Issue #5 • March 2015
We only cover the best.
Matt Turk’s Cold Revival: Album Of The Year
PLUS: Luke Elliot • Eight O’ Five Jive • Jeffrey Dean Foster • Cam-Jam
The Handcuffs • BJ Wilbanks • Rebelution • Lost Dog Found • Mustered Courage • Sassparilla
• Charlie and the Foxtrots • FLINTface • Revolution in the Elbow • The Vaudevillains • Michael
Dustin Youree • Jeremy Bass • Fred Gillen Jr. • Highbeams • Motopony • The Lost Patrol
+more at
Photo courtesy Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses
Jump Jive Takes Off!
Sometimes music movements and stories come as a surprise. All of the sudden, there’s a scene, and this year
Jive Blues turned out to be the international music story of the year. We covered bands like Louis Prima Jr and the
Witnesses, Lost Dog Found and Eight O’ Five Jive, and we’re hearing from EU that Jive has become more than a
music movement, blowing up as a full fashion and social theme. Everything old is new again, and this year people
returned to the long-lost era of the 40’s and 50’s, finding inspiration in music that sounds just as good today as it
did back in the day.
Several years ago there was a resurgence of classic Americana, like Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline, which was coming
out of the midwestern rustbelt region, but without a doubt the surprise of 2014 was getting great jump jive blues
albums being released one after the other. Of course, these styles of music never went away, but parallels can be
made to the depression of the 30’s and the activity of the 40’s. Perhaps 50’s rockabilly is next?
What’s particularly interesting about the people behind the new blues is that they have chosen this form of music
after - sometimes - a lifetime of music. They might have been punk, they might have been classical, they might have
been bluegrass but jump jive has captivated them and they have chosen this medium to do their work. So the result
is that the new bands coming up are bringing lifetimes of experience and skill to their craft. These people are doing
some of the best work of their lives and they’re doing it with a diversity of backgrounds that make their music truly
Everybody is always looking for the next big thing, and right now the next big thing has been around for about 70
years already. All the cool kids are doing it, and here at RUST Magazine we are totally digging it. So get with it,
daddy-o! Jump Jive Blues is the brand new news!
Eric Petersen
All material ©2014 RUST Magazine
[email protected]
August 14, 2014: RUST Magazine photo shoot
with BJ Wilbanks in Gainesville, Georgia.
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Lost Dog Found
Dine On Danger
June 8, 2014: Here at RUST Magazine, we’re not sure if there’s
something in the water, or if there’s a celestial alignment but we’ve
been getting crazy good old style swingin’ blues bands popping up
like spring flowers for the last few weeks. First there was Raoul
and the Big Time delivering Hollywood Blvd, an album of west coast
style jump harmonica blues, then Lousi Prima Jr and the Witnesses’
Blow, a horny bayou blues masterpiece, then we had a photo and
video session with Eight O’ Five Jive and now we’ve got Lost Dog
Found’s new album Dine On Danger occupying our playlist. Aquatic
contamination and cosmic relativity aside, there can only be one
reason we’re getting so many awesome jumpin’ swingin’ albums and
bands here... it’s because the old ways are sometimes the best ways and people everywhere are rediscovering, and
reinventing the classic swing hall sound for a new generation.
All of these bands have the same things in common. They authentically and enthusiatically put everything they’ve got
into their music. They’ve learned from the old school masters, and now they take that knowledge to school a whole new
generation. The lesson here is that the music that was great 50 years ago sounds just as great today. Maybe even better.
Of course this music never went away, but like the flourishing of the rustbelt sound several years ago, it’s clear that
swing is having a major resurgence and it’s now official, swing is back and badder than ever. And what’s doubly
interesting is that these artists are putting out releases without having a major media movement to fuel the interest.
There’s no Swing Idol on tv, and there hasn’t been a Macarena or anything like that putting it out for people to pick up on.
