Zappa Plays Zappa (Double Set)
Growing up in the Zappa family home, Dweezil Zappa marveled at his father’s virtuoso skills as a composer and guitarist. After his father’s passing he was inspired to do something to honor his father. Feeling as though there was a generational gap and a fair amount of public confusion as to what his father’s music really was, Dweezil set about creating an opportunity for music fans to make a new discovery. Not satisfied with the generic journalistic descriptions that had been applied over the years or the accidental default association of “novelty act” he earned by way of the casual radio exposure of songs like “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” and “Valley Girl,” Dweezil Zappa decided it was time for a change. He wanted to expose core fans as well as a potential new generation of fans to his father’s compositions in a way that would give them a balanced perspective of the totality of Frank Zappa’s work. He wanted to play the music as it was written on the page without deviation except for the obvious improv sections. He also worked diligently to match the textures and timbres of the instrumentation in each song, especially the guitar tones, Evoking the character of each era of the catalog. He set out to have the music speak for itself. If Zappa Plays Zappa was to become a conduit for a new generation of people discovering Frank Zappa’s music then Dweezil wanted to do his best so that very little could be lost in translation.
In 2004 he began voraciously studying the music of his father. Through this process he realized he would need to adapt his approach to guitar playing. After more than 25 years of ingraining alternate picking skills, Zappa purged his mind of this approach and fully recreated his playing from the ground up. This was necessary in order to accomplish his goal of performing many interludes originally written for keyboards and marimba. After incorporating new picking techniques such as economy/sweep picking as well as hybrid picking, he was able to re-envision the guitar neck and learn to perform musical passages that had never been attempted on guitar by anyone in any of Frank’s bands.
He then set out to audition musicians to join him on his musical journey. It was his intention to create a core band that had no previous affiliation with his father. After several arduous auditions consisting of hopefuls performing songs like “Inca Roads” and “The Black Page” on their own with a drummer. This was designed to show off and and all strenghts and weaknesses. These songs were meant to be learned in 2 days and be performed based upon the auditioner’s own transcriptions. Dweezil purposely created this treacherously difficult task in order to uncover the most serious and dedicated players. If anyone was to prove they could learn the music in that time frame and create accurate transcriptions then they would become a possible candidate for the band.
Dweezil’s strategy paid off as he was able to find a strong group of musicians whom he selected for the core band. They began rehearsing right away. He prepared the core band with the idea that this could potentially be an ongoing tour.
Once word of the project spread, promoters were quick to show interest in booking a tour. The caveat was that they wanted to turn it into a spectacle that down played the new core band. They suggested that the tour act as a circus of revolving Zappa alumni. This was not at all what Dweezil envisioned and almost immediately folded the project before it even got off the ground. Dweezil wanted to focus on the music and not the musicians that formerly played the music. He made a very clear distinction between the two saying, ” As a kid I watched my father perform his music and I was immensely inspired by it. It was obvious to me that all the musicians needed to be experts in order to play the music. I wanted to do this project so that younger generations could discover this music and witness the level of dedication required to play it. I hoped that given the opportunity to see the music played live it would give a new perspective of what is possible in music composition, especially by way of comparison to current popular music. Maybe future musicians would be inspired to be the very best they could be on their instruments.” He went on to say, ” In creating this band I wanted to showcase a new, younger generation of musicians who are capable of playing this music commensurate with the performances heard within the catalog.”
Promoters still saw the project differently and wanted a band of all former band members led by Dweezil. This is what they wanted in order to book the tour. In a compromise Dweezil chose the material he wanted to focus on from his father’s career and transformed the inaugural tour into a celebration of the music with an extra bit of frosting on top in the form of a few guest performances from former Zappa band members he hand selected. This proved to be a good enough middle ground and the tour was booked.
