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.
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.
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 mixonline.com 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: http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_nashville_skyline_66/ 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 www.myspace.com/slackeyfamilyband 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.
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.
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2014 at 5:34 pm
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Six Days to Go!
Welcome to Day 26 of the Indiegogo Campaign for The Shopkeeper: A Documentary about Mark Hallman and the Congress House. Every day during the campaign I am featuring a few artists who have recorded at the Congress House.
BTW, I will be stopping in El Paso on my way to Austin in October to interview Tom. I cannot WAIT, because he’s going to have a lot to say about the music business.
Tom Russell songs have been recorded by such icons as Johnny Cash, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doug Sahm, Joe Ely, Nanci Griffith, Iris Dement, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, among others. No less than Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the legendary poet, has said that he shares “a great affinity with Tom Russell’s songs, for he is writing out of the wounded heart of America.”
For Mesabi, Russell invited along several prominent friends to assist him in bringing to fruition his newest compositions, among them Lucinda Williams, Van Dyke Parks, Sir Douglas Quintet keyboardist Augie Meyers and Calexico, the band with which Russell previously collaborated on Blood and Candle Smoke. The result is a collection that may be Russell’s most cinematic and global to date, a work that instantly grips the listener and holds on as its vivid scenarios unfold from tune to tune. The consummate renegade, Tom Russell makes the music he wants to make, without intervention, and he does so without a care for trends and expectations.
“My career seems to have gone in the opposite direction from a lot of people whose notoriety came over their first half dozen records,” says Russell. “Mine didn’t. My career built very slowly, and then I moved to El Paso in ’97, further outside than anybody could imagine. By not plugging into the machine, the records I’ve made in the past 10 years have been my strongest and most outside records, especially the past two. It seems that the older I get, the more I’ve been able to keep on the outside.”
Tom Russell has appeared on the David Letterman TV show five times in the last few years, and his songs have appeared in a dozen movies and television series including: The new Monte Hellman movie The Road To Nowhere, Tremors, Songcatcher and Northern Exposure.
Tom Russell has published three books: a detective novel (in Scandinavia), a compendium of songwriting quotes with Sylvia Tyson (And Then I Wrote – Arsenal Press), and a book of letters with Charles Bukowski: (Tough Company: Mystery Island Press).
Russell is also an established painter represented by Yard Dog Folk Art in Austin(www.yarddog.com) and Rainbow Man in Santa Fe (www.rainbowman.com)
A book of Tom Russell`s art: Blue Horse/Red Desert was published by Bangtail Press in September 2011.
Although a youngster compared to most of his Austin friends, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Charlie Sexton has already had several phases to his career. Sexton, raised in Austin, TX, made his debut with Pictures for Pleasure in 1985 at age 16. He followed that up with a self-titled second album when he was 20. Because word of his reputation as a prodigy guitar player spread far and wide, he found himself an in-demand session player while still in his late teens, and he had the opportunity to record with Ron Wood, Keith Richards, and Bob Dylan.
Born to a mother who was just 16, Sexton and his mother moved to Austin when he was just four. His mother would get him out to clubs like the Armadillo World Headquarters and the Soap Creek Saloon. Places like the Split Rail and Antone’s blues club became his classrooms. After living outside of Austin for a while, he moved back to Austin on his own when he was 12, and the musicians around Austin, his heroes, people like Jimmie Vaughan and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Ely, and others, took him in and put him up until he could earn more of a living on his own.
From 1992 to 1994, he was a member of Austin’s Arc Angels, along with Doyle Bramhall II, Tommy Shannon, and Chris “Whipper” Layton. That group recorded one self-titled album, released in 1992 on Geffen Records. By the time the Arc Angels decided to disband, Sexton was 24 years old and already pegged as a blues musician. Not only did Sexton play gutsy, fluid blues guitar, he also played a spirited rock & roll guitar.
In 1994 and 1995, he formed and recorded with his new group, the Charlie Sexton Sextet, and his debut for MCA Records, Under The Wishing Tree, was released in 1995. Sexton’s album was well-received by the critics. Under The Wishing Tree presents Sexton in an array of musical genres, touching on Celtic-flavored rock, folk-rock, and blues. There is a lot of interplay between guitars, violins, cellos, Dobros, and mandolins on the recording, and Sexton’s vocals ride high on top of the melodies. On his 1995 tour to support the album, he was accompanied by Susan Boelz (violin), Michael Ramos (organ), George Reiff (bass), and Rafael Gayol (drums).