Photo courtesy of Lost Dog Found
RUST Magazine was so interested in these guys we just couldn’t help ourselves and struck up a
conversation with Stevie Mac about the state of swing:
So these artists are just doing it on their own. They’re doing it just because they find the satisfaction and delight in the
living and breating and sweating of it. The just dig it. And this natural, personal enthusiasm is the magic ingredient that
makes their music extra sparkly special.
RUST: So you’re probably more dialed in on the state of swing than
anybody, have you been surprised at the amount of new music
coming out? Did you expect it to break out like it has?
Lost Dog Found is based in the SF bay area and is composed of Chris Hudlow on vocals and Tenor Sax, Stevie Mac on
Guitar, Kyle Pesonen on Skins, Nick Miller on Alto Sax, Craig Berletti on the Trumpet, Jeremy Greene playing the Tenor
and Baritone Sax, and Andy Bergman with the Upright Bass. They’ve won several best-of’s and have been playing to
ballrooms, night clubs, boardwalks and festivals while getting rave reviews all around. Like this one...
SM: I’d say yes and no; mainstream music has very little (if any)
blues/swing in it, but you will hear some more roots sounds (like
the Lumineers or Mumford and Sons). The trend the last few years
has been towards electronically based, very pop sounding music
at the top of the charts. We know from our own shows and talking
with people that our type of music in particular (a modern take on
roots/jazz/swing) strikes an emotional chord, as if the listener had
been looking to hear this again and didn’t know where to look. I’m
not sure that the genre is at the full “break out” stage yet, but we’ve
seen more and more bands pop up that are attempting a throwback
vibe, so it’s good that we find ourselves ahead of the curve.
All kidding aside, it’s refreshing and inspiring to hear an album like Dine On Danger. The musicianship is first-rate. It’s
a non-stop zuit suit riot. Your feet will uncontrollably start dancing. Your frown will be turned upside down! And that’s
because this music is meant to be fun. Below that fun surface there’s incredibly tight band member cooperation and
teamwork. This is a big bold band that rumbles like a freight train hauling a heavy blues load down the line.
Another interesting thing about the folks catching the jive fever is that they have unexpected backgrounds. When we
were talking with Andy Scheinman from Eight O’ Five Jive about his background, it turned out that he had been in the
NYC post punk scene for like 20 years. The other 805’ers had similarly diverse backgrounds and these people could
have chosen any style of music to play but the chose swing blues. And they chose it after having full careers doing other
This inner motivation and unity of purpose has resulted in an authentic, grassroots resurgence - and it’s suddenly
everywhere. These great musicians all have a lot in common with each other and they’re making some of the most
vibrant music anywhere right now. The music on Dine On Danger is like a racy love letter sent across time from one
artist to another. It’s tantalizing, teasing and very pleasing. Very Highly Recommended.
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RUST: It’s breaking out, take it from us! But what about you
personally, what motivated you to get swingin? How long have you
been working in this style?
SM: Personally, I’ve always had an affinity to 50’s and 60’s music,
and any really rockin’ old swing tunes... Benny Goodman’s version
of “Sing, Sing, Sing” rocks harder than anything you’ll hear on
the radio still, and I wanted to try to bring that type of energy with
Lost Dog Found’s songs. The swing revival of the late 90’s kind of
opened my eyes to how you can pull that off with a smaller band;
the first song on our last album I wrote way back in 1998... back
then I was just starting my career and needed to put a roof over
my new families head, and didn’t get the chance to form Lost Dog
Found until 2008 or so.
RUST: What about the other band guys, how much time swingin’ do
they boast?
SM: They all have different rock and jazz music backgrounds, but I
think this is everybody’s only step into a band that plays all originals;
anything previous was mostly cover material, which is an area we
don’t like to delve into... you can only go so far playing somebody
else’s music, and the songs that we have recorded on this album
(and our first, “The Jump Start Scandal”) have been where we’ve
all made our real mark. Chris, our lead singer, has always had an
affinity for the 40’s and 50’s music, but we also grew up with rock,
grunge, ska... with this band he gets to combine all those musical
loves and it fits his voice perfectly.
RUST: Before Lost Dog Found what was your musical background?
