Live Country Blues featuring… CARI RAY & THE SHAKY LEGS!
Cari Ray is a storyteller who tells her tales through song; songs that manifest themselves in ones’ mind, transporting them to somewhere in the early part of the last century…perhaps sitting at the back table or out on the dance floor of a back alley juke joint. Cari’s influences as a writer and performer are clear and present in her original material, spanning a wide range of early American music…a helping of acoustic blues, a little folk, a rasher of ragtime, and a slight flavor of old-time country. Her live show serves it up handily with quick wit, tasty fingerstyle guitar, and a huge voice. Add the powerful harmony vocals of percussionist and long-time collaborator, Dionne War, and you have Cari Ray & The Shaky Legs. With a unique blend of hear and grit, this power duo will have your heart breaking one minue and your hips shaking the next…all while wondering where they’re hiding the rest of the band.
One spin of Bad & Better Angels will explain what all the fuss is about. This is Ray’s 4th full-length recording, but the first to have the duo’s powerful vocals and sparse instrumentation front and center. The duo chose country blues master Reverend Peyton, known for his skill of creating a huge sound from simple instrumentation, to produce a record that they hoped would capture the full sound that is the Cari Ray & The Shaky Legs’ live show. As a tip of the hat to some of the early recordings of the last century, the project was recorded with vintage, analog gear in the sanctuary of a former church. The result is a compelling mix of songwriting and sound. In the more than six years since the pair teamed up, Ray and Ward have combined to create a sound that is not only distinctly theirs but one that feels simultaneously vintage and contemporary.
Paradiddle Records Recording Artist Pete Mancini got his start as the frontman and primary songwriter of Butchers Blind, a critically acclaimed rock band from NYC. His debut solo album, “Foothill Freeway,” explores the Americana influences that were a hallmark of his work with his former band. Mancini was inspired to release Foothill Freeway after hearing the story songs of artists like Guy Clark and Bruce Springsteen. This storytelling influence is on full display throughout the title track, which features a sparse arrangement reminiscent of Jason Isbell and Jackson Browne. In addition to the original songs on the album, Mancini tackled renditions of songs by Russ Seeger, Wes Houston, and Iain Matthews (Fairport Convention, Plainsong), who is a guest vocalist on “Cartwheel Avenue.”
Mancini’s songs have received glowing reviews and radio airplay around the world, and they continue to win over hearts and minds wherever they are heard. Over the years, Mancini has opened for acts such as Blues Traveler, Gin Blossoms, Pure Prairie League, Robbie Fulks, James Maddock, Steve Forbert and Iain Matthews.
LH2B is the creation of singer/songwriter/producer Fran Broderick (Friday in America; PilotSuits). His debut album, Eudaimonia, pulls together his sprawling inlfuences—Bob Dylan and John Prine (“Over and Over Again”, “I’m Sorry God Didn’t Make You Cool”), Biggie and Sam Cooke (“Across the Room”) and gritty soul and rock acts like The Velvet Underground (“Sadly Sally”) and Dr. Dog. Broderick wrote, engineered, arranged and produced each song, in the vein of singer/songwriter-led productions from artists like The War on Drugs and Phosphorescent. The result is a mix of songs heavy on lyricism, haunting arrangements and memorable hooks, that seamlessly jump through genres. Much of the album’s raw, lo-fi aesthetic results from instruments being recorded one at a time in bedrooms and practice spaces.
After a 3 year break from touring on the East coast, arguably one of America’s great songwriters brings his stories and songs back to Abilene Bar and Lounge. Since he was last on the East coast, Wilkins has put forth 3 new records. (Prolici is a word often used accurately to discuss the native Texan troubadour). “Streetlight,” perhaps his most poignant solo effort to date with all new songs….”Watch It Shine,” a harmonic masterpiece with his Texas supergroup, The Mystiqueros…and most recently, “Live at the Rock Room: Walt Wilkins & Kevin Welch,” a touching and overdue collaboration from 2 master storytellers, recorded over 2 nights in Austin. His show at Abilene will give old fans and new friends a chance to see and hear this Texas legend in an intimate setting as comfortable as that favorite old pair of jeans.
Black Night is a classic jazz and blues band with a glimpse into the future. Not loud but stylistic and a straight ahead ensemble of jazzy blues and cool combo jazz. Clever arrangements. Emotional-not technical, Black Night shines when adding a bit of funk to the mix along with a sometimes roughneck groove. The band is named after the Charles Brown and Bobby Bland song, “Black Night.” Get ready for a night of tunes by such legends as Albert Collins, Freddie King, Duke Ellington…and with a nod to today’s great bluesmen like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and Taj Mahal.
The band consists of Mark Francis (guitars, vocals), Jonathan Feldman (keyboards, vocals), Jerry Garcia (drums), Kirk Stamp- (tenor sax) and Mike Francis (trumpet). These six players bring their wide range of taste and influence of blues & jazz together to form a melting pot of great music rejecting the status quo.
***Special Monday Night Show!*** Doors 6:00pm • Music 7:00pm
SARAH SHOOK & THE DISARMERS!
When Sidelong, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers’ debut album, was released in early 2017, it quickly earned kudos for its blast of fresh, fierce honesty and sly wit. It was a welcome new voice in a genre too often mired in the staid and conventional. And while that record may have come to many as a surprise, their new CD Years solidifies the point: Sarah Shook & the Disarmers have moved from getting people’s attention to commanding it. The album–with its sharpened songwriting, unique perspective, deepened sound and roll-up-your-sleeves attitude–will grab you by the collar and put a defiant finger to your chest. It is resolute, blunt, and unflinching.
Inspired by artists such as the Sex Pistols, Elliott Smith and Hank Williams, Sarah sings with confidence, control, and, at times, a hint of menace. The Disarmers match her on every track, coloring the tales of resilience and empathy with as much urgency as ever as well as a broader sonic sweep. It’s easy to hear Sarah as a close cousin to artists like Hurray for the Riff Raff and Margo Price on the title track, or in the country-‘60s mod vibe on “Lesson.” “Good as Gold,” sporting a kiss-off line for the ages, “You’re as good as gold/ I’m as good as gone,” is both vulnerable and defiant, soaring with pop-inflected harmonies. And with an expansiveness evoking the wide-open West, “What it Takes” speaks to the truth of the record, to her life, and to the universe.
