Artists with organizations

The Dirty Heads

After two decades spent chiseling their unique, multi-genre infused sound, Dirty Heads have finally come into their own. Since the release of their 2008 debut Any Port in a Storm, the five-piece band—Jared Watson (vocals), Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell (vocals/guitar), Jon Olazabal (percussion), Matt Ochoa (drums) and David Foral (bass)—has consistently experimented with their sunny style, leaning heavily on reggae fused with hip-hop cornerstones and scaling back for more acoustic fare, darting between extremes. But it’s with their fifth and self-titled album that the group has felt fully confident in a body of work, ready to bring their unique style to the masses. “It's the most core Dirty Heads album we've done,” explains Watson, who formed the collective with Bushnell in 1996. “One of the most important things about this album is the reason we self-titled it. This album has all of the elements that we've tried to play around with. We had to go through those other albums to really find out exactly who we are, where it was natural. Now, I just think our sound is better and more confident.” Recorded in Los Angeles over a period of four months, Dirty Heads marks a stylistic heel-turn for the Huntington Beach, Calif. natives, who enlisted a diverse team of hit-makers including: Da Internz (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj), Drew Pearson (Katy Perry, Zac Brown Band), David Kahne (Lana Del Rey, The Strokes), Jimmy Harry (Madonna, Diplo), Jonas Jeberg (Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony), and a handful of others. The record spans lively tracks like reggae-bounced “Oxygen” to the instantly catchy sing-along “Too Cruel” and horn-blasted lead single “That’s All I Need,” the latter of which captures the nostalgia of carefree adolescence. Produced by Justin Gray (Mariah Carey, Joss Stone), ‘That’s All I Need’ “just has a good feel to it, kind of hanging out with your friends in the neighborhood on a Sunday in the summer back when you were growing up,” says Duddy. “Everyone's got that good memory, so that's where we started aiming for. Let's make this feel-good summer song that people can put on in the backyard with their friends and family.” Dirty Heads comes in the wake of their most successful release to date, 2014’s Sound of Change, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums chart. This album is marked differently than its predecessors—2008’s Any Port in a Storm, 2012’s Cabin by the Sea and 2013’s acoustic offering Home – Phantoms of Summer, the former of which spawned the smash single “Lay Me Down” featuring Rome of Sublime with Rome that topped the Alternative Songs chart for 11 weeks. The band’s prior releases set the groundwork for their latest, proving a clear indication of their artistic growth, and an ambitious one at that. For the LP, they decided to toy with sequencing, splitting the album into two parts—Day and Night—guiding listeners through their day from start to finish. Duddy explains that it was done in response to the listening public’s reliance on playlists, and artistically executed by color-coding each 'Day' song (red, orange, yellow) and 'Night' song (purple, green, black) to reflect the vibes of feeling positive, exuberant versus chilled out and low key. “Nowadays, it's so easy to just listen to one song,” he says. “Have a song on your iTunes playlist, you probably don't even know who the artist is because it doesn't matter, you just like that track. So we were trying to provide the order we think you should listen to these in and get people in front of what we think.” Watson adds, “When you do that and you're doing it in our original way, I feel like it makes it timeless.” With a solid fan-base already in place, Dirty Heads are focusing their sights on something they’ve been edging towards for years: breaking the mainstream. “We want our fans to love it, because we love what we do and we want to keep doing it,” says Watson. “But this album for me, I cannot poke a hole in any of it. From front to back, it's really so phenomenal. I'm so confident in it that I want it to take Dirty Heads from the band that we are in America, worldwide.”

