Devour The Day, Like A Storm Join Hellyeah For Upcoming Tour

Courtesy:  Eleven Seven Music

Courtesy: Eleven Seven Music

Hellyeah is hitting the road again this winter.

The band announced a new slate of tour dates in support of its latest full-length studio release Blood for Blood.  The band’s fourth full-length studio effort, Blood for Blood was released June 10th, 2014.  The upcoming tour includes twenty-three total dates.  Among those dates is a pair of dates in North Carolina on the tail end of the tour.  The first of those two dates will bring Hellyeah and support bands Devour The Day and Like a Storm to Ziggy’s by the Sea on Friday, March 6th, 2015.  Ziggy’s by the Sea is in Wilmington, North Carolina.  The second of the bands’ North Carolina performances will bring them to Amos’ Southend in Charlotte on Saturday, March 7th.

Devour the Day is currently touring in support of its debut full-length album Time & Pressure, which was released May 7th, 2013.  The album made Devour the Day one of 203’s biggest Cinderella stories.  Its lead single ‘Good Man’ reached #10 n the “Active Rock” Chart and #15 on the “Mainstream Rock Tracks” Chart.  The band was also one of the Top 40 most played artists of 2013 at Active Rock stations across the country.  The album’s latest single ‘Respect’ made its way to the Top 20 on Mediabase’s “Active Rock” Chart this past September. The band’s upcoming tour with Hellyeah is not its first with a big name act.  It has also toured with: Butcher Babies, Three Days Grace, and Sevendust and has shared the stage with Rob Zombie and All That Remains.

Like a Storm will release its new album Awaken The Fire on Century Media’s sister label Another Century early in 2015.  The album will be the band’s first for Another Century and second overall full-length release.  The band has already released two singles–‘Love The Way You Hate Me’ and its latest single ‘Wish You Hell.’

The full schedule for the upcoming “Blood For Blood 2015” Tour is listed below.

HELLYEAH with DEVOUR THE DAY and LIKE A STORM dates:

FEBRUARY
Friday, February 6, 2015 LAS VEGAS NV BROOKLYN BOWL
Saturday, February 7, 2015 RENO NV KNITTING FACTORY CONCERT HOUSE
Sunday, February 8, 2015 SACRAMENTO CA ACE OF SPADES
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 SPOKANE WA KNITTING FACTORY CONCERT HOUSE
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 BOISE ID KNITTING FACTORY CONCERT HOUSE
Friday, February 13, 2015 SALT LAKE CITY UT THE COMPLEX- GRAND ROOM
Saturday, February 14, 2015 DENVER CO SUMMIT MUSIC HALL
Sunday, February 15, 2015 WICHITA KS THE COTILION
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 KANSAS CITY MO ARVEST BANK THEATRE @ THE MIDLAND
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 LINCOLN NE THE BOURBON THEATRE
Friday, February 20, 2015 COLUMBIA MO BLUE NOTE
Saturday, February 21, 2015 SIOUX CITY IA HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
Sunday, February 22, 2015 MINNEAPOLIS MN MILL CITY NIGHTS
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 FLINT MI THE MACHINE SHOP
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 FORT WAYNE IN PIERE’S
Friday, February 27, 2015 PHILADELPHIA PA THE TROCADERO THEATRE
Saturday, February 28, 2015 UNCASEVILLE CT MOHEGAN SUN WOLF DEN
MARCH
Sunday, March 1, 2015 SAYREVILLE NJ STARLAND BALLROOM
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 BALTIMORE MD RAMS HEAD
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 KNOXVILLE TN THE CONCOURSE @ THE INTERNATIONAL
Friday, March 6, 2015 WILMINGTON NC ZIGGY’S BY THE SEA
Saturday, March 7, 2015 CHARLOTTE NC AMOS’ SOUTHEND
Sunday, March 8, 2015 ATLANTA GA CENTERSTAGE

 All of the latest updates from Hellyeah on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.hellyeahband.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hellyeahband

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hellyeahband

All of the latest updates from Devour the Day on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: www.devourtheday.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/devourtheday

Twitter: www.twitter.com/devourtheday

All of the latest updates from Like A Storm on its tour, its latest album, and more is available online at:

Website: http://www.likeastorm.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/likeastormofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eyes Set To Kill Announces Fall Tour Schedule

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The members of Eyes Set To Kill announced the details of a new upcoming tour this week.

