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SID GRIFFIN Plus Support
Plus Support
Sun 12 June 2016
The Maze 10 Adv

Sid Griffin is that rare artist who has distinguished himself in a number of contexts and on two continents. While best known as the leader the Long Ryders, as a musician, songwriter, producer, author, and archivist, Griffin has become a pivotal member of the roots rock movement, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Born in the suburbs of Louisville, KY, Sid Griffin developed an appetite for music as a teenager, playing in a cover band called the Frosties that specialized in hits of the '50s and '60s, and in 1977, at the age of 21, he moved to California, eager to immerse himself in the Los Angeles rock scene. Griffin soon joined a short-lived punk outfit called Death Wish, but in 1979 his musical taste took a turn to the sounds of the past, and he jumped ship to play guitar with a group called the Unclaimed, who specialized in '60s-style garage rock. While Griffin's musical enthusiasms continued to be rooted in the 1960s, he began to nurture a passionate interest in folk-rock and country-rock, in particular the sounds of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

By 1981, Griffin had decided it was time to move on, and he and two other members of the Unclaimed -- bassist Barry Shank and drummer Matt Roberts -- defected to form a new group, the Long Ryders. One of Griffin's pals, Steve Wynn, stepped in to play guitar, but he soon left to form his own (much noisier) band, Dream Syndicate; however, Wynn and Griffin stayed in touch, and the Long Ryders and Dream Syndicate (along with Green on Red and Rain Parade) became known as the key members of a scene dubbed "the Paisley Underground.

In addition to the Long Ryders' catalog and eight full-length albums and two EPs credited to the Coal Porters, Griffin has recorded four solo discs: Little Victories (1997), the performance collection Sid Griffin: Worldwide Live, 1997-2002 (2002), As Certain as Sunrise (2005) and The Trick Is to Breathe (2014).

The Trick Is to Breathe, released in September 2014, was recorded in Nashville with producer Thomm Jutz and features such supporting musicians as Rounder Records artist Sierra Hull on mandolin. Justin Moses banjo and fiddle, and Grammy-winner Mark Fain (Ricky Skaggs) on bass. The album offers 10 new compositions as well as a fresh version of "Everywhere," a song written by Griffin and Greg Trooper in the 1990s which appeared on the Billy Bragg album Don't Try This at Home.


DOUBLE BILL: Amanda Pearcy (USA) & Barbara Nesbitt (USA)
Plus Support
Sun 3 July 2016
The Maze 12 Adv


Barbara Nesbitt, a Georgia native, has found her home in music. Her life is reflected in the songs she writes which are about the ways, large and small, we abandon and seek that elusive safety of home.

In late 2005, Nesbitt followed her heart to San Diego where, before long, she entered and won the San Diego Music Scene Cream of the Crop singer/songwriter competition and was nominated for best female singer.. Inspired by her new surroundings and everything that came before, Nesbitt wrote the words and music for her debut album, “A Million Stories.” she was also nominated for a San Diego Music Award in the Best Americana category in 2008.

Her second album, The Bees, was released in January, 2011. It was produced by Jeff Berkley, and features Mike Spurgat, Bill Coomes, Marcia Claire, Doug Pettibone, and Dennis Caplinger. She relocated to Austin Texas in the same year and has quickly become a fixture in the world renowned music scene there. She helped form the band, The Whiskey Sisters, who have recorded, toured internationally and seen much success, buzz and press and has placed in the Austin Music Awards in the top 10 acoustic guitar players, top 3 singers, and top 3 songwriters.

Her third solo album, Almost Home, was released in August 2013. Currently, she is dividing her time between The Whiskey Sisters, Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe, and her ‘solo’ project simply called Barbara Nesbitt. She has shared the stage / opened for artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keene, Hootie & The Blowfish, Nickel Creek, Willie Nelson and more.


“Texas-born and raised Amanda Pearcy produces music as wide and varied as the Lone Star State. …she travels down a wide-ranging Americana highway with touches of blues, a little country, gospel, Tex-Mex and a whole lot besides…

Amanda Pearcy’s music is rooted in in her hardscrabble history, authentically grounded in her earthy, soulful voice. Testifying to her southeast Texas upbringing, with the region’s multicultural mix, its Gulf of Mexico coastline, and its shared border with Louisiana’s Acadiana, Pearcy’s songs carry a sense, and the sensuality, of the South, weaving themes of home and its loss; love, both surrendered to, and longed for; the ties that bind old friends; and our human experience’s collective memory.

