Grateful Dead

Science! Covers The Grateful Dead

The Dead Covers project has included several of our alumni, and here’s a new video from recent features, Science! Check in with their radio program or podcast from late 2013. Science! has an extensive tour lined up leading to SXSW, so look to catch a show soon.

Buy Science! music here on Amazon.

From the band:

While tracking and recording their first full length album, Science! took a break to record a live video performance of “I Know You Rider” for the annual Grateful Dead sponsored Dead Covers Project.

The performance highlights their stripped down acoustic style and unique interpretation of a classic Grateful Dead tune. Moreover, it strongly kicks off the new year, following a breakout 2013 for the Seattle duo which included a headlining performance at Hempfest – as one of more than 110 shows.

Tea Leaf Green #1325

Tea Leaf Green considered renaming themselves after their original membership changed, when their bass player and founding member, Ben Chambers, abruptly left the band. Six years and two albums after that realignment, Tea Leaf Green have redefined themselves, continuing to create their own sound honoring the song and lightening their sound. In The Wake is not sparse, by any stretch, but rather than full instrumentation every moment for each song, their is a more careful addition of sounds, guided by producer, Jeremy Black. In The Wake includes more additional sounds than just the members of the band, yielding a lush, clearly “studio” album, rather than a “live,” jamming vibe.  Shaking up their previous recording methods forged an entirely different process and product with this album; it was the first time they recorded separately in the studio and did not road-test songs prior to recording. Their CD release party was the first time they played all of the songs live–giving a new kind of energy to this noted, vibrant (jam) band.

Liner Notes

  • Tea Leaf Green In The Wake
  • Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) — Sounds Like This [+digital booklet]  Their friends from the San Francisco scene.
  • Lissy Trullie  Producer Jeremy Black played drums on much of this album.
  • Jacob Fred Jazz Oddyssey Walking With Giants  Reed Mathis’s previous band.
  • Rebirth Brass Band Do Whatcha Wanna  have a residency at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans right now.
  • Whitey Morgan Sucking the 70’s: Back in the Saddle Again. You probably need Volume 1, too: Sucking the 70’s — not to be confused with the Stones album of nearly the same name, Sucking in the Seventies  This is a “loose association” connection; I discovered that Josh Clark worked on a song for this compilation and sang on a track, but my Google fu was not adequate to determine which track, so I chose one that most clearly shows the intent of this compilation–take songs from the 70s and make them your own, which Whitey Morgan clearly did on this one.

Video

Michael & The Lonesome Playboys

We are thrilled to share the new album from Michael & The Lonesome Playboys, Bottle Cap Sky.

Buy this album HERE ON AMAZON or HERE ON ITUNES.

Michael and the Lonesome Playboys Keep Country Real–“Bottle Cap Sky” is a record for fans that want an alternative to a slick pop country sound

There’s an underground scene in every city and for Los Angeles, that scene is Americana/Roots music. Old and Young, there is no generation gap; everyone is pulled together by a common thread–good music and musicians that know how to play it.

One of these musicians is Michael Ubaldini of Michael and the Lonesome Playboys. Disillusioned with the pop slick sounds that mainstream country music has been churning out, Ubaldini has written an antiphon to this music called, “Bottle Cap Sky”. The 15-song record is rooted in the traditional sounds of honky tonk, rock n’ roll and blues, but with 21st Century lyrics and an attitude of early Dylan and Kerouac and the influences of Hank Williams and the Clash. (Joe Strummer was actually a fan of Ubaldini’s and would show up for his LA gigs when able.)

Dylan and Kerouac are heavy names to be throwing around, but backing up these lyrical claims is the fact that Ubaldini has written a book of poetry, “Lost American Nights: Lyrics and Poems” which is now in its 2nd edition. Along with strong lyrics, Michael and the Lonesome Playboys recorded “Bottle Cap Sky” live without auto-tuning or a lot of tracking, so what you hear are musicians that have mastered their instruments or, as Ubaldini likes to joke, “My records have no Botox.”

His band on the record includes two members of his live performance band, Rob King on bass and Gary Brandin on pedal steel and dobro. Michael plays lead guitar and acoustic and adds blues harmonica to the mix. Guest musicians include Candy Girard on fiddle (Jerry Garcia, Mason Williams) and Jeremy Long on piano. Jim Doyle (Charlie Terrell, Jesse Harris) is Ubaldini’s new live drummer, but on the record several guests keep the beat: Micky Wieland, Kip Dabbs, Jerry Angel and Mitch Ross.

The songs on “Bottle Cap Sky” were influenced by Ubaldini’s life, a few of them written from a hospital bed in 2010 where he was fighting for his life from endocarditis. (CNN did a news story on Ubaldini during this period about his recovery.) They are full of characters from what he calls his “circus style” of existence; outlaws, Texas oil tycoons, crooked lawmakers and false prophets. “Basically, my wild life and the road to its salvation.” explains Ubaldini.

“Walk Through Fire” is a kicking Memphis blues tune that is both soulful and has a groove. It’s about facing down death with a strong will to survive. “Moon Dog Mad” is a honky tonk Armageddon of a song where you find your toes conversely tapping to the lyrics, “there’s blood on the moon and things are looking real bad.” The gears shift for the ballad, “Lonesome When You’re Gone” and “Three Cheers for Heartache” is a melodic rock n’ roll song with a country feel and the lyrics saluting the outcasts of the world. “Rosewood Night” is a haunting country tune about betrayal, and yet hope holding out for a love’s return.

Whether it’s love, betrayal, sex, rebellion, sin or salvation, Michael Ubaldini’s got it covered. “The songs all men something to me,” he says, “I’m usually jacked up on caffeine in an all-night diner or cheap motel when I’m writing them. I try to be in the moment, so the story or sense of place is in the songs. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t gone through what I had to write a particular song, but if it helps someone out in their own dire situation and can give hope, well, that means a lot to me.”

Los Angeles and Nashville have been taking notice–recently Dwight Yoakam hand-picked the band to open for him on a Southern tour and they are in their 6th year of traveling to the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, where they are annually asked to play. Ubaldini’s last record, “Last of the Honky Tonks” garnered rave reviews stateside and entered the Mojo Magazine charts at #6 and it topped the CMP charts in the UK.

When asked about his core fan base, Ubaldini says, “We tend to get a lot of hard-core Americana music fans and people I would call outcasts. And by outcasts I mean the current generation of country music listeners who are displaced. There are a lot of young people who are exploring traditional country music and also looking for something fresh.” He continues, “I have kids coming up to me all of the time and telling me they like my music. I feel proud when they say it made them look at the genre of honky tonk and roots music in a new light.”

In this culture of reality television where artists beg to be approved by a panel of judges, Ubaldini is a breath of fresh air. Citing Blake Shelton as an example, Ubaldini claims that country music has “devolved not evolved”. “People should pay attention to the call of the music and not kowtow to industry insiders,” he says. “Just Imagine if the Beatles let any suits convince them that guitars were on their way out, or if Dylan listened to the critics who told them he can’t sing. I just love to write and I love music–that’s what drives me–the drive to create. It’s what I do. I just go where the wind and the music take me.”

Michael and the Lonesome Playboys will celebrate the release of “Bottle Cap Sky” opening for David Allan Coe on August 10th at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

Gimme Shelter

From the Rolling Stones film’s official trailer:

…and an outtake of the Stones and Grateful Dead waiting for a helicopter to pick them up at the Pier.