Archive for October, 2010

Keller Williams KIDS Album

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010




“[Keller's] big-hearted wit is perfectly suited to the songs on Kids, a record that will entertain children of all ages without talking down to them.” – All Music Guide

“Kids sparkles with invention.” – Bob Etier,

Today, Keller Williams releases his sixteenth album — and first-ever album for kids and families — appropriately titled Kids. With Kids, Keller once again breaks new ground, staking out his next conquest: the absolute adoration of the under-10 crowd and their parents, caregivers, and relatives.

Kids has already been warmly embraced by such kids’ music tastemakers as Stefan Shepherd (Zooglobble), Amber Bobnar (Boston Children’s Music), Pamela Brill (Rockabye Baby Music), and syndicated columnist Lee Littlewood (Kids Home Library). Stefan Shepherd wrote that Kids “immediately shoots to near the top of my most-anticipated albums list.” Declared Amber Bobnar, “It almost sounds like something from Stomp or Blue Man Group that just builds and builds on itself. It’s really a trip!” Lee Littlewood included Kids in an “Incredible New Music for Kids” column, writing, “Williams’ high musical standards make Kids a superb CD for all ages.” Enthused Pamela Brill, “This CD blends Williams’ love of bluegrass and rock to create a unique sound that will resonate with listeners of all ages. What we like is that his music really gets it … he knows how to capture his listeners’ attention—and how to hold on to it.”

When Keller Williams addresses kids in song or words, it’s with extreme sincerity, respect, and more than a dash of his famous quirky, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. Every song on Kids clicks into a kid’s world, from the bouncy, two-beat “Taking a Bath” to the compellingly hip speak-singing of “Horseback Rider” and “Grandma’s Feather Bed” to the catchy, rhythmic, danceable “Keep It on the Paper.” Keller’s infectious good humor and the compelling joyfulness of his songs invite young listeners to freely sing, dance, and play along, becoming true partners with his legendary creativity.

In conjunction with the release of Kids, Keller Williams is releasing his first children’s book, Because I Said So. Based on Keller’s song by the same name (included on Kids), the story is told through the eyes of “L’il Keller,” who learns that you can’t always get what you want, and there isn’t always a good reason why! Enhanced by the cleverly drawn illustrations of Fredericksburg, Virginia artist Bill Harris, Because I Said So is humorous, colorful, and wise. Included with the book is a CD containing the song “Because I Said So.” Because I Said So is available at

Also this fall, Keller expands his touring horizons to include kids and families, joining the Yo Gabba Gabba Tour as a “Super Music Friend” at select shows in the Pacific Northwest and California. Keller is one of many acclaimed artists joining Yo Gabba Gabba’s fall tour; also confirmed are Pretty Lights, Steel Train, Kid Koala, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, The Saltines, and others. Keller’s list of Yo Gabba Gabba tour dates is included below.

Keller Williams’current list of tour dates is as follows:
Friday, November 5 Rick’s Cafe Starkville MS
Saturday, November 6 Rock For Hunger Orlando FL
Wednesday, November 10 WOW Hall Eugene OR
Thursday, November 11 Wild Buffalo Bellingham WA
Friday, November 12 INB Performing Arts Center Spokane WA Yo Gabba Gabba! Live
Friday, November 12 Knitting Factory Concert House Spokane WA Keller Solo
Saturday, November 13 Tacoma Dome Tacoma WA Yo Gabba Gabba! Live
Saturday, November 13 Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room Seattle WA Keller Solo
Sunday, November 14 Memorial Coliseum Portland OR Yo Gabba Gabba! Live
Sunday, November 14 Aladdin Theatre Portland OR Keller Solo
Monday, November 15 Hult Center for the Performing Arts Eugene OR Yo Gabba Gabba! Live
Wednesday, November 17 Humboldt Brews Arcata CA Keller Solo
Thursday, November 18 Memorial Sacramento CA Yo Gabba Gabba! Live
Thursday, November 18 Harlow’s Sacramento CA Keller Solo
Friday, November 19 Blu Nightclub – Montbleu Resort Lake Tahoe NV
Saturday, November 20 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA
Sunday, November 21 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium San Francisco CA Yo Gabba Gabba! Live
Saturday, November 27 State Theater Falls Church VA
Thursday, December 2 Avalon Theatre Easton MD Keller Williams Kids Show
Saturday, December 4 Stage One Fairfield CT
Sunday, December 26 Fredericksburg Field House Fredericksburg VA SPCA Benefit
Wednesday, December 29 The Norva Norfolk VA
Thursday, December 30 The National Richmond VA
Friday, December 31 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte NC


Tuesday, October 26th, 2010


Saturday, October 23 | Congress Theater, Chicago, IL

Contributing Photographer :  Joey Hill

As The Crowe Flies | Interview with Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

As The Crowe Flies – An Interview with Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes

Contributing Writer – Garret K. Woodward []

In the spirit of creativity and controversy, The Black Crowes follow a long line of rock-n-roll debauchery and grandeur, which is seemingly spearheaded by a dynamic duo of musicians throwing punches in the gutter and gracious handshakes in the face of success.

