BILL KIRCHEN BAND (USA) Plus Support Plus Support Wed 4 March 2015 The Maze £12.5 Adv
Nick Lowe – “A devastating culmination of the elegant and the funky, a really sensational musician with enormous depth.”
Grammy nominated guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen is one of the fortunate few who can step onto any stage, play those trademark licks that drove his seminal Commander Cody classic Hot Rod Lincoln into the Top Ten, and elicit instant recognition for a career that has spanned over 40 years and includes guitar work with Nick Lowe, Emmylou Harris, Doug Sahm, Elvis Costello and many more. Named “A Titan of the Telecaster” by Guitar Player Magazine, he celebrates an American musical tradition where rock 'n' roll and country music draws upon its origins in blues and bluegrass, Western swing from Texas and California honky-tonk.
Johnny Cash – “I think he’s great.”
Washington City Paper – “Like an impassioned preacher in a souped-up convertible, Kirchen described passing Muddy Waters, Link Wray, Merle Haggard, B. B. King, Carl Perkins, Jimi Hendrix and more, nodding in tribute to each one with a perfect guitar quotation as he drove by. … Bill Kirchen took every one for the ride of their lives in his Hot Rod Lincoln.”
JOSH ROUSE (USA) + Support Plus Support Tue 28 April 2015 The Glee Club £15 Adv
The Nebraska-born, Valencia-dwelling Josh Rouse sings a brand of soft acoustic rock, extending from his youthful obsession with such bands as The Smiths and The Cure. From the release of his first album, Dressed Up For Nebraska, his work has drawn rave reviews from a range of circles further enhanced by his collaboration with Lambchop's Kurt Wagner in 1999. It may have been 15+ years – from roots in rural Nebraska, through time in ‘Music City’ Nashville, TN, and to the current day relocated to a new home in cosmopolitan Spain.
"I got too many things on my mind," Josh Rouse sings on his new album, 'The Embers Of Time.' It was that realization that led the acclaimed songwriter to find the only English-speaking therapist in Valencia, Spain—the small town on the Mediterranean coast where he's lived for the last decade with his family—and face his anxiety head-on.
"I started going back through my past and my childhood," the Nebraska native explains, "growing up and moving around a lot and never really having a father figure, per say. All those things came out in this new set of songs. This is my surreal, ex-pat therapy life album."
It's also one of the finest collections in a celebrated career that's earned him plaudits everywhere from the NY Times to NPR for his "pop-folk introspection" and "string of remarkable records." Hailed for his "sharp wit" by Rolling Stone and as "a talent to outrank Ryan Adams or Conor Oberst" by Uncut, Rouse has long since solidified his status as a songwriter of the highest caliber over his ten preceding studio releases. Q called his acclaimed critical breakout album '1972' "the most intimate record of the year," EW dubbed the follow-up album 'Nashville' "persistently gorgeous," and PopMatters called his most recent record, 2013's 'The Happiness Waltz,' "a big contender for Rouse's best work." In 2014, he won a Goya Award (the Spanish equivalent of an Oscar) for best song for "Do You Really Want To Be In Love," from the film 'La Gran Familia Española.' But as he navigated the unfamiliar terrain of his forties while writing 'The Embers of Time,' Rouse found himself facing difficult questions.
THEA GILMORE + Support Plus Support Sun 10 May 2015 The Glee Club £16.5 Adv
Furiously individual singer/songwriter and Brit Award 2001 nominee. 'Britain has spawned very few world class female songwriters, but Gilmore is already in a league of her own' (Q Magazine)
THE WATERBOYS, JOAN BAEZ, BILLY BRAGG, JOHN COOPER CLARKE, JOAN AS POLICEWOMAN, KING CREOSOTE, I AM KLOOT... Names that seldom appear in the same sentence, lLet alone on the same album. But the album is "Ghosts & Graffiti" by Thea Gilmore, due for release April 27 - and when the artist is Thea Gilmore, normal rules don't apply.
"Ghosts And Graffiti" is a retrospective with a difference, a 20 track double album where Thea Gilmore looks both forward and back. It includes all her best known songs on one record for the first time. It also includes 4 new songs, AND 6 newly recorded versions of songs from her back catalogue. It features a duet with Joan Baez, and a duet with Billy Bragg.