SM: Most of us have music degrees of some sort, I got my degree
and wanted to be a studio engineer. Back at Chico State everybody
had to record/engineer/mix a song for our final project, which meant
you had to sign up for studio time. I’d snag every slot I could after
everyone already claimed theirs, so I spent a lot of time by myself
recording my own tunes from 2am-6am during the week, and that
led to my having a catalog of songs in a bunch of different genres.
I quickly figured out after graduating that starting out to work in a
studio is low pay, low glamour, and I’d be better off using my smarts
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elsewhere as a career. I then started a music publishing company,
kept writing a bunch of different songs, and found that I kept writing
a kind of contemporary swing/jazz type songs. I knew no musicians
at that point, and literally started the band from scratch. To say it
was a learning experience and a lesson in stick-to-itiveness is an
understatement, as I almost gave up on the idea about a dozen
RUST: How about some of the other guys, what’s their background?
Any embarrasing hair band refugees?
SM: Chris and I have known each other since we were kids, and in
high school he had a four piece “Boyz To Men” type singing group.
With a few of those guys, they started another band called “One of
Many” and they toured a little. Kyle (our drummer) played with The
Inciters for years, and toured all over, including Europe. Everyone in
the band has stories, but not sure they are suitable for print (or that
they want those stories told to a national audience.) I will say that
one of them has been hit by a vehicle driven by one of their own
band members during an after gig brawl with another band.
RUST: Hmmm, a demolition derby after the show? Well instead of
band members hitting each other with cars today we have Dine On
Danger hitting the streets. Now that it’s all done, how do you feel
about the record and the process and how it all turned out?
SM: We were a tad worried going in to be honest; being an
indie band means you are on a budget. The key to how well the
recordings turned out, especially with how tight the horns sounded,
was rehearsing constantly before we went in, timing the horn hits
with the drums just right, and letting all that pent up nervousness
and energy fly once the record button was hit... we already had the
songs so ingrained in our heads that it was easier to get high energy
takes. I don’t think we recorded any song more than 4 times, which
is pretty rare.
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RUST: Stevie, thanks for the great music and thanks for your time
here, last question, are there any folks that deserve a special thanks
for their help and support getting this all done?
SM: Oh my, that might take a few paragraphs... but I personally
wouldn’t have been able to get this far without having an
understanding and amazing support from my family; my wife puts
up with a lot of my working at home constantly, either writing music,
running the business end, or being gone at shows. We also have
gotten some amazing financial support from my grandfather and
his wife, Frank and Lynda Bjorndal along the way. My parents have
been amazing supporters also, it’s nice to make them feel proud.
Speaking for the rest of the band, we all want to thank our families,
because this project takes us away from the ones we enjoy being
with the most, and we wouldn’t be able to do that if our families
didn’t understand the giant scope of what we’re aiming for.
And it sounds so cliche, but our fans are pretty awesome... they
voted us “Best Local Band” in the Press Democrat (Largest News
Publications north of the golden gate all the way up into Oregon),
and voted us in to compete for the Live 105/Santa Cruz Beach
Boardwalk Battle of the Bands (we won). Jazz/Swing bands don’t
ever win those kinds of competitions, but we have only because of
the support we have gotten. It’s such a nice feeling to know that you
are putting out music that people really love and you kind of connect
with those people in a way that is impossible outside of music. We
wouldn’t be able to play shows if people didn’t show up, and they
luckily keep showing up :-)
Brother Dege
June 28, 2014: Brother Dege serenades us with his Dobro at Flicker Bar in Athens, Georgia. Footage
from this shoot was later used in the band’s tour movie “Set It Off.”
RUST Magazine
Cold Revival is a very special album from a critically-acclaimed musician of
passion and dedication and it stands in a class by itself, or at least among
the very best company. The people who have risen to the occasion to help
Matt realize his aspirations have together accomplished something both
very personal and individual as well as shared. As a composer, Matt Turk
is simply in a class by himself. The source for his ideas are unfathomably
personal, and his ability to communicate them to his peers, and to the public,
puts him in a singular category of talent. With Cold Revival, Matt Turk has
distinguished himself as one of the premier talents of our time, and this is
one of the best albums ever made. It is that special.
