Category Archives: Video

Video Premiere: Willie Nile “Earth Blues”

Stompin’ tune taken from latest album Children of Paradise. (Photo by Cristina Arrigoni)

By Fred Mills

“I wanted it to feel like Judgment Day.”

That’s veteran rocker Willie Nile, on his song “Earth Blues,” an apocalyptic-lined powerhouse of a number even by Nile’s own blazing standards. And it’s no surprise, either, as his new Children of Paradise album (released July 27 on his own River House label) is a relentless, topical look at the turbulent darkness that currently engulfs us, what with tracks like “Getting’ Ugly Out There,” “Seeds of a Revolution,” and “All Dressed Up and No Place to Go.”

We’re pretty stoked to be able to premiere the video for “Earth Blues.” It was directed by Ehud Lazin, and Nile notes that he “filmed a show in June in Asbury Park, NJ, and used footage from that along with shots of the environmental chaos going on around the world. Lazin did a great job directing it. It’s got all the things I like about rock ‘n’ roll. It’s heartfelt, pissed off, in love, on fire, and out of its mind all at the same time.” Check it out:

Of the song, Nile says, “I wanted to give the earth a voice with all the chaos that’s going on with it. The ocean level’s rising, the weather’s changing for the worse and the climate for living a decent life here is going to hell. There’s a mass of plastic garbage the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean for cryin’ out loud! A hundred years from now, the people responsible for letting it fall into ruin will be long gone and won’t give a damn and our descendants will be left to suffer and deal with the darkness and difficulties to come. They do it all for the money and nothing else, and our grandchildren and great grandchildren are going to have to pay for it. It’s not right and it’s not ok. That’s why I wrote ‘Earth Blues.’ I wanted to write a rocker with an anthemic chorus and I’m thrilled with how it came out. The band was on fire the day we cut it. I wanted it to feel like Judgment Day.”

Indeed it does, sir.

Nile’s 12th studio album was co-produced with Stewart Lerman (Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, Norah Jones) and cut with his crack live band (guitarist Matt Hogan, bassist Johnny Pisano, drummer Jon Weber). Also on the album are guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Steuart Smith (Eagles/Rosanne Cash/Rodney Crowell) and keyboardist Andy Burton (John Mayer/Rufus Wainwright/Ian Hunter), plus backing vocals by singer-songwriter James Maddock, Leslie Mendelson (Bob Weir), and Frankie Lee.

Nile recently wrapped up a short tour but plan on seeing him back on the road soon starting in mid-August—you can keep track of him via his Facebook page and his Instagram account, and of course at WillieNile.com. You can also check out a 2016 interview, “Storming the Gates,” here at BLURT, as well as one we published in 2013, “On the Right Path.” Needless to say we’re pretty big Nile fans around here…

Incoming: Debut LP from Charleston’s Artisanals

Check out the remarkable ‘shroom-fueled video for a key track from the album, which arrives Sept. 21. Tour dates at the bottom.

By Fred Mills

They’re called the Artisanals, they hail from Charleston, SC (where the once-sleepy tourist town now boasts a thriving indie rock music scene), and no less an artist than Band of Horses’ frontman Ben Bridwell is a major fan and supporter. The group features Johnny Delaware, late of SUSTO, but more important is the fact that their long-playing eponymous debut is stuffed with some of the most memorable rock ‘n’ roll you’ll hear all year, with sonic and songwriting touchstones ranging from Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen to Dawes and the aforementioned Band of Horses.

Check out the Zach Hellmuth-directed video for album track “Drag,” below, for an advance taste, and mark your calendars for Sept. 21, when the album arrives via AWAL. You can also preorder it at the band’s PledgeMusic campaign.

