Kurt McMahan moved from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Austin in 2007. The lyrics of Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley, Guy Clarke and many other Austin legends have shaped his writing. Stirring up all the Southern flavors of Soul Music with poignant lyrics and true stories has been his mission. From the swampy sound of Muscle Shoals, to Soulsville USA, straight down through the Mississippi Delta, to the heart of the Crescent City, with the Blues that tramped across the Natural State and the melting pot that is the great state of Texas: King Corduroy “Austin Soul Stew” is ready to be served.
Month: July 2020
Mick Hayes is the combination of “artist and entertainer” that we don’t hear much about these days. In the past he’s been recognized as a network reality TV star, a successful bandleader and frontman who spent years earning his stripes as the opening act for iconic rock bands such as the Doobie Brothers, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick and Peter Frampton. Mick is a fellow musician and accompanist who has graced the stage with a wide variety of artists from Billy Sheehan to Stevie Wonder. A songwriter who was recognized by the Grammy Nomination Committee in two different categories in 2017. A guitarist who received one-on-one guitar instructions from Steve Vai, who is back to being a student of the game while writing and recording a new album at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
While all of this sounds extravagant or designed to impress you, it’s one mans dedication to his artistry that you should really be hearing and take some time to experience it for yourself. This self-proclaimed, full-time musician performs regionally, nationally, internationally and also in his hometown music scene for well over 200 shows per year.
Like the business model of the great Ray Charles, Mick Hayes don’t fit into one box…but he’ll fit right into your heart and soul for a lifetime full of music born from good influence.
Exceptionally versatile singer-songwriter Maggie Rose will release her highly anticipated album, Change The Whole Thing, September 21, 2018. Stamped with her affinity for finely crafted melodies and intricate storytelling, the project encompasses a blend of American music melding Rock, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Country and Gospel. The resilient powerhouse recorded this album at the famed Starstruck Studios in Nashville, TN implementing an impressively demanding method highlighting an artist in complete command of her ever-evolving creative process: live with her 13-piece “family band” in one take, no overdubs, no bullshit and a sound that is best described by the following quote from Rolling Stone: “Maggie Rose has come into her own with this current earth-conscious, trippy country-soul stage of her ever-evolving musical persona…Rose’s performances [during CMA Fest and Bonnaroo] showed her embracing her inner soul diva, belting with fire on ‘It’s You’ and the pulverizing ‘Pull You Through’. Just to drive the point home, Rose and her band even stretched out on a swinging cover of ‘The Letter,’ doing a more-than-respectable impression of the funky Mad Dogs & Englishmen arrangement originally sung by Joe Cocker”.
Leading to the Fall album launch, Rose incrementally released four Digital 45s from her forthcoming project beginning in October 2017 to both satisfy and build the anticipation of her growing fanbase. The initial 45 earned her a spot in the Top 10 on Sirius XM with the “smoldering” A-side, “Pull You Through”. The “pulverizing” single was hailed by Rolling Stone as a “soulful ballad that rejoices in the healing powers of love…a bare-bones track [that is] really a showcase for the Dusty Springfield-worthy vocals of Rose…”. In Spring of 2018, Maggie released “It’s You” and “Smooth.” Rolling Stone once again praised Maggie Rose with “It’s You” as “a giant, throwback Soul ballad that shows off her dynamic vocals [containing] shades of Aretha Franklin”, and also praised “Smooth” as “a supremely funky rocker with hints of Grace Potter [and] Janis Joplin”. The enthusiasm surrounding each Digital 45 release has continually increased the appetite of her fans while relentlessly expanding her following via radio, streaming platforms and through her captivating live performances.
The full-length album will feature 12 songs, 12 live in-studio videos, with a full-access behind-the-scenes one-hour musical documentary which peels back the layers and allows the viewer an intimate look into the making of the album. Rose has been named to YouTube’s Emerging Artist and Artist in Residence 2018 programs, and Pandora named her an Artist to Watch 2018. In June, Maggie’s creative breadth and versatility sparked the first-ever partnership between Prescription Songs and Sea Gayle Music, with the two companies signing a joint-venture publishing agreement with Rose. In July, she was tapped by Land O’Lakes for a synchronization deal that lends her voice to a national ad campaign focusing on Women’s Empowerment.
