Friday, April 22, 2022
The Wilkins Sisters
The Wilkins Sisters are Tangela Longstreet, Joyce Jones, and Tawana Cunningham from Memphis, TN. They are the daughters and back-up singers for their father, the late great Rev. John Wilkins.
The Wilkins Sisters were brought up singing in the church inspired by their mother (Betty Maxwell Wilkins) and father (Rev. John Wilkins) and mix gospel, blues and R&B to make a music that is moving, soulful, and uplifting. As little girls they used to open for their father at services, shows, and picnics. Growing up they had their own groups and singing projects as well, and Tangela, the leader of the trio has had her own band, Tan and The Violinettes, for over 25 years.
The daughters came back together about 10 years ago when they were asked to accompany their father on several songs on his award winning first full-length record, You Can’t Hurry God, on Fat Possum’s Big Legal Mess label.
The daughters called themselves 3D, short for, 3 Daughters, when singing with their father. They went on to tour with him for the next 10 years entertaining crowds and festivals worldwide. For Reverend Wilkins’ second release, Trouble, recorded at famed Royal Studios and released by Memphis label Goner Records, Rev Wilkins wanted his daughters featured more prominently and that’s exactly what he did. Trouble features the daughters ‘strong soulful vocal leads as well their warm, distinctive harmonies. Upon their father’s untimely passing, Tangela, Joyce and Tawana decided to get back together to honor their father and continue the family tradition as The Wilkins Sisters
Alt-country soul from the heart of Appalachia in Russell County, VA. 49 Winchester delivers the poetically straightforward songs of singer/guitarist Isaac Gibson in a soulful electric live show. Rock & roll with roots planted firmly in the traditions of mountain music. The band made their start in the months after high school in late 2013 & have since made a name for themselves as warriors of the road, independently releasing three albums & playing hundreds of shows across the East and Pressing forward to new territories.
Young has captured the hearts of fans everywhere through his honest lyrics and West Coast-meets-Southern sound, aptly dubbed “Caliville” style. With an undeniable string of hits and two albums defined by a transcendent romantic spark, he has cemented his status as Country’s master over matters of the heart. The star broadened his emotional scope on WEEKENDS LOOK A LITTLE DIFFERENT THESE DAYS following his GOLD-certified sophomore effort TICKET TO L.A., which debuted atop the Billboard Country Albums chart. Young’s PLATINUM self-titled debut dominated the Top 20 on the Country Albums chart for 37 weeks and has contributed to 5.5 billion streams globally. He was named ASCAP’s 2018 Country Songwriter-Artist of the Year for his “melodic craftsmanship” (Billboard) and has also garnered nominations from ACM, Billboard, Teen Choice, CMT and CMA Awards. Racking seven consecutive No. 1 hits, Rolling Stone deemed Young “one of country’s most consistent radio stars.”
Saturday, April 23, 2022
HAPPY LANDING is an alternative folk band from Oxford, MS. The band members Matty Hendley, Jacob Christensen, Keegan Lyle, Wilson Moyer, and Andrew Gardner met in Oxford, Mississippi while attending the University of Mississippi. Through various musical influences (alternative rock, bluegrass, pop punk, and more) HAPPY LANDING has developed to become what they call the first-ever “Skate Folk” band, known for their crispy vocal harmonies, creative instrumental execution and energetic stage presence.
Since his earliest infatuations with guitar, Buffalo Nichols has asked himself the same question: How can I bring the blues of the past into the future? After cutting his teeth between a Baptist church and bars in Milwaukee, it was a globetrotting trip through West Africa and Europe during a creative down period that began to reveal the answer.
Born in Houston and raised in Milwaukee’s predominantly Black North end, the guitar was Nichols’ saving grace as a young man. The instrument captured his fascination, and provided him with an outlet for self-expression and discovery in isolation. While other children chased stardom on the field, court, or classroom, Nichols took to his mother and siblings’ music collections, searching feverishly for riffs to pick out on his instrument. Sometimes, this dedication meant listening to a song 200 times in order to wrap his mind around a chord; as a teenager, it even routinely meant staying home from school to get extra practice.