As a songwriter, Sexton writes about what he knows, so Texas themes permeate his songs. He considers Bob Dylan his strongest songwriting influence, while he counts Austin legends Jimmie Vaughan and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan among his prime influences for guitar playing. His lyrics mix autobiographical experiences with images that are open to interpretation. More great things are in the offing for this young guitarist, singer, and songwriter.
Will Sexton, whose writing credits range from work with Waylon Jennings and Stephen Stills to Joe Ely and Bill Carter, is shaped by the unique diversity of the Austin music scene. Fate and his own sheer talent placed him on stage with local legends before he’d lived out his first decade. Will and his big brother, Charlie, started playing together at the Continental Club when Will was 9 and Charlie was 11. Many of the sounds of his childhood still resonate in his current work. Will received early success in Austin and was signed by MCA at age 16. He has survived in the tough Austin music scene by playing gigs with a variety of notable artists. It is never unusual to go out to catch a show featuring an Austin singer/songwriter and see Will onstage.
Will’s credits as producer and songwriter range from collaborations with Waylon Jennings to psychedelic pioneer Roky Erikson to Steve Earle and punk legend Johnny Thunders. Will has written for MCA and Almo Irving and recorded for MCA, A&M, and Zoo Entertainment. Will was in the New Folk Underground with David Baerwald, which resulted in the co-produced (w/ David Kitay) Lost Highway release Here Comes the New Folk Underground. Will names Terry Allen and Sheryl Crow hitmaker David Baerwald among his favorite writing partners. 2009 marked the completion of new production credits, including Randy Weeks’ Going My Way, and Ruby James’ CD, Happy Now, co-produced with his brother Charlie Sexton. Will also enjoys performing with Charlie Faye, Sahara Smith, and Shannon McNally.
Will has amassed an impressive collection of songs over the years, releasing his first independent album, Scenes From Nowhere, in 2001, which received a four-star review and was honored in the Top 5 Releases of 2001 by the Austin American-Statesman. Bus Stop Gossip, a previously unreleased recording from 2004, was unearthed and released in 2009 and was followed up by Move the Balance in 2010.
Things came to a temporary halt in December 2009 when Will suffered a mild stroke. Though he had a remarkable recovery, he was unable to remember much of the music he had written and played almost daily as a working musician. For him to be unable to connect with those songs mentally since the stroke was a setback few musicians could even imagine. The Austin music community has always been known for taking care of its own and came out in full force for a music benefit in honor of one of Austin’s golden sons to raise money for Will’s living expenses and medical bills.
While Will was working through the recovery process, Move The Balance was released two months later without much notice and to very little fanfare. This is an album not to be overlooked. It includes eleven new songs recorded by Mark Hallman and Andre Moran in twenty-two hours at Congress House studios in South Austin. Musicians on the CD include Will Sexton on vocals, guitar and bass, Mike Thompson on piano, guitar and trombone, Bukka Allen on B3 and accordion, Dony Wynn on drums and percussion, Ray Bonneville on harmonica, and Bill Carter on additional bass. Additional guest vocals were provided by Mark Hallman, Ruby “Red” James, Charlie Faye and Nöelle Hampton.
Named to the Chicago Tribune’s 50 Most Significant Songwriters in the Last 50 Years, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt has been rapidly ascending from underground cult hero to being widely recognized as an artist of generational significance. With lyrical depth drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, and Dave Carter, Danny is considered a preeminent writer, an artist whose earthy poetry manages to somehow conjure magic from the mundane, leading Sing Out Magazine to tag him “Perhaps the best new songwriter we’ve heard in the last 15 years.”
Performing solo almost exclusively, armed with just his voice, his words, and his acoustic guitar, Danny’s an authentic timeless troubadour, one man sharing his truth in the form of songs, unadorned and intimate. The uderstated effect can be startlingly powerful. As songwriter Jeffrey Foucault put it: “Everything about the man is gentle, except for his capacity for insight, which is crushing.”
After garnering unanimous critical praise for his self-released Parables & Primes album in 2005, Danny’s follow up release, Little Grey Sheep in 2007 began an unbroken streak of albums that have charted at #1 on the Folk Radio Charts, internationally. After also winning the prestigeous Kerrville New Folk award in 2007, Danny won the notice of venerable Americana roots label, Red House Records, who began releasing his albums in 2009, starting with the critically acclaimed album, Instead The Forest Rose To Sing, thus exposing a much broader audience to Danny’s music, alongside such notable artists as Greg Brown, Eliza Gilkyson, Jorma Kaukonen, and John Gorka.
This entry was posted on Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 8:31 am
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Six Days to Go!