In 2018, Maggie Rose has played over 150 dates across the world including Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, while sharing the stage with artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Julia Michaels, Brandy Clark, and Bob Weir of Grateful Dead.
The Revivalists chronicle, catalog, and capture an unbelievable ride where ten years of tireless hard work would be unexpectedly revved up by the wrongly dubbed “overnight success” of the gold-selling number one single “Wish I Knew You.” Like any enduring band worth its salt, they reacted the best way possible to newfound popularity – by buckling down and turning up with an album chock full of tunes worthy of even greater success. It’s the result of a trip that unassumingly commenced in 2008 with hundreds of underground shows yearly and culminated 10 years later with not only “Wish I Knew You,” but three years of back-to-back sold out headline tours.
In life, like rock ‘n’ roll, some questions get answered while others stay unanswered. Mirroring the push-and-pull of the past few years, the boys—David Shaw [lead vocals, guitar], Zack Feinberg [guitar], Andrew Campanelli [drums], George Gekas [bass], Ed Williams [pedal steel guitar], Rob Ingraham [saxophone], Michael Girardot [keyboard, trumpet], and PJ Howard [drums, percussion]—deliver a bevy of anthems marked by moments of sonic complexity, celebration, and catharsis.
For the first time, The Revivalists recorded and co-wrote with multiple producers and writers, enlisting the talents of Dave Cobb [Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton], Andrew Dawson [Kanye West, Fun., Sleigh Bells], and Dave Bassett [Elle King, Vance Joy] for sessions in New Orleans and Nashville, which became a hub for the band. They spent three weeks recording at the iconic RCA Studio B, soaking up the aura of one of the most storied studios in music and the city’s rich musical history. Additionally, it would be the first record with drummer/percussionist PJ joining the band in the studio. Bringing sixty songs to the table, the guys whittled the batch down to the best fourteen of the bunch. “We had the opportunity to work with more people, which was amazing,” David goes on. The first single “All My Friends” speaks to that spirit. Driven by swaggering piano, boisterous horns, and bluesy leads, the track swings towards an unshakable chant, “All my friends take good care of me.” Striking, sharp, and soulful, it introduces this chapter with confidence and charisma. Representing a vast swath of the country and defying regional pigeonholes, David’s roots are in the Rust Belt, while Zack, Ed, and George hail from the Tri-States and Michael and Rob from the Southwest.
Since forming in New Orleans, the group quietly grinded towards international ubiquity one gig, song, and album at a time. Seven years in, 2015’s Men Amongst Mountains represented a high watermark. Its lead single “Wish I Knew You” became a slow-burning hit, racking up more than 200 million streams and ascending to #1 on Adult Alternative and Alternative radio. On the latter, it clocked a record for “most single-week spins ever at the format” before eventually receiving a gold certification from the RIAA. A mainstream phenomenon, the song found traction at Hot AC and Top 40 and bubbled up on to the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks as the band made the rounds on television with performances on Today, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Ellen, and Conan. Acclaim came from USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Forbes, Flaunt, Buzzfeed, Uproxx, Billboard, and more with Rolling Stone touting them among “10 Artists You Need To Know”.
Along the way, they garnered a Billboard Music Awards nomination and two nods at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Between countless gigs, the musicians also ignited festival stages at Bonnaroo, Governor’s Ball, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Outside Lands, and Pilgrimage, to name a few. In the end, The Revivalists welcome listeners on this journey with them as they set out with a newfound depth and ambition.
Savants of Soul
The Savants of Soul are a 9-piece retro-soul group from performing original soul music inspired by the sounds of the 1960s, contemporary retro-soul groups and the group’s diverse collection of influences ranging from punk to hip-hop to Chicago blues to 1950s cool jazz.
Since the group’s inception in Gainesville, FL, in 2011, they’ve made a name for themselves in the music scene by being an unparalleled live show experience, moving audiences of all ages with danceable, good-time music and an approach to performance as influenced by theater troupes as it is by musical performance.
