Darrell Scott

Multi-Instrumentalist and Singer-Songwriter Darrell Scott mines and cultivates the everyday moment, taking the rote, menial, mundane, and allowing it to be surreal, ever poignant, and candidly honest, lilting, blooming, and resonating.  The words he fosters allow us to make sense of the world, what is at stake here, and our place in it. And ultimately, Darrell knows the sole truth of life is that love is all that matters, that we don’t always get it right, but that’s the instinctive and requisite circuitous allure of things, why we forever chase it, and why it is held sacred.

Darrell Scott comes from a musical family with a father who had him smitten with guitars by the age of 4, alongside a brother who played Jerry Reed style as well.  From there, things only ramped up with literature and poetry endeavors while a student at Tufts University, along with playing his way through life.  This would never change.

After recently touring with Robert Plant and the Zac Brown Band (2 years with each), and producing albums for Malcolm Holcomb and Guy Clark and being named “songwriter of the year” for both ASCAP and NSAI, these days find him roaming his Tennessee wilderness acreage hiking along the small river, creating delicious meals with food raised on his property and playing music. He often leads songwriting workshops to help people tell their own truths with their stories, and is as busy as always writing, producing, performing, and just plain fully immersing himself in life.

Seth Walker

Over the last decade, Seth Walker has become recognized as one of the most revered Americana artists in the United States; a three dimensional talent who combines a gift for melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar. 

In 2022, Walker will release, ‘I Hope I Know,’ his eleventh studio album. Produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers, the collection is a beacon of light, written and recorded during the dark times of the pandemic. Each song burns bright with what fans have come to love about Walker: stylistically diverse influences, pure soul in his delivery, contemplative lyrics, and musical movement both geographic and spiritual.

Currently residing in Asheville after stints living in Nashville, New Orleans and Austin, Walker has used those experiences wisely, soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places. With a bluesman’s respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for—and successful melding of—contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace. 

All Music declares, “Walker is deft and elegant, weaving together sounds and stories in a way that has a quiet, lasting impact,” but perhaps Country Standard Time said it best: “If you subscribe to the Big Tent theory of Americana, then Seth Walker –with his blend of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, and a dash country—just might be your poster boy.”

Seth Walker

Over the last decade, Seth Walker has become recognized as one of the most revered modern Americana artists in the United States; a three dimensional talent who combines a gift for melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar. In 2021—following up on his most recent studio album, ‘Are You Open?’ (produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers), as well as, a handful of singles – Walker published a memoir, ‘Your Van Is On Fire: The Miscellaneous Meanderings of a Musician.’

Currently residing in Asheville after stints living in Nashville, New Orleans and Austin, Walker has used those experiences wisely, soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places. With a bluesman’s respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for—and successful melding of—contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace. All Music declares, “Walker is deft and elegant, weaving together sounds and stories in a way that has a quiet, lasting impact,” but perhaps Country Standard Time said it best: “If you subscribe to the Big Tent theory of Americana, then Seth Walker –with his blend of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, and a dash country—just might be your poster boy.”

Bonnie Bishop

By the time Bonnie Bishop released her oh-so-appropriately titled 2016 album, Ain’t Who I Was, she had already experienced several Cinderella-story career moments. First, her idol Bonnie Raitt recorded one of her songs, “Not Cause I Wanted To,” for her 2012 comeback album, Slipstream. Then New York Times critic Jon Pareles named it his Song of the Year, and Raitt’s album won a Grammy. Bishop also got to hear songs she’d penned sung by stars of the hit TV show “Nashville,” while Raitt covered another of her songs, “Undone” on 2016 ‘s Dig In Deep.

Since then, Bishop has learned to accept such experiences — not to mention touring Europe and Scandinavia, earning coveted performing spots on two Cayamo cruises and playing Willie Nelson’s annual Luck Reunion — as her reality, one that’s better than any fairytale.

