„I was just into music,“ says Joe Camilleri of his earliest days playing in bands. „That was all I was interested in. I would live it, breathe it, eat it.“ Forty-eight albums later, and his 20th – Faithful Satellite – with The Black Sorrows, and if anything he’s even more passionate than he ever was. He and longtime songwriting partner Nick Smith pretty much write every day, and ask Joe about a favourite song in his vast catalogue and he’ll tell you – the next one.
Sure, he’s kicked a staggering number of goals over his 50+ years in music as a singer, songwriter, musician, performer and producer at the top of his game. As frontman of the seminal 70s band, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Joe was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007. With The Black Sorrows, there have been hits not only in Australia but also in Europe. Touring there several times playing songs that have become radio staples like „Chained to the Wheel“, „Harley & Rose“ and „Hold On To Me“. There was an ARIA Award for Best Group in 1990, and last year their Endless Sleep album was nominated for the 2015 ARIA Award for Best Blues & Roots Album, the band’s 19th nomination. Returning for the first time in 20 years, The Black Sorrows toured Scandinavia in support of the release of Endless Sleep that reached #13 on the Euro Americana chart in 2015.
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Veteran American songwriters Todd Thibaud and Kim Taylor come together to explore the nuances of intimate relationships and the constant of shifting time in a new collaborative project: WATER AND SAND. Their self-titled debut album, produced by Sean Staples, will be released on Blue Rose Records. WATER AND SAND, including additional musicians Thomas Juliano and Sean Staples, will be touring throughout Germany and Austria in October 2016.
Todd Thibaud is a consistently convincing, reliable artist who always stays true to his musical vision. He does not change things up dramatically but finds variety in nuances of arrangement and production. After all, the consistently high quality of his songs and his mellifluous, warm voice create an irresistible and familiar atmosphere. This was already true of his first band, The Courage Brothers, in the early to mid-90s. With his 1997 solo debut Favorite Waste Of Time, the man from Vermont made his first mark on the songwriter/pop canopy. It was followed by a slew of classic Blue Rose studio albums Little Mystery (1999), Squash (2000), Northern Skies (2004), Broken (2008) and Waterfall (2013).
Cincinnati-based songwriter Kim Taylor has toured extensively with Canadian songwriter Ron Sexsmith and friends Over The Rhine and supported songwriting heroes like Kris Kristofferson. Her songs have been featured in numerous television shows including Flashpoint, Army Wives, Smallville, Cyberbully, One Tree Hill and most recently in the UK’s flagship comedy-drama, Stella.
In 2013, she made her acting debut in the Sundance and Berlinale selected independent film, I Used To Be Darker, portraying a musician mother in the throes of divorce and on the brink of a new life.
In the chaotic world of a rock band, 6, 8 or 10 years is a respectable lifetime.
However, US Rails, Blue Rose Records‘ own super-group, has set its sights on being more than just another short-lived entry in the music history books and continues to gain new fans, touring regularly in Europe, as well as in the United States. With three studio releases and a handful of live CDs, no one could fault the US Rails if they decided to take a break, but then again, US Rails are not just any band, and taking a break is simply not an option.
In late 2015, US Rails, who formed originally in Philadelphia, PA (USA) streamlined down to a quartet of founding members Ben Arnold, Scott Bricklin, Tom Gillam and Matt Muir with the amicable departure of Joseph Parsons. Arnold, Bricklin and Gillam have all released solo albums on Blue Rose as well over the past year, and toured on their own.
In the meanwhile, the band has been continuing work on their most ambitious work to date, Ivy. Like the vine itself, the band is enduring, growing, insistent, and full of life. Ivy features the uniquely American sound that US Rails fans are familiar with. Containing the very comfortable elements of rock, soul, folk and the echoes of mid 70’s Southern California, their voices still blend beautifully and are the focus, front and center of almost every track. US Rails looks forward to taking Ivy on the road this fall with dates in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Austria and Switzerland.
While all of the members of the ‚Rails continue careers in music separate from the band, when inspiration strikes, there is an undeniably strong musical bond. There is still much to be said, energy to feed off of and right now there is no reason for this train to come to a stop any time soon!
The Field The Forest is a double EP package that focuses on two distinctive writing styles of JOSEPH PARSONS. The Field carries a lighter meditation on redemption & relationships. The Forest is an adventurous, heavier rock toned EP that delves into topics of mortality, war and love.
There are at least two sides to every story and as we progress through life we often find our perspective switches as we evolve our thinking or change our condition. Right out of the gate, „“All The Way““ feels like a ride on a sunny day with the top down or another round on the Tilt-a-Whirl. We’ve got a tonic for mankind and we’re „“taking it all the way around the world, ‚til my heart explodes.““ „“Berlin““ celebrates the spirit of one of Europe’s oldest cities as she defines her place in the 21st century. Steeped in history, she seeks to maintain the vibrancy, diversity and independent streak that attract those who would gentrify her. Or maybe it’s about an attractive woman whose beauty is much more than skin deep.
