Eric D Johnson, Jeff Bundschu and (((folkYEAH!))) present
Allah-Las, Beachwood Sparks, Dean Wareham plays Galaxie 500, Robyn Hitchcock, Heron Oblivion, Cave Singers, The Tyde, GospelbeacH, Britta Phillips, The Mattson 2, Joe Pug, Tim Cohen, Boogarins, Mr Elevator, Tara Jane O'neil, Pesos, Greg Loiacono, William Tyler, Billy Changer, M Ross Perkins, Omar Valasco & The Mother Tongues, Mapache, Alina Hardin, Big Search, Outer Embassy, Two Sheds, Cass McCombs with Dan Horne, Marty O'Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra, Curls (Christopher Owens of Curls), Cosmic Twang
Fri · June 9, 2017 - Sat · June 10, 2017
3:00 pmGundlach Bundschu Winery
$40.00 - $95.00
This event is all ages
TICKETS ON SALE HIGH NOON SATURDAY 2/22
FRIDAY 3PM - 10:30PM
2 STAGES-OLD REDWOOD BARN and Introducing the GIRAFFE STAGE
SATURDAY 11AM - 10:30PM
4 STAGES - OLD REDWOOD BARN, AMPHITHEATER, THE CAVE STAGE and INTRODUCING THE GIRAFFE STAGE
MANY YUMMY FOOD AND OTHER VENDORS ANNOUNCED IN COMING WEEKS
Children 12 and under are free of admission.
Parking $10 Cash ONLY, Carpools 3 or more FREE
Attention Bacchus Wine Club Members: Members receive discounted ticket rates. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org purchase your tickets.http://gunbun.ticketfly.com/event/1438216/
A year later, Wareham started Luna with Justin Harwood (bass) of the Chills and Stanley Demeski (drums) from the Feelies. Named after Diane Keaton's character in the Woody Allen film Sleeper, Luna recorded their debut full-length, Lunapark, for Elektra Records. The track "Slash Your Tires" was a minor hit on modern rock stations, but Luna's subsequent commercial failures diminished the label's faith in the group's ability to attract a bigger audience. Elektra dropped the band before its fifth album, The Days of Our Nights, was even released; it was distributed in 1999 by Jericho instead. The lack of major-label support did nothing to diminish Luna's adoring fan base. Wareham et al. issued Luna Live (Arena Rock Recording Company) in 2001. Around this time, Harwood left Luna and was replaced by former Belltower and Ultrababyfat bassist/vocalist Britta Phillips. Phillips, who had also supplied the singing voice for Gem on the iconic '80s cartoon Gem and the Holograms, would become an integral part of Luna, appearing on their acclaimed 2002 release, Romantica. In 2003, Wareham and Phillips, now romantically involved, delivered their first album as Dean & Britta, L'Avventura. Produced by Tony Visconti, the album was a breezy mixture of originals and standards inspired by the '60s pop of Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood. The following year, Luna announced their retirement and released their seventh and final record, Rendezvous.
Wareham and Phillips continued onward after Luna split, releasing the 2006 Dean & Britta EP Words You Used to Say. The following year, Wareham and Phillips married and released the second full-length Dean & Britta album, Back Numbers, a collaboration with Pete Kember of Spacemen 3 and Experimental Audio Research. Also during this time, Wareham and Phillips supplied the soundtrack to 13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol Screen Tests, a film featuring several of Andy Warhol's silent-film portraits of artists like Nico and Lou Reed. Wareham followed that release with an EP, 2013's Emancipated Hearts. Produced by Papercuts frontman Jason Quever, the EP also included backing from Phillips along with drummer Anthony LaMarca. In 2014, Wareham returned with his first full-length solo album, an eponymously titled release featuring production by My Morning Jacket's Jim James.
Since founding the art-rock band The Soft Boys in 1976, Robyn has recorded more than 20 albums as well as starred in ‘Storefront Hitchcock’ an in concert film recorded in New York and directed by Jonathan Demme. Blending folk and psychedelia with a wry British nihilism, Robyn describes his songs as ‘paintings you can listen to’.