Matt Turk - Cold Revival
October 6, 2014: Over the past several months we have been reviewing some truly amazing albums in the folk-rock singersongwriter space here at RUST Magazine. Luke Elliot thoroughly surprised us with his EP Provisions. Xander Smith crafted
a regional and career-defining record with Outside. Georgia ex-pats Charlie and the Foxtrots fascinated us with Golden. And
now, Matt Turk’s masterfully crafted album Cold Revival has crossed our skies like a blazing
star, transfixing our gaze on it’s brilliance.
This is an album of immediate excellence and lasting relevance. It’s simply fantastic. It’s
deep, intricate and touching. Cold Revival is a project of inspiration and subtlety where Matt
Turk both creates and redefines passages of musical beauty, making them all uniquely his
own. Cold Revival was - for us - an introduction to an artist who has been active for over
2 decades and whose solo discography includes Turktunes (2000), What Gives (2002) and
Washington Arms (2006), Mandolin Caravan’s Desert Soul (2003), and Gillen & Turk Backs
to the Wall (2008). Matt Turk has toured internationally and the miles and stages have
seasoned him to the point where he could make such an ambitious album and be certain
to succeed.
For several years, Matt coordinated and hosted the Circle of Song and Jam tents at
Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival. Since 1997, Matt Turk has served as resident
musician at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City and is an Arts Westchester
Roster Artist. Matt served two terms (June 2010-June 2012) as president of the board of
Tribes Hill, the Hudson Valley kindred folk music organization and he now lives in Hastingson-Hudson, NY with his wife Ilana Arazie.
Helping him on Cold Revival is producer and filmmaker David Dobkin, best known for
directing Wedding Crashers, and the musicians on the new album include Russ Irwin from
Sting and Aerosmith, Chris Joyner of Jason Mraz, Ray La Montagne, and Sheryl Crow, and Dean Butterworth from Good
Charlotte and Ben Harper. Together with Matt singing and playing acoustic guitar, mandolin and lap steel, Cold Revival bears
the hallmarks of musical craftspeople of the highest order.
Photo courtesy Matt Turk
A few of the songs featured on Cold Revival are adaptations which were brought to Matt’s attention by his teacher, Hot
Tuna’s Barry Mitterhoff. “Midnight on the Water” is a shortened version of the Luke Thomasson classic, while “Battle Song”
is adapted from the instrumental “Tunturisatu.” Whatever the source for the core ideas, Matt and company take every song
on Cold Revival into unique and personal spaces via patient and meticulous treatment. This is a project of reverence and it’s
to be taken very, very seriously.
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There is a greatness at work here that has aligned the people involved like
the gravity of a dark star affecting everything around it. As a listener you’re
helpless but to fall deeper and deeper into the music. Every song is a journey
in itself and on Cold Revival, all the paths lead further on into the heart of
Matt Turk. Cold Revival plays out like Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
(the book Apocalypse Now was based on) taking you into unavoidable places
you fear, while tempting you with lights in the darkness that are always just
slightly beyond reach.
There are very few albums that have the specialness of Cold Revival. It’s a
significant, timeless release from some of the premiere artists of our age. It
Photo by Peter Freed
takes a combination of elements old and new and brings them together with
integrity, intensity and individuality. There is a lineage behind the music here that demands a level of ability and a respect
for both the past and future. It’s a stellar achievement. RUST Magazine commends Matt, David and the other artists for both
their exceptional performances and their humanity here. Essential.
Album of the Year 2014: Matt Turk’s Cold Revival
November 20, 2014: There was absolutely no doubt which album was the best of the year for 2014. Matt Turk is a seasoned performer
with decades of experience, and it all pours out like molten gold in Cold Revival. There were many great albums in a similar singersongwriter space this year including Chris Grant, Sean Watkins and Xander Smith but Matt Turk took it to a whole other level emotionally,
intellectually and spiritually. His songs are so passionate, so personal and so human… you cannot help but stop everything you are doing
and listen when you hear his music.
