Saturday
Oct192013

Pepper Proud & Friends-The Blackberry Bushes-Weatherside Whiskey Band-Coral Creek String Band at The Nectar Lounge in Seattle

Walking into the Nectar Lounge Thursday night, one sound rose above the buzz of patrons like an echo crossing a glass-still lake.  It was flutey, flighty, and filled with misty air.  It was the voice of Pepper Proud. Originally from West Virginia and now residing in Washington, Pepper seemed right at home on that Seattle stage.  Her humble, sprite-like mannerisms only complemented her surprisingly powerful voice, and everyone watching clearly revered the entire set.  Thanks to a Kickstarter fund backing her upcoming sophomore album, “The Water Chapter,” you should catch her live as soon as possible -- she won’t be a Pacific Northwest secret for long.

Just after that act, a mutual friend introduced me to Paisley and Todd Gray, two of the musicians who’d performed with Pepper. While the Grays primarily make up half of the unbeatably catchy Pickled Okra, their abundant talent runs over into a handful of local collaborations.  As if their finger-snapping tunes weren’t catchy enough, this couple has big ol’ genuine grins and cornfields worth of jokes.  Catching them playing in any of their ensembles is a treat.

Next up on the night’s bill were the Blackberry Bushes Stringband.  Call their toe-tapping twist on bluegrass whatever you want; they’re simply fun as hell.  Lead singer Jes Raymond explained to the audience, “There are two things a folk band always writes about:  freight trains and the highway.”  About to take off on tour through the Midwest, she promised they’d try to not let all their new songs be about the road -- but couldn’t promise they’d be successful. Each one of their jovial jams soaked the room with sugary violin hums and beats that got couples in the crowd swaying.

Following the Blackberry Bushes’ sweetness, the Weatherside Whiskey Band promptly erupted the room with flying feet and dosey-does.  They were not without a few slower, soul-stirring numbers either, showing the spectrum of talent within this five-person set.  You just knew that, deep down in his gut, Jacob Yackshaw truly believed in his Czechoslovakian double bass playing.  And when Amy Meyer sang, she had all the energy and precision of a hummingbird.  It was pure joy to watch them help the crowd unwind together.

Headlining this hoot-n-holler type of night was the Coral Creek String Band, a Colorado ensemble with some serious touring chops.  Their strings unleashed jams that spun like tight tornadoes and earned plenty of whoops along the way. Following three folky, fun acts couldn’t be an easy feat, but they proved themselves the perfect culmination to the evening.

Thanks to the Nectar Lounge’s larger dance floor and patio donning heat lamps, I found it to be a fantastic spot for the audience’s size and temperament -- and I know you’d be hard-pressed to find a single person present who’d say it was anything but a damn good time.
---
Words//Photos by AJ Dent: Twitter www.digitalaj.org

 

Pepper Proud & Friends


The Blackberry Bushes
Weatherside Whiskey Band
Coral Creek String Band
Sunday
Oct132013

The Head and the Heart - "Let's Be Still" Album Review

Sophomore albums can be fraught with peril as artists strive to thread the needle between replicating past successes and redundancy. For the Head and the Heart, following a whirlwind unknown-to-indie-darlings debut, their next step would be examined especially closely.

Recorded in their hometown Seattle, Let’s Be Still accomplishes the rare feat of recapturing what made their self-titled debut memorable, while still moving the band forward in interesting directions.

Let’s Be Still opens strongly with “Homecoming Heroes” and “Another Story” capably striking the sweet spot between folksy and familiar. The band sounds full, polished and ready to take their folk-pop sound to huge stages.

The bright, flowery “Springtime” smartly transitions into the lovelorn “Summertime” before the live-show staple “Josh McBride” kicks things up again. The album’s back-half is a bit slower, with the title track and somewhat-psychedelic “10,000 Weight in Gold” leaving enough space for both sweet harmonies and wistful reflection. The record closes with “Gone”, a resolute (and knowing) number that leaves the listener confident in the band’s next step - whatever that may sound like, wherever that may be.

Overall, the record is perfectly pleasant upon initial listening, but its when you let the sounds sink in, the storytelling and nuance fully come to life and you are left with another great record. Let’s be still and enjoy.

Let's Be still is on itunes and in stores everywhere!

 

Please enjoy our exclusive photos taken in the recording studio during the making of "Let's Be Still"




Words // Brian Hodge

Photos // Adam Richert

Friday
Oct112013

BUMBERSHOOT 2013 - SEATTLE WA

In it's 43rd year, Bumbershoot is a Seattle institution! Every year Seattleites and beyond come out for diverse live music, comedy shows, and pretty much every other form of entertainment that you may desire. 

Bumbershoot was full of highlights but a personal favorite is Charles Bradley aka "The Screaming Eagle of Soul". Mr. Bradley has an inspiring story featured in a documentary called "Soul of America" proving that your never too old for a record deal and a second chance in life.

Bumbershoot is a festival where you cannot set up camp at any one stage or you might just miss out on an epic performance! Ultimately, you must go to the festival with the mentality that "you can sleep when your dead!"

Make sure to check out featured artists below!

CHK CHK CHK - !!!


