local scene

We are down with the local sound; music from Upstate Carolina's, both current era releases and heritage artists! Stocking and celebrating artists and bands either currently from this area or whose history had a chapter in the Western Carolinas.

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180gm deluxe vinyl LP pressing. Recorded with a single microphone by Elektra founder Jac Holzman over two nights in a converted Manhattan church in late 1955, Josh at Midnight finds White delivering spare, impassioned performances of a dozen spirituals and blues numbers. The artist is accompanied throughout the sessions by noted jazz bassist Al Hall and baritone vocalist Sam Gary. The Josh at Midnight reissue was mastered with the participation of original producer Holzman, as well as legendary engineer Bruce Botnick and fabled mastering engineer Bernie Grundman. The Josh at Midnight reissue is a labor of love for Ramseur Records founder Dolphus Ramseur, who's been a committed White fan since childhood, when he first heard Josh at Midnight's lead track "St. James Infirmary" on a local radio station's blues show. White's music has remained a touchstone in Ramseur's life ever since. After meeting Jac Holzman through their mutual association with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ramseur became determined to restore Josh at Midnight to the vinyl marketplace with the same attention to quality and detail for which Ramseur Records has become known.
Josh White - Josh At Midnight [Vinyl]
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Guitarist/vocalist Ben Bridwell and bassist Mat Brooke formed Band Of Horses in 2004 after the dissolution of their nearly ten-year run in northwest melancholic darlings Carissa's Wierd. Carissa's Wierd trafficked in sadly beautiful orchestral pop, whose songs told unflinching stories of heartbreak and loss, leavened with defeatist humor. Band Of Horses rises from those ashes. Buoyed by Bridwell's warm, reverb-heavy vocals (which channel a strange brew of Wayne Coyne, Neil Young, and Doug Martsch), the group's woodsy, dreamy songs ooze with amorphous tension, longing, and hope. Both raggedly epic and delicately pensive, this is an album painted gorgeously in fragile highs and lows.
Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time [Vinyl]
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The songs on Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters blend the band's old-school country roots attitude with their shared influences of rock and folk. Amanda says of the album, "I think it's just about life and all that that entails. Including but not limited to death, strangers, birthdays, money, leaving, arriving, seasons, corruption, and love."
Amanda Anne Platt - Live at the Grey Eagle
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About the tunes: Roswell's Rude is a loving, if tongue in cheek, tribute to Herbie Nichols and Roswell Rudd. Roswell was kind enough to share copies of some of Herbie's leadsheets written in Herbie's own hand. Not Is is in changing meters, with a solo vamp in seven (mostly!). Waltz for Don is for the great Canadian bassist/pianist Don Thompson, with whom I had the good fortune to study at the Banff Jazz Workshop in 1985. Go is a free improvisation. Raja Numia was also included on my trio CD, Still. A mystery! Holy Moses is for Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, musician, visionary, friend and Master of the Drum-niverse! Holly is for my friend and counselor, Holly. Diffraction is a science experiment, percolating in the back of the fridge for quite a while. Sammy's Rhumba is for my second amazing son, Sammy! Be-Bob is a bebop tune, for my good friends Bob, Bob, and Bob, and for all Bobs everywhere! Dark Light, cuz love is sometimes both. Funded in part by a grant from the Metropolitan Arts Council, which receives funding from the City of Greenville, BMW Manufacturing Company LLC, Michelin North America, Inc., SEW Eurodrive and the South Carolina Ans Commission with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC. Thanks Alan Ethridge, and especially Kim Sholly, of MAC, who led me by the hand through the grant process. I would like to thank Terry Norris of T.L. Norris Gallery, Beth Lee, Bernie Ellis, and Tom and Debra Strange for their contributions to my fundraising effort, and for their friendship and support. Cameron Fitzpatrick is an awesome engineer and a good friend. Scott Wynne