Cold Revival is non-stop genius from beginning to end. Highlights of the album are songs like In Her Smile and Ilana Donna, and – for us
– the definitive track for Matt is The Ballad of Reuben. It blows like a clear, chilling wind with the details of a million leaves caught in the
flow. Each note is perfection. This is a legendary album that has grown and grown in our appreciation since the original review was written
several months ago. And it’s a work of art from a community of people united in a vision of musical excellence. The sense of family and
friendship comes through in every aspect.
Whoever you are, Matt Turk has something to say that you will relate to. He will inspire you and give you
perspective on the trevails of life, love and the challenges of a rainy day. Matt Turk is the best of the best and
Cold Revival is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement.
And, this year we actually have a prize for the Album of the Year! Our friends at Cascade Microphones have
generously donated one of their Fat Head BE Microphones as a prize and we’re super happy to award it
to Matt. We regularly use the Fat Head II mics on our shoots and we love them, and we thank Cascade
for sending us one for Matt. Maybe this mic will be a part of Matt’s next great song? We hope so, and we
congratulate Matt again on his excellent achievement.
RUST Magazine
July 11, 2014: RUST Magazine met up with
bluesman Gil Gann in Nashville.
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Sassparilla Releases Double CD
June 17, 2014: Hey RUST fans, we’ve got a hot potato here (speaking metaphorically)
that’s got us feeling groovy, edgy and outrageous. The band is called Sassparilla and
they’ve got a double album release on June 17, 2014 and it’s cool as ice cubes on a chilly
day in Alaska. It’s really a unique project and we encourage y’all to check it out right away!
Led by songwriter and front man Kevin Blackwell, Sassparilla will release Pasajero and
Hullabaloo on Fluff & Gravy Records as a 19-track, double-disc set of two albums. The two
albums move in polar directions. Pasajero is more akin to the band’s latest two records
(2012’s The Darndest Thing and 2013’s Magpie) and it boasts tight studio production and
a melodic focus, while the ten tracks of Hullabaloo capture the live essence and playful
nature of the band.
7Horse - Songs for a Voodoo Wedding
June 9, 2014: The combined forces of 7Horse’s Joie Calio and Phil Leavitt are today releasing their new album Songs For A Voodoo
Wedding and, plain and simple, it’s the shit. We’ve been watching these guys lately as their song Meth Lab Zoso Sticker was featured in
the movie The Wolf Of Wall Street and we’ve featured stories about them and links on our facebook page for a couple months because we
want to support them and tell the world about them.
Bringing a stripped-down roots approach, 7Horse cuts to the bone and identifies the elusive core feelings and phrases in their music, then
OWNS them. They present a deep and dark city full of intrigue and alleyways, then take you on a captive journey through it’s outskirts and
avenues. This will be no surprise to fans who already have their album Let The Horse Run, and Songs For A Voodoo Wedding sees the
band in an even more focused and intense mood.
Their original style of songwriting has developed into new and more complex spaces with this pack of songs, and the range of intellect they
are bringing right now is burying the needle on the talent-o-meter. Each song is distinct and thoroughly individual because of the band’s
capability to merge their conceptual writing process with their style of execution. They are bringing their A game, and they are ready to
take the fight to any neighborhood.
Diversity is really the key word that describes this album because each song has it’s own story to tell and it’s own whole personality. All
the songs are great, and they’re all great in a unique way. Whether it’s a slower ballad like Flying High or the languid licks of Long Way or
the shameless, bawdy On The 4th of July the approach is just right for the song. This is really an album that you have to listen to over and
over to begin to unravel it’s layers because you get so deep and low into songs like Before The Flood that barn-burners like Carousel Bar
come at you from such totally different spaces it’s like the proverbial blind-siding. Joie and Phil are like relentless boxers, surrounding you
in the ring and just keeping the hits coming and coming from every direction.