The band has made its presence felt around the southeast, notably playing Red Gorilla at SXSW in 2017, Suwannee Hulaween in 2016 and Changeville in its hometown in 2018 and 2016. Along the way, The Savants of Soul show has been featured alongside Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Benjamin Booker, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Original Wailers and Thomas Wynn & The Believers.
Billy D. Allen
Billy D. Allen is from Town Creek Alabama and has been singing since he was 3 years old. He recently performed on The X-Factor and made it all the way to boot camp for the X- Factor 2012. He also opened up for Louis Farrakhan 2012. He continues to exercise his vocals for the local artist.
From the moment he started playing gigs around his home state of Alabama, Steven Padilla was a different sort of act, performing songs that weren’t necessarily what every other band across the state — and the USA for that matter — was playing. “I played songs that weren’t necessarily the popular songs,” The Demopolis, Alabama native says of his early days. “Instead, I played songs that were tracks from albums of the artists I liked”.
It was this affinity as a touring artist with the high energy roller-coaster of a stage show packed with unique covers that has helped Steven Padilla hone the roots of his musical identity and to eventually find the inspiration to craft a sound that is as unique as any of the other Country music artists coming out of Alabama. He found inspiration from everywhere around him wrote the songs that reflected his life, where he was and the people around him. The results of all of this work is his debut album GOOD AT GOODBYE.
The album’s anchor is the title track, a song which was originally inspired by a 97 year old neighbor who witnessed most everyone important to him in his life go away and Steven used those emotions to talk about his family and in many ways it’s a metaphor for any musician who spends so much time on the road away from their family. They may get easier to say but a singer with a family really never does get good at goodbyes.
Another emotional moment on GOOD AT GOODBYE is the closer of the album “If I Didn’t Have You,” a song which sums up Steven’s life as a husband, as a new father and as a man of faith. The themes of GOOD AT GOODBYE aren’t all heavy with the singer/songwriter deftly covering life and love and how it all relates to the human condition here on earth, taking a page out of stalwarts like Dierks Bentley, Rodney Crowell and Guy Clark.
Co-produced by both Don Srygley and Steven himself and mostly recorded (on analog tape) at the iconic FAME studios of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, GOOD AT GOODBYE features the statement of Padilla’s rural upbringing in “Country Side Of Mine” while “No Time To Think” melds a haunting melody to a lyric about life and how fast it can be, it’s the type of song that speaks to the human condition while the percussive modern melody of “Fishin’” infuses a playfulness to the building of a relationship. “This Woman In My Life” is a sweet song about how love can change our lives for the better and it’s these songs from GOOD AT GOODBYE that speak to the poetic and heartfelt nature of Steven Padilla’s ’s artistry.
That heart has served him well in the build up to this moment in his life and his career. His familiar, yet different, path to the national country music scene has shaped who he’s become as an artist while the stories and themes of his songs have been heavily influenced by those folks around him and closest to him. While the world’s just getting to know Steven Padilla, by listening to his debut album GOOD AT GOODBYE, we all get to feel the heart of a man who is ready for what the future holds and it’s a bright future indeed.
Lynne JACKAMAN is now a part of the recording legacy at FAME studios, Muscle Shoals Alabama.
Like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Candi Staton before her, Lynne too possesses that same emotive raw power. A fireball of femininity, authenticity, love and pain in equal measure which is evident in her songwriting and performance.
Her (as yet untitled) debut album was cut in 12 days back in the summer of 2017 in FAME studios. Its a musical marriage between one of South Londons’ best kept secrets and the sounds of that vintage era when Wilson Pickett Etta James and Aretha Franklin all recorded in Muscle Shoals. There are guest appearances on the album from Spooner Oldham, Clayton Ivey, Bob Wray and Will McFarlane to name but a few.
Since returning from America, Lynne has been preparing to release the record in 2018 and take the music out into the live arena. A place where her music really comes into its own.
