successes as a
                                                                                  songwriter, performer, producer and musical theater director. Now after more than a decade as one of
                                                                                  the most uncompromising and consistent talents in the American roots music movement, Chuck
                                                                                  Mead at last emerges with the most anticipated role of his entire career: Solo Artist.
                                                                                  With Journeyman’s Wager, Chuck Mead throws down the gauntlet with an album that defies all
                                                                                  sonic expectations while re-defining his position as one of the hardest-working artists in the business.
                                                                                  “I respect the term „journeyman‟,” Mead says, “because that‟s I what consider myself. I‟ve been living
                                                                                  by my wits musically for more than 20 years now, going from job to job and doing them all pretty well.
                                                                                  Certainly there‟s a hustle to what I do, but there‟s always been a gambling aspect to it, too. With this
                                                                                  album, it‟s finally all me going all-in. It‟s a record that challenges listeners in a good way. Best of all,
                                                                                  I‟ve challenged myself.”
                                                                                  Produced by Grammy-winner Ray Kennedy, the eleven tracks on Journeyman’s Wager embody not
                                                                                  only the core of country music, but also the pulse of pop, R&B, hillbilly rock, Gospel and beyond. “Why
                                                                                  be confined by barriers or genres?” Chuck asks. “As far as I‟m concerned, it‟s all American Music.
                                                                                  These are the sounds that made up my musical vocabulary. I still believe that American Music is
                                                                                  about real things, good stories and unique songs. And I‟m willing to bet that most everyone else does,
                                                                                  too.”
                                                                                  “It‟s hard to believe that it‟s taken him this long to make a solo record,” says producer/engineer Ray
                                                                                  Kennedy, best known for his work on classic albums by Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle. “What sets
                                                                                  Chuck apart from so many artists is that he‟s a genuine hard-working, blue-collar performer. I hate the
                                                                                  word „old-school‟ but we didn‟t want this album to sound like a lot of modern records where everything
                                                                                  is over-tweaked and perfect. We knew we had to make it intimate and real.” Kennedy recorded the
                                                                                  entire album analog on two-inch tape, in a studio full of both state-of-the art and vintage equipment
                                                                                  that included „60s tube microphones, a Vox Continental organ, and a badass band that featured
                                                                                  Kenny Vaughn (Marty Stuart), Audley Freed (The Black Crowes), Mark Miller (BR549), Mark Horn
                                                                                  (The Derailers), Dave Roe (Johnny Cash), Mike Henderson (The SteelDrivers), Pat Sivers (The
                                                                                  Everly Brothers) and Jen Gunderman (The Jayhawks). “Chuck is the same in the studio as he is on
                                                                                  stage,” Kennedy explains. “He loves working without a net. There are a lot of multiple voices singing
                                                                                  into one microphone and the band playing together in one room. Most of all, it‟s an album that really
                                                                                  represents his worldview song-wise. It has humor, intelligence, sarcasm, a bit of politics and a lot of
                                                                                  spontaneity. Plus he‟s singing his ass off. Chuck doesn‟t have a model; he really is a journeyman in
                                                                                  that songwriting and entertaining is his life.”
                                                                                  For Mead, life and music have always been irrevocably intertwined. “I joined my first band at 12 years
                                                                                  old,” he explains with a laugh. “Ruint me forever.” Throughout his 20s, he led several groups in and
                                                                                  around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, including the popular Mid-western cult band The
                                                                                  Homestead Grays. By the early „90s, Chuck found himself as an itinerant musician on Nashville‟s
                                                                                  then-seedy Lower Broadway. It was a place in time where a performer armed with only the vision of a
                                                                                  sonically relentless hillbilly band with nothing to lose could try anything. Within months, Mead cofounded
                                                                                  a quintet that began playing must-see marathon sets in the front window of bar/bootery
