Monday, April 18, 2016

Ep 28 - Song 1: "Flowers of Love" by Pieta Brown with Justin Vernon



"Brown was born in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. Her early upbringing was in Iowa. There, Brown was exposed to traditional and rural folk music through her father, singer songwriter Greg Brown. Brown spent her childhood living in 17 different residences between Iowa and Alabama. While living with her mother in Alabama, Brown began writing poetry and composing instrumental songs on piano.

"Collaborator Bo Ramsey produced her 2002 debut record, Pieta Brown and co-produced her 2005 album In the Cool which was named one of the year's best by Amazon. Her next album Remember The Sun was released in 2007 and was cited as one of the year's best in a The Wall Street Journal article. After the release of her next album, One and All, Brown joined Mark Knopfler’s North American tour, had a string of performance dates with John Prine, participated in a full orchestral show with Brandi Carlile, and embarked on her own performance tour in Australia. Brown's 2009 EP, Shimmer was produced by Don Was after hearing her on his car radio in a live solo performance.

"In addition to Mark Knopfler, John Prine and Brandi Carlile, Brown has shared stages with JJ Cale, Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, Ani DiFranco, Calexico, Neko Case, Mason Jennings, Shawn Mullins, Carrie Rodriguez and Jim Lauderdale. She has performed at festivals throughout North America including Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Edmonton Folk Music Festival and more. Her national radio credits include performances on eTown and Mountain Stage."
- from her Wikipedia page

"Brown didn't seriously undertake songwriting or music in general until she was in her mid-twenties, when she secluded herself in a small shed in her dad's backyard and wrote a batch of tunes that would end up on her first, homemade cassette. (Two tracks from that effort, "Lullaby" and "Fly Right," ended up on her self-titled debut LP in 2002.) It was co-produced with Bo Ramsey, a longtime family friend and her father Greg Brown's guitarist, who had also served as a producer and guitarist for Lucinda Williams on Essence. Helping out on the effort were the rhythm section of Rick Cicalo and Steve Hayes, Brown's sister Constie, her father Greg Brown, veteran folkie Dave Moore, and Don Heffington.

"In the Cool In 2005, she recorded In the Cool with Ramsey in the co-producer's seat (where he has been ever since). The album reached far and wide and was played on Americana radio. Brown signed briefly to One Little Indian, where she recorded and released the acclaimed Remember the Sun in 2007. She and Ramsey were no longer just musical partners, they were married.

"Brown signed with the venerable modern folk music label Red House in 2009. One & All, her debut for the label, appeared in 2010, followed quickly by 2011's Mercury. Both were well-received not only by listeners but also by musicians: she opened gigs for everyone from Mark Knopfler and Mavis Staples to J.J. Cale, Ani DiFranco, and Calexico, and made vocal appearances on two of the latter's alums, Algiers and Carried to Dust. In 2012, Brown guested on Amos Lee's Mission Bell. She resumed recording in early 2014 with Ramsey and a slew of guests including her father, Lee, and David Mansfield. They cut Paradise Outlaw at Justin Vernon's April Base studio in Wisconsin (he also appears on the recording). It was issued in late September."
- from her AllMusic.com page

Lineup:
Pieta Brown - Vocals, Banjo
Bo Ramsey - Electric Guitar
Michael Rossetto - Electric Banjo
Jon Penner - Bass
JT Bates - Drums
Justin Vernon - Harmony Vocals

Photo by Mei-Ling Shaw Williams

Home page:
http://pietabrown.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ListenToPieta/

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Ep 28 - Song 2: "Sirens" by The Weepies



"Singer-songwriters Deb Talan & Steve Tannen began writing together the night they met, and soon formed indie band The Weepies. On the strength of their simple yet insightful songwriting and distinctive harmonies, they quietly sold more than a million records, with over 17 million streams on Spotify, and 20 million views on YouTube. They married and had three children, rarely touring but continuing to release music, with five records over seven years."
- from their home page

"In 2001, Talan and Tannen were individually active as singer-songwriters but mutual fans of each other's music; Tannen played Talan's album 'constantly', even singing along in harmony, while Talan in turn was captivated by and had 'formed a kind of a relationship' with Tannen's music. After eventually meeting at one of Tannen's shows at Club Passim in Cambridge, Massachusetts, they quickly discovered a deep musical bond and began playing music together. According to Talan, the band's name

"...came about from a few different sources, but one was, you know, those sort of old movies that were called weepies, where you could basically be guaranteed that if you needed a good cry, you could go and see one of these and bring your hanky and have a good time. And we want to be able to provide that for people. We want to make music that touches them and moves them in that way, the place where tears come from, for joy and for sorrow."
- from their Wikipedia entry

"But where is The Weepies' true home? Iowa City, where Talan and Tannen live and home-school their three sons. Next month the band will release its first album in five years, 'Sirens,' and is getting ready to embark on its first major tour in years.