Within the eye of this melodic storm, Chris and Rich Robinson have garnered an array of material meticulously interwoven into the fertile American musical landscape. Their creations not only provoke reflection, for good or ill, they inspire pure pursuits of genuine purpose as we all mosey down the road a little further.

But, behind every cherished lead singer and guitarist resides an equally beloved drummer. For the Crowes, Steve Gorman is a perpetual force of reason, onstage and off.

At a recent performance in Vermont, Gorman is the backbone of an aged, yet “wiser for the time”, musical body, one that is currently immersed in their artistic pinnacle, thus far. The sextet provokes goosebumps with such ease, you feel intoxicated by the aroma of psychedelic-rock soaked with an embracing sound paying ode to the likes of the Grateful Dead, The Band, and Led Zeppelin.

Checking in from Nashville, he spoke of the road to redemption the band has taken over the last decade, why the group is going on hiatus in 2011, and how Ringo Starr never seems to get the credit he deserves.

Garret K. Woodward: Let’s get right down to it. Hiatus or breakup?

Steve Gorman: It’s not a breakup, it’s just “let’s stop with no guarantee we’ll start up again”. This is us being 20 years into this, six straight years on the road. Three of the guys have new babies. We just want to focus on other things for a while. The Black Crowes are an all-consuming band for the people in it. We’ve just have learned, hopefully from our past mistakes, about grinding ourselves in dust. So, we want to pull the plug before that happens again.

GKW: Since 2006, it seems you guys have been on the road the whole time.

SG: Definitely. We went from the early 1990s until 2001 without even taking at least a mental break. There are a couple times, looking back, we all agree that at different times during the 90s we really should have just shut it down and said “see you in a year”. And I think we would have made a lot of things easier on ourselves and probably consistently easier to follow. We haven’t made things really easy for our fans sometimes. A lot of those things come from being so close you can’t see it. So, we really want to make sure nothing like that happens again. It’s funny because it’s prompted by the fact that we’re really happy with what we’re doing right now. I mean, if we were sort of floundering and it didn’t feel like we were really on a roll, I don’t know if we even be having this thought of “let’s just shut it down”, it would probably be more of like “maybe we are done”.  Instead, it’s “this is really great and we need to protect this and do what best for it long-term”. If there is going to be another Black Crowes, there needs be a Black Crowes that’s been away for one or two years.

GKW: It’s funny when I tell people the band is taking a break after this tour, they all seem to ask if the hiatus is because Chris and Rich are going at it again.

SG: No, they’re fine. They each had babies. When you start bringing babies around, all your stupid childhood fights sort of fade into the background.

GKW: You guys have collaborated in the past with the Grateful Dead and they definitely have a big influence on your music. Like you guys, they did nonstop tours, pumping out albums. And yet, they didn’t take the right initiative and take a break when people needed time to rest.

SG: They are hardly the only band, but that’s a good example. I don’t know a single band, that’s been around more than a decade, that doesn’t look back and see “this is when we needed that break”. In 1995, early on and throughout that whole tour, we all had a conversation that, “when this tour ends, we should all go away for a while, take a year off, we really got to get away from this”. We had a rough tour. There was a lot of fighting, not just the brothers, everybody was at each other’s throats. There was a tough vibe for the whole tour. At the very end, the last couple months of the tour, we spent the summer in Europe with The Rolling Stones and then came home and headlined the H.O.R.D.E tour with Ziggy Marley, Blues Traveler, and Wilco, all these great bands. It got really fun all of a sudden. We went into the studio right when that tour ended because we were having fun again. The truth is, we should have stuck with our original thought. We got in, made a record, and by the time the next tour started it was like we never had a break. We hit the road dead tired. By the end of that tour, two members of the band had quit.

GKW: I lost track of you guys after the first hiatus (2001) and a lot of fans wandered off as well. But, over the last five years, you’ve reclaimed anyone who ever doubted the band or walked away. It’s very bittersweet when you put out a milestone record like “Before The Frost, Until The Freeze”, hitting this incredible stride, and now decide to take a step back.