But as her growing legions of fans may know, the fantastical story twist is that most of these events occurred after Bishop had decided to give up her music career and enroll in graduate school. That was when a mentor hooked her up with Dave Cobb, who was then becoming Nashville’s hottest producer (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile). Next thing she knew, she had turned the heartache of a divorce and a hail-Mary leap of faith into a soul-filled album; one that knocked critics out at Rolling Stone, Billboard, the New York Times, the Washington Post and just about everywhere else. The Houston Press declared her the “new queen of country soul” and No Depression practically shouted, “If we can go ahead and choose the BEST album of the year, it’s clearly Bonnie Bishop’s.”

That gospel-infused album not only hit the upper reaches of the Americana music chart and reignited her career, it took it to levels she’d never expected, including those farflung adventures and recording with Paul Thorn.

But Bishop has been eager to do even more. This fall, she’ll release The Walk, produced by drummer Steve Jordan (John Mayer, Keith Richards, Robert Cray), a groove-based album that’s light years from Ain’t Who I Was. In the meantime, she’s also recorded new acoustic versions of several songs from previous albums and compiled her favorites into a collection titled House Sessions: Vol. 1 — so named because it actually was recorded in her house, on the grand piano her father left behind when her parents divorced.

While she was waiting to record with Jordan, Bishop and her piano relocated from Nashville to Fort Worth, Texas, into a place she describes as “this cool old house with hardwood floors and big, open windows.” She knew she wanted to record in that house, on that piano. But she didn’t want to use the tunes she was saving for Jordan; instead, she chose to plumb her past. Because she was unhappy with the sound of albums she’d released earlier in her career, Bishop had long ago pulled her 2002-2010 catalog from online services. Consequently, many of her newer fans have never heard those releases. But those who have been listening since her Soft To The Touch days often request her older songs at shows, making it clear they were worth presenting again.

But another emotional connection besides the piano was involved as well.

“There’s something about leaving Nashville and coming home to Texas that made me want to embrace that part of my past,” Bishop reveals. “Maybe that’s part of maturing as an artist; I can celebrate the whole journey now.” Accompanying herself on acoustic guitar and keys, she wound up with nine tracks, three of which had never been recorded. The songs are augmented by just a few other instruments, including upright bass and electric guitar by Fort Worth talents Aden Bubeck and Ryan Tharp, respectively.

“In these stripped-down versions,” Bishop says, “you can really hear the sound of this old house and my progression as a writer. I called it House Sessions: Vol. I because I loved making it so much, I’m already planning to let fans suggest other old songs they want me to go back and record.”

Among the tracks she included is the title song from her 2012 album, Free. “That album felt like my first real piece of artistry,” Bishop confesses. “Until then, I felt like I was trying to evoke a sound instead of creating my own.”

With Free, Bishop had finally found her voice — and laid the foundation on which she and Cobb would build Ain’t Who I Was.

And now Bishop is building again. Though she’s not ready to reveal too many details about The Walk, she mentions, “The songs are not as finite as my older recordings. It’s much more about the music; the jam. The first song is 7 minutes and 36 seconds long. I also made no effort whatsoever to make a radio single.”

She tossed other industry norms aside, too, intentionally crafting an album meant to be experienced on vinyl, one side at a time. “I think these are the best songs I’ve ever written,” she says. “They’re very deep, very much about the struggle as a human being to continue to evolve and keep moving forward, in our personal journeys and in the collective sense. As long as the sun comes up, we have to keep going forward.”

Bishop asked Jordan to produce because she knew he’d create rhythms to keep the music moving, and make it fun to perform and hear — without requiring the storytelling setups singer-songwriters typically deliver.

“I’ll always be Bonnie Bishop the songwriter,” she says. “But I also just want to get up and sing and dance sometimes and not have to read my journal out loud.”

Just a few years ago, Bishop thought she was ready to abandon music. Now she wants to make as much of it as possible, to share her gift however she can. One manifestation is her work with SongwritingWith:Soldiers, which helps soldiers, war veterans and their families express their experiences through the healing power of song. Bishop recently had the honor of performing several of these songs at the 2019 Congressional Medal of Honor gala in New York.

“I’m just gonna flood the world with music this year,” she declares. “And I don’t care whether anybody thinks that’s a bad idea. Who knows what next year will bring? I want to give all the music I’ve got as long as I’m here.”

