WATER AND SAND, side project of Todd Thibaud and Kim Taylor, are back with their third album on Blue Rose, Hey Love!
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), Waterfall (2013), and Hill West (2019).
KIM TAYLOR is an American singer-songwriter. She has released 5 full-length records and toured with numerous notable acts including Kasey Chambers, Ron Sexsmith, Grace Potter and Over the Rhine. In 2013, Taylor starred in the Sundance and Berlinale selected Indie film, I Used To Be Darker. Her fifth full-length record, Songs of Instruction, is a 10 song collection of her signature intimate folksy narrative songwriting style.
For several years Thibaud and Taylor had the same management. Their idea was that both musicians should try writing songs together that the management could then submit to their contacts. Both finally met each other in person at SXSW several years ago and struck up a friendship.
While they were at SXSW, they made plans to get together for a writing session the next time Kim traveled to Boston from her home in Ohio. When she was in Boston they met up and actually had no luck that day writing a song, but discovered that they really liked singing together. The idea for a collaboration project came from that meeting. They talked about how interesting it would be to focus the songwriting for their collaboration on the struggles and joys of relationships/marriage etc. Both of them were busy with their own projects at the time, but they agreed to stay in touch and make this happen as soon as the time was right. After a few years had gone by without any progress, it was Taylor who took the initiative and got the ball rolling for what would become WATER AND SAND.
„We struggled coming up with a name for our project, sending each other lists of potential options, but nothing seemed to really resonate“, Thibaud recalls. „Both of us were in the process of writing songs at that time for our forthcoming album, and Kim sent me one of her new ones called ‚Water and Sand‘. I loved the song as soon as I heard it, and as the two of us discussed it, I think we both agreed that it would actually make a good band name for our project. We ran it by our management and some trusted friends/family, and everyone seemed to like it. I think for us the name relates to the balances that life imposes and requires of us. The two sides of the coin. The Yin and Yang. The life giving water and the gritty, abrasive sand. There are many joys and good times in our lives, but of course, there are also times of struggle and pain. I think the name points to those co-existing experiences.“
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Exclusively available in Europe at the Blue Rose webshop: Austin’s own SOUTH AUSTIN MOONLIGHTERS newest releases!
The South Austin Moonlighters from Austin, Texas are truly a band that won’t let anything get them down! At the beginning of the 2010s, they started out with great ambitions as a permanent club fixture in the legendary Saxon Pub in South Austin – all of them seasoned musicians who had earned their spurs with well-known acts such as Stonehoney, Mother Truckers, Whiskey Sisters, Deadman and Mike Zito: Phil Hurley, Josh Zee, Lonnie Trevino Jr. and Phil Bass made a big statement in Texamericana rock right from the start, scoring points with their versatility of four songwriters/singers as well as a live EP and the first studio CD ‚Burn & Shine‘ (2013, on Blue Rose). Some people already saw them as the next Resentments or Band Of Heathens! But it wasn’t until 2016 that the next album ‚Ghost Of A Small Town‘ (also on Blue Rose) was released with Chris Beall as the new guitarist and singer/songwriter for Josh Zee. Actually a really big hit and all fans of Little Feat, Los Lobos, the Beat Farmers, John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Arc Angels should burst into excitement! But somehow the good part disappeared, constant, national touring hardly took place, and personal problems threw sand into the team’s gear. In 2019 the almost forgotten South Austin Moonlighters were reborn! With a new drummer (Daniel James for Phil Bass) and under the healthy influence of the famous guitarist Anders Osborne as producer and arranger, South Louisiana quickly found its way back to the old class – while band boss Lonnie Trevino Jr. did without his own material and lead vocals this time, The two guitarists Phil Hurley and Chris Beall dominated the scenario with three and five extremely strong songs respectively, in which two original cover versions also found their place: ‚Machine Gun Kelly‘, Danny Kortchmar’s legendary early masterpiece from 1970 (for James Taylor), as well as the iconic Stephen Stills medley ‚Daylight Again’/’Find The Cost Of Freedom‘ to round off this fantastic CD. It wasn’t just here that Beall & Hurley delivered their well-measured electric/acoustic guitar bravura with slide & solo interludes that simply make you happy!!
