Stage & Time Coming Soon!
Cusses lead singer Angel Bond met Brian Lackey through mutual friends, and have never separated since. The two moved from Los Angeles, where they worked in art department for print and film together, to follow a passion to make music and play on stage together. They moved to Savannah Georgia in 2009, and met up with Brian's long time friend, and past band mate, Bryan Harder. The three formed Cusses that summer and played their first show in February 2010.
On stage, Angel is absolutely electrifying. It's hard to fathom how such a gifted live performer has historically struggled with stage fright. Despite her undeniable Jagger swagger, were you to look closely enough, you can see her hands trembling before a show.
"My confidence has improved, but I'm still mad nervous before I get on stage," admitted Bond. "I try to trick myself each show into thinking that I know what I'm doing. I don't, but it gets me through the first song."
Drummer Brian Lackey has played with bands in Savannah, New York and Los Angeles and has toured in Europe. In younger years, Lackey and Cusses guitarist Bryan Harder's college band opened for minimalist, post-hardcore legends Fugazi. It was this musical chemistry that would later entice Lackey to return to Savannah and serves as the foundation of Cusses.
"I have always loved Harder's approach to life and that comes out through the music," explained Lackey.
Lackey's longstanding friendship with Harder and his personal relationship with Bond served as the genesis of the band. These same connections now act as the base for not only the trio's stirring music but also for its business. (The group has fully supported and managed itself since day one.)
Cusses isn't easy to define. One could argue that its sound is reminiscent of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Bond's soulful, audacious vocals also contain a touch of Pat Benatar. Yet despite how formidable a lead presence the singer is, Lackey and Harder possess their own signature styles that further define the band.
No one currently making music hits the drums as hard as Brian Lackey. It is an exhaustive labor by which he channels his energy to the audience through beat. Witnessing this firsthand, it is easy to see that there's fire in his belly — an artist using his instrument as release.
"I see the faces of all the people I want to punch in the face, including myself five years ago," said Lackey. "But I save it for the drums because it's the only place I can't get in trouble."
Harder's approach is equally hardcore. His guitar style and set-up tricks the ear, suggesting a bass line where none exists. Before Cusses, his approach had been fairly traditional: pair a guitar with an amplifier and turn it up. No longer.
"I have become fascinated with rock bands like Death From Above 1979 and White Stripes, who removed a fundamental ingredient from the typical recipe and sound amazing," explained Harder. "I am pursuing that idea by providing two parts at once and delivering a full, hi-fi sound that can potentially knock someone over."
The debut LP coming this fall was produced by Dan Hannon who has recorded great artists such as Manchester Orchestra. Angel Bond and Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra joined forces and wrote lyrics together for "Don't Give In".
MTV has already picked up the first video "Worst Enemy". The band is currently filming the second video using the actual stage and set of CBGB's.
Fresh out of recording “Youth Is In Our Blood” with a Grammy winning team at the legendary Levon Helm Studios (Woodstock, NY) in December 2009, The Dirty Guv’nahs are poised for a huge year. They have been spreading their rock gospel across the Southeast for four years now, showcasing their sound at Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Musikfest, Bele Chere, and Sundown in the City. They’ve also had the opportunity to open shows for Zac Brown Band, Levon Helm Band, Blues Traveler, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Robert Earl Keen, Drive by Truckers, The Whigs, Band of Skulls, Cross Canadian Ragweed,Cracker and Sister Hazel. Their sound has been best described as “a passionate, jubilant slice of rock-meets-Americana.” In their hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee they’ve graduated from playing packed out bars where latecomers are turned away from the door, to playing theaters where capacity crowds consistently cram in and press against the stage to hear another three hour helping of what Metro Pulse dubbed, “rock the way God intended.” Nobody enjoys himself more on stage than front man James Trimble, who draws comparisons to Jagger, Morrison, and Cocker, but the show doesn’t revolve around him. Guv’nahs’ shows are a family affair, with six members and an ensemble of guests pitching in to weave an aural tapestry of all things Southern music—rock, blues, country, and soul. Voted Knoxville, Tennessee’s Best Band three years in a row by the Metro Pulse Readers Poll, The Dirty Guv’nahs are paving the way for a new chapter of American Rock and Roll. Trimble and Michael Jenkins (guitarist) have continued to mature as songwriters, but die hard fans will recognize those signature sing-along choruses. Their message to lovers of rock and roll remains the same: This is not about us, and we all need family to get by.
What can we say about The Front Bottoms? We know we love them: a punk band that uses acoustic guitar, indie-rock dance grooves, Springsteen-y keyboard lines (this they might deny). It’s hook-filled… it’s anthemic… it’s confessional. Maybe Joni Mitchell by way of Green Day? They must have heard some Replacements along the way, and it seems like what Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers did for the Boston suburbs these guys are doing for Bergen County, NJ. But they still leave us scratching our heads. Just what the hell have the Front Bottoms alchemized?
“We like to keep it familiar so that it’s not too intimidating,” says singer-guitarist Brian Sella, “but we always make sure it’s not immediately recognizable.” It’s true, you just can’t quite put your finger on ‘em but Bar/None Records invites you to try to peg these guys with the release of their self-titled debut The Front Bottoms.
Brian Sella and drummer-bullhornist Mathew Uychich have known each other since they were 10 and 8 years old respectively and have been making music for a lot of that time. It shows in the rich hooks and clever rhythms and the effortless way they string riffs together into surprising song structures. Take a song like “Maps” - it opens with half a Sex Pistols riff before going into an orchestral flourish on keyboards. Then there’s a verse complete with a hillbilly hiccup in the vocal followed by an arpeggio guitar part and full-on raging synthetic strings that lurch into handclaps and an enigmatic chorus “one day you’ll be washing yourself with hand soap in a public bathroom,” And that’s in the first minute and a half of the song.
Lyrically Brian Sella fires off scattershot images that the listener can gather up and make sense of like working puzzle pieces on the floor. Romance, freedom, paranoia, partying and somehow getting clean all tumble together from song to song.
