"Evocative and impressionistic Southern lyricism, wrapped in an impeccable mix of vintage and contemporary country sounds." - PASTE MAGAZINE
Following in the boot steps of Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard and George Strait, CALEB CAUDLE makes pure country music rooted in the genre's glory days, back when melody, mood and message ruled the roost. It's not contemporary country-pop, nor is it part of any underground outlaw scene. Instead, Caudle's music finds the middle-ground between the classic twang of late-Seventies/early-Eighties country and the raw, rootsy stomp of modern-day Americana.
Raised just south of the Virginia/North Carolina border, Caudle cut his teeth on the road, building his audience one highway mile at a time. While sharing shows with Jason Isbell, Robert Ellis, Justin Townes Earle and other Americana A-listers, he also found time to record albums like 2014's "Paint Another Layer on My Heart," a critical favorite that landed him on more than 40 year-end lists. Caudle keeps the momentum going with his newest release, Carolina Ghost, an album inspired by new love and a recent move back to the Piedmont.
(Los Angeles, CA – Press Release) A Southern-Louisiana native, singer-songwriter ROD MELANCON grew up on a hearty helping of an Americana-meets-blues style of music. In the same way Johnny Cash captured the Arkansas of his childhood and Springsteen brought Asbury Park alive for millions, MELANCON has infused this great American art form with his own unique style and the results have re-invigorated the genre. His third release, the EP LA 14 (in reference to the Louisiana State Highway 14), teams MELANCON again with pioneering producer Brian Whelan (former multi-instrumentalist for Dwight Yoakam) and will be released via the innovative indie label, Blue Élan Records, on April 22, 2016.
This EP, released two years after his last album, Parish Lines, is a preview of the full album to be released later this year. MELANCON, with the help of Whelan, has pushed the artist’s song-cycle into a swamp-tinged, country blend that moves out to the parameters of psychedelic-rock laced through with strains of deep southern blues. MELANCON’s strong singer-songwriter sensibility has brought the sound and feeling of South Louisiana’s storied towns, filled with conflicted characters, to life. His songs here, while entirely original, echo the lyrical poetic soul of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt.
While the singer-songwriter’s debut album, 2012’s My Family Name, mined classic country music for inspiration and his fresh new songs call up the spirit of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, it was his second album, 2014’s Parish Lines, that found him truly pushing the boundaries between alt-country and blues-rock. That same year, Rod was spotlighted as one of CMT Edge’s “Five Rising Roots Acts to Watch.” By the end of 2014, Rod was highlighted by the premiere Americana arbiters; from American Songwriter to No Depression to Twangville. Critics across the country took notice of the “Cajun Cowboy” and hailed his debut as one of the Best of 2014.
LA 14 represents a new era of soul, depth and innovation for MELANCON. Brian Whelan’s production takes the purity of Rod’s style, enhances and magnifies it. Each of these five songs tells their own story, from the inner hell of addiction to the loyalty of a family friend, to an inside view of tragedy, to the redemption found in a life-long love. These are experiences personal and universal to one of Americana’s finest rising artists, destined to create his own legend and legacy.
Martin Guitar’s Premiere Ambassador Program Expands with Artists Including Elle King, Anderson East, Father John Misty, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes & More
NAZARETH, PA – February 29, 2016 – C.F. Martin & Co.® is continuing to add to their official Martin Guitar Ambassador program with today’s hottest artists including Grammy nominee Elle King, Sam Hunt, Anderson East, Father John Misty, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Flo Morrissey, Brett Dennen, and Megan Rapinoe. These musicians join the family of Martin Ambassadors who comprise a venerable group of career artists that love and proudly represent the Martin Guitar brand known worldwide for 183 years of premiere craftsmanship and guitar innovation.
"Martin Guitar has been fortunate to have countless legendary singer/songwriters play our instruments for decades - everyone from Hank Williams to Johnny Cash,” said Chairman & CEO Chris Martin. “Now with the Ambassador program, we are enhancing the successful relationships we have had with generations of popular musicians who have are devoted to our brand by formally acknowledging their talented musicianship and love of Martin Guitars."
The Martin Ambassador Program consists of a variety of talented artists, whether their background lies in music or sports, and the diverse roster already includes professional Olympic snowboarder Danny Davis, Americana Music Award winners Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers and Jason Isbell, Of Monsters and Men, Sturgill Simpson, The Milk Carton Kids, Ben Howard, LP, and more. The complete list of official Ambassadors can be found here: www.martinguitar.com/ambassadors.
Nashville, Tenn. (February 29, 2016 Press Release) - Today, legendary country music group Restless Heart is honoring one of its musical heroes with the Leap Day release of their new single, the Glen Campbell classic, "Wichita Lineman."