Welcome to Day 25 of the Indiegogo Campaign for The Shopkeeper: A Documentary about Mark Hallman and the Congress House. Every day during the campaign I am featuring a few artists who have recorded at the Congress House.
My turn! Let me talk about myself in the third person!
Rain Perry’s “Beautiful Tree” is the theme for the CW Network’s “Life Unexpected,” where she also had the surreal pleasure of appearing as herself in a music festival episode alongside Sarah McLachlan and Ben Lee. Rain is a Grand Prize winner of both the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the ROCKRGRL Discoveries Competition, as well as a Telluride Troubadour finalist.
She has released four albums on her own Precipitous Records, as well as writing and touring a solo play about her hippie childhood called Cinderblock Bookshelves: A Guide For Children of Fame-Obsessed Bohemian Nomads.
A high point: hearing Nanci Griffith’s sweet voice on Tom Russell’s version of her song “Yosemite.” A not-so-high point: when it made the radio EP but not the album.
In addition to her career as a singer-songwriter, Rain also promotes concerts in Ojai and teaches songwriting, specializing in classes for people who harbor a secret desire to write songs but need encouragement and tools.
She has recently begun production on a documentary film called The Shopkeeper, which traces the arc of the music business through the story of her music producer Mark Hallman and his studio the Congress House in Austin, TX.
Pushmonkey is an American rock band from Austin, Texas. Originally known as Billy Pilgrim, they first changed their name to Mad Hatter and later to just Hatter. The band experienced minor radio success with the song “Handslide” from their self-titled album. They appeared on Ozzfest in 1999 in support of the album, as well as Woodstock ’99. In 2007, the band won the first FameCast.com Battle of the Bands contest.
Ruben Ramos, also known as El Gato Negro, is an American Tejano music performer. Beginning his music career in the late 1960s, Ruben’s fame as has grown throughout the years as he formed his own distinct sound of music. In March 1998, Ruben was inducted into the Tejano Music Awards Hall of Fame and later won Best Male Vocalist in 1999. His band, The Mexican Revolution, also won album of the year in 2008. In January 2009 at the 51st annual Grammy awards, Ramos & the Revolution won the 2009 Grammy for “Best Tejano album of the Year.”
I can’t find much about Elizabeth Rice except that she made an album in 2002 called The Wishing Tree, that you can find here!
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 8:02 am
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Welcome to Day 24 of the Indiegogo Campaign for The Shopkeeper: A Documentary about Mark Hallman and the Congress House. Every day during the campaign I am featuring a few artists who have recorded at the Congress House.
Oh, there’s more? Ok:
Oasis shot from obscurity to stardom in 1994, becoming one of Britain’s most popular and critically acclaimed bands of the decade in the process. Along with Blur and Suede, they were responsible for returning British guitar pop to the top of the charts. Led by guitarist/songwriter Noel Gallagher, the Manchester quintet adopted the rough, thuggish image of the Stones and the Who, crossed it with “Beatlesque” melodies and hooks, injected distinctly British lyrical themes and song structures like the Jam and the Kinks, and tied it all together with a massive guitar roar, as well as a defiant sneer that drew equally from the Sex Pistols’ rebelliousness and the Stone Roses’ cocksure arrogance. Gallagher’s songs frequently reworked previous hits from T. Rex (“Cigarettes and Alcohol” borrows the riff from “Bang a Gong”) to Wham! (“Fade Away” takes the melody from “Freedom”), yet the group always put the hooks in different settings, updating past hits for a new era.