“I’m swinging like a fist fight concrete colored basement all right, let’s keep this as clean as clean as you like” (“Looking Like You Just Woke Up”)
“I’m a creature of a culture I created/ I’m the last one on the dance floor as the chandelier gives way and I am permanently preoccupied with your past.” (“Swimming Pool”)
“A lot of the kids we graduated with are homeless which puts them in shady situations with shady people….” (Flashlight”)
In “The Beers,” the narrator surveys said beverage “in coffee mugs, water bottles and soda cups” in the cinematic residue of a basement party. He recalls beefing up for a Jersey Shore summer of steroids “because you like a man with muscles and I like you.” In “Father,” the narrator dreams about beating his father with a baseball bat then tries to find solace in his girlfriend’s bed before musing about his ancestral bloodline, “You look good tonight, girlfriend. Can I sleep in your bed? / And when I crawl out in the morning can I stay inside your head? Cause you were high school and I was just more like real life…”Matt and Brian started out playing a couple times a year for high school talent shows, learning a cover song and writing a crappy original each time. “I think we did Modest Mouse ‘Out of Gas’ one year and Green Day ‘Hitchin a Ride’ another year,” recalls Brian. This led to Brian’s mom presenting him with three hours of professional recording studio time for Christmas one year. “We went in and the guy showed us how to set up. He pressed ‘record’ and left the room. We recorded 12 songs without stopping.” And thus with enough original songs to play a full set, the Front Bottoms were officially born. Their first club date was an all-ages show at the Main Stage in Pompton Lakes, NJ. Most of the bands were teen punk bands. Casey Lee Morgan who was doing sound at the club befriended them, giving them some faint praise, telling them like they might not be very good but they were better than all the other bands that night. Eventually, Casey would record them in his basement studio. Much of the music on the Front Bottoms debut was recorded by Casey.
The Front Bottoms bounced around Bergen County, eventually branching out making connections in the DIY concert community that has included everything from punk flop houses, VFW halls and fire stations. That circuit got them from New England to Florida, starting in a Ford Escort eventually moving up to an 1989 Econoline van. Mathew’s brother (also named Brian) played keyboards for a while but left amicably after an onstage fistfight and the realization he preferred staying home making pot roasts to playing far flung punk squats. The image of “washing yourself with hand soap in a public bathroom” is the blessing and curse of the freedom and funkiness of life on the lo-fi road. More recently, Drew Villafuerte has been sitting in on bass and keyboards for select shows.
With the wonders of the internet and their obsessive gigging, they are now known from New Jersey to…Spain (?) where director Pablo Nieto found them online and asked to create a video for “Maps.” The video features Williamsburg, a farm (where Mathew sometimes works), and that aforementioned Econoline as well as some “loveable” hand puppets. Word of mouth and great reviews has them fielding calls from promoters all over the tri-state area.
New Jersey’s The Star-Ledger called them “one of the leading lights of the New Jersey pop underground. The group’s amalgam of punk, guitar-folk, lo-fi experimentalism, imagist-inspired poetry (drawing heavily on Sella’s upbringing in the Jersey suburbs) and playful humor (that betrays the singer’s youth) has caught discriminating ears on both sides of the Hudson.”
They’ve played Bamboozle, opened for artists as varied as pop chanteuse Vanessa Carlton and Jersey cohorts Titus Andronicus.
“We kinda thought we were a punk band but then we’d play on bills with real punk bands and we’d be like ‘Whoa, were not punks,” says Mathew. “What the hell are we?”
We can’t wait to find out the convoluted answer to that question.
For the uninitiated, Dead Confederate is a five-piece rock band from Athens, GA whose music runs the gamut of infectious psychedelia to a uniquely southern and ferocious dirge. Although, placing labels on a band like this is rather pointless as their sound seems a constant and fluid evolution; they never seem content with abiding by the guides of one sub-genre, so maybe it's best we just leave it at "rock" for simplicity's sake. Dead Confederate, in name and sound, formed in 2006 in Atlanta, GA before moving to Athens shortly thereafter. In these six years, the band has become one of the most revered live acts in the nation by fans and peers alike. Touring relentlessly in the US and overseas, they've been handpicked to join a number of their musical heroes on the road (REM, Dinosaur Jr, Meat Puppets... to name a few) and play some rather highprofile gigs (Bonnaroo to Bumbershoot, SXSW and CMJ, Late Night with Conan O'Brien... also to name a few). Dead Confederate has released two full-length records to-date, 2008's "Wrecking Ball" and 2010's "Sugar", as well as two EP's, a live album, and an eighteen-song compilation of home recordings. Their third full-length, "In The Marrow", will be making it's long-anticipated appearance on April 16, 2013 via Spiderbomb Records/ Redeye.
Formed in the spring of 2010, the Athens, GA based sextet, Dank Sinatra, has been making some noise around the Southeast over the past two and a half years. Blending countless different genres into a melting pot of music, Dank Sinatra’s sound is something that can only be described once it has been experienced. From their humble beginnings of their first show at Rye Bar in Athens, GA, the Dank train has been hitting the road ever since and bringing their unique sound to numerous cities throughout the Southeast and beyond, including a recent performance at the Wakarusa Music and Arts Festival. Along the way Dank has shared the stage with many artists including Big Gigantic, Eliot Lipp, Alex B, Moon Taxi, Zoogma, The Heavy Pets, and The Mantras. The band is continuously pushing themselves to create a unique sound and defy any genre descriptions that people place on them. As bass player Clint Meadows says, 'We’re not going to worry about where this band will be in two-three years. We’re thinking about where this band is right now and what things we can do to improve and master the sound of Dank Sinatra for our fans and ourselves alike.' The future seems bright as Dank Sinatra continues to grow and expand their sound and their fan base.
Royal Thunder is an Atlanta based, four-piece, progressive rock/metal, alternative band founded by lead guitarist Josh Weaver in 2006. After going through some lineup changes, Mlny Parsonz (bass/vocals) joined the group in 2007. Together, the two added drummer Lee Smith whom Weaver and Parsonz had played with in a previous band, and then last but not least Josh Coleman (rhythm guitar) was added to the fold.