The band debuted in 2006 with shows in Europe, Canada and the United States during May and June (the tour was also known as Zappa Plays Zappa: Tour de Frank). The shows presented a dazzling collection of some Frank Zappa’s most iconic compositions from the 1960s to the late 1970’s. Apart from Dweezil Zappa on lead guitar with his core band he was joined by guitarist Steve Vai, drummer Terry Bozzio, and singer Napoleon Murphy Brock. At several shows the live band stunned audiences by invoking other worldly encores by Frank Zappa himself. By synchronizing it’s own performance with classic and rare audio and video recordings the band was able to play in real time with the audio and video giving the audience to see Frank Zappa in his prime once again or better yet for the very first time for a new generation.
The Bridge (Double Set)
The fearless leaders of The Bridge have traveled an enormous distance to get where they are; all the way from living off-the-grid on a remote Hawaiian farm—in Kenny Liner’s case—and chafing in the buttoned-down corporate world—in Cris Jacobs’—to making a formidable album that’s fed by hometown roots and laced with wanderlust. It’s called National Bohemian, a nod to both the Baltimore-based sextet’s beloved local brew and their creatively rewarding but often unglamorous hard-touring lifestyle. It’s also the work of a dexterous band of players to be reckoned with. And it’s available February 1, 2011 on Woodberry Records/Thirty Tigers.
From the eleven new, original tracks, this much is clear: Jacobs (vocals and guitar), Liner (mandolin and beatboxing), Dave Markowitz (bass and vocals), Patrick Rainey (saxophone), Mike Gambone (drums) and Mark Brown (keyboards)—otherwise known as The Bridge—have come into their own, covering unbounded musical territory with no shortage of verve and striking a rare balance between high-quality songs and sharp instrumental interplay. They have the tools to see their expansive musical vision through, starting with the unorthodox nature of their lineup: string band elements powered by a plugged-in R&B- and roots rock-ready rhythm section, heated by keyboard and horn and, here and there, seasoned with syncopated beatboxing.
Snarky Puppy has gone from the best-kept secret to one of the most respected names in instrumental music. Although still “underground” in many respects, the band has earned high praise from critical stalwarts like the BBC, Village Voice, Guardian, and Boston Herald, and has performed at some of the best venues and festivals in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America.The band has always used live performance as its chief form of evangelism, and maintains a more intense tour schedule than almost any band in the idiom. Over the course of 2013, Snarky Puppy gave almost 200 performances and workshops on four continents, including North Sea Jazz, Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz á Vienne, Blue Note Tokyo, and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.Their most recent album, “Family Dinner – Volume One,” earned a Grammy for Best R&B Performance with featured guest Lalah Hathaway, as well as charting #1 on the ITUNES Jazz Charts.Snarky Puppy seamlessly fuses a deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical- or most carefree- audience. The convergence of musicians from white and black America (who also perform regularly with artists like Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Kirk Franklin, Justin Timberlake, Roy Hargrove, and Marcus Miller among others), which occurred while the band was in its adolescence at the University of North Texas, has naturally established a system of balance that instantly draws listeners to the music- raw funk and sensitive dynamics, relentless pocket and lyrical melodicism, lush harmony and soulful simplicity, and most importantly, a delicate mixture of composition and improvisation.The group is led by award-winning bassist/guitarist/composer/arranger Michael League, whose creative grass-roots approach to a tougher-than-ever industry has created a new model for independent artists. Snarky Puppy is a three-headed creature: first, and most obviously- an original music ensemble. Second- a production team and session band for individual artists. Third, and probably most importantly- Snarky Puppy is a group of musicians enthusiastically committed to music education and community outreach. Working with groups like ROAM (Roots Of American Music) in inner city Cleveland and the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, as well as giving clinics at hundreds of colleges, high schools, and middle schools worldwide, the band has made a strong commitment to spreading their love of music and general positivity to a young generation looking for something real to be inspired by.
Snarky Puppy Live at Berkeley Performance Center on March 30, 2013
Twiddle, a Vermont based quartet, spins tall tales over an intricate soundscape of hi-def shred. Their fresh multi-genre approach conjures up jazz, classical, and bluegrass, but above all, masterfully blends reggae and funk. Obliterating laws of improvisation, their complex arrangements never fail to leave crowds lusting for more. With sage songwriting and unmatched variety, Twiddle’s thrilling infancy will surely exceed all expectation.
