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Video Premiere: Kevin Daniel “Myself Through You”

Choice title track from the artist’s upcoming record in March.

By Blurt Staff

Americana/blues/alt-country virtuoso Kevin Daniel’s new EP, Myself Through You, will arrive March 16, via Creative Entertainment Network/The Orchard, described as “a mix of roots rock riffs, Americana flavor, alternative country backed by pedal steel guitar, flugelhorn, and bluegrass banjo.” Indeed, as evidenced by the title track (not to mention this wonderful video for the tune “Born A Preacher”), it’s all that and much more. We’re proud to unveil “Myself Through You,” in fact, here at BLURT. Check it out:

Explains Daniel, “I chose to name the album after this song because it’s got a lot of what I love in music, banjo, organ, and great harmonies. It’s a bit of a departure from my more country-tinged stuff, but I think pushing yourself is often how you get some of your best work. The music video itself was shot on probably one of the coldest days of the winter so far, it was maybe ten degrees that day? Maybe less. It was super, super cold which is why I kept dancing and moving. Originally, I was just supposed to sort of walk around Brooklyn but decided if we were going to’ be outside all day, then I needed to keep moving around.”

The new record was recorded in the summer of 2017 at Brooklyn’s Degraw Sound with Benjamin Rice (Jack Penate, Silya & The Sailor, Aoife O’Donovan). It follows 2013’s debut FLY, and is the culmination of a career that’s began blossoming during the North Carolina native’s childhood and steadily developed through high school orchestras, a pair of jazz/blues bands, a bluegrass outfit, a punk/ska combo, and even an a capella group (he was a tenor, in case you’re wondering).

Watch for Daniel and his band, currently based in NYC, hitting the road this spring and throughout the summer. Details at his official website – and don’t confuse him with that other Kevin Daniel (a pop artist) or even that other Kevin Daniel (a visual artist). This guy’s the real deal.

Upcoming dates:
March 16th at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, NY
April 4th at The Fire in Philadelphia, PA
April 7th at The Pour House in Raleigh, NC
April 14th at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ
More to come…

Video Premiere: Hymn For Her “Acetylene”

Beautiful ballad taken from their latest album.

By Blurt Staff

Hard-twangin’, fuzzbox-stompin’ guy/gal duo Hymn For Her have been a fixture on the American and Euro roadways the past few years, touring behind their blistering 2013 album Lucy and Wayne’s Smokin’ Flames and the more recent revved-up Drive Til U Die (listen to it at their website). Yeah, that band, the one touring in a deluxe Bambi Airstream, which did double duty as a recording studio for DTUD, along with studio sessions with the likes of Vance Powell, Mitch Easter & Jim Diamond. Now Lucy and Wayne have got a new video from the album to share, at their YouTube channel. just in time for all you sweethearts and Valentine’s Day – bask in its luminous glow, and feel free to sing along as you allow us to give you an advance peek. Check out “Acetylene”:

According to Lucy, “‘Acetylene’, it’s about the vast circle of life & sharing those moments with ones we love along the way. It was inspired in Menomonie, WI, written in Beaver Island, Mich., recorded in our 1961 Airstream in Swampville, FL, mixed by Mitch Easter (of REM engineering fame) in Kernersville, N.C. and mastered in Nashville, Tenn. It’s on our last release, Drive Til U Die.…so the song has had quite a journey. Our daughter joins us singing harmonies at the end.”

She adds that a new album is currently in the works, saying, “We recently finished working on a full length CD with Vance Powell that will be released at the end of August 2018. We are beginning to work on a video for the first song on the album in February. The songs on this release are a variety of many styles and many emotions, all played by the two of us.”

The band kicks off a new round of touring this week, starting Feb. 16 in Sarasota, FL. Just look for the music venue with the Airstream parked beside the load-in doors. Tour dates at their website.

Hear Franz Ferdinand Cover Angel Olsen

Asheville, NC, artist steadily increases her national – and international -stature.

By Barbi Martinez

Angel Olsen, who was our 2016 Artist of the Year, continues to grow her admiring fanbase – among those fans, the young men of Franz Ferdinand, who have covered her classic “Shut Up Kiss Me”. Check it out, below.

On NBA All-Star Celeb Team Clippers: Win Butler

4th time’s the charm!

By Barbi Martinez

Would-be pro baller Win Butler, also of some rock band called Arcade Fire, is prepping for his fourth appearance at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, slated for next week, Feb. 16 in Los Angeles. As the player rosters and coaches lists above detail, he’ll be in fine company – although since he’s on Team Clippers, coached by Common, ESPN’s Katie Nolan, and actual former player Paul Pierce, he’ll be going up against Team Lakers, which boasts some significant firepower, including a coach who goes by the name of Michael Jordan. Need I say more?