                                                                                  Robert‟s Western World. Seven albums, three Grammy nominations and millions of worldwide fans
                                                                                  later, BR549 would become one of the most improbable success stories of the past decade.
                                                                                  “BR549 is on extended hiatus,” Chuck now says. “We were – and remain – a family, and taking a
                                                                                  break from each other will make us miss each other more. We survived the highs, the lows and all the
                                                                                  hype, and we still had fun making music we love. But it was also time for me to do my own thing.”
                                                                                  With the exception of occasional reunions on Prairie Home Companion (at the behest of longtime fan
                                                                                  Garrison Keillor) and benefits for favorite charities, Mead‟s post-BR career soon became known as
                                                                                  much for its continued integrity as for its eclecticism. He founded the touring collective The Hillbilly All-
                                                                                  Stars featuring members of The Mavericks, co-produced acclaimed tribute albums to Johnny Cash
                                                                                  and Waylon Jennings, guest-lectured on „The Sociology of Modern American Culture‟ at Vanderbilt
                                                                                  University, and became a staff writer at one of Nashville‟s top song publishers. In 2007, he was
                                                                                  named Musical Director of Million Dollar Quartet, the new hit stage musical based on the night in 1956
                                                                                  that Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley came together for an impromptu
                                                                                  jam session. “It‟s been incredibly liberating to do all these things I‟ve never done before,” Chuck says.
                                                                                  “But most of all, I wanted to call my own shots and make a record that mattered.”
                                                                                  Ten of the eleven tracks on Journeyman’s Wager are co-written by Mead, who‟d spent the past year
                                                                                  working with such idiosyncratic and award-winning songwriters as Tia Sillers, Bobby Huff, Greg
                                                                                  Crowe, Patrick Davis, Angeleena Presley, Mark Collie and Jon & Sally Tiven. The album roars out of
                                                                                  the gate with the twanging highway stomp of “Out On The Natchez Trail”, and runs head-on into the
                                                                                  sinister mystery of “Gun Metal Grey”. The horn-powered “She Got The Ring (I Got The Finger)” is a
                                                                                  sly nod to Jerry Reed‟s “She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft)”. There‟s classic country-pop
                                                                                  wisdom in “Albuquerque”, gentle insight in “Up On Edge Hill”, and hard-driving good times in “I Wish It
                                                                                  Was Friday”. “A Long Time Ago” is a paean of pedal-steel regret, while “After The Last Witness Is
                                                                                  Gone” is a bold testimonial that‟s equal parts honky-tonk and roadhouse rocker. “In A Song” may be
                                                                                  the album‟s genuine showstopper, a gloriously sanctified testament to the Everlasting Church Of
                                                                                  Music. The disc‟s sole cover is a fiery version – complete with yodeling – of George Harrison‟s “Old
                                                                                  Brown Shoe”, the obscure Beatles b-side from “The Ballad Of John & Yoko”. The album closes with
                                                                                  the assured shuffle-funk of “No Requests”, a song whose chorus is a potent statement of purpose
                                                                                  from an artist who is now truly his own man.
                                                                                  “Even when BR549 were being called a throwback act, we never allowed ourselves to be classified,”
                                                                                  says Chuck. “The key was to always bring something new to everything we did. Today my slate is
                                                                                  cleaner than ever before. This album is all me, doing what comes naturally.” For Chuck Mead, the
                                                                                  time has come for one of Americana‟s most uncommon artists to finally step out, step up and be
                                                                                  heard on his own unique terms. And in a game where sure bets are rarely the real deal, one
                                                                                  singer/songwriter/performer is again unafraid to lay it all on the line. “I mean everything I say on this
                                                                                  album,” Chuck Mead says. “You can tell it with a wink and a smile, but it‟s still the truth. And the truth
                                                                                  is that Journeyman’s Wager is the culmination of everything I‟ve learned. These are my decisions.
                                                                                  This is my music.”