The song, written by Jimmy Webb and co-produced by Harry Smith and Restless Heart's Dave Innis, is the band's first new music release in nearly three years.
"This is one of our finest collaborations as a band," Innis tells Rolling Stone Country. "Each one of us put our own personal touch on this track, vocally and musically. Since all of the Restless Heart guys are such big admirers of Glen, it's nice that we finally took his suggestion 30 years later and cut a Jimmy Webb song!"
Three decades ago at a show in St. Louis on a Mississippi riverboat, it was Campbell who originally planted the seed for Restless Heart to record a Jimmy Webb-penned tune.
"We had some time to relax on the boat before our performances," recalls Innis. "Glen was telling stories and at one point he said, 'You guys should cut a Jimmy Webb song.'"
"We were blessed to work with Glen on a number of show dates throughout the years," says Restless Heart's Larry Stewart. "It is an honor to know one of the finest talents of our time. In honor of Glen, Restless Heart could record no greater song than 'Wichita Lineman.'"
Restless Heart's version of "Wichita Lineman" is available for download today at iTunes, Google Play and CD Baby. Listen now by clicking HERE.
“The best thing about the new Gene Watson album is that it's a new Gene Watson album. Check out his covering a couple of low key classics such as Kris Kristofferson's "Enough For You" and "Help Me," an Elvis Presley charmer.”
-Huffington Post, Mike Ragogna
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 26, Press Release) – After five decades in the music business and more than 75 charting singles, Watson continues to deliver an authentic, soulful album with Real.Country.Music., available now across digital retailers.
“I’m so very proud of this album and what it stands for. I hope my fans enjoy it as much as I loved recording this Real.Country.Music.,” Watson said. Watson opens up about his gospel rendition of “Help Me,” a song penned by Larry Gatlin and recorded by Elvis Presley and “Enough For You,” written by Kris Kristofferson, in exclusive video premieres on TheBoot.com.
Be sure to follow Gene Watson on Facebook or visit GeneWatsonMusic.com to order Real.Country.Music and purchase tickets to upcoming shows.
NASHVILLE, TN (February 26, Press Release) – Columbia Records’ country quintet Home Free is releasing their brand new music video “Good Ol’ Country Harmony” exclusively on AOL.com today (2/26). The original song, written by the band’s bass Tim Foust and produced by Darren Rust, is featured on their latest studio album, COUNTRY EVOLUTION.
Directed by FifGen Films’ Reilly Zamber, McKenzie Zamber and Jimmy Bates, the video playfully features young actors impersonating the members of Home Free forming the band. Brothers Adam and Chris Rupp (portrayed by Connor Davidson and Caiden Friesen) discover a flier for a school talent competition and go on to recruit the other members of the band: Rob Lundquist (Townes Genoves) as he is eating lunch on the school steps, Tim Foust (Cole Jones) while styling his hair in the boys’ bathroom and Austin Brown (Quinn Hansen) as he attempting to lift weights. The song itself, in addition to the video, reflects a small town American spirit inclusive of great beats and impressive harmonies.
“’Good Ol' Country Harmony’ was an idea that was bouncing around in my head for a while and we fleshed it out while working on our album. This was actually the first time I had a demo recorded, complete with instruments, and then translated to a cappella,” shares Foust. “We're thrilled with the results and love giving a nod to those iconic country vocal groups."
DON'T IT FEEL GOOD: SPRING TOUR 2016 tickets are on sale now at www.homefreemusic.com/tour.
LEXINGTON, VA (Press Release)-- Flatpicking guitar phenom Larry Keel dazzles music-lovers once more with his 15th self-released album Experienced, out today, February 26, 2016. Del McCoury says, “Larry Keel is a triple threat... songwriter, guitar player, entertainer. He can do it all.” The album is an entirely original work that showcases both Larry’s and bandmate Will Lee’s exceptional songwriting, singing and jaw-dropping instrumental performances, accompanied by Keel’s equally talented wife Jenny Keel on upright bass and harmony vocals.
Experienced is available now at Keel’s web store (http://larrykeel.com/products-page/) and CD Baby (http://bit.ly/LarryKeel_Experienced_CDBaby).
Added to the raw sophistication of Keel’s progressive acoustic style are several guest-musician-friends who appear on various tracks of Experienced, a list of artists that reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of icons and new stars including Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Keller Williams, Jason Carter (The Del McCoury Band), Mike Guggino (Steep Canyon Rangers), and Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass). The album was recorded at Wally Cleaver Studio in Fredericksburg, VA with engineer (and guest drummer) Jeff Covert and mastered by the award-winning industry great Bill Wolf (Willie Nelson, Tony Rice, Doc Watson) in Arlington, VA.