Wait – that’s not THE Michael Jordan; it’s the Black Panther film Michael B. Jordan. Never mind. Hit those marks, Win! The musician, a well-known basketbal enthusiast, was the Celeb Games’ 2016 Most Valuable Player, incidentally.

 

Beloved Label Cuneiform Announces Indefinite Hiatus

By Blurt Staff

Rather than put a media-type spin on one of our favorite labels’ announcement this week that it is essentially closing up shop, below please read what the ever-great, ever-forward-looking, ever-experimental Maryland indie label Cuneiform announced this week to the members of the press. It’s written by longtime staffer Joyce, who has been our press contact point for as long as we can remember, and because it is so heartfelt – and true to the very nature of this label, both aesthetically and mission-wise— we felt it should be shared with our readership. We have covered the label steadily over the years (recently: HEREHEREHERE )  and it’s no secret among the Blurt staffers that more than a few of us have admired the label and have eagerly scooped up its music. We trust that our readers feel the same way.

Joyce, Steve, Javi, and Cuneiform extended family — a salute to all of you.

***

Dear Friends in Press and Radio,

If you’ve read my eblasts from the last few months, you know that Cuneiform Records is being retooled in 2018. If you missed those announcements, here’s a link to one:

Cuneiform Records’ 2018 New Years Greeting & Announcement of Upcoming Changes

Despite the fact that 2017 was a year packed with accomplishments at Cuneiform Records, after years of struggling to survive within the music industry’s “New Normal”, the record label needs to radically overhaul operations. During the week of February 5th, Cuneiform will close down its in-house Promo Department. By trimming unsustainable costs (the Promo Department), taking a hiatus from new releases, and exploring various new paths, the legendary label founded, curated and led by Steve Feigenbaum looks forward to reshaping itself for the future.

We’re hoping to make these necessary changes with the least amount of disruption for all of you: our colleagues in press and radio, and above all, our artists.

And now for the difficult part of this eblast – which is my saying goodbye to you, the writers, editors, and radio professionals worldwide whom I’ve long been in touch with from my long-time post at Cuneiform.  I founded Cuneiform’s Department of Publicity and Promotion in 1992; before that, Steve handed all label tasks solo. I’ve known a number of you since those very early days, and some of you have become dear friends. Together we watched as digital theft and, more recently, streaming eroded the Music Industry’s financial bedrock – the sale of recorded music in all formats. This directly and indirectly affected not only artists and record labels, but also your own professions: newspapers, music magazines and e-publications, online and broadcast radio, freelance writing… Many of you have had to make radical changes to keep your core business, and yourselves, alive.

Since 1992, with the help of great assistants and hard-working university interns, and the financial support of Steve from Cuneiform’s share of profits from recording sales, we grew the Promo Department’s global reach from a dozen contacts to tens of thousands in traditional media (5,000), social media (20,000), and a fan newsletter. This growth was enabled by ongoing research and by adopting new digital media, the latter pioneered by Javier Diaz, my colleague/assistant for the past decade. But not all media contacts work with digital, a problem that intensified for us as the United States Postal Service doubled the price of mailing promo recordings overseas four times within the past 10 years, thereby impacting our American-based label’s exports. Simultaneously, digital theft and streaming continued to shrink Cuneiform’s profits. Cuneiform’s Promo Department, as currently configured, became unsustainable.

The music world is a small one — especially that spectrum of the music world devoted to avant/ hybrid/ post-genre experimental music – and  I know that we’ll meet again. Both Javi and I look forward to working with you in other capacities in the future. Javi is currently interviewing for a number of positions in Marketing/Social Media, and whatever company takes him on board will be lucky indeed.  I’ve accepted a part-time position with PARMA Recordings, a classical  music production company and family of record labels, and on the side I hope to develop The Music Outpost, a nascent music licensing site for Cuneiform music, as well as doing some free-lance promotion of avant/creative/hybrid/jazz/rock music.

Most importantly, I ask you to continue to support Cuneiform Records and Steve during these transitional times. All of us agree that what is most important is for Steve to rethink and retool his legendary label so that Cuneiform Records can survive in the music world’s harsh new environment.

All of us at Cuneiform – Steve, Cuneiform’s artists, and Javi and I – THANK YOU for all of the support that you’ve given to Cuneiform Records and its artists over these many, many years.  Cuneiform looks forward to your continuing support in the years to come; our hope is that the label we love will emerge from its hiatus with renewed vigor to thrive in the years to come.