Twiddle Live at Higher Ground on April 20, 2014
ELM is a Baltimore based quartet that combines Electronica, Dance, Rock, Soul, and Funk into an incomparable, high energy live music experience.
The band has gone through a number of lineup changes since it’s inception in 2006.The heartbeat of ELM is drummer, Steve Gorsuch, who lays down relentless dance beats on a traditional kit peppered with polyrhythms and electro-glitches on Electronic drum pads.Locking in on those beats with surgical precision on the bass is Colin Rappa. He has a Jazz background and plays tight, melodic bass lines that are grounded in unreality.On piano, synth and backing vocals is Jon Brady. Tron’s modulating hooks, speed and accuracy are the zenith of ELM’s sound.Rounding out the quartet on guitar and vocals is Jon Wood. Jon has a versatile vocal range and has a unique guitar playing style that includes solid rhythm playing, melodic interplay, and searing leads.In addition to their original compositions and face melting jams, they like to play popular and classic tunes by other artists like David Bowie, Talking Heads, Daft Punk and many others.Props must go to the band’s stellar management team, who have been infinitely accommodating, supportive, flexible, and good looking.ELM is eternally grateful for all the support they have received from family, friends and fans, and collectively intend to help this community flourish and grow and break down barriers in music, art and life.
Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons
For more than 30 years, Jerry Joseph has been strapping on a guitar and chasing down truth, understanding and soul with tenacity and resonant skill. Joseph is the archetypal musician’s musician – something that’s resoundingly clear on his sweeping new double album Happy Book, to be released March 20, 2012 on Response Records. Look for Joseph and his band to tour this spring in support of the album’s release. The list of currently confirmed tour dates is listed below – with many others still to be announced.
Captured with muscle and blood by Joseph’s longtime trio The Jackmormons,Happy Book presents Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons at their most diverse and confident; it’s a record with a wide swing that dexterously moves from whisper closeness to Technicolor expansiveness. Produced by Joseph’s former Little Women band mate Gregg Williams (Dandy Warhols, Blitzen Trapper), Happy Book is an emotional and sonic wallop fueled by the tightest, tastiest playing the Jackmormons have ever captured in the studio. “After 17 years, this album brings together a lot of things I’ve always wanted on a record,” explains Joseph. “This sounds like a band that’s been together 17 years and has evolved along the way.”
Happy Book incorporates horns and other choice elements from guests – Jenny Conlee-Drizos and Chris Funk (The Decemberists), Eric Earley (Blitzen Trapper),Dan Eccles (Richmond Fontaine), Wally Ingram, Little Sue Weaver and Paul Brainard – into The Jackmormons’ tight-knit chemistry to create an expansive work that captures Joseph’s startlingly broad musical range in a roughly graceful, swiftly intoxicating way.
Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons Live at Sitzmark Bar and Grill, April 12,2014
Carl Filipiak & the Jimi Jazz Band
Carl was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and has long been a creative force on the hometown music scene. Starting out playing gigs six nights a week in bands covering rock and soul, he was still in his teens in the sixties when he was opening up for David Ruffin, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Marvelettes, and The O’Jays. Those same years also
brought him into the world of jazz and he studied for years with Buddy Rich alumni, Walt Namuth. Equally influential were his lessons with local great, Larry Wooldridge.
Fast-forward to the late eighties after thousands of enormously meaningless gigs with local bands Carl (finally) records and starts his own label, Geometric Records. He recorded seven critically acclaimed CD’s with Dennis Chambers, Bob Berg, Gary Grainger and Gary Thomas and found himself playing around the country doing tours and gigs with Will Calhoun, Victor Wooten, Scott Ambush and many others.
Throughout the 90’s he also did clinics with some of the greatest drummers in the world and opened for artists Eric Johnson and Wynton Marsalis to name a few.