Eyes Set To Kill will launch the “Little Liar” tour this fall. The tour begins Saturday, October 4th in Beckly, West Virginia.  The band’s current tour sees it performing eleven dates from October 4th to Wednesday, October 15th.  Two of those dates are in North Carolina.  The first of the band’s North Carolina dates is Tuesday, October 7th at Ziggy’s in Wilmington.  The second of the band’s dates in North Carolina is the next night, Wednesday, October8th at Amos Southend in Charlotte.

Along with its schedule, the members of Eyes Set To Kill also announced that it would not be alone on this tour.  The band will be joined by Providence, Rhode Island’s Scare Don’t Fear for the length of the tour as a support act.  The band is currently touring alongside Nonpoint, which is currently touring in support of its upcoming album The Return, which is due in stores Tuesday, September 30th in North America.  Eyes Set To Kill’s current tour schedule is listed below.

AUGUST

15 – Hartford, CT @ The Webster

16 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium

17 – Portland, ME @ The Asylum

18 – Trenton, NJ @ The Backstage at Championship Bar

19 – New York, Ny @ Webster Hall

21 – Lansing, MI @ The Loft

22 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s

23 – Denver, CO @ Marquis

24 – Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater

SEPTEMBER

13 – Sacramento, CA @ Discovery Park (Aftershock Festival)

16 – Waterloo, IA @ Spicoli’s (w/ Nonpoint)

18 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection (w/ Nonpoint)

19 – Cherry Valley, IL @ Take 20 (headline with Righteous Vendetta)

20 – Dayton, OH @ Oddbody’s Music Room (w/ Nonpoint)

21 – Erie, PA @ BT Theater (w/ Nonpoint)

23 – Fostoria, OH @ The New West (w/ Nonpoint)

24 – Pontiac, IL @ Freksters Roadhouse (w/ Nonpoint)

25 – Chesterfield, MI @ Diesel Concert Lounge (w/ Nonpoint)

26 – Libertyville, IL @ Austins (w/ Nonpoint)

27 – Ringle, WI @ Q And Z Expo Center (w/ Nonpoint)

28 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Hall (w/ Nonpoint)

30 – LaCrosse, WI @ The Cavalier Theater (w/ Nonpoint)

OCTOBER

01 – Mishawaka, IN @ Smith’s Downtown (w/ Nonpoint)

02 – Macomb, IL @ The Forum Live (w/ Nonpoint)

03 – Battle Creek, MI @ Planet Rock (w/ Nonpoint)

OCTOBER – LITTLE LIAR TOUR:

04 – Beckly, WV @ Muncheez (with Scare Don’t Fear)

06 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Shakas (with Scare Don’t Fear)

07 – Wilmington, NC @ Ziggy’s (with Scare Don’t Fear)

08 – Charlotte, NC @ Amos Southend (with Scare Don’t Fear)

09 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (with Scare Don’t Fear)

10 – Orlando, FL @ Bombshells (with Scare Don’t Fear)

11 – St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theatre (with Scare Don’t Fear)

12 – Tallahassee, FL @ Atmosphere (with Scare Don’t Fear)

13 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits (with Scare Don’t Fear)

14 – Destin, FL @ Club LA (with Scare Don’t Fear)

15 – Bossier City, LA @ Back to Back (with Scare Don’t Fear)

 

All of the latest tour updates and news from Eyes Set To Kill is available online at http://www.facebook.com/eyessettokill and htp://twitter.com/eyessettokill.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Bombadil’s Upcoming Re-Issue A Rare Example Of Music Done Right

