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Introducing…Jesse Macht

Interlaced in Jesse Macht’s melodies are an abundance of stories overflowing with passion, vulnerability, empathy and honesty. On September 23 2014, the Los Angeles born and raised songwriter and singer will independently release his sophomore album, Suitcase Heart, produced by Nashville’s Justin “Uncle” Tockett (Marc Broussard, Eli Teplin). “I completely trust Justin and the artistic space he created with Suitcase Heart,” says Jesse. “He was able to access the sound that I have been hearing in my head for years but couldn’t get out on my own.” The album was recorded at both Zac Brown Band’s Southern Ground Studios in Nashville, TN and Dockside Studios in Lafayette, LA.

Jesse Macht

Jesse Macht

Suitcase Heart is a product of Jesse Macht’s recent participation in ASCAP’s prestigious Lester Sill Songwriters Workshop. The album follows his 2012 debut solo release, Acts of Providence, which validated his switch to a solo career after leaving his former band, Burn Down The Mission. Now, feeling confident and comfortable in his journey, the new album has shown Jesse just how cathartic the recording process can be. Over a year ago, Jesse learned that he had an extra electric impulse in his heart that would turn on when his adrenaline would pump, such as when performing live. A normal heart rate after working out is around 160 BPM and his was at 260. Heart surgery fixed the problem but six weeks later he went through an unexpected breakup. “Both my physical and my figurative heart were recovering from injury,” he says. Abruptly faced with his mortality and sense of direction as a man, Jesse says: “Suitcase Heart was my way of acknowledging the baggage that recently weighed on my heart.”

The album title, as well as the overall intention of each song, explore the idea that we carry our hearts full of the stories of our lives and that we must constantly choose how and with whom we will share the value of what’s inside. “These are songs that, I hope, are generous, honest and optimistic, although anchored in heartbreak,” he says. “Pain is what allows us to be more vulnerable and open and realise we all are fighting our own demons.”

Much like legendary songwriters before him such as Neil Young and Gram Parsons and modern day influences like Dan Wilson, Glen Hansard and Jon Brion, Jesse has proven his aptitude for storytelling. His music has been placed in many television shows and networks as well as commercials, including The Voice, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Giuliana and Bill, Nickelodeon, Cymbalta and the MTV/E! cable catalogue. He’s also had numerous original songs placed in independent films such as James Franco’s Good Time Max and Kevin Nealon’s And They’re Off.

You can catch Jesse Macht live on the following dates:
July 26 – Arlington, TX @ The Chuggin’ Monk
August 7 – New York, NY @ Rockwood III
August 8 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Grape Room
August 17 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Jives Coffee Lounge
More dates TBA soon

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Rob Drabkin Releases Video For Don’t Worry About Me

Last week, Relix Magazine premiered the official music video for Rob Drabkin’s single, Don’t Worry About Me, off of his new album Little Steps. The song is one of the Colorado-based artist’s most moving ballads and features a string arrangement written by Rob’s bassist, Bijoux Barbosa, and performed by members of the Colorado Symphony.

The official video was written and directed by Dillon Novak and filmed at False Klamath Cove in Klamath, CA. “Dillon Novak stumbled on this location while camping in the Redwood Forests,” says Rob. “It’s overcast and foggy 90% of the time and the rocks and driftwood add such dark, mysterious elements to the scenery. The waves are absolutely stunning. I can’t imagine a better location for Don’t Worry About Me.” The string players featured in the video are members of the Curry Del Norte Orchestra in Crescent City, CA, also known as the Symphony by the Sea.

The first thing people notice about Rob Drabkin is his 70s style afro and ubiquitous grin. Before he even has the chance to pick up a guitar, his humble, kind-hearted nature draws you in. But it’s his music, which blends elements of rock, singer/songwriter folk and improvisational jam, that has sent this Denver, CO native and his band (featuring Brian McRae on drums, Bijoux Barbosa on bass, Eric Moon on keys and Dave Preston on electric guitar) on a handful of national tours, supporting artists like The Wood Brothers, G. Love and Special Sauce, Trevor Hall, and Big Head Todd & The Monsters. From just one encounter with him, it all comes together as to why Rob Drabkin is, in a word, lovable.

In the summer of 2013, Rob Drabkin released his third album, Little Steps, following his popular 2012 live album, Live At The Bluebird Theater 1.19.12 where he and his band covered Paul Simon’s Graceland in its entirety. Little Steps was produced by J.P. Manza (Mumford & Sons, Big Head Todd & The Monsters) and Rob Drabkin.

Rob Drabkin’s new album, Little Steps, recently peaked at number three on the Jambands Radio Chart. Rob and his band are currently on tour, including two dates this week in Colorado with G. Love and Special Sauce.