At its pounding heart, Years crackles with a pointedly contemporary and relevant take on the outlaw spirit. Built around the buoyant pedal steel of Phil Sullivan, and the post-punk rattle and Live at San Quentin hum of Eric Peterson’s guitar, there are echoes of Nikki Lane and Merle Haggard as much as Ty Segall. Its home is the ragged-but-real honky tonk, not the bro-country “honky tonk.” The barroom singalong “New Ways to Fail” is classic, smile-through-the-pain country. “Damned If I Do” could be the “Drivin’ Nails in My Coffin” of the 21st century, if we let it; a perfect song for rolling in the wry and sneaking in a quick two-step. The sinister “The Bottle Never Lets Me Down” will get anyone who’s ever been wronged righteously flipping the bird as they knock back the next shot. Therapy in the face of personal devastation takes many forms, after all.
As Sarah herself tells it... "This record is about finding a way. A way through exhaustion, depression, betrayal, hangover after hangover, upper after downer after upper, fight after never-ending fight. It’s about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after years of being trampled and beaten down, jutting your chin out, head high, after they’ve done their worst, and saying, ‘Still here.’ This record is shouting “f**k you, I do want I want from the rooftops to the mother******g cosmos.”
The Blasters exemplify the best traditions of American Music, performing with passion and honesty that for over three decades has won the hearts and souls of fans worldwide. Composed of founding members vocalist-guitarist Phil Alvin, drummer Bill Bateman and bassist John Bazz with Keith Wyatt on guitar, they carry on a hard-won legacy as one of the most recognizable and credible bands in American Music. Their influences range from the likes of George Jones and Carl Perkins to Ike Turner, Howlin’ Wolf, James Brown and Big Joe Turner, all blending into a sound that ignores the lines between Rock & Roll, Country, Blues and Rockabilly.
With special guests Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones - Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Female Rockabilly Artist, and named the “Best Up-And-Coming Band” by Hudson Valley Magazine, Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones are New York’s premier "Roots Rock n' Roll & Rockabilly Twang" outfit. They recently released their 2nd full length album, "Love You to Life", in August 2017, and have been hitting the road hard, spreading the gospel of American music wherever they go. Describing their sound, Hope explained to Rockabilly Online “I would say we are a new take on an old sound. It’s been described as ‘pan-americana’ which means we use many areas of early rock and roots music as a creative launchpad. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess, because while we appreciate old music, we don’t want to write songs that have already been written."
They’ve built a great network of venues in the US by touring heavily, and like many American bands, they have gained supportive fans and excellent press overseas as well. They recently completed their first European tour, successfully spending the month of April 2018 in Belgium and Holland. Hope was featured on the cover of UK Rock n’ Roll magazine in March 2015, and New York’s Ulster Magazine in March 2016. The band has shared the stage with many of their musical heroes including Reverend Horton Heat, Tiger Army, Gary US Bonds, Dale Watson, Big Sandy, Wayne Hancock, and America, and has performed at at a variety of national festivals including Viva Las Vegas, Ink n Iron, and The Nashville Boogie. They are spending a portion of this summer on tour in support of The Reverend Horton Heat and The Blasters!
Born from a hybrid of Lara’s former rockabilly band The Champtones, and upright bassist Matt’s international psychobilly act, The Arkhams, The Ark-Tones hit the ground running in 2012 and haven’t slowed down since. Lara and Matt also perform as a duo (The Gold Hope Duo), and can even be found as the country/western entertainers at the one of longest running family resorts in New York, the Rocking Horse Ranch, performing under the name Lara and the Hope'Alongs. In 2017, Lara Hope won the Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Female Rockabilly Artist, accepting the award at The Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas, surrounded by musical heroes. The band is also known for their visually arresting videos - “Whiskey Pick” (from their debut album) and “I’m the One” (re-recorded for the new album) were official selections in the 2014 and 2016 Woodstock Film Festival.
SELWYN BIRCHWOOD BAND! 2013 Albert King Blues Guitarist of the Year Award Winner
If you’re a fan of Hound Dog Taylor, Robert Randolph, Lucky Peterson…and the Campbell Brothers, do NOT miss this hot, hot, blues band!!!
Selwyn has torn it up at the Abilene Roots-Americana Stage of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival and he’s sure to tear it up again. He’s touring in support of his latest Alligator Records release, Pick Your Poison.
Indie soul songstress Jill McCracken’s forthcoming release, Shake Me Up, is a celebration of feeling—anything that she’s got on the inside (and there’s a lot on the inside), is triumphantly released out into the world. Though Jill’s songs catch the ear as pop tunes, touching heavily on classic soul and Motown influences, a closer listen lets the audience know that these aren’t as simple as ABC, 123; there’s conflict that lies just beneath the surface of the songs, as nodded to by Jill’s sweet and savory lyrics. This isn’t a masquerade of beauty; it’s a celebration of Jill’s honest-to-goodness truth of life and love-not only the beautiful, terrible, horrible parts, but especially all the in-between.
Shake Me Up boasts soaring silky vocals (Jill McCracken, Mandy Goldman), a pocketed rhythm section (Kevin Ewer, Brendan Duran), tight guitar riffs (Jim Horvath) and a soulful organ & Wurlitzer performance (Jon Petronzio) to create an original potpourri of new and old. The retro shout out kicks in immediately on the first track, “Lovesick Woman,” with its undeniable Jackson 5 overtones, then bounces to the modern day influence of Lake Street Dive on “Do You?,” and back to the Al Green and Aretha Franklin days in the sensual backing vocals and twinkly keys on “A Taste of Sweetness.”
Happy Hour with great drink specials, free munchies and the return to Abilene of ALISON PIPITONE!
Alison Pipitone has enjoyed an incredibly loyal following throughout her 22 years in the WNY rock/indie music scene. Under her belt: Nine albums, thousands of performances across the U.S., hundreds of print and radio interviews, scores of TV appearances…in other words, a storied career in music. Pat Shaughnessy on drums has been her solid backbeat for a dozen years; Graham Howes has been her lead guitarist for ten years; Natalie Howes on backing vocals for the same. Their shared history has ultimately produced a sound that is simultaneously tight and loose, always confident.
Her music has a distinctly American sound, alt-rock injected with equal parts of punk, country, blues, and folk. It is true that the band can veer to the left or right of any given style, but Pipitone’s voice remains instantly recognizable at the center.