Chris is a multi-platinum singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from Chicago, currently based in Nashville. Chris is a versatile writer/producer working on everything from producing Meghan Trainor’s 4x platinum hit “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” featuring John Legend to having songs placed on hit television shows like Nashville and Pretty Little Liars. Chris co-wrote and is featured on Alle Farben’s #1 platinum single in Germany, “Bad Ideas”. He has also had cuts by Lee Brice, Dustin Lynch, Frankie Ballard, Lee Brice, Robert Randolph and Billy Currington to name a few. Most recently, he co-wrote 3 songs on the new Revivalists album, released in November, 2018.
It’s time to give thanks – there’s new music from Emily Duff, and it’s bursting with passion and spirituality. The Rocking Title Track, HALLELUJAH HELLO, leaps out of the gate, slide guitar proclaiming its urgency: this, her third solo album, demands and deserves your attention (‘You, You, You!’). If the album title didn’t give it away, the other song titles also echo the gospel flavour of the 12 cuts, soaked in the southern spirit of Alabama’s legendary FAME studios in Muscle Shoals. FAME’s own, John Gifford III at the helm has achieved a gorgeous production, and the musicians play superbly; and shining above the whole glorious mix are Emily’s vocals, one moment growling an aching blues, the next soaring stridently and soulfully. You better believe! This is not fake news – it’s the real thing, genuine and heartfelt as they come.
“Emily Duff is a great artist! Every time I see her play live, I can’t help thinking how much Keith Richards would dig it if he were there. She’s the real thing!” – Willie Nile (Singer/Songwriter)
A prolific songwriter, Emily paints vivid aural pictures: God’s diner, where the faithful are welcomed with ‘fresh coffee and eggs all day’, while a celestial pedal steel serenades diners. The songs are packed with memorable, inventive lyrics – who’d have thought you could make rhymes for ‘modus operandi’ or ‘Lazarus’, and without sounding contrived? And how about this gem, which sums up the mission of the record, and could be its subtitle: ‘I want to take you higher through my amplifier!’.
The musical spectrum is colorful, from the Stonesy, rollicking swing of ‘The Day He Walked’, through the up-tempo twangy honky-tonk/rockabilly workout of ‘We All Need Savin’ Some Time’, to the subtle shimmering organ backing on ‘Trust The Lord’ and ‘The Fall’. Gospel choir backing vocals add glory on several tracks; equally strikingly, ‘Jesus Love This Tired Woman’ is arresting in its simplicity: a sincere plea with a minimal arrangement, highlighting Emily’s lyric.
Make no mistake, Emily isn’t setting herself up as some cherubic saint – she sets out her manifesto in ‘The Fall’ – she couldn’t be more down to earth, at the same time exhorting: ‘Get In The Water’. Although ‘guitar in hand, playing in God’s band’, she’s also ‘telling dirty jokes to St Paul’. At the end, she proclaims her humanity and fallibility: ‘bring on the fall’.
If this Alabama soul stew doesn’t get under your skin, you don’t have a pulse. Go tell your friends, and go sing it from the rooftops: Emily’s here to testify, she’s calling a revival meeting, and she wants you, you, you. It’s not just music for Sunday, it’s music for every day, and you need her in your musical life! Praise be!!
HALLELUJAH HELLO features an All-Star Band of legendary Shoals Musicians with Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt) & Kelvin Holly (Little Richard) on guitars, Bob Wray (Fame Gang, Ray Charles, The Highwaymen, Tanya Tucker, George Jones) on bass, Clayton Ivey (Fame Gang, Aretha Franklin) on keyboards, Justin Holder on drums, Wayne Bridge (Flying Burrito Brothers) on dobro and pedal steel, Brad Guin on saxophone, James LeBlanc on guest vocals and The Legendary Shoals Sisters (Marie Lewey & Cindy Walker) on Background Vocals and many more. The very same band that is on top of the Americana charts right now with “Muscle Shoals: SMALL TOWN, BIG SOUND.”
“HALLELUJAH HELLO” is a 100% FAME recorded, Muscle Shoals, AL Made, Mixed and Mastered (Don Srygley) effort from start to finish! Emily Duff, however, is 100% NYC born and raised and lives in Manhattan’s West Village with her husband Skip, their two children and hound dog, Banjo. HALLELUJAH HELLO is available on CD, Vinyl and digital download at https://emilyduff.bandcamp.com/album/hallelujah-hello