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Alisha Zalkin Announces Release Of New EP, On This Road, This June

SoCal-based singer/songwriter Alisha Zalkin has announced the independent release of her sophomore EP On This Road on June 10. Alisha will celebrate the release with shows in San Diego on June 14 and Los Angeles on June 16.

Recorded in Los Angeles at both The House of Blues Studio and Sunset Sound and produced by Steve Greenwell (Joss Stone, Andy Grammar), On This Road captures Alisha Zalkin’s sweet yet powerful voice, catchy melodies and feel-good, uplifting lyrics. Woven into her beautiful sound is a down-to-earth sense of spirituality, elegance and grace, reminiscent of iconic female artists before her like Carole King and Joni Mitchell. Quite appropriately, On This Road begins with an homage to Carole King, a cover of her song, Way Over Yonder.

On This Road Alisha Zalkin

On This Road album artwork

Earlier this week, Alisha Zalkin partnered up with The Big Takeover to premiere the album’s single, Fearless, which is now available as a free MP3 download. Its accompanying music video, directed by Mike Dominic and produced by Timbre and Post, premiered on ARTISTdirect earlier this week as well. Fearless was inspired by Alisha’s brave childhood friend who was diagnosed with lymphoma. The song addresses the courage it takes to live every moment to its absolute fullest. In order to capture the beauty of living life fearlessly, the video brings together people from all walks of life to interpret and express their own version of this message.

On This Road follows Alisha Zalkin’s 2012 debut EP, March to a Different Beat, which landed her on the homepage of GRAMMY.com as well as features in American Songwriter, M Music & Musicians Magazine, Spirituality and Health Magazine. Since then she’s had a partnership with jewellery and lifestyle brand Energy Muse and the Playing for Change Foundation, and is currently heavily involved with the David Lynch Foundation, Children of the Night and the International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma.

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Ash Grunwald Releases Self-Titled Compilation Album

Australian blues artist Ash Grunwald released his self-titled album on US iTunes this week. The new album is a collection of live and studio tracks that fans from around the world would consider a ‘best of.’ The album, as well as Ash’s 24-date summer tour as direct support for lifelong friend Xavier Rudd that kicks off next week in Salt Lake City, marks his official US debut. After releasing a total of ten albums and touring throughout Australia, Japan, Europe and Canada for over a decade, Ash Grunwald is excited to bring his crowd frenzied shows and blistering guitar playing to the US.

“Many of the songs on this album where recorded in a very non-traditional way,” says Ash. “I’ve really enjoyed pushing the blues into new directions with unusual blends of production and beats.” Many of the beats he’s used over the past five years have been provided by hip hop producers. “I’d often use a hip hop loop and then add elements of ‘junk percussion’ like hammers, spanners, bits of metal and chains.”

Ash’s new album includes single Longtime which is now available as a free MP3 download. The song’s official music video features Ash, Xavier Rudd and friends at home in Australia’s Byron Bay enjoying their second passion in life: surfing. 

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Introducing…Ash Grunwald

Relix Magazine recently announced Australian blues artist and renowned one-man-show extraordinaire, Ash Grunwald, will make his US debut as direct support for longtime friend, Xavier Rudd, on their 24-date tour this summer. Grunwald said: “I’ve known Xavier for about 15 years. We used to play shows together when we were coming up but this will be the first time I’ve toured with him since maybe 2001. We did our separate things musically but remained good friends over the years. It’s inspiring to see how things turned out for Xavier. I’m really looking forward to sharing the stage!”

On May 20, Ash Grunwald will independently release a self-titled compilation album in the US of both studio and live tracks, available on iTunes and in CD format at all shows. After releasing ten albums in his career thus far, this marks Ash’s first official release within the U.S. The album includes single Longtime which is now available as a free MP3 download. The song’s official music video features Ash, Xavier Rudd and friends at home in Byron Bay enjoying their second passion in life: surfing

Ash Grunwald, loved for his crowd frenzied shows and blistering guitar playing, is reminiscent of the greats before him like Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Steve Ray Vaughn. Vocally and lyrically, you can pick up pieces of Howlin’ Wolf, R.L. Burnside, Eddie James “Son” House and Tom Waits.

With almost a decade of touring in Australia, Japan, Europe and Canada under his belt, Ash is ready to bring his positive and high energy to the US. In the past he’s opened for acts as diverse as James Brown, Bo Diddley, Keith Urban, Jack Johnson, Missy Higgins and Pete Murray. Ash has been nominated five times by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) and received a handful of blues and roots awards including the APRA Blues & Roots Work Of The Year award twice. In 2011 his song Walking was featured in the film Limitless starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. 