Royal Thunder self-recorded and released a seven song EP in late 2009 before signing with renowned independent label, Relapse Records, who re-issued the EP in 2010. The band quickly gained critical praise, being described as "Led Zeppelin astride a psychedelic unicorn" by NPR.org and "Black Math Horseman or Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, fronting Black Sabbath." by Brooklyn Vegan.
Royal Thunder is set to release their proper full-length debut entitled 'CVI' via Relapse Records in the spring of 2011. 'CVI' is a sultry, southern, hard rock thinker of an album that is an absolute must have for fans of the Atlanta and Savannah hard rock scenes (Mastodon, Baroness, Kylesa, Black Tusk, etc). Royal Thunder have crafted an unforgettable, truly soulful sound with 'CVI'.
With a hard-hitting, hypnotic live show that is more of a ritual than a rock concert, the four piece has been capturing audiences with their passionate performances, sharing the stage with a range of artists including Scott Kelly of Neurosis, Wovenhand, Birds of Avalon, Kylesa, and many more. Keep this band on your radar in 2013 and beyond.
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
Formed in the spring of 2009, The Whiskey Gentry is a band of Atlanta misfits that defy categorization in Atlanta's saturated music market. From bluegrass to folk to old-time country, The Whiskey Gentry combine accomplished musicianship with high-energy stage shows that are sure to provide many a night of pickin' and dancin' for the southeast music scene. Having recently been chosen by Paste Magazine as the "Best of What's Next," The Whiskey Gentry have established themselves among the Atlanta music elite. They have shared the stage with artists such as Doc Watson, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rhett Miller of the Old 97s, John Popper, Ed Roland of Collective Soul, Chatham County Line, Slobberbone, and many other national touring acts.
The band is currently celebrating the release of its first full-length record, "Please Make Welcome." Engineered and co-produced by John Keane, who's credits include work with R.E.M., Indigo Girls, Uncle Tupelo and Widespread Panic amongst others, the 14-track album is a culmination of two years worth of writing and recording. "Please Make Welcome" ably captures their exciting live shows intermixing country, bluegrass, old-time, gospel and rock, often within the same song. These elements are woven together with Lauren Staley Morrow's innocently stunning vocals, rendering an expressive compilation of folk tales.
A combination of blistering rock and southern soul, Thomas Wynn and The Believers is a 5-piece fiery ensemble playing the original music circuit, touring nationally and making "believers" wherever they go. If you like Tom Petty, The Band, The Black Crowes, CCR & Pink Floyd, you'll love TWTB. Known for their powerful LIVE performances, TWTB is currently on tour with the likes of JJ Grey & Mofro and The Revivalists.
Hailing from a musical family, the sibling-led band is heavily influenced by Thomas and Olivia's father, Tom Wynn, the original drummer of Cowboy, one of Capricorn Studio's (Allman Brothers) legendary bands from the 1970s. His influence, as well as their faith and upbringing in church, undoubtedly shaped their songwriting and musical interests. Their deeply rooted upbringing certainly laid the foundation for what the Wynns bring to The Believers' sound. Thomas' spirit-moving vocals are uniquely supported by sister Olivia's engaging and captivating voice and presence. Her strong vocal harmonies and wide-eyed response is the perfect companion to his yearning banshee cries.
Voted BEST OF ORLANDO #1 ROCK BAND 2009-2012 . . . TWTB is Southern Rock Muscle ~ Soulful Rock n' Blues!
TW&TB has delighted audiences of all sizes, including festival goers at Magnolia Fest, Bear Creek, Orlando Calling, Blackwater Music Festival, BamaJam, Tropical Heatwave, Antiwarpt, Pojo Music Fest and FMFs. The group has also shared the stage with national acts Gov't Mule, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Drivin' N' Cryin', Leon Russell, Drive-By Truckers, Donna The Buffalo, Leftover Salmon, JJ Grey & Mofro, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Honey Island Swamp Band, Cross Canadian Ragweed, The Lee Boys, Charlie Daniels, just to name a few.
REAX Magazine recently said... "For once, you have a Florida band that is truly Florida. They look like Florida, they sound like Florida - with a touch of Molly Hatchett, The Band, Neil Young, and The Black Crowes. Not fad hipster, not transplant Florida, but Florida Florida. These guys are on the leading edge of creating a new southern rock scene. The sum of the parts is the strongest live shows in the region. Powerful melodies and hooks, grinding jams with soaring guitars and tight drum work, and a front man that carries the audience to new heights."
"Better every time! Wynn plenty comfortable as demonstrative frontman, accentuating hard-charging hybrid of Southern rock & gospel with magnetic stage presence-makes us Believers! channels old-school Memphis R&B and rock, allowing Wynn to let his gritty tenor be carried away by emotion. really love this band" — Jim Abbott/Soundboard, Orlando Sentinel
BEST LIVE BAND - OMNi Awards 2011
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
The five members of Stokeswood woke up one day in a black van with a trailer full of equipment and not one one of them knew how they got there.
Atlanta-based, Low-Endie Rock band, Stokeswood, was formed by lead vocalist Adam Patterson and electric guitarist, Mark Godwin. The five-piece also comprises drummer Jon Joiner, keyboardist Michael Roman and bass player/producer Justin Mullinix. Stokeswood's independently released debut album, "Carassia" (2009), is like a sonic excursion between the lines of a poet's story-telling prowess. Stokeswood's sophomore album, "In the Field of the Vibrations" (2011), showcases a vocal-centric aesthetic and an array of synthesizers and guitars that are illuminated by infectious dance beats. The evolution from acoustic to electronic was a natural progression during the recording process. Stokeswood is currently and constantly touring the East Coast.
Stokeswood is an incredibly unique, Atlanta based, Low-Endie Rock band with infectious energy, unpredictable live performances, and a fierce electronic edge. They coined the phrase "Low-Endie" rock to describe their layered mixture of pumping synths, powerful vocals, and irresistible dance vibe.
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
The Black Cadillacs are a blues-based indie rock band from Knoxville, TN. With members from each of Tennessee's major cities, the state's famous sounds are well represented. Nashville's recent brand of rock n' roll revival takes center stage, but a wash of authentic Memphis blues-soul and a tinge of Knoxville country distill into a sound as rich and Southern as it is alive.