                                                                                  OUR LINKS


                                                                                  Travis Linville

                                                                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                    3/24

                                                                                    The Casket Lottery

                                                                                    Radar State
                                                                                    Mess

                                                                                    $18 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                    BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                    The Casket Lottery

                                                                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                      Radar State

                                                                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                        Mess

                                                                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                          4/5

                                                                                          PLS&TY

                                                                                          $11 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                          BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                          PLS&TY

                                                                                          PLS&TY is quickly becoming one of the most distinguished stars of the Future Bass world today. Remixing classic RnB and hip-hop tunes to sublime effect, rising forward-thinking producer PLS&TY has already amassed more than 16 million plays on Soundcloud and hit the #1 spot on the HypeMachine charts an unprecedented eight times - and all this in the space of just one year



                                                                                            4/6

                                                                                            Farmers Ball 2018

                                                                                            All Ages | 7 pm

                                                                                            KJHK’s annual Farmers’ Ball, presented by KJHK 90.7 FM and Student Union Activities

                                                                                            Semifinals concert: Friday, April 6, 2018 at the Bottleneck; doors at 7 p.m., first band on at 8 p.m.

                                                                                            Finals concert: Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Bottleneck; doors at 8 p.m.; first band on at 9 p.m.

                                                                                            Tickets: $5 general public, $3 KU students with valid KUID, free for KU students with SUA Student Saver Card

                                                                                            KJHK’s Farmers’ Ball is a chance for bands from the Lawrence area to revel in the glory of bragging rights, new fans and cash prizes. A staple in the Lawrence music community for more than two decades, this annual battle of the bands is a mega showcase of local music talent. The event is co-presented by KJHK 90.7 FM and Student Union Activities.

                                                                                            KJHK and SUA continue efforts to make Farmers’ Ball an epic event. THE WINNING BAND RECEIVES $2,000, SECOND PLACE WINS $1,000. The finals round runners up will also receive cash prizes. THIRD PLACE WINS $500, FOURTH PLACE WINS $500.

                                                                                            All eligible bands must submit their music online, at www.kjhk.org/farmersball, by Feb 23rd, 2018. In a band or know someone who is? Submit your music today! Go to www.kjhk.org/farmersball for all relevant rules, regulations and submission information.

                                                                                            KJHK and SUA student staff will listen to and review all submissions, and narrow down the field to 16 acts selected for a preliminary online voting round. Those 16 bands will be unveiled at noon on Monday, March 5.

                                                                                            Online voting to narrow down the field to 8 semi-finalists will open at noon Monday, March 5 and close on Friday, March 16. The 8 semi-finalists for Round 1 of Farmers’ Ball will be announced on Monday, March 26th . Those bands will compete for audience votes at the live semi-finals show on Friday, April 6, at the Bottleneck.

                                                                                            Based on audience voting during the semi-finals show, 4 bands will advance to the final Farmers’ Ball round on Saturday, April 14 at the Bottleneck. An audience vote during that show will determine the winner and runners-up of the 2016 KJHK Farmers’ Ball.

                                                                                            Prizes for the winner and runner-up, announced at the Farmers’ Ball finals on Saturday, April 14th:
                                                                                            1st place: $2,000
                                                                                            2nd place: $1,000
                                                                                            3rd place: $500
                                                                                            4th place: $500

                                                                                            Farmers Ball 2018

                                                                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                              4/7

                                                                                              The Expanders

                                                                                              DJ S.Ranx

                                                                                              $13 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                              BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                              The Expanders


                                                                                              The Expanders have come to be known for their vintage “rockers” style of reggae, played in the tradition of classic 1970s Jamaican groups like The Ethiopians, Culture, and The Mighty Diamonds. Their music emphasizes three-part vocal harmonies and strong songwriting. In addition to performing their own original material and rare Jamaican scorchers, since 2006 The Expanders have been the chosen backing band for legendary Jamaican singers when they come to California to perform. The group has backed classic artists Alton Ellis, The Maytones, The Ethiopians, The Wailing Souls, and many more. For two years in a row they were featured at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in Mendocino County where their performances were praised by The Beat magazine as having recreated “the old classic Kingston rocksteady sound to a T.” They have been frequent guests on SoCal radio shows such as Reggae Central with Chuck Foster (KPFK 90.7 fm) and The Reggae Show with Junor Francis (KXLU 88.9 fm).



