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18. Februar 2018

The train keeps a-rollin‘ – US RAILS realize: We Have All Been Here Before!


Almost a decade ago five musician friends decided to start a band in addition to their long-lasting solo careers because they were convinced it could grow into something big. By now US RAILS have established themselves as classic Blue Rose artists, they are about to release their fifth album, We Have All Been Here Before. The album differs quite a bit from its predecessors US Rails (2010), Southern Canon (2011), Heartbreak Superstar (2013) and Ivy (2017). What does a band do when they are about to go on tour and would like to present a new album but do not have enough new songs? Exactly, they look for fitting songs by other songwriters and record a covers album. This approach isn’t always successful but the song selections and arrangements by Tom Gillam, Ben Arnold, Scott Bricklin and Matt Muir work like gangbusters! All four of them cherry-picked their songs and interpreted them as if they were original compositions.

Since Joseph Parsons‘ departure two years ago, three otherwise independent artists – Ben Arnold (Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Vocals), Scott Bricklin (Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals) and Tom Gillam (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Slide Guitar, Banjo, Vocals) – plus drummer Matt Muir are US Rails, a combo not unlike CSNY or the Traveling Wilburys. US Rails are direct successors of Philadelphia’s „4 Way Street“.

We Have All Been Here Before contains a delightful mix of well-known and lesser-known gems from rock and pop history. It’s legitimate to assume that „Poor Poor Pitiful Me“ by Warren Zevon, „So Into You“ by the Atlanta Rhythm Section or the old blues number „I’d Rather Be (Blind, Crippled & Crazy)“, recently rejuvenated by the Derek Trucks Band, were picked by Tom Gillam – they seem to fit right into his wheelhouse. Ben Arnold sings lead on Neil Young’s „Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere“ and „Put The Message In The Box“ by Karl Wallinger’s band World Party – a clear indicator as to who picked these songs. Scott Bricklin is a declared Beatles fan – „You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away“ may very well have been his suggestion. Matt Muir is not only a great drummer, he also has a beautiful singing voice that he lends to „Second Hand News“ from Fleetwood Mac’s classic album Rumours and to album closer „Running On Empty“ by Jackson Browne.

Each member of US Rails is a great songwriter – they don’t have to prove it with every album. We Have All Been Here Before is a beautifully fresh-sounding in-between record to shorten the wait for the next album with original songs.

10. Februar 2018

Denver Nevada is a place that is not real, it’s made up. But it is real in the sense that it’s an anagram for AD VANDERVEEN. As for Still Life; all meanings of the term can apply in this case.
Desolation, serenitiy; scenes like in a David Lynch movie or an Edward Hopper painting come to mind when listening to the singer-songwriter’s new album. Existential themes such as solitude, longing and resignation are expressed throughout the lyrics. But the album is also about the inexplicable and unstoppable drive and necessity to keep writing and creating.
Vanderveen can be counted among the most prolific songwriters in the new folk and roots genre, with over 30 albums to his name since the early 90s. As a person and a craftsman Ad is mostly geared towards growth and development and he tends to keep away from matters not involving music or spirituality. Dealing with issues like name, fame and big sales numbers is not one of his priorities. Among music lovers and critics, colleagues and peers however, he is highly regarded as a songwriter and musician; none other than Van Morrison, after hearing Ad’s album A Worlds Within, personally invited him as his opening act in July 2017.
Another one of Vanderveen’s long-time favorites, John Gorka, joins on Denver Nevada’s lead off track in the duet Another Song.
Denver Nevada strikes a certain melancholy atmosphere and mood that underscore the poems and lyrics at the core of the songs. The style can best be described as contemporary folk with influences of rock, jazz and classical music. The songs and instrumentation are based on acoustic guitar and vocal; accompanied by piano, electric guitar, bass, percussion/drums, harmony vocals and augmented by strings and horns.
Ad’s previous album A Worlds Within was hailed as a ‘classic’ by roots-americana critics and considered to be one of his best works. Fortunately the well has not run dry yet and those initiated say the sequel Denver Nevada will top the former one, journeying further and deeper into new territory and changing soundscapes. Ad Vanderveen keeps on challenging himself and the roots music audience!

25. Januar 2018

We are starting the Blue Rose releases in 2018 with a very fine piece of work – MARKUS RILL and Getting Into Trouble!