His most recent album THE MAN UPSTAIRS is a bittersweet love letter to a vanishing world. Produced by legendary folk-rock svengali Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Nick Drake) the album was critically acclaimed by MOJO, UNCUT and THE QUIETUS.
"A gifted melodist, Hitchcock nests engaging lyrics in some of the most bracing, rainbow-hued pop this side of Revolver. He wrests inspiration not from ordinary life but from extraordinary imaginings..." - Rolling Stone
"As a performer, he’s as much a wandering bard as a rock star." - The Believer
“Some spectral, lingering, emotional thundercloud hangs over The Man Upstairs…harks back to that infinitely distant yet eternally resonant emotional big bang”— UNCUT
On the West Coast side, Ethan Miller and Noel Von Harmonson were together in the mighty Comets on Fire, who spent a large chunk of the mid-2000s playing unbridled, blistering rock worldwide, fueled by a steady diet of amphetaminized Crazy Horse, High Rise, MC5, Chrome, and Fushitsusha. They were molten and melting down at all times—with twin-guitar blowtorch jams inflected with Noel's careening electronic infusions, and songs and structures holding on to the wheel (barely) while destruction ensued. Noel did time afterwards with Sic Alps and Six Organs of Admittance, while Miller settled into a new level of interactions with Howlin' Rain and Feral Ohms. Charlie Saufley resided at the psychedelic pop fringes with his band Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound (kindred spirits to Comets to be sure.) He was joined in California by Meg Baird of Philadelphia's Espers. The East Coast connection, Baird was an already-established leading light in the modern psych-folk canon both in Espers and as a solo artist (most recently releasing the gorgeous Don't Weigh Down the Light LP on Drag City,) as well as original drummer for Philly's post-hardcore degenerates Watery Love.
Ethan and Noel were loosely jamming in an improvisational unit called Wicked Mace at this point. Via osmosis, Charlie and Meg came floating in for weekly hangs that still resided in a somewhat free zone. "We just did pure improv’ for a few months under no pressure to 'be anything' or 'be a band'", says Miller, "I think Noel and I sort of pushed for the idea of Meg on drums, me on bass, and Noel and Charles on guitars just to mix it up a bit, get outside our usual mold a little." Though Noel and the newfound rhythm section took roles with instruments they were familiar with—but not particularly known for—ideas bubbled up quickly, and each member contributed to the songwriting process. "As expected, Charles and Noel had killer guitar chemistry, incredible fuzz sounds, symbiotic interplay," Miller recounts. Though a multitude of other parallel musical projects kept the pace slow for the foursome, it moved steadily forward—and down paths much less trodden and familiar for the players involved. It was something new, unfamiliar, and invigorating to say the least. Eventually, seven songs were tracked at Eric Bauer's San Francisco studio “The Mansion,” and the results are stellar.
Three shades of light run through Heron Oblivion: Baird's rich, beautiful vocal approach, the locked-horns bass and drums of her and Miller's streamlined-but-motorik rhythm section, and a twin guitar tapestry that both aligns with the dreaminess of the songs and crackles out of containment to froth over the rim. It's a seamless but pronounced thing: "Oriar" sports dramatic spires of solos that fly high out of the gate, slowly settling in to lilting verses then exploding again, "Rama" drifts like an Opal/Fairport wedding with more tumbling, syrupy electric lines all around.
Meg's gorgeous singing resides within an untouchable domain and never struggles, nor has to combat the avalanche of guitars that ebb and flow. The only other record this could be remotely compared to maybe is the Slap Happy Humphrey record on Japan's Alchemy label years ago, where female vocal melodies combat sick walls of noise guitar. But in this case a definite West Coast style reigns—where elements meld rather than stand as opposing black-and-white walls: Even the heights of guitar destruction on Heron's "Faro" build steadily and organically from the beginning to end.
The group first properly gigged in April of 2014 opening for War On Drugs. They finished the record independently, then inked a deal with Sub Pop in early 2015. Most recently they toured the West Coast with Kurt Vile and Cass McCombs.