Alongside their native influences, The Black Cadillacs are heavily impacted by rock history. "Bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Pink Floyd laid the foundation for us. With the success of artists and bands like Jack White and My Morning Jacket, it's easy to see that blues-based rock n' roll still resonates with audiences," says guitarist, John Phillips. "We were inspired by the same bands; we're just trying to keep those sounds alive in our own way."
From Memphis to Knoxville, Mick Jagger to Jack White, The Black Cadillacs' sophomore release, Run, pulls together more than 40 years worth of influence over this 11-track offering.
"Run is a veritable tapestry of lush blues and Southern soul with Phillips and guitarist Matthew Hyrka weaving varicolored webs of texture and melody over the solid foundation of bassist Philip Anderson and drummer Adam Bonomo," saysMetro Pulse's Mike Gibson.
Released in June 2012, Run represents the band's attempt to capture the dynamic energy of its live performance. The instrumentation was tracked live with the entire band in one room, just as the songs were written and perfected on the road.
The Black Cadillacs' live set is where this well-orchestrated yet explosive blend comes to life. Playing more than 100 dates in the past year, including sets at SXSW as a Red Bull Sound Select artist, The Black Cadillacs use raw emotion in frontman Will Horton's voice to energize an audience and crank up the sound. "The group displayed a repertoire (old and new) of grooves, rockers and ballads," Red Bull Sound Select says of their SXSW performances. "They are often best when Horton showcases his voice over spare instrumentation-- the connection is undeniable."
Tracks from Run have also been featured in several major TV shows including ABC's Nashville, NBC's Whitney, Army Wives on Lifetime, and Dallas on TNT. The Black Cadillacs are Will Horton (Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica), Matthew Hyrka (Lead Guitar),PhilipAnderson(BassGuitar),JohnPhillips(RhythmGuitar),andAdamBonomo(Drums).
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
Greenhouse Lounge combines the precision and production of a DJ with the raw energy and instruments of a three piece rock band. The band encompasses a multitude of unique styles and genre's which always keeps the dance floor hungry and wanting more. Bassist/founder Dave McSweeney captains the powerful ship with a veteran's vision, toting murky, sinister basslines and holding down a focused low-end anchor for guitarist/producer Zach Weinert. The multi-talented Weinert brings an expertise in modern production execution, burning guitar chops, and emotive synth-work that exemplify how GHL has one leg in each lane; mind-blowing explosions of programmed electronic dance music, raging alongside funky groove-rock .
GHL's newer forays into 70's blaxploitation funk and 80's electro-fueled house-quake burners are a deeper understanding of the styles and approaches that have long defined them. The newer music samples a myriad of classic takes and incorporates vicious breaks to undeniably dusty dancefloor anthems. A darker vibe permeates their Trap styles, injecting Dirty South hip-hop anthems into the mainline of their dance music foundations. Dirty bass-bombs give way to tremendous tension/release eruptions, while subtle and sexy vibes permeate their atmospheric excursions. Rock and rollers from their inception, a live Greenhouse Lounge rager always incorporates tight, hard-hitting live drums and burst-at-the-seam sounds of fury. Often-improvised sonic waves make their way into pulsating gumbos of new spices and irresistible flavor in your ear. At any given GHL party, the dance floor is alive and vibrant to a mix of hip-hop, house, drum & bass, funk, rock, trap and tech-step styles, all constantly rotated in and out of a set, an effortless mix flowing with excitement and energy.
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
A hard working, Georgia born and raised singer/songwriter and musician, Travis Denning has been making some heavy waves in the Country Music scene. Travis has been touring heavily in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, and more of the Southeast in the future. MidGALive.com calls Travis, "...the next Keith Urban.." and with good evidence to back it up. Every live show is exactly that: a show. Where some acts just play song to song with little excitement, Denning flows in and out of songs, lets each member of the band shine, and most importantly, interacts with the crowd and gets the party started. Denning has shared the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chris Young, Colt Ford, Corey Smith, The Bellamy Brothers, The Marshall Tucker Band, Sonia Leigh, Tyler Farr, Cole Swindell and many other well respected acts. "I've always wanted to perform and sing country music for as long as I can remember." Denning says, "I love writing songs, but most of all I love to share it."
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
Megan Jean and the KFB arrange a demented blend of americana,punk,dance, and the avant-garde that has been earning them a dedicated following all over America.
Calling the road home on a "never-ending tour" this transient duo has taken DIY lifestyle and transformed it into a kind of Voodoo that unites scenes, fans, bands, clubs and musical styles-all without the help of a label and fueled by sheer guts and know how.
In April of 2012, Megan Jean and the KFB was featured on PBS performing an original composition "These Bones" as part of a music documentary series Music Voyager, which was broadcast internationally. In July of 2012 they were named the winners of the "Under The Radar Competition" at FloydFest in Floyd VA, which earned them a spot on the mainstage in 2013 alongside The Lumineers and Trampled By Turtles.
On March 1st of 2013, the duo released their 2nd full-length album, The Devil Herself, recorded at the Jam Room in Columbia, SC and is quickly gaining a cult following.
Nashville based band A Thousand Horses is a blues and booze infused cocktail of southern rock and country. With lyrics that pay homage to the traditional values of the fly over states, they blend a blue collar mentality with modern southern rock. They are comprised of front man Michael Hobby, Graham Deloach on bass, with Bill Satcher and Zach Brown on guitars.
A Thousand Horses released their debut self-titled EP in 2010 with the stand out tracks "Travelin' Man" and "Suicide Eyes". The latter of which was featured in the 2011 remake of the 80's classic "Footloose". The year 2012 brought the Landslide EP, which built upon the solid foundation of their unobtrusive, classic sound. With tracks ranging from the effortlessly laid back to the loud and infectious, this release showcased the band's creative diversity. The EP features the Southern rock anthem "Tennessee Whiskey", where the band encapsulates the traditional windows–down summer vibrato that makes any beer run or porch hang happen. They have since shared the stage with artists such as Kip Moore, Blackberry Smoke, and Darius Rucker as well as taking part in the last two Simple Man Cruises hosted by Sixthman and Lynyrd Skynyrd. They are to be listened to loud and preferably with a drink in hand. A Thousand Horses celebrate the revival of roots rock with their own country flavor.