What’s extra interesting to us here at RUST is that we’ve been following and covering several other similar artists lately including the
venerable Dex Romweber Duo as well as Slim Wray, who we really like, and who we think are very handsome. In this roots duo space,
there are some fascinating and intense arists at work, and even in the pop space duos like Melanie and Rich from SIRSY are just blowing
open the fringes of the style and finding entirely new territories to explore. If you’re not listeing to these artists you’re missing out on some
of the most vibrant and fresh music happening right now.
Produced by Phil Joie and engineered by Jonathan Chi and Scott Gordon, Songs For A Voodoo Wedding was mixed by Dave Way and
mastered by Howie Weinberg. It’s release date coincides with The Holy Day of Voodoo: St. Johns Eve, a celebration that honors the Voodoo
Queen Maria Laveau, and much of the inspiration for the new album comes from a visit to New Orleans. It also marks the beginnng of a
North American tour, which we expect to see them on this Friday.
7Horse delivers a commendably intense, vibrant and complex album with Songs For A Voodoo Wedding, and in doing so they clearly mark
out their space and dare any to approach. Great individual songwriting is the foundation of everything they do and their instrumental style
follows their thoughts into new, dark and outrageous spaces. Classics to the core, 7Horse’s second album will surely cement their legacy
as hard rocking legends. Essential.
Blackwell explains his reason for making two different records, yet packaging them together
as an attempt to provide fans with two distinct Sassparilla experiences: A studio record, and a “come as you are” record.
“I’ve always maintained that bands wear two hats, the live show and the recorded product. With our last two releases, we made studio records.
Songs that could be performed live, but with a different energy or spin on them,” explains Blackwell. “The recorded product was something I saw as
a different entity. With those albums I wanted a recording folks could listen to over and over again and find things they hadn’t heard the first couple
of times.”
Which is what he accomplished with The Darndest Thing and Magpie. Recorded and produced by Eels’ guitarist Chet Lyster, this tradition continues
with Pasajero.
With Hullabaloo, the band went in the opposite direction, choosing to leave behind a proper studio for Blackwell’s attic, leaving in the flaws and raw
energy of the moment and offering fans the live show “experience” they’ve asked for. On The Darndest Thing and Magpie, the band left behind the
washtub bass fans have come to love at the live shows. On Hullabaloo the band brings it back front and center. “The washtub provides a unique and
fantastic tone that no other instrument can replicate. It has a voice. An argument. A proper upright bass is one of the sexiest instruments there is, the
tub bass is sexy too, but it brings handcuffs with it. I think the washtub is the defining sound on Hullabaloo.”
In addition to the resurrection of the tub bass, on Hullabaloo, “There aren’t multiple takes, there aren’t
overdubs,” says Blackwell. “It’s us with our pants down. It was recorded mostly in my attic between diaper
changes and arguments; a couple borrowed mics, a borrowed compressor, and the simplistic genius of
Apple’s Logic. I named the records separately because they are in fact different entities. On Pasajero I
enlisted the talent of a lot of our friends in addition to Sassparilla to augment the sound or
achieve what I was going for. Hullabaloo is only the five members of Sassparilla.”
“Folks are always saying we should make a ‘live’ record ‘cause they enjoy themselves at
our shows. I’m fairly convinced they wouldn’t feel the same way about a recording of that
show. The live energy can never really be captured on a recording. Songs are inevitably
played a little too fast, the vocals are a little rushed or pitchy ‘cause you are jumping around.
Those things can pass at a show, I’m not so sure on record,” states Blackwell. “We aren’t
that kind of band. We are kinetic. We aren’t staring at a spot on the back wall and focusing
on perfection while playing live. We are attempting to make an organic experience that isn’t
necessarily concerned with musical perfection. However, on record, I am
concerned with that. I want it to be as nearly perfect as our abilities allow.”
The two albums showcase the breadth of the Sassparilla experience: one
moment beautiful, the other falling down the stairs.
“The difference with this release from our past albums,” Blackwell says,
“is that Pasajero and Hullabaloo contain a bit of everything, whereas some
of our other albums only had one of these elements to them.”