RUCKUS JUICE JUG STOMPERS! - Hailed as “America’s happiest music,” jug band music has its roots in the country blues, old-time folk, and early jazz traditions of American music. The Ruckus Juice Jug Stompers have been bringing their old-time, good-time jug band music to audiences in western New York since 2008. The band’s captivating, high-energy performances transport audiences back in time as Ruckus Juice blends musicianship, creativity and tradition as Ruckus Juice keeps the audience dancing, stomping, singing and kazooing along a “bottomless barrel of musical ear candy” in the words of one eloquent fan.
The Ruckus Juice Jug Stompers are led by a three-time winner of Rochester’s Best Busker competition, and every performer in the band exudes a love of music. Juxtaposing homespun instruments (jug, washboard, and kazoos) with traditional string band instruments (banjo, guitar, doghouse bass, fiddle and the less-traditional banjolin), this is a band that knows how to entertain. Audience members have described the Ruckus Juice Jug Stompers as “excellent musicianship combined with entertaining showpersonship,” “upbeat music with catchy lyrics that make people of all ages want to sing along,” “high energy with a feel-good vibe,” and “lots good-natured fun.” It’s not unusual for the unusual to happen at Ruckus Juice’s loose and free-spirited performances—you never know when they’ll bust out a wacky instrument or special guest musicians will hop up and raise a ruckus with them.
***SPECIAL SUNDAY SHOW**** Doors 3:00pm, Music 4:00pm Official Fairport Music Fest Post Party!!!!
Maximum Rockabilly with Long Island’s ROY WILSON & THE BUZZARDS
Besides inciting riotous mayhem and general debauchery (not to mention occasional nudity!), the Buzzards have performed at every rockabilly hot spot, including the Rodeo Bar in Manhattan and the Blue Comet just outside of Philly.
They are the house band at the Bayou in Long Island and have performed at the Gold Coast Casino and Orleans Casino in Las Vegas for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend more than ten times. They were rewarded with a standing ovation each year. They’ve performed at the Indy Rockabilly Rebel Weekend, the Heavy Rebel Weekender in North Carolina, and Rock ‘n’ Rods in Philly. They’ve performed for the Rockabilly Hall of Fame many times, most notably at the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s first sold-out concert, in Memphis, Tennessee. Get ready to dance!!!
HYPNOTIC CLAMBAKE! ~ Imagine a world without the accordion. Some of us would love that. Unfortunately, the band we would miss the most would be Rochester’s “Hypnotic Clambake.” Their music has been a welcome part of the Upstate, NY music scene since 1990 and continues to find appreciative audiences throughout New York State and beyond. Accordionist Maury Rosenberg, originally from Long Beach, NY has performed with Yo Yo Ma, Peter Yarrow and David Lindley. He has made Western and Upstate, NY his stomping grounds for some of his weird, yet entertaining musicial endeavors. Everything from polkas, tangos, zydeco and klezmer music mixed with a twist of lime and an original sound true only to the “Clambake” defines this band’s unique sonic form.
Here’s what Matt has to say...“I am a Knoxville, Tennessee based songwriter who spends a hell of a lot of time driving all over bringing my songs to anyone who cares to listen. Some folks call what I do Outlaw Country or Americana, but I have a hard time putting a label on things like that. A lot of my songs are very much based in classic Country music while others are grounded in straight forward and greasy rock ‘n’ roll. I write what is ready to come out and try to be as hones as I can about it. Give ‘em a listen and call ‘em what you want then get your ass out to a show!”
If you like Steve Earle, Chris Stapleton, Whitey Morgan, you’ll love Matt Woods.
Happy Hour with great drink specials, free munchies and live music featuring MEG GEHMAN & THE INFLUENCE!
Meg’s first solo CD, Leap, debuted July 2015. She calls it “a shameless pop record, heavily influenced by R&B and rock. Catchy mid-to-uptempo pop music co-written with my producer, Sony platinum-selling R&B artist, David Chance (formerly of the R&B duo Ruff Endz). You will hear so many influences on this record, and I would have to say that the strongest influence for this project would be David himself.”
Meg has delighted audiences for years as the leader of Meg and The Clams and then This Other Life.
Since his stunning debut, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs in 1995, Wayne “The Train” Hancock has been the undisputed king of Juke Joint Swing - that alchemist’s dream of honky-tonk, western swing, blues, Texas rockabilly and big band. Always an anomaly among his country music peers, Wayne’s uncompromising interpretation of the music he loves is in fact what defines him: steeped in traditional but never "retro;" bare bones but bone shaking; hardcore but with a swing. Like the comfortable crackle of a Wurlitzer 45 jukebox, Wayne is the embodiment of genuine, house rocking, hillbilly boogie. Wayne makes music fit for any road house anywhere. With his unmistakable voice, The Train’s reckless honky-tonk can move the dead. If you see him live (and he is ALWAYS touring), you’ll surely work up some sweat stains on that snazzy Rayon shirt you’re wearing. If you buy his records, you’ll be rolling up your carpets, spreading sawdust on the hardwood floor, and dancing until the downstairs neighbors are banging their brooms on the ceiling. Call him a throwback if you want, but all Wayne Hancock wants to do, is simply ENTERTAIN you, and what's wrong with that?
Wayne's disdain for the slick swill that passes for real deal country is well known. Like he's fond of saying: "Man, I'm like a stab wound in the fabric of country music in Nashville. See that bloodstain slowly spreading? That's me."
"Artists like Wayne “The Train” Hancock aren’t just singing those songs—they’re living them just like many of us." – Country Weekly
"Hancock, who tosses out a roots mix of old country, roadhouse blues, western dance swing, boogie bop, and straight-up Rockabilly, takes what was once old and makes it seem like it's always been and always will be." - allmusic.com
“The country music scene could do with a lot more characters like Wayne, who push the music’s limits while staying truer to its roots than any well-known names associated with the genre today.” – Slug Magazine
"A rare breed of traditionalist, one who imbues his retro obsessions with such high energy and passions that his songs never feel like the museum pieces he's trying desperately to preserve." - allMusic.com
****SPECIAL MONDAY NIGHT SHOW**** Doors 6:00pm • Music 7:30pm
Special Low-Dough Show – Only $10 at the Door!
Taking a night off from his dad’s (Willie Nelson) tour (The Outlaw Music Festival)…don’t miss J. Micah Nelson performing as PARTICLE KID!
(Los Angeles) Hen House Studios has announced the much anticipated debut album from Particle Kid.
Described by its creator as “a love letter to the cosmos,” PARTICLE KID marks the first full-length release from Particle Kid, the experimental musical identity of Los Angeles-based musician and visual artist J. Micah Nelson.