"'We had been on the road since about 2003 and we had a list in our heads of our favorite cities, (and) this was one,' Tannen said from The Weepies' family home overlooking the Iowa River. 'When Deb got pregnant for the third time, we thought we might want to put everyone somewhere. We had always joked "We should buy a house in Iowa City." Then it became less of a joke.'...

"They were looking for a city that spoke to them, that was walkable and one that had a quality medical facility within a half-hour. The last one was important; in 2013, Talan was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer (she's been in remission for almost a year).

"'We wanted somewhere we could put down roots, not another vagabond stop,' Tannen said."
-from The Des Moines Register article, "Vagabond band The Weepies finds home in Iowa"

Lineup:
Dab Talen - vocals, guitar
Steve Tannen - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - piano
Oliver Kraus - cello

http://www.theweepies.com/?p=about.html
Home page:
http://www.theweepies.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/theweepies/

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Ep 28 - Song 3: "Beasts" by The River Monks



"'The River Monks might just be Iowa. The five-part vocal harmonies swirl outward like wind across the fields, while the band’s traditional folk instrumentation is given Iowa’s unexpectedly progressive touch, leaving you with something entirely recognizable, yet completely new.' – Tiny Mix Tapes

"The River Monks have been called 'wistfully harmonious' and 'mega-folk', descriptive of their multi-layered harmonies and the blend of traditional folk instrumentation with a modern, broad, lush perspective. Creating huge scapes of airy atmosphere and complex, diverse rhythm, and in the same breath hushing audiences with whispered dynamics, The River Monks deliver a polished brand of melody and texture, sure to please fans of Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Beach Boys.

"The band formed in Des Moines, IA - its members now reside all over the States. The band took its name from its hometown's history: French settlers discovered a river of fish-trapping monks and named it 'La Rivière des Moines' or 'The River of the Monks'. The town and eventual Capitol city that formed around that river became Des Moines.

"The group formed in 2010 by Ryan Stier, Nicholas Frampton, and Joel Gettys, and at once began recording their debut album "Jovials" - eventually released in March 2011. Since, the midwesterners have added three members (Drew Rauch, Mallory Heggen, and Tommy Boynton), traveled to both coasts and much of the in-between, opened for acts like The Lumineers, S. Carey, William Elliott Whitmore, and Gin Blossoms, along with performances at festivals like 80/35, Max Ames Festival, Gross Domestic Product, VEISHEA, and Nebraska Pop Festival."
- from their Facebook page

Lineup:
Drew Rauch - bass, lead backup vocals
Ryan Stier - lead vocals, guitar, banjo
Joel Gettys - drums, auxiliary percussion, glockenspiel, vocals
Nick Frampton - guitar, vocals, percussion, ukulele
Tommy Boynton - banjo, ukulele, percussion, guitar, vocals
Mallory Heggen - trumpet, percussion, accordion, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/therivermonks/photos/pb.116735521670681.-2207520000.1460919050./770131106331116/?type=3&theater
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/therivermonks

BandCamp:
https://therivermonks.bandcamp.com/

SoundCloud:
https://soundcloud.com/therivermonks

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Ep 28 - Song 4: "Faultlines" by Field Division



"Field Division is a Des Moines-based folkwave duo whose songs explore the boundary where dreams and realities blur, where waves of sound and stories intertwine. The hauntingly rich aural landscapes created by Evelyn Taylor and Nicholas Frampton are a blend of classic songwriting, inspired by the 1960’s and 70’s folk rock pioneers, and transcendent modern dream pop.