0
0
1
0

Mumrunner

Upcoming shows: 31.12. Essen (Ger), New Year's Party 02.01. Hannover (Ger) - Lka w/ http://bit.ly/2hZ4OUA 03.01. Berlin (Ger) - Tiefgrund w/ http://bit.ly/2hbc7ff 04.01. Praha (Cz) - Klub Famu w/ http://bit.ly/2hZ4k0G 05.01. Regensburg (Ger) - Alte Mälzerei http://bit.ly/2hGtymS 06.01. Jena (Ger) - Kulturbahnhof Jena http://bit.ly/2hbcs1v 07.01. Cologne (Ger) - Privatclub http://bit.ly/2hGwdg8 08.01. Leipzig (Ger) - Manfred Leipzig http://bit.ly/2ie2QPF 09.01. München (Ger) - Glockenbachwerkstatt http://bit.ly/2ieappn 10.01. Karlsruhe (Ger) - P8 http://bit.ly/2i91eKI ....................................................... past shows: 10.12. Oulu, Vanha Paloasema w/ The Holy 01.12. Tampere, Vastavirta, Amnesty-klubi 10.11. Tampere, Telakka w/ Underwater Sleeping Society 04.09. Soliti five year party, Omenapuutalo, Helsinki 23.07. Sahalahti, Greenhouse Open Air Fest 17.03. Lahti, Torvi w/ Enemies, Oxwill 13.02. Tampere, O'Haras w/ We Are Waiting 11.02. Tampere, Klubi (Dj set) 30.01. Helsinki, Oranssi, w/ Echo Is Your Love, Apathetics 15.01. Helsinki, Nosturi, New Year's Indie Festival 2015: 20.11. Hervanta must Die! Varjobaari, Tampere 06.11. Helsinki, Korjaamo w/ Craft Spells (USA) 17.10. Solingen (GER), Waldmeister w/ Jaguwar 16.10. Freiburg (GER), KTS w/ Jaguwar, Watered 14.10. Wien (AT), Venster99 w/ Jaguwar, Be!Tiger, Dead End Friends 13.10. Pilsen (CZ), Anděl Music Bar w/ Jaguwar 12.10. Chemnitz, /GER) AC17 w/ Jaguwar 11.10. Jena, (GER) Cafe Wagner w/ Jaguwar 10.10. Göttingen, (GER) Börner-Viertel w/ Jaguwar 23.09. Helsinki, Kuudes linja w/ The Soft Moon (USA) 22.08. Tussurock, Tuusniemi 01.08. Mitäs Mitäs Mitäs Festival, Urjala w/ Jukka & Jytämimmit, Seremonia…. 01.08. Tulli Block Party, Tampere 04.07. Schilling Festival, Kilingi-Nõmme (EST) 06.06. Klustermus Festival, Rauma 29.05. Dynamo, Turku w/ Delay Trees, Alexandria (swe), Holy Roman 27.05. Telakka, Tampere w/ Kairon; IRSE! 22.05. Bar 15, Seinäjoki w/ Love Sport 16.05. Korjaamo, Helsinki w/ Delay Trees & Cats of Transnistria 09.05. Torvi, Lahti w/ Delay Trees 24.04. Varjobaari, Tampere w/ Enemies, Ravage Ritual 07.03. O’Hara’s, Tampere w/ Love Sport 05.03. Henry’s Pub, Helsinki w/ Love Sport 06.02. Rytmikorjaamo, Seinäjoki Mars-Festival 2014: 12.09.2014 Vastavirta-klubi, Tampere w/ ills, ravage ritual, remissions 11.09.2014 Elmun baari, Helsinki w/ horros, ravage ritual 07.08.2014 Kalasataman konttiaukio, Helsinki, New Noise Festival w/ fate vs free willy etc.

