Dale Watson is a honky tonk hero and country music maverick, a true outlaw carrying on where Waylon Jennings left off. A member of
the Austin Music Hall of Fame, he stands alongside Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and George Strait as one of the finest country
singers and songwriters from the Lone Star State.
Although Dale has made his name as a Texas artist, he actually was born in Alabama. Moving to Houston as a teenager, his musical
journey began right out of high school as he started playing clubs and local honky-tonks. In 1988, it led him to move to Los Angeles on
the advice of rockabilly singer-guitarist Rosie Flores. He played in the house band at the legendary Palomino Club in Hollywood for a
couple years and recorded a few singles before moving to Nashville to write songs for a publishing company run by Gary Morris (writer
of such country/pop hits as “The Wind Beneath My Wings”). Commercial country did not fit the fiercely independent songwriter so Dale
relocated to Austin, Texas where he got a record deal and wrote several songs poking fun at the industry side of Nashville, including
“Nashville Rash” from his Hightone debut Cheatin’ Heart Attack and “A Real Country Song” from his 1996 follow-up Blessed or Damned.
After making three albums with Hightone, Dale released The Trucking Sessions on Koch Records in 1998. Including 14 original driving
songs, the album received high praise and caused critics to compare him to chart-topping writer Red Simpson, who was responsible for
some of the most iconic trucking tunes in country music.
Just two years after this success, Dale’s fiancee died in a car accident. As chronicled in the Zalman King documentary Crazy Again
(2006), he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with her loss and nearly died of an overdose. Dale then checked himself into a mental
institution and left a year later, releasing his tribute album to her called Every Song I Write Is For You (2001). After recording a few more
albums, he decided to take a break from touring and moved to Maryland to be closer to his daughters.
Back in Texas and on the road in 2006, Dale has been trucking ever since, touring around the world and acting in films (The Thing
Called Love, On the Borderline), on television (Friday Night Lights) and most recently, on stage in Ghost Brothers of Darkland
County, a southern gothic musical by Stephen King and John Mellencamp . His rumbling baritone has also been heard on
commercials for Shell, Monster.com and On the Border Restaurants.
Dale signed with Red House Records in 2011 to release his 20th album called The Sun Sessions. Hailed as “one of the best country
albums of the year” (Atlanta Journal Constitution), it was recorded at Memphis’ legendary Sun Studios with The Texas Two (bassist
Chris Crepps and drummer Mike Bernal) in the stripped-down style of Johnny Cash’s earliest recordings. He followed this with El
Rancho Azul, 14 fresh honky tonk originals about marriage, heartbreak and honkytonkin, which propelled Dale into the national spotlight
with multiple appearances on late-night television and NPR.
For nearly two decades, Willie Watson has made modern folk music rooted in older traditions. He’s a folksinger in the classic sense: a singer, storyteller, and traveller, with a catalog of songs that bridge the gap between the past and present. On Folksinger Vol. 2, he acts as a modern interpreter of older songs, passing along his own version of the music that came long before him.
Southern gospel. Railroad songs. Delta blues. Irish fiddle tunes. Appalachian music. Folksinger Vol. 2 makes room for it all. Produced by David Rawlings, the album carries on a rich tradition in folk music: the sharing and swapping of old songs. Long ago, the 11 compositions that appear on Folksinger Vol. 2 were popularized by artists like Leadbelly, Reverend Gary Davis, Furry Lewis, and Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The songs don’t actually belong to those artists, though. They don’t belong to anyone. Instead, they’re part of the folk canon, passed from generation to generation by singers like Watson.
And what a singer he is. With a quick vibrato and rich range, he breathes new life into classic songs like “Samson and Delilah,” one of several songs featuring harmonies from gospel quartet the Fairfield Four. He’s a balladeer on “Gallows Pole,” whose melancholy melodies are echoed by the slow swells of a four-piece woodwind ensemble, and a bluesman on “When My Baby Left Me,” accompanying himself with sparse bursts of slide guitar. “Dry Bones” finds him crooning and hollering over a bouncing banjo, while “Take This Hammer” closes the album on a penitent note, with Watson singing to the heavens alongside a congregation of Sunday morning soul singers.
Arriving three years after Folksinger Vol. 1 — his first release since parting ways with the Old Crow Medicine Show, whose platinum-selling music helped jumpstart the 21st century folk revival — Vol. 2 expands Watson’s sound while consolidating his strengths. Several singers and sidemen make appearances here, including Gillian Welch, the Punch Brothers’ Paul Kowert, and Old Crow bandmate Morgan Jahnig. Even so, Watson has never sounded more commanding, more confident, more connected to the music that inspires him.