And once again – of course also due to Corona – far too long a time passed before the South Austin Moonlighters found their way back into the spotlight! Four years have passed since their comeback album ‚Travel Light‘ and, of course, there has been another personnel change: founding member, singer, songwriter and guitarist Phil Hurley has left to pursue a solo career. His replacement is Hunter St.Marie, who has been in the Austin scene for a long time and has proven his quality with various projects. He focuses on S.A.M. fully on the 6- and 12-string guitars, with and without slide, defining his role as lead guitarist as much darker, earthier, sharper and more experimental than Hurley before. His song and lead vocal parts are now again taken over by bassist Lonnie Trevino Jr., who shares this job with Chris Beall 50/50 – no foreign titles this time. In addition to an audibly more relaxed way of working in various Austin studios with different sound engineers, some ex-citing guest musicians were also brought in: guitarist Jacob Hildebrand (Deadman), the two keyboardists Daniel Creamer (Texas Gentlemen, Nikki Lane, Paul Cauthen) and Anthony Farrell (JJ Gray & Mofro, Greyhounds) and drummer Fred Mandujano (Deadman, Shinyribs) give some tracks the final spice. Through successful crowdfunding, the band was able to hire none other than the famous Steve Berlin for the producer job! The Los Lobos veteran (already a producer for such high-profile artists as Beat Farmers, Chuck Prophet, Leftover Salmon, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Fastball, Matt An-derson and Deer Tick) has once again done a great job and given the South Austin Moonlighters an overall earthy a more soulful, compact, „heavier“ sound with a spe-cial emphasis on the rhythm section, but which also proves its suitability for ra-dio in the opener ‚Nashville‘ or in the chorus-strong ‚Box Of Memories‘ or in the title song – Texas radio style, of course ! Other tracks like ‚Make A Livin‘, ‚Then Away, Farewell‘, ‚Faded Into Gray‘ and ‚Deltaman‘ are dominated by shuffle, funk, soul crooning and swamp rock. Very ripe, high quality and completely convincing!
Exclusively available in Europe at the Blue Rose webshop: New album Year Of The Dragon by BLUE WATER HIGHWAY!
BLUE WATER HIGHWAY are a long-standing Texas band from the Austin scene, or more precisely: from San Marcos in the not far away Hill Country. For over 10 years they have been delighting their local fans with ambitious, demanding releases (after several EPs from 2015 onwards, at least 6 full albums at regular intervals!) and courageous, frenetically celebrated live performances. During the Corona phase, the band, which started as a quintet and soon expanded into a sextet, lost two members, but this does not at all detract from the complexity of their sound and instrumental sophistication. Unlike on ‚Paper Airplanes‘, their first post-Corona work from 2021 with a number of additional studio musicians, recordings in Nashville and producers from „outside“, they have now completely relied on themselves. Year Of The Dragon was arranged, recorded, recorded and produced exclusively by the four pro-tagonists: The undisputed bandleader Zack Kibodeaux delivered all 10 songs and also mainly sang.
