Zink and Company – IV

Zink & Company is firmly rooted in the traditions of the early decades of bluegrass and country music. The band can be counted on for their powerful musicianship combined with Zink’s smooth lead baritone vocal. A mix of original and classic material.

AdriAnne Lenker – Abysskiss

Beautiful.

Cahoots – Philosophy

Album Notes
We play our own blend of “Sonomacana” — bluesy, grassy, folky and danceable Sonoma County roots music. From originals and Americana classics to country blues and rockabilly. Named after The Band’s fourth album, Cahoots features prolific songwriter Dan Imhoff, multi-instrumentalist, Craig Anderson, comic ukulele wielding Andy Dru Rodgers, standup bassist, Andy Tester, and percussionist, Eric Backman.

In late summer of 2017, Cahoots retreated to a house in the hills of Mendocino County not far from a town called Philo. We hauled carloads of instruments up a dirt road to a house two miles from the nearest power lines. In the quiet hills we laid down live tracks on eleven songs that were later embellished with our band’s signature country gospel harmonies bolstered by the celestial singing of fellow Sonoma County artist, Alison Harris.

“Philosophy” is the result of that weekend’s dawn to midnight live sessions, along with subsequent months of careful tinkering. The gifted engineer Matt Wright recorded and mixed the songs which were later mastered by Jeffrey Norman at Mockingbird in Petaluma. From start to finish this was a 100 percent Sonoma grown creative endeavor.

John Campbelljohn – Double Down Blues

A master slide blues guitarist and songwriter, John Campbelljohn hails from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Over the course of his four decade-long career, John has won or been nominated for countless music awards including Maple Blues Awards, East Coast Music Awards, Real Blues Awards, Music Nova Scotia Entertainer Of The Year, Blues Recording Of The Year & Musician Of The Year.

Now John combines the intimate stylings of his slide-blues solo performances with the hard driving, electric blues-rock rhythms of his band, to create John Campbelljohn DOUBLE DOWN BLUES. John   s long time music partner Neil Robertson adds drums, percussion and harmony vocals. This is an award winning power duo format, established by such groups as The White Stripes, The Black Keys and the legendary slide and steel guitarist David Lindley (Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder).

John Campbelljohn   s sophisticated and progressive approach to songwriting gives him a distinctive edge, mixing rock, blues, reggae, and even celtic-blues into his signature style. The result is a sound that can pummel the audience into submission with blues power one minute, while soothing them with subtle National steel the next.

Clay Franz – The American Dream

The American Dream EP is the first record released by Clay Franz. Born and raised on country music, this album provides a good mix of country with a pop edge to it. For fans into anything from George Straight to Backstreet Boys!

Gypsy Wind – Songs From The Grove

A musical journey from the Kentucky bluegrass of Bill Monroe to the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt and working in a medium of acoustic instruments, Gypsy Wind embodies a new take on an old blend of jazz, swing, bluegrass and folk.

 

Album Notes
Through the eyes of a child, those sweet melodies, hot licks and unforgotten stories imprinted a unique pattern much like the squares of a handmade quilt – carefully sewn into the experiences that created inspiration. From those familiar Wednesday night pickin’s in Gainesville to the countless bluegrass jams after the Seminole Bluegrass Festival – music strummed its chord deep. And so serendipity played its hand in 1993 at the Florida Folk Festival as Mike Powell gathered the gypsies together to jam some “Dawg” tunes well into the early morning hours. Twenty-three years later on a moonlit night at that same festival Michael, Rob, Mark and Kristen continue interweaving melodies generating a new sound laced with echoes of the past. White Springs evokes a timeless energy that speaks of generations past, present and future – always carrying the love for music and tradition. We are forever grateful to our fathers – Mike Holloway and Walter Godwin – for sharing their love of music and passing on their gifts to their children and grandchildren.

Beth Snapp – Don’t Apologize

“To me, this EP is a continuation of a journey. My second project was largely an account of just coming out of a storm. I had survived, I knew things were going to get better, but there was some healing and processing to be done. As time passed, and I did the work to heal, I emerged into a new place. I realized that surviving the storm wasn’t enough. I realized I was put on this Earth to do more than survive.”

Beth Snapp is describing her new EP, tellingly titled Don’t Apologize. A collection of soothing and supple melodies, underscored by a bracing backing band, it offers astute observations about the challenges, expectations and ability to overcome obstacles — either self-imposed or those that result from outside interference. It’s a personal tale gleaned from lessons learned, from a need to face those realities and cope with them accordingly. Snapp delivers these songs with clarity and conviction, sharing universal truths that can resonate with us all.