Carl has not stopped since – he currently plays on the East Coast with Frank Young(drums), Paul Hannah(sax) and Matt Everhart(bass) and endorses Fender Guitars and Dean Markley Strings. He also teaches privately and his latest book, “Rock-Fusion Improvising” from Mel Bay Publications is listed in Guitar One Magazine as “One of the top 25 books and DVD’s you must have.”
The Jimi Jazz Band-In 2007 Carl signs with Art of Life Records and produces his first jazz record “Arrival” for guitar phenom Randy Runyon. That same year also finds him working on his first release, “I Got Your Mantra,” as a leader for Art of Life Records. This new CD has him coming full circle – combining his love of sixties music, and bringing it into the 21st Century. He renames the group “The Jimi Jazz Band” in homage to his two favorite loves, rock and jazz.“I Got Your Mantra” showcases The Jimi Jazz Band and special guest, Dennis Chambers on drums. It features eight originals in the “spirit of the sixties” and two classic songs from Jimi Hendrix (Bold As Love) and The Beatles (A Day in the Life).
It’s hard to pinpoint the moment that songs are born, the day casual hummers become singers or scribblers become songwriters. Rayland Baxter certainly can’t, and he wouldn’t want to. Though he grew up in Nashville to the sounds of his father’s pedal steel, he didn’t dream of being a rock star. He loved music, of course, but he liked other things, too: being outside, playing sports, working at the bait shop to make spare change. He’d always just let things settle into place naturally, following his gut from Tennessee to Colorado to Israel and back again, not knowing that when he returned home he’d have a handful of songs and the knowledge that, at the end of the day, he didn’t want to do anything else but make music. He leads a life without reigns, his work always echoing the ease in which it came to be.
“All of my music has come in a very natural way, by following the organic process of life and letting it just happen,” he says. “I jumped my fair share of ships, and the pieces came together slowly, not by study or design.” The result is a record inspired by a life lived, not one struggling to inspire life. “Down the mountains and the valleys like the breeze,” he sings on “the mtn song,” “we’re going where we want to go, doing anything we please.” He’s done just that, writing songs that are reflections of what he’s seen, felt and lived; the metaphors found in the hills, the slow strums born at home but blossomed across the sea.
Growing up, Baxter’s father Bucky (a multi-instrumentalist for Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and Ryan Adams, among others) made sure music was just a natural part of life, a soundtrack to childhood. “I grew up around pedal steel melodies,” Baxter says, “not knowing how later in life it would shape me and how I sing or place lyrics in a song.” He’d met Dylan and become friends with a young Justin Townes Earle—back then, they were just two kids who knew their dads were gone frequently. One day, while out on a motorcycle trip, Bucky bought his son a guitar: a used, blue electric one. He was in elementary school, no older than third grade. “I played it,” Baxter says. “But I also played Nintendo.”
Most of the time, he just liked being out in the field, grass under his feet. While he spent much of his teenage years playing sports, by 21 he’d picked up the guitar again. The sound of six strings ringing had always been comforting, only now its draw proved stronger: it was a surprise, perhaps most to Baxter himself, how naturally and harmoniously songs came. Instead of finishing college he moved to the small town of Creede, CO, playing open mics at a taco bar and busking for tips. It was a gig as a guitar tech for the band Moonshine Sessions that led him to Europe. After a relationship in Paris went sour (though would later inspire the song “oLivia) he took his father’s old friend up on an offer to spend some time at his home in Ashkelon, Israel.
“I was supposed to be there for two weeks,” he says. “I ended up staying for six months.” Life in Ashkelon, a coastal town close to Gaza, involved a cadre of sounds: bombs detonating in the cornfields, sirens going off so frequently that few took notice or cover. Baxter drowned the noise with his host’s enormous collection of records and documentaries: Townes Van Zandt, Dylan, Leonard Cohen. “I would spend my days and nights just studying all my favorite people and musicians, and that’s when it clicked.” One night he couldn’t sleep, so he went outside to a barn in the back of the house with his guitar. “When I came back in, I said to my friend, ‘I think I wrote a good one out there.’” The resulting song was his aching, pivotal folk tune “the woman for me,” which later became a road favorite and will appear on his debut, feathers & fishHooks.