It’s been a joy and an honor working with each and every one of you.  It’s also been an absolute BLAST. I cherish the hand-drawn cat cartoons based on themes from each Cuneiform release that one of my Italian contacts has sent me for decades; the humorous poems crafted by a UK press contact who loathes corresponding in prose (a challenge to match!); the get-well music tapes sent by another contact… And I cherish the intelligent and fun correspondence that I’ve had with EACH AND EVERY one of you. The avant music world is filled with smart cookies, and I’ve been so very, very lucky to work with them. Looking forward to seeing you again.

With love, best wishes and thanks from
Joyce
Outgoing Director of Publicity & Promotion
Cuneiform Records

Track Premiere: Jamie McLean Band “You’re Not The Only One”

Tune culled from the artist’s new album arriving next week. (Photo: Evan Felt)

By Blurt Staff

Brooklyn-based Americana rocker Jamie McLean, who in the past has toured as guitarist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Aaron Neville, Brett Dennen and more, is about to drop a new solo album. It’s the follow-up to 2011’s superb Sunday Morning: produced by Wilco’s Ken Coomer at Nashville’s Sound Emporium, One and Only features the tight-as-nails Jamie McLean Band (McLean along with Brian Griffin on drums and Ben Mars on bass) and includes guests Sam Bush and Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band).

We’re proud to be able to premiere a track from the new record, which arrives in stores and a digital outlets next week, Feb. 9. Check out “You’re Not The Only One”:

McLean offered his take on the tune and its genesis: “‘You’re Not The Only One’is a rock and roller but lyrically it speaks to the human condition. It focuses on how everyone, no matter who there are will go through something difficult at some point in their lives. There will be conflict, heartache, fear or sadness but there are brighter days ahead. There is solace in knowing that we have all been there and we can always elevate above the trouble. We can turn the dark to light and it will no doubt get better.

“The guitar riff at the beginning of the song just came to me. It felt like a Neil Young and Crazy Horse riff and there are certainly nods to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in there. Once I had that main musical theme I was off and running. ‘Communication broke down’was the first lyric to come to me and I dove into a story based on relationships and conflict and how to overcome it. I think it’s a bit of a universal sentiment.

“I had the verses and pre-choruses for a few months but just couldn’t seem to finish up the chorus. On one of my many songwriting trips to Nashville I hooked up with Tim Jones and we pretty quickly got to the big “You’re Not The Only One” chorus. It’s anthemic and really elevates the whole song in a perfect way. I love the “staring at the ceiling” and “we can turn the black to blue” lines. They are so visual to me.”

The Jamie McLean Band will tour behind the album throughout the US and Canada this year, and by all accounts they are a smokin’ live ensemble, having performed with Gregg Allman, Aaron Neville, Dr. John, Taj Mahal, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Trombone Shorty, Los Lobos, Blues Traveler, Marc Broussard, Gov’t Mule and many more, turning up the heat at festivals like Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Gathering of the Vibes, Targhee Fest, Ottawa Blues Fest, Quebec City Summer Fest, and Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam.

George Clinton Offering Original Paintings, Signed Print, in PledgeMusic Campaign

By Uncle Blurt

With the legendary George Clinton set to drop a new Flying Lotus-produced solo album in the near future – neither the title nor the release date have been officially announced yet, it seems – the funkmeister has commenced a PledgeMusic crowdfunding campaign, and the premiums being offered go well beyond the typical signed records/teeshirts-and-merch items one has come to expect.

Among the high ticket pieces: for a mere $10,250 you can score one of just a handful of original paintings Clinton has done (see photo at top).

Or, if that’s too rich for your blood, you can at least get a signed/numbered print of some Clinton art. Naturally you’ll also score a digital download of the new album with all of the premiums, which include a full band house concert ($50,000), one of Clinton’s old stage outfits ($500 – beats donating to Goodwill, eh?), a hand-painted/signed guitar ($2,750), an online music or art lesson ($350 each), and a kind of mystery grab bag of music for which Clinton will “randomly select 3 pieces of vinyl. This surprise triple collection chosen by George, will be picked from his vast catalog!” if you prefer CDs, make that 5 random pieces. ($75 and $45, respectively).

Meanwhile, Clinton is taking P-Funk back out on the road for a short pre-spring tour, starting next week. Make my funk the P-Funk….

Go HERE to read our editor’s interview with Clinton from a few years ago, in which he discusses, in depth, the making of the first Funkadelic album.