After 20 years of making records – „20 years of gunslinging“ as he calls it – MARKUS RILL feels like it’s the right time for „a gift to the people who enjoy my music and to myself“. Getting Into Trouble is his first double album and it delivers ample proof why he is considered a stellar songwriter and Europe’s finest Americana artist.


CD 1 features eleven new songs with all of Rill’s trademark strengths: raspy, captivating vocals and wide-ranging sounds from driving roots rock to thoughtful acoustic numbers, from pristine bluegrass to the dirty blues. Rill’s lyrics are fresh, insightful and infused with laconic poetry whether he portrays a New Orleans stripper or a young girl about to make a choice, whether he pays homage to fiddle great Vassar Clements, ruminates on a childhood friend gone bad or love’s travails from the unlikely perspective of Henry VIII. Great musicians from Nashville, Australia, Seattle and Germany perform these songs with creativity and energy, supplying them with great heft.
„A little bit of house-cleaning“ is how Rill describes the album with a wry smile. „After twenty years I felt like revisiting and updating a few of my early songs and recording some songs and co-writes I’d been saving for a special occasion or that took a while for me to figure out how to do,“ Rill says. „I think all of them are well suited to hold up the next twenty years.“
Needless to point out, the veteran artist now has a much clearer vision of what his songs need than he did as a young upstart in the 90s.
Weiterlesen / Read more

25. November 2017

General Store new arrivals week 48/2017

On Air
ROLLING STONES On Air CD
€ 15,90
Tata
SEA GOAT Tata CD
€ 14,90
Songs Of Experience
U 2 Songs Of Experience CD
€ 15,90
Visitor
YOUNG, NEIL Visitor CD
€ 15,90
18. November 2017

MATTHEW RYAN returns with another rocking album on Hustle Up Starlings!

Blessed with a particularly attractive rasp of a voice, singer-songwriter and rock’n’roller MATTHEW RYAN is out to excite his fans and well-informed critics with his brand new Blue Rose album Hustle Up Starlings. It’s a powerful comeback album and follow-up to the much-lauded Boxers, released in 2014, also on the label located in the South of Germany. Hustle Up Starlings is Ryan’s 13th release since his debut album May Day in 1997 announced him as one of the most promising acts in the Springsteen-meets-Westerberg-folk-rock-songwriter camp.

If you go back to reading the accolades that practically every Matthew Ryan album received, it seems hard to grasp why he hasn’t broken through on a bigger scale yet. Even in 2017 Matthew Ryan should be a household name when it comes to moving, hand-made, intelligent, accessible Americana rock delivered in a very special sandstone voice.
Is Hustle Up Starlings another critics‘ darling that’s going to earn rave reviews and make it onto year-end favorites lists – or could it possibly achieve more? The conditions seem right for a success story.


Born and raised on the US East Coast (Pennsylvania, Delaware) Matthew Ryan moved into the East Nashville indie scene in the mid-90s. His first, promising albums May Day (97) and East Autumn Grin (2000) were released by a major label (A&M) before the record industry’s situation changed drastically. Until 2010 Ryan released seven albums, some of them by himself, among them very well-received records like Concussion (2001), Regret Over The Wires (2003) and Matthew Ryan Vs. TheSilver State (2008). Disillusioned by unsatisfactory sales, Ryan announced that his 2012 album In The Dusk Of Everything would be his last. He left Nashville for East Pennsylvania. As luck would have it, there he met and became friends with Brian Fallon, frontman of folk/punk/indie rockband Gaslight Anthem. Soon thereafter, they started collaborating creatively.
Fallon booked Ryan to open the Gaslight Anthem tour and was happy to play guitar with him. But Ryan got inspired and started dreaming of more. In 2014 he released the terrific Boxers on Blue Rose, an album harking back to his May Day days. Produced by Kevin Salem (Dumptruck, Todd Thibaud, Freedy Johnston, Giant Sand) and featuring Salem and Fallon on electric guitars, Ryan rocked his way back into the hearts of everyone who doesn’t consider Bruce Springsteen and the Replacements, Leonard Cohen and The Jam, or Bob Dylan and The Clash mutually exclusive but drawing from the same well where rock’n’roll and the singer-songwriter spirit meet.

Weiterlesen / Read more

06. November 2017

SUSTO – another great act by the Swedish Rootsy label!

& I'm Fine Today
SUSTO & I'm Fine Today CD
€ 14,90

Since SUSTO released their second album back home in the States in the beginning of 2017, thing’s been happening in a fast pace for the band. The album got great reviews, the band has been touring relentlessly and they’ve done several big, nationwide TV-shows, and SUSTO are no longer local, South Caroline heroes anymore, but a band breaking big in the US. And now they’re finally ready for Europe as well.


