Monday, March 31, 2014

Local Bands Announced for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

On April 13 over 12,000 runners will takeover downtown Raleigh for the 2014 Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. WRAL is hosting the race and proceeds will benefit the Jimmy V Foundation.  This is a unique event that unites an entire community with local artists, cheerleaders, dance teams, and friends and families of the runners.

Lining the streets of Raleigh to encourage those runners will be 29 local bands.  The list is impressive and covers every type of genre imaginable.  From the Americana sounds of Saints Apollo to Irish punk with My Three Kilts, all music lovers will be covered and the runners will stay motivated.  This is great exposure for the local artists because 40% of the runners are from out-of-town, so they can see our beautiful capital city while listening to our expansive musical talent. Some of the landmarks to be seen on the course are the Governor's Mansion, Rose Garden, Pullen Park, Oakwood neighborhood, and the Daily Planet at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.  The marathoners will cross the finish line on Fayettville Street.  See the complete listing of bands, locations, and play times here.

Welcoming the runners and their fans at the finish line will be New Politics.  They are performing at 10:30 on the Red Hat Amphitheater stage.  This group has had a successful year with a warm reception to their latest album, Bad Girl in Harlem.  Between performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live and touring with Fall Out Boy and Paramore, this band is experiencing a whole new level of success. To read more about New Politics, check out our previously posted profile.  Also performing on the Red Hat stage at noon is local southern roots band, Old Habits.  This group came together in 2003 and has been playing around the Triangle ever since.

An event this size wouldn't be possible without some community volunteers.  There are positions available at the start line, the finish line, along the course, and at the Health and Fitness Expo.  If you know someone in the race or want to help your community, consider becoming a member of the Race Crew.  For more details, check out the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon website.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Six Shots Later Play The Maywood

Everyone has had those nights of too many drinks, big laughs with friends, and questionable judgement.  Six Shots Later takes these nights and turns them into fun songs that make a perfect soundtrack to even more crazy memories.

This party band was created in 2007 in Great Falls, Montana by Andrew Phelps (vocals/guitar) and Chris Fields (bass).  In 2010, they decided to make a move to North Carolina for a more lively music scene.  With the addition of Adam and Jordan, the band is now complete.

The group has released a new EP of six songs that are reminiscent of 90's pop punk rock like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime.  These songs are upbeat and light hearted and create a perfect backdrop for an enjoyable time with friends. Summer is an energetic tune that allows the listener to fall back into the younger years, to feel the warmth of the sun and grasp that carefree feeling that only summer can provide.  Looking Good Tonight follows that classic scenario of guy meets girl and he simply can't get enough of her, all to the tune of a punk guitar and danceable beats.

If you enjoy music that is fun, high-energy, and great for a party, try out Six Shots Later on Soundcloud. They are also currently touring and will be performing at The Maywood on Friday, March 28 with Annandale Heights and The Water Between.  Doors open at 9 and the cost is $5.

Merge 25 Individual Tickets On Sale

The Merge 25 individual tickets for the Cat's Cradle and the outdoor Carrboro show go on sale Wednesday, March 26 at 11 a.m.via Cat's Cradle's website.  Considering the full festival passes sold out in one day, these tickets are sure to go quickly as well.  The breakdown of the festival looks like this:

Wednesday, July 23 - Baldwin Auditorium (Duke University)
     --Lambchop performs Nixon
     --More Merge artists will be announced soon
     --On sale April 22 via Duke Performances

Thursday, July 24 - Cat's Cradle (Carrboro)
     --The Rock *A* Teens
     --The Clientele
     --more to be announced
     --On sale March 26

Friday, July 25 - Cat's Cradle (Carrboro)
     --Wye Oak
     --The Mountain Goats
     --more to be announced
     --On sale March 26

Saturday, July 26 - Outdoor Party - Carrboro
     --Neutral Milk Hotel
     --Bob Mould
     --Ex Hex
     --The Love Language
     --more to be announced
     --$59 through June 1
     --$65 after June 1
     --On sale March 26

When purchasing, there is a limit of 2 tickets per customer to each Cat's Cradle show and 4 tickets per customer for Saturday's outdoor party.  Children under 10 get in free to the outdoor event when accompanied by an adult ticket holder.