PARTICLE KID sees Nelson creating a multi-dimensional musical universe all his own, crafted with immense ambition, inventive production techniques, and strikingly emotive songcraft. Built upon sounds imaged by Nelson since he was 7 years old, the album sounds both familiar and oddly modern, with the spirits of future folk, low rider funk, riff rock, power pop, lysergic Americana, flower punk, and progressive jazz fusion all somehow woven together with deep-rooted melodies, unique improvisational elements, and remarkably intricate arrangements.
Though written almost entirely on acoustic guitar, PARTICLE KID makes an immediate impact with its ocean-of-sound approach, Nelson’s expansive vision inspired in equal part by his passion for big band orchestras, classic psychedelia, the Stax Records house band, and so much more. The album’s seemingly infinite scope underscores the emotional questing and planetary consciousness within Nelson’s idiosyncratic songwriting. Songs like “Forever Friend” and “The Ocean” are mysterious and moving, rippled with avant noises and street corner sax solos, their warm textures and off-kilter tempos emblematic of Nelson’s focused introspection and intensely human worldview.
Particle Kid “has been living and breathing art and music for practically all of his young life,” declared Pitchfork. “His songs speak to his talent.” The son of American musical legend Willie Nelson, the Los Angeles-based visual artist-musician’s remarkable output spans the creative spectrum unlike few others, from his role in innovative folk-punk band Insects vs Robots and idiosyncratic performances on the Andean stringed instrument known as a charango to cymatic visualizations of dancing water molecules and playing guitar alongside his brother Lukas Nelson in Promise of the Real, known for their own cowboy hippie surf rock, and of course their recent collaborations with Neil Young.
Nelson is joined throughout PARTICLE KID by an extraordinary roster of friends, family, and fellow musicians including legendary bassist and friend Paul Bushnell and virtually all members of both Promise of the Real and Insects vs Robots. But at its core is Nelson himself, whose wildly diverse range in instrumentation includes all stringed things, key things, things that clank, snap, thump, and sonic buttons of all shapes and sizes. For PARTICLE KID, this usually included acoustic and electric guitar, piano, drums, percussion, charango, self-sampled field recordings, or in the nature of spontaneous innovation, Nelson often used whatever happened to be next to him in the moment if it sounded right. PARTICLE KID was recorded at Venice Beach, CA’s Hen House Studios, the innovative recording studio, label, and art space founded by Nelson’s longtime friend, collaborator, musician, and co-producer Harlan Steinberger.
Bloodshot Recording Artist CORY BRANAN! Throughout his career, Cory Branan has been too punk for country, too country for punk, too Memphis for Nashville, and probably a little too Cory Branan for anyone’s damn good. He has proven himself as a top-notch songwriter (Chuck Ragan recently called him “the greatest songwriter of our generation”), fierce lyricist (in Lucero’s “Tears Don’t Matter Much” they sing that Cory has, “a way with words that’ll bring you to your knees”, and a hyperdynamic performer with the ability to fingerpick finer than ‘60s Greenwich Village folkies and brutally strum like a proto punk shredder. Throught his career, he’s made collective struggles poetic and breakthroughs into sympathetic acts of populist heroism.
Abilene Bar and Lounge and Bop Shop Records present Legendary Singer-Songwriter...
Blackie Farrell might be a household name, but among his peers he’s no unsung hero. His songs have been recorded and performed by artists ranging from Leo Kottke, Tom Russell, Robert Earl Keen, Dave Alvin and Michael Martin Murphy, to Bill Kirchen, Commander Cody, Ray Campi, Jerry Lee Lewis, Asleep at the Wheel, and Chris O’Connell. His 2016 album was produced by Abilene faves, Gurf Morlix and Bill Kirchen…and dig this, Blackie wrote (among many other great tunes!), the classic, “Mama Hated Diesels,” as featured on the debut album by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.
Writing his first song at the age of 13, Blackie was inspired by the music he heard blasting from car radios and local music clubs in Oakland, California—everything from Jimmy Reed, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and John Lee Hooker to Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and Marty Robbins. It was their gritty story-telling that influenced him. At his core, Blackie is a story-teller, cutting a straight line right through life’s jagged edges, not smoothing them over but illuminating their points. Some haunting, some heroic, his tales stick to your bones and conjure up lost spirits and the longings of a well-worn heart.
***A VERY SPECIAL SHOW!*** Doors 7:00pm • Music 8:00pm
Abilene on the Road” proudly presents DAVE ALVIN & JIMMIE DALE GILMORE! (Backed by The Guilty Ones)
JCC Hart Theatre, 1200 Edgewood Ave, Brighton, NY 14618
"Downey, California to Lubbock, Texas" is a thousand-mile straight shot across the heart of the American West, with not much in between. The cities at each end of the line are one-time cowtowns that grew into symmetrically-platted working-class communities with very little to interrupt the horizon plane, making for big empty canvasses that require a vivid imagination to fill in all that blank space.
Dave Alvin from Downey, California and Jimmie Dale Gilmore from Lubbock, Texas have been filling canvasses with music of the American West for decades, coming from two very different directions.
The title track explains Alvin is a Strat-packing, wild blues Blaster, a nod to the roots rock band he formed with his brother Phil in 1978 before Dave peeled off to go his own way in 1986. He’s been part of the bands X, the Knitters, and the Flesh Eaters, tours relentlessly with his own band, the Guilty Ones, and continues apace on musical quests informed by his love of California and its history, and by Texas and the South, where most of the great music that was made in Los Angeles before and after the Second World War came from.
Gilmore is the old Flatlander from the Great High Plains, acknowledging his first group, the folk-country trio formed in Lubbock 1972 with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock who continue performing and recording today. In addition to the Flatlanders and an extended solo career, he has been part of several ensembles including the Hub City Movers and The Wronglers with Warren Hellman, who started the Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco.
Alvin is a rowdy baritone. Gilmore, the timekeeper of the high lonesome, warbles. Each is an avatar, an authentic, original creator with a strong sense of place and music.
That combination might seem like oil and water. But mixed together in the forms of these ten cover songs and two originals, including the autobiographical title track, this is powerful stuff.
The seed for the album was planted a little more than a year ago while the two did a duet tour. They’d known each other as friends for more than thirty years, but had never collaborated musically. Playing live together triggered a whole new dynamic. “Everything on that tour worked out so well,” Gilmore said. “The music was fun. During a sound check, Dave said, ‘You know, we need to record some of this stuff.’”