0
0
1
0

Apashe

The Legend... Soon after contamination, signs of the virus spread quickly through the village of Androphage. Fear and anxiety intensified as villagers, one-by-one, began to exhibit shocking symptoms; turning against each other in a gruesome hunt for flesh and blood. In no time the village was completely infected. The source of the deadly disease was a mystery, but fingers pointed at the primary victims of infection: the Apacheans, a family whose ancestors ironically founded the village itself. As the disease ravaged the ancestral family, turning them into voracious beasts hungry for nothing but the raw and bloody flesh of their fellow villagers, Apashe, the eldest son, was miraculously spared. Born on the reserve and trained in arts of survival, Apashe was taught to be a warrior; a defender of everything his ancestors believed in. His presence was unassuming, but the native blood that surged through his veins made him a powerful fighter. Witnessing the destruction his family had caused as the first to be infected, Apashe confronted them. There was no escaping their wrath, and so, amidst the madness in the household, Apashe reached for his grandfather’s tomahawk. As he ferociously swung the ancient weapon at the savages, Apashe knew the flesh he cut into repeatedly was that of his own blood; his own family. Fighting for his life, Apashe’s mind spun and anger rushed through his shaking body. In a final spit of rage and lunacy Apashe managed to behead the last attacker; his father. Horrified and drenched in sinew he stood among the mangled remains, blood flooding at his feet. He had managed to escape their blood-thirsty urges. As he reached for the front door, he glanced back one last time at his dismembered family. His father lay closest, and reaching down and taking a two-feather necklace from his father’s headless body, he made a promise to avenge whoever was responsible. Outside, the village was in shreds and crazed inhabitants dominated. Terror shook the land. There was only one thing left to do; burn them all. The smoke stung his eyes as he stood atop a ridge overlooking the smouldering village. Shrieks could be heard echoing through the impending night as the blood continued to drip from his grandfather’s tomahawk that hung from his hand. With the village ablaze and the only memento now tucked into his hair, Apashe watched as his homeland turned to ash. Suddenly, through tear-filled eyes he noticed a shadow lurking near the edge of the forest; a shadow he hadn’t seen since that fateful day the village revolted against one of its own. Shocked and appalled he quickly wiped the tears away; his blood bubbling as suspicion turned to disbelief. It couldn’t be; but it was. Dr. Kannibal had risen from the dead. Apashe will have his vengeance.

4
0
2
0

Vali

#ANFOM is out now! https://youtu.be/5Y6e_T0ySmE Shimmering signature ice-colored hair, swagger turned up to eleven, and a magnetic voice booming, Vali could’ve stepped right out of a late fifties musical written by Tarantino. For her 2017 Vali EP [Rostrum Records], the New York-born and Los Angeles-based pop maverick finds just as much influence in the works of Audrey Hepburn and Alfred Hitchcock as she does in 21st century R&B and hip-hop. However, the songstress describes what she does best… “My music is a vintage fashion magazine,” she elaborates. “It’s more how it feels than just a sound. Ever since I was a little kid, I always felt like I was not of this time. I loved the fashion and vibe of the fifties and sixties. Everything looked faded and out-of-focus, but it was still beautiful, pure, real, and raw in different way. I’m not so HD.” What does come across loud and clear is Vali’s inimitable charisma and charm. Born to an African American and Native American father and Russian mother, she split her childhood between performing in a nursing home for her grandmother, taking ballet (actually sneaking off to flamenco class) in Harlem, and heading down to the Village to watch classic movies in an old theater. In between attending LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut, she performed in global touring productions of West Side Story and Hairspray in addition to singing backup for Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Joe Walsh of The Eagles. She turned her attention to making solo music in 2011. “I was doing the musical theater thing, but I felt like I hit a ceiling,” she admits. “I was like, ‘Fuck it! I’m going to write my own stuff and do my own thing.’ That pushed me to focus on myself.” Signing to Rostrum Records and relocating to Los Angeles in 2013, she lent her vocals to the track “Dimes” [feat. Wiz Khalifa]. The song would quickly crack 1 million cumulative plays and garner looks from Earmilk, Vibe, HotNewHipHop, and many more. Along the way, she caught the eye of Creative Director Laurieanne Gibson. Gibson, who proved instrumental to the careers of Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, recognized Vali’s talent and became a permanent member of her team. Locked in the studio, she spent the 2015 and 2016 quietly honing her style and recording countless songs in the studio. Vali’s sound reflects a carefully assembled mosaic of sticky pop, bombastic theatricality, and vintage fashion throughout the Vali EP. On the first single “Ain’t No Friend of Mine,” her vocal strut takes center stage over an unpredictable handclap bounce punctuated by a xylophone break. Produced by T-Baby [Major Lazer’s “Light It Up”], she carries the towering refrain with gusto and grit. “I went in the booth and started playing around with different character voices,” recalls Vali. “I had that Elvis song, ‘You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog’ in my head. From there, I started developing the rest of the record. It’s an ode to people who are haters. They pretend to be your friend, but they’re really not. It goes a little deeper though. There’s an element of self-empowerment. You don’t need those types of people in your life.” By unequivocally and indisputably being herself, Vali does ultimately possess the power to inspire. “We’re at an interesting place in history,” she leaves off. “I think sharing a positive message is more important now than ever. I hope when people hear me they feel great about themselves and feel connected with both the music and who they are. We need more love, and I want to encourage that.”