The most recently added bands are:

     --The Love Language
     --The Mountain Goats

More bands will be announced and we will certainly keep you updated.  Buy your tickets fast and get ready to celebrate 25 years of independent music!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Merge 25 Festival Bands Announced

Merge Records is turning 25 and they are throwing a huge music festival to celebrate.  Merge 25 spans from July 23 through July 26 in different spots around Durham and Carrboro.  The first band announcements have been made and it looks like a must-see lineup with the following acts:

    • Neutral Milk Hotel
    • Wye Oak
    • Lambchop
    • Destroyer
    • Caribou
    • The Clientele
    • The Rock *A* Teens
    • Ex Hex
    • Bob Mould
    • The Mountain Goats
    • Superchunk
    • The Love Language
    This is only the beginning of the lineup, more bands will soon be announced and The Triangle Beat will definitely keep you posted.

    Full festival passes are $195 and can be purchased at Cat's Cradle website. This pass guarantees access to: 
    • July 23 Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University Campus, Durham, NC
    • July 24 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
    • July 25 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
    • July 26 Full Day Music Concert, outdoors, Carrboro, NC
    Merge anticipates that passes will sell out quickly, but a limited number of individual tickets will be available for each event.  Individual tickets for all Carrboro events will go on sale March 26.  The Baldwin Auditorium tickets may be purchased starting April 22.  

    Specifics for the opening night and closing night parties have not yet been released.  We will keep you updated on the lineup and details as the information becomes available. For more information, check out the Merge Records website.   

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    Drive-By Truckers Return with New Look and New Album

    From the moment Mike Cooley opened with Get Downtown, the show never stopped as the Drive-By Truckers took to the stage Friday night at The Ritz.  Returning to Raleigh with a new band lineup and the release of their highest charted album ever, English Oceans, the Drive-By Truckers entertained the nearly sold out crowd for over 2 hours of non-stop rock and roll.  

    Typical of any Drive-By Truckers performance, there was a constant interplay between the band's two front men, Patterson Hood and the previously mentioned Mike Cooley.  From previous albums, hits like Zip-City and Women Without Whiskey energized the crowd while incorporating nearly every track from their newest album, which was released on March 4.  It should come as no surprise that English Oceans was #16 on the Billboard Charts in the album's first week.  In a recent interview, Patterson Hood explained to The Triangle Beat, their newest record, "Is a really good snapshot of where we are right now.  As people, artists, as a band, etc...The lineup is stellar and it's kind of firing on all cylinders."  

    After playing over 20 songs, the Drive-By Truckers left the stage only to be greeted with the chants from the crowd echoing, "DBT! DBT! DBT!," in hopes of hearing more from what was already a spectacular performance.  The suspense was short lived as Cooley and Hood returned to the stage with fellow band members, Brad Morgan, Matt Patton, and Jay Gonzalez to continue playing.  A seemingly appropriate conclusion to the night, the band played their last song from the new album, Grand Canyon, to end the show.  As each member of the band took their own individual departure giving thanks to the crowd, drummer Brad Morgan kept the beat going until he was the only remaining member of the band.      

    Regarded as one of the hardest traveling bands in America, the Drive-By Truckers left the crowd without a doubt as to how they earned that title.  Raleigh was the first stop of their 2014 tour, but if you missed the performance make sure you get a chance to listen to their newest record English Oceans.  For more information about the Drive-By Truckers or upcoming tour dates, please check out their website.  

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Local Spotlight: Adam Pitts and the Pseudo Cowboys

    The Pour House is hosting the St.Patrick's Day Free for All on Saturday, March 15, featuring six bands.  Playing at 9 o'clock is local alt-rock band Adam Pitts and the Pseudo Cowboys. They are adding a fun twist to their performance by asking you to film your favorite parts of the show.  The footage will be used as a part of their next music video.    

    The members of this group, Adam Pitts (vocals, piano, guitar), Michael Batts (drums, vocals), and Mike Sedito (bass, vocals), have an extended set planned for this St. Patrick's Day bash.  The playlist will include many of their originals written by Adam Pitts, as well as some classics, including a few Led Zeppelin covers.