No, Bonnie Bishop ain’t who she was. She’s stronger, deeper, more soulful and more sure of herself — and so ready to take this thrill ride of a life from The Walk to wherever it may lead. It’s already been one helluva trip. And it’s getting better all the time.

More than three decades have passed since Los Lobos released their debut album, Just Another Band from East L.A. Since then they’ve repeatedly disproven that title—Los Lobos isn’t “just another” anything, but rather a band that has consistently evolved artistically while never losing sight of their humble roots.

Los Lobos were already East L.A. neighborhood legends, Sunset Strip regulars and a Grammy Award winning band (Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance) by the time they recorded their major label debut How Will The Wolf Survive? in 1984.
Although the album’s name and title song were inspired by a National Geographic article about real life wolves in the wild, the band—David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin—saw parallels with their struggle to gain mainstream rock success while maintaining their Mexican roots. Perez, the band’s drummer, once called their powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music “the soundtrack of the barrio.” Three decades, two more Grammys, a worldwide smash single (“La Bamba”) and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, Los Lobos is surviving quite well — and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. The band chronicles a key moment of their expansive journey on Disconnected In New York City, a dynamic live album that marks the band’s 40th anniversary and launches their new association with 429 Records.

Over the past 10 years, Seth Walker has become recognized as one of the most revered modern roots artists in the United States; a three dimensional talent comprised by a gift for combining melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar. His latest studio album, Gotta Get Back, produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers, is yet another masterwork that further expands upon this reputation.

Growing up on a commune in rural North Carolina, the son of classically trained musicians, Seth Walker played cello long before discovering the six-string in his 20s. When his introduction to the blues came via his Uncle Landon Walker, who was both a musician and disc jockey, his fate was forever sealed. Instantaneously, Seth was looking to artists like T-Bone Walker, Snooks Eaglin, and B.B. King as a wellspring of endless inspiration. The rest is history. He’s released seven albums between 1997 and 2015; breaking into the Top 20 of the Americana charts and receiving praise from NPR, American Songwriter, No Depression and Blues Revue, among others.

In addition to extensive recording and songwriting pursuits, Seth is consistently touring and performing at venues and festivals around the world. Along with headline shows, he’s been invited to open for The Mavericks, The Wood Brothers, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster, among others.

Seth Walker is currently splitting his time between New Orleans and New York City after previously residing in Austin and Nashville. He’s used those experiences wisely, soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places. With a bluesman’s respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for—and successful melding of—contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace. Perhaps Country Standard Time said it best: “If you subscribe to the Big Tent theory of Americana, then Seth Walker –with his blend of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, and a dash country—just might be your poster boy.”

Jackie Venson’s “…astonishing mix of raw soul, superb musicianship and laid back grace…” (Austin American Statesman, June 2014) has been compared to the likes of Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and fellow Austin native Gary Clark, Jr. Originally a classical pianist, Jackie picked up the guitar, shortly after graduating from Berklee College of Music, and made the giant leap from the tradition of classical music to the raw and gritty blues.

Enthralled with music since the age of 8, this young singer/songwriter/musician instantly captures your attention with a vibrant musical soul and passionate control of her instruments, that reach far beyond her tender age. As she mindfully blends Blues, Rock, R&B, Soul and more, with her introspective lyrics, the message is clear. When you’re listening to Jackie you hear the “Truth in Music”.

Her live performances revisits what makes music so powerful: emotion and passion. She thrives without the flash, instead favoring a clean sound, genuine soul, and meaningful connection with her audience. Music is not only what Venson does – but also defines who she is and reminds her where she wants to be: performing.
Having finished her second tour of Europe and a declaration of “Jackie Venson Day” (May 21st) in the “Live Music Capital of the World” Austin, TX, there’s no doubt she has every reason to lead the way with the trademark smile that accompanies her magnificent musicianship.

Davy Knowles

Hot on the heels of the 2015 album release The Outsider, the full-length documentary Island Bound, and an extensive tour schedule, Isle of Man-born Davy Knowles announces his new album Three Miles From Avalon. This collection of new songs sees Davy returning to his roots, and the sounds that first ignited his passion for music.