-Brian Turner/Music Director WFMU Jersey City NJ
If every story is a story about love, what of suffering, surrender, and redemption? Life says they're in there too. Along with traffic jams and dishes, jobs and sunsets and spilling all the red wine on the floor. All of it.
Naomi, the fourth record from Northwestern mystics The Cave Singers, is a totem to these things: the every-, any-, all- ways of life. Written over the span of ten months and recorded in one, it bears a new and more expansive production style that captures the live performance energy the band has developed over the past five years. The disc was engineered and produced at Avast Studios in Seattle by Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Built To Spill, Shins, Modest Mouse). Each song on the album functions like a chapter in a bigger story, addressing themes of the past, exhuming the memories under moonlight. There are songs of addiction, car ownership, fireworks, tree houses, moving to New Mexico, and God, each shifting in all the ways that make life difficult and miraculous, astounding and beautiful.
Get quiet for awhile / Happy for each single breath
The core trio of singer Pete Quirk, guitarist Derek Fudesco & drummer Marty Lund have added long time friend Morgan Henderson (Blood Brothers, Fleet Foxes) on bass and extra instrumentation to round out The Cave Singers family. Together they have charted new territory for the band both musically and spiritually, while remaining true to their distinctive brand of brushfired folk. After some time in the dark wealth of the unknown, they have returned to the light with a revitalized purpose. Making music as a cure. Music as a home you always have.
I'm done with sorrow / Don't need to follow
But who or what is Naomi? Naomi is the farthest star just within sight. The tiniest shell, that though broken, remains whole. A fictional muse, who sleeps it off on your couch with her shoes still on. A holy waitress of the cosmos. A miracle, a change, a rekindled sinner who paints all his neighbor's homes for free. A breath, a beat of the heart. A love.
Sit here at the window / Watch it all move through rain
By all accounts, No Witch is The Cave Singers' rock record. Laid to tape with dark wizard producer Randall Dunn (Black Mountain, Sunn O))), Boris), No Witch is grander and more lush than The Cave Singers' previous efforts. It's also a nervier, scrappier affair: greasy guitars buck and rear up; Eastern-influenced blues snake through songs; gospel choirs rise up like tidal waves. There are big, grinning nods to Beggars Banquet-era Stones, the best of Mellencamp ("Clever Creatures") and the juke joint legends of Mississippi like Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside ("Black Leaf" and "No Prosecution If We Bail"). Of course, it's all filtered through that particular, magical Cave Singers formula: Pete Quirk's reedy, behind-the-beat delivery and existential wordplay, Derek Fudesco's lyrical guitar runs and drummer Marty Lund's no nonsense rhythms.
No Witch is a newfound sheen to the aura that made The Cave Singers' music so special to begin with. All told, there's treasure to be found here for the biker gang weekender, the double rainbow chaser and all that falls in the valley between them.
Wallowing in Southern California's anglophile predilections while touching on the mellow country rock of the late 60's Laurel Canyon scene, The Tyde brought the sunshine and pop back into surfing and rock's tenuous relationship. If Lloyd Cole somehow wound up on the same Southern California beach as CSNY chances are they would write songs that sound a lot like what The Tyde have been doing for the past ten years. The seeds of the band began in the early the 90's when vocalist/guitarist Darren Rademaker and his bassist brother Brent formed the dense psychedelic shoegazer outfit Further. The band gained cult status in the Los Angeles area but by 1998 the Rademaker brothers had turned their efforts toward the sunny pop rock that reflected their love for surfing. Brent brought guitarist David Scher and drummer Chris Gunst from his full time band, the psychedelic alt-country outfit Beachwood Sparks, into the fold while outside guitarist Ben Knight and organ/keyboard player Ann Do solidified the lineup. The debut full length, Once (2001 Track & Field/Dell'Orso), drew critical accolades for its mellow pop melodies and subtle experimentation. The Tyde subsequently signed to the renowned and newly rebooted indie label Rough Trade Records and released The Blood Brothers EP (2002 Rough Trade). Before recording a sophomore effort Scher officially left the group although he continued to contribute to future Tyde recordings. Meanwhile, Gunst also exited the band to form Mystic Chords of Memory and was replaced by Ric Menck.Twice (2003 Rough Trade) tightened up the band's sound for a more melodic and solid effort, again earning the band critical praise. The Tyde stopped by Amoeba Hollywood on August 12, 2003 for a memorable in-store performance in support of the album.