Baxter has a saying he likes to use a lot: “when you find the right river to float down, just keep floating.” That he did, using his time in Israel to craft the material that would become his Miscalculation of Song EP. He began recording his full-length in January 2011, produced by Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose) and supported by his friends, including Eric Masse (producer/engineer), Jacquire King (mix) and instrumentals by his father, Bucky. The songs range from the solemn, steel guitar and harmonica anchored “marjoria”; to the locomotive, du-wop of “driveway meLody”; to the stark, Middle Eastern tinge of “wiLLow.” Each is thickly emotional, raw but supremely balanced, pulling reference not only from musical idols but from love had and lost, roads traveled and trials awaiting back at home. And, when you strip it all away, these are songs that could exist with just Baxter’s voice and guitar alone, timeless.
He’s spent much of his time on tour: with The Civil Wars, who personally invited him to open, as well as Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. Now Baxter lives in a small, crowded house with five people, four chickens, a dog and a fish named okra near the Nashville fairgrounds, an industrial part of town on the west side of the river. He sleeps in a covered porch with no air conditioning or heat—“like camping,” he says, enthusiastically at that. His hometown has played a vital role in shaping him musically. “There is an incredible group of young artists, songwriters, painters and filmmakers here, just a huge community of really rad people. It’s been vital to have a great creative group of people I can feed off of all the time.”
His songs are a calming force for anyone looking for change, for love, or wanting to walk in a different direction—because it was his own quest for all those things that motivated the music. “I had nothing to write about until I was 25. I had to live through a lot,” he says, “and I when I sing I don’t hold back. I’ll cry on stage if I came to it. It’s an emotional release for me, and there’s no makeup on it. It puts me at ease, and that’s what I hope it will do for those who listen.” Down the mountains and the valleys, like the breeze.
2013 ALBUM OF THE YEAR!
Endless Boundaries Radio
Hailing from one of the fastest growing regions in the country, North Carolina’s BIG Something is one of the most exciting new rock bands to emerge from the Southeast. The band features Nick MacDaniels (guitar, vocals), Doug Marshall (bass), Josh Kagel (Keys, Synth, Trumpet), Casey Cranford (Sax, EWI), Jesse Hensley (lead guitar), and Ben Vinograd (drums). With a powerful sound that is both refreshingly original and yet classic in its approach, BIG Something is a straight up rock band that calls upon song craft with compelling vocals and a diverse range of inﬂuences. Fusing elements of rock, pop, funk, jazz and improv, the band likes to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles while incorporating a mix of organic and electronic sounds with the use of horns, keys, synthesizers, an electronic wind instrument, heavy guitars, and a tight powerful rhythm section.
In 2010 the group recorded and released a debut concept album with critically acclaimed Raleigh producer and Grammy Nominee John Custer (Corrosion of Conformity, Cry of Love, Dag). The album – Stories from the Middle of Nowhere – was an instant regional hit capturing the Home Grown Music Network’s 2010 album of the year award and spending several weeks at number 1 on the Jambands.com radio charts. Since then the band has released a fan favorite live album Live from Uranus and most recently in 2013 – a self-titled studio album that captured 3 different “Album of The Year” awards within weeks.
Now with several years of relentless touring experience, the band has traveled the country sharing the stage as direct support for the likes of Galactic, moe., The B52s, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Zach Deputy, DJ Logic, Toubab Krewe and countless other up and coming artists. They are also a high demand festival act, having appeared at: FloydFest, Camp Barefoot, Blackwater, Strangecreek, Wormtown, Smilefest, Mantrabash, NC Music & Arts Festival, Pink Moon, Jerry Garcia’s Birthday Bash, Gathering of The Chaffee, Front Porch Fest, Domefest, & many more. With a rapidly growing passionate fanbase, BIG Something also hosts their own annual Summer music festival and campout in Mebane, NC called The BIG What? which has sold out two years in a row further propelling this imaginative, entertaining and musically progressive jamband rooted in traditional American music of the southeast to a much wider national audience.