One can make musical comparisons, but a live show is where you hear and feel the harmonious energy that the only the chemistry of steady drums, electric guitars and earnest, distinct vocals can produce. Whether they're singing about getting "Trailer Trashed" or reveling in the freedom of losing yourself in "Heaven Is Close", A Thousand Horses is a band that knows how to excite a crowd with their high energy hybrid of rock and country. There are no gimmicks or pretensions here, just four guys whose affinity for music and a rough and tumble crowd make for Country 'N' Roll done right.
of Dead Confederate
"A lot of it is memory or just feeling," T. Hardy Morris says of his extraordinary debut solo album, Audition Tapes. "But there was also a lot of happenstance and circumstance."
Stark and startling in its evocative, atmospheric power, Audition Tapes sees Morris – best known as frontman for Southern psych-rockers Dead Confederate as well as a member of the collaborative supergroup Diamond Rugs – unleashing something quite unique, a kind of outlaw country grunge, haunting and forlorn and possibly even dangerous. Morris' fourth release in just a single year, the self-described "sit down record" reveals new facets to the Athens, Georgia-based singer/songwriter's quickly growing canon. His world-weary vocals rich with nostalgia and sympathy, songs like "Disaster Proof" and the stark album closer, "Own Worst Enemy," find Morris chronicling a rich cast of characters devastated by drink, drugs, and depression, both personal and economic.
"It's largely about the hometown me and the other guys in Dead Confederate grew up in," he says, "and the way a lot of the friends we had down there slipped away to their vices. Friends that dabbled and then couldn't quit dabbling."
The idea of a solo album first occurred to Morris when the inveterately prolific tunesmith found himself with a sheaf of material – including fully fleshed songs and ramshackle home demos – that didn't quite jibe with Dead Confederate's imposing psychedelic riffola.
"I still liked 'em," he says. "I'd written 'em, created 'em, so I figured it would be silly not to record 'em."
Morris decided to make the record at producers Adam Landry and Justin Collins' Playground Sound Studios in Nashville – the same site where he'd cut the acclaimed Diamond Rugs album just a year earlier.
"I thought, maybe this would be the place to tackle some of that solo stuff," Morris says. "It's not something I can put a finger on, but when I hear stuff back there it just feels right."
Morris traveled to Playground Sound for a series of sessions spanning much of 2012, in between little things like tours with Diamond Rugs and the recording of both a "full-on" new EP and album with Dead Confederate. While the transitions might've proved jarring for another artist, Morris swears to have had no trouble switching gears between projects, rather viewing each of them – rightly – as individual cogs in the overall machine.
"I've always been a little ADD," he says. "I guess that's one of the benefits."
Where Dead Confederate demands epic rock soundscapes, Morris' single goal for Audition Tapes was to keep things as grounded and spontaneous as humanly possible. With no official band to speak of, Landry handled bass duties from the control room, while a number of friends "dropped by" to lend a hand, including Delta Spirit's Matt Vasquez, Black Lips/Diamond Rugs guitarist Ian Saint Pé, steel guitarist Matt "Pistol" Stossel, keyboardist Thayer Serrano, and drummer Julian Dorio (The Whigs).
Together, the players limned out a distinct aural environment, as intimate as if it were home recorded at Morris' dinette table but also raucous, richly textured and unerringly inventive. The languid "Quit Diggin'" and the album's visceral centerpiece, "Share The Needle," mark the musical crossroads where timeless country meets the New Southern Rock.
"I love old country music, down to the ground," Morris avows. "I've also always loved when you find things like pedal steel in music where you don't think you should, where it doesn't turn it into a country song but just works. So I really wanted to have that on the record, it gives it that somber quality I was looking for."
The evocative sonics underscore the simple power of Morris' intensely intimate songwriting. A lyrical hybrid of fiction, memoir, and journalism, his songs crackle and hum with both humility and reckless energy, none more so than the masterful title track in which Morris revisits his preteen best friend in order to touch something tucked away deep within his current self.
"There wasn't a whole lot to do back then other than getting into trouble and trying not to get caught," Morris says. "We were just living in abandon. We didn't think before we did anything, we just did it. I want to be more like that kid."
That carefree spirit already defines Morris' constant state of artistic forward motion. Currently his plans include recording still another Dead Confederate EP, as well as a lengthy tour supporting their new full-length, In The Marrow. As if that weren't enough for one artistic annum, he recently united T. Hardy Morris & The Outfit, a small combo of Athens-based friends and fellow musicians – including the aforementioned Stossel, Serrano, and drummer Jim Wilson. Altogether remarkable though it may be, Audition Tapes is also but a single chapter in T. Hardy Morris' marathon body of work.
"It felt good to get this record out of the way," Morris says, "so I could get started working on the next one. If I hadn't recorded them, those songs would be rolling around in my head, over and over. But now they're done, they're gone, and there's the next batch of songs rolling around in there."
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
New Jersey native Floco Torres is a 25-year-old emcee who parlayed an early bad break with the music industry into an award-winning extended stay down South. After learning—on the tail end of his 15- hour drive—that a record label internship had evaporated, he couch surfed with family in Macon, Georgia, once the home of music legends like Otis Redding, Little Richard, James Brown and the Allman Brothers. No stranger to tough luck, he immediately went to work and earned his first award for Best Local Hip-Hop less than a year later. This past summer, he came out on top of the Gateway Project music competition, taking home a grand prize package worth $50,000 and later releasing a new EP, "10,000 Hours," to celebrate his victory.
The EP came on the heels of "Floco's Modern Life," a full-length album on indie label Random Family Records, which was recorded with a live band and funded by his fans through Kickstarter. His music videos—both self-made and the professionally produced "Cherry Street"—have garnered tens of thousands of views and gotten his work noticed in several magazines, blogs and websites. His most recent mixtape, "Ralph BIGhead," was presented by B.o.B's concert DJ, Shawty Slim.