A friend invited the teenage guitarist to church for a gig and the opportunity proved to be Nichols’ much-needed breakthrough to music circles in the area. But over the following years, he began to feel overextended, and abandoned the demanding grind of a supporting role in nearly ten Milwaukee scene bands, none of which bore his vision as a lead performer. “I was happy with all the stuff that I was doing, and I was learning, but I wasn’t playing anything that was very creatively fulfilling,” Nichols says. “I needed the time and space. I was overwhelmed.”
Stints in college and in the workforce led him overseas, where the appreciation of African-American folkways lit a renewed spark in Nichols. It was the bustling of jazz in places like the working class areas of Ukraine, or in Berlin cafes where expatriate Black Americans routinely treat fans to an enchanting evening of blues, that would lead to his a-ha moment. Nichols returned home to America, meditating on his own place in the music that holds the country’s truest values and rawest emotions between bar and measure. “Before this trip, it was hard for me to find that link between all these blues records I heard and people who are living right now. I figured out it’s not a huge commercial thing, but it still has value. So, I came home and started playing the blues more seriously, doing stuff with just me and my guitar,” Nichols says.
The third album from Maggie Rose, Have a Seat is the work of a phenomenally gifted artist showing the full extent of her power. After years of honing her chops and making her name as a force-of-nature vocalist, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter has dreamed up her own unbridled collision of rock-and-roll, soul, folk, funk, and R&B: a fittingly eclectic sound for a musician whose live experience includes opening for Heart and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, touring as direct support for Kelly Clarkson, and sharing the Cayamo Cruise bill with Emmylou Harris and Jason Isbell — all in 2019 alone. Centered on the stunning vocal command she’s revealed in taking the stage at The Grand Ole Opry over 80 times, Have a Seat finds Rose approaching her music with more confidence and clarity of vision than ever, ultimately sharing a selection of songs both timeless and urgent. With its standouts also including “What Makes You Tick” (a gloriously funky track co-written with and featuring blues guitarist and Grammy nominee Marcus King), Have a Seat finds Rose boldly elevating her songwriting and sound while reclaiming the joyful freedom of her early years. Growing up in Maryland, she cut her teeth sneaking into nearby bars to sing with a Bruce Springsteen cover band at the age of 16, then moved to Nashville several years later after being discovered as a potential breakout country star. Although she soon achieved major success on Music Row and earned acclaim from the likes of the New York Times — who hailed her as a “sturdy heartbreaker…full of astute, aggrieved songwriting…and attitude that even in the post-Miranda Lambert era feels knifelike”. After expanding her musical palette on Change the Whole Thing, she found herself embraced by luminaries in the rock and pop and Americana worlds, and even became massively beloved by the jam-band community (thanks in no small part to her exhilarating performance at the Peach Music Festival in 2019). Quickly gaining recognition as a fiercely independent artist, she was eventually tapped by Osiris Media to create “Salute the Songbird with Maggie Rose”: a weekly podcast based on candid conversations between Rose and her favorite female trailblazers in music, including Martina McBride and Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine.
Anyone who has ever heard Fish’s previous albums knows that she has earned a place in the top rank of contemporary blues guitarists and that her voice can wring the soul out of a ballad and belt out a rocker with roof-shaking force. And, rest reassured, those virtues are fully in evidence on Kill or Be Kind. But each of the songs on the album does far more than simply provide a setting for Fish’s pyrotechnics. They tell captivating stories, set up by verses that deftly set the scene, choruses that lift with real feeling, and hooks that later rise up in your thoughts, even when you’re not aware that you’re thinking of music at all. It’s the kind of songwriting that emerges when raw talent is leavened by experience and aspiration, and when a committed artist genuinely has something to say. Those qualities make Kill or Be Kind a genuine artistic breakthrough for Fish.