Courtesy:  Ramseur Records

Courtesy: Ramseur Records

Originality, it seems, is becoming increasingly difficult to find in the current era of music. The world of pop music is dominated by autotuned, radio ready songs aimed mainly at tweens and teens. The rock industry is equally dominated by crunching, downtuned guitars and largely indecipherable cookie monster growls. This applies across the board, whether one is listening to metalcore, deathcore, black metal or any other major subgenre of the rock world. Even the world of punk has gone increasingly down that path. And even in the world of rap, so many songs cover the same themes from one to the next. That’s not to say that every single pop act, rock band or rap artist is the same as the last. But audiences will agree that it seems increasingly difficult to find an act that truly stands out. On June 24th, North Carolina based indie rock act Bombadil will show once again that among the unoriginal music that pollutes the seas of the music industry, original and creative music does exist. That is thanks to the upcoming re-issue of the band’s 2009 album Tarpits and Canyonlands. Being that Bombadil is an indie act, even the band’s current fans may not be so familiar with this record. There are those that have never heard Bombadil’s music, either. Taking into consideration both this and the show of pure creativity and originality on the part of the band here, Tarpits and Canyonlands becomes all the more of a joy to experience. The band proves this right off the top with the album’s opener, ‘I Am.’

‘I Am’ is so enjoyable primarily for its overall composition. The song is short and simple. Its total run time comes in at only one minute and thirty-two seconds. It is short. That goes without saying. But even in that short time, there is so much going on within the song. The call and response on the part of the band members is the most notable of the many things going on in the song. The band members sing back and forth against the song’s equally simple piano line, “I am/Building you a pyramid/Lost in the sand.” It’s not just a call and response, either. The lyrics are sung in rounds, too. All of that is balanced with the introduction of one final line, which is accompanied by a guitar line that compliments both the piano and the vocals. That the band was able to balance so much in one song—and one of such short duration—is quite the statement about the band’s musicianship. That the band would even think to construct the song in such fashion as it did instead is even more of a statement. It shows real creativity. It makes the song a double threat. It’s creative and original, and it’s technically sound. So while it is short, it is also quite the statement of what listeners can expect from this album. It isn’t the only example of what makes this album a must hear, either.

Late in the album, the members of Bombadil present to listeners what is one of the most deeply emotional pieces in the record in the form of ‘Marriage.’ This song is just as simple, on the surface, as ‘I Am.’ Yet in its simplicity, there is so much going on. Pianist/vocalist Stuart Robinson presents a musical story of a couple that has been married for allegedly twenty years. It is a story of what happens after the happily ever after of the big wedding and those first years together. And to say that it is moving would be an understatement. He presents the couple asking one another how one feels about the other “after the two hundredth time” of a given situation would he or she still feel the same about the other. It starts off with supposedly the unnamed wife asking her husband, “What would you say of marriage/After the two hundredth time/I told the same joke/And then I broke/Your favorite watch/With my heel?” The husband offers his own situation, asking “What would you say of true love/After the two hundredth time/I love you/And then I blew/Your confidence/That was in my past/I thought you knew/I thought you knew/This was/Marriage.” This back and forth goes back and forth across the course of the song’s two-minute and thirty-five second run time. It is set against the gentle yet almost bittersweet strains of Robinson’s piano playing. It would have been easy for Robinson to give the song more of a playful vibe. Instead, he opted for something deeper and more emotional. He comes across with this song as wanting to show everything that the couple has endured over the course of its marriage and the all too real feelings of uncertainty that come with life together. He didn’t mean it to come across as something depressing. That’s obvious. He wanted to give the song more realism per se. And he succeeded in that arena. For that reason, ‘Marriage’ proves to be just one more of the highest of highs on this record.

