Badbadnotgood at the Varsity – TICKETS
Last year, the Canadian ensemble released its highly anticipated psychedelic jazz album Talk Memory to high acclaim, garnering widespread praise from Pitchfork, NPR, The Guardian and fans alike. The album features musical contributions from Arthur Verocai, Karriem Riggins, Terrace Martin, Laraaji and acclaimed harpist Brandee Younger, and was lauded by Pitchfork as the band’s “most compositionally complex record to date” saying “It draws you in with vibrant hooks and melodic flourishes, then begs you to return and fully absorb its subtleties.”
Now following the effort, the band is setting out on a run of tour dates in North America, Canada and Europe in 2022. The upcoming tour marks a special time for the group who will bring their most vulnerable offering to date to the stage for their first performances since its release.
The Mastersons & The Whitmore Sisters at the Hook and Ladder – TICKETS
The Mastersons are singer-songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore. When they’re not touring the world as valued longtime members of Steve Earle’s band the Dukes, the musical and marital twosome make inspired albums of their own emotionally vivid, deeply humanistic songs. The duo’s fourth set of original compositions is the appropriately titled No Time for Love Songs.
Ghosts are always with us, waiting for the right moment, or reason, to reveal themselves. Then a song, a stretch of road, or someone’s laughter hits your ear, and suddenly you’re back in the moment, feeling the rush of emotions as if time never moved on. For Eleanor and Bonnie Whitmore, two of roots music’s most accomplished songwriter/ instrumentalist/ vocalists, the ghosts chose to appear right as Covid became entrenched — when live music evaporated and people were isolated from each other.
Bonnie, whose four solo albums are all state-of-a-real-woman’s-heart jewels, decided to join sister Eleanor and her husband Chris Masterson in their Los Angeles closed circle for a break. Chris, who’s recorded four albums with his wife as The Mastersons, saw the visit as an opportunity to issue a practical mandate: If Bonnie was coming, it was time for the sisters to make an album. Not just an album, but “the album” — the musical inevitability that’s been simmering since a 22-year-old Eleanor was protecting her curly headed 15-year-old sister at gigs in local bars. The collection, along with two covers — a song by their pal Aaron Lee Tasjan (“Big Heart Sick Mind” and “On the Wings of a Nightingale” (written by Paul McCartney for iconic siblings The Everly Brothers) — was produced by Chris Masterson and completes Ghost Stories, their debut album which was released on January 21, 2022 on Red House Records.
The sisters’ closeness and unconventional upbringing, not to mention their melodic sensibility and pure blood harmonies, have created something truly special with their debut album.
Guthrie’s way of looking at it: “Music is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”
Lost Dog Street Band at the Turf Club – TICKETS
“I wanted to dig under the darkest impulses of humanity for this album, and that is violence, selfishness, and destruction,” says Benjamin Tod, guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter of Americana trio Lost Dog Street Band. The Muhlenberg County, Kentucky-based group’s latest album, its fifth overall, Weight Of A Trigger, released March 29, 2019, is a potent distillation of its outlaw heartache soul.
The dark impulses Ben sings about are simply the demons that have driven him since he was a teen. At 16, Ben left home to play music on the streets. Since then, he’s lived under bridges, slept in jail cells, sought freedom hopping freight trains, battled addiction, and watched many good friends die from the same rambling disease. Some states, he remains a wanted man with active warrants. Though Ben has been aimless, and destructive, he’s always been prolific through exorcising his demons in song. Even if that meant writing songs at 7:00 AM in dank and dark basements strung out on drugs and drunk.
The Longest Johns at the Entry – TICKETS
The Longest Johns are a Bristol-based, acapella folk music band, born out of a mutual love of traditional folk songs and shanties. They rock maritime songs alongside the more unusual and less traditional folk tunes.
I doubt any of Bristol’s The Longest Johns ever imagined they would be able to get so far on just four voices. Born out of a mutual love of traditional folk songs and shanties, they rock maritime songs alongside the more unusual and less traditional folk tunes.
In a few short years, they have gone from singing sea shanties in a kitchen to International folk festivals, tours, TV appearances and gained a huge online following. As the face of the 2021 sea shanty revival with their track “Wellerman”, the Johns are reaching millions of new fans all across the globe and showing them just how great these songs can be.