Omar and the Howlers
The European blues fans all adore Austin, TX-based guitarist and singer/songwriter Omar Kent Dykes. That’s because he fits the stereotypical image many of them have of the American musician: he’s tall, wears cowboy boots and has a deep voice with a Southern accent. However, Dykes does not carry a gun, and though he looks rough and tough, he’s actually an incredibly peaceful and intelligent musician, and a veteran at working a crowd in a blues club or a festival. While Dykes still has a sizeable American audience owing to his albums for Columbia Records, he still spends a good portion of his touring year at festivals and clubs around Europe. Omar Kent Dykes was born in 1950, in McComb, MS, the same town from which Bo Diddley hails. He first set foot into neighborhood juke joints at age 12 and after he’d been playing guitar for a while, he went back into the juke joint. After graduating from high school, Dykes lived in Hattiesburg and Jackson, MS, for a few years before relocating to Austin in 1976. He’d heard the blues scene in Texas was heating up. At that time, Stevie Ray Vaughan was still playing with Paul Ray & the Cobras. By the early ’80s, Omar & the Howlers had gained a solid reputation for their invigorating live shows. They also released two albums on independent labels, Big Leg Beat (1980), followed four years later by I Told You So. Among white blues musicians, Dykes is truly one of a kind, a fact Columbia Records recognized in the mid-’80s when they signed Omar & the Howlers. Unfortunately, it was a fleeting relationship at best. After releasing Hard Times in the Land of Plenty (1987) and Wall of Pride (1988) the band was dropped when the company was bought by Sony. While it was inconvenient, it didn’t stop Dykes. His post-1990 output has been nothing short of extraordinary. Starting in 1991, Omar & the Howlers recorded three discs for Rounder/Bullseye Blues: Live at Paradiso (1991), followed by Blues Bag and Courts of Lulu (both in 1992). In 1995, they switched to the Austin, TX-based Watermelon Records and released Muddy Springs Road (1995), World Wide Open (1996), and Southern Style (1997). After 15 years of dealing with record contracts, Dykes needed a break from being tied down to one particular label for any length of time. Since then, he and the Howlers have released excellent discs on Discovery (Monkey Land) (1997) Black Top (Swing Land) (1999), Blind Pig (Big Delta) (2002), and Ruf Records (Boogie Man) (2004). A live set recorded in Germany, Bamboozled, appeared from Ruf Records in 2006.
Plainsong was originally a British country rock/folk rock band, formed in early 1972 by Ian (later Iain) Matthews, formerly of Fairport Convention; Andy Roberts, previously of The Liverpool Scene; Dave Richards; and Bob Ronga. The original group split up before the end of 1972 but, since the early 1990s, Matthews and Roberts intermittently performed and recorded together, with other musicians, as Plainsong.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 7:31 am
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Welcome to Day 23 of the Indiegogo Campaign for The Shopkeeper: A Documentary about Mark Hallman and the Congress House. Every day during the campaign I am featuring a few artists who have recorded at the Congress House.
Micky & The Motorcars
Micky & the Motorcars is an Alternative Texas Country band formed in Stanley, Idaho before moving to Austin, Texas.
The band has released five mainstream albums, including a live album.
The band consists of Micky Braun (acoustic guitar, lead vocals), Gary Braun (lead & harmony vocals, guitars, mandolin, harmonica), Dustin Schaefer (lead guitar), Joe Fladger (bass), and Bobby Paugh (drums & percussion).
Micky and Gary Braun are the younger brothers of Willy and Cody Braun of the Austin-based band, Reckless Kelly. Micky and the Motorcars perform yearly at the Braun brothers Reunion, held in Challis, Idaho.
Ian Moore (born August 8, 1968 in Berkeley, California, USA) is a guitarist and singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. He studied fiddle as a child, but switched to guitar when wrist problems interfered. His music contains elements of folk, rock and roll, world music, and blues. After playing guitar in Joe Ely’s touring band and appearing on one studio album, he spent time in Austin with his own group, first Ian Moore and Moment’s Notice, then The Ian Moore Band. He attended The University of Texas at Austin but when given the opportunity for a nation wide tour, he dropped out with the intention of finishing later but, never did. Prior to Luminaria’s release, he moved to Vashon Island, located in Puget Sound near Seattle in the State of Washington, where portions of “To Be Loved” were recorded in his home studio.
Covers from “Green Grass”, which was his first non-Capricorn based album, include Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross”, the Beatles’ “Hey Bulldog,” and Bob Dylan’s “You’re a Big Girl Now.” He has played with such musicians as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and ZZ Top, and appeared in Billy Bob Thornton’s movie Sling Blade.
Ian recently played guitar with Jason Mraz on his 2010 fall tour.
Guitarist/singer/songwriter Bob Mould was initially a member of Hüsker Dü, one of the most influential American bands of the ’80s. Hüsker Dü was a post-hardcore punk band that helped define the sound and ideals of alternative rock. After Hüsker Dü broke up, Mould signed a solo contract with Virgin Records in 1988. The following year he released his first solo album, Workbook, which represented a major shift in sonic direction.
Frustrated with the business operations of major record labels, Mould left Virgin after the release of Black Sheets of Rain; they would later release a compilation of the two albums, Poison Years. Mould then formed an independent record company, SOL (Singles Only Label), which released 45s from new, developing bands as well as cult bands. In 1992, he formed a new trio, Sugar, with bassist David Barbe and drummer Malcolm Travis; the band signed with Rykodisc in the U.S. and Creation in the U.K. Sugar’s first album, Copper Blue, was released in the fall of 1992 to enthusiastic reviews and became Mould’s most successful project to date. Copper Blue nearly went gold and spawned several alternative radio and MTV hits, including “Helpless” and “If I Can’t Change Your Mind.” In the spring of 1993, Sugar released the mini-LP Beaster, a more abrasive collection than Copper Blue that was recorded at the same sessions. Around the time of the release of Beaster, Mould was forced out of the closet by various gay publications, with hopes that he would embrace their political cause; he rejected their requests.
