Thursday, May 28, 2015

Catch Ivan & Alyosha at Local 506

Celebrated Seattle quintet Ivan & Alyosha will perform at Local 506 on Saturday, May 30 in support of the release of their sophomore album, It’s All Just Pretend, available now via Dualtone Music. Listen to The Wall Street Journal exclusive album premiere HERE
The album’s lead single “All This Wandering Around” was recently featured as KCRW’s Today’s Top Tune and has already been played on some of the key, tastemaker Triple A stations in the country, including WXRT (Chicago), KEXP (Seattle), WXPN (Philadelphia) and KGSR (Austin). Paste Magazine said of the track, "The song stands out from the very opening notes, but its message is as captivating as its melody." Check out the Entertainment Weekly exclusive video premiere HERE.
It’s All Just Pretend features 11 new songs produced and engineered by Ryan Carbary, Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, U2, My Morning Jacket) and Chad Copelin. Check out the A.V. Club exclusive track premiere of "Bury Me Deep". 

It’s All Just Pretend is the follow up to the band’s acclaimed 2013 debut LP All The Times We Had. The album received great support from the press, including NPR Music, Filter, American Songwriter, Paste Magazine and USA Today, who said, “[a] sound as filled with hope as it is harmony. These songs are sheer joy, from their melodic surface to deep inside their lyrical core.”
Ivan & Alyosha is: Tim Wilson (lead vox, guitar), Ryan Carbary (guitar, piano). Tim Kim (guitar), Pete Wilson (bass) and Cole Mauro (drums).
See for yourself why Ivan & Alyosha are getting so much attention.  Join us at Local 506 this Saturday, May 30 to experience this talented band live.  The show starts at 8:30 with the support of Kris Orlowski.  

*Information courtesy of All Eyes Media

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Back Porch Music on the Lawn With Scythian

Our favorite Celtic rock band, Scythian will once again be visiting the Triangle.  This time, they are a part of the Back Porch Music on the Lawn series at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. This is a free event focused on fun, friends, and the love of great music. 

Scythian will be performing on Thursday, May 28 at 6.  You might have caught them in recent months at Lincoln Theatre or rockin' the dance tent at the Bluegrass Festival, but their foot-stompin' shows never get boring.  Scythian has an overwhelming talent for getting every audience member up on his feet for a night filled with energetic dancing.  Sometimes, they're even known to break out into a rap mash-up of 90's hits. Check out their newest album, Old Tin Can, which is a special tribute to the legendary Doc Watson. 

Grab your chairs, blankets, coolers, and friends and join us for a fun evening in the sun.   To learn more about the Back Porch Music on the Lawn Series and Scythian, check out their websites.  Take a look at our past coverage of Scythian by clicking on the links below:

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Midtown Bluegrass Series Kicks Off With The Vickie Vaughn Band

The Midtown Bluegrass Series: Sunday Ramble in the Park continues on Sunday, May 17 with a free concert by the Vickie Vaughn Band. The music starts at 5 p.m., but come out early for special music-themed kids' activities - this month, starting at 4 p.m., local musicians Lynda Dawson & Jamie Dawson will facilitate a youth jam for school-aged students who play fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass! Lynda also teaches the popular songwriting sessions at PineCone's Bluegrass Camps for Youth, and she'll be one of the instructors at the NEW Bluegrass Jam Camp in Cary Aug. 10-14!
Centered on powerful vocals and poignant songwriting, the Vickie Vaughn Band serves a unique brand of bluegrass that blends tradition with youthful funk and energy. Their sets engage a wide variety of audiences by combining the songs of artists such as Bill Monroe, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, and John Prine with originals and classic instrumentals. They are among the 30 bands selected by IBMA as part of this year's official Bluegrass Ramble showcases during the World of Bluegrass - get a sneak preview of this exciting band for free in North Hills! Last year, they were nominated for the IBMA Momentum Award for Band of the Year, and they are keeping the momentum this year!
Their debut EP, produced by Grammy-winner Ronnie McCoury, is scheduled for release this month. And they have another full season of touring ahead, with key stops at Delfest in Cumbelrand, MD and another appearance at ROMP. When not on the road, you can find the band playing at their usual haunts in Nashville— The Station Inn, Music City Roots and The Country Music Hall of Fame. The funky yet traditional five piece band is led by the big-voiced, bass playing western Kentucky native Vaughn. Her band is stellar and well rounded with Justin Hiltner’s innovative arch-top banjo styling, mandolinist Casey Cambell’s blend of creativity and tradition, fast-fingered guitarist Zach White, and the tasty fiddling of Maggie White.
The Midtown Bluegrss Series concerts welcome old and young alike, featuring the best of bluegrass with popular string band music. With its unique combination of gospel, country, and blues, that iconic “high lonesome sound” has deep rooted ties in the Tarheel state. Concert guests are invited to relax on the grassy lawn of Midtown Park and enjoy family and friends on Sunday afternoons. Live acoustic music will fill the air at six concerts, held monthly, April through June and August through October (there will not be a July concert). Southern BBQ and craft beer will round out the event. Lawn chairs, blankets, and coolers are welcome at these events!  Please do not bring outside alcoholic beverages – there will be beverages available for purchase at the concert. 
This series of free concerts is sponsored by PNC with additional support from beverage sponsor Bud Light. This is the second year that PineCone and Midtown Events have partnered to bring a series of bluegrass concerts to North Hills.
Other artists who will perform this season include:
  • The Bankesters – June 21, 2015
  • Flatt LonesomeAug. 16, 2015
  • Billy Strings & Don JulinSept. 20, 2015
  • Frank Solivan & Dirty KitchenOct. 18, 2015
All concerts begin at 5 p.m. and are FREE and open to the public. At 4 p.m., bring the kids out early for special activities designed to appeal particularly to kids and families!