Recorded exclusively in his adopted hometown of Chicago, the capital of electric blues provided Knowles with a landscape steeped in legend, inspiring him to creatively explore the genre of music he’s always loved – energetic, guitar driven blues-rock.

Knowles began the recording process for Three Miles From Avalon with a fresh approach, one that has resulted in a dynamic, gutsy sound: “I wanted to go back to the basics. The band and myself have racked up a lot of playing time together, and we have really started to gel. I wanted to capture that ‘live’ feel in the studio

This led naturally to a back-to-basics approach, and a search for authenticity when it came to recording the new material: “My favourite sounding records are certainly older ones, recorded to tape, with minimal fuss or overdubs. I wanted that lovely warm, vintage sound that only tape and glowing tubes can do.”

A raw, vintage sound is evident in the album’s opening two tracks, the hard-driving Ain’t Much Of Nothing, and a long-time live favourite, What You’re Made Of, a homage to one of Davy’s musical heroes: “Rory Gallagher has been a huge influence for me, his energy and drive was so mesmerising. I wanted to get back to that high energy, big guitar riff style of writing.”

Falling Apart, the album’s third track, adds dark drama to the record’s driving pace with its smoky verses and heavy, snarling, blues riff. “I’ve had this song kicking around for a long time, but it wasn’t until I had found this guitar pedal called ‘The Octron’ (one of only two pedals used by Knowles on the entire album) that the song and the riff really came to life, it’s got this wonderful menacing sound.”

Weaving a moment of pathos into the tracklist is Oxford MS – a fictional account of shady dealing and violence. Storytelling has always been a vital ingredient in Knowles’ work: “Songs with characters and stories have always grabbed me, and I wanted to write one in the blues and gospel vein, it’s a story of blackmail, gambling and regret, though certainly not an autobiographical one!”

Yet it’s the title track, Three Miles From Avalon, which brings to the fore very personal aspects to a tale. “The song is really all about being slightly further away than where you want to be, and the frustration that comes with that. Avalon is this Arthurian legend, the Island that could never be found. It became my metaphor for things just out of my grasp.”

The song also reveals the musical influences close to Davy’s heart, showcasing his love of blues and classic rock with affection

The album closes on a hat tip to one of the all-time greats, Willie Dixon, with a re-working of his blues classic What In The World. Performed with a live, ‘after hours’ feel, the track showcases Knowles’ confident and distinctive guitar playing, but also a powerful solo on the Hammond B3 by Andrew Toombs – demonstrating that Knowles and his tight-knit band all possess not only stunning technical ability, but soul too.

 

Seth Walker

Over the past 10 years, Seth Walker has become recognized as one of the most revered modern roots artists in the United States; a three dimensional talent comprised by a gift for combining melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar. His latest studio album, Gotta Get Back, produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers, is yet another masterwork that further expands upon this reputation.

Growing up on a commune in rural North Carolina, the son of classically trained musicians, Seth Walker played cello long before discovering the six-string in his 20s. When his introduction to the blues came via his Uncle Landon Walker, who was both a musician and disc jockey, his fate was forever sealed. Instantaneously, Seth was looking to artists like T-Bone Walker, Snooks Eaglin, and B.B. King as a wellspring of endless inspiration. The rest is history. He’s released seven albums between 1997 and 2015; breaking into the Top 20 of the Americana charts and receiving praise from NPR, American Songwriter, No Depression and Blues Revue, among others.

In addition to extensive recording and songwriting pursuits, Seth is consistently touring and performing at venues and festivals around the world. Along with headline shows, he’s been invited to open for The Mavericks, The Wood Brothers, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster, among others.

Seth Walker is currently splitting his time between New Orleans and New York City after previously residing in Austin and Nashville. He’s used those experiences wisely, soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places. With a bluesman’s respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for—and successful melding of—contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace. Perhaps Country Standard Time said it best: “If you subscribe to the Big Tent theory of Americana, then Seth Walker –with his blend of blues, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, and a dash country—just might be your poster boy.”