Big Something Live at New Brookland Tavern on May 3, 2014
Pimps of Joytime
A band whose name carries a certain “je ne sais quois,” the Pimps of Joytime were born out of frontman Brian J’s desire to layer his broad range of musical influences — soul, funk, afrobeat, Latin, reggae and rock — within the freedom of an unapologetic dance groove. Since 2005, this Brooklyn based wildly infectious group has grown from playing basement parties down the street to headlining more than 100 shows each year, with stops along the festival circuit at Bonnaroo, High Sierra, Outside Lands, All Good, the VooDoo Experience and more. The Pimps’ debut record High Steppin’ dropped in 2008 on Wonderwheel Recordings to critical acclaim from the likes of NPR and BBC, followed by their sophomore release Janxta Funk! in 2011. Currently writing and recording tracks for their third album (anticipated for fall 2014), the forthcoming release will be their most inspired, distinct studio effort to date. Both in studio and on the road, the Pimps of Joytime are not to be missed. When they come to town, make sure to bring your favorite dance shoes and a dry towel to wipe your brow, because they know how to make you shake it and sweat all over.
Having only formed in late 2011, DELTAnine is quickly making their combined sound of electronic production and live instrumental jam known across the country. In addition to their devoted fan base in their hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, DELTAnine continues to expand, gaining popularity throughout the festival scene and playing shows from Cervantes’ in Denver, Colorado to B.B. King in Times Square, New York and sharing the stage with musically diverse acts like EOTO, Dopapod, The Motet, Zoogma, Conspirator, Claud Von Stroke, Cherub, and the Werks. When not on the road providing live jamtronica experiences across state lines, DELTAnine is fine-tuning their recorded sound. Their first album, “Igneous Rock,” was released in 2013, and their second album will be released in the summer of 2014.
Tweed inspires and excites with music fueled from high energy performance and improvisation. Just as their namesake fabric of mingling colors and textures, Tweed has interwoven a psychedelic web of funk, rock and electronica. The band was formed at University of Delaware and now calls Philadelphia their stomping ground. Their collaboration can take listeners from multi-layered visions through the psyche to sweaty, raging dance parties driven by their own incessant beat.
Founding members AJ DiBiase (guitar), Jon Tomzcak (synth) and Joe Vela (drums) recently added bass player Dan McDonald to their lineup stimulating new energy and momentum. Bust out your dancing shoes, this ain’t your grandfather’s tweed!
B Side Shuffle
B Side Shuffle emerged from the nation’s capital in 2012 with a single mission: deliver fun to the masses. And deliver they have.
With a sound built on old school District funk, new school dance grooves, snarling rock riffs, and vocal-forward hooks, the Shuffle quickly gained a reputation for explosive live shows in 2013—and their second EP, Farmalade (2/14), shows this band has no plan to slow down any time soon.
In addition to many of the mid-Atlantic music scene’s best and brightest, B Side Shuffle has shared stages with Keller Williams, Kung Fu, members of Umphrey’s McGee, Furthur, the Trey Anastasio band, Dangermuffin, the Revivalists, and Moon Taxi.
Slim Pickinz’ dynamic sound is forged from the assortment of musical backgrounds represented by its members. Long time musician and jam fan Cliff Tyler began picking with high school friend and bluegrass enthusiast David Bell immediately after David’s first banjo purchase. Shortly after, their first five piece bluegrass band was formed. After a short and productive period together, the band’s separation created an opportunity to create something new. Enter singer, songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Plume, long time musician with a great passion for classic rock and classic country. After a short time playing with Jonathan, Cliff shifted his attention from guitar to bass creating the classic Slim Pickinz lineup. 2010 saw several different folks providing lead breaks with the core members holding down the rest. During the summer of 2011 band friend Jason Blevins, was officially added to the group providing lead guitar and vocals. Besides being a fan of the cornhole, Jason’s guitar skills delve into the blues perspective adding yet another layer to an already original sound. A progressive mix of original music, traditional bluegrass, distinctive classic rock and classic country covers , and fervent audience engagement is the root of Slim Pickinz’ allure.