An obsession with money, an unfaithful lover, a friend’s accidental pregnancy, misogyny, loneliness, death… This is just some of the lighthearted subject matter that make upLONER––the darkly comedic second album from songwriter/producer Caroline Rose. Armed with an arsenal of new instruments and equipment, an ever-growing sense of “ahhh fuck it,” two years of exploration, and a wicked sense of humor, Rose delivers a set of serious songs wrapped in a sprightly, angsty pop burrito. Because, as Rose puts it, “Sometimes sad songs just need a cocktail.”
LONER captures the cheeky satire, comical musings, and often jarring mood swings––sometimes goofy, sometimes emotional––that make up much of Rose’s personality. “I call it Schizodrift,” she says sipping on a martini with her pinky out. “I want to make music that sounds as manic as I feel.” Filled with catchy synth hooks, Ray Manzarek-esque Farfisa, surf guitar, depth of thought and a punk attitude, LONER captures the energy of bands like Le Tigre and The Cramps, and nods to the styles of Blondie and DEVO, the pop hooks of icons like Justin Timberlake, all the while being inspired by the artistry of Kate Bush. “I’d say this album was as much inspired by Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears as it was late 70s punk.”
Country singer/songwriter Elizabeth Cook made her Grand Ole Opry debut on March 17, 2000, appearing repeatedly thereafter -- a remarkable achievement considering that, at the time, she was an indie artist with no radio airplay. But such was the excitement generated by her clear, beautiful voice, strong songwriting ability, and live performances, all of which have drawn comparisons to younger, critically respected artists like Kelly Willis and legends such as Dolly Parton.
Cook was born in Wildwood, Florida. Her West Virginia-born mother played guitar and mandolin and sang on local radio shows. Her father, a Georgia native, also performed country music and served jail time for running moonshine. Upon his release, he and Elizabeth's mother played in local bands together, eventually marrying. Elizabeth, born in 1972, moved to Nashville in her twenties and quickly got a publishing deal. Demos recorded between 1997 and 2000 comprised her self-titled, independently released debut album, The Blue Album, which showcased her formidable songwriting ability and featured such well-known Music City musicians as Tim Carroll, Kenny Vaughan, and Rick Schell. Atlantic Records signed Cook soon after its release, and she began working on her major-label debut. Hey, Y'All appeared in summer 2002 from Warner Bros. Constant restructuring at the label meant Hey Y'All didn't get the promotion it needed, and Cook left the imprint and released 2005's This Side of the Moon on Hog Country Records. Balls appeared in 2007 from 31 Tigers, followed by Welder in 2010, featuring guest spots from Dwight Yoakam, Rodney Crowell, and Buddy Miller, also on 31 Tigers. Over the next five years, in addition to touring and becoming a staple at the Grand Ole Opry, hosting her Sirius XM radio program Apron Strings, and touring, Cook went through a series of transformative personal changes. She lost a parent, got divorced, and saw a sibling through rehabilitation after a long bout with drug addiction. When she re-entered the studio, it was with co-producer and guitarist Dexter Green. After self-financing an album, she undertook a Pledge Music campaign to assist in getting it released. Exodus of Venus was released in June 2016 through Thirty Tigers.
Sarah Borges is a rocker from Taunton, Massachusetts, formerly signed to Sugar Hill Records. Her music has been described as “walking that fine line between punk and country.”
On the strength of a performance at the South by Southwest Festival in 2004, Borges earned a record deal with Houston’s Blue Corn Records. Her first record, 2005’s Silver City earned praise for showcasing “an unusual knack for mixing alternative rock with country.” Allmusic compared Borges to Maria McKee of Lone Justice, and admired how her songs “balance some fierce guitar licks with heartfelt twang.
After much national touring and opening for noted acts such as Dave Alvin, Borges, and her band, The Broken Singles, were signed by Sugar Hill Records. The title of her 2007 release Diamonds in the Dark is a line from the song “Come Back to Me,” by one of her favorite bands, X. The album features a cover of this song, many original works, and Tom Waits and Greg Cartwright covers.
Borges’ wide variety of influences are often noted. They range from Dolly Parton, Mahalia Jackson, X, Sid Vicious, Merle Haggard to bubblegum pop.
A third album, The Stars Are Out, was released in March 2009. The album features five covers of artists ranging from Smokey Robinson to The Lemonheads. Allmusic describes the album as “material grounded in Americana even as it morphs form folk to rock and even soul” and calls it a “short but sweet collection.”
After taking a few years off to have a son, Borges released Radio Sweetheart in 2014 and a follow up EP in 2016, Good & Dirty, which was produced by Eric Ambel.
Mikaela Davis is the kind of songwriter who routinely defies expectations. The 25 year-old artist is a composer of striking maturity. Her arrangements deftly combine elements of rock, folk and pop, and her vocals display a wisdom and a ruefulness that belie her years. Davis’ instrument of choice is the harp, which she has played since she was eight years old, right about the time she could actually get her hands around the instrument. A native of Rochester, New York, she spent her formative years in youth orchestras rather than in garage bands and later earned a degree from the Crane School of Music.
Though Davis is clearly well-versed in the classical canon and is accustomed to performing in a recital setting, her approach to the harp is an unorthodox one. She often employs her instrument as a pulse, a rhythm or as texture as muscular as a guitar’s. Even in high school, Davis was thinking outside the box in regards to her instrument: Despite her rigorous schedule, she often managed to do a little weekend outdoor busking at a local market with a ukulele-playing friend.
Rochester-based Brian Moore, producer of Fortune Teller and Mikaela’s 2012 self-titled debut album, recently told The Boston Globe what it was like to experience her music for the first time: “She had the personality, and she’s obviously talented at harp and songwriting. I think the unique thing about Mikaela is she could stand alone with her songwriting and her vocals, but combined with what she can do technically on the harp -- hearing that was just a shock to me."
“I think a harp can do anything,” Davis declares. And so, as her recordings and live shows already indicate, can Davis.
THE HI-RISERS are a three piece, song oriented rock ‘n’ roll band. The members are Greg Townson (vocals/guitar), Todd Bradley (vocals/bass) and Trevor Lake (vocals/drums). Drawing their inspiration from the 1950’s and early 1960’s, you’ll hear all the genres that influenced the creation of rock ‘n’ roll in their music, from rockabilly to rhythm& blues, brill building pop to doo-wop, country to surf. The Hi-Risers energetic performances have been welcome in a wide variety of venues, from upscale niteclubs to country bars, blues clubs, punk dives and outdoor family oriented festivals. They’ve released nine records and have toured extensively in the USA and Europe.