                                                                                                DJ S.Ranx

                                                                                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                  4/11

                                                                                                  Tauk

                                                                                                  Lucas Parker Band

                                                                                                  $13 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                                  BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                  Tauk

                                                                                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                    Lucas Parker Band

                                                                                                    Rock and roll for jazz people, jazz for rock and roll people.

                                                                                                    Hailing from Lawrence, KS, Lucas Parker Band is comprised of some of the area's favorite players taking on the compositions of guitarist, Lucas Parker, a Lawrence native. Comprised of Chris Handley on bass, Sam Goodell on keys, Taylor Babb on drums, and Carl Spaeth on Tenor Sax, the Lucas Parker Band will throw it down every time. So hard.

                                                                                                    OUR LINKS


                                                                                                    4/12

                                                                                                    The Copper Children

                                                                                                    $8 + F&T | 21 & Over | 8 pm

                                                                                                    BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                    The Copper Children

                                                                                                    The Copper Children are an indie rock band emerging out of the heart of Denver, Colorado. Their sound is a mix of indie-Americana, intertwined with soul-folk, influenced as much by mountain music as classic rhythm & blues. The band’s expressed musical functions are driven by a contemporary multi-focus genre, in which they challenge conventional thinking and preconceived notions of what soul-folk is, and aims to give an edge to the folk genre with unique instrumentation and songwriting. Through their music, they strive to share their soulful folk tales through heartfelt lyricism combined with raw emotion, all while paying heed to the diversity, peace and sacredness of life, as we know it. Amidst their profound songwriting and melodies, the band has readily established themselves as ‘The Copper Children’ of the Colorado musical forefront.

                                                                                                    All music available for free streaming at: https://play.spotify.com/album/0HjKYT3TUDSlLJLUBNxYgc

                                                                                                    OUR LINKS


                                                                                                    4/13

                                                                                                    Turnstile

                                                                                                    Touche Amore
                                                                                                    Culture Abuse
                                                                                                    Razorbumps
                                                                                                    PLUS MORE (SEE BELOW)

                                                                                                    $18 + F&T | All Ages | 6:30 pm

                                                                                                    BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                    Turnstile

                                                                                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                      Touche Amore

                                                                                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                        Culture Abuse

                                                                                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                          Razorbumps

                                                                                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                            BIB

                                                                                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                              4/18

                                                                                                              Cigarettes After Sex

                                                                                                              $18 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                                              BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                              Cigarettes After Sex

                                                                                                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                4/19

                                                                                                                wild child

                                                                                                                Stealth Uvlang of The Lumineers

                                                                                                                $18 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                                                BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                                wild child

                                                                                                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                  Stealth Uvlang of The Lumineers

                                                                                                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                    4/20

                                                                                                                    Govinda

                                                                                                                    Kaminanda
                                                                                                                    Templo

                                                                                                                    $13 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                                                    BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                                    Govinda

                                                                                                                    Govinda is the alter-ego of Austin based producer/composer Shane Madden. He began studying violin and composition at the age of eight and went on to study classical violin at the University of Texas where he fell in love with electronic music production. It was in Madden’s pursuit of his gypsy roots that he opened his ears to music from around the world. From experiences learning violin with mysterious masters on his journeys across the globe and his passion for modern design and technology, the current sound of Govinda was born.