*Information courtesy of PineCone 

PineCone Presents The Moore Brothers Band

You're invited to hear the future of bluegrass in Cary this weekend! The Moore Brothers Band will perform at the Sertoma Amphitheater at Bond Park this Saturday. 

The Moore Brothers Band demonstrates that the next generation of bluegrass is in very capable and talented hands. At just 20 years old, Daniel Perry is the eldest member of the band, but the band members' ages belie their experience. They have been performing together, and touring together, for years. 

As a unit, they weave a musical tapestry that honors tradition and welcomes progress - their repertoire features bluegrass standards along with bluegrass versions of tunes like "Magic Carpet Ride" and "The Weight," among others. They meld a love of tone and harmonies with a fiery stage energy that is sure to appeal to a range of music fans. The band features Perry on bass, Jacob Moore on mandolin, banjo, & fiddle, and Isaac Moore on guitar. The trio has served as Kids on Bluegrass ambassadors for five years, and Jacob and his younger brother Isaac also teach various instruments to their peers. They have released three CDs, and they play about 50 shows per year.
This show is free and open to the public.  To see what other great acts PineCone will present in Cary this summer, check out their website.  Bring your picnics, blankets, cushions, and chairs, and make plans to join your fellow music fans in Cary this Saturday at 5!  

 *Information courtesy of PineCone

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Houndmouth Rocks Cat's Cradle

Fueled by the success of their recent album, Little Neon Limelight, Houndmouth put on an extraordinary performance for those in attendance at Cat's Cradle on April 30.  To best describe the energy generated by the rock band out of Indiana would be nothing short of electric.  As lead guitarist Matt Myers, keyboardist Kate Toupin, bassist Zak Appleby, and drummer Shane Cody emerged onto the stage, it was apparent that the past few years have provided the band with an understanding of who they are and what they want to be.

Perhaps it was Cody showing off a colorful pair of pants that seemed more suitable for a yoga class or the cape that Myers had draped over his shoulders; their unique personalities and the collective efforts of each member of the group made the show not only visually entertaining, but musically remarkable as well.

Joining Houndmouth for the night was Clear Plastic Masks out of Nashville.  A fitting end to the evening featured an encore collaboration between Houndmouth and Clear Plastic Masks as they entertained the crowd with a modern rendition of, "Runaround Sue."  If you are upset that you had to miss out, you'll be able to catch Houndmouth at the biggest music festivals throughout the summer including Bonnaroo, Forecastle, Landmark Music Festival and Austin City Limits.  In the meantime, check out coverage from their Cat's Cradle performance and visit for more information on the band.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rubblebucket and Vacationer Play at Lincoln Theatre

Rubblebucket will once again visit Raleigh this Thursday when they take over Lincoln Theatre.  This Brooklyn-based band creates a unique and quirky show by mixing horns, synth, guitar, and harmonies.  The creative energy of the band keeps the audience wondering what will happen next.