A smart, provocative and playful lyricist, Floco Torres slings references as divergent as the movie "Catch Me If You Can," highlight reels from ESPN's Sportscenter, the books of Malcolm Gladwell, Nickelodeon cartoons and Petula Clark's greatest hits. And he hammers it home with a flow that glides over any beat thrown his way. As good as his studio work is, it is his stage show that has endeared him to a growing number of fans because he never holds back. He leaves it all on the field when he's done. The fact is, whether you're listening at home or at a concert, no one will work harder to make you feel the music than Floco Torres.
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
Rocking nightclubs, art shows, house parties, formal events, hip hop spots, festivals, bookstores, raves, drag shows, proms, rock venues and anything in between for over a decade. Armed with an arsenal of musical styles, this tasteful artist from the heart of the dirty south is sure to be a staple in the world of electronic music in the future after having been recognized on both local and national levels.
With a heavy background of endless crate digging, producing and remixing classics, the true soul of this musical chameleon is in the live show. An educational, multi-sensory overload consisting of any genre of music imaginable, a blinding light show and occasional guest appearances from a live drummer to an mc. Never the same show twice, you will know when Old Flame is on stage. A memorable experience is guaranteed.
Heading up his own Surefire label, holding down club residencies throughout the years, creating the Electric Social dance party and recently joining forces with a childhood friend to form international EDM duo The Audiologists. The passion is real and the musical obsession is constantly growing. With a debut e.p. Enjoy the Ride soon to be released by Divisionbass worldwide, Old Flame has the experience and knowledge of both the business and art side of the industry.
TDEFFECT.com: Who is Elhae?
ELHAE: What up, I go by ELHAE, which is an acronym for Every Life Has An Ending, which is something I choose to live by. All in all i’m just another kid with dreams of getting rich, and making good music (laughs).
TDEFFECT.com: I’m currently listening your recently released song “All Away” featuring Rick Ross. What was your inspiration behind the single and how did the collaboration with Rick Ross come about?
Kind of a long story…It started at Ross’ crib. Before I even got there my manager told me he had something he wanted me to hear. When I got there I was just playing Ross some music just vibin’ out. Spiff came in and played some beats. “All Away” was one of the beats he played. My manager turned to me and said “this is it, listen”. I knew as soon as I heard it I wanted it. It was kind of history from then on…I did my thing, Ross did his thing, Tory already had the hook laid. It just came together.
TDEFFECT.com: Are you currently working on an album?
Yeah, I actually just finished it. “All Away” was actually one of the last songs I ended up doing before we wrapped it up. It’s called “Champagne Wishes” and it drops May 21st. A lot of money and time went into creating this project and I couldn’t be more excited to drop it.
TDEFFECT.com: Where do you plan to take your music career?
ELHAE: I don’t even know really, I don’t even really think about it, I just go…I’ve been working for so long but it doesn’t really feel like it. One day I just looked up and all these dope things were happening to me. (laughs) 6. Who has had the biggest influence on your career in music? My music selection is pretty shuffled, but the biggest influence on me would have to be Pharrell. He’s the whole reason I wanted to started creating music. He’s just dope man…and he never ages which is cool.
TDEFFECT.com: What do you offer as an artist that we currently aren’t getting from other artists currently creating music?
ELHAE: I believe there’s only a handful of artist that can say they produce, write, rap, and sing. I fall into that category. I believe i’m also an artist that knows how to make a record for radio, or a “commercial” song, but can also turn around and make a deep thought, provoking song. A lot of artist can’t or don’t do both.
TDEFFECT.com: How do you feel about the current state of music?
ELHAE: I think it’s cool actually. At one point I didn’t really understand some of the more southern records, because when I started creating music it was more 90’s Hip Hop influenced, but when I moved to Atlanta I started to appreciate it. I love what the west coast has going on, and I’ve always loved the New York sound.
TDEFFECT.com: If we were to take a sneak peek in your IPOD playlist, what type of music would we find?
Definitely not what you would expect. Let’s see…you’d hear a bit of everything. Nas, Daft Punk, Matt Corby, Janelle Monae, InnerPartySystem, Pharrell, N.E.R.D, Miguel, Cudi, Kanye, Childish Gambino, and Shiny Toy Guns just to name a few. I love all types of music man.
TDEFFECT.com: If you were stuck on a island with no way to escape or get any new music what cd would you take with you?
ELHAE: That’s a hard one but it’d be Jay-Z “American Gangster” Pharrell “In My Mind” N.E.R.D. “Seeing Sounds” or InnerPartySystem self titled album.
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
A DJ/Producer/Remixer from the the dirty south on DivisionBass Digital, DJ Element has been steadily building his own unique DJ style for years. Known for party rocking dance floors, tireless promoting, remixing and blending music. DJ Element has been in the MIXXX since 1998, and has performed in just about every bar/club in the area and has also performed in Orlando among other cities. His captivating sound spans the eras and blends genres of body-rockin' music. Can play either club/dance sets or all edm sets, it's up to you. He will seamlessly segue from breakbeats, electro, hi-energy house, dutch, trap, dubstep, drum&bass and glitch hop to classic dance floor jams, hip hop, top40/pop, rock remixes and mashups to throwback, '80s to pop freestyle. And let's not forget the always popular booty shake. Element helped establish Surefire Music. He can be found most weekends in the mix in a bar, club or party somewhere along the east coast.
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
Formed in 2010, Seven Handle Circus is a six-piece Georgia band that has been critically acclaimed as "bad-ass bluegrass" with the "drive and energy of a rock band." During their legendary live performances they push the limits of human endurance to send each crowd into a dancing and partying frenzy. Elements of rock, punk and alternative infuse their shows and they have even rocked crowds with rappers such as T-Pain & Yung Joc.
On their debut EP, Whiskey Stills & Sleeping Pills, Seven Handle Circus draws from their love of traditional bluegrass and folk and distills these influences into a modern sound that is all their own. With themes ranging from the fun of drinking to the complexities of life, Seven Handle Circus shares the beauty of the music they love, along with plenty of new surprises.