Produced and mixed by Gar Ragland, engineered by Grammy winner Julian Dreyer, and recorded at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville, North Carolina, Don’t Apologize features a stunning array of guest contributors, including celebrated cello player and pianist Dave Eggar, guitarist Phil Faconti, Black Lillies frontman Cruz Contreras, and her band mates Jason Crawford, Jay Farmer, Kevin Jackson, and Justin Short.

Indeed, the song titles are as revealing as the expressive melodies themselves, a sequence of sound that reaches from the comforting caress of the title track, the mellow musings pervading “Princess Dream” and the restful, reassuring “Counting Down,” to the jauntily paced “Little Much,” the banjo ramble of “Easy to Love,” the upbeat urgency of “Scream” and the easy but unapologetic “Confessions of an Exhausted Thirty-Something.” It’s a set of songs that run through a gamut of emotions, doing so with both vibrancy and vulnerability.

“I wrote a collection of songs to remind me, but also those around me, that it is perfectly acceptable to not apologize for loving yourself as the imperfectly perfect soul that you are,” Snapp says. “It is acceptable — no, imperative — to be proud of yourself and what you’ve worked for. It is important to not be ashamed for putting yourself out there for any reason – be it reaching out to another person, trying something new, doing hard things, or simply being yourself.”

This is nothing new as far as Snapp’s concerned. That astute awareness is part of her DNA. As a child, she felt well connected to the Appalachian environs where she was raised. Notably, most members of her family hailed from the area of Southwest Virginia that the Carter Family once called home. Her mother, aunt and cousin sang together in a gospel trio, leaving her with an indelible impression and a determined desire to sing. By the time she was in high school, she was performing regularly at her church, at weddings and even at funerals. By the time she was completing her graduate studies, she was ready to venture out on her own and begin offering her original compositions.

“I met some fantastic bluegrass players and songwriters that took me under their wing and gave me advice on how to develop my craft,” she recalls. “I feel like I’m a bit of a late bloomer in some ways, but I’m working hard to be as quick of a study as possible.”

Clearly, she’s succeeded. Her debut album, 2014‘s That Girl in the Magazine featured contributions from Dave Eggar, Tim Stafford, Rob Ickes, and Trey Hensley as well the Stafford’s bluegrass band Blue Highway. Her sophomore set, Write Your Name Down, was released in 2017 and introduced the song “Grime and Grace,” which brought her honors that year as a semifinalist in the prestigious NewSong Songwriting Competition. It also gave her entry to open for such singular artists as Iris Dement, Scott Miller, Jill Andrews, Cruz Contreras and Dave Eggar, as well as make a series of guest appearances on albums by Eggar, Stafford and Blue Highway.

Ultimately, it earned her continued kudos from those who found themselves enticed by her unerringly accessible fusion of folk, bluegrass, roots and pure pop. Leah Ross, Executive Director of the ever-popular Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion festival, described her as a “local jewel.” Tim Stafford insists that of all the artists coming out of East Tennessee in the past two decades, “Beth is easily the most original and talented.”

Tom Netherland, writing in the Bristol Herald,” declared, “Beth Snapp sings like a cage-less bird flies. Freedom waves in her delivery of lyrics, upon the wings of which glide distinction and the boundless glory of a soul undeniable.”

Those are heady praises, but Snapp remains modest. “I feel like my career is just beginning,” she confesses. “I’ve laid some groundwork, but now I’m at a jumping off point, and it’s time to jump.”

Jump she has. With Don’t Apologize, Snapp has taken an enormous leap forward and landed safely, with her talent obvious and intact.

Pony Creek – Pott County

Pony Creek, a musical collaboration between Ryan Osbahr and Billie Frost, was formed in the spring of 2016.  Hailing from the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro, the name “Pony Creek” is derived from a small creek by the same name that runs between the duo’s homes.

In May of 2016, along with a full band consisting of Eric Nelson (guitar), Travis Goddard (guitar, banjo, mandolin), George Cooper (bass), and Tim Blair (drums), Pony Creek released their debut album Easy Way Out to critical acclaim in the Midwest.  The album was nominated for “Album of the Year” by the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards and Pony Creek was nominated for “Best Country” artist by the same institution in 2016 and 2017.  For the past two summers, Pony Creek have become regulars in the Okoboji, Iowa music scene, consistently performing in front of sold out crowds.

Playing a variety of folk, blues, Americana, country and rock, Pony Creek has quickly made a name for themselves as one of the region’s hottest new acts.  Whether playing Spencer, Iowa’s Wheels Up festival for RAGBRAI 2017, Manning Main Street RAGBRAI 2018 festival, or rocking the crowd for southwest Iowa’s Tri City BBQ Fest in Denison, Pony Creek delivers family friendly entertainment that connects with all ages.  Opening for national artists such as Jeremy McComb (Nashville), The Voice alumni Curtis Grimes (Texas), Jason Eady (Jackson, MS), Jon Langston (Nashville), and Tucker Beathard (Nashville), the band continues to gain popularity in the Midwest region.