SG: I appreciate that. We are very proud of that record. We’re old enough now to realize that it’s going to be around. That record isn’t going anywhere. If anything, I think the way people see that record will only improve over time. You give it a few years, it will sit in people minds as a benchmark. The truth is we need a break. As much as we’re all happy with the band, there is another side of us that knows if we go our separate ways and get focused on other things, it’s going to be hard to get it back together. But, we just got to see what happens.

GKW: How did the whole idea come about for that album to be recorded at Levon Helm’s?

SG: Chris went to one of his Midnight Rambles. We had an idea already to make a live record. We were thinking we’d be in a conventional studio, with 20 people in there, piled up in the corner, just to see what would happen, if it would change the energy of the room. After Chris went to one of the Rambles, he was sitting in the barn and realized it was a recording facility where you could fit 200 people in there. Levon said, “Come up, my home is your home, do what you want to do”. He wasn’t part of the project, other than he owned the facility. He wasn’t involved in the making of the record. We would have loved it if he’d have hungout more. Every four or five days, he’d poke his head in and sit down for an hour when we were taking a break. We’d all talk about how it was going, tell stories, and have a good hang. Then, on our very last night, he came in and we did a couple tunes, that weren’t on the record.

GKW: How much of an influence did he have on you as a drummer?

SG: Oh, huge. There isn’t a member in my band who wouldn’t count him as an influence. The Band themselves and Levon, quite specifically, is such a musician, such a gentleman, such an encyclopedia of taste, and all these things I think any real rock-n-roll musicians would want to aspire to.

GKW: Who’s the greatest rock-n-roll drummer, in your opinion?

SG: I have two. Ringo Starr and John Bonham. The thing that they share is that both bands (The Beatles / Led Zeppelin) are unimaginable with someone else. They serve the songs. Ringo has one of the best feels of any drummer. By people that aren’t musicians, he is so misunderstood.

GKW: I also felt he was always underrated.

SG: Only because they are the biggest band of all-time. Bonham could have tried all he wanted, but you’re never going to take The Beatles off the top of the mountain. They came in and did something so inconceivable that anybody could put in that amount of work. In seven years in the studio, they have like 138 songs everyone in the world knows. Nothing computed. I mean, my kids love The Beatles. Then, when Zeppelin came in, not as a pop band, there was this wave all about the musicianship and the playing and this sort of fifth member. When the four of them played (Led Zeppelin), they created this aura and this magic to that band. There were two different approaches. I mean, you can’t say anyone is a great drummer unless they’re in a great band. You don’t give the MVP award to someone on a .500 team. The band has to be great to even start to discuss if the drummer is great. A great drummer in a bad band is about as useless as anything could be.

GKW: It’s all about the cogs within the machine.

SG: Absolutely. It’s funny, drummers can pick apart John Bonham all day long about the technical things. Drummer might do that, but musicians wouldn’t. And there are a lot of drummers who are musicians first, then get into it. Then, there are a lot of drummers who go to the basement, put on headphones, and play along to The Who or Rush records and think they’re great drummers, too. Ringo and John Bonham are musicians who play the drums, they’re not just drummers. Rock-n-roll music is all about feel. John Densmore of The Doors is probably the most overlooked great drummer of all-time. No one talks about that guy. When you hear The Doors, you think of Jim Morrison, and he would have been useless in front of any other musicians.

GKW: With the Crowes rising into the upper echelon of American rock-n-roll, is it surreal to have kids and other drummers look to your style as an influence?

SG: I’m aware of that, but the truth is that’s something I’m not going to spend a lot of time thinking about

GKW: A humbling feeling, perhaps?

SG: Totally humbling. As a musician, all you can ever hope is you inspire more people. When a kid comes up to me and says I’m his favorite drummer, there is nothing anyone is going to tell me about The Black Crowes that will make me happier. This isn’t some kid that wants to play Rock Band, he wants to sit down and play the drums. Yes, those things are great, but I don’t spend that much time thinking about it. I didn’t become “that” because I felt that about it.

GKW: And that humble nature is what I have enjoyed about it. You don’t hold the listener at arm’s length. It’s a very embracing band.

SG: You know, we are really impatient people. We can be moody and snobby. But, in the big picture, where we are at, we don’t think about what the fans want from us, because we assume what they want is for us to keep being us. But, on a personal level, nobody is star-tripping out here, no one ever has been. On the first record, as things started to progress, we sold so many copies. We weren’t the bands moving to LA and working the malls. We literally were the guys on the bus, listening to Led Zeppelin bootlegs, going “man, check that out.” We always thought we have a long way to go. And, I’m not a jazz drummer on any level. I will never even attempt it. It’s a different instrument from what I play, in my mind. But, we were the geeks who would sit around and listen to Miles Davis albums. Not when other people were around, but when it was just us, on the bus. We just were always inspired and always chasing the greats, trying to be the kind of band that can interact and communicate with each other onstage the way those artists could.