0
0
2
0

Beautiful Bodies

For Beautiful Bodies, it all ultimately comes down to one thing: Energy. The Kansas City band’s unapologetically loud-and-hooky music and their fabulously chaotic live shows stem directly from an all-consuming desire to tap into the cosmic power grid, and channel it full-force to the world at large. When Alicia Solombrino and Thomas Becker first crossed paths five years ago, making music together was the furthest thing from either of their minds. Solombrino was busy singing in her own band, playing keyboards in a self-described “art rock project” with bassist Luis Arana; Becker, a former member of Gratitude and a graduate of Harvard Law School, had chucked his musical aspirations in favor of human rights law — at the time, he was living in Bolivia and suing the country’s former president for human rights violations. But Solombrino’s attractive, high-energy presence and total lack of inhibition (“I don’t give a shit about what anybody else thinks,” she says cheerfully) immediately convinced Becker that he’d found his artistic soul mate. “I was back in Kansas City on a Christmas break,” Becker recalls, “and Alicia and I went to some hoity-toity art show with a bunch of art snobs. I didn’t know it at the time, but Alicia knows literally every Michael Jackson and James Brown dance — all of a sudden, Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ came on, and she just busted into the entire dance. There are fancy hors d’oeuvres being served, and here’s Alicia doing ‘Thriller’ in the middle of this art gallery. I was like, ‘That girl is fucking awesome. I need to hang out with her!’ That’s seriously what lured me in!” Long-distance songwriting exchanges commenced immediately upon Becker’s return to Bolivia, and the collaboration — and momentum — built steadily from there as the songs kept coming. “It wasn’t like, ‘We want to have a band that sounds like this!,’” Becker explains. “We had all these different ideas. I was coming from a punk place…” “I was coming from more of a pop-soul place,” adds Solombrino,” but punk as well — like a mixture of Michael Jackson and Blondie together.” “I think Blondie is kind of the perfect example,” Becker agrees. “We wanted to have these hooks that you can sing along with, but also have this raw energy that you can feel and get excited about, especially live.” One of Becker and Solombrino’s first collaborations, the ringing rocker “You’re a Risk” got picked up by some Kansas City radio stations, which in turn led to airplay at other college and modern rock stations throughout the Midwest; when opening slots for groups like Smashing Pumpkins and My Chemical Romance soon materialized, Becker returned to the United States to join Solombrino and Arana as Beautiful Bodies. “We never approached this as a ‘How can we get signed?’ thing,” explains Becker, who continues to pursue legal activism on the side. “It really was an organic thing — at first, we didn’t even live on the same continent! I think because it was so genuine, we were doing what really felt natural and weren’t worried about chasing the carrot or doing what everyone else was doing, I think that ultimately worked in our favor.” Beautiful Bodies further attracted the attention of audience and industry alike via their raucous live shows that were truly “high impact” in more ways than one. “I have two permanently chipped teeth from our shows, and Thomas has one,” laughs Solombrino. “Scars, bruises, broken toes, you name it!” “But that’s how it’s supposed to be,” adds Becker. “I mean, we’re not like GG Allin, but we’ve gotten kicked off tours because Alicia’s hanging from the fucking bleachers, or I’ve knocked over a wall of amps and am riding a speaker cabinet across the crowd. It’s rad when kids get so stoked that they jump onstage and knock a micstand into your face — that’s the sign of a good show!” Signed to Epitaph in the spring of 2014, Beautiful Bodies began work with producer John Feldmann (Panic! At The Disco, The Used, Neon Trees) at his home studio in Los Angeles. “Day One,” laughs Becker, “he wrote us a text that said, ‘Just so you know, the schedule is 9am to 3am everyday.’ And it pretty much was! But when he gets pumped on something, he gets pumped, and you get pumped as well. He’s brutally honest, and he’ll tell you when something’s not good — so when he is stoked on something, that’s pretty validating.” The sessions with Feldmann produced the band's debut album, Battles, released summer 2015. Battles positively crackles with energy, yet the band’s feisty attack never overpowers the melodic charm of songs like 'War Inside Your Heart' and 'Capture & Release'. “I kind of feel like the stage and the studio are two separate things,” says Becker. “The Ramones, for example, were a lot poppier on record; live, they played everything 20 BPM faster. You can’t capture a bloody forehead or a chipped tooth in a recording studio — although, if you hear the way Alicia screams on some of these songs, maybe you can!” Whether playing live or recording in the studio, however, there’s no difference in the contagious level of energy and commitment that Beautiful Bodies brings to their music. Prepare to catch Beautiful Bodies fever.