    Many people around the Triangle have heard Adam Pitts play his solo act, sharing songs that range from Young MC's "Bust a Move" to Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun."  When performing with the Pseudo Cowboys, the focus is on their original tracks and their combined passion for genuine rock 'n' roll.  Adam wrote "Lovely Trainwreck" as an examination of an immature man's attraction to the wrong type of lady.  As Adam describes this type on his website,

         ...she's basically unavoidable in social situations because she steals the attention of the room.  She 
         comes off hypersexual, injecting suggestive behavior at every opportunity.  Dresses provocatively.      She laughs the loudest in a crowded room with her mouth noticeably agape.  She's calculating, 
         working every moment to her advantage.  A beautiful disaster, a catalyst for drama, creation and 
         destruction surround her... 

    These are realizations that he has grasped through experience and maturity. All of these experiences translate into this spirited song that pulls inspiration from earlier rock themes and real life.

    On a much different topic, another notable song by Adam Pitts and the Pseudo Cowboys is "Diane Daily."  Adam was inspired to write this song after working at a chain restaurant and observing the lifestyle of many of his coworkers.  They seemed to be trapped in an endless cycle of devoting their lives to a job with little pay and no appreciation, with nothing deeper to live for.  Interestingly enough, these same people would spend their free time sitting at the same establishment that was stripping them of their livelihood, returning their hard-earned money to those that under appreciated them.

    Have no fear, even though Adam Pitts and the Pseudo Cowboys have depth to their writing doesn't mean they won't keep you on your toes.  This group proves that rock 'n' roll is far from dead.  They look forward to helping you celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a fun and lively show.  Don't forget to film your favorite parts of the performance and share it with Adam Pitts.  Your footage could be a part of their next music video!

    Stay up-to-date with Adam Pitts and the Pseudo Cowboys by liking them on Facebook, following them on Twitter, visiting their website, and listening to them on Soundcloud.

    The St. Patrick's Day Free for All is an all day free event with doors opening at 11 and the show starting at 11:30.  Also performing:  PitchBlak Brass Band, James Ethan Clark and the Renegades, Roshambeaux, Jahman Brahman, and Armen Hammer.  Visit the event's Facebook Page to get regular updates.  It's going to be a memorable St. Patrick's day on Blount Street, don't miss the fun!


    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba Play the Pour House

     The previously featured band, Kaira Ba will will playing The Pour House this Thursday, May 1.  They will be supporting Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars for an inspirational night of African music, tradition, and culture. 

    Kaira Ba is a guitar and experimental kora dance band founded by Senegalese griot musician Diali Keba Cissokho.  He brought together band mates, John Westmoreland (guitar), Jonathan Henderson (bass), Austin McCall (drums), and Will Ridenour (percussion).

    Cissokho was raised in Senegal by a long line of griot musicians.  In West African culture, a griot acts as a storyteller, advisor, and praise singer by playing the kora, a 21- or 22-stringed bridge-harp from West Africa, and singing songs.  This title has been passed down from generation to generation since the 14th century.  Cissokho's mother and father both hail from a long line of griots, telling stories of celebrations, marriages, births, and other significant village events.

    After meeting his wife, who is from Pittsboro, NC, Cissokho decided to settle locally and share this griot tradition with the Triangle.  Eventually, he met his current band mates and realized that they could create their own unique music by mixing modern instruments and sounds with that of the Senegalese traditional kora.  Now they are Kaira Ba, which is a Mandinka phrase meaning "peace and love" or "the great peace."

    The Great Peace is a lively masterpiece that covers historical events of Senegal and modern day concerns.  It begins with "Mbolo" (Unity), with percussion heavy beats and an optimistic rhythm.  The lyrics discuss the significance of having allies and friends in our lives.  Kaira Ba sends the message that people cannot be successful completely on their own; more can be accomplished with unity and working together with the lyrics, "No matter where you are from or who you are, we need to come together." 

