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08. November 2019

WATER AND SAND is Todd Thibaud and Kim Taylor – they are back with new album Catching Light!

For several years Todd Thibaud and Kim 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.“

Compared to their own releases, WATER AND SAND is different. „We both wanted to center the project around two vocals, singing together, in harmony, and build things from there; always keeping those elements front and center. We never made any hard and fast rules in regard to other instrumentation. We’ve just always tried to do what’s right for the songs, and not overshadow the vocals too much.“

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27. September 2019

After eight years RICH HOPKINS & LUMINARIOS are back with a stunning live album!

Live At El Lokal
Live At El Lokal
CD
€ 14,90*
For three decades now, the name Rich Hopkins has been synonymous with dusty, guitar-drenched desert rock from the American southwest. This is true for the Tucson, Arizona musician’s regular albums and even more so for his irresistible live performances. Backed by the Luminarios, a tight band, Hopkins plays desert rock like no one else, making the guitar sing and howl and time stop in his inspired solos. Needless to say, audiences are right there with him in a heartbeat.

Rich Hopkins & his Luminarios have toured Germany and the neighboring countries more than 20 times since 1997. „El Lokal“ in Zurich, Switzerland has long been one of their favorite venues. Recordings from two shows at „El Lokal“ are now available on CD. Ten of the album’s 13 songs – which touch on many stations of Hopkins‘ career – are from a concert in May 2017. The three others are from a 2015 appearance.

The CD with a playing time of 72 minute sounds absolutely brilliant and reflects the vibe of a Luminarios concert.

This release is limited to 1.000 copies!

21. Juni 2019

After nineteen years THE SCHRAMMS return with the new studio album Omnidirectional !

Omnidirectional
SCHRAMMS Omnidirectional CD
€ 14,90*

Omnidirectional is the seventh album from The Schramms, a beautiful work of art that was ten long years in the making. Frontman / guitarist / writer Dave Schramm has painstakingly assembled an expansive, cinescopic work that will delight long-time fans and new listeners alike. The album features drummer Ron Metz and bassist Al Greller who’ve played together with Dave in The Schramms since the 1980s, with JD Foster (Lucinda Williams, Richard Buckner, Calexico, Marc Ribot) producing.


Dave Schramm is perhaps best known as an original member and lead guitarist for Yo La Tengo, but over the years has worked with a wide assortment of notable artists from the Replacements to Richard Buckner and all points in between. In recent years, he created the Radio Free Song Club with singer / songwriter Kate Jacobs and disc jockey Nicholas Hill, a successful radio show / podcast showcasing a group of songwriting heavyweights that’s included Victoria Williams, Peter Holsapple, Freedy Johnston, Laura Cantrell, Robin Holcomb, Howe Gelb, Peter Blegvad, Jody Harris, Don Piper, Amy Allison, Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric.

Schramm and Ron Metz had been playing with cult faves Akron, OH’s The Human Switchboard before Dave fell in with guitarist Ira Kaplan and drummer Georgia Hubley, joining Yo La Tengo for their debut album, Ride The Tiger, and the recordings that preceded it. He would re-unite with the band along with Greller on their much-beloved 1990 release Fakebook as well as its 2015 sequel Stuff Like That There.

After the release of Ride The Tiger, and a subsequent tour, Schramm struck out on his own, reuniting with Metz who’d recently arrived in New York. At their first gig, they billed themselves „The Schramms“ as a joke, but the name stuck! There were several early line-ups, some including other Yo La Tengo alumni, with personnel shifting even as work started on their first album, Walk to Delphi. The Tall Lonesome Pines‘ Al Greller joined as bassist and has been with the band ever since.