GKW: When you’re behind the kit, during the show, when the band is hitting their stride, where do you go in your mind?

SG: It’s hard to say, because when the show’s done, it goes out of my mind immediately. You know, on a good night, it’s the feeling of almost like floating. You are present and in the moment. I know when something happens, in the middle of the song, when you might be hit be a coin or a bottle cap or lighter or t-shirt, it can feel like you’ve been snapped out of a trance. It can clearly be jarring. You find yourself in a state of complete focus and complete relaxation at the same time. And, it’s not because of what I’m playing, it’s listening to what everybody else is doing and we’ll hit these strides. We can all feel it. A lot of the things most exciting to us, the audience might not immediately get it. They’re hearing a song they like, and they’re happy, but there are things within that this look will go through the band like, “man, check this out, where are we right now?” Those moments, they are the best, but you can’t think about it either, because of the momentum. In the old days, we would try to steer it, now we try to hold on for dear life.

GKW: “Wiser Time”. A song that resonates deeply within me. It’s a staple of The Black Crowes catalogue and a melody that only seems to get better with age. Ironically, it seems, the lyrics apply more and more to the group as time passes. What does that song conjure within the band? How did it come about?

SG: It means a lot to me now. I don’t think your wrong with that sentiment. It’s obvious when we play it now. That’s a song that when it kicks in, there’s always this feeling in the audience. That’s a song that has worn the years well. I think it’s a much bigger deal now than in 1994, when that record came out. I don’t have any specific memories of putting it together other than it was the first song I ever played a cowbell on. I was just messing around with some different beats and patterns. I didn’t know what I was trying to get to. I had something else in mind. And Chris looked at me and said, “Wait, wait, what is that?” He looked at Rich and said, “Put those changes you were doing over that.” We completely pasted that whole thing together in five minutes.

GKW: If you were never to play together after this tour, is this the creative peak of the band?

SG: I would like to think that people see it as that. One of the biggest reasons I came back in 2005 was because I couldn’t stand the way it ended before. I didn’t think we had another big future ahead of us. I just wanted to come back and straighten up the mess we left behind. I didn’t like the record we had put out at the end. It was a chance to come in and sweep us the mess. If you had told me in 2005 that this was going to be a three album burst in three straight years, at the end of a six year run, I wouldn’t have believed you at all, I would have thought you were nuts.

GKW: What’s the legacy of The Black Crowes?

SG: That’s your job, man. I don’t have to think about it this time. We’re just doing what we do and everybody else can worry about those things.

GKW: So, let the music speak for itself?

SG: Absolutely. We didn’t change other things, we just kept doing what we’re doing. That was simply the focus. We lost track of some stuff and we got it back. The key is not to lose it again.


Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
Latest News
New Song  + “The Ghost Inside”

Broken Bells will release “The Ghost Inside” and a previously unreleased song titled “Meyrin Fields” as a Digital 45 on iTunes today, Tuesday, October 26.

Visit MySpace Music for the first listen of the track:

The Ghost Inside

In case you missed it, check out the video for “The Ghost Inside”:

The Ghost Inside Video

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Debut album featuring
“The High Road” &

Available NOW at

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Columbia Records

Squid City | Welcome to Squid City

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Squid City – Welcome to Squid City

Contributing Writer – Garret K. Woodward

Bubbling out of Vermont with a unique and playful blend of jazz-fusion and prog-rock, Squid City (formerly That Toga Band), recently opened up their mental doors to the world with their latest offering, Welcome to Squid City.

The 11-instrumental tracks, whose album cover was created by famed artist David Powell (the man behind the design for The Allman Brothers Band’s Eat a Peach), breathe life into the listener’s soul with such an embracing tone, one feels soaked to the bone in the rhythms generated with such ease and emotion.

It is as if you are swimming alone in the ocean. These are the sounds radiating from the majestic heavens above and unknown depths below. Your body floats at the mercy of the carefree current pushing you along. You are at peace. You are safe. As long as you hold your head up, you will be guided into the open, into the abyss.

The trio (Thomas Pearo – bass, Tyler George-Minetti – guitar/lap steel, Anthony Kareckas, drums) seamlessly combines forces into a melody bigger than any individual endeavor.

They harness an energy all too easily lost in mankind, which is love.

“There are so many people out there who are scared of the term love,” Pearo said. “I want to show people that thru music, love can be shared in a way that is not experienced everyday. We strive to heal the sick with our music, to make people dance, laugh, listen and cry. This is what you can experience with Squid City, if you want to.”

Squid City will be performing at the Langdon Street Café in Montpelier, Vermont on Oct. 28 at 9 p.m.