    "Talibe" (Our Lost Boys) comes from a melody borrowed from Cissokho's late mother, Mossu Keba Diebate.  He wrote lyrics to match the melody that discusses orphaned children in Senegal. Through his lyrics, he's calling out to the Talibe as a reminder that all children should be honored and provided for.

    Other ideas shared by Kaira Ba give helpful reminders for all people in their everyday lives.  "Yur Mande" (Compassion) talks about using compassion and understanding with those we meet.  Cissokho says, "Everywhere you go, you have to take compassion with you.  People aren't given wealth in order to keep it.  You must share it."

    While the lyrics send some powerful messages and cultural stories, the support of the instrumentals provide an upbeat, positive vibe.  Ancient West African sounds are meshed with a modern voice to create a whole new sound not typically heard.  All of these elements combine to create a fusion of blues, jazz, and rock-n-roll.  The hopeful dance grooves  make this album appealing to those from all cultures and languages, truly uniting people through the magic of music.

    Get inspired by Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba this Thursday, May 1 at The Pour House.  The show starts at 8 Kaira Ba performing first.  Visit Kaira Ba's website to learn more about the group and to purchase the new album. 

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    Rebekah Todd and the Odyssey at Local 506

    Chapel Hill was filled with anxious anticipation on Saturday as basketball fans gathered in local restaurants and bars to cheer on the Tarheels as they battled against Duke.  Inside Local 506 was a much different vibe; one of relaxation, serenity, and soul.

    Rebekah Todd and the Odyssey made sure the anxiety from the rest of the town did not carry over to their show.  This band consists of Seymour (bass), Quincy Jones (keys), Chris Knuckles (sax), Evan Roberson (trombone), and Brandon Shamar (drums).  The combination of jazzy blues mixed with the soulful croon of Rebekah Todd creates pure calm and ease among the crowd.

    The band starts with songs from their new album, Roots Bury Deep.  This is a collection of 9 songs that fuse jazz with folk and powerful lyrics.  Todd is responsible for writing the songs that explore those dark moments in life illuminated with brightness and hope.

    They move into some fun songs that everyone knows like Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel.  During this song, Chris gets his time to shine with an extended sax solo.  Other classics are shared like Aretha Franklin's Chain of Fools. Many artists would struggle to mimic Franklin's iconic voice, but for Todd, it comes naturally. Todd and the members of the Odyssey vibe off of each other and make it obvious that they enjoy being on stage as one.

    The band goes on to share other tracks from their new album, On the Run, Devil's Gonna Buy, and Wandering Soul.  On the Run is that type of song that makes it hard to stand still due to upbeat rhythms and deliberate pronunciation and pauses.  The crowd is captivated by Todd's soul and charisma, hanging on to every lyric echoed through the venue.

    Rebekah Todd and the Odyssey are definitely worth checking out.  They will be traveling around North Carolina and neighboring states throughout the next few months.  To see show dates and purchase the new album, visit their website.  To learn more about how Rebekah Todd got started and connected with the Odyssey, check out this previous post from The Triangle Beat.

    Watch the group perform Roots Bury Deep:

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

    Delta Rae Energizes Lincoln Theatre

    The Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh was overflowing with anxious music fans that lined the walls, cascaded up the stairs, and encircled the balcony.  The anticipation was high for the American folk rock band, Delta Rae, to play in their hometown once again.  Looking around the venue, there was no doubt this group has loyal fans and strong support.

    The six-piece band enters the stage, wearing all black, and breaks into "Morning Comes".  Energy exudes
    from the group and the crowd yells with excitement and sings along with the band. Following their opening songs, the group welcomed the audience and expressed their excitement to be home and playing where their success began. 

    One thing becomes very clear when watching Delta Rae on stage, there is a complete absence of rock star ego.  One member does not try to overshadow another member; in fact, they take turns spotlighting one another, rotating around mics and instruments, so that everyone has a chance to share their talent.

    It's rare for a band to have four primary vocalists, but this is what makes Delta Rae stand out from other bands. Siblings Ian, Eric, and Brittany Holljes take on the singing responsibilities along with longtime friend, Liz Hopkins.  Grant Emerson supports the vocals on the bass and Mike McKee provides the drums.  These moments prove that band rapport has a lot to do with the success of Delta Rae; the six of them together make perfect musical soul mates.