Fiction 20 Down
In the Spring of 2011, producer Jordan Lally paired his vocals & songwriting with bassist Deejmon and drummer/emcee Dre during a series of recording sessions at Jordan’s studio in Baltimore, MD. The result of these sessions was ‘Do Not Feed The Radio’ – Fiction 20 Down’s 5-song debut EP co-produced by Drew Mazurek (Linkin Park, Allman Brothers).
In 2012, Fiction 20 Down welcomed lead guitarist Wes Anderson into the fold. Wes relocated from Chicago to Baltimore and shortly after the newly minted 4-piece completed their first US tour. Highlighted by appearances at the California Roots Festival in Monterey, CA and Orioles’ Opening Day at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD, the national tour wrapped in mid-summer and the guys immediately returned to the studio.
Jordan once again paired with Mazurek to produce Fiction 20 Down’s full-length follow-up ‘Where’s The Levity?’. The band spent time in multiple recording facilities throughout the mid-atlantic recording the new LP. Upon it’s release in April of 2013 the album was hailed as “best new release” by the renowned Indie Rock Cafe who noted that F20D offered “an infusion of genre-mixing, compelling songwriting, clever instrumentations, and enticing vocalizations, creating an overall original sound that is unmistakably all their own”.
Fiction 20 Down’s sound is perhaps best framed by Indie Music Review who described the band’s style as “a delightful, upbeat, soothing rock fusion mix, with elements of pop, hip-hop, reggae and pure rock”. Singer/guitarist Jordan leads the musical charge with a vocal delivery that effortlessly twists & turns between the croon of pop star & the swagger of an emcee. When not too busy banging the drums, Dre adds to the vocal portfolio with soulful harmonies and a smooth, deep-set hip-hop delivery. The uniquely groovy foundation of the band’s sound is laid by Deejmon, while Wes adds the edge with his precise lead play. Jordan & Dre round out the F20D sound with their work on the synth & keys.
When not in studio or on stage, Fiction 20 Down emphasize the importance of giving back. In addition to their various “hands-on” volunteer efforts, the band has played benefit concerts for over 30 charitable organizations since their inception.
F20D has their eyes set on a new album and national tour in 2014. Stay tuned!
Annie in the Water
Annie in the Water is a high-energy jam group that blends blues, hip-hop, funk, rock, reggae and bluegrass to deliver a unique sound and an unforgettable performance. Their style started five years ago, and it continues to evolve with every show. With a multitude of genres, elusive electronic tones and elaborate looping Annie in the Water has bridged a fan base between younger and older generations-they capture their audience, and bring a great time to any environment that they are a part of.
Powerful, dynamic originals and their ability to render Top 20 Hits into their own sharp acoustic style are only two of the elements that create a show that you will not see anywhere else… Founding members Brad Hester and Michael Lashomb continue to write, record, film and produce original music daily. Lucas Singleton helps develop the sound, and take Annie in the Water grooves to new places… Vibrant lyrics, energetic vocal harmonies, incredible lead guitar, driving percussion, a capella and exciting vocal and instrumental improvisation all help define the sound and the entertainment that they offer.
Formed in the outskirts of Baltimore Maryland, this resilient fivesome has blazed a trail as the quintessential Easy Listening/Hard Listening/ band, attaining massive success in the form of high fives and pats on the back from friends and family members… but somehow never losing that small town identity that has branded them Easy Listening/Hard Listening’s truest underdogs. They’ve reigned as a genuine force of nature, boasting Easy Listening’s most earnest work ethic – ‘The thoroughly Silky Smooth Baltimore Band – crows Billboard, one part swagger/one part tireless road warriors, brandishing an arsenal of battle-tested gems like their breakthrough anthem, “Sharp Device” Unleashed at the beginning of last weekend, the song seemed to capture the band’s heroic climb and steadfast refusal to be pigeonholed as just another Easy Listening/Hard Listening act.