is in charge of the Robert F. Gilley Studio at Appalachian State University. My Taiji brother Bob Schlagal and his lovely wife Kathy let me stay with them during the project, and were the first listeners to the studio mix. Tim Winecoff, Taiji brother and friend, helped me me wind-down with some great practice after two intense days in the studio. My long time friend and teacher, Matt Kabat, has offered support and vision all along the way, along with Heather, who did a great job designing the graphics for this project. Dr. Yang Yang, is a continuing source of direction and inspiration. Judy Hanson, Taiji sister extraordinaire, has been here all along the way. Holly Kraus, my friend and counselor, has helped me keep on the not quite direct path, but something resembling a path nevertheless. Ron Brendle and Justin Watt, my trio mates. What a blast every time we make music together! It's alive! Mark Stallings, mastering master and new friend. Akos Major, wonderful photographer, and Taiji brother-from-another-mother. Frank Zipperer, thanks for the wonderful 'live action' photo, and your ever-Presence for Jazz! Paul and Michelle Westlake, Mason Thomas, Tom Bresnick, what can I say, Bob? Billy Degnats, my big brother, and Suzanne, who keeps my accounts, both physical and metaquizzical. Love and gratitude. Art Beam....Vertex T....Hilton Belvedere....Uplet master and expounder on all things cosmic and terrestrial. Kari Gaffney, my wonderful publicist. Ra-Kalam Bob Moses! Frank Kimbrough, the great pianist, offered the best advice ever for surviving in the recording studio, 'Stay away from the coffee machine!' Thanks! Art Lande, Marilyn Crispell, Greg Tardy, thanks for listening. Thanks to all my relatives who have offered their love and support, especially Terry and Mary Lynn Hunt, Teresa Davis, Todd Oliver, and Kimble Oliver. To my brother Alan and sister Traci, my Love and gratitude. Thanks to my friends and colleagues at Furman, especially David Gross, for helping me learn how to play the piano, and Michael Vick for the support and technical assistance. All the other friends who have provided support and inspiration, thank you! My awesome kids, Tadji and Sam! Love always! And, finally, 'Sailor' Bob Adamson, for his Presence...
Keith Davis - Davis, Keith : Presence
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'Lieb' is for the great Dave Liebman, with whom I had the opportunity to study and play at the Banff Jazz Workshop in 1985. New Beginning is about just that! Chrysalis is a silk cocoon, for an old friend, close to my heart. Elis is for the great samba singer from Brazil, Elis Regina. Taiji Camp is inspired by the experience of being at Taiji camp, led every year by Master Yang Yang. Raja Numia is a mystery, inspired by a drum groove by the great Bob Moses, and the wonderful pianist Steve Kuhn. Tadjimon is for my oldest son, Tadji. Suzy's Waltz is for Susan, and old friend. Tadji's Groove was written with the assistance of Tadji, on drums. (Now I have to write some for Sammy!).
Keith Davis Trio - Still
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The musicians in King Cotton and The Remnants have been playing together in various bands for over 30 years. Beginning their current musical venture in 2007, the band has released two albums, 2008's "Borderline Brilliant!" and the recent 2012 release, "The Misery Index." Their sound calls upon the best musical traditions of the South and manifests the sentiments of a decaying and broken American landscape like the fallow fields of modern Dixieland. Here is a recent review by Dan Armonaitis of GoUpstate.com's '85-26' blog: 'Just before I embarked on a vacation earlier this month, I received a copy of "The Misery Index." I dug it upon first listen, and the album became a staple of the road trip. The music consists of jangly, roots-flavored pop that should appeal to those who enjoy the Traveling Wilburys or perhaps John Hiatt. Unbelievably catchy yet lyrically pensive, "The Misery Index" would also fit nicely next to recent works by the aforementioned Matthew Knights Williams. All of the songs are terrific, but I particularly have a fondness for a line in a rollicking Carr-penned tune called "Choagie." It's hard to top "Fire up the jitney, put on some Gene Pitney for the road/In a town without pity, you've got to grab what you see. ..." Nice.'
King Cotton & The Remnants - Misery Index
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Marcus King