In September of 2018, Pony Creek released its follow up album entitled Pott County, a 15 track country/rock album that draws influences from Dwight Yoakam to Kacey Musgraves.  Pott County is a mash-up of storytelling that includes small town life, heartbreak, happiness, love, family, addiction, revenge, and more.  It was recorded in Omaha, Nebraska at ARC Studios and mastered by Lurssen Mastering, a world-renowned multi-Grammy Award winning mastering studio.  Pony Creek’s music can be found on AMI Jukeboxes nationwide.

Dede Wyland – Urge For Going

Dede Wyland’s voice rings like a bell, clear and powerful. With a stellar backing band, Dede is showcased here in familiar and supportive ground. Her voice flows and dances through these songs like a luminous golden ribbon.

Album Notes
Dede Wyland’s voice rings like a bell, clear and powerful. With a stellar backing band, Dede is showcased here in familiar and supportive ground. Her voice flows and dances through these songs like a luminous golden ribbon, tying each tying each song together while shining light onto the lyrics. She moves with ease from the haunting country-soul delivery of “Could You Love Me One ore Time” to the precise and masterful control of “Cannonball Yodel.”

I first heard Dede sing with Tony Trischka and Skyline in the ‘80s and I was immediately struck with the richness and strength of her voice. I was also struck with the absolute ease with which she sang. Her singing, then and now, appears effortless and natural, as if she is lounging on a cushy sofa, having a conversation, drink in hand, and suddenly breaks into song. Like falling off a log, as they say where I’m from, like falling off a log. She is doing what she was meant to do and I’m so very glad she is. “Urge for Going” is set to mark Dede Wyland’s rightful place in the history of modern bluegrass.

Missy Raines – Missy Raines and the New Hip
Reflecting on Dede Wyland puts a smile upon my face. I was introduced to her golden tones around the time I first immersed myself in bluegrass, in the early 1980s, while hosting radio shows at WAMU in DC. The band was Tony Trischka and Skyline, a New York/New Jersey-based group that revolutionized our music with their modern approach, not afraid to stretch the music to its bountiful limits. Dede’s voice led the way, soaring and dipping through the textured sounds. But her career in the music goes back even a little further. The Milwaukee-area band ‘Grass, Food and Lodging was around in the late ‘70s, and Dede cut her teeth with that group. In more recent years, Dede has stepped back from the spotlight a little, teaching voice, but still making music around the area where she is now based, near Washington, DC. For this fine new project, she calls on an amazing lineup of DC-based musicians, a list that reminds us just how incredibly strong the music scene is around here still to this day. Add to those local players a few out-of-towners, including Laurie Lewis, Kathy Kallick, and Raymond McLain. From the opening track, a revved-up rendition of the splendid Joni Mitchel song of wanderlust, “Urge for Going,” to the closing track, an old Suzy Bogguss song, “Music on the Wind,” and within the eight great songs between, there’s lots to love. After more than forty years of lighting up the room with her exquisite vocal talents, it’s great to have yet another gem of an album to add to the Dede Wyland discography.

Lee Michael Dempsey – Longtime radio host at WAMU radio and bluegrasscountry.org

Dede Wyland is one of the pioneering women in bluegrass. It’s a fact not discussed as often as it should be, partly because of Dede’s choice these days to perform primarily in the D.C. area where she lives, and concentrate on another passion of hers: passing on her keen knowledge of the human voice in her role as a much sought-after vocal coach.

Those who know Dede as I do are well aware of her immense gift as a singer and stylist capable of tremendous stylistic range. Although she has performed and recorded country, rockabilly, and other genres, bluegrass has always been the foundation of what Dede does, and this record is a statement to that. It’s bluegrass music, extremely well-played by a who’s who of D.C. area pickers: members of the Seldom Scene, Dirty Kitchen, and others, but it’s Dede’s captivating voice and musical leadership that put the artistic stamp on this collection of songs.

Whether it’s the Everly Brothers’ “Let it Be Me,” a Joni Mitchell song, or one by her beloved Stanley Brothers, Dede has the gift of truly delivering the lyrics and making us feel each song in a new way. That’s what an artist does, and Dede has never sounded better doing it.

Chris Jones – Chris Jones & The Night Drivers

Bob Thomas – Shadows

Award winning singer/song writer Bob Thomas was born and raised in Los Angeles. First and foremost Bob is a story teller and is renowned for his music about cowboys and the old west.