Mould wrote the material for the second Sugar album during 1993. The band began recording in the spring of 1994, but the sessions ground to a halt and the tapes were erased. Mould decided to give the album one more try, and it was recorded quickly late that spring. The album, File Under: Easy Listening, appeared in the fall of 1994. Although it received good reviews and was moderately successful commercially, it didn’t match the performance of Copper Blue. In the spring of 1995, it was announced that Sugar was on hiatus. Besides, a collection of rarities and B-sides, was released that summer. By the fall, Mould had broken up the band and begun to work on a third album entirely by himself. Mould played all of the instruments on his self-titled third album, which was released in the spring of 1996. The Last Dog and Pony Show followed in 1998. In 2002, after a long period of musical inactivity, Mould returned with the electronics-heavy Modulate, followed by the more conventional Body of Song in 2005. After Blowoff, a dance project with Richard Morel, Mould returned to his guitar roots and paired up with Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty to record District Line in 2008.
Mould inched back to alt-rock on 2009’s Life and Times, then devoted himself to writing his autobiography with the assistance of Michael Azerrad. See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody was published in the summer of 2011. The following year, Mould returned to the sound of Sugar, playing the band’s 1992 debut in its entirety while on tour, reissuing the band’s catalog as deluxe editions, and, finally, reviving its sound on Silver Age, his first album for Merge Records. Silver Age was greeted by strong reviews, as was its 2014 successor, Beauty & Ruin, which also appeared on Merge.
For Austin’s Trish Murphy it’s been a stormy ride between records. But sometimes the pain makes you stronger and that is certainly the case with her splendid new release, Girls Get In Free. With a new found confidence, Murphy unleashes ten new songs filled with passion and charm as well as a tantalizing and rowdy duet with Austin heart throb Bob Schneider on Lyle Lovett’s “Cowboy Man.”
The Austin Chronicle has summed up the album and Trish’s talents best: “A striking tableau of empowerment, whimsicality, and longing set to rich, rootsy textures, Girls firmly secures Murphy’s place in the upper echelon of Austin singer-songwriters.” And it’s the songs on Girls Get In Free that are the real stars. From the first notes of the jangly set opener “All I Want” to the defiant “The Trouble With Trouble” to the impassioned country rocker “Crying As Fast As I Can” to the bittersweet atmospheric “I Don’t Want To Believe,” this is easily Trish’s best work to date.
Murphy has been a musician most of her life. A Houston native, her father, a struggling musician and songwriter, taught his three children to sing background harmonies for him when they were preschoolers. Although he eventually had to take jobs in construction to make a living, the family kept its bohemian values. While she was working her way through school, her dad encouraged her to get gigs to support herself, rather than pursue the proverbial something-to-fall-back-on. After receiving a BA in philosophy, she decided to fall back on music full-time. She formed a duo with her younger brother and Trish & Darin became one of the biggest-drawing acts in Houston for several years in the early 1990’s.
In 1996, she moved to Austin to nurture a solo career and became one of the fastest rising musical stars in Texas. Her discography now includes three solo albums, two of which she recorded and released on her own label. Crooked Mile was released independently in April 1997 to widespreadTrishimagestree.jpg (9129 bytes) critical raves. National distribution soon followed, along with constant touring throughout the U.S. and Europe. Tour highlights included a week with Lilith Fair and appearances on Mountain Stage and World Cafe. Her follow-up CD, Rubies on the Lawn (Doolittle/Mercury 1999), garnered national press, mainstream radio airplay and more international touring, including a return to the Lilith Fair in its final season. Captured, independently released in late 2001, found Trish returning to her Texas roots in a stripped-down, live acoustic setting, doing what she does best: telling stories and shooting from the hip.
Equally important to Murphy is her work as a volunteer board member of GenAustin, a non-profit outreach program that helps middle school-aged girls develop strong self-esteem. “In a way,” she explains, “it ties in with the concept of ‘girls get in free.’ They establish big sister, little sister programs to teach girls moral integrity at time in their lives when things change seemingly overnight.” Murphy’s dedication to the program is so deep seated that the CD release party for Girls Get In Free was a benefit for GenAustin.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 11:18 am
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