John Oates - Best known as one half of the mega-successful duo Hall & Oates, John Oates has released a new solo album of Roots flavored music called “Mississippi Mile.” Recorded with some Nashville all-star session players, among them Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas and the SteelDrivers’ Mike Henderson, “Mile” plays tribute to the southern delta that influenced nearly all popular music. While attending Temple University in the ‘60s, the New York City native met fellow student Darryl Hall. Signing with Atlantic Records in 1972, Hall & Oates had scored major hits with “Sara Smile” and “Rich Girl” by the mid-‘70s. In the early '80s, songs like "Kiss on my List," "Private Eyes," "Maneater," and "Say it isn't So" made them one of the country’s top pop-rock acts. Oates became a sought after producer, working with Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, the Parachute Club, and Chris Sheppard. He has guested on recordings by Taj Mahal, Tina B, and Icehouse. Over the years, his songs have been recorded by After 7, Denny Doherty, and Brian McKnight. In 2002, he issued his first solo album, “Phunk Shui.”
Amber Rubarth - Described by none other than Phil Ramone as "part of the new old-soul generation," California native Amber Rubarth has quickly amassed a passel of awards and accolades. In 2006, she won first place in the “International Songwriting Competition” in the “Lyrics only” category (judged by Tom Waits, Brian Wilson and Robert Smith). Last year, she won the 2010 “NewSong Mountain Stage Contest” with her song "Letter From My Lonelier Self." The grand prize included a recording session with Grammy Award winning producer Jacquire King (Norah Jones, Kings of Leon, Tom Waits) - and a performance on “Mountain Stage.” In addition to her solo work, Rubarth formed the acclaimed The Paper Raincoat with songwriter (and long-time collaborator) Alex Wong. Rubarth has more than 1.6 million plays on MySpace and was featured in the Top 100 Independent Artists.
Blame Sally - Featuring four of San Francisco’s most celebrated female songwriters, Blame Sally was born from a series of informal jam sessions in 2000. Pam Delgado, Renee Harcourt, Jeri Jones, and Monica Pasqual - all active solo artists in the Bay area - began carving out a collaborative sound rooted in folk, Americana and country. The band quickly attracted a strong following, prompting the members to abandon their solo careers and, in 2001, record a live album. In 2009, after issuing several self-released recordings, Blame Sally signed with Berklee indie-label Ninth Street Opus, and released 2011’s “Speeding Ticket and a Valentine.”
Frontier Ruckus - Hailing from East Lansing, MI, Frontier Ruckus is a roots band that incorporates elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, country, blues, and jazz into its lyric-driven songs. The band was formed by singer/songwriter Matthew Milia and banjo player David Winston Jones while the two were in high school and later expanded into a six-piece group. In 2006, the band released its debut, the six-song EP “I Am the Water You Are Pumping.” “The Orion Songbook,” the group’s first full-length, followed in 2008. The band later signed to NC’s Ramseur Records and released “Deadmalls and Nightfalls” in 2010.
Moreland & Arbuckle - After a chance meeting at an open mike session in Wichita, KS, guitarist Aaron Moreland and harpist/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle forged a partnership that resulted in a short-lived band the Kingsnakes. When the band dissolved they kept drummer Brad Horner and set their sites on a rough-hewn delta blues sound. After three well-received self-produced CDs, the group signed with blues label Telarc, who released their breakout effort “Flood” in 2010.
This episode is scheduled for NPR Distribution September 30, 2011.
For more information, including hi-res photos, please contact Adam Harris, 304.556.4900.