Singer, Songwriter slash Mom
Congress House All Stars (Day 27)
31st Aug 2014 Posted in: Blog, shopkeeper Comments Off on Congress House All Stars (Day 27)

Welcome to Day 27 of the Indiegogo Campaign for The Shopkeeper: A Documentary about Mark Hallman and the Congress House. Two and a half days left! Every day during the campaign I am featuring a few artists who have recorded at the Congress House.

Robbi Sherwin

Cantor Robbi Sherwin is a busy musician based Austin (TX). After years of intensive study, she became certified as a cantor in 2003.  Robbi not only serves as the spiritual leader of B’nai Butte Congregation in Crested Butte(CO); but also regularly serves congregations in San Antonio and El Paso (TX). Robbi earned her BFA at the University of Texas in Austin in Musical Theater, Playwriting and Vocal Performance.  Robbi brings her spirited Jewish songcrafting, vast knowledge and intense love of Judaism to communities around the world and is in high demand to do special musical programming for Jewish camps.

Her first two albums of original Jewish pop, rock, funk and blues, Todah LaChem (Thanks, Y’all) and Aish HaKodesh (the Holy Fire) have won numerous awards and critical accolades.  Touring with her folk/rock band, “Sababa“, teamed with the acclaimed talent of Scott Leader and Steve Brodsky, she seeks to ignite spiritual connections through Jewish music.  “Sababa‘s” popular first release, Pray for the Peace, introduces her rendition of Robin’s Sim Shalom.  Robbi’s music has been featured in worship services at both synagogues and churches, Jewish Community Centers, summer camps and concert halls throughout the United States, England, Australia and Israel.  Her compositions have been recorded by many other artists.

Aubrey Slackey

The past is gone and is just a fuzzy memory, the future is nothing but a fantasy, and yes, all we are now is what is in the present moment. Really though, who knows anyone? To know the real Aubrey Slackey today you must first know his past. Aubrey Slackey started working with Eric McConnell at his new studio on his first solo project. At the time, little did they know they were recording and mixing tracks for the debut project known as “Slackey Says” with the soon to be Grammy winning Eric McConnell, now full-time based out of Nashville TN. McConnell mixed and recorded and played slide guitar, bass and guitar on this project under the alias John E McConnell. In magazine Eric’s contemporaries wrote: “McConnell’s a fine musician and people come to his home studio because they like the way he records music. McConnell likes his 1-inch 8-track analog Otari machine and a Sound Workshop Series 30-X console, and so does White Stripes’ Jack White, producer Loretta Lynn’s, Van Lear Rose” For the full article on Eric McConnell go to: Fast forward to the present and you will find Slackey residing and working in Austin, TX and promoting his new EP and sophomore release Grand Ole Aubrey mixed and mastered by Mark Hallman and Ned Stewart at the Congress House in Austin, TX with Austin Americana musicians Elana James (Hot Club of Cowtown), Dave Biller, and Beau Sample, to be released October 23, 2008 at the Waterloo Ice House in Austin TX with special guest members of the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash as his back up band. To be followed up with another party saturday October 25th at the Waterloo Ice on 38th St. with his regular bluegrass outfit Alan Roy (mando) and Hannah Baker (fiddle). For more info on Slackey’s CD release party go to About the Slackey Family: “There was a whole bunch of people out there, all kinds of people, different types of music fans…they were all diggin’ it…the cool thing about this music is, it’s not just bluegrass, it’s not blues, it’s not early rock, but it’s all that together.” -creative loafing podcast- Aubrey Dokka is known to many in the Atlanta music scene in the early 1990’s, as one of the ones who is still around to be remembered and appreciated for his great voice. He was the front man and co-founder with David Railey in the obscure local Atlanta pop punk art party band Soul Brother Sacred. Their first gig was at the White Dot in ’89, an old hole in the wall punk music venue on Ponce De Leon that no longer exists. The guys were introduced to the crowd by the now deceased Deacon Lunchbox as the “Indigo boys”. From there they rented an apartment on North Highland Avenue below Panorama Ray (legendary Atlanta photographer and artist now deceased) and went on to release their self titled debut in ’91 at Ed Burdell’s Furies Studios (Nov 91 Pulse Magazine) on their own indy label Dark Music. They opened for national acts from Atlanta like Insane Jane, Holly Faith, and Michelle Malone, toured with Bad Egg Salad and corrupted many amongst others in venues like, The Roxy, Center Stage, The Variety Playhouse, the forgotten Little 5 Points Pub and The Point and Cotton Club (Peachtree Location).


