Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Suitcase Junket publicity photos

Suitcase Junket bio

Long bio:

Matt Lorenz sits alone on a suitcase in the center of a complex construction of upcycled cookpots, saw blades and broken chairs. Artist, tinkerer, tunesmith, swamp yankee. A one-man salvage specialist singing into the hollow of a Dumpster guitar, slipping a broken bottleneck onto the slide finger, railing on a box of twisted forks and bones, rocking till every sound is ragged at its edges, till the house is singing back. Then, unplugging all the amps and letting one mountain ballad soar over the raw strings on that guitar. Every night is a hard-driving, blues-grinding, throat-singing search-and-rescue junket. Sooner or later everything rusts, busts, and gets tossed into the junk heap: iron, bones, leather, hot rods, muskrats, thenight, the heart. The goal is to recover it. To waste nothing. To create new ways from old. This is The Suitcase Junket.
Matt Lorenz was raised in Cavendish, Vermont, the son of teachers. He learned to sing by copying his sister Kate. (The siblings are two-thirds of the touring trio Rusty Belle.) Lorenz graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 2004, having taught himself to throat-sing thanks to a South Indian cooking class. On moving day, he pulled his guitar, filled with mold and worse for wear, from a dorm Dumpster. He fixed it up and started pulling songs out of it. That was the beginning.   
The Suitcase Junket is filling rooms and drawing festival crowds all over his native New England and beyond, from Signal Kitchen near the Canadian border to Wisconsin's Mile of Music Festival, from Ireland's pubs to Mountain Jam in the Catskills, from opening nights for Lake Street Dive and Charlie Musselwhite to Mountain Stage in West Virginia. He caught the attention of National Public Radio who chose his video session for "Earth Apple" from his 2015 album Make Time as one of the year's favorite sessions.

On the heels of the widely acclaimed 2015 LP Make Time, Matt Lorenz is releasing an E.P. entitled Dying Star, on Signature Sounds, whose roster includes Lake Street Dive, And the Kids, Eilen Jewell, Chris Smither, Winterpills, Parsonsfield, Barnstar! and alumni Crooked Still, Josh Ritter, Erin McKeown, and Lori McKenna. With Dying Star, The Suitcase Junket is poised to make the jump from one of New England's best kept roots star secrets, to a household name. As one critic aptly summed up, "The Suitcase Junket is a lo-fi, low-tuned, low-down blast of end-times folk blues. It's crude; it's magnificent.... one man band leader Matt Lorenz  incants and intones like a cross between Hound Dog Taylor and a Tuvan throat singer who has swallowed a bird. Take the singer-songwriter idiom, give it a low grade fever and a guitar and this is what you get. Captivating, mesmerizing, and gone ... real gone" (The Rochester Times).

Short bio:

The Suitcase Junket is deep-groove blues, low-fi hard-driving rock, killer sweet ballads rising over wreckage. It's big music, informed by what used to be played on back porches and mountains -- right at home in rock halls. Here's the thing: You've got to see it to believe it. All that mighty sound is coming from one guy -- Matt Lorenz -- sitting there, skinny and big hair, on an old leather satchel in the center of a pile of instruments he built of salvage: rigged-up pots, glass, bones, a box of forks, a beat-up toy keyboard, a pair of ancient amps, a dumpster guitar. The haunting, invented sound of throat singing. Key to the operation is get-gone  songwriting and a single, glorious, ragged, road-worn, powerhouse voice. The Suitcase Junket didn't set out to be a one-man band but it had to happen that way. Yankee thrift. Songs from a new, old place. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Spirit Family Reunion "Goin' Out to Cannon Ball" single

Spirit Family Reunion 2016 photo & bio

Credit: Morten Fog

Spirit Family Reunion began singing together on the street corners of New York City in 2009.
Since that time they have travelled the highways of America delivering raw, high energy, honest music. They have shared the stage with musical heroes such as Pete Seeger and Levon Helm, and have given critically acclaimed performances at noteworthy festivals including Stage Coach, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and the legendary Newport Folk Festival three times. The band has self-produced and self-released two full-length studio albums (2012’s “No Separation” and 2015’s “Hands Together”) along with multiple songbooks and other collections of recordings. They are currently working on a new record.

Monday, November 21, 2016



Bonnie Raitt recently shared her thoughts on Taj Mahal with Living Blues Magazine. Taj Mahal’s 47th album ‘Labor of Love’ comes out December 16 on Acoustic Sounds and consists of an acoustic session from 1998. Raitt says:

“There are very few artists with the wide musical reach of Taj Mahal; I can’t think of anyone who’s heard him that hasn’t fallen under his spell. From the very start, his impact was really groundbreaking—it’s hard to express how much those first two albums meant to me.

As an ambassador for world music—and roots music in particular—he perfectly embodies how music can cross-pollinate across generations and cultures to bring people together. Like Paul Simon, Ry Cooder and Peter Gabriel, Taj has turned so many of us onto musicians and styles we may not have appreciated as much otherwise. Not to mention he’s one of the funkiest blues and R&B singers, harp players, and guitarists alive.

I think his greatest contribution is going [to] be the way that he combines all these musical traditions in such an authentic and rich way. He’d had an incredibly eclectic and deep musical history, which in turn has inspired all those musicians with whom he plays—they learn about all the other tributaries of the music he’s mastered. Fro examples, there’s a lot of African musicians who might never have heard about Delta, Carolina or Texas Blues if they hadn’t met Taj. There are country and bluegrass musicians who love him; folk and jazz artists and Hawaiians, Cubans, Brazilians, and Jamaicans, too. The guy is a one-man global wrecking crew.

There really isn’t just one musical award that could encompass how eclectic Taj is. I think that’s why his Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award is so fitting as it recognizes his impact on millions of people, celebrates his tremendous creative output and speaks to how Taj keeps people coming back seven decades into his career.

I just have so much admiration for him.”