Always reaching, always expanding, Becca Stevens reinvents herself once again with her new album, Regina. In the years since the release of her critically acclaimed third album, Perfect Animal, Stevens has undertaken a journey that began with a study of Queen Elizabeth I. This expanded into tributes to various queens from history, literature, folklore, and her own imagination, to songs inspired by the regal and divine, and finally to Regina as a voice.
Regarding her muse for the album, Stevens says, “Regina has become an alter ego, or an imaginary friend. Like a dream, she exists separate from me but is reliant upon my consciousness to exist. I carry her with me in everything now. So I guess you could say that neither ends; in Becca, there is always Regina, and in Regina, there is always Becca.”
Stevens’s style has always evaded categorization, and with Regina, even more so. One hears pop, rock, R&B, and funk side-by-side with traditional Appalachian and British folk, classical, world music, and jazz. Intricate instrumentation and rhythms seamlessly intertwine with vocals and melodies that draw you in and stay with you.
Jade Collective is an Boston-based contemporary jazz/folk band. They released their debut album, Clarity, in September 2016.
Wolf! is a Brooklyn-based trio that seamlessly merges soul, blues, country, and rock to create a party where everyone's welcome. They continue to find new and exciting ways to evolve and push what's possible with the classic guitar, bass, and drums formula while maintaining a fundamental groove that's both irresistible and undeniable.
The energy of rock n’ roll is impossible to categorize – mercurial, specific to its beholder and profoundly reflective. From the Binghamton, New York music scene comes Driftwood, a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to the Americana/roots music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette. But the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely.
Coming from a town not often recognized for music but predominantly for industry, being the home of Twilight Zone author Rod Serling and donning the title of the “Carousel Capital of the World”, it’s easy to wonder how this not-so- traditional string band came out of the Binghamton music scene. “What people don’t often realize is that bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, The Horseflies and The Highwoods String Band came out of this same area and had a huge influence on us”, says Forsyth. “We played a lot of old-time in the beginning and it was a huge part of our band learning to play music together”.
Formed in 2005, the band spent four years playing just about anywhere they could. “We just wanted to be able to play for any crowd and turn heads”, says banjo player Joe Kollar. After the release of their Debut CD “Rally Day” in 2009, the band has spent most of the last 4 years on the road. With club and festival appearances alongside of artists such as Bela Fleck, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rusted Root, Del McCoury, Brett Dennen, The Wailers, Railroad Earth, Robert Randolph, Rubblebucket, Leon Russell, Emmylou Harris and Donna the Buffalo, Driftwood is making serious waves on the East Coast scene. In the last three years they’ve played over 500 shows. With the release of their second CD “A Rock & Roll Heart” in 2011, the band landed spins on a slew of great radio shows and stations such as WFUV’s Sunday Breakfast with John Platt (New York, NY); KZSU (Stanford, CA), WCBE (Columbus, OH), WNRN (Charlottesville, VA), WUNC (Chapel Hill), NC and WDVX (Knoxville, TN).
In November 2012, Driftwood started work on their third and latest CD. Despite a grueling tour schedule and very little time at home, the recordings were finished in the summer of 2013. The self-titled new disc was recorded in a church outside of Ithaca, NY with Grammy-winning engineer Robby Hunter. It was released on December 3rd, 2013.
Viniloversus is a Latin Grammy-winning rock band based out of Miami, FL. The band, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, recently released their first English album titled Days of Exile, which is a follow-up to their first 3 critically acclaimed albums. The outfit is currently touring in the US, where they have recently participated in important music festivals and conferences such as III Points Music Festival (Miami) and LAMC (NYC). The album is available on vinyl as well as all digital platforms.
The Blue Hyenas are a rock band from Boston. First starting in 2015 in the basement of a friend, Joe (guitar), Simon (bass), and Patryk (drums) started playing covers together out of a common love for hard-rock and the blues. Soon after, the band found its powerhouse singer, Jorge through the magic of the Internet. After playing their first official gig in Cape Cod in August of 2015, the band decided they wanted to write original music, which they have been doing since. After a year of playing local shows in the Boston area, the band released its first official three-song EP, Bad Habits. The Blue Hyenas continue to write music and perform as they get ready to record their first album.
Famed New York-area radio station WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM/WBGO.org, NPR Music, and Berklee present the Checkout–Live at Berklee. The series brings critically acclaimed, New York-based Berklee alumni back to their alma mater. The shows are broadcast in New York over WBGO-FM as a special edition of The Checkout, the acclaimed multimedia show featuring what’s new in New York’s jazz scene. In addition, selected shows will be webcast live worldwide in high definition and available for on-demand listening at NPRmusic.org. They will also be archived atCheckoutjazz.org.