                                                                                                                    Govinda has played with Thievery Corporation, Tipper, Bassnectar, Shpongle, Cheb I Sabbah, STS9 and many more and been featured on over 25 compilations such as Buddha Bar II, Asian Travels II, and Nirvana Lounge selling a combined 400,000 copies. Govinda has played at numerous festivals throughout North America including Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, Lights All Night, Euphoria, Sea of Dreams, Camp Bisco, SXSW and many more. Govinda's music has been on TV including stations like WB, MTV and Bravo as well as many independent films.

                                                                                                                    The Govinda live show immerses the audience with a textured atmosphere of exotic, dubby vibrations interwoven with cosmic visual projections, world class dancers and mesmerizing vocals- all to the magic of his live electronics and violin.


                                                                                                                    OUR LINKS


                                                                                                                    Kaminanda

                                                                                                                    Kaminanda's ever-evolving sound is a playground of original Midtempo grooves, tribal rhythms, Psy-Dub, and lush downtempo textures. His music is designed to take the listener/dancer on a journey traversing landscapes reflecting a myriad of diverse influences; a kaleidoscope of warm melodies and twisting, winding compositions. With six albums in his repertoire, this organic spaceship of frequencies balances musicality and ethereal soundscapes to evoke a deeper and hypnotic experience.

                                                                                                                    OUR LINKS


                                                                                                                    Templo

                                                                                                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                      4/22

                                                                                                                      BRONCHO

                                                                                                                      $13 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                                                      BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                                      BRONCHO

                                                                                                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!

                                                                                                                      OUR LINKS


                                                                                                                      4/28

                                                                                                                      Riff Raff

                                                                                                                      $25 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                                                      BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                                      Riff Raff

                                                                                                                      Buy Tickets here: http://pipelineticketing.frontgatesolutions.com/choose.php?a=1&lid=70782&eid=80048

                                                                                                                      OUR LINKS


                                                                                                                      5/5

                                                                                                                      Trout Steak Revival

                                                                                                                      $11 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                                                      BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                                      Trout Steak Revival

                                                                                                                      Ever since winning the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Trout Steak Revival has quickly become a quintessential Colorado band. The band won an Emmy Award for a soundtrack they contributed to a Rocky Mountain PBS. They’ve collaborated with school children in mentoring programs in Denver and Steamboat Springs. Their music is featured on Bank of Colorado’s radio and television advertisements. Most recently, Westword named them Denver’s Best Bluegrass Band, and they were nominated as a Momentum Band of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.



                                                                                                                        5/9

                                                                                                                        DigiTour:Arctic Lights

                                                                                                                        $25 + F&T | All Ages | 5:30 pm

                                                                                                                        BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                                        DigiTour:Arctic Lights

                                                                                                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                          5/26

                                                                                                                          34

                                                                                                                          Left on Northwood Reunion
                                                                                                                          Crunk Witch
                                                                                                                          Electric Lungs

                                                                                                                          $11 + F&T | All Ages | 6 pm

                                                                                                                          BUY TICKETS!

                                                                                                                          The Novak 13th Wedding Anniversary

                                                                                                                          34

                                                                                                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                            Left on Northwood Reunion

                                                                                                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                              Crunk Witch

                                                                                                                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                                Electric Lungs

                                                                                                                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                  flobots2

                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                  throughtherootsband2016b

                                                                                                                                  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. 

                                                                                                                                  throughtheroots2

                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                  skydyed1

                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                  skydyed2

                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                  coralcreek1

                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                  coralcreek2

                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                  afterfunk2

                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                  RF1

                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                  CONNECT WITH US

                                                                                                                                  Happy Hour Specials
                                                                                                                                  $2 Domestic Pints
                                                                                                                                  $2 Single Wells
                                                                                                                                  $3 Odell and Dos XX Drafts

                                                                                                                                  Sunday Night Specials
                                                                                                                                  $2.00 Micro and Domestic Draws
                                                                                                                                  $2.00 Wells
                                                                                                                                  $3.00 Guinness