El Dorado

CD: $14.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

The debut solo album from Marcus King, El Dorado, is a revelation. Passionate, penetrating and deeply soulful, El Dorado weaves soul music, gospel, R&B and country into a something modern and classic. Teaming with producer Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) for sessions at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Studio in Nashville, the pair co-wrote the 11 songs on El Dorado along with esteemed writers on various tracks including Pat McLaughlin, Paul Overstreet and Ronnie Bowman.

Marcus King - El Dorado
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Marshall Chapman

Big Lonesome

CD: $11.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

Marshall on Big Lonesome ... I recorded this album after my best friend in music, Tim Krekel, died in June 2009. He was 58. We were planning to record a duet album called Sweet Talkin' and had booked gigs throughout the summer, including a couple in San Miguel, Mexico. We'd planned to include "Big Lonesome" (the song) on Sweet Talkin'. I originally recorded this song in 1999 at Tommy Spurlock's train studio (in an actual Pullman car parked behind Union Station in Nashville) using ADAT. For years, the ADAT went missing. Then, just before recording this CD, Spurlock found it in a pile of stuff in his garage in Austin (where he now lives), and we were able to transfer it to ProTools. I didn't even know Tim's voice was on it. First miracle. I wrote "Down to Mexico" on July 4, 2009, while flying to Mexico, six days after Tim's memorial service. I've been performing Cindy Walker's "Going Away Party" since the early '70s. I learned it off an old Bob Wills album in my then-boyfriend's apartment in Boston. The relationship didn't last, but the song did. Fans of my music have been hassling me for years about recording it. I'm glad I waited. I wrote "Falling Through the Trees" when I realized my last album wasn't going to happen. At least not as I had hoped. I like how this song and "Going Away Party" deal with the same theme-the devastation following the death of a dream. "Sick of Myself" is the last song Tim and I wrote together. It started as an email from me to him, at a time when I really was sick of myself and thought, If I could be anybody else (for a day, maybe two) who would it be? So it was sort of a love poem from me to him. Within hours, Tim emailed me back with the last two verses. We both agreed this would be an excellent song for Sweet Talkin'. Shortly thereafter, Tim fell ill. We all hoped for the best as he sought treatment. But as things quickly deteriorated, I couldn't help but think, Damn, I'd better get up there and record him singing his part, because he's the only one who can sing it! I never got that chance. Nor did we ever get to put our words to music. In the back of my mind, I knew the song was a shuffle. I finally put it to music shortly before tracking in December 2009. Later, Tim's son, Jason (Mad Tea Party), dropped by the studio and sang his dad's part. The similarity in the timbres of their voices gives me goosebumps. And makes me smile. "Tim Revisited" On Sunday, June 14, 2009, Tim married his longtime girlfriend, Debbie Cooper. Jeff Hanna, Matraca Berg, my husband Chris, and I drove up to Louisville for the occasion. With fifty or so of Tim's closest friends, we stood in a circle as Tim and Debbie exchanged vows in the sweltering heat and sun. I knew Tim had a doctor's appointment that following Thursday. The silence over those days was deafening. Finally the phone rang. It was Debbie. "The news isn't good," she said. "The doctors say there's nothing more they can do. We're going home with Hospice." Her words hit like a ton of bricks. That night, I wrote this song (or it wrote me). Two days later, I sang it to Debbie over the phone. "I want Tim to hear this," she said and put him on the line. He sounded weak and a bit agitated. I didn't know what to do. (over) So I sang the song, fully expecting to hear a dial tone at the end. Instead, he came alive: "Now listen, Marshall!" he said, all animated. "When you go to record this, you be sure and put mariachi horns on it, you hear?" Those were his last words to me. Three days later he was gone. "I Can't Stop Thinking About You" wrote itself one month after Tim died. I imagine Harlan Howard dictated this to me from heaven. I wrote "Mississippi Man in Mexico" while flying back from Mexico (July 8, 2009). I'd spent a magical evening two nights before at a rancho outside San Miguel, where an American expatriate from Mississippi lived, cultivating cacti from all over the world. He and the owner of the property prepared a feast for us - doves which had been wrapped in bacon then cooked over hot mesquite coals, grilled cactus, fresh salsa, and so on. The clear night sky was filled with a million stars and the moon was full. After the meal, I leaned back to see the moon disappear behind a single purple cloud and thought of Hank Williams. Later that night, I played songs for my host and his teenaged son, Mark, until the wee hours-songs long forgotten (i.e., ones I used to sing before I started writing songs) like "Me and Bobby McGee," Buddy Holly's "Everyday," Robert Johnson's "From Four 'til Late," and Hank Williams's "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." When I drew a blank on a line in the Hank Williams classic, Mark printed the lyrics out for me from his computer. Over the next few days, I'd sing "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" in the empty courtyard of the house where I was staying, high up on a hill above San Miguel. I believe we captured that courtyard's lonesome sound in this recording. "Riding with Willie" In August 2008, I spent three days on Willie Nelson's bus. (I was there to interview him for my upcoming book.) The story of how this song came to be is documented in the book. I wanted to end the album with a live recording (like Waylon did on Dreaming My Dreams). So we decided on "I Love Everybody" from the 2003 Belgium Rhythm & Blues Festival. Tim plays lead guitar and harmonica and sings on this track, so it seemed right and good. The only problem was we didn't have a multi-track. (Our performance had been directly mixed in Belgium Radio 1's mobile recording unit.) Regardless, the track sounded pretty damn good, so we decided to go with it. After the album was mixed, I called Debbie (Tim's widow) because I wanted her to hear what we'd done. As it turned out, she and her sister were about ten miles outside Nashville (driving north from Florida to Louisville), so we met for lunch at my favorite meat and three. During the course of conversation, she casually mentioned, "You know there's a multi-track of the last time you sang with Tim at the Vernon." You could have knocked me over with a feather. That night, a multi-track of "I Love Everybody" was overnighted to our engineer. The Belgium track got scratched, and what you hear here is the actual last time I played with Tim Krekel. The first time I heard this track, I turned to Mike [Utley] and said, laughing, "Damn! I thought I was using hyperbole when I said we sounded better than the Rolling Stones!" For more information about Marshall Chapman, please contact Conqueroo: Cary Baker  (323) 656-1600  cary@conqueroo.com.
Marshall Chapman - Big Lonesome
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Hard-touring, foot-stompin', guitar beatin, upright lickin, washboard scratchin,' banjo pickin' madness with a voice unlike any other. Charleston, SC-based duo Megan Jean & the KFB (Byrne Klay, Megan Jean) arrange a demented blend of gypsy, circus, americana, and the avant-garde that has been enthralling audiences all over America. Their first full-length album 'Dead Woman Walkin' is a ode to the bizarre in all of us, the dark substances seeping though the cracks in the veneer, and the profane beauty of an epic fall from grace...
Megan Jean & The Kfb - Dead Woman Walkin
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For her hotly anticipated sophomore album Nashville songstress Nikki Lane teamed up with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys for a record that turns the vulnerable singer-songwriter stereotype on its ears. With songs that crucify ex-boyfriends, celebrate one-night stands (as long as she can bolt town right after) and proclaim it s always the right time to do the wrong thing, Lane comes across like a modern-era Wanda Jackson, albeit with more oats to sow. My songs always paint a pretty clear picture of what s been going on in my life, so this is one moody record, she says. There s lots of talk of misbehaving and moving on.
Nikki Lane - All Or Nothin' [Vinyl]
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Nikki Lane