MAE.SUN, led by saxophonist and composer Hailey Niswanger, is a contemporary, mix-genre project. Their first album, Vol. 1: Inter-be, was released on November 3, 2017. Niswanger (pronounced “nice–wonger”) graduated from Berklee in December of 2011 with a B.A. in Jazz Performance. While at Berklee, Niswanger was one of 14 students selected to be part of the inaugural class of Berklee’s elite new Global Jazz Institute under the artistic direction of Danilo Perez. Since then, she has gone on to share the stage with the likes of Esperanza Spalding, DeeDee Bridgewater, George Duke, Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington, Harvey Mason, Phil Woods, James Moody, Christian McBride, McCoy Tyner, Maceo Parker, Wynton Marsalis, Ralph Peterson Jr., and many other jazz greats. Niswanger has been invlolved with a variety of musical projects that have taken her to Saturday Night Live, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and a slew of respected jazz festivals.
For 12 years, Robert Stevenson was the front man, producer, and primary songwriter of British rock band A Silent Film. Stevenson will play the band’s hits and other fan favorites in stripped-down, acoustic arrangements.
The band broke into the consciousness of alternative rock fans with its 2010 debut album, The City That Sleeps, and its single “You Will Leave a Mark,” which held the record for most weeks at no. 1 on SiriusXM’s Alt-18 countdown. The band followed up with Sand & Snow in 2012 and its hits “Harbour Lights” and “Danny, Dakota & the Wishing Well.”
In 2015, the band released its eponymous album, A Silent Film, again achieving alternative radio success with “Lightning Strike” and “Something to Believe In.” Throughout, the band developed a hardcore following for its spectacular live performances.
After three albums, multiple charting singles, more than 20 million streams of their songs, and supporting tours with OneRepublic, the Temper Trap, and Smashing Pumpkins, Stevenson and band cofounder Spencer Walker decided to take an indefinite break to pursue other creative and personal interests.
As a thank you to the rabid fan base, Stevenson decided to mount an intimate tour of the United States. The All Good Things tour will be the only time Stevenson will tour and perform A Silent Film’s repertoire during the band’s hiatus.
“We hadn’t had a chance to say a proper good-bye to our absolutely wonderful fans,” Stevenson said. “So we hatched the All Good Things idea as a way to do that given the practical considerations of Spencer not being able to go on the road.”
I Am Strikes is an emerging indie/alternative artist from Sacramento, CA with a lot to say and very little room for shame or discretion.
The Last Bandoleros are a four-piece outfit that blends together Tex-Mex, country, and rock n’ roll. Their story begins in San Antonio, Texas, with guitarist/producer Jerry Fuentes who, during a musical pilgrimage to Manhattan, happened to meet singer-songwriter/producer and New York native Derek James. Fuentes and James soon began collaborating in Brooklyn. However, Fuentes kept being drawn back to his native Texas to record in the same San Antonio studio where a couple of talented brothers were also emerging. Diego and Emilio Navaira, sons of Tejano music legend Emilio Navaira Sr., had been making a name for themselves around town with their energetic live performances and sterling vocal chops. Fuentes decided to combine both of his universes by introducing James to the Navaria brothers and inviting them to joint sessions in Brooklyn and San Antonio. Riffs and lyrics began flying fast; the Last Bandoleros were born.
L.A. Salami (Lookman Adekunle Salami) is a singer/songwriter from London, England, known for crafting magnetic blues-rock songs with a postmodern twist. Salami was fostered when he was two months old and grew up between his birth mother in Peckham, South London and his foster family in Broadstairs on the English coast. Much of his teens and early twenties were spent on the move, rarely settling in one place for more than few months at a time. It was this lifestyle that provided him with a unique insight about life in the city, something that he would later use to fuel his songwriting, both lyrically and conceptually.
His love for music began when he first heard Bob Dylan on the radio, subsequently leading him to explore more blues and folk music and inspiring him to write his own songs. Unfortunately, he could not afford his own instrument and wasn't introduced to one until he was given a guitar for his 21st birthday. After three months of soul-searching, tapping into different creative avenues, and sleeping rough, Salami eventually had his first few songs written and set out to land some gigs. Success soon came knocking after relentless gigging, starting with a tour support slot for Lianne La Havas in 2012.
It's an old saying, time flows away like the water in a river. A comparison that has more to it than you might think at first glance. Whether its a raging torrent or a bubbling backyard brook, both water and time can hide, obscure, and keep us from seeing some of the priceless treasures that lie just beneath the surface. The key to finding them is simply knowing where to look, and when to listen. Cat Clyde, a brand new artist out of Stratford, Ontario. A fresh take on the classic sounds of yesteryear; breathing new life into the velvety vocal, tack-piano, slide-guitar-style that can instantly walk you through the swinging doors of a packed saloon. With influences ranging from Etta James to Janis Joplin to Lead Belly, hers is a mix that goes down smoother than a neat glass of mellow Kentucky bourbon. No longer do you need to reach for your trusty sifting pan and river boots to find gold. You just need to know one name.
Her previous album Loyalty was recorded at La Frette Studios in France in the winter of 2014 with Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) and Robbie Lackritz (Feist). Nominated for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, it earned praise from The Guardian, Pitchfork, NPR Music, Uncut, and MOJO, among many others, who celebrated its delicate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, ambiguities, complex metaphors, and rich details of the everyday.
Lindeman and her band have toured extensively in North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, both as a headliner and as support for artists such as The War on Drugs, The Mountain Goats, Damien Jurado, Bahamas, and Basia Bulat.