0
0
2
0

John K. Samson

John K. Samson isn't active on Facebook, but you can write to him at: PO Box 83, 971 Corydon Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R3M 3S3. John K. Samson, singer-songwriter for critically lauded indie rock band The Weakerthans, will release his first full length solo album, Provincial, this January 24th via Epitaph Records. The record contains newly recorded versions of songs from Samson’s previous two acclaimed EPs, “City Route 85” and “Provincial Road 222,” alongside a collection of beautifully evocative new tracks. Provincial is now available for pre-order at the Epitaph Store. Provincial travels four routes woven into the prairie landscape of Manitoba, the Canadian province where Samson lives. It finds familiar landmarks and forgotten ones; it mines the precise and particular. For a video glimpse of Provincial’s prairie roadmap, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfqLrWMMPZ4 “Heart of the Continent,” describes the sense of loss and despair that haunts the former site of a Winnipeg landmark, set against a backdrop of lilting country folk. The melodic rocker “When I Write My Master’s Thesis,” details a young academic’s struggle to hold his life together as he tries to complete his research of a forgotten institution in tiny Ninette, Manitoba, while "www.ipetitions.com/petition/rivertonrifle/" is a song in the form of an online petition to honor the valiant hockey player Reggie “The Riverton Rifle” Leach. They are hymns for the departed and rockers for the living, songs about dying villages, Icelandic longing, snowplows, broken glass, satellites, hockey skates, and staff room romances. In creating these sonic portraits, Samson talked to relatives, friends and strangers; he visited archives, a tuberculosis sanatorium turned RV Park and a forgotten cemetery. The resulting album contains 12 fierce, tuneful, vivid stories united by a deep sense of place. The Weakerthans were born out of the Winnipeg-punk-scene. The group’s breakthrough album Reconstruction Site and its celebrated follow up Reunion Tour deftly merged a melodic punk with Bob Dylan-Ray Davies lyrical insights, earning a wider fan base and establishing Samson as a songwriter of immense talent. Paste Magazine wrote of Reunion Tour, “If such a prize existed, it would be the leading candidate for this year’s Punk Pulitzer.”