A few years back, Justin Osborne needed a break. He’d been writing music and making albums since he was 15, and by the age of 26, he felt like he was spinning his wheels. He knew he needed a change, so he ended his old band Sequoyah Prep School and moved to Cuba. He thought he might be done with music for a while, but the songs just kept coming.
„I had this idea in my mind that I was going to try and join some kind of Latin American Leftist movement. I wanted to jump off a cliff,“ Osborne says. „Once I got there I immediately started hanging out with musicians and going to shows. I started showing them the songs from this project that was kind of just an idea in my head. They were like, ‚man, don’t throw away your passport, go home and continue to make music,'“ he says. „I was encouraged by them to try again.“

Osborne was already writing the songs for what would be SUSTO’s 2014 self-titled debut when his producer Wolfgang Zimmerman introduced him to Johnny Delaware, a guitarist and songwriter who had moved to Charleston, South Carolina to make an album with the producer.

SUSTO is a Spanish word referring to a folk illness in Latin America that Osborne learned as anthropology student, meaning „when your soul is separated from your body,“ and also roughly translates to a panic attack. For Osborne, the music of SUSTO was something he had to get out into the world.

SUSTO released their debut album independently and toured relentlessly to get the word out. They were an immediate hit in their hometown, packing venues, getting airplay at all the bars and even making a fan of Band of Horses‘ Ben Bridwell. „I got an e-mail from him, telling me he loved the record and wanted to meet with me and Johnny,“ he says. „That was actually the day I wrote my professor, and I said, ‚I’m not coming in.'“

The members of the live band that Osborne and Delaware recruited – Corey Campbell (guitar, keys, backing vocals), Jenna Desmond (bass), and Marshall Hudson (drums, percussion) contributed to SUSTO’s new album & I’m Fine Today. „We just wanted to go further. We started something with the first record, and we want to keep going in that direction,“ Osborne says of the album, which finds them taking the spacey country rock of their debut into the stratosphere, piling on layers of sighing keyboards, galloping rhythms and frayed, noisy guitar solos atop wistful melodies and lyrics that examine growing up and growing into yourself. We put the first record out, and we worked hard, and it just feels like a good place to be,“ he says, noting that while the first record focused on his own struggles, & I’m Fine Today is more concerned with looking at the world beyond the struggles in your head.
„I’ve learned to appreciate the fact that I just get to be here. It’s all perspective,“ he says. „This album is about coming to terms with yourself and feeling okay with your place in the universe.“

02. November 2017

General Store – Vinyl! Vinyl! Vinyl!

25. Oktober 2017

General Store new arrivals week 42+43/2017

24. Oktober 2017

A dream comes true – a new HARDPAN album with 12 brandnew songs!

Hardpan
HARDPAN Hardpan CD
€ 14,90


When four singer-songwriters like TODD THIBAUD, CHRIS BURROUGHS, TERRY LEE HALE and JOSEPH PARSONS record an album together – all of them successful solo artists on Blue Rose or Glitterhouse – it doesn’t feel far-fetched to call them a supergroup. They met on the road on various tours of Germany and realized that they get along well and have – in spite of differing styles and personalities – and undeniable chemistry.
On September 10, 2001 they met in Tucson, Arizona to record an album. But only hours later, other, bigger events came into focus. And yet, since they only had ten days together, they pushed the horrific scenes from New York aside. Maybe that is why they created such a homogenous, emotional and moving singer-songwriter album to which each of them contributed original songs and lead vocals. It was the birth of HARDPAN.

All of this happened 16 years ago. Because they all had their individual careers they did not have time to even consider a follow-up album. It was only when they played together at the Blue Rose Christmas Party at the Isernhagen Blues Garage in 2013 that the thought occurred to them. It took another three years until their schedules allowed them to come together in New Jersey early in 2017 to record a new studio album.
Since they did not plan to stray too far from the typical Hardpan sound, they focused once again on the artists‘ vocals and their interplay, embellished by unobtrusive instrumentation and subtle drumming. The new album features twelve new songs – each member contributed three original songs on which they took over the lead vocal. Four musicians, four different voices and different vibes create a unified atmosphere that very few solo artists achieve – that’s the Hardpan sound.

30. September 2017

General Store new arrivals week 39/2017

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