Tour Dates:

9/19 – Boca Raton, Fla. – Funky Biscuit +

9/20 – Tampa, Fla. – The Attic +

9/22 – Gainesville, Fla. – Heartwood Soundstage +

9/23 – Jacksonville, Fla. – Jack Rabbits +

9/26 – Louisville, Kentucky – WFPK Waterfront Wednesday %

9/27 – Asheville, North Carolina – Salvage Station +

9/28 – Charlotte, North Carolina – Evening Muse +

9/29 – Charleston, South Carolina – Charleston Pour House # +

10/2 – Washington, D.C. – Black Cat +

10/3 – New Haven, Conn. – Café Nine +

10/4 – New York, New York – Bowery Electric +

10/6 – Rehoboth Beach, Del. – Dogfish Head Brewings +

10/7 – Philadelphia, Penn. – 118 North +

10/8 – Asbury Park, New Jersey – Wonder Bar

10/9 – Charlottesville, Virginia – The Southern ^

10/10 – Richmond, Virginia – The Camel +

10/11 – Carrboro, North Carolina – Cat’s Cradle +

10/13 – Atlanta, Georgia – The Earl

% with Car Seat Headrest

+ with the High Divers

^ with Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters

# with Dega

Sherry Ryan / Darren “Boobie” Browne 5/25/18, Toronto

Dates: May 25, 2018

Location: The Burdock, Toronto ON

Live at The Burdock, and a night of Canadian musical community.

TEXT/PHOTOS BY ERIC THOM

I have family who hails from Halifax, so I know a thing or two about the close-knit sense of community inherent to those who live on our proud East Coast. However, there’s something even closer to be found amongst the people who call Newfoundland their home. It’s an intensified existence in which the land and the people are one, bound together in celebration of the sweet blend of harsh conditions and jaw-dropping beauty that is everyday life. Sherry Ryan hails from Middle Cove, just north of St. John’s – and it shows on so many levels in her art form.

Born of the traditional Céilidh (from the Scottish Gaelic for ‘kitchen party’) – a coming together of friends, family and often members of the immediate community – the Nerwfoundlanders’ world is grounded in music, good food and a coming together for a group hug. This was richly evident in this show – as Sherry’s sister, Jackie, commandeered a collection of cousins, friends and ex-pats to become a part of this special ‘homecoming’ show. The intimate setting of The Burdock’s music room was ideal for the emotion-fueled evening as Newfoundlanders and otherwise savored the work of this talented duo. Darren “Boobie” Browne, another noted Newfoundland export, provided drop-dead accompaniment on mandolin, supplying deft vocal harmonies to complement each of Sherry’s well-placed notes – creating a surprisingly full band sound in combination with Sherry’s acoustic guitar work, all the more impactful in the rec-room-cozy space. Never was an audience more captured than this.

 

***

Touring to support her fourth release, Wreckhouse, Sherry has long been a special breed of singer-songwriter, effortlessly painting mood-drenched pictures with relatively straight-forward lyrics that benefit from equal parts country and that certain hint of forlorn sadness that comes with the territory. What’s most distinctive is her voice which, as it starts to sink its hooks, has an uncanny resemblance to Anne Murray’s in its clear, confident alto (with an implied debt to Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline). Yet, her material has nothing to do with the pop-country backdrop of “Snowbird” – offering, instead, strong local imagery, the heartache of torn relationships, folklore – real and imagined and the laments inherent in the passing of time. The album’s title– “Wreckhouse” – refers to a true tale of the ill-fated Newfoundland railway (1882-1997) – and is the name given to car-tipping wind conditions that relied on a local trapper’s weather call to “Stop The Trains” (one of the album’s crowning jewels and co-written with her late Dad), thereby protecting them from nature’s wrath. Having more in common with John Prine than Anne Murray, this homegrown masterpiece represents the essence of Ryan’s talents. Like Prine, she reels you in with her heartfelt stories, a hint of humour and the vocal power to command attention to her every word. The new album, however, is a strong release based on it being a potent ‘band’ record – each original composition basking in the added firepower of pedal steel, guitar, piano, swirls of B3 and background vocals. The acid test for any good song is, however, what was witnessed on this warm, sun-drenched evening – two people, two instruments, strong vocals embellished with remarkably high-register harmonies. The powerful opener (and single) “Natural Law” mined the same country edge of the recorded version, despite the lack of baritone guitar and pedal steel. Browne’s deft skills with electric mandolin created sounds the likes of which I’ve never thought the mandolin was capable of, his vocal harmony adding considerable depth and personality to Ryan’s already powerful lead vocal. The next song, “Ferry Won’t Wait” is an ode to a missed ferry, causing a cancelled concert on Fogo Island in the land that weather rules. The Prine-like “Long-Awaited Question” was born from a breakdown at the Dollar Store that ended with a Tarot Card reading and the end of a relationship. “Cool and Clear”, following the order of the release, relies on piano on the album as yet another breakup song (this time, a friend’s) benefits from its simple, delicate delivery onstage. Again, the heartfelt yet humorous real-life “Stop The Trains” is a loving celebration of the way things were, worsened by the intervention of ‘modern-day improvements’ – to its hilarious conclusion. Jumping ahead to “On Paper”, these two voices created an hypnotic effect of back-and-forth with precious little accompaniment required, yet both guitar and mandolin turning in incredible, colorful textures.

