The Chris Robinson
Band - When the Chris Robinson Brotherhood headed into the studio
to begin recording their new album, Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, no
one knew just what to expect. These would be the band's first recordings with
new drummer Tony Leone (Ollabelle, Levon Helm), their first since the departure
of founding bassist Mark "Muddy" Dutton, and their first time
producing themselves. But as anybody who's been following the CRB can attest,
this is a band that thrives on the unexpected. If you need proof, just go
back to 2012, when they first emerged on the national stage by releasing not
one, but two acclaimed full-length albums within a few months of each other.
Critics hailed their sprawling debut, Big Moon Ritual, as a revelation, with
Uncut calling it a "tenderly-executed piece of work…[that's] both earthy
and transcendent," while The Independent raved that Robinson had
"finally found the ideal vehicle to indulge his taste for 'Cosmic
California Music.'" The reviews were similarly ecstatic for its immediate
follow-up, The Magic Door, which was praised by Relix as "classic rock in
the finest sense." The band's relentless tour schedule brought their
shimmering acid-Americana around the world for a staggering 118-date tour,
firmly establishing the CRB as the new standard-bearers of the psychedelic roots
torch. In 2014, they returned to the studio for Phosphorescent Harvest, a
masterful collection that showcased the blossoming songwriting partnership
between Robinson and CRB lead guitarist Neal Casal. Rolling Stone raved that
the album was "electrifying…boast[ing] a vintage rock vibe that’s at once
quirky, trippy, soulful and downright magnetic," and Guitar World called
it "a treasure trove of soul that advances the band's bluesy,
kaleidoscopic sound." Anyway You Love, We Know You Feel is out
July 29 on Silver Arrow Records.
Mandolin Orange - Lean in to
Mandolin Orange’s new album, “Blindfaller,” and it’s bound to happen. You’ll
suddenly pick up on the power and devastation lurking in its quietude, the doom
hiding beneath its unvarnished beauty. You’ll hear the way it magnifies the
intimacy at the heart of the North Carolina duo’s music, as if they created
their own musical language as they recorded it. Due Sept. 30 on Yep Roc Records, “Blindfaller” builds on the
acclaim of Mandolin Orange’s breakthrough debut on the label, 2013’s “This Side
of Jordan,” and its follow-up, last year’s “Such Jubilee.”Since then they’ve
steadily picked up speed and fans they’ve earned from long stretches on the
road, including appearances at Newport Folk Festival, Austin City Limits Fest,
and Telluride Bluegrass. It’s been an auspicious journey for a pair who
casually met at a bluegrass jam session in 2009.
Aaron Lee Tasjan - Whether playing guitar in the late incarnation of riotous glam-rock innovators the New York Dolls, the gender-bending, envelope-pushing sleaze n’ tease arena rock band Semi Precious Weapons, the Neil Young-signed alt-country act Everest, British roots rock band Alberta Cross, Southern rock stalwarts Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ or even as frontman of the devilishly cleverly-named Heartbreakers meets Replacements rockers Madison Square Gardeners, East Nashville-based musician Aaron Lee Tasjan has always considered himself a songwriter first and foremost, writing his own off-kilter folk-inflected songs since he picked up his first acoustic as a teen guitar prodigy. “A lot of the stuff I did previously was never the main focal point,” Tasjan explains. “It’s all just been pieces along the way.” While those stints may have never been his main destination, each one has been a stepping stone that has uniquely informed his songwriting and made him a compelling, singular artist. Tasjan’s songs, as first heard on his debut solo EP, 2014’s Crooked River Burning, are indebted to great American storytellers like John Prine, Tom Petty, Guy Clark, Steve Goodman, Arlo Guthrie and Todd Snider. They are imbued with wry wit, a sharp tongue and a lot of heart.
Rorey Carroll - Compressed down to tabloid headlines, the early life and times of Rorey Carroll could pass for the tale of a girl gone bad. Rorey was born in Chicago into a middle class family. She dropped out of college and headed out of town, living in her car, hopping freight trains, and walking the entire Appalachian Trail by the time she was twenty years old. Rorey busked for change playing music from the subways of New York City to the streets of Ohio. Living on the streets wore her down and playing music lifted her up. She was bi-coastal, part of the Asheville, North Carolina Bluegrass scene and living in Humboldt County California, part of the local marijuana industry trimming plants. Rorey Carroll was busted in Arkansas transporting twenty-seven pounds of weed, and found herself convicted of a felony at twenty-six years old. Music finally won the battle for her soul when she landed in East Nashville, Tennessee.