It includes a full collaboration with The Waterboys, produced and co-sung by Mike Scott.
There are also special collaborations with John Bramwell (I Am Kloot) and with King Creosote.
All the above signed up quickly when Thea started planning - testimony to her reputation among her peers, but scarcely surprising as a glance at her career shows...
After all, Bruce Springsteen regularly uses her work as play-on music at shows, she has duetted with Sting, and Martha Wainwright... and the depth and breadth of her fans is extraordinary and includes Richard Thompson, Neil Gaiman, Steve Earle, David Baddiel, Stephen Mangan, William Boyd, Simon Armitage and David Morrissey.
Since being described in Q magazine in 1999 - whilst still in her teens - as "already in a league of her own among UK female singer/songwriters" Gilmore has released 14 albums.
Her honey toned alto sends shivers down the spines of the most hardened cynics, and her beyond-prolific body of work is a rich mosaic with staggering depths and detours. She bleeds stark intimate confessionals with dark poetic twists...
She peppers national radio playlists with literate love songs, and her last album "Regardless" was a top 40 hit in 2013. Now, as admirers line up to celebrate, her gaze hovers between the rear view mirror and the horizon and Thea Gilmore, one of the few contemporary artists with populist appeal and integrity intact, is poised to release a unique collection which represents both an end and a new beginning.
STEVE GUNN BAND (USA) + Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler (USA) Plus Support Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler Tue 19 May 2015 The Maze £12 Adv
Steve Gunn is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter. With a career spanning nearly fifteen years, Steve has produced volumes of critically acclaimed solo, duo, and ensemble recordings. His astounding solo albums, as well as his work with GHQ and longtime collaborating drummer John Truscinski, represent milestones of contemporary guitar-driven, forward music. A voracious schedule of international performances has cultivated a fervent fanbase for Gunn’s music throughout the world. These days you can find him playing with his band as well as sometimes serving as guitarist in fellow Philadelphia-bred troubadour Kurt Vile’s band the Violators.
Mining the catalogues of Basho, Bull, Chapman, and Sharrock, among other titans of stringed-things and record-session royalty, Steve has steadily processed these inspirations into a singular, virtuosic stream. Friendships and collaborations with Jack Rose, Tom Carter, Meg Baird, Mike Cooper, and Michael Chapman coloured the disciplined evolution of the discursive, deconstructed blues sound, at once transcendent and methodical, that is now Gunn’s signature. Close listening reveals the influence of Delta and Piedmont country blues, ecstatic free jazz, and psych, as well as Gnawa and Carnatic music, on the continually unfolding compositions.
Gunn’s latest album Way Out Weather was released on October 7, 2014. A heady and elliptical travelogue, Way Out Weather demonstrates a radical widescreen evolution, featuring a larger band and lighting out for lusher, more expansive, and impressionistic territories than Time Off. This is the virtuosic guitarist and songwriter’s career-defining statement to date, a self-assured masterpiece.
SLAID CLEAVES (USA) With Scrappy Jud Newcomb (USA) Plus Support Sun 24 May 2015 The Maze £14 Adv
“A sharply observant songwriter with a deep appreciation for the ageless fundamentals of folk, country, and rock … one of the country’s most compelling roots artists.”
Austin's own Slaid Cleaves has been called Americana's best kept secret, and we couldn't agree more. The rootsy singer-songwriter has called Austin his home since moving here from Maine about two decades ago.
Slaid Cleaves spins stories with a novelist’s eye and a poet’s heart. Twenty years into his career, the celebrated songwriter’s Still Fighting the War spotlights an artist in peak form. Cleaves’ seamless latest collection delivers vivid snapshots as wildly cinematic as they are carefully chiselled.
Still Fighting the War follows the razor sharp songwriter’s undeniable hat trick – Broke Down (2000), Wishbones (2004) and Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away (2009) – that established him as a singular storyteller. His golden key: effortlessly shading dark with light. Cue Cleaves’ excellent double-disc Sorrow & Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge for inarguable evidence (“Drinkin’ Days,” “Wishbones,” “Horseshoe Lounge”).