Both ‘Marriage’ and ‘I Am’ are important points in the overall structure of Tarpits and Canyonlands. That is thanks to the talent and depth presented in both songs. There is much more of that talent and depth presented throughout the course of this record. But for all of the seriousness and emotional depth presented throughout the record, there is at least one song that shows the band’s more lighthearted side on the record. The song in question is ‘Oto The Bear.’ It’s a completely nonsensical song lyrically speaking, that simply must be heard to be believed. As nonsensical as it is lyrically, it is just as catchy in terms of its musical side. Robinson is accompanied by drummer James Phillips and fellow musicians Daniel Michalak and Bryan Rahja on guitar and saxophone. The entire band together crafts a song with which one can’t help but sing and dance. It’s a nice break from the more serious material included on Tarpits and Canyonlands. That’s not to say that the other songs that make up the album aren’t enjoyable. Hardly. If anything, it shows that the band’s members knew something more lighthearted was needed, thus this piece was included. And it’s a good thing that it was. That’s because it’s one more example of how fun an album can be when a band actually tries to present both talent and originality to audiences. Simply put, it’s an album that easily serves as an example of music done right.

Tarpits and Canyonlands will be available Tuesday, June 24th via Ramseur Records. Audiences can pre-order the re-issue on vinyl now at http://bombadil.spinshop.com/details/225939. The album can be downloaded digitally at http://bombadil.spinshop.com/Music/details/214209?parent_url=http%3A%2F%2Fbombadil.spinshop.com%2Fstore%2Fbombadil.spinshop.com%2FMerchandise. The band will be in Winston-Salem, North Carolina performing live at the Twin CityRib Fest this Friday in support of Tarpits and Canyonlands. It will also be in Carrboro at the famed Cat’s Cradle on Saturday, June 21st and at the Port City RibFest in Wilmington, North Carolina on Saturday, August 16th. These are just some of the band’s upcoming tour dates in support of its upcoming re-issue. Audiences can check out Bombadil’s most current tour schedule online now at http://www.facebook.com/wearebombadil and http://www.bombadilmusic.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lacuna Coil Debuts First Single From Its New Album

Century Media Banner

Lacuna Coil has debuted the first single from its new album Broken Crown Halo.  The band debuted ‘Nothing Stands In Our Way’ on SoundCloud today.  Fans can check out the song now at https://soundcloud.com/#centurymedia/lacuna-coil-nothing-stands/s-ecjkO.  The band explains the inspiration behind the song, saying that its lyrics stem from all the obstacles and difficulties people face each day.  “Through everyday battles, against all odds, we stand united and don’t look back. We go on against crashing economies, heartbreaks and lifelong obstacles. We learn from our mistakes and nothing can stop us. We fear nothing and we are determined as musicians and as human beings,” the band explained.

Lacuna Coil is set to release Broken Crown Halo March 31st in Europe, New Zealand, and Australia and Tuesday, April 1st in North America through Century Media Records.  Broken Crown Halo is the band’s seventh full length studio release.  It comes a little over two years since the release of the band’s most recent album, Dark Adrenaline, which was released in January 2012.  The album’s complete track listing is available below.

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

‘BROKEN CROWN HALO’ Track Listing:

  1. Nothing Stands In Our Way
  2. Zombies
  3. Hostage To The Light
  4. Victims
  5. Die & Rise
  6. I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name)
  7. Cybersleep
  8. Infection
  9. I Burn In You
  10. In The End I Feel Alive
  11. On Cold Day

 

The band will tour in support of its upcoming album beginning February 20th.  It will tour as part of this year’s Revolver “Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock” Tour.  It will join the likes of Sick Puppies, Cilver, and CM label mates, EyesSetToKill on the tour.  The tour kicks off in Wilmington, NC and winds down March 20th in Anaheim, California.  The band is also scheduled to perform at this year’s annual “Welcome to Rockville” Festival on April 27th.  The complete tour schedule is listed below.