Photos courtesy of Pasajero
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RUST Magazine
Provisions is a great work of musical art. It’s like the tip of the
iceberg showing just a portion of a massive talent below the
surface. It’s all great, but for us, the highlight was the song I Get
It Anyway. It’s a haunting, relentless descent that exposes layer
upon layer of darkness as it unfolds. Just as a singular piece of
music, it’s the best one track we have heard since last year’s King
Kong Strut by Kevin Breit - which won our Song of the Year Award.
The keyboard elements add complexity, building layer upon layer
until the piercing guitar work cuts through any remnant of shelter.
It defies description other than it’s excellence. I Get It Anyway is literally - the best one song we have heard in a year, and we wanted
to know more about it.
RUST: First, Luke congratulations on Provisions, it’s just great all
around. How happy were you with the final project? Did you realize
what you wanted to with it?
LE: Thanks so much! I am very happy with the EP. I think that the
songs really come through. When I went into the studio, I had a
rough idea of the sound, but that was it- just a rough idea. I’m really
pleased with the final product.
RUST: The song I Get It Anyway captivated us from the moment
we first heard it, and our whole world stopped for it. Really. It’s so
special and so unique. Where did this song come from?
Photo courtesy of Luke Elliot
Luke Elliot - Provisions
April 23, 2014: With his second EP release Provisions, multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Luke Elliot makes a
memorable entrance onto the world stage. His music comes from a place of authenticity and intensity and it refuses
to be categorized or contained in any one genre or description. There is a toughness and intelligence to everything he
does, and it’s all done with a signature style that stays in your memory like a mysterious vision speaking of things past
and future.
Complex, original music like this is rare under any circumstances, but it’s surprising to hear it coming from such a
young performer. His first EP Death of a Widow was released in 2010 and since then his work includes composing the
track Benny’s a Bum for Paul Cantagallo’s independent film of the same name, which ultimately won the Philadelphia
Independent Film Festival in 2012. Benny’s a Bum is on Provisions along with four new tracks including scene-stealer I
Get It Anyway which is simply an all-time great song in the classic Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Nick Cave style.
At age 14, Luke Elliot’s knack for writing music became apparent and since then he’s collaborated with a multitude of
bands and has impressed audiences at venues including Rockwood Music Hall, Mercury Lounge, North Star, and the
legendary World Cafe Live, where he has headlined. On Provisions he is joined by Jim McGee on electric guitar, Ed
Barber on bass and backing vocals, and Dan Peck on drums and it’s a fantastic line-up of complimentary personalities.
Luke Elliot may have the magic balance of elements that will propel him to the highest altitudes of accomplishment. He
has the talent, he has the band, and he has the individuality that other, lesser artists can only imitate. Underneath it all
there is substance. There is talent. There is style and there is personal resilience. Luke Elliot’s Provisions is a release
that announces a truly great new talent to the world and will certainly hold an esteemed place in rock history. Very Highly
LE: Thanks, that’s so nice to hear. I wrote this song in Nashville. I
was visiting with a few producers, and it sort of just came out one
night. I worked on it from about midnight til 4 or 5 am.
RUST: Was it an idea that came into reality easily, or was it a struggle
to realize an obscure idea?
LE: Most of my songs start out with obscure ideas- figuring them
out is usually the bulk of the process.
RUST: Can you tell us a little about what each of the band members
brings to this one song?
LE: I am so lucky to have the band members I have. They are
talented, yes, but they also bring a ton of drive and passion with
them. I don’t think people realize how important it is to have
dependable artists working with you. I couldn’t ask for better
people in my corner.
Jim, Ed, and Dan really worked well together on this piece. They
all have their own ways of shining. Jim’s guitar solo is priceless,
and Ed has a bass line that stands out for me. Dan’s drumming
is impeccable, as it usually is. It’s no surprise that you chose this
song to feature- you can hear the ability of each band member very
RUST: The album hasn’t been released yet. Are you nervous or
excited about how the public will react?
LE: Excited! I really hope people enjoy it- I know we do.
RUST: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. One last question,
you’re about to return to the studio with John Agnello, can you hint
at a direction your next project will go?