With a heady blend of precision punk and serpentine classic rock (the band has drawn comparisons to everyone from the Pixies and Sonic Youth to Elvis Costello and Tom Petty), enigmatic, Texas-based indie pop outfit Spoon went from underground press darlings to one of the genre’s premier commercially and critically acclaimed alternative rock acts. Formed in Austin by singer/guitarist Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno, Spoon released its debut EP, Nefarious, on the small Texas imprint Fluffer Records in 1994, eventually re-recording three of the songs for its 1996 full-length debut, Telephono, for Matador. The album was noisy, hook-filled, and generally well-received, but it wasn’t until 1997’s Soft Effects EP that the group began to hone in on the tight, minimalist pop that would become its forte. A brief and tumultuous affair with Elektra Records began in 1998 with the release of A Series of Sneaks, and quickly ended after the band was dropped in the midst of an internal company shake-up (the record was reissued in 2002 on Merge with two bonus tracks that chronicled the group’s disappointment with major-label politics).

It was with prominent indie label Merge that the band would go on to carve out its niche in the increasingly widening modern rock mainstream, specifically with Girls Can Tell (2001) and Kill the Moonlight (2002) (the latter spawned the single “The Way We Get By,” which appeared on the popular teen drama The O.C.), both of which found the group taking a more adventurous approach with its sound. Released in 2005, Gimme Fiction soared even higher, debuting at number 44 on the Billboard charts and selling over 160,000 copies, while 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga made it to number ten and sold over 300,000 copies in the U.S., topping nearly every major critic’s year-end list. Spoon, who by this time had become a fixture on soundtracks, television programs, and late-night talk shows, released its seventh full-length album, Transference, on January 18, 2010. It debuted at number four on the Billboard 200. After touring in support of the album, the band took a few years off. Daniel formed Divine Fits with Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner, and the band released its debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, in 2012. Meanwhile, Eno concentrated on production work, collaborating with artists including the Strange Boys, Alejandro Escovedo, and the Heartless Bastards. Spoon resurfaced in 2014 with the announcement of their eighth album, They Want My Soul. Recorded for the first time with an outside producer in the shape of Dave Fridmann, the album was hailed by the band as its “loudest and gnarliest” to date. It was released in August 2014 through Loma Vista Recordings in the U.S. and Anti in Europe.

Timbuk 3

Timbuk3 was an American post-punk band which released six original studio albums between 1986 and 1995. They are most well known for their Top 20 single “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”. The band’s music has been featured on more than 20 compilation and soundtrack albums.

Their name is a reference to the Malian city of Timbuktu.

Timbuk3 was formed in 1984 in Madison, Wisconsin by the husband and wife team of Pat MacDonald (acoustic, electric, bass and MIDI guitars, harmonica, vocals, drum programming) and Barbara K. MacDonald (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, rhythm programming, vocals).

Timbuk3 was signed by I.R.S. Records after appearing on an episode of MTV’s The Cutting Edge in 1986. Soon after, they released their first album, Greetings from Timbuk3, which included their only single to chart, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”. That song has had numerous movie and television appearances over the years since its release, and been included in numerous compilation CDs. Also from the same album, the song “Shame On You” was played during the opening scene of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, released in 1986. The band was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1987. They appeared onscreen as the house band in a bar in the 1988 film, D.O.A.

After their successful debut, Timbuk3 receded from the spotlight but went on to record five more critically acclaimed albums.