Modu Moctar First Avenue – TICKETS
Prodigious Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar boldly reforges contemporary Saharan music and “rock music“ by melding Eddie Van Halen pyrotechnics, full-blast noise and guitar shredding, field recordings, drums rhythms, poetic meditations on love, religion, women’s rights, inequality, and Western Africa’s exploitation at the hands of colonial powers to rip a new hole in the sky with the Afrique Victime album.
Mdou Moctar’s home is Agadez, a desert village in rural Niger. Inspired by YouTube videos of Eddie Van Halen’s six-string techniques and traditional Tuareg melodies, he mastered the guitar which he himself built and created his own burning style. A born charismatic, Mdou went on to tell his story as an aspiring artist by writing, producing & starring in the first Tuareg language film: a remake of Purple Rain called Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai – which translates to “Rain The Color Of Blue With A Little Red In It”, winning the approval of his family and his community. The word and the sound traveled across West Africa via mobile phone data cards, a popular form of local music distribution. Gruelling DIY world tours and albums on the independent US label Sahel Sounds followed, including 2019’s landmark Ilana: The Creator album that earned Mdou Moctar an ecstatic international audience.
His Golden Messenger at the Fine Line – TICKETS
“I went looking for peace,” says songwriter M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger about his new album Quietly Blowing It, out June 25, 2021, on Merge Records. “It’s not exactly a record about the state of the world—or my world—in 2020, but more a retrospective of the past five years of my life, painted in sort of impressionistic hues. Maybe I had the presence of mind when I was writing Quietly Blowing It to know that this was the time to go as deep as I needed to in order to make a record like this. And I got the time required in order to do that.” He pauses and laughs ruefully. “I got way more time than I needed, actually.”
Quietly Blowing It was written and arranged by Taylor in his home studio—his 8’ × 10’ sanctuary packed ﬂoor to ceiling with books, records, and old guitars—as he watched the chaotic world spin outside his window. “Writing became a daily routine,” he explains, “and that was a ballast for me. Having spent so much time on the road over the past ten years, where writing consistently with any kind of ﬂow can be tricky, it felt refreshing. And being in my studio, which is both isolated from and totally connected to the life of my family, felt appropriate for these songs.”
Chastity Brown at the Womens Club – TICKETS
Chastity Brown is a storyteller in the blues tradition. The Minnesota-via-Tennessee songwriter and musician tells stories populated by marginalized characters to stake her own space as a queer black woman and to speak to other experiences oftentimes ignored. The daughter of a black blues musician and white Irish mother who was raised in Tennessee, she’s made a home in Minneapolis for more than a decade. She was signed by Red House Records and released her acclaimed album Silhouette of Sirens in 2017, going on to tour nationally and internationally, sharing the stage and supporting artists such as the Indigo Girls, Ani Di Franco, Andrea Gibson, Jayhawks, The National, and Michael Kiwanuka.
She’s been praised by NPR, CMT, American Songwriter, the London Times, Paste Magazine, and The Independent, among many others, and appeared on the U.K.’s Later…with Jools Holland. Chastity Brown will release her newest full-length record in 2022.
Madeon at the Fillmore – TICKETS
Grammy-award nominated Madeon recently finished up his Good Faith Forever Tour, blending pop and dance with unparalleled stage production. Today, he has announced new 2022 tour dates making stops at The Anthem (Washington D.C.), The Mission Ballroom (Denver) Ultra Music Festival (Miami) and more with supporting act Yung Bae.
On the 2022 tour, Madeon says: “Good Faith Forever is by far my favorite show we’ve put together. I’m so happy to bring the definitive updated version of it to larger venues in some of my favorite cities in the US!”
Parcels at First Avenue – TICKETS
Parcels are on a lifelong journey through the endless realm of popular music. The Australian quintet have literally grown up together while developing their unique and expressively melodic musical language, which continues to elevate their sound and career to new heights. With their forthcoming sophomore effort underway, Parcels are set to chart new territory for themselves and their listeners, cementing the band as true aesthetes channeling their influences and lived experiences into music that’s wholly transportative.
Parcels’ five members – keyboardist Louie Swain, keyboardist/guitarist Patrick Hetherington, bassist Noah Hill, drummer Anatole “Toto” Serret, and guitarist Jules Crommelin – all grew up in the Australian town of Byron Bay before properly forming as Parcels during their final year of high school: “We were producing and writing music by ourselves, and we found something in that process that felt new and exciting,” Hetherington explains.