Thursday, October 30, 2014

SIGNATURE SOUNDS RECORDINGS CELEBRATES 20 YEARS WITH CONCERT SERIES, NEW COMPILATION, AND CELEBRATION AT 2015 GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

Signature Sounds Recordings – the Northampton, MA-based Americana and folk music label home to Chris Smither, Lake Street Dive, Eilen Jewell, and others – will celebrate 20 years with a series of events:

+ Thanksgiving weekend, November 28, 29, and 30, four concerts will take place at the Academy of Music (274 Main St.) and at Signature’s home venue The Parlor Room (32 Masonic St.) in Northampton, MA, featuring label best-seller Lake Street Dive, subject of a new tribute album and Smither, noir starlet Eilen Jewell, the reunited Crooked Still, and 13 other acts. Smither is celebrating fifty years in music.

Spotify playlist on the artists at the concert series.

+ March 3 sees the release of ‘The Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection,’ featuring favorites and rarities from the label’s over 150 releases, featuring Lake Street Dive, Smither, Crooked Still, Jewell, Josh Ritter, and fourteen more artists and bands.

+ A spring tour featuring artists from the ‘Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection.’ Dates and artists to be announced.

+ A celebration of the label will be held at the Green River Festival July 10-12, 2015 in Greenfield, MA. Here’s a look back at 2014’s sold out festival, which featured over thirty bands on three stages, including Ritter, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Trampled By Turtles, Lucius, Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin & The Guilty Ones, Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

2014 has proven to be a watershed year for the label. In February, Signature released Lake Street Dive’s ‘Bad Self Portraits’ album, which entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #18 and has become the best selling album in label history. Rolling Stone exclaimed, "Lake Street Dive: This year's best new band." Lake Street Dive has made appearances on numerous network TV shows including The Colbert Report, Late Show With David Letterman, CONAN, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and CBS Saturday Morning.

From the beginning, Signature has been involved in presenting live music, initially programming the popular Green River Festival and later presenting shows at clubs and theaters around the Pioneer Valley. In 2012, the label moved into its current headquarters in downtown Northampton and opened The Parlor Room. The intimate venue quickly proved popular and has hosted over 100 performances.

Signature Sounds was formed in 1994 by Jim Olsen and Mark Thayer to promote the burgeoning roots music scene in the Pioneer Valley. Signature has played a part in launching the careers of such notable artists as Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Erin McKeown, Mary Gauthier, Crooked Still, Jewell and others while also working with long-respected singer-songwriters like Chris Smither, Patty Larkin and Richard Shindell.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PBS NEWSHOUR ON “EFFORT TO HELP MUSICIANS WHO ARE LITERALLY LIVING THE BLUES”

NON-PROFIT MUSIC MAKER RELIEF FOUNDATION PROFILED BY PBS NEWSHOUR, NPR HERE & NOW, AND CBS EVENING NEWS AS NEW BOOK AND 2CD RELEASED

PBS’ Jeffrey Brown profiled the Music Maker Relief Foundation on the Newshour last night as the non-profit organization – which supports elderly traditional southern musicians who live in poverty – celebrates its 20th anniversary. Brown spoke with organization founder Tim Duffy, soul/funk piano man Ironing Board Sam and New Orleans expat singer Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen, and former Chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities and author William Ferris. The segment also features plenty of performance footage of the many artists involves in the Music Maker Relief Foundation Homecoming, as well as Ironing Board Sam playing at his home.

NPR’s Here & Now recently paid a visit to Duffy, Piedmont bluesman and tractor driver Boo Hanks, and baritone singer Captain Luke. The profile and online-only performances of “Highway Blues” and “Keep On Truckin’” aired and posted October 6, 2014.

PBS also ran a spread of photos from the book on its website with audio from the homecoming concert and an exclusive video of Ironing Board Sam performing a beautiful solo rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow."

CBS Evening News also ran a profile, also speaking with Ironing Board Sam and Captain Luke, explaining how the organization helps its artists with paying gigs, instruments, and album sales so that they can work.

The wave of attention comes as a new book We Are The Music Makers! Preserving the Soul of America's Music (Nautilus Press) and the 2CD set ‘We Are the Music Makers,’ an overview of the Music Maker catalogue compiled by Dom Flemons, both were released last month. The museum exhibition of the same title is on tour for the next several years, presently on display at the BB King Museum in Indianola, MS through November 30. Music fans may make a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit at this link.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Green River Festival 2014 recap video


GRACE ASKEW SHARES NEW MISSISSIPPI DELTA-FILMED VIDEO FOR “ONLY HUMAN,” CONTINUES HEADLINING TOUR

Grace Askew has shared the Mississippi Delta-filmed music video for “Only Human,” from her August album ‘Scaredy Cat.'

Jon Mark Nail directed the vivid clip in the Mississippi Delta amidst blooming cotton fields, just a few miles south of Askew’s native Memphis. The video came about accidentally as the editor of Delta Magazine had arranged a photo shoot to accompany a feature and suggested that Nail join the crew with a 16mm camera.

Askew says, “The video was shot in a dilapidated civil war-era cemetery along the back dirt roads of Victoria, Mississippi under massive Magnolia trees overlooking the cotton fields in their peak season…bursting with their beautiful white flower, a true vision of South in all its haunted grandeur.”

Askew, who recently surpassed 16,000 Facebook likes and has earned raves from SPIN, Rolling Stone, Yahoo! Music, Nashville Scene, LA Magazine, and Relix, will continue her headlining tour this fall:

Oct 28 - The Alibi Pub -Laramie, WY
Oct 30 - Lion's Lair - Denver, CO
Oct 31 - Lost Love Saloon - Red River, NM
Nov 01 – Sabroso – Arroyo Seco, NM
Nov 05 - The Cowgirl BBQ - Santa Fe, NM
Nov 07 - Pecos Flavors Winery - Roswell, NM
Nov 08 - The Blue Light - Lubbock, TX
Nov 13 - Minglewood Hall - Memphis, TN (with The Dirty Guv'nahs)
Nov 15 – Red Dirt Brewhouse – Ardmore, OK
Nov 17 – Saxon Pub – Austin, TX
Nov 18 - Mucky Duck - Houston, TX
Nov 20 – Shipping & Receiving Bar – Fort Worth, TX
Nov 22 - The Continental Club Austin - Austin, TX
Nov 24 – The Deli – Norman, OK
Nov 30 - The Frog Pond - Silverhill, AL