25
0
2
0

Retox

The world is falling apart one day at a time, and the majority of us sit and watch as if attending a public hanging—more and more, our interest is piqued by the appalling, while our thoughts and reactions remain largely absent. When stripped of the bloated, festering egos that so many cling to in order to feel important, we are nothing more than ugly animals. In a society that is predominantly dormant, Retox brings this reality to the forefront in a forward-thinking way, commanding our ever-rapidly-decreasing attention spans and determined to provoke some kind of visceral response, good or bad. Currently consisting of Justin Pearson (The Locust, Head Wound City, All Leather, Swing Kids), Michael Crain (Festival of Dead Deer, Kill the Capulets), Brian Evans, and Keith Hendriksen (Kill the Capulets, Virginia Reed), Retox is marked by a speed and sound that seeks to shatter apathy. Since their conception in 2011, they have toured with similarly like-minded acts such as Melt-Banana, Tomahawk, OFF!, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Doomsday Student, physically bringing every bit as much intensity as the music itself incites intellectually. Coming off of their sophomore album, “YPLL” (Years of Potential Life Lost), Retox have emerged from the collective depths of San Diego and Los Angeles with their latest antagonistic efforts, entitled “Beneath California”. Varying styles and sonically experimenting, melding the raw with the refined, the band continuously teases yet never settles on any one genre-- aside from perhaps (as members of the band itself have referred to their work) “annoying”. Tracks such as “Death Will Change Your Life” spit cynical lyrics drenched in rapid-fire rhythm: “All those who have died before me, forgot trustees, cleaned streets with parolees/They dragged everything into the sea, the filth and the debris, and hoped none would see.” Overall, Retox simultaneously seems to reflect and defy, using music as a way of holding a broken mirror to the rest of us, exposing different pieces of our own fucked up realities, and forcing the acknowledgement of the inevitable self-imposed apocalypse we are creating for ourselves. -Becky DiGiglio

1
0
2
0

Hank Williams Jr.