This song cycle tackles the complicated nature of romantic entanglements and the challenges of maintaining a relationship over time. „“Don’t Belong““ is a signature Joseph Parsons love ballad: moody, melodic and honest. You have to have lived a little and felt a lot to be here. This is what brings audiences back again and again to his live shows and recorded work.
Following the opening catharsis of „“Scream““ and later „“Bliss““ Parsons takes us on The Forest on a path through an aural landscape that is moody and sometimes ominous. This is delivered through beautiful melodies rewarding our companionship on this journey. His poetic lyrics describe one man’s search for salvation from the „“Shadowland““. It feels personal. We are offered a glimpse into an intimate and private journal.
The Forest challenges Parsons‘ fellow musicians to go beyond their undoubted talents as a powerful rock band („“Scream““, „“Bliss““, „“Shadowland““) to conjure up textures for the moodier pieces and reign in for a lighter touch with equal devotion. The song cycle opens with the anthem-like „“Scream““ and concludes with the pastoral English folk stylings of „“Horizon““. It is here that our guide leaves us standing with the sun on the horizon, to ponder our thoughts and continue the journey in our own time. If you seek the companionship of a fellow traveller, you can always start again with The Field.
For their spring and summer 2016 tours, the Band Of Heathens are offering a five-song limited edition EP, Green Grass. The title track of the EP, “Green Grass of California,” is a timely tongue-in-cheek marijuana anthem. “The issue of legalization has become both a ballot issue and a hot topic of discussion around the water cooler, so I like the idea of pushing it a little bit and getting involved in the discussion,” says Ed Jurdi. We’ve been playing that song live and it’s something that everyone’s been talking about with us after the show, so it’s connecting and is something that is on people’s minds.” The Green Grass EP premieres four new BOH originals and a faithful cover of The Band’s “Bessie Smith,” featuring Joe Fletcher.
Ten albums into an already acclaimed career, STEPHEN SIMMONS sharpens his rootsy folk-rock with A World Without, a record that mixes the twang of country music – a genre that provided the soundtrack for his childhood in small-town Tennessee – with the sharp observations of a singer/songwriter and the stomp of rural, roadhouse rock & roll.
A road warrior with an audience on both sides of the Atlantic, Simmons has spent most of his adulthood on stage, playing songs in ten different countries along the way. Recorded with members of his touring band, A World Without explores a life lived on the run, taking a look at the intersection between art, commerce, love, and travel. The songs are equal parts biography and fiction, with Simmons shining a light on those who travel and create for a living. There are tracks about Americans crossing the country during the Gold Rush, about puritans making a voyage overseas, about lovers becoming parents, and about Simmons himself.
A World Without also features harmony vocals from his father, uncle, and sister, a move that allows Simmons to pay tribute to the family members who’ve inspired his career. It’s an album that hits close to home in more ways than one. Contributions from his longtime band members – including keyboardist Molly Jewell, guitarist Dave Coleman, pedal steel guitarist Alex McCullough, drummer Tim Blankenship, bassist Duane Blevins and producer/utility player Eric Fritsch – provide the backdrop for Simmons‘ voice, an alt-country croon inspired by everyone from Don Williams to Bruce Springsteen.
Another big thing from Austin TX: THE SOUTH AUSTIN MOONLIGHTERS return full force with Ghost Of A Small Town!
The Blue Rose label has always had a strong affinity for Texas-style roots, country and Americana rock! After the Resentments, the Band of Heathens, Deadman and Shurman, the South Austin Moonlighters are another hopeful signing in a string of excellent bands from the Texan capital. Over the years the South Austin Moonlighters – S.A.M. to their fans – have acquired a home state reputation as a formidable live act that made its way to the European scene after their very promising debut album Burn & Shine was released two years ago. The quartet is now delivering on this promise big time with Ghost Of A Small Town. Four excellent musicians, all of them songwriters and lead singers, have made what is possibly the most mature, varied and interesting genre album of 2016 so far – not only in Austin! Texas music rocks!
The story of the band starts in March 2011 when Lonnie Trevino Jr., Phil Bass, Josh Zee and Phil Hurley – four experienced professional musicians – became friends at the Sin City showcase during the yearly SXSW music festival. Soon they started hatching plans to get together outside of their other bands & projects Mother Truckers/Whiskey Sisters, Deadman and Stonehoney. Soon this loose pet project became a tight unit with concrete plans. They developed a repertoire, started booking gigs and writing songs. As early as SXSW 2012 talent scouts started taking note. After a privately released live CD (from the Saxon Pub, of course), Blue Rose released their studio debut in early 2014. With its stylistic variety, strong songs and great performances Burn & Shine was a great success and a statement of Texamericana Rock for this time!
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