Renowned as musician’s musicians, each of the members of the core band has been tapped to help out other artists over the years. Dave has recorded with Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey (on Mavericks, It’s Alright, Fireworks), The Replacements (All Shook Down), Yo La Tengo (Fakebook, Stuff Like That There), Richard Buckner (Since), Freedy Johnston (Can You Fly, This Perfect World, Never Home), Soul Asylum (Let Your Dim Light Shine), Whiskeytown and many others. Al was with Peter Stampfel and the Bottlecaps and The Tall Lonesome Pines before The Schramms, and later Yo La Tengo, Beat Rodeo, Paul Presti (of the Unholy Modal Rounders), The Tractors, Riff Doctors, and a Gene the Singing Plumber. Ron contributed to the solo efforts of former Human Switchboard bandmates, Bob Pfeifer and Myrna Marcarian; he currently plays with Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help and Tammy Faye Starlite. Other erstwhile Schramms would go on to work with musicians like Ian Hunter, Ryan Adams, John Mayer, Little Steven, et al.

So The Schramms have been keeping busy since their last album’s release – Omnidirectional wound up being recorded in sporadic bursts over the course of a decade, but the end results show it was a labor of love for all involved and well worth the wait.

14. Juni 2019

King Of Madrid is PETER BRUNTNELL’s tenth studio album and it’s one that focuses on his unique songwriting talents.

King Of Madrid is Peter Bruntnell’s tenth studio album, and it’s one that focuses on his unique songwriting talents. It also sees him returning to his roots, featuring beautiful, sometimes sixties-flavoured songs with his signature hints of psychedelia. Bruntnell’s warm voice helps create a yearning atmosphere that gives the album a consistent and organic feel.


The self-effacing Devonian is the ultimate musician’s musician, gaining respect from his peers all over the world for the atmospheric works that he creates with his long-distance songwriting partner Bill Ritchie. Kathleen Edwards, when planning her first album, gave the producer Bruntnell’s Normal For Bridgewater album and asked him to „make it sound like this“. Willy Vlautin simply says, „Peter Bruntnell is my favourite singer in the world“.

King Of Madrid was recorded in the Kiln, King’s Langley with Bruntnell’s long-term band Mick Clews (drums), Peter Noone (bass) and Dave Little (guitar) and their familiarity and comfortable interaction makes for a confident interpretation of the new songs. It was Bruntnell who wrote the inspirational anti-Trump song „Mr Sunshine“ on 2016’s Nos Da Comrade and politics are never far from King Of Madrid either. „National Library“ and „Thief Of Joy“ are both articulate takes on Brexit, with the writer commenting on the latter: „Of course the thief of joy is Pride, but as far as Brexit and May and the Bullingdon Boys go, obviously everybody already knows that“.
In „London Clay“ (reprised here from its original version on 2012’s unofficial release Ringo Woz ‚Ere), a man daydreams about ways he could possibly be together with his unrequited love, but even in the dreams it never quite works out. Typically of this songwriting team, odd and mysterious topics are tackled too: „Lucan“ muses whether the elusive lord is fish food or living in Libreville, Africa, while in „Dinosaur“, Mark Zuckerberg gets hit by a meteor. The title track is a lilting, reflective waltz, while the stunning „Broken Wing“, arguably the album’s standout track, is a song concerning a young person growing up in an evangelical cult. The song allows the band to hit a groove and stretch out instrumentally.

Helping to underline the luscious sound (synthesiser, electric twelve-string and pedal steel abound) are guests BJ Cole, Iain Sloan and the Pretenders‘ James Walbourne, who provides synth flourishes.

King Of Madrid showcases a classic English songwriter at the top of his game.

02. Mai 2019

The title tells the story – MARKUS RILL’s songwriting is the heart of Songland !

Songland
RILL, MARKUS Songland CD
€ 14,90*

If you go into the studio planning to hopefully record ten songs in ten days and you come out the other end after little more than half this time with all 15 of your new songs recorded and in the bag, you have every right to call that a successful session! This happened in late October of 2018 at 7V studios in Bockenem/Germany to Markus Rill – considered by experts and fans to be Germany’s finest Americana artist for more than 20 years – and his band The Troublemakers as they recorded their brand-new album Songland. The title tells the story: Rill’s
songwriting – the joy he finds in poetic, sometimes surrealist lyrics, in creative eloquence as a logical evolution of his earlier, purer storytelling – is at the heart of the album. Musically, Rill and his guys always play in service of the song and do so in absolutely terrific fashion. Not one of the 15 tracks falls short of the others in any way, so Rill’s decision to forget about marketing ploys or saving any song as a possible bonus track makes perfect artistic sense. Almost an hour of Songland – a true feast for fans!