Her chart topping 2015 release and third album with producer Tim Lorsch, An Offering, continues the journey where her critically acclaimed Royal Street left off, the timeless sound rolling with the heat waves off an asphalt highway, and quenching the thirst of a steamy summer evening. Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” fits hand in hand with the 11 original compositions, Pearcy’s own lyrics shining a light on the dark places of struggle prior to surrendering to life’s tougher lessons, with a faith in the insight that comes with getting to the other side of them. She puts flesh on the familiar bones of Southern gothic — and makes them sound like lived experience, only described by a sharp observer with a store of original images. The songs all have a retro blues feel to them...Janis Joplin-esque and R&B upbeat tracks cut against soulful, melodic songs. Amanda Pearcy's real-life experience and honest portrayal is conveyed in each and every song.


Plus Support Appelwood Road (USA)
Mon 18 July 2016
30 Adv

This show is at THE NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE, Wellington Circus, Nottingham, NG1 5AF. Tel: 0115 9419419

Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Mary Chapin Carpenter hits the road in 2016, performing timeless hits from her expansive and beloved 14-album catalog and new songs from her upcoming record The Things That We Are Made Of.

Produced by 2016 Producer of the Year Grammy-nominee Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton), the album features eleven new songs written by Carpenter, including the lead track “Something Tamed Something Wild,” which can be heard at Rolling Stone, who praises: “...Something Tamed Something Wild’ and indeed the entire new album finds the songwriter at her most thoughtful and also at times sweetly whimsical, perfectly capturing the buoyant spirit of her early successes and also serving as a reminder that she remains one of the most grounded, sentient songwriters of her generation.”

Over the course of her acclaimed career, Carpenter has recorded 14 albums and sold over 14 million records. With hits like ”Passionate Kisses” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” she has won five Grammy Awards (with 15 nominations), two CMA awards, two Academy of Country Music awards for her vocals and is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Most recently, in 2014, Carpenter released her acclaimed debut orchestral album, Songs From The Movie. Arranged and co-produced by six-time Grammy winner Vince Mendoza, the record is comprised of ten previously recorded compositions including “Between Here and Gone” and “Come On Come On.” Since it’s release, Carpenter has performed alongside the New York Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the London Concert Orchestra, the L.A. Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra among many others.


Plus Support
Tue 19 July 2016
The Social 14 Adv

This show is at the Bodega Social, 23 Pelham St, Nottingham NG1 2ED.

“These guys are a hillbilly blues throwback ensemble, though, and no amount of refinement can really push them off their mark. Peyton’s voice still croaks, shouts, and roars, and his unique, kinetic slide guitar playing, whether it’s a ’30s National guitar, a cigar-box guitar, a Gibson flattop 1929 L2, or an Airline Map electric guitar, still drives and churns like a runaway train.” – Allmusic

The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band bridges genres and eras with an intensity and effortlessness few contemporary artists possess. And their new album ‘So Delicious’ elevates the trio’s work to a new level. Produced by Rev. Peyton, ‘So Delicious’ offers the band’s most diverse collection of songs buoyed by the Rev.’s supercharged six-string virtuosity — a unique style of finger picking inspired by his Delta blues heroes, but taken to new, original heights.

The fifth full-length original album by the group — which includes Breezy Peyton on washboard and supporting vocals and Ben Bussell on drums and supporting vocals — is their debut on Yazoo Records, a label known for the historic reissues of blues and other old time American music that are the bedrock inspiration for the Rev.’s sound and approach.

The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band has always been strong on authenticity, playing music that blends blues, ragtime, folk, country and other traditional styles with the sleek modern energy of do-it-yourself, homespun, punk fueled rock. And performing tunes plucked from their lives, their community or from the canonical songbook that fed the Rev. Peyton’s formative creative identity. It’s a mix that’s allowed the band to win fans from all corners of the Americana and rock worlds, and bring a new generation to blues and other forms of American roots music.


Plus Support
Sun 24 July 2016
The Maze 10 Adv

"Chuck really deserves to sit at the same table with Townes, Guy, Butch and all the other great Texan songwriters..."