LE: I can’t wait to finish what I’m working on with John. Working
with him is a totally unique process- when you’re in the studio with
John, he has a way of directing things. The process is much more
cohesive- it’s really the only way I can describe it. I think this project
with him is driven in a different way. Some of the choruses are
much stronger- the songs will have a structure unlike anything I’ve
put out before. I’m thrilled about it!
Song of the Year: Luke Elliot - I Get It Anyhow
November 20, 2014: Something of a newcomer, you may not have heard of Luke Elliot, his first EP Death of a Widow or his second EP
Provisions yet, but this is definitely an artist with a very bright future. This multi-talented multi-instrumentalist has only released ten songs
so far, and this definitely was a factor in choosing I Get It Anyhow as Song of the Year. Not only is the song itself dark, rich and mysterious,
and thoroughly worthy of this award purely on its own merits, but it was important for us to show to the world that excellence can come
from anyone, anywhere.
When we first reviewed Provisions we reached out to Luke who told us that I Get It Anyhow was a song that “sort of just came out one
night” in the studio. What this says to us it that Luke Elliot is an artist with that magical ability to capture the formless and to make it real.
It means that he is able to find words and notes for ideas that other have not been able to capture. And he has been able to do it at a very
early point in his career as an artist. We congratulate Luke on his very fine work so far and we’re excited to see what comes next from this
rarely talented artist.
14 RUST Magazine
RUST Magazine
Rebelution - Count Me In
June 3, 2014: Last year we reviewed an amazing reggae album from Sly &
Robbie and it puts a unique perspective on the new release Count Me In from
Rebelution. Sly & Robbie’s Stepper Takes The Taxi was a very unique project
where the Riddim Twins opened up their vault, containing decades of recordings,
to be remixed and performed over. French saxophone player Guillaume Briard and
mixing engineer Fabwise collaborated to reinterperet vintage reggae flavors into
a new dark, hazy dream-vision. One part Marseilles rainy night, one part heart of
Jamaica, Stepper Takes The Taxi is one of the very best all-time reggae albums.
So with the memory of Stepper Takes The Taxi lingering in our memories, Count
Me In brings a totally fresh and different take on reggae styles. Listening to Count
Me In is an invigorating, mystical mountain-top experience. The music is bright,
airy, clear and brilliant. The two albums together are complimentary opposites,
one the dusk, one the dawn. Rebelution celebrates the new day and the gift of
light by moving familiar themes into new territories and mixing in vibes of Bob and Ziggy Marley, Stele Pulse - AMG lists Go Jimmy
Go, The Aggrolites and Westbound Train with contemporary elements like you might hear from Death Cab For Cutie or Modest
Mouse. There are classic Spanish flavors and even hints of the big Brit stadium rockers all put together through the natural,
effortless interplay of the musicians.
Formed about 10 years ago in Santa Barbara, Rebelution has grown by supporting their community of peers and fans. The
support they have received back has meant real grassroots activism on behalf of their fans. When people find something they
love and they relate to, they want to share it, and this sharing resulted in their 2012 album Peace of Mind debuting at #1 on the
Billboard Reggae charts.
Right now members Eric Rachmany, Rory
Carey, Marley D. Williams and Wesley Finley
are on a nationwide tour supporting the
release of Count Me In and whether you
see the band live or get the new album,
you’ll be feeling the love, too. Count Me
In is an album with a moral, philosophical
and artistic alignment of positivity and
empowerment. Rebelution songs are
originally written and defined through
intricate musicianship. There’s a lot more to
their music than the good time surface vibe.
There are layers of thought and ideas, both
musical and personal that reflect the everchanging momets of life.
Reggae is the root of Rebelution’s music,
but like a seed carried by the wind, the core
sounds have found new environments and vistas on Count Me In. Their dynamic, flexible approach lets them travel through
different tempos and moods, all while defining a sound with a broad range of influences. Often a band can get contained in a
description, and though they are a reggae band for sure, there’s a lot more to experience here. It’s with a dual sense of playfulness
and seriousness that Rebelution looks at political, romantic and economic issues. They never push their message, they have the
confidence to just put