Ash is most excited to play for his US music fans, who he and Xavier believe have a real appreciation for all forms of music, particularly in the jam scene. Grunwald said: “There’s also the fact that the US is the land where the blues comes from – it’s a part of your musical heritage. It feels like I’m finally contributing to music’s history in the land where it was made.” His excitement and appreciation to play for US music lovers, combined with his unique spin on blues, humble attitude and kind-heartedness have Xavier Rudd fans ready to welcome him with open arms. 

The summer tour, which kicks off on June 3 in Salt Lake City at The Depot and ends on July 13 in Los Angeles at The Bootleg, promises good times and happy hearts. Ash will perform solo with his Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, National Steel slide guitar and double foot-triggered live percussion. Additionally, his harmonica, electric kazoo and effects pedals will add to his full, rich sound. 

You can catch Ash Grunwald live on the following dates:

June 3 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
June 8 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
June 11 – Santa Fe, NM @ Sol Santa Fe
June 12 – Crested Butte, CO @ Center For The Arts
June 13 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater
June 15 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
June 18 – St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House
June 19 – Nashville, TN @ Nashville Dancin’ 2014 Riverfront 
June 20 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
June 21 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
June 22 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
June 24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
June 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
June 26 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
June 29 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
July 1 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
July 2 – Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
July 3 – Evanston, IL @ Space
July 8 – Missoula, MT @ Top Hat Lounge
July 9 – Boise, ID @ Revolution Center
July 10 – Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre
July 11 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
July 12 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore 
July 13 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Bootleg 

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Nate Currin Releases New Album, You And I Are Ghosts,

Nate Currin

Nate Currin

Folk and pop rock singer/songwriter Nate Currin has released You And I Are Ghosts, his latest album on Archaic Cannon Records. The collection of songs is based on the idea that as we move through phases of our lives, everything we leave behind are ghosts: relationships, friends, lifestyle, places. You And I Are Ghosts follows Currin’s 2013 concept album The Pilgrim and offers an even more Americana/alt country style while keeping his intimate and accessible lyrics and delivery. The new album was produced by Simon Illa, Nate Currin and John Kelly and mastered by Glenn Schick.

Atlanta-raised and now San Francisco-based Nate Currin has travelled to over 20 countries, toured with notable acts like Blues Traveler and Neon Trees, been featured on MTV and received a first ballot Grammy nomination. Recently, he was nominated for a 2013 Indie Music Award. Later this month, Currin will embark on a tour in support of You And I Are Ghosts.

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Kai Brown Releases New Single, Princess Of The Desert

Australian-born, now Los Angeles based singer/songwriter, Kai Brown has recently released Princess Of The Desert, the first single from his forthcoming EP, Lala Vol. 2. While on a road trip in Joshua Tree in 2013, Kai began to pen the lyrics to his atmospheric folk gem. The song tells the story of a character who grew up in the desert and wakes up one day knowing that a change in life is needed and is drawn to the ocean as a place of salvation and healing. For Kai, Princess Of The Desert is a song about losing oneself and, with the help of nature, finding a sense of rebirth and true love from within.

The official music video for Princess Of The Desert, which stars Australian model Ashley Hart, premiered yesterday via Elmore Magazine. “Ashley was my first choice for the role,” says Kai Brown of his good friend. “She truly embodies the spirit of the song. Her energy and attitude on the set of the video was inspiring.” The Princess Of The Desert video was directed by Adam Secore, cinematography by Lucas Gath and editing by Matt Briones.

Kai Brown

Kai Brown Princess Of The Desert artwork

Kai Brown’s forthcoming album, Lala Vol. 2, was recorded in an old church in the Santa Monica Mountains and his vintage Airstream trailer in Venice Beach rather than a traditional studio. His slightly defiant approach to the recording process allowed for a very atmospheric sounding album with lots of natural reverb and space. Lala Vol. 2 was self-produced and mixed by four time Grammy-winner, Ryan Freeland (Ray LaMontagne, The Milk Carton Kids). Kai also collaborated with engineers Mark Corben and Andrew Bush and consulted with Grammy-winning producer Ethan Johns.

In 2007 Kai Brown sold everything he owned and moved from his home in Australia to the US to live out his musical dream. Since then he’s independently released three albums, played with Grammy-winning artists, performed at festivals and concerts throughout the US, Canada and Argentina and written songs that have been licensed by Lionsgate Films and Patagonia. In 2012 Kai released Lala Vol. 1, an EP about life in Los Angeles. The following year, one of the songs from the EP, Take Me To Your Heart, a duet featuring co-writer and surfing buddy, Costa Rican superstar Debi Nova, took on a life of its own, climbing from number 50 to number 1 on one of Costa Rica’s largest radio stations, 94.7 La Lista, in just six weeks.

 

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