The seven tracks on Experienced reflect Keel’s musical personality, from frenzied and raunchy to mystical and sensitive, and through it all, Keel’s honest attitude shines, fearlessly and with throttle wide-open. “I love me some Keels. There is a certain genuine authenticity that Larry and Jenny possess,” says Keller Williams. “When we get together, our wonder-powers unite to form a giant, impenetrable sphere of open-minded, Appalachian psychedelic goodness.” Sam Bush (who plays mandolin and fiddle on the fiery opening track “Ripchord”) exclaims, ‘Enjoy the music... Larry does!”
Find out more and stay up to date with news from Larry Keel at www.larrykeel.com,www.twitter.com/LarryKeel, www.facebook.com/LarryKeelFishinAndPickin.
Jane Kramer Makes a Full Voiced Return to Her Roots with Mountain-made 2nd Solo Album,Carnival of Hopes - Out TODAY Fri, Feb 26, 2016
“The album’s title track pairs with a pretty music video in which images of a turning carousel make way for Kramer singing in a windowsill, interacting with a lover, and unveiling a carousel–a powerful image that holds a lot of emotion–which becomes the motif throughout the entire song.” -
-World Premier of Music Video for “Carnival of Hopes” at Elmore Magazine
ASHEVILLE, NC (Press Release) -- Vocalist and songwriter Jane Kramer independently release her gutsy and ambrosial second solo album entitled Carnival of Hopes on Friday, February 26, 2016. With deep ties to the area, Carnival of Hopes boasts a sparkling cast of Ashevillian producers and players. Kramer’s longtime friend Adam Johnson ofSound Lab Studios, whose portfolio of clients includes such names as Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma, produced and engineered the album.
The ten-song album was recorded at the award-winningSound Temple Studios in February of 2015, while she still lived on the other side of the country in Portland, Oregon. A few months later, after a four-year run spent writing and reflecting on the West Coast, Jane Kramer pulled up stakes and returned to Western North Carolina with a renewed energy to share her new music with the world. The sense of homecoming that rings through was a conscious effort, Kramer says. “I did that because Asheville is my dirt. It’s my home and my culture, musically and otherwise. I missed it and knew somewhere in my bones I would be coming back to stay soon,” she says.
Celebrated singer-songwriter Marshall Crenshaw is taking a break from his own music to focus on making a documentary about legendary record producer and visionary Tom Wilson who played an important, and sometimes forgotten, role in the legacy of popular music. For instance, Wilson signed The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa, produced Dylan as well as Simon and Garfunkel and "discovered" Sun Ra and The Arkestra, producing and releasing their first two albums on Transition Records, a label that Wilson himself established right after graduating Cum Laude from Harvard in 1955.
Crenshaw became hooked on the idea of making the documentary about Wilson in October 2013 when his friend Irwin Chusid launched www.producertomwilson.com. Crenshaw writes, “I looked it over, then wrote to Irwin and said, ‘Irwin, this guy was a f#cking giant! And where's the recognition?’ I then proceeded to do two weeks in a row of my radio show ("The Bottomless Pit", 10 PM EST, Saturday nights on WFUV) in honor of TW; these shows were wonderfully well-received, but the whole story stayed in my head and wouldn't leave. Finally, I wrote to Irwin again and said ‘I'm thinking that I should make the documentary myself. Am I nuts?’ He wrote back and said ‘Not necessarily..’, and so now, here we are. At this point it's an obsession: I wake up in the morning and I'm thinking about it, go to bed at night and I'm thinking about it, etc.”
In order to make the project a reality, Crenshaw has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the documentary for which he has already begun shooting and conducting interviews. Achieving the fundraising goal here will enable him to move things to the next phase and see the project to completion.
“I'm determined to make this happen, won't rest until it happens! At the risk of sounding cute, I've already seen the movie in my head, and it's GOOD” writes Crenshaw.
Visit his Kickstarter page to learn more about "Tom Wilson's World" and support this project.
LOS ANGELES TIMES PREMIERES "ANGELENO" VIDEO
(Press Release) “Angeleno” is both the title track of Sam Outlaw’s debut album and the marrow of his sound and sensibility, coined “SoCal Country” by Outlaw himself. The album track, pacific in origin and temperament, shows Outlaw’s fusion of classic, graceful country songwriting matched with the famous mariachi touches of Jesús "Chuy" Guzmán, who notably toured with and recorded on Linda Ronstadt's Grammy-winning Spanish album Canciones de Mi Padre (Songs of My Father).
Now, a new video for “Angeleno” pairs Outlaw up with another ‘cowboy in LA’ outsider - a professional bareback rodeo rider named Cesar Kid Bañuelos. Bañuelos attended a show at the Troubadour last spring and felt a strong camaraderie with Outlaw’s story, which mirrored his own experiences and challenges as a west coast rider on the rodeo circuit. Bañuelos contacted Outlaw, and the concept for the video was born.