    The night takes a haunting twist as the words, "Hold my hand, it's a long way down to the bottom of the river" echo through the building.  "Bottom of the River" is a percussionist's dream with sounds of rattling chains, booming bass drum beats, and intense bluesy vocals.

    In the middle of the show, the band takes it down a few notches with the heartbreaking song, "If I Loved You".  This power ballad about unrequited love is sung by Liz with her raspy roar, filled with pure depth and emotion.  She takes center stage for this piece and the crowd is immersed in every second of the performance because Liz isn't singing to the crowd, she's singing with them.  "If I Loved You" is a different type of love song because it describes love lost through the heart breaker's eyes, rather than the heartbroken.

    The show could not possibly end without playing "Dance in the Graveyards".  Encores are supposed to leave the audience wanting more and this performance does just that.  This song is all about keeping those we have lost with us at all times; not to mourn them, but to celebrate and allow them to live through our own lives. The energy builds both on stage and in the crowd with this percussion-heavy piece.  The crowd sings along and dances with the powerful bass drums.  Delta Rae makes their appreciation known through their respect for the crowd and each other and the show ends with a strong positive vibe. 

    Throughout the show, Delta Rae shared several new songs with the crowd, announcing that they are currently working on the their new album and that it's been a "painstaking process".  The pain will no doubt be well worth it for the band's success and for the fans who simply can't get enough of what Delta Rae has to offer.

    If given the opportunity, be sure to see Delta Rae live. Their music sounds amazing at all times, but seeing the them  come alive on stage takes it to a new level.  The energy of these six people playing and singing together cannot be easily matched and one show will turn you into a lifelong fan of this local success. Stay up to date with all things Delta Rae by visiting their website

    Check out the official video for "Bottom of the River" featuring the Phi Beta Sigma Step Team:

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Drive-By Truckers Return to Raleigh

    Photo Credit: David McClister
    With the success of albums like, Go-Go Boots and The Dirty South, the Drive-By Truckers will return to Raleigh next week to play songs from their newest album, English Oceans. After working with producer David Barbes for just two weeks, the band is taking to the road again.  This should come as no real surprise, the Drive By Truckers are regarded as one of the hardest touring bands today.  Highlighted by co-lead singers, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, these Alabama natives have been responsible for some of the band's most popular songs like, Everybody Needs Love and Zip City.

    Listening to English Oceans, it is apparent why these two musicians have been able to enjoy such success for what is the band's 12th album.  Drawing upon the musical talents of band members, Brad Morgan, Matt Patton and Jay Gonzalez, the newest album is a collection of tracks that will echo that familiar southern rock and roll sound, but as Cooley admits in a recent Rolling Stones article, "The new record has gone back to that simple sound. It sounds like a smaller band again."

    As the band is currently in California performing a special album release show, co-lead singer Patterson Hood took time to answer a few questions for The Triangle Beat about the new album and more:

    TTB: Where did the name for the new album, English Oceans, come from?

    Patterson Hood: It came from one of Cooley's songs.  Not sure what the literal meaning is, but I know it has to do with there being no such thing as English oceans.  It sounded good, looked good written, has a nice ring to it and worked with the painting we used as a cover.  Pretty much the way we title all of our albums.

    TTB: The band has worked with David Barbe on several albums now.  What was it like working with him on English Oceans?

    PH: This is the 15th album we've worked on together (counting solo records and side projects.)  He just keeps improving his game on all levels.  We're not looking for some producer with a trademark sound, we want someone who knows how to get the most out of our sound, get great performances on the tape, mix it right, etc.  He uses great gear and it's all analogue (2" 16 track, mixed onto 1/2" track). We have a great team assembled.

    TTB: Is it hard to believe that English Oceans is the band's 12th album?  In your opinion, what makes this album different?

    PH: It's not so much a reinvention as just a really good snapshot of where we are right now.  As people, artists, as a band, etc.  The lineup is stellar and it's kind of firing on all cylinders.  It's special that Cooley came in with so many songs, all great.  That kind of defines this album for me.