Courtesy:  Century Media Records/Revolver MAgazine

Courtesy: Century Media Records/Revolver MAgazine

REVOLVER HOTTEST CHICKS IN ROCK TOUR

LACUNA COIL with SICK PUPPIES, EYES SET TO KILL & CILVER

FEBRUARY:

20: Wilmington, NC – Ziggy’s By The Sea

21: Atlanta, GA – Masquerade

22: Lexington, KY – Buster’s

23: Springfield, VA – Empire

24: New York, NY – Irving Plaza

26: Worcester, MA – Palladium

27: Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club

28: Columbus, OH – Alrosa Villa

MARCH

01: Joliet, IL – Mojoe’s

02: South Bend, IN – Club Fever

05: Broussard, LA – The Station Live

06: Houston, TX – Scout Bar

07: Austin, TX – Infest

08: Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey

10: Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall

12: Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex

14: Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory

15: Seattle, WA – Studio Seven

19: Los Angeles, CA – House Of Blues

20: Anaheim, CA – House Of Blues

WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE

(with Korn, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch and more)

APRIL

27: Jacksonville, FL – Metropolitan Park

Ticket information for the Revolver “Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock” Tour and the “Welcome To Rockville” Festival is available online at http://www.hottestchickstour and http://www.welcometorockvillefestival.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Robert Randolph Announces New Record Deal, Tour

Courtesy:  Merlis For Hire

Courtesy: Merlis For Hire

Robert Randolph and the Family Band are back.  The band has signed a new deal with legendary jazz label, Blue Note Records.  This news comes along with the announcement of a new upcoming album due out this Summer.  The long anticipated new release will be the first from Randolph since 2010’s We Walk This Road.  Blue Note president Don Was recently commented on the signing, expressing his joy at having Randolph as the label’s newest signee.  “Robert Randolph is an American original…he has mastered what is, arguably, the most complex instrument in the world and developed a unique voice that is equal parts street-corner church and Bonnaroo,” he said.  “Robert’s new studio album finally captures the energy and excitement of his legendary live performances…we are honored that he has chosen Blue Note Records as his new home.” 

Randolph also shared his thoughts on having signed with Blue Note, expressing just as much excitement at this next step in his career.  “Blue note is a true music label with a 75-year history of working with great musicians like John Coletrane, Miles Davis and Al Green and the head of the label is a real musician and songwriter,” he explained.  Randolph will self produce the album, which will also feature members of his own family once again.  It will be engineered by Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin) and mixed by Jim Scott (Tedeschi Trucks Band).

Randolph will hit the road this Spring and Summer in support of his as yet untitled album.  His tour is currently slated to kick off April 6th at the River Run Rocks Series in Keystone, CO.  It’s set to run through August 16th and will include a pair of performances in North Carolina.  The first of those dates is Friday, May 10th at Wilmington, NC’s Greenfield Lake Amphitheater.  The second of his North Carolina dates is Saturday, May 11th in Beaufort, NC at the Beaufort Music Festival.  Fans can get a full list of tour dates online at http://www.facebook.com/rrtfb, http://www.robertrandolph.net, http://www.myspace.com/robertrandolph and http://twitter.com/rrtfb.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Durham, NC’s Bombadil Announces New Album, Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Ramseur Records

Courtesy: Ramseur Records

Durham, North Carolina’s own Bombadil is back.  The indie-folk/pop act is back on the road for the first time in three years.  The band is touring in support of its latest release, Metrics of Affection.  The album is slated to be released July 23rd on Ramseur Records.  The band kicks off its new tour Saturday, March 2nd at Carrboro’s famed Cat’s Cradle.  The band has been on hiatus of no doing of its own.  Daniel Michalak (bass, piano, harmonica) suffered a nerve injury that sidelined him indefinitely.  His injury had such an effect on the use of his hands that he was unable to perform and record.  But now with time, Michalak’s hands have healed enough to the point that he feels he can play again, thus leading to the recording of the band’s latest album.