Rubblebucket is led by Alex Toth (trumpet) and Kalmira Traver (vocals, sax) who met at the University of Vermont.  The group has since performed at various festivals such as High Sierra, All Good Music Festival, and Bonnaroo. In 2014, Rubblebucket released Survival Sounds via Communion Records.  The album caught the attention of NPR's Music and was featured on the Tiny Desk Series.

The band is spending their summer touring through the States with the support of Vacationer and Happy Abandon.  See these intriguing bands at the Lincoln Theatre for an energetic show that promises the opportunity to use your dance moves.  The event takes place this Thursday, May 14 for $12/$15 and starts at 8. See the creativity of Rubblebucket in their official video for "Carousel Ride."

Monday, May 11, 2015

Artist Spotlight: JD McPherson

The PNC Arena was packed in April to see Eric Church take the stage, but those who saw JD McPherson get the night started were certainly rewarded for their early presence.  An up and coming artist from Broken Arrow, OK, McPherson engages listeners in a sound that hints at 1950's rock and roll, but maintains an appeal of the modern era.  Coming off of a successful tour throughout Europe, JD returned to join the likes of the previously mentioned Eric Church as well as Robert Plant on their tours this spring.  If performing alongside these names isn't enough evidence of the success McPherson is having, JD was also featured in a recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine for the release of his newest album, Let The Good Times Roll.

Eric Church, one of today's most popular country music artists, helped write some of the music that is featured on the newest album and had the following to say about McPherson:

     "It just sounds like 1957...It's the slick black hair, and rolled up jeans - there's just nothing like it man.            But when kids hear it, its brand new.  If you recall that music, a lot of it has died off.  Hell, there's nobody      else doing it.  Nobody.  And he's doing it in a unique way.  I think that people are just hungry for that."

For more on JD McPherson, be sure to check out the rest of the article from Rolling Stones.  Let The Good Times Roll was released in early February and is available for purchase by visiting his website or  iTunes.  The title track from the album, "Let The Good Times Roll," has gotten McPherson a considerable amount of recognition in just a matter of months and even landed him a spot on the David Letterman show back in February.  Check out the live performance below and be on the lookout for more from JD McPherson.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

MerleFest 2015 Highlights

 There were certainly plenty of clouds covering MerleFest 2015, but that couldn't dampen the genuine love of music that makes this festival a success year after year. This family-friendly event provided non-stop music, delicious food, and a variety of crafts for four straight days.

There were several spectacular musical moments, but one that stood out was the Saturday night performance by the Avett Brothers on the Watson Stage.  The brothers returned home and as usual, gave credit to Doc Watson and MerleFest for impacting their careers.  Scott Avett also credited Peter Rowan of Old & In The Way with influencing his passion for music and was later joined by Rowan on stage to perform, "'Til the End of the World Rolls 'Round."

On Friday night, Celtic folk-rock band Scythian got the dance tent rockin'.  They played some of their traditional party songs and shared some new tunes from their latest album, Old Tin Can, which was released at MerleFest.  Dan from the band led the crowd in a mash-up of old-school classics that included Biz Markie's hit, "Just a Friend."  Scythian ended the night with their rendition of Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler."  The crowd, both young and old, sang and swayed to this familiar classic. 

The always anticipated Midnight Jam gathered several talented musicians all on one stage.  The jam was hosted by the Steel Wheels who were joined by The Gibson Brothers, Jim Lauderdale, Mipso, The Honey Dewdrops, The Moore Brothers, just to name a few. 

The David Mayfield Parade put on an incredible performance at the Americana Stage.  Mayfield has an energy and enthusiasm that some MerleFest attendees might not have been ready for, but the crowd found him highly entertaining and refreshing.  How often do you see a performer jump into the crowd to sing with the audience and return to the stage by doing a belly-flop and the worm?  Not very often and that's why we fell in love with David Mayfield at MerleFest.

MerleFest '15 was one unforgettable weekend that was hard to leave.  This is the type of festival where the audience can meet and connect with the artists they admire.  The artists themselves turn into fans of the their fellow musicians, experiencing as many performances as possible.  To get more details of the events and to keep track of MerleFest 2016, visit their website.  To live (or relive) the festival, check out the photos of some of our favorite performances.