He also plays acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica and key-boards/synth. In addition to his usual guitar arsenal, lead guitarist Greg Essing-ton can also be heard with keyboards/synth and programmed sound layers, but also with banjo, dulcimer and piano. Together with Catherine Clarke, he impresses with heavenly harmony vocals in a class of its own. He „gets“ to lead a Kibodeaux song just like Clarke does when she refines the wonderfully voluptuous 5:42 ballad ‚Bar-fly‘ towards the end. The fourth in the group, the actual bassist Kyle James Smith, also takes on the job of drummer for these recordings and turns out to be a true multi-instrumentalist with additional contributions on electric guitar, keyboards, piano, synth and programming! Americana purists should be reassured that the numer-ous keyboard and programming parts take place in the background and only seem song-oriented. On the other hand, the overall very personal, almost private new BWH album has become an extremely varied, multi-layered musical tour de force, in which well-known Texas roots/country stereotypes find practically no place at all, but fresh, modern structures and contemporary arrangements reign supreme. The final mix by Craig Alvin (Will Hoge, Kathleen Edwards, Kacey Musgraves, William Clark Green) certainly plays a part in this. So right from the start we experience an irresistible mix of Lumineers, Avett Brothers, Jamestown with the airy, melodic title song through the Springsteenesque critical ‚A Gun Is A Killing Tool‘ and the folkabilly of ‚High Cotton‘ to the fiddly guitar ‚Rockabye Motel‘ Revival and The Lone Bellow, garnished with some Fleetwood Mac, Crowded House and Wilco.
New live album Journeyman by STEVE WYNN on Blue Rose – only available at his shows and at the Blue Rose webshop!
We are releasing STEVE WYNN’s albums on Blue Rose Records since 1997, both as a solo artist and with his band Miracle 3. Every now and then there are also CDs put out that are not sold through regular retailers, but only available at Steve’s concerts and through the Blue Rose webshop. It’s the same again with the live album Journeyman. Recorded during the most recent solo tour in Germany on May 24, 2023 at the Music Star in Norderstedt, the CD contains 15 songs that go back in time to the beginnings of The Dream Syndicate to the current Baseball Project album, and of course are also songs from his numerous solo albums not missing.
The edition is limited to 1,000 copies.
Why the album title Journeyman? Steve explains: “I am the journeyman. And I do go from town to town. Just like it says in the song. For all of the shows I have played over the years, every night remains a new adventure and a uniquely empty slate upon which to etch brand new memories. Always keep my bags packed? Sure, but while the physical one is filled with clothes and strings and various items for road survival, the metaphorical one holds songs and a mental took kit to solve whatever puzzle lays in front of me on any given night. This live recording was from one of those nights that needed no tools and had no puzzles to be solved. Smooth as silk and captured expertly by Wolfgang and the rest of the gang at the Music Star. I’m glad to have you along for the evening. The car leaves at midnight.”
Exclusively available in Europe at the Blue Rose webshop: New album „Rings On A Tree“ by OWEN TEMPLE!
OWEN TEMPLE should be no stranger to long-time friends and customers of Blue Rose Records, after all with „Mountain Home“ (2011) and „Stories They Tell“ (2013) we have had two remarkable albums released from the musician from Austin, Texas. He took a lot of time for his latest work „Rings On A Tree“. The new album, available through us on CD and 3-sided vinyl, is a concept album – an exploration of family history and the way every interaction we have resonates across generations.
“It is clear that our lives are a distillation and expansion of the lives that lie before us,” Temple said. “Every life, every interaction of matter and energy, reverberates throughout the universe in an ever-expanding field. Waves of behavior that cause other waves of behavior, not just in one life, but in all of our lives. These songs weren’t written because of Covid, but the lockdown gave me the opportunity to spend time with my family and think about where we came from and where we might be going,“ explains Temple. He adds: „I have songs with me for this collection Hal Ketchum, Walt Wilkins, Kelley Mickwee, George Ensle, Nathan Hamilton, Brandon Bolin and Jamie Lin Wilson. Gordy Quist produced the sessions. Steve Christensen turned the controls, Rick Richards played drums, Josh Flowers played bass, Geoff Queen played guitar, Noah Jeffries played violin, and Trevor Nealon played keyboards and organ. Tina Wilkins, Walt, Gordy and Kelley sang harmony vocals. I saw all these people working and playing up close, and they put their heart and soul into every note and every line.“
You can find the complete story about the album under the album in the webshop.