Happy Hour with great drink specials, free munchies and live music featuring MICHIGAN RATTLERS!
Lifelong friends and deep-north natives, musical group Michigan Rattlers play heavy-hearted folk-rock with an aching dose of Midwestern nice. Graham Young (guitar), Adam Reed (upright bass), and Christian Wilder (piano) began writing music and performing together in their Northern Michigan high school.
“Petoskey is a small place. Beautiful, but secluded. It’s hard to start a musical career in a place where there are more deer than people.” Still, they regularly played every bar, cafe, and stage in town, developing a musical chemistry informed by the likes of AC/DC, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, and more. After a few years apart, Reed and Young settled down in Los Angeles, recorded a short demo, and began playing locally. The demo found its way into the hands of super-producer Johnny K (Plain White T's, 3 Doors Down), and they cut the bulk of their first EP at NRG Studios in just one day.
"My favorite music is recorded that way," continues Reed. "You get in a room, plug in, and cut songs live. The energy of the recording comes directly from the physical performance, and it puts the listener into that specific time and place." This self-titled Michigan Rattlers EP attracted glowing reviews from No Depression, Bluegrass Situation, B3 Science, and Rolling Stone, who named the band one of their “Ten New Country Artists You Need To Know” in 2016. They spent the rest of that year and much of the next touring in support of this release.
In September 2017, Pianist Christian Wilder was added to the band’s lineup. Now a trio, the group headed into the studio to record their newest EP, Wasting the Meaning. Comprised of three cover songs, the project was conceived as a way to explore deeper into the recording process and pay homage to some of their favorite songwriters. Currently, the group is hard at work recording their first full-length release. It is slated for release in the summer of 2018.
THE SUITCASE JUNKET! From the salvaged sounds of American juke joints, back porches, honky tonks and rock clubs, The Suitcase Junket conjures an entirely new sound in his latest, essential rock collection, Pile Driver.
"Now this is the shit I'm talking about, Jack. The Suitcase Junket is a lo-fi, low-tuned, low-down blast of end-times folk blues. It's crude; it's magnificent. With a stage set-up that resembles a junkyard foley stage or Fred Sanford's living room, The Suitcase Junket — one man band leader Matt Lorenz — incants and intones like a cross between Hound Dog Taylor and a Tuvan throat singer who has swallowed a bird. Take the singer-songwriter idiom, give it a low grade fever and a guitar and this is what you get. Captivating, mesmerizing, and gone ... real gone." ~Frank De Blase, Rochester (NY) City Newspaper
“He deploys his oddball, lo-fi but forceful sound in the service of well-conceived, engaging songs with literate and interesting lyrics.” The Suitcase Junket is much more than a curiosity or a novelty act, he’s a serious artist who shouts and winks at us at the same time, and has deep things to say to an open mind.” ~Seattle Post Intelligencer
“He’s an in-the-moment multi-instrumentalist, a true one-man band, carefully connecting and arranging unique objects around himself so that he’s a singer, guitarist, drummer and percussionist all at once. ~Daily Hampshire Gazette
In some ways Roots R&B/Americana singer/songwriter/piano player/guitarist Kelly Hunt is a rarity and a challenge to the music industry’s penchant for easy artist definitions- a woman who has muscled her way onto the scene on her own terms with an identity steeped in blues/roots/gospel traditions and a refreshing originality. She makes music with its righteous roots intact that also crosses boundaries, has an open-minded, exploratory attitude and takes on social and political issues. Together with a commanding,, passionate stage presence and superior vocal, keyboard and songwriting skills, she has earned the respect of critics and fans across North America and Europe.
The Kenny Brothers Band is an improvisational Mountain-Rock Band from the backwoods of Stratham, New Hampshire. Made up of three brothers, they perform original songs with roots in alternative-folk music, accompanied by warm-hearted lyrics and earth derived grooves. The band was founded in 2014 when all three of them realized they shared a true passion for music. It was time to move out of their parents' basement and be heard by music fanatics alike.
Their debut album, Walk in the Woods, was selected to be in the best Seacoast music in 2016 according to the Seacoast Scene. "[Walk in the Woods'] weaves between trees, circles past the no trespassing sign onto the path less traveled and eventually doubles back home to sing about the adventure," says Siri Undlin from Ear to the Ground Music. It was released in June 2016 and has received airplay from popular seacoast-based radio stations like 92.5 the River WXRV, 106.1 Portsmouth Community Radio WSCA, 94.7 WNHN, and has reached as far as KUCA The Bear, based in Conway, Arkansas, a college town outside of Little Rock.
Being brothers, Billy 28, Taylor 27, and Joey 22, they all grew up listening to their parents' records while spending quality time in the outdoors. This as well as Joey's adventures in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas inspired the creation of their debut record. "Walk in the Woods" examines how nature is an escape from technology and modern pressures of society. Through stories about traveling, girls, self-doubt, and independence, The Kenny Brothers illustrate a way of life that has greater emphasis on passion instead of career. "One of the band's greatest assets is their brotherhood. Growing up listening to the same music, along with their shared love of the outdoors, has made for a successful partnership," says Charlie Weinmann from The Sound.
The band frequently sells out shows in the Seacoast NH area at venues like The Stone Church in Newmarket, NH, and The Press Room in Portsmouth, NH. The band of brothers have made it out of town to clubs like The Way Station in Brooklyn, NY as well as maintaining a steady festival circuit, stopping at places like Wild Woods Music & Arts Festival in Croydon, NH. They are often known for having guest musicians including Dominic French on the organ, Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki on fiddle, and Matt Coyle and Jack Paone on the horns. They often integrate acoustic sets into their live shows, providing a variety of musical tastes every night. An article by Chris Hislop from the Seacoast Scene writes, "the group has quickly become a staple on the regional live music scene."
Ryan Martin’s sophomore record, Gimme Some Light, is the sound of catharsis and renewal, regret and reinvention. It is a living jukebox, full of vivid, deeply personal songs that span considerable emotional and sonic terrain. Drawing from the same well of timeless American music that informs artists like Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch and Bruce Springsteen, Martin’s themes can get dark - self-doubt, longing, heartbreak, addiction - but the music is full of bold melodies, energy, humor and hope.
Recorded at The Art Farm (Felice Brothers, Nels Cline) in Upstate New York, Gimme Some Light goes deep and wide into Martin’s songbook. From the dark and twangy Americana of ‘Death of Love’ to the driving R.E.M.-ish jangle of ’Say You Love Me’, the modern rock exaltation of ‘Lepers In Armor,’ to the timeless fragility of ‘Real Human Being’; these are classic songs luminous with imagery and feeling.