The band is already following in the footsteps of some wildly successful alternative acts that use elements of bluegrass to create a modern style of music. Whiskey Stills & Sleeping Pills was recorded in Asheville, NC at Echo Mountain studio, whose clients include cutting-edge artists like the Avett Brothers. Last May, the band headlined Chattanooga, Tennessee's acclaimed Nightfall Concert Series, where Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and Nickel Creek played before breaking wide open. Last year, Mumford & Sons invited the band to play at The Fox Theater in Atlanta after the platinum-selling Englishmen just happened upon an acoustic set 7HC was playing at the bar next door to the historic theater.
The band members, all of whom began playing as young kids and have formal training, are accomplished musicians, and they display this faithfully with their tight performances and fluent picking.
Noot d' Noot are on a mission with absolutely no luggage. Their sound is as diverse as the list of artists they've worked with, be it studio collaborations with Dungeon Family's Sleepy Brown, synthesizer flourishes lent to Mastodon's "Crack The Skye" LP, or touring with Of Montreal. Early 2007, the original duo of Mathis Hunter and Dream Sanitation released the "Goofer Dust Mixtape," collaborating with some of Atlanta's finest players and studio rats while managing to blend everythang from abstract and southern hip-hop, psyche and shoe-gaze, afro-beat, rare-groove, latin jazz, and pretty much anything else imaginable into a seamless sound that could only have only been created in the present day cultural melting pot of Atlanta, Georgia.
Over the next few years, folks watched as the collective became a band; and quite possibly The South's finest party band (Creative Loafing's 2010 Best Band To Rock The Casbah is a testament to this notion). A series of bad record deals slowed the band only slightly, and they've managed to keep their heads above water releasing their own LP's like 2009's "Cash For Gold" and 2010's "From Ever Since," the latter of which houses a majority of the material that makes up the Noot d' Noot live experience.
This summer sees Noot returning to their original format and releasing a new mixtape called "Time Release." In addition, legendary Atlanta venue, The EARL, will devote the 3rd installment of their live 7" series to Noot d' Noot. This 45 is limited to 500 copies and should be scooped up before it ain't around. The EARL is the breeding ground for the Noot live experience and this record captures the sound of call and response sweating and grinding on tha floor quite rightly. Noot simultaneously blows minds and shakes asses. The party keeps getting bigger and better, and you best see it to believe it.
One of Nashville's most promising singer-songwriters would have been content if his music had never been heard beyond the Georgia state line.
Today, Brent Cobb's songs are sung by stars such as Luke Bryan, David Nail, Kellie Pickler and the Eli Young Band. He writes for one of Music Row's top publishing houses and has just completed his first Nashville recording as an artist. Brent says he never intended to be known much beyond his hometown, but fate, family and his fellow Georgians conspired to change that plan.
"I was never going to move from Georgia and didn't care to," says Brent. "I loved being where I was from. I always liked the idea of being the guy who never left and didn't pursue music, but who wrote these cool songs that folks loved down there."
"Down there" is Ellaville, Georgia, a small town an hour east of Columbus in the rural, south-central part of the state. Both of his parents were highly musical. His father and uncles were songwriters.
"It's a big musical family," he reports. "My dad's always been in a band, and still is in a band. My uncles played, too. Everybody plays. I was always around music.
"Mainly, I was into songs. Growing up, I thought the cover songs that my dad and my uncles were doing were their songs, like 'Tangerine' and 'Rocky Raccoon' and 'I Like Beer.' I'd listen to them play those and thought they wrote them. I didn't know they were on records by other people."
Brent can distinctly remember watching his father and an uncle compose together when he was five or six years old. Less than a year later, the boy came up with his own original ditty about collecting rocks. He made his stage debut with his father's band at age seven.
"We were at the American Legion Hall in Richland, Georgia. My favorite song was 'Don't Take the Girl' by Tim McGraw. The band had learned it, and my Dad got me on stage. There's a line in the song that goes, 'Johnny hit his knees, and there he prayed.' So when I sang it, I hit my knees, and the crowd just went wild. That was my peak as a showman."
Around this same time, papa Patrick Cobb's band opened for country star Doug Stone, a fellow Georgian. Stone was so impressed that he brought Patrick Cobb to Nashville and arranged meetings with booking agents, song publishers and record companies in 1992. Rather than seizing the opportunity, Brent's father chose to return home.
"He wound up not doing it, because I was seven and my sister was three, and he didn't want to not be around. So I think, in my mind, I was always a little scared of doing it, because I felt like you had to just give up your whole life," to make music your profession.
So Brent Cobb followed in his father's footsteps. He intended to become an appliance repairman like his dad and be happy as a weekend music maker. He picked up the guitar at age 12 and began writing songs regularly at age 13.
"I loved the life that I had. When I was 18, I was playing in a band called Mile Marker 5, and we were doing good in Georgia.
"What happened is that I had a great aunt who passed away, and I was a pallbearer at her funeral. At the funeral, I met a distant cousin of mine, who was a record producer in L.A. I had a little, six-song acoustic demo tape that my folks wanted me to give him at this funeral. I didn't want to, but my grandma gave it to him anyway."
Cousin Dave Cobb produces Shooter Jennings, The Secret Sisters, Jamey Johnson and other artists. Two days after hearing Brent's song demos, he invited him to come to Los Angeles to make a record. Brent Cobb commuted back and forth at first, then moved to L.A. to complete his 2006 CD No Place Left to Leave.
"While I was in L.A., I got held up. Some guy was trying to carjack me. Then I almost got shot in this drive-by shooting. Those two incidents made me start to think about maybe checking Nashville out."
Mile Marker 5 had opened shows for Georgia native Luke Bryan. Luke heard Brent's album and took an interest in him. He invited Brent to come to Nashville, but Brent initially resisted the offer.
"I was just so ignorant of the way things worked. I felt like people in Nashville would steal your songs. So I was back in Georgia. When Luke's video of 'All My Friends Say' came on GAC, it was early morning. I was going to work with my dad, and he said, 'Man, you ought to give him a call. He has taken a lot of interest in you.' The very next morning, Luke called and left me a voice mail. He hadn't forgotten me."
Luke brought his fellow Georgian to Music City, put him up at his house and took him on a whirlwind tour of booking agencies, publishing companies and record labels. It was practically a replay of what Doug Stone had done for Brent's father. This time the result was different. Brent Cobb moved to Nashville in 2008.