To make Kill or Be Kind, Fish chose to work at the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, with Scott Billington as producer. “I worked at Royal before, when I made my Wild Heart album,” she says. “The soul in the walls, the vibe – you can feel it in that place. I’m such a fan of Al Green, Ann Peebles and all the classic recordings that happened there. Memphis just kept calling to me. I’ve always felt so inspired there.” As for Billington, a three-time Grammy winner, Fish appreciated both his open-mindedness and his willingness to ease her out of her comfort zone. “Scott allowed me to see the building-out process of the album all the way through, from the top to the bottom,” she says. “Bringing in background singers and synthesizers, which I’d never done on an album before, that added an extra edge. Honestly, it was a challenge. It pushed me to think about the songs differently. That trust from my producer gave me the freedom to really take some risks.”
Having completed an album that she believes in so strongly – “This is me coming through, my personality,” she says – Fish is eager to bring it to the world. “I got the moon in the back of my mind, and I want to shoot for it!” she declares. “I want to reach over genre lines and get out to as many people as possible. This album is so broad – and it’s all me. So I’m just hoping it catches people and appeals to them.”
Hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace,” Staples is the kind of once-in-a-generation artist whose impact on music and culture would be difficult to overstate. She’s both a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; a civil rights icon; a GRAMMY Award-winner; a chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient; and a Kennedy Center honoree. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and sang in Barack Obama’s White House. She’s collaborated with everyone from Prince and Bob Dylan to Arcade Fire and Hozier, blown away countless festivalgoers from Newport Folk and Glastonbury to Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, performed with The Band at The Last Waltz, and graced the airwaves on Fallon, Colbert, Ellen, Austin City Limits, Jools Holland, the GRAMMYs, and more. At a time when most artists begin to wind down, Staples ramped things up, releasing a trio of critically acclaimed albums in her 70’s with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy that prompted Pitchfork to rave that “her voice has only gained texture and power over the years” and People to proclaim that she “provides the comfort of a higher power.” In between records with Tweedy, Staples teamed up with a slew of other younger artists—Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Nick Cave, Valerie June, tUnE-yArDs, and M. Ward among others—for ‘Livin’ On A High Note,’ an album The Boston Globe called “stunningly fresh and cutting edge” and which first introduced her to Harper.
“I sing because I want to leave people feeling better than I found them,” Staples concludes. “I want them to walk away with a positive message in their hearts, feeling stronger than they felt before. I’m singing to myself for those same reasons, too.”
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Andrews got his name when he picked up his instrument at four (“My parents pushed me toward trombone because they didn’t need another trumpet player,” he laughs). By eight, he led his own band in parades, halls and even bars: “They’d have to lock the door so the police couldn’t come in.” Promoters would try to hand money to his older cousins, but they’d kindly redirect them to the boy. In his teens, Andrews played shows abroad with the Neville Brothers. Fresh out of high school (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts) he joined Lenny Kravitz’ band. In the last four years, Troy Andrews banked his fifth White House gig; backed Macklemore and Madonna at the Grammys; played on albums by She & Him, Zac Brown, Dierks Bentley, and Mark Ronson; opened tours for Daryl Hall & John Oates and Red Hot Chili Peppers; appeared in Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways documentary series; voiced the iconic sound of the adult characters in The Peanuts Movie; inherited the esteemed annual fest closing set at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in the tradition of Crescent City greats like the Neville Brothers and Professor Longhair; and released Trombone Shorty, a children’s book about his life that was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 2016.
Chart-topping rock band The Revivalists had been grinding for 10 years when their now platinum-selling single “Wish I Knew You” took off, setting a record for most single-week spins ever at Alternative Radio and becoming a mainstream phenomenon spending 9 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The band has performed on numerous television shows including Austin City Limits, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert , Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Ellen, TODAY. They were nominated for a Billboard Music Award, two iHeartRadio Music Awards and named Billboard’s Top New Rock Artist of 2017. Renowned for their live firepower, soulful alt-rock anthems, and their distinct mix of many of the classic styles of American music, the 8-piece ensemble of pedal steel guitar, unique two-drummer set-up, horns, and more is led by the incredible voice of front man David Shaw.
The Revivalists are: David Shaw [lead vocals, guitar], Zack Feinberg [guitar], Andrew Campanelli [drums], George Gekas [bass], Ed Williams [pedal steel guitar], Rob Ingraham [saxophone], Michael Girardot [keyboard, trumpet], and PJ Howard [drums, percussion].