“I’m glad I found Slaid Cleaves, because my life would have been poorer without him. You’ll feel the same, I think, when you listen to this beautifully crafted album. Listen, go to one of Slaid’s shows, take a friend, and pass on the news: Not all the good guys wear hats.” —Stephen King
CHUCK PROPHET AND THE MISSION EXPRESS (USA) Plus Support Sun 31 May 2015 The Glee Club £17.5 Adv
"Prophet delivers with quixotic swagger and declamatory sneer." MOJO
After his ambitious 2012 album Temple Beautiful, a song cycle about his home town of San Francisco, Chuck Prophet eases back just a bit with Night Surfer, a set of tunes that often have an autobiographical twist as Prophet (or a character speaking with his voice) interacts with a rogue's gallery of characters both honorable and dangerous. Whether he's hitting the highway on tour in a beat-up van, harvesting weed in Mexico, or jotting down mental notes about strangers in the park, Prophet has a great eye for details, and these 12 songs are often powerfully evocative and acidly funny, short stories of a memorable life where fate often puts a twist in the tale.
Night Surfer jumps from atmospheric pop to full-on rock with grace, precision, and just the right touch of attitude, and Prophet's wit and storytelling smarts never get in the way of his abundant heart and soul. Chuck Prophet has quietly amassed a very impressive body of solo work in the 21st century, and Night Surfer shows he's not slowing down anytime soon.
His search for a new perspective has paid off, much like at eighteen when he left his native Whittier, CA for San Francisco, which he still calls home, and before too long joined Green on Red, a gang of interloping Arizonans with no small impact on L.A.`s Paisley Underground. During an eight-year run with Green on Red, he cut his first major label session with legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson, burned through a couple of big record deals, and ventured a debut solo effort, Brother Aldo (1990). These were the first steps in the career that shaped Prophet into a prolific rock `n' roll classicist. With "his triple-threat ability — excellent songwriter, killer lead guitarist, charismatic front man Chuck pays homage to the city he calls home for his twelfth studio album, Temple Beautiful.
When you dig the details that have shaped Prophet's career, he has written with a wide rage of artists from Dan Penn to Alejandro Escovedo, laid down tracks on sessions for everyone from Warren Zevon to Kelly Willis and taken the stage with Jim Dickinson, Lucinda Williams and Aimee Mann, to name a few. Prophet's production credits include Willis' Translated From Love (2007) and working on Jace Everett's ("Bad Things" / True Blood) Red Revelations. He's heard his own tunes performed by legends like Solomon Burke and Heart and his songs have charted on both country ("I'm Gone," a co-write with Kim Richey, on the debut album of country starlet Cyndi Thompson) and AAA radio ("Summertime Thing," from 2002's No Other Love, was a lazy radio anthem).
Over the past several years, Chuck's music has been heard in several hit television series' including True Blood (HBO), Californication (Showtime), and Sons of Anarchy (FX). He also co-wrote all the songs on Alejandro Escovedo's 2008 critically acclaimed album Real Animal.
"...a sparky songwriter worthy of greater attention." Q Magazine
DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD Plus Support Plus Support Sun 21 June 2015 The Maze £11 Adv
"Wilson and the Champs' finest set yet" ★★★★
Danny & The Champions Of The World has always been a pretty loose collection of great musicians, songwriters, stowaways and adventurers. The current line up is the most steady so far - it’s not a collective of folks now, it’s a band, a great band: Danny George Wilson (acoustic guitar, lead vocals), Chris Clarke (bass, vocals), Paul Lush (guitar, vocals), Steve Brookes (drums, vocals) and Geoff Widdowson (saxophone, organ, vocals), Henry Senior (pedal steel guitar).
‘Stay True’ is the fourth album from Danny & The Champions Of The World. It's also Danny George Wilson’s eleventh album which includes six long players from the much loved Grand Drive plus a solo outing (as Danny George Wilson) entitled ‘Famous Mad Mile’. Danny has been touring the world and making critically acclaimed records for nearly 20 years now, the first Grand Drive release was on Loose back in 1997. ‘Stay True’ was recorded over five days at North London’s Reservoir Studios with Champs bass player Chris Clarke (ex Rockingbirds) and Danny at the helm.
"Sounds as if it was made in Stax Studios by a collective of Nashville’s finest Country musicians... unquestionably their finest" ★★★★★ MAVERICK