The band took an extended hiatus for the next three years while individual members focused on outside projects. Three's Co. (2006 Rough Trade) featured special guest artists like Mickey Madden of Maroon 5 and Conor Deasy of The Thrills while also broadening The Tyde's pop horizons by introducing a splash of new wave and orchestral pop into their sound. The Tyde has remained relatively quiet ever since although they do continue to tour throughout Southern California when not surfing.
Their 4th LP will be released on BURGER RECORDS in early 2015.
-BY Marcus Kagler
Hoping to pursue a music career from a young age, she moved to New York City at age 19. It was during this period that she won an audition to be the singing voice of the titular rock star character on the animated television series Jem. From 1985 to the show's end in 1988, Phillips recorded all of the Jem and the Holograms songs. In 1988, Phillips made her feature film debut alongside Justine Batemen, Julia Roberts, and Liam Neeson in Satisfaction, playing a guitarist/vocalist in an all-girl rock band.
During the '90s, Phillips began focusing primarily on her music career. She formed the short-lived shoegaze trio the Belltower along with singer/guitarist Jody Porter and future Fountains of Wayne founder/bassist Adam Schlesinger. The group spent time in London and released the album Popdropper in 1992. After the Belltower disbanded in 1997, Phillips joined the indie rock outfit Ultrababyfat, with whom she recorded the album Silver Tones Smile in 1998.
In 2000, Phillips left Ultrababyfat and replaced Justin Harwood as the bassist in former Galaxie 500 leader Dean Wareham's band Luna. With Luna, Phillips recorded such albums as Romantica (2002) and Rendezvous (2004). Wareham and Phillips eventually married and released several of their own albums as the duo Dean & Britta, including L'Avventura (2003) and Back Numbers (2007). The couple also provided the soundtrack to director Noah Baumbach's 2015 feature film, Mistress America.
In 2016, Phillips released her debut full-length solo album, Luck or Magic. Originally a collaboration with electronic producer Scott Hardkiss, the album was temporarily shelved by Phillips after Hardkiss' tragic death in 2013. However, Phillips revisited the material and finished the album with engineer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, the Juan Maclean, Eleanor Friedberger) and drummer Roger Brogan (Spectrum), with contributions from Wareham, among others. It included five original songs, as well as covers of artists such as the Cars, Fleetwood Mac, and Dennis Wilson.
-Matt Collar ALL MUSIC
His rise has been as improbable as it has been impressive. After dropping out of college and taking on work as a carpenter in Chicago, he got his musical start by providing CDs for his fans to pass along to their friends. This led to a string of sold out shows and a record deal with Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records (Jason Isbell, Billy Joe Shaver). As he toured behind “Messenger” (2010) and The Great Despiser (2012) it was with a band that looked as much like a jazz trio as an Americana band. “I never quite found a live band that captured what I was aiming for until I connected with Greg [Tuohey–electric guitar] and Matt [Schuessler–upright bass]. It was an arrangement that maybe didn’t make a ton of sense on paper but 10 minutes into the first rehearsal I knew this was going to be my band.” The following years would have them on the road for over four hundred shows, including stops at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and The Newport Folk Festival.
The relentless grind of four years of nonstop touring had taken its toll though, and by late 2013 he was ready to call it quits. The tour that fall was a runaway success but his personal and creative lives were a different story. “It was this surreal dichotomy. Everyone kept congratulating me on how well the tour was going, and the mood was probably the best it had ever been on the road. We finally got two hotel rooms in each city instead of one. We’ve got this incredible group of die-hard fans that somehow make each show bigger than our previous trip through town. Meanwhile my relationship was in shambles and creatively I was at a dead end. There was absolutely no joy left in playing music. So we walked off stage after a particular show when I played terribly, and pulled my manager aside in the green room and told him to cancel the rest of the tour dates and that I was essentially through.”