The band already has one album out, titled Tarpits and Canyons.  It was released to critical acclaim.  One journalist even exclaimed of the album that the album in question should have been the one that made the band famous.  But sadly, when Michalak sustained his injury, it also sidelined the entire band.  That’s all in the past as the band is preparing to release its long awaited new LP.  While fans wait on that album, they can check out some of the band’s music online now through YouTube.  The band has a video for the song, ‘So Many Ways To Die’ posted.  Audiences can check it out now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U4ybU1KVcQ&feature=youtu.be.  The video features vintage footage of individuals and even a dog in somewhat dangerous situations.  It even includes footage of the military’s atom bomb test.  The images are rather well aligned with the song’s lyrics.  It’s something that audiences have to experience for themselves to truly appreciate.

After checking out the band’s video, fans can also hear more music from the band live as it tours.  As already noted, Bombadil will perform live at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro tomorrow, Saturday, March 2nd.  That date is followed by a performance at Krankie’s Coffee in Winston-Salem, NC next Friday, March 8th.  The band will be in Wilmington, NC the following day at The Whiskey alongside fellow bands Onward and Soldier.  The band’s last NC date before heading out across the country comes March 21st at Legends in Boone.  As the band hits the road, it will be touring alongside another well-known NC act, The Carolina Chocolate Drops.  It will be a supporting act for the Chocolate Drops at a handful of dates and for Lone Madrone at others.  For a full listing of tour dates and all of the latest news and more from the band, fans can go online to http://www.facebook.com/wearebombadil, http://www.bombadilmusic.com and http://twitter.com/wearebombadil.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Morning After Starts Work On New Album

Courtesy:  The Morning After

Courtesy: The Morning After

The Morning After has officially announced that it has started working on the early stages of its new full length studio release.  The band has announced that Grammy winning former Carolina Chocolcate Drops member and current Mary Annettes member Justin Robinson will produce the band’s new album.  It was Robinson’s work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops that earned him a Grammy award in 2010.  He is currently touring with the Mary Annettes, which is his own band.  The band’s new album is expected to be available this Fall.  In the meantime, audiences can check out the new video for the band’s song, ‘Warm Like The Sun’ now just by clicking here http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/video/10874634?eid=A848646_16365532_48862398_lnk1000

Audiences can also check out the band live as it tours in support of its current album, Starless Nights.  The band will be performing live at the Pour House on Friday, March 15th.  It will also make a couple of stops on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast on March 21st and 29th in Beaufort and Wilmington respectively before heading back to the Pour House for a return engagement on Saturday, June 1st.  Audiences in Raleigh, North Carolina will also get the chance to see the band in a very special performance as it performs at the state’s capitol at the ‘Works-Downtown Raleigh’s 4th of July Celebration.’  These are just a handful of dates that the band has scheduled.  Fans can get all the latest tour dates and more when they check out the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/morningaftermusic

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always get the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Crain’s Third Record One of 2013’s Early Sleeper Hits

Courtesy:  Ramseur Records

Courtesy: Ramseur Records

Samantha Crain is one of the music industry’s best kept secrets.  This twenty-six year old Oklahoman has been making waves with her upcoming third full length studio release, Kid Face.  Crain’s new album has been getting attention from both the public sphere and that of public broadcasting with positive reviews from Rolling Stone magazine, Spin, and National Public Radio.  What’s most intriguing about the album isn’t so much its songs, but the ability of the songs to keep listeners’ attention throughout the course of the record.  Considering that the album was recorded and mix over the course of just nine days, the album becomes that much more impressive.

Crain’s third album is a solid piece of county/folk that not only Crain’s fans will enjoy but also those of fellow female artists Nora Jones, and Regina Specktor among a handful of others.  Its opener, ‘Never Going Back’ makes for quite the interesting starting point for Crain on this album.  The song, as Crain herself writes of it, is about an individual who had been involved in an affair but has made the life altering decision to not go back; thus the song’s title.  It goes completely against the mold of the stereotypical country song.  Instead of someone singing about having lost a partner, this is an empowering song about someone who has made the decision to get out of a relationship that would have otherwise led to such a country song.  She writes in ‘Never Going Back’, “The ending of ten thousand dreams/My soul has finally been set free/From his cool eyes/I’ll hide myself in softer storms/Crawl out of holes/Become reborn/To my surprise…I’ve stayed afloat in quicker sand/But now I have a place to stand and call my own/I had a deal with man and God/One let me down and one did not/So I made my way back home.”  The uplifting and infectious sound of the song and the equally positive lyrics make this a good start to this record.  On top of that, the two together make for a song that is sure to be an instant hit for Crain’s fans.