Since 1997 Markus Rill from Würzburg has been living proof that you don’t necessarily need American genes to write and sing authentic folk & roots music. He’s been touring in Germany and Europe for more than twenty years and has steadily released album after strong album which makes his back catalogue quite an impressive one. Since his second album, The Devil & The Open Road (1999), he’s been signed to Blue Rose Records who have released most of his albums since then. There’s the trilogy of albums recorded with some of Nashville’s finest musicians – Hobo Dream (2004), The Price Of Sin (2006) and The Things That Count (2007) -, the meaty Americana songwriter effort Wild Blue & True (2011) and in early 2013 the tremendous band album My Rocket Ship, recorded with The Troublermakers. With Dream Anyway in 2016 Rill & band made a quantum leap. This gem was very varied, sounded fantastic and presented a mature artist with depth and rock’n’roll appeal at the apex of his abilities (up to now). In early 2018 he released Getting Into Trouble for his 20-year anniversary, a double album featuring new material and a collection of rare tracks culled from limited releases or collaborative albums with Swedish New Folk artist Annika Fehling or his German colleagues Hubert Treml & Franz Schuier.

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25. April 2019

Six years after Waterfall TODD THIBAUD is back with Hill West !

Hill West
THIBAUD, TODD Hill West CD
€ 14,90*

Like his last record, Waterfall, Todd Thibaud’s studio albums have been predominantly full band, rock collections, charged with a collective energy that effortlessly pulls the listener in on his journey. With Hill West, that energy still resonates, but Thibaud steers it toward a more intimate, stark approach, fueled by a changing and uncertain world. Inspired by artists and albums such as Johnny Cash’s American Recordings, Gillian Welch’s Revival, Aimee Mann, and Nick Lowe, Thibaud, a Blue Rose artist since 1997, homes in on the essentials: lyric, melody, and voice.

The result is a poignant reflection on our modern world – in a time when other artists have chosen to eschew the big questions or sit still with themselves long enough to look inside. In songs like „Find Your Love“, Thibaud shares a glimpse into two people’s struggle to grapple with the fear and pain that surrounds them, zooming his lens out as he goes to view the greater picture of human relationships. „Great Unknown“ explores the nostalgia we all have for the simpler, hopeful times experienced in youth – when uncertainty was fueled by big dreams – with lyrics reminiscent of Pete Yorn’s Music for the Morning After. In the gritty, forceful „Edge of Breaking“, Thibaud takes the wheel of his future, demanding a fearless love from the perspective of nothing left to lose. „Path of Us“, perhaps the barest track with only his voice and an acoustic guitar, turns back to those two lovers, offering a bittersweet delivery but hopeful message. „Something about open doors, makes me feel so unsure… But what I wouldn’t do for you.“ While the narrator may be unsure, the message is clear: we always have a friend to share our burdens.

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16. April 2019

Welcome back to the Blue Rose family: RUSS TOLMAN with Goodbye El Dorado !

Goodbye El Dorado
TOLMAN, RUSS Goodbye El Dorado 2CD (incl. Bonus-CD "Compass & Map")
€ 14,90*

Americana singer, songwriter and guitarist, Russ Tolman has been confounding expectations from the start, following his own unique path, all the while with a knowing nod, tugging on our coats, inviting us to come along. It has always been a pleasing, worthwhile suggestion.

With his eighth album, Goodbye El Dorado, Tolman wistfully, but with a clear, critical eye examines his homeland from afar, penning his „love letter to Los Angeles“ without acrimony and with the clarity of distance. He was half a world away in Osaka, Japan and the miles provided a prism of certitude.