"TRU LUV (UK) accounts, 'Their blissful music runs high on soulful harmonies and rapturous textures, occupying the gulf between the likes of Feist, Bon Iver, Other Lives and Rumours era Fleetwood Mac.'"
- from their home page

Lineup:
Evelyn Taylor - lead vocals, writer, production, arrangement
Nicholas Frampton - bass, drums, acoustic and electric guitars, auxiliary percussion, background vocals, production, arrangement

Photo by Graham Gardner

Home page:
http://www.fielddivisionmusic.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/FieldDivision/

BandCamp:
https://fielddivision.bandcamp.com/

Labels: 

Ep 28 - Song 5: "Hollow Body Weather" by Field Division



"Field Division is a Des Moines-based folkwave duo whose songs explore the boundary where dreams and realities blur, where waves of sound and stories intertwine. The hauntingly rich aural landscapes created by Evelyn Taylor and Nicholas Frampton are a blend of classic songwriting, inspired by the 1960’s and 70’s folk rock pioneers, and transcendent modern dream pop.

"TRU LUV (UK) accounts, 'Their blissful music runs high on soulful harmonies and rapturous textures, occupying the gulf between the likes of Feist, Bon Iver, Other Lives and Rumours era Fleetwood Mac.'"
- from their home page

Lineup:
Evelyn Taylor - lead vocals, writer, production, arrangement
Nicholas Frampton - bass, drums, acoustic and electric guitars, auxiliary percussion, background vocals, production, arrangement
Ben Kaufman - addition strings



Home page:
http://www.fielddivisionmusic.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/FieldDivision/

BandCamp:
https://fielddivision.bandcamp.com/

Labels: 

Ep 28 - Song 6: "Tumblin" by Damon Dotson



"Since emerging onto the Midwest music scene in 2003, Damon Dotson’s demand and popularity have soared. He now has a religious fan following and is known to pack venues anywhere he plays. Damon is versatile in his performances and songwriting, performing not only as a solo acoustic act, but also with his full band. Dotson has put out one demo, two full studio albums, and a live album since his debut. The newest release, 'Stars & Bars' has been a top seller on digital purchase site www.doublestereo.com. Dotson has opened for acts such as B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Matt Nathanson, The Gin Blossoms, The Beach Boys, Kenny Loggins, Tristan Prettyman, and Stephan Kellogg and the Sixers."
- from his ReverbNation page

"Damon Dotson is a singer/songwriter based out of Des Moines, IA and originally from Northwest Iowa. Dotson has opened for legendary performers like BB King, Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys, as well as modern artists like Matt Nathanson, Edwin McCain, and The Lone Bellow. Dotson has sustained his career for ten years including the release of four of his original albums and countless shows all throughout the midwest without a record label or management.

"After a two year stint in Nashville, TN, Dotson moved back to Des Moines with new sense of musical and personal maturity. He wasted little time jumping back into touring and began recording his fourth album. The release of 'Tumblin'' in March of 2015 clearly demonstrates his bold transformation with a variety of up-beat tunes and heart melting ballads. On the heals of a SOLD OUT album release show with over 600 in attendance the release of 'Tumblin' on iTunes garnered nationwide acclaim by climbing to #24 on the iTunes rock charts. Amidst musical giants like The Beatles, Elton John, and Pink Floyd on the charts it proves that Damon's music and talent "belongs" and deserves to be heard on a large scale. Dotson channeled his heroes like Dave Matthews and Willie Nelson to make a sound that is all his own, and it's working! Damon was also recently invited to sing "America The Beautiful" on the floor of the House of Representatives at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. He is only one of two people to share this honor; the other being world renowned opera singer Simon Estes. Dotson has also sang the National Anthem at big time sporting events at Hilton Colesium in Ames, IA, Wells Fargo arena in Des Moines, IA, and TD Ameritrade ball park in Omaha, NE.

Damon Dotson continues to perform both solo and full band shows at venues from Minneapolis, Omaha, Chicago, and Iowa. The infectious and true delivery of Dotson's live show cannot be missed.
- from his Facebook page

Lineup:
Damon Dotson - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, vocals
Tony Bohnenkamp - drums, piano, background vocals
Jon Locker - bass
Rebecca Davis - background vocals
Neil Stoffregen - organ

Thank you John Sepanic for this pic from the album release party at Woolys!
Facebook:

ReverbNation:

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