Crain doesn’t note in writing about the songs on this album the roots of ‘Never Going Back.’  More than likely, it had no influence from any personal bearings.  Though in reading through what she had to note about other songs, many of the other songs on this album did in fact come from personal experience.  And one of the best of those songs is another song that goes almost completely against the grain of standard pop song writing.  That song comes late on the album in the form of ‘Somewhere All The Time.’  Crain writes of this song that its influence comes from her life on the road.  She notes that travelling is in fact, her “obsession and her method.” Although sometimes she does need a break.  And thus this song was born.  It’s a response to the people who ask her if being on the road so much is difficult.  She writes of those who ask her, “Everybody wants to go somewhere/Everybody wants to go all the time/Don’t you ever want to sit down some/Take a little time.”  Her response is two-fold.  By and large, she writes of the joys of touring despite things like vehicles breaking down and people who seemingly get paranoid when she’s out on the road.  For everything that she loves of being on the road, Crain does explain that need to get away as she sings, “Somebody better say a prayer for me/Cause I need a break from this whole scene/Spend some time in the grasslands/And my man to love me/Could you forget about me for a while.”  As with the album’s opener, this is another nice upbeat piece all the way around that fans will instantly enjoy.  It’s really one of those classic storytelling style songs that will especially impress fans of singer songwriters the likes of Neil Young and Bob Dylan.  And it makes for one more piece of the whole that will make this album a favorite both for long-time fans and for those who are new to Samantha Crain’s music.

As has already been noted here, a big part of what makes Samantha Crain’s new album so impressive is her ability and seeming drive to go against the grain of standard music and general human standards.  As the album nears its final notes, listeners get one more song proving that in ‘Ax.’  It really comes across as a song of social commentary, so to speak.  Crain writes about the song that ‘Ax’ is her response to the seemingly increasing negativity in the world today and that while it seems “against her own nature most days”, she wrote this as her own “call to try and be one of the giving and humane.”  In simple terms, ‘Ax’ is proof that people can be good.  They just have to try.  She writes, “You can put your ax back in its place/Your face is wearing all that awful hate/It’s tough to be afraid/But you have to let it lay.”  This is such a short verse in an equally short song.  But being such a short song and short verse, it proves that less is more.  She says so much in so few words.  The gentility of the song’s musical backing adds even more emotion to the song.  It’s just her singing along with a piano and guitar.  The minimalist approach—both lyrically and musically–harkens back to another era of music’s greatest eras past.  That being considered too, one can’t help but appreciate this song even more both in itself and as a part of the bigger picture that is Crain’s new album.

Samantha Crain offers audiences a lot of impressive material, both musically and lyrically, as has been noted here.  The songs already mentioned are just a tiny picture of what audiences can expect from her upcoming release.  It offers eight more tracks of which listeners will each find their own favorite.  The album will be available February 19th on Ramseur Records.  In celebration of its upcoming release, Samantha Crain will be touring in support of the album.  Her tour starts January 23rd in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Berkeley Café.  Doors open at 7pm and the show begins at 8pm.  For full information on the show, including ticket information, go online to http://www.berkeleycafe.net.

Her performance in Raleigh will be followed up by a set of dates in Wilmington, North Carolina and Pembroke, North Carolina between January 24th and 26th.  From there, she will be heading up to New York before making her way through the Midwest.  Fans can get a full tour itinerary online at http://www.facebook.com/Samanthacrainmusic and http://www.samanthacrain.com.

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