From his gunslinging days in the seminal 80’s twin guitar chainsaw band True West throughout a varied, exceptional solo career, Tolman’s strengths as a singer-songwriter are on full display here. From the everyday laments of time melting away on the 405 freeway to the personal musings over the intimate, familial travails of having your hopes and dreams running headlong into reality. Heady stuff you say? No doubt.

Dispatching these emotional adventures with his usual wisecracking aplomb, Tolman enlists some familiar musical samurai, along with some new ronin to expand the colors of his burgeoning musical palette. Multi-instrumentalist Robert Lloyd (Steve Wynn, Nels Cline, Wesley Stace) caressingly picks a mandolin, tickles the ivories and delightfully offers the plush inflections of his accordion, painting Tolman’s House of Melody with a fresh coat of satisfying color. Long-time six-string comrade Kirk Swan (Dumptruck, Amy Rigby) swings as usual with an insouciant groove, handsomely propelling the overall sentiment with taste and verve. Veteran Kevin Jarvis takes a double dip, serving as both engineer and drummer, providing pivotal experience from his previous work with Lucinda Williams, Grant Lee Phillips, and Brian Wilson. Cindy Wasserman (John Doe Band, Dead Rock West) provides glowing, elegant backing vocals and Tolman vet Dave Provost (Dream Syndicate, Al Green) anchors the bottom with his Motown tinctured bass guitar, while Tom Heyman contributes his potent pedal steel sheen. Newcomer Slim Zwerling offers his trumpet and flugelhorn, providing a yummy Bacharach zest, adding new flavors to Tolman’s soulful gumbo. Drop in a healthy dollop of Tolman’s seasoned, silky honeycomb vocals
and the results are a golden treasure.
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29. März 2019

THE BLACK SORROWS are returning with a live album!

We have another Friday with a new Blue Rose release and it’s a very special one: For the first time in the label history an album is only available in the digital format and only available on CD at the band’s shows in Scandinavia and the UK in April and in the fall at their upcoming German tour – THE BLACK SORROWS are back with the live album Live At The Palms, recorded on October 26, 2018 at „The Palms At Crown“ in Melbourne, Australia.
The album contains features nine songs, seven taken from the band’s latest studio release, Citizen John. The remaining tracks are covers by The Coasters („Down Home Girl“) and „The Honeydripper“ by Joe Liggins & The Honeydrippers.
Live At The Palms is now available at European download and streaming sites.

14. März 2019

Digging For Rays is JOSEPH PARSONS‘ new album and way of saying „searching life for a little light, for rays of hope & sunshine“

There are beautiful melodies and insightful lyrics, a sound of wide-open spaces and a vibe that’s both timeless and contemporary, and there’s this majestic elegant voice. Joseph Parsons‚ new album Digging For Rays has got everything you want from a song-oriented album in 2019 and then some. Sure, Parsons is a singer-songwriter but he’s also a widely-traveled musician in the here and now and his 13th studio album effortlessly reflects both.


The Pennsylvania & Louisiana raised artist currently residing in Germany draws from the familiar well of folk and rock to create something new – a music that’s exciting and current without eschewing its roots or catering to the dance-oriented zeitgeist. In other words: It’s the kind of album this writer thinks you’ve been waiting for.

Songs like „Living Things“ with its propelling beat, the acoustic, elegiac „Sad Parade“, the dark, driving rocker „Wide Awake“ and the beguiling „Beautiful Lie“ all sound fresh and original and are elevated by a one-of-a-kind voice. Parsons is a deliberate, controlled singer who conveys emotional depth with subtlety and nuance – and a lot of lure.

Digging For Rays is Parsons‘ way of saying „searching life for a little light, for rays of hope & sunshine“ – sorely needed considering the shape the world is in and, specifically, his home country. „I’m still an optimist even when things look bleak“, Parsons says. Music helps him maintain his equilibrium and positive outlook.