During his first year in Music City, Brent worked at Walgreen's developing photos. It turned out that the time he'd spent in L.A. had not been in vain. In 2009, Dave Cobb produced The Oak Ridge Boys CD The Boys Are Back. It included the quartet's version of Brent's ballad "Hold Me Closely." In the meantime, Brent played his songs for Matthew Miller at Carnival Music in Nashville.
"Sometimes I have anxiety, but the morning I went to Carnival, I was on fire. I felt confident. I felt smooth. I walked in to Matthew and said, 'I'm Brent Cobb, and I just want you to know I'm going to play you some of the best songs that you've ever heard.' I just felt good that day."
Carnival signed him to a songwriting contract in 2009. By 2011, Luke Bryan had recorded Brent's "Tailgate Blues," David Nail and Frankie Ballard both released his song "Grandpa's Farm," Kellie Pickler did his "Rockaway" and the Eli Young Band recorded "Go Outside and Dance."
In the meantime, Brent began booking weekend performing dates and opening for stars such as Blake Shelton. In 2012, Carnival's Matthew Miller and co-producer Oran Thornton took Brent into the recording studio to capture his gripping, passionate vocal style. So now there's a Brent Cobb EP collection to sell at his shows and take to radio programmers.
"It all sort of happened at the same time," the singer-songwriter marvels. "I feel like I'm rockin' right now. I'm glad that these songs are feeling right to people. I'm just thankful that it's working. This has been the coolest experience."
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
PALEFACE is an American musician and artist currently on tour as high-energy three piece band featuring darling Mo Samalot (drums, back-vocals), and Soren Mattson (electric guitar, harmonies) in support of his Ramseur Records follow up One Big Party. Paleface celebrated the release with a special guest-performance alongside The Avett Brothers at NYC's Radio City Music Hall, followed by US and Europe tours. Soon after the album's release, Daytrotter.com featured a brand new live stripped down recording session by Paleface, and one of the tracks was voted "Daytrotter's Best of the Year - Reader's Choice". And later PASTE Magazine premiered "PALEFACE - The Making of 'One Big Party'", a short documentary which follows Paleface during the process of recording, touring and performing. PALEFACE welcomed the new year with a new music video for the album's tittle-track, which has received television exposure via MTVu as well as via On-Demand programming, retail and web (Mtv.com, VH1.com, Magnet Magazine, among others). And just this Spring Paleface recorded a live Mountain Stage session to air Summer 2013 via over 130 NPR stations + satellite radio and web.
Paleface was schooled musically by friend Daniel Johnston and soon discovered by the legendary Danny Fields (The Stooges, The Ramones, MC5) at an NYC open mic. He has since released over a dozen records including two major label releases, and he's collaborated and performed on three albums by The Avett Brothers. Paleface has influenced and inspired a wide range of musical acts, from electropopsters YACHT, to Grammy Award recipients Kimya Dawson (The Moldy Peaches / Juno), and Beck who calls Paleface "a big influence on my early work" on Annie Leibovitz's book American Music. At the moment, Paleface is in the process of writing a new album to record with his band later in the year, and in the meantime he's just self-released Multibean Bootleg Vol.3, a collection of raw demos, live performances and outtakes.
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
Death On Two Wheels makes rock 'n' roll dangerous again, with slurry-blurry lyrics, half-cocked dreamspeak of portents and regret, and a formidable guitar attack that recalls the nasty duels Allen Collins waged with Gary Rossington before Skynyrd's final plane ride. Following the same bumpy trail as Kings of Leon, this Atlanta fivesome seems to be in pursuit of darker mysteries on the band's self-released debut. And unlike the Kings, they have more range and a greater reverence for '70s classic rock, not to mention the eccentric bite of vocalist Trae Vedder. Could he really have been christened with such a propitious rock name? No matter, he has the same grit and red clay in his voice that Chris Robinson had before he got famous and complacent—but there's something even more disturbing in Vedder's delivery that almost veers into goth. Especially on a song like "Bobby Havis," which shudders with psychedelic anxiety. It's a song so haunting it could've been penned in Rose Hill Cemetery next to Duane Allman's headstone.
- Jaan Uhelszki, Paste Magazine
Death On Two Wheels have shared the stage with Against Me!, Manchester Orchestra, Social Distortion, Lucero, Butch Walker, Alkaline Trio, Jim James, Foxy Shazam, and more at festivals like Bamboozle, Forecastle, and SXSW. Their music has been featured on G4 Television, Spike TV, TNA Wrestling, and at the Sundance Film Festival
Stage & Time Coming Soon!
Macon GA's Scott Baston, former frontman of nationally touring rock band Moonshine Still, has returned to the music scene he left over three years ago- but this time with some apparently divine guidance. After a decade in the bus, and a handful of successful albums to his credit, Baston decided the rigors of the road and the state of the touring scene had taken it's toll on everything important to him. Now, retooled and reinvigorated, Baston is on a mission. And his new project, Saint Francis, is raising eyebrows from New England to Nashville.
Baston has recruited a potent mix of new talent, creating a rock-country crossover that has industry pros buzzing. Mark Van Allen, pedal steel master of Grammy award winning Sugarland, joins Rackley Davis of The Incredible Sandwich (drums/vocals), Jeremy Johnson (lead guitar/vocals), Carlos Enamorado (bass guitar), Mason Davis (percussion), and Scott "Boss" Hogg (keyboards/vocals) to complete an impressive musical collaborative from which Baston can launch. And launch he does, with a solid fuel booster of soaring vocals inside hauntingly beautiful melodies, a recipe that has placed Baston atop the singer/songwriter heap for over a decade.
Now with the fire and spirit of a down home Georgia gospel church on revival Sunday, Baston and Saint Francis are transporting audiences to higher musical planes- baptized in a wave of musical influences on tides that run from blues to bluegrass, rock to reggae, world beats to soulful treats. Through this incredible musical brotherhood; Baston, Saint Francis, and their fans both old and new, are happily floating inside The Bubble again- always reminded by the band's mantra, "We Are Here To Be As One!"