“Stop and think it over,” the big man with the hat and glasses has asked, from a thousand stages, in front of millions of people. “Try to put yourself in my position.” We can’t. We can imagine, but we can’t know. We can’t know what it’s like to be the only son of Hank Williams, the long gone and lonesome singer whose brief life transformed country music. We can’t know what it’s like to be linked to such a transformative force by blood and name but not by memory, to learn about a famous father from books and photos and others’ stories: Hank Williams died at age 29, when his son was three-years-old. We can’t know what it was like to wrestle with that legacy, to try to honor all that came before, but not wind up a pale approximation of country’s greatest ghost. Born Randall Hank Williams, but singing as Hank Williams, Jr. before he was 10, the son never had much in the way of a career choice. The choice wasn’t whether he’d sing, but what, how and why. “Other kids could play cowboys and Indians and imagine that they’d grow up to be cowboys,” he wrote in his Living Proof autobiography. “I couldn’t do that. I knew that I would never grow up to be a cowboy or a fireman or the president of the United States. I knew I’d grow up to be a singer. That’s all there ever was, the only option, from the beginning.” At the beginning, mother Audrey Williams worked to mold her son into a miniature version of his late father, and for 20 years he struggled, uncomfortably, to break the mold. When he finally found his own sound and style, he reached sales plateaus that his father never dreamed of: 20 gold albums, six platinum albums (one of which has sold more than five million copies) and 13 chart-topping albums. He has been selling out massive venues for a longer period of time than his father spent on earth. He has done more than honor his father’s legacy; he has extended it, enriched it, enhanced it and elevated it. “My name’s a reminder of a blues man that’s already gone,” he once sang. But the name “Hank Williams, Jr.” is much more than that. Randall Hank Williams was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on May 26, 1949. A month later, his father made his Grand Ole Opry debut, singing “Lovesick Blues” and drawing six encores. Hank Williams, who nicknamed his son “Bocephus” after comedian Rod Brasfield’s ventriloquist dummy, had three and a half years left to live. He spent much of that time performing for the fans who would celebrate his contributions, but during radio performances he would send a message to his boy, closing shows by saying, “Don’t worry, Bocephus, I’m coming home.” But when Williams came home in January of 1953, it was in a casket. Audrey Williams was left with a family to raise, and with a son who was soon squealing for a guitar of his own. At age eight, Hank made his music debut, dressed in a black suit for a Swainsboro, Georgia show, singing his father’s songs to wild applause. At nine, he was touring in earnest with his mother’s Caravan of Stars. “We listened to Hank, Jr. sing some of the songs which made his dad so famous,” wrote an early reviewer, in 1957. “The similarity of style is haunting. He has the same lonesome quality, the same break in his voice, the same pronunciation.” Raised in Nashville, Hank, Jr. learned music from the finest of teachers. Earl Scruggs gave him banjo lessons, and Jerry Lee Lewis showed him piano licks. And with rock ‘n’ roll in full flower, Hank, Jr. began playing a lot of electric guitar (though not onstage, where he was taught to do Hank Williams’ songs, in Hank Williams’ style). At age 11, he made his own Opry debut, walking across the same wooden boards his father had walked on, and, just like his daddy, singing “Lovesick Blues” and encoring. “Went on the road when I was eight years old, when I turned 15 I was stealing the show,” he wrote, accurately, in his 1987 No. 1 single, “Born To Boogie.” And after stealing the show, he was often offered the drinks and pills that were so prevalent among country performers (and that had killed his father). Often as not, as was family tradition, he accepted the offers. He’d also accepted a $300,000-per-year recording contract, and at 15 his version of his father’s “Long Gone Lonesome Blues” climbed to #5 on the country singles chart. Also while 15, he wrote his first serious composition, a slice of autobiography: “I know that I’m not great/ Some folks say I just imitate/ Anymore, I don’t know/ I’m just doin’ the best I can…..It’s hard standing in the shadow of a very famous man.” That shadow grew darker, as Hank, Jr. entered his 20s. The fans that came to see him on the road wanted, and expected, him to do his father’s songs, his father’s way. Yet he yearned to explore the musical changes that were happening in the early 1970s, the melding of country, blues and rock that made the music of Waylon Jennings and the Marshall Tucker Band so distinct. He also grew increasingly dependent on pills and booze, and increasingly upset about his life’s path. “I just felt all this loneliness and depression,” he told interviewer Peter Guralnick. “I was all tore up about the direction I was heading. Every time I’d play one of Daddy’s records, I’d just start to cry.” An attempted suicide in 1974 was the low point. Had he died then, at 23, his music career would have been a historical footnote, an addendum to his father’s biography and little more. He moved from Nashville to Cullman, Alabama, rethought his life in and out of music, and recorded his first truly original work, an album called Hank Williams Jr. and Friends that featured Jennings, the Tucker Band’s Toy Caldwell, and others who weren’t in the traditional country camp. And Williams’ songs “Living Proof” and “Stoned at the Jukebox” were his most searing, emotional works to date. But while prepping for a tour, he went mountain climbing in Montana. bio“I just had to show ‘em I didn’t need ‘em/ And so I headed out west to see some old friends of mine,” he would later sing, in “All In Alabama.” “I thought if I’d climb up old Ajax Mountain, maybe that would help me get it all off my mind.” It was a nice climb, right up until the part where he fell down the mountain. He lived, barely, but emerged disfigured, wounded and, somehow, inspired. After multiple surgeries and a torturous recovery period, he was determined that he would spend no more time as a Hank Williams retread. His new music was a turnoff to some longtime fans, but it was embraced by a new crowd that liked this newly bearded Bocephus, who, as he sang in “The New South,” “started turning up loud and looking at the crowd and bending them guitar strings.” Hank, Jr.’s music was now rambunctious, forthright and distinctive. For Hank, Jr., everything changed with that 1975 dive off Ajax Mountain. The music world caught on to those changes around 1979, the year he released his first million-selling album, Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound, along with his autobiography, Living Proof. In the early 1980s, he catapulted to full-on superstar status, with major hits including “Texas Women,” “Dixie On My Mind,” “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down),” and in 1984, “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” a party anthem featuring a riotous video that starred Bocephus in conjunction with stars from inside (Merle Kilgore, Porter Wagoner, Kris Kristofferson, etc.) and outside (Cheech and Chong) country music. In 1987, Hank, Jr. won his first of five country music entertainer of the year awards, and the two albums released that year – Hank Live and studio effort Born To Boogie – were platinum sellers. Born To Boogie was the CMA’s album of the year in 1988, the year he won the CMA and ACM’s top entertainer prize. Hank’s star rose far beyond the country world in 1989, when manager Merle Kilgore arranged a deal with ABC’s Monday Night Football to have Hank, Jr. rework “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” into a theme song to be played before each Monday’s game. Two years later, the Monday Night theme won the first of four straight Emmy Awards, and Hank, Jr. would be the singing voice of Monday Night Football for 22 years. With the Monday Night Football deal in place, Hank Williams, Jr. was now known to millions who had never even listened to country music, and he’d become an ambassador for that musical genre. He’s held that position through the 1990s and up to the present, with hard-charging songs that speak to his truth, his “unique position,” and to our lives. His room-shaking voice is as identifiable to fans as that of his father, and he has passed the family music tradition down to son Shelton and daughter Holly, both of whom are recording artists in their own right. “I’ve been a very lucky man,” he’s fond of saying, but Hank, Jr. has made his own luck, and made his own way. Given a chance to coast on his father’s songs and his father’s royalties, he found a new song to sing, and a new way to sing it. The father lived 29 years, and the son spent nearly that long standing in his shadow. But it is what the son did after turning 29 that has landed him a place in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, that has made him a BMI Icon award winner, and one of the best-selling artists in country music history. By finding his own powerful voice, by turns rebellious and vulnerable, he has become a music icon. He remains an inspiration to Alan Jackson, Kid Rock, Jamey Johnson and other followers and a sure-bet for eventual entry into the Country Music Hall of Fame, where his plaque will be displayed in perpetuity, just like his daddy’s, only different. Stop and think it over.