If 21 years in the U.S marines is what is necessary to gain the ability to write songs of this quality then everyone should sign up. This is Chuck's debut album and came about due to a chance airport meeting with Ray Bonneville to whom we should be eternally grateful!

The eleven songs on this album are quite stunning in subject matter, as well as being built on hugely appealing melodies, with the sound being sparse and Chuck's warm vocals quite distinctive. Overall we can fit him comfortably into whatever genre we choose to put artists such as John Prine and Kris Kristofferson into, without, on the evidence of this album, Chuck being overshadowed.

Ray Bonneville produced the album and they had help from artists of the quality of Eliza Gilkyson and Gurf Morlix; that pair alone being sufficient to pique anyone's interest. This is a terrific recording that drags the emotions all over the place, always gaining sympathy for the songs subject and there will be few, if any, better debut albums released this year.

Named one of the "Best Country Albums of 2015" The Telegraph, U.K.


Plus Support
Thu 1 September 2016
The Maze 12 Adv

"Bruntnell has a remarkable knack for turning out big, dreamy, melodic, memorable songs" - MOJO

If you ask the likes of Peter Buck, Scott Mccaughey, Willy Vlautin, Jay Farrar, John Murry or Kathleen Edwards they’ll all agree that Peter Bruntnell is a writer with rare and mysterious qualities. It’s interesting that American musicians are so seduced by such a uniquely British artist, and Peter has toured extensively with Son Volt, Kathleen Edwards and Richmond Fontaine at the request of the artists.

In 1999 Peter signed to Slowriver/ Rykodisc and released Normal For Bridgwater, a record that was to be his biggest commercial success to date which won him wider acclaim in North America. Upon hearing the album, Kathleen Edwards told her producer when recording her debut Failer, “I want to make an album like this”. Peter struck up a friendship with Son Volt, which resulted in them touring together. It also saw the introduction to Peter’s band of 17 year-old James Walbourne. As well as playing with Peter, James is now half of the duo Rails with his wife Kami Thompson.

Around this time NME claimed that “Peter Bruntnell’s records should be taught in schools”, they were referring to the particular appeal of the quiet Devonian’s songwriting craft. This new record returns emphatically to the earliest days of Bruntnell’s career, a full-on electric psych-rock experience.

Recorded between February and June 2015 and self-produced by Peter, Nos Da Comrade (which means “Good Night Comrade” in Welsh) was recorded in Bruntnell’s home studio in deepest Devon, and in the village hall in the idyllic village of Mortehoe, where the band simply set up and blasted out the tunes. Peter Bruntnell has a unique ‘way with a tune’ like no other contemporary artists. The most interesting thing about his music, and part of the reason for his devoted following, is the indefinable knack the songs have of locking into one’s emotions in an elusive, intangible but deeply affecting way.

"One of the finest songwriters in Britain" The Independent.


MADISON VIOLET (CANADA) + Support. (Birmingham Show)
Plus Support
Thu 15 September 2016
14 Adv

THIS SHOW IS AT THE GEE CLUB BIRMINGHAM, The Arcadian, Hurst Street, Birmingham, B5 4TD. Doors open 7.45pm. Tickets from www.glee.co.uk/music/birmingham/

Madison Violet are an award winning, multi-instrumentalist duo from Toronto, Canada. Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac have recently released their newest album ‘Year Of The Horse’, which is a slight departure from their rootsy/Americana sound. Influenced by pop, dance and folk, the duo have managed to blur the lines of musical genres seamlessly with their new batch of infectious songs and win over crowds from North America to Australia with their song-writing prowess and stunning harmonies.

With 5 albums under their belt, numerous awards including Vocal Group of the Year at the CFMAs and the International John Lennon Songwriting Award, Brenley and Lisa have proven once again, that they’re among Canada’s brightest songwriters.

"Madison Violet has suddenly appeared like a ray of sunshine on a rainy day." - No Depression


Plus Support
Thu 22 September 2016
The Maze 16 Adv

A welcome return to The Maze for Willie Nile and his amazing USA band!