Originally from Los Gatos, California, Martin started writing songs when he was 14 and was soon playing in bands and doing solo gigs up and down the West Coast. After a traumatic car accident in 2005, his path took a sharp turn as he landed in and out of jail and treatment. At 22, Ryan decided it was time to start over, and made his way to New York City. He soon found an audience, and a band, and recorded his excellent debut album, For All the Beautiful Losers. After gigging around NYC, touring all over the United States, engaging new fans, and becoming a father, Martin felt he was ready to make a record that reflected a new sense of hope and purpose.
Gimme Some Light, will come out June 29, 2018 on High Moon Records. The first single, ‘Death of Love’, will be released on April 19th, with a beautifully-shot video that blends French New Wave cinema with a classic Americana vibe. Two more videos will follow, leading up to the album’s release, and Martin will tour the U.S. throughout 2018 to support the album, with additional European dates to be announced.
Megan is a multi-award winning jazz, blues, and folk-influenced singer-songwriter. She began writing and playing music when she was 15 years old. She expresses thought provoking lyrics through soulful tone and eccentric chord voicings. Her song, “Moon Mansion,” off and early EP, appeared in the indie film, “King’s Faith,” filmed in her home city of Rochester, NY. She released her first full-length album, “New,” in October 2014. Her band FlecHaus won Best Group Single and Fan Favorite in the early 2017 LA Music Critic Awards for her original song, “What We’ve Got.”
Rock ‘n’ honky tonk from Columbus, Ohio’s ANGELA PERLEY & THE HOWLIN’ MOONS - Perley has earned comparisons to everyone from Joan Jett to Patsy Cline and her range of delicate reverb-laden crooners to grit-fused rock anthems have made more and more listeners take notice. The band’s live shows rumble with swaggering basslines and guitar riffs and Perley’s soulful delivery and charismatic stage presence create a memorable experience for audiences eager to listen. “It’s the shameless good times and guitar forward songwriting of bands like the Georgia Satellites with a mix of jam, glam, and honky-tonk to round out the sound.” ~Duane Doobie
Brooklyn-based 4-piece high energy, post-punk/hardcore/alternative rock band…YELED ZAIN!
Yeled Zaiin started in 2014 and recorded their debut EP (The Earth is Flat) at Vibromonk Studios in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Yeled Zaiin’s music pulls from several genres, including classic punk, rock ‘n’ blues, with inspiration coming from The Doors, Patti Smith and Black Flag.
Yeled Zaiin has played venues and bars across the Manhattan area, including Tender Trap, The Bowery Electric, Matchless, Fat Baby, The Well..and more.
Yes, Glenn is moving on (He and his girlfriend, Kayla are moving to Detroit...and Motown's gain is Abilene's and Rochester's loss!).
So....on Wednesday, July 25...beginning at 7pm, we'll be celebrating all the great times spent with Glenn. We'll provide hots & burgers (both meat and veggie)...and the grill will be fired up. Please bring a dish to pass.
Drink specials all night long.
Thanks to all.... Let's send Glenn off with a bang!!!
Doors 7:00pm • Music 8:30pm A Full Night of Americana!!!!
PEG LEG IDA! - Peg Leg Ida is new to the Rochester music scene- formed in late 2017. They play a blend of Americana Rock tinged with blues and country. Covering a diverse range of artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, The Avett Brothers, Grateful Dead, John Hiatt, John Mellencamp, Phish, Tom Petty, Vince Gill, Zac Brown Band, The Decemberists, Bruce Hornsby, Chris Stapleton, and many others.
The members of Peg Leg Ida are all experienced players: other bands and projects their members have played in, or are currently involved with include Woody Dodge, Delilah Jones, The Skeleton Keys, Five Wheel, The Druids, Julie Dunlap and High Maintenance, Big Timber, Mansfield Avenue, and The Eric Clapton Birthday Celebration. All five members of the band sing, and love to harmonize!
The StarDevils—forming in 2000, are regarded as one of the most entertaining and exiting bands in traditional contemporary rockabilly. Their savage rockabilly and hillbilly boppin’ sounds have been raved about here in the U.S.A. and internationally. They have received many outstanding reviews from the biggest roots and rockabilly publications around the globe, such as Black Cat Rockabilly and Rockabilly Hall of Fame (to name a couple). Being one of the top bands on the scene today, they are truly a rarity. The band’s live shows and CDs are must for any fan of traditional and original rockabilly. “It’s damn good rock ‘n’ roll” states Wayne “The Train” Hancock, saying the StarDevils are one of his favorite bands today.
“Dude’s a juke-joint professor emeritus” ~Rolling Stone
Kevin Gordon’s Louisiana is a strange place. It’s a place where restless teens road trip to where the highway dead-ends at the Gulf of Mexico; a place where prisoners who are in for life compete in a rodeo while the town watches; where a character can get lost in the humid afternoon and where religion may not signify hope; and where rivers, never far away, carry secrets behind levees. “one of the things I like about it an am mystified by is that what passes for normal in Louisiana would not make the grade elsewhere,” he says.
The kicker? All of these postcards are based on true stories. It’s a place that he’s been exploring for twenty years now, on the eve of the release of his astonishing new album “Tilt & Shine” on Crowville Media. It is work that has earned him fans like noted author and Elvis Presley biographer Peter Guralnick; New West Records artist Buddy Miller; journalist, songwriter, and Country Music Hall of Fame staffer Peter Cooper; Todd Snider; head of the Americana Music Association Jed Hilly; and Lucinda Williams, with whom he dueted on the song “Down To The Well” (which was featured prominently on an Oxford American compilation).
Before you even hear his vivid lyrics, you start feeling the sound of that ’56 Gibson ES-125 tuned down to open D, often with the tremolo flowing like a river, and an unstoppable groove distilled from swamp blues and Sun Records. His MFA from the Iowa Poetry Writers’ Workshop allows him to capture it with a degree of precision. As the New York Times put it in its headline of a feature on Kevin, “A Musician or a Poet? Yes, to Both.”
Kevin sums it up, “There are so many stories in north Louisiana and it’s a place that nobody pays attention to. For me, you can feel the arc of time passing. I’m captivated by the power of strong memories-those films that run continuously in your mind, if you let ‘em” With “Tilt & Shine,” those movies translate into rock and roll poetry.