6
0
1
0

Animal Liberation Orchestra

Animal Liberation Orchestra is a California rock band currently signed to Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records label. They have released four full-length albums for Brushfire, as well as a number of prior independent releases including a film soundtrack. ALO consists of Zach Gill, Steve Adams, Dan "Lebo" Lebowitz and Dave Brogan .BiographyForming the band (1989)Childhood friends Lebowitz, Adams and Gill formed their first band in junior high school in 1989 with drummer Matt West. Originally called Django, they recorded their first album entitled "Contact" the summer before their senior year in high school, and then moved to Santa Barbara together to attend college. When West returned home after a couple years, music mentor Brogan filled in. In the summer of 1996, the band moved to Augusta, Georgia, to tour the South and meet James Brown, achieving both. Upon their return to Santa Barbara, Brogan decided to move to Seattle, Washington.A new band name and drummer followed in 1997 – Magnum Family, with Josh Yafa on drums. The band was short-lived but funky, and grew a modest following in Isla Vista, California, where UCSB students mostly lived.The birth of ALO (1998)By 1998, the band evolved into the Animal Liberation Orchestra & The Free Range Horns, a nine-piece ensemble featuring a five-piece horn section and UCSB Jazz Band director Jon Nathan on drums. With their rousing stage shows and their home-made debut album "ALO vs. LAG", the band began drawing enormous attention in the Santa Barbara area. After finishing up their college degrees that summer, Lebowitz, Adams and Gill embarked on a U.S. acoustic tour with hometown friend Rob Binkley on percussion and called it "BLAG Across America". When LAG returned home to Saratoga, California, that fall to return to ALO, they stripped down to a quartet, first pairing up with drummer Shree Shyam Das. Shortening their name to ALO, this new line-up plugged themselves into the SF music scene and recorded continuously, releasing a couple albums including "One Size Fits All" and "Time Expander", while archiving the rest.

0
0
1
0