But studio time was already scheduled and deadlines had been set for a new record, so after a few weeks Pug was back to the business of writing songs. “In retrospect, I was in a very unhealthy place. I was sitting in a room with the blinds shut and a notebook, forcing out words that weren’t there and drinking astonishing amounts of bourbon. I was looking at it as a job….as a business obligation, and that is a very slippery slope.” At that point he decided to make good on his promise from the previous tour. The album was put on indefinite hold. “I just needed to start behaving like a human being again. I needed to reconnect with my girlfriend. I needed to eat healthy food. I needed to go enjoy live music as a fan. I really needed to make sure I still loved making music, because I really had my doubts at that point.”
The resulting layoff paid dividends in spades. When Pug set up camp in Lexington KY in 2014 to record, he did so with some of the best songs he has ever written. The agenda was much simpler than previous albums. “The aim on this one was very straightforward. We wanted to capture the music just the way we play it, with minimal production. It was a very back to basics approach because ultimately that’s what I love about music, and that’s what I love about making music. I wanted to record these songs the way they were written and put them out in the world.” The result is a collection of songs that are as close as we’ve gotten to a road map to Pug’s ambitions. He has collected plenty of the requisite Dylan comparisons over his young career but on this record it’s easier to hear the sway of more contemporary influences like Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams and M.Ward.
The theme of resilience plays a central role throughout Windfall. The weary protagonist in “Veteran Fighter” wills his way further down the highway despite the gloom that seems certain to overtake him. “The Measure”, a song inspired in part by Frederic Buechner’s novel Godric, marvels at “every inch of anguish, laid out side by side” but ultimately finds that “All we’ve lost is nothing to what we’ve found.” “I never really write songs with a specific narrative in mind,” Pug explains. “When you’re sort of pushing through a dark period of your life it’s probably inevitable that some of that is going to find its way onto the page. But in the same way, by the time we were in the studio the process had become very effortless and joyful. And hopefully you can hear a lot of that on the record as well.” This duality appears perhaps most overtly in the album-closing stunner “If Still It Can’t Be Found”, which features Pat Sansone of Wilco guesting on mellotron.
If it’s not around this corner it’s around the next
If it’s not beyond this river it’s beyond the next
And if still it can’t be found
It’s prob’ly for the best
As the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well.” Joe Pug didn’t call it quits after all. He’s engaged to be married and still drinks bourbon on occasion. His new album, Windfall, will be released March 10, 2015 on Lightning Rod Records in the US and Loose Music in Europe.
A native of Syracuse, New York, Cohen moved to San Francisco around the turn of the millennium and started making music under a variety of aliases. As Feller Quentin, he released the indie folk albums I Want to Be Black Kind Of (2002) and Cat in a Tree with a Mouse in His Teeth (2003) before signing with Echelon Productions for I Am Not a Monster (2004). He partnered with Evan Martin for folk with a hip-hop bent as Black Fiction, which grew to five members. The band released Ghost Ride in 2006 and God in the Gutter in 2007.
Meanwhile, Cohen's most widely known project, the Fresh & Onlys, started in 2004 as a collaboration with bassist Shayde Sartin but expanded to include Kyle Gibson, Wymond Miles, and Heidi Alexander (who soon left the band). Drawing from a hodgepodge of influences, among them Buzzcocks, the Mekons, and Country Joe MacDonald, the lineup arrived at a grimy yet sunny pop sound with plenty of garage rock mixed in. In early 2008, they issued their first recording, the Imaginary Friends EP, on their friend Kelley Stoltz's label. After self-releasing the Medicine Island cassette, John Dwyer's Castle Face label put out their self-titled full-length debut in April of 2009. The band's second LP, Grey-Eyed Girls, was issued on Woodsist in the fall.