Over the course of a dozen studio albums, various live & collaborative projects and more than twenty years of touring, Joseph Parsons has established himself as a world class singer and writer, great all-around musician and an immensely personable performer. And yet he still keeps pushing himself, adding modern sounds to his palette to create another eminently listenable album that reveals deeper layers with every repeated listening. Some of his songs are introspective and provide keen insight, while others are written from the vantage point of an astute observer and chronicler of this ever-changing world. It is a world he knows well having lived in many places over the years from Los Angeles to Baghdad to Berlin.

Parsons also draws from artists like songwriting greats James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and outside-the-box-thinkers like Miles Davis, Paco de Lucia, Bob Marley and Daniel Lanois. From these ingredients he creates original music unconcerned with fitting into a specific genre. The only thing that counts for Parsons is a good song. And how does he measure if it’s a good song? „When it reaches the heart & soul of the listener,“ Parsons says. Undoubtedly, the 10 songs of Digging For Rays do exactly that.

08. März 2019

Welcome to the Blue Rose family: DAN NAVARRO!

Shed My Skin
NAVARRO, DAN Shed My Skin CD
€ 14,90*

Shed My Skin is Los Angeles native Dan Navarro’s long-awaited first studio album after 14 albums in 20+ years with Lowen & Navarro, Triple A Radio mainstays in the 1990s. Dan went solo in 2009 after the retirement and subsequent death of Eric Lowen due to ALS (MND).


Shed My Skin is produced and guitarred by Steve Postell (Little Blue, Danny Kortchmar, Jennifer Warnes) featuring a duet with blues singer Janiva Magness, hit singer-songwriter Wendy Waldman (Vanessa Williams, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Grace Pettis and Brother Sun, plus players Danny Kortchmar (James Taylor, Don Henley, Jackson Browne), Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Phil Collins), Butch Norton (Lucinda Williams), Bob Malone (John Fogerty), Debra Dobkin (Bonnie Raitt, Was Not Was), roots artist Tony Furtado, Phil Parlapiano (John Prine, Grant Lee Buffalo), Joel Tepp (Bonnie Raitt, Danny O’Keefe), Freebo (Bonnie Raitt), Dennis Edwards (Eddie Money), Brendan Buckley (Shakira), Jon Ossman (Marc Cohn, Paula Cole), Aubrey Richmond (Shooter Jennings), David Glaser and Peter Adams.

The songlist on Shed My Skin features eight Navarro originals plus four covers, two by old friends, Kenny Edwards („Night Full Of Rain“) and Tom Wilson of Blackie & The Rodeo Kings and Lee Harvey Osmond („You Drove My Crazy“, a duet with Janiva Magness). Rounding out the album are the haunting „Sweet Sixteen“ by Billy Idol and the Jimmy Webb standard „Wichita Lineman“ in a sumptuous new arrangement.

Dan’s long songwriting career includes Pat Benatar’s Grammy-nominated classic „We Belong“, Top 5 in 30 countries, plus songs recorded by The Bangles, Dave Edmunds, Dionne Warwick, Jackson Browne, Keb’Mo‘, The Temptations, freestyle hip-hop pioneers TKA, Jon Ondrasik (Five For Fighting), Nile Rodgers or The Triplets Billboard US #14 single „You Don’t Have To Go Home Tonight“), among many others.
His songs have appeared in films and TV shows as „Deadpool 2“, „Pitch Perfect 2“, „The Office“, „General Hospital“, „Melrose Place“, „The Color of Money“, „American Dad“, „American Idol“, „The Voice“ and dozens of MTV & VH1 specials.

Dan tours constantly, for over 20 years with Lowen & Navarro and since 2008 as a solo artist, with headline and mainstage performances in legendary acoustic/roots venues and festivals, including The Kerrville Folk Festival, The Woody Guthrie Festival, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, Vancouver Island Music Fest, The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, McCabe’s Guitar Shop (Santa Monica CA), The Birchmere (Alexandria VA), Rams Head Onstage (Annapolis MD), The Bitter End and The Bottom Line (NYC) and many more.

Lowen & Navarro were listed in the „100 Most Influential Independent Artists“ by Performing Songwriter Magazine in 2008.

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