February 16 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
February 17 – Morgantown, WV @ Mainstage Morgantown
February 18 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live!
February 23 – Washington, DC @ Howard Theater
February 24 – Leesburg, VA @ Tally Ho Theater
February 25 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
February 28 – New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club
March 2 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
March 3 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
March 4 – Okeechobee, FL @ Okeechobee Festival

2018 Bonnaroo Artists Announced

Bonnaroo 2018 lineup has been released and guess who’s back, back again! Above: some satisfied 2017 customers…

BY MARK JACKSON

Eminem is set to play several festivals and will be the Headliner act for Bonnaroo this year. Eminem last played Bonnaroo back in 2011. Other headliners for 2018 also include The Killers, and Muse.

This year’s lineup is once again a great mix that promises to have something for everyone. With acts such as Future, T-Pain, Brock Hampton, Khalid, and Playboi Carti and of course Eminem, the rap fan should be more than happy.

Last year was the first for the Full sized Other Stage which was turned into the Techno/House stage that rivaled the main stage in size and a much better light show. This year The Other Stage will have Bassnectar, Virtual Self, and Kaskade among many others.

The Lineup does not include Ed Helms and his Bluegrass Situation as in years past but it does show an entry simply put Grand Ole Opry. Maybe this will be an all-star and legend country program or stage. The coming weeks will tell, but no matter what it turns out to be, with a name like Grand Ole Opry it will be great for the country fans. Confirmed country artist on the lineup are Brothers Osborne, Sturgill Simpson, and Old Crow Medicine Show.

The Pop/Rock lineup will include Sheryl Crow, The Killers, Dua Lipa, Paramore, The Revivalists, and many more.

The 2018 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will be held June 7-10, 2018 in Manchester, Tenn. 4-day general admission tickets are $299.50 (plus fees) and go on sale at 10 a.m. CST Friday, January 12 at www.bonnaroo.com

 Mark Jackson (@markjacksonphotography1) has covered Bonnaroo for BLURT in the past – go HERE to view his 2017 photo gallery.

 

Bonnaroo 2018 lineup

Eminem

The Killers

Muse

Future

Bassnectar

Sturgill Simpson

Bon Iver (playing 2 unique sets)

Khalid

Kaskade

Paramore

Alt-J

Dua Lipa

Sheryl Crow

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals

Sylvan Esso

Rebelution

The Revivalists

Virtual Self

Nile Rogers & CHIC

Rufus Du Sol

Chromeo

STS9

Alison Wonderland

Moon Taxi

Carnage

BROCKHAMPTON

Old Crow Medicine Show

Playboi Carti

The Glitch Mob

Rag‘N’Bone Man

Broken Social Scene

Superjam

Grand Ole Opry

First Aid Kit

Jungle

Tash Sultana

T-Pain

Manchester Orchestra

Brothers Osborne

Gryffin

What So Not

Rich Brian

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Billie Ellish

Daniel Caesar

Kali Uchis

Kayzo

Slander

ARIZONA

St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Lany

Thundercat

Mavis Staples

Hippie Sabotage

Big Wild

Shiba San

Sir Sly

Denzel Curry

Moses Sumney

Snakehips

Tyler Childers

Mr. Carmack

Valentino Khan

Amadou & Mariam

Midland

Opiou

Japanese Breakfast

Jessie Reyez

K?D

R.LUM.R

Noura Mint Semali

Gogo Penguin

Lissie

Chris Lake

Billy Kenny b2b Mija

Durand Jones & The Indications

Space Jesus

Manic Focus

Boogie T b2b Squnto

Ikebe Shakedown

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

Spafford

Said the Sky

Elohim

Melvv

Alex Lahey

Knox Fortune

Lewis Capaldi

Ron Gallo

Pond

Loudpvck

Conway + Westside Gunn

CloZee

Chase Atlantic

Leven Kali

Everything Everything

Frenship

Droeloe

Taska Black

Mikky Ekko

The Spencer Lee Band

Justin Jay’s Fantastic Voyage

Blank Range

Bayonne

Bruno Major

Duckwrth

The War and Treaty

Cyn

Arlie

Dreamers

Spencer Ludwig

The Brummies

Jalen N’Gonda

Jaira Burns

OkeyDokey

Zeshan B

The Regrettes

Tobi Lou

Shey Baba

Chastity Brown

Topaz Jones

Kyle Dion

The Texas Gentlemen

Michael Blume

Post Animal

Southern Avenue

Larkin Poe

Colin Elmore & The Danville Train

The Blue Stones

Michigan Rattlers

Matt Maeson

Fletcher

Matt Holubowski

Victory Boyd

Saro

FLOR

Oliver Hazard

Jade Bird

John Splithoff

Colin MacLeod

*repeat repeat

Low Cut Connie

Davie

Biyo

Walden

Hundred Handed