 

Charles Bradley

 

Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside

 

David Bazan

 

Mates of State

 

Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, Morgan Murphy (Stand-up Comedy)

 

BELLAMAINE

 


 

Superchunk

 

Justin Townes Earle

 

Trampled By Turtles

 

 

Saturday
Sep072013

Willie Nelson - Marymoor Park - Redmond WA

What is there to say about Willie Nelson that has not been said...
Willie is an iconic singer/songwriter that is relevant in all age groups and music genres. At the age of 80 he does not seem to slow down at his concerts. Willie puts on a full energy performance and does not miss a beat on his old (beautiful) roughed up guitar. When he opened with "Whiskey River" I was so captivated that I almost forgot I was there to take pictures! Willie ended with a rousing version of "I Saw the Light." I cannot help but see the significance in his song content from his opening songs alluding to alcohol and drug abuse to his closing of gospel tributes. 

Friday
Aug302013

Newport Folk Festival - 2013 Slide Show

The Newport Folk Festival does a great job of recognizing its illustrious history without being burdened by it. The times are always a-changing, and the festival has done a masterful job of adapting along with it.

In fact, some of the weekend’s best attended and most memorable acts hardly belong within the folk genre. Like Bombino, whose guitar playing wizardry conjures up sandstorms of hypnotic grooves; or the UK-punk rock of Frank Turner; or Trombone Shorty, who has successfully weaponized jazz and funk for mass consumption.

 The festival has broken new wave artists and expanded bands’ audiences, audiences that now stretch multiple generations. And each year sell-out crowds come to experience music that push buttons, blur borders and even inspire change - and that’s what folk music, and the Festival, is all about.

Enjoy some memorable moments from NFF 2013 in this slide show!

Photos // Adam Richert

Words // Photos // Brian Hodge

Tuesday
Aug272013

Joe Fletcher - "Oceanside Motel" - Newport RI

We met up with Mr. Joe Fletcher from Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons in Newport, RI for a Visible Voice session. He pulled out his guitar and with the first strum he broke a string... Fortunately Kingsley Flood was standing by to loan their guitar.

Joe Fletcher has a cool factor and general swagger that translates into every song he plays. Despite the windy conditions, Joe was kind enough to perform "Oceanside Motel" from his up and coming album "You've Got the Wrong Man". 

Like Joe Fletcher on Facebook and follow him on twitter for updates and tour dates!

Video // Words// Adam Richert

Photos // Joy Asico // Web Site  and Twitter

Friday
Aug232013

Kingsley Flood - "Quiet, Quiet Ground" - Newport RI

We are massive fans of Kingsley Flood! It was an honor to have Jenée Morgan on vocals, Naseem Khuri on Vocals/rhythm guitar, and George Hall on lead guitar representing the band in full force for this private Visible Voice session. Their playful banter and non-pretentious demeanor made this session in Newport RI a genuinely good time.

Be sure to follow Kingsley Flood on Twitter, like them on Facebook, and catch them on tour!

Sep 12, 2013 Back to Mercury Mercury Lounge New York, NY 10:00pm  
Sep 13, 2013 w/Toy Soldiers Johnny Brendas Philadelphia, PA 9:00pm  
Sep 20, 2013 Back to DC Black Cat Washington, DC 9:00pm  
Oct 11, 2013 NH bound Stone Church Music Club Newmarket, NH 8:00pm  
Oct 12, 2013 hometown flood Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA 8:00pm  
Nov 01, 2013 Back to New Haven Cafe Nine New Haven, CT 9:00pm  
Dec 03, 2013 supporting Lucius Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton, MA 7:00pm  
Dec 04, 2013 supporting Lucius Empire Portland, ME 9:00pm  
Dec 06, 2013 supporting Lucius World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA 8:00pm  

Video // Words// Adam Richert

Photos // Joy Asico // Web Site  and Twitter

Saturday
Aug172013

The Last Bison - "By No Means" Newport RI

After The Last Bison's stage performance in Newport RI they welcomed us out of the rain and into their "home" (aka the zebra tour van) for a truly visceral experience. Although one may know and love a particular band's music, it's hard to know what to expect of their character and hospitality. Within moments we felt as if we were a part of the "family" and were thinking of staying in the van and finishing their tour with them. Lead singer Ben Hardesty offered an exclusive solo version of an unreleased song called "By No Means." The cheers in the background from an ongoing performance might as well have been for the private session in a zebra printed van.

Visit The Last Bison on their facebook and twitter for more info and tour dates.


"By All Means"
Friday
Aug092013

Rayland Baxter - V.V. Session - Newport, Rhode Island 

Rayland Baxter, armed with a guitar and accompanied by violinists Odessa Jorgensenn and Kristin Weber, snuck away from the stages and summer sun and down a quiet tunnel for an acoustic performance exclusively for Visible Voice. They eased into a pair of tunes that seemed to make us forget about the festival going on around us, but certainly remind us that Baxter & co. are talents worth writing home about.

 

Video // Adam Richert

Words and Video // Brian Hodge // Twitter

Photos // Joy Asico // Web Site Twitter

Video Editing // Brad Cordova // Email


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