The comparably upbeat “Ain’t Gonna Worry” moved into blues territory, buoyed by quality finger-picking that erupted, with Sherry’s coaching, into a legitimate audience singalong. The following song, “10 Minutes”, documents the distance across town in St. John’s at a torqued-up speed. One of the night’s most stunning songs was the standout “After Whiskey Before Breakfast”, providing Ryan with her Emmylou moment. Slowed down for maximum effect and minus its full serving of recorded pedal steel, this was a downer for the ages (meant in a good way). Much as the full band treatment cues the instant party, it’s this two-player presentation that demonstrates Ryan’s vocal power in its strongest light. Calling up two relatives to join her in a rendition of ”Something Else” (from 2008’s Wonderful Cures), its powerful chorus lit up the room, Ryan’s vocal still able to cut through the full force gale of voices. The natural fit of Ryan’s vocals to Browne’s harmonies was realized in the Carter Family’s “Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow Tree”, underlining Ryan’s understated guitar strengths and Browne’s prowess on mandolin. A compulsory, near-deafening call for an encore yielded a P.E.I. song written by one Gene MacLellan, as she kicked into “Snowbird”, no less – sounding as pure and natural as the Maritimer who made the song so indelible.

These themes of home, hearth and heartbreak suggest a rich upbringing in the sounds of the Carter Family but the fact that she’s a loyal Newfoundlander goes a long way to defining who she really is. She may not be a household name but she’s certainly no diamond in the rough at this point. She’s got a firm grasp of where she wants to go and all the skills to get there.

As for Browne, an integral component of a number of Newfoundland bands (The Burning Hell, The Kubasonics) and a continual, in-demand sideman, his self-released Birth of the Chickenpick (Boobie Browne & The Onions] is well worth hunting down.

Website: http://sherryryan.com/

Videos:

Natural Law

I Made it On My Own

Long Awaited Question

 

 

 

Dadalon CD Release (w/video) 7/6/18, NYC

Dates: July 6, 2018

Location: Rockwood Music Hall, New York City

Live at the Rockwood Music Hall – view the video of the show, below.

Text & video by Jonathan Levitt

Jazz duo Dadalon took to the stage on July 6th to celebrate the release of their debut album, which is available now on iTunes and Spotify. The show was an emotionally charged Tour-de-Force. The band ended up playing the entire album for the near-capacity audience. As is always the case for me when I see Dadalon, I expect to be taken on an emotional journey and this time was no different. The audience was transfixed by every note and this even goes for the small assembly of frat-bro, baseball cap wearing dudes who put down their Rolling Rocks and stood there mesmerized by what they were hearing. Much of this has to do with the fact that these guys are best friends and the respect and comfort they have for one another translates really well musically.

If I could distill the essence of Dadalon’s music for someone who’s never heard it, I’d say it’s at times very heart on sleeve direct and the unimpeded emotional charge one gets from it is what will draw you in at first. If you spend more time listening to it though, you will realize, that under the hood, are swimming some very complex emotions. That’s one of the reasons I find listening to their music to be so rewarding. So check out their new album and have a look at the concert below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Eaux Claires Fest Prompts Unique Bon Iver/The National Collab

Indie rock clusterfuck dept.

By Blurt Staff

Just done: the  fourth annual Eaux Claires festival, the Wisconsin bash curated by Aaron Dessner  (the National) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). Over the weekend both Vernon and Dessner performed, including a collaboration that featured the National’s Bryce Dessner, Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, , Bradley Cook, Julien  Baker, T Bates, Gordi, Ben Lanz, and Kyle Resnick. Check it out, below.

Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks on CBS This Morning

By Blurt Staff

With the new Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks album Sparkle Hard album out now, CBS This Morning was the curious scene of a promotional stop from the erstwhile Pavement mainman. There was an interview with Anthony Mason followed by a performance of “Solid Silk,” below, for “Saturday Sessions.” Check it out:

Watch the Moody/Auto-Tuned New Swamp Dogg Video

By Blurt Staff

The above photo displays the handsome new Swamp Dogg album, Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune, which drops Sept. 7 via Joyful Noise. (The photo also shows the limited edition SD flexidisc that is offered to folks in the Joyful Noise VIP program. And yes, before you ask, it will also be available on CD and digital download.) The funk/soul/swamp-rockin’ legend clearly has no intentions of burning out or fading away, to paraphrase Neil Young. According to the label:

Nearly fifty years after his debut release, Swamp Dogg stands on the precipice of another radical reinvention. His latest creation is titled Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune a nine song collection featuring production by Poliça’s Ryan Olson. Love, Loss, and AutoTune finds Swamp Dogg’s bluesy southern soul colliding head-on with 21st Century electronic music production techniques.

You can get more details at the above link. Meanwhile, check out the new video for album track “I’ll Pretend”:

Video Premiere: mmhmm “Aw Hell”

Track taken from Willie’s granddaughter’s combo’s new album, out in June.

By John B. Moore

I’m not sure why we’re getting all worked up about Prince Harry’s wedding, when we’ve got out own Royal Family here in the U.S. to pay attention to. Willie Nelson’s granddaughter Raelyn Nelson (just the latest in a growing line of talented Nelson’s) and Hannah Fairlight have partnered for a new project, mmhmm. The two are pioneers in the Americana Pop genre.
Shortly after moving to Nashville, Fairlight landed a leading role on A&E’s Crazy Hearts: Nashville, released a self-produced EP, and landed the role of Veracity in Pitch Perfect 3. Before co-founding mmhmm, Nelson fronted the appropriately named, The Raelyn Nelson Band.
Their debut album is out on June 8, the first single from it is “Aw Hell” and they were kind enough to let Blurt be the first to share it with the world.

See the video:

“Aw Hell” is the first song Raelyn and I wrote together, sitting on my back porch in Inglewood, East Nashville,” said Fairlight. “I guess we were just reflecting on real life circumstances and our coming to terms with them. Raelyn’s house burned down, which was INSANE.,. And it gave me and definitely Raelyn new perspective on everything.”

The duo have a handful of dates set up for June:

June 1st at Puckett’s in Lieper’s Fork, TN
June 15th at Lipstick Lounge – Album release show and party in Nashville, TN
Supporting Todd Snider:
June 16th at Paramount Center of the Arts in Bristol TN
June 17th at Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, OH
June 28 Summer NAMM show in Nashville, TN

 

Watch New Video From NYC Jazz Outfit Dadalon

By Fred Mills

Not long ago we published an interview with the adventurous jazz duo Dadalon, our contributor Jonathan Levitt commenting on the NYC combo thusly: “Alon Albagli, guitarist for the group, sounds like a young Bill Frisell, creating heightened states of awareness with his cyclical looped guitar work that builds and builds until there’s an intense emotional payoff for the listener. Daniel Dor, drummer and keyboardist for the group, is able to infuse a rhythmic playfulness into each song that is both supportive of Alon’s guitar playing and propulsive at the same time. The music is an intimate conversation between two friends that is beckoning for you to join in.”

Indeed. The feature included some exclusive video footage Levitt shot, and now Dadalon has posted a new performance video at their Facebook page. Check out “In Yellow Green” at that link.

 

 

Exclusive: Watch Blurt’s SXSW 2018 Fragile Rock Video Interview

Guarantee: no Muppets were harmed during the filming of this interview.

By Robin E. Cook

Jim Henson, in his wildest fever dreams, could never have imagined the intra-band dramas of Austin’s Fragile Rock Band. Then again, he wasn’t around to witness the rise of emo. For their SXSW show, the band wore their hearts on their felt sleeves while singing songs about Ms. Pac-Man and frontman Milo S.’s new crush, the actress Fairuza Balk. Milo was conspicuously absent for the interview the afternoon before the show, but the rest of the band proved quite lively.