“I’m not trying to prove any point here,” he insists, “and I’m not trying to be a purist. There’s so much beauty in this old music, and it affects me on a deep level. It moves me and inspires me. I heard Leadbelly singing with the Golden Gate Quartet and it sounded fantastic, and I thought, ‘I want to do that.’ I heard the Grateful Dead doing their version of ‘On the Road Again,’ and it sounded like a dance party in 1926, and I wanted to do that, too. That’s the whole reason I ever played music in the first place — because it looked and sounded like it was going to be a lot of fun.”
On their new album Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, New York-bred band TAUK offer an unsettling but ultimately exhilarating look at artificial intelligence and its potential to upend our world. With its dynamic sense of tension and cinematic mastery of mood, TAUK’s all-instrumentalblend of progressive rock, hip-hop, and jazz proves to be the perfect backdrop for such explorations, giving way to an album that’s both powerfully hypnotic and intensely thought-provoking.
“We’re all very much interested in A.I., and this idea of machines getting out of the hands of thepeople trying to control them,” notes TAUK guitarist Matt Jalbert, whose bandmates include bassist Charlie Dolan, keyboardist Alric “A.C.” Carter, and drummer Isaac Teel. “This album felt like a good setting to tell that kind of story, but in a way where we could have fun with it and let the listener escape into a whole other world.” Equally inspired by classic sci-fi like Blade Runner and more recent films like Ex Machina, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak embeds that narrative into TAUK’s most sonically adventurous, emotionally expansive work to date. A continuation of their early-2018 EP Shapeshifter I: Construct, the new album picks up its predecessor’s narrative thread with “Prelude”: a fantastically unsettling intro track whose frenetic keyboard work and chilling vocal samples set the tone for what’s to come. “The idea is that in the EP you’re seeing the construction of this being, and in the album you’re seeing it break out and become something that you can’t ignore
anymore,” Carter explains.
From there, TAUK charge forward with the driving rhythms of “Recreational Outrage” (a tracklaced with the ominous throb of a robotic heartbeat), the futuristic soundscape and heady grooves of “CMF 9000,” the gauzy reverie and glorious chaos of “Checkmate,” and the bright melodies and soulful guitar sprawl of “Convoy.” One of the album’s most mesmerizing moments, “Let It Ride” builds a brilliant tapestry from its luminous keyboard tones, kinetic guitar work, and kaleidoscopic rhythms. And on “Upside Down,” TAUK close out Shapeshifter II: Outbreak witha thrillingly epic burst of unfettered experimentalism.
From Jackson, TN, LOLO is a show-stopping singer who has
"so much music flowing through [her] that it fills two
people" (Associated Press). She has proven herself a venerable
songwriter, from penning hits for Panic! At The Disco’s recent
#1 blockbuster album to writing a New York Times raved about
off-Broadway musical, “Songbird” — a perfect segue from
LOLO's past role as the originator of Ilse in the critically-
acclaimed smash musical “Spring Awakening.” Her album, In
Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit, is a come-to-Jesus
moment for the songstress who moved back to Tennessee after
exploring her path on the stages of New York and time in
London - a literal reflection of LOLO's journey on the road back
home, which paints the picture of a woman who is finally able to
shine and be her true self. With a daring and emotionally
charged voice, her music evokes a hot southern night – rough
around the edges but with a velvety quality that soothes the soul.
Garrison Starr is a singer, songwriter and record producer based in Los Angeles. Her latest musical release, "What If There Is No Destination" was released June 2017. Starr has released 15 albums as a solo artist.
Known for her vibrant and impassioned live performances, Starr’s shows have been described as “marrying pop smarts and Americana grit with a voice of remarkable power and clarity”(gomemphis.com 2012).
Starr is a full time songwriter in Los Angeles whose songs have been featured on numerous TV shows and commercials. She regularly collaborates with various artists on projects and has found great success writing for TV and film.
In 2016, Starr collaborated with long time friend, Margaret Cho, and produced “American Myth.” Starr also co-wrote, played guitar and sang on the record. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the Comedy category.
Garrison's love for truth-telling, good whiskey and human connection has made her a darling of the singer-songwriter world.
She continues to tour the U.S. and Europe, click here for her upcoming shows.