    TTB: Do you have a favorite song from the new album?

    PH: I always love the Cooley songs the most and he's extra on fire this time.  "First Air of Autumn" especially stands out though.  That's just an amazing song to me.  My favorites of my songs is "Grand Canyon."  That could be my best song since, "The Living Bubba," which was a long time ago.

    TTB: Being known for relentlessly touring the country, what is it that DBT enjoys about touring?

    PH: We had a pretty great break and were away from it long enough to kind of remember what it feels like to miss it.  Also, the band is finally free from all of the turmoil and drama that we went through for several years.  That has made it more fun than it's been in years, maybe forever.

    TTB: Having attended several DBT shows, one can't help but notice the passionate and unique fan base the band has.  How would you describe DBT fans?

    PH: Our fans are overall the most loyal and great fan base one could ever hope for.  They never cease to amaze me.

    TTB: Will this be the first time playing at The Ritz (formerly Disco Rodeo) in Raleigh, NC?

    PH: I think it is.  We've been playing in Raleigh since the beginning though.

    The Drive-By Truckers will be joined at The Ritz by Blitzen Trapper on Friday, March 14.  Blitzen Trapper originates from Portland, Oregon and is best known for tracks like, Furr and Black River Killer.  Lead by frontman, Eric Earley, the band uses a variety of instruments to produce a catchy country/folk sound.   Blitzen Trapper released their most recent album, VII, in 2013.

    Doors open at 8pm.  Show starts at 9pm.  Tickets are still available at

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    Rebekah Todd and the Oddysey Play Local 506

    Town members of all ages gather at a barn in the woods to immerse themselves in authentic southern gospel, bluegrass and of course, homemade pie.  This is the type of influence and inspiration Rebekah Todd experienced growing up in the small town of Benson, NC, and it can be heard in her songwriting and melodies.

    The debut album from Rebekah Todd and the Odyssey, Roots Bury Deep, is all about making those hometown connections.  The album is filled with traditional Carolina folk supported with the gritty New Orleans jazz sound of The Odyssey. The title track, "Roots Bury Deep" is about the influence a hometown, family, and childhood friends can have on our lives.  Todd's smoky croon creeps through nine soulful tracks on this album, starting with the dramatic, "Devils Gonna Buy" that is reminiscent of 1930's blues.  A few songs later is the foot-stomping "On the Run" that creates a unique sound through strategic pauses and elaborate pronunciation.  Todd sings lyrics that clearly describe her life and career with, "I got places to go, I got people to meet, and there ain't no stoppin' me."

    "Thinking About You" brings a different feel to the album with a stripped down acoustic sound and soft vocals.  It's in this moment that Todd's vulnerability and emotion are inescapable.  When asked if it's difficult to share such raw emotion with an audience, Todd responded:
         Someone once told me that people don't become invested in your music unless it is honest enough
         to evoke their own emotions.  I have had people approach me after shows with tears in their 
         eyes, thanking me for singing about some of the harder parts of life.  It is difficult to share, 
         sometimes, when you feel like it may not be received, but there are many rewarding moments 
         where both audience and performer remind each other that neither of us are alone in our 
         sometimes challenging journeys.

    Todd has been on an extensive journey herself, refining her music skills at ECU and grasping musical influences from all around.  She was raised on the classics, Neil Young and Pink Floyd, but was later attracted to more modern and upbeat sounds from Lauryn Hill and Destiny's Child.  The college years led her to folk classics like Gillian Welch, Avett Brothers, and Nickle Creek.  This variety and mixed influence allows Todd to combine a mixture of genres with a band that supports her jazzy and soulful side.  Together, they have the ability to combine the present with the past and create something fresh and genuine.  Now that the once solo artist has found the proper support of the Odyssey, they hope to do as many live shows and festivals as possible. 

    To listen to more songs from this album, check out  Even better, join The Triangle Beat and Rebekah Todd and the Odyssey in Chapel Hill at Local 506 this Saturday, March 8; they will be opening the show at 8.  Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic will also take the stage and keep the night filled with strong songwriting and soulful sounds.