Also in 2009, Cohen released his first album under his own name. Still trippy but more intimate, Two Sides of Tim Cohen arrived on Empty Cellar and Secret Seven. That year, he sneaked out a metal album, as well, under the name Amocoma. A flood of recordings followed in 2010. The Fresh & Onlys released the EP August on My Mind for Captured Tracks, a handful of singles for various labels, and finally their third long player, Play It Strange, which appeared in October on In the Red. Captured Tracks handled a second Cohen solo album, Laugh Tracks, the same year.
The Fresh & Onlys opened 2011 with an EP called Secret Walls for the Sacred Bones label, and Cohen debuted yet another psych-folk project, Magic Trick, with Glad Birth of Love on Empty Cellar. Magic Trick's sophomore LP, Ruler of the Night, arrived on the Hardly Art label in late June 2012, just two months before the Fresh & Onlys returned with their fourth album and first for Mexican Summer, the thoughtful and relatively slickly produced Long Slow Dance. They followed up with an EP, Soothsayer, in 2013, while Cohen found time to release another Magic Trick album, River of Souls. The Fresh & Onlys' fifth album, House of Spirits, was written by Cohen while visiting an isolated Arizona horse ranch and reflected a laid-back Western feel. It was released by Mexican Summer in June of 2014. Cohen focused on Magic Trick for 2015's Half Man Half Machine (Spiritual Pajamas) and 2016's Other Man's Blues (Empty Cellar), before offering his first Tim Cohen full-length in six years, 2017's Luck Man. It was his first recording for the Sinderlyn label.
Marcy Donelson-ALL MUSIC
Boogarins' Fernando "Dino" Almeida and Benke Ferraz began playing music together as teenagers in the central Brazilian city of Goiânia – creating psychedelic pop in their parents' gardens, filtering their country's rich musical history through a very modern lens. By the time the group's home-recorded debut LP, As Plantas Que Curam (2013), was released worldwide, the band had recruited a proper rhythm section and were developing a name around Goiânia. Soon after, the group was booking regular gigs in São Paulo and across the country. Ultimately, with glowing praise from critics abroad (Chicago Tribune #9 Album of 2013) and a growing international audience, 2014 saw Boogarins circling the globe continually – headlining clubs and playing festivals from Austin to London, Paris to Madrid, New York to San Francisco, Santiago to Mexico City, playing alongside many great artists around the world.
The band's latest album, MANUAL (2015) — now nominated for a Latin Grammy (Best Rock Album, Portuguese Language) — was launched in London this past Halloween, inspiring MOJO Magazine to award the group its MOJO Rising distinction. The majority of the set was recorded by Jorge Explosion in Gijón, Spain during this touring period and finds Boogarins taking their psychedelic rock in even more thrilling, expansive directions. The Brazil-recorded tracks feature a solidified four-piece with bassist Raphael Vaz and drummer Ynaiã Benthroldo.
The four recently holed up in a house next to Austin's SPACE studios for most of this summer, recording new material in between a several-week Austin club residency, East and West Coast US Tours, and Iberian Peninsula tour, plus live broadcasts on KUTX, KEXP and NPR's World Cafe.
As a solo artist, TJO has released 7 albums internationally. She was a founding member of Rodan and several other bands, and has collaborated on recordings and stages with musical artists such as the groups Ida, Mirah, Jackie O MF, Mount Eerie, Papa M, Come, the vocalist Nikaido Kazumi, and many more. In addition to rock clubs, galleries and DIY spaces all around north America, Europe, and Japan, she has performed at All Tomorrow's Parties, the Centre de Pompidou, the Whitney Museum of American Art, TBA festival (portland), High Desert Test Sites and many many others. She has shown her visual art in galleries all over the northern hemisphere and had four monographs of her visual art published.
Her latest album, WHERE SHINE NEW LIGHTS was released January 27, 2014 on Kranky.
Imaginational Anthem, Vol. 4: New Possibilities The younger Tyler's first recording band was the Paper Hats, who cut two albums: 2004's Come and See and 2008's Desert Canyon. In 2010, his first track as a solo artist, "Between Radnor and Sunrise," appeared on Tompkins Square's Imaginational Anthems, Vol. 4 compilation, followed almost immediately by his universally acclaimed album Behold the Spirit.