Highway Queen [LP]

Vinyl: $19.98 Buy

Nikki Lane’s remarkably dazzling third album Highway Queen, out February 17, 2017, sees the young Nashville rebel emerge as one of country and rock’s most gifted songwriters. Produced by Lane and fellow singer-songwriter Jonathan Tyler, and recorded in Denton, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, Highway Queen is an emotional tour-de-force. Blending potent lyrics, unbridled blues guitars and vintage Sixties country-pop swagger, Lane’s new music will resonate as easily with Black Keys and Lana Del Rey fans as those of Neil Young and Tom Petty. Highway Queen starts with the whiskey-soaked restlessness of “700,000 Rednecks,” a rowdy call to action, and ends on the profoundly raw “Forever Lasts Forever,” where Lane belts freely, mourning a failed marriage – the “lighter shade of skin” left behind from her wedding ring. Lane’s journey to heartbreak takes exquisite turns. “Companion” is pure Everly Brothers’ dreaminess (“I would spend a lifetime/ Playing catch you if I can”). Elsewhere, she goes on a Vegas bender on the rollicking “Jackpot,” fights last-call blues (“Foolish Heart”) and tosses off brazen one-liners at a backroom piano (“Big Mouth”). Lane, a Greenville, South Carolina native, is unique songwriter who didn’t take the traditional country artist path. Her backwoods roots are undercut by her chosen career as a fashion entrepreneur (she’s the owner of vintage clothing boutique High Class Hillbilly) who has lived – and been heartbroken in – Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. So it’s no surprise that her music seamlessly crosses musical genres with lyrics steeped in the doomed perseverance only a true dark horse romantic knows. Lane’s rapid rise in music is thanks to the fervent critical acclaim of her debut record Walk of Shame and 2014’s Dan Auerbach-produced All or Nothin’. With Highway Queen, 2017 is poised to be Lane’s major mainstream breakthrough. "I want to be the highway queen," Lane told Rolling Stone in 2015. "I'm obsessed with trucks, just like every other fucking country singer. But I want to make my own,” she said banging her fists on the table of a chic East Nashville cafe. So as she sings on the title track: place your bets, if you ain’t folding.
Nikki Lane - Highway Queen [LP]
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