The New York Times called Buffalo, NY born Willie Nile "one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years." Uncut Magazine called him “A one-man Clash.” His album Streets Of New York was hailed as “a platter for the ages” by UNCUT magazine. Rolling Stone listed The Innocent Ones as one of the “Top Ten Best Under-The-Radar Albums of 2011” and BBC Radio called it “THE rock ‘n’ roll album of the year.” His single from that album, “One Guitar,” was the “Top Pick of the Week” in USA Today.

His album, American Ride, won “Best Rock Album of the Year” at the Independent Music Awards. It appeared on dozens of year-end Top Ten lists for 2013 and was voted “Album Of The Year” at Twangville Magazine. Bono called it, “One of the great guides to unraveling the mystery that is the troubled beauty of America. In November 2014 he released a new album of piano-based songs, If I Was A River, to universal critical acclaim. “One of the most brilliant singer-songwriters of the past thirty years” said The New Yorker. Uncut called him “the unofficial poet laureate of New York City.”

Willie has toured across the U.S. with The Who and has sung with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. As the induction program from the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame says: “His live performances are legendary.”

Willie's new album, World War Willie, continues to break new ground. Released in early 2016, the new album is receiving widespread acclaim and many critics rate it Willie's best yet. The album features Willies regular touring band Johnny Pisano, Matt Hogan and Alex Alexander and together they make one of the most dynamic, passionate and hard hitting live bands in the world today.


Plus Support
Thu 20 October 2016
The Maze 17.5 Adv

26th March 2004 Richmond Fontaine took to the stage for the first time at the Maze. Some 12 years later it looks like they have decided it’s time to call it a day, and a sad day indeed. One of the pioneers of ‘Alt Country’ as it was tagged back then, Richmond Fontaine will be remembered as one of the best and most pioneering bands of the genre. In addition they are a fine bunch of genuine, honest and hard working people we have had the pleasure to work with and lucky to have had the great fortune to bring them to the Maze.

Richmond Fontaine | YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK TO is the tenth studio album by the kings of literate rock, Richmond Fontaine, their first in five years. Richmond Fontaine’s songwriter, Willy Vlautin says of the album “This record was written for all the guys we know who have hit the wall, are about to hit the wall, or are in the middle of slamming into it, It’s a record about paying the price for the way one’s lived. All of us in RF are at the age where the bill starts coming due for the decisions we’ve made along the way.

Recorded and produced in Portland, Oregon by John Askew at Flora Studios, YOU CAN’T GO BACK features the stalwart line-up of Sean Oldham on drums, Dan Eccles on guitar, and Paul Brainard on pedal steel. Freddy Trujillo joins on bass for his first recording with RF, and long-time friend Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists) plays keyboards with former bassist Dave Harding contributing some guitar after a move to Europe. While the atmosphere is familiar the songwriting is Vlautin’s strongest to date matching his lyrics in depth.

“The idea for the record started with the song Whitey and Me. It’s the story of two cowboy brothers who get their horses sold out from under them by a wayward uncle. They run into the uncle years later, only to find a wrecked man. Even though the brothers hold a lot of animosity towards the uncle they realize there’s no point in kicking someone who’s spent his whole life kicking himself. I’d just written the tune and not much later I was driving around central Nevada, and in the middle of nowhere I came across an old, blind Mustang. As I watched and worried about the horse, I studied his scars and thought about all the hard times he must have had. And now he was left alone to die. After that trip the songs just sorta spilled out. The characters in Wake up Ray, I Got off the Bus, Don’t Skip Out on Me, and Tapped Out in Tulsa are all like that horse: beat up, with nothing but hard miles behind them.” YOU CAN’T GO BACK IF THERE’S NOTHING TO GO BACK TO is the band at its best. From the epic A Night in the City to the pared-down, acoustic Three Brothers Roll into Town, to Dan Eccle’s inspired guitar work on Don’t Skip Out on Me, RF again has produced a wealth of beautifully executed story songs, the ilk of which is rarely matched in today’s musical landscape.

Richmond Fontaine rose to fame in 2004 off the back of their 5th album Post To Wire which went on to sell over 20,000 copies and earned them Album of the Month in UNCUT again happening the following year with The Fitzgerald. The press snowballed with those and the following three albums which saw the band playing Green Man, Primavera, End of the Road Festivals while building a loyal following over the last 11 years.