Impossible TruthTyler continued touring as a solo artist and working as a session musician. His sophomore effort, Impossible Truth, was released by Merge in early 2013 and over the next couple of years, he continued touring as a headliner and opening for other artists, including Hiss Golden Messenger. He also appeared on the band's Haw (2013), and The Lateness of Dancers (2015). During a sabbatical in Oxford, Mississippi, Tyler began writing new material based on what he felt was either lost or vanishing in American music. He decamped to April Base Studios in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and began cutting basic tracks for an album. His session players included Phil Cook, bassist Darin Gray, and percussionist Glenn Kotche. The project was completed in Nashville. Recorded and mixed by Jon Ashley, and co-produced by Tyler and Brad Cook, Modern Country was released in mid-2016.
M Ross Perkins is a psychedelic recording artist from the United States. Since 2002, he has amassed a strange and provocative catalog of far-out home recordings, serving as the music's sole writer, producer, and performer.
High Times Magazine calls it "the kind of good old-fashioned psychedelic-tinged rock & roll that the world could use right now."
M Ross' unique songwriting has also been described as "a potent cocktail consisting of thrilling '60s-inspired, songwriter-centric ear pleasers" (Dayton CityPaper).
Rock critic Don Thrasher says, "The delightfully anachronistic music is home recorded, but don't mistake this for a lo-fi collection of songs banged out quickly in a friend's rumpus room. The music is precise and orchestrated, and it's an impressive feat for a mostly one-man show."
There is a warm intimacy throughout Velasco’s musical landscape, but also a sophistication to the writing and arrangements. He’s earned comparisons to compared to the likes of James Taylor, Michael Franks and Paul Simon, with nimble lyrical phrasing that never encroaches on his stock-in-trade: earnestness.
After over a decade of making music in various bands like Foreign Born and The Cave-Ins, and assisting in bands Papercuts, Fools Gold, Glasser, Cass McCombs, Taken By Trees and Sky Ferreira, Big Search has been steadily uncovering the music being revealed to him in flow-states. After two albums and a number of singles, his new album Life Dollars was released on August 19th via Danger Mouse's new label 30th Century Records.
Life Dollars was recorded during two five days periods in Los Angeles with producer Rob Barbato (Kevin Morby, Bleached). The sessions were squeezed in between Matt's tour dates while he was working as a hired guitar player, recorded live with Dan Iead on guitar, Garrett Ray on drums and Rob Barbato doubling on bass. The majority of the songs here were written at the beginning of an international romance-turned-marriage that has since ended, giving the songs dual natures. As a result, the music embodies longing, idealism, uncertainty, isolation, and emotional gambling on a bed of drifting escapism.
The arrangements were inspired by the time Matt and Dan Iead toured as a duo through New England a few autumns ago. In a minimal rental car, surviving on pizza and a hackie sack, they developed the 12 string acoustic - electric guitar combination that would become the core of the record. Add a rhythm section, harmonies, synthesizers, vibes, and a few woodwinds and you've got all you need to rake in some Life Dollars.
The live performance is at the core of this project: the band enters a trance and the music is born again as something new every night. They go from raw gospel blues to cinematic epics, from heavy driving grooves to delicately arranged folk songs. They leave the stage out of breath, the ground littered with broken strings and bow hairs. It's hard to describe, impossible to categorize. Yet people who know the music will try to explain it to you, just as you might struggle to explain a dream in the morning. The visions might slip away as you recount them, but the feeling remains.
The band formed in Santa Cruz California in 2012 and has been touring relentlessly ever since, from San Francisco to New Orleans to London to Seattle. They invite you to join them.
"A band true to its name: soulful"
"Delightful... well crafted music"
"Raw musical excellence... guitar, fiddle and double bass
played to within an inch of their inanimate lives."
-4000 Miles to Nashville
"Definitely on the top of the Americana list penned by any serious connoisseur of roots music this year."
Gundlach Bundschu Winery
2000 Denmark St.
Sonoma, CA, 95476