Doors 4:00pm • Music 7:30pm Abilene Intimate Upstairs Lounge
Heather Taylor (Formerly of "The Crawdiddies")
CD RELEASE PARTY!!!
Heather Taylor (formerly of The Crawdiddies) returns to Rochester, one night only, for a hometown secret album release show-Live in Abilene’s Intimate Upstairs Lounge! With fiery and thoughtful tone, Taylor delivers a spectrum of tunes offered up through storytelling, digging questions & inner-world commentary. Lyrically driven and melodically moving, Heather’s Americana inspired originals are backed by the rhythm of her octave mandolin and uplifted with the weaving ambiance of Sean Jerome’s lyrical and soulful licks.
Born into a musical family in Rochester, NY, multi-instrumentalist and visual artist, Heather Taylor is creative to her core. Classically trained in flute, the now singer/songwriter embraces the craggy soul of the Appalachian music scene in Asheville, NC. Shortly after settling into Asheville, Taylor won the Brown Bag Songwriting Competition and is recognized as an emerging singer-songwriter in the Western North Carolina music scene. Her most recent record, “Undercurrents” was mixed at Echo Mountain Recording Studio by Grammy award winning producer, Julian Dreyer and features slide guitarist, Sean Jerome.
A Girl Named Genny incorporates traditional folk instruments to produce a new sound that encompasses several genres and styles. Dynamic instrumentation and up beat melodies drive this high energy Americana band, however, breaking downs sets to create intimate tender moments is always a promise. Their self-titled EP was released April 29th, 2017. They have played with acts such as Dirty Blanket, David Mayfield, Folkfaces, The Honey Smugglers, Aaron Lipp and The Crooked North.
PALEFACE - Prolific, influential, cult-hero & indie-folk icon, Paleface, is now a high-energy & charismatic duo featuring his girlfriend Monica “Mo” Samalot, on drum-kit & charming candied vocal harmonies. The band celebrated the release of their latest album, One Big Party (Ramseur Records), with a special guest performance alongside The Avett Brothers at Radio City Music Hall, followed by US & Europe tours…including special performances on NPR’s Mountain Stage & Daytrotter (voted top 20 of the year), Paleface, was schooled musically by friend Daniel Johnston (The Devil And Daniel Johnston) and soon discovered at an NYC open mic by Danny Fields (The Stooges, The Ramones, MC5). He’s released over a dozen records including two major label releases, and has been called a major influence & inspiration by a wide range of artists including Grammy Award recipient Beck, and The Avett Brothers. He’s also collaborated and appeared on three albums by The Avett Brothers.
Happy Hour with great drink specials, free munchies and the music of BIG BLUE HOUSE!
Big Blue House is a raucous trio of seasoned musicians with experience in a variety of genres, which now merge styles and voices into a unique gumbo of folk, rock, blues, jazz and reggae. They offer a blend of voices, acoustic rhythm and lead guitar, stand-up bass, and occasional mandolin, banjo and resonator guitar. They often add percussion and a random horn to fill up the house. You’re gonna love ‘em!
Blaggards were a huge, huge favorite at the 2010 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest, as they tore up the Abilene Roots-Americana Stage.....don't miss them in the intimate surroundings of Abilene Bar and Lounge!!
Blaggards (no “the”, pronounced BLA’ GUARDS or BLA’ GHERDS, depending on where you’re from) formed July 2004 in Houston, Texas.
They play what they call Stout Irish Rock, traditional Irish music mixed with rock n’ roll, informed by everything from Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley to Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath. They are most frequently compared to bands like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and the Pogues.
Blaggards are guitarist/vocalist Patrick Devlin, bassist/vocalist Chad Smalley, drummer Michael McAloon, and fiddler Wes Barlow.
Front man Patrick Devlin grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to Houston in his early 20′s. After working in the local club scene for several years, Patrick saw a demand for Irish rock music that nobody was taking advantage of. In 1996, to this end he formed a band called On The Dole. Although the band did well, opening for legendary Irish touring acts like the Wolfe Tones and the Saw Doctors, eventually Patrick decided it was time to clear the decks and start again.
In 2003, while hosting a weekly open mic at an Irish pub, Patrick met bassist and singer Chad Smalley, a veteran of the Houston music scene who had recently returned from New York and was looking for a new project. The two of them soon began singing and performing together every week, developing a tight vocal harmony style. A year later, Blaggards was born.
Michael, a first generation Scot-American, grew up learning Irish step dancing, winning gold medals all across the United States before picking up the drums at age 13. Mike has toured the country many times with several different Houston bands and studied jazz at the University of North Texas. Mike joined Blaggards in January 2009.
Wes Barlow, born in Memphis, Tennessee, and started playing violin when he was ten years old. After relocating to Texas in the 5th grade, he realized that the fiddle was his calling. He started playing in Texas country bands when he was 16, has won several national classical music competitions and performed on multiple albums. Wes joined Blaggards in January 2017.
Blaggards maintain a rigorous schedule, playing constantly throughout Texas and touring nationally several times a year. They've also toured Ireland every year since 2010.
DEVON GILFILLIAN! Devon Gilfillian fires twin barrels of gospel-blues and southern soul on his debut EP. Fueled by groove, guitar, and the powerful punch of Gilfillian’s voice, the songs shine a light on a young songwriter who grew up outside of Philadelphia, absorbing everything from the R&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock ‘n’ roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian puts a personalized stamp on those childhood influences, rolling them into five original songs that showcase not only his songwriting and singing, but also his talent as an instrumentalist.
Raised by a musical family, Gilfillian grew up singing. He took up the electric guitar at 14 years old, kickstarting a fascination with classic rock and other sounds from an older generation. By the time college rolled around, Gilfillian was playing three-hour shows in a local cover band, performing songs by the Meters one minute and the Beatles the next. The gigs allowed him to explore the full range of his influences, but Gilfillian wanted to play his own music, too. With that in mind, he moved to Nashville, eager to chase down his own muse.
Released in May 2016, the self-titled Devon Gilfillian finds him stepping into the spotlight as a solo artist. He recorded the songs with a small group of friends and collaborators, tapping drummer Jonathan Smalt and slide guitarist Jesse Thompson as co-producers. Equal parts swampy, funky, and enthralling, the record finds Gilfillian planting one foot in the classic sound of his influences, with the other foot pointing somewhere new and uncharted. After all, he’s no revivalist. No nostalgia act. No retro wannabe. Instead, Gilfillian is a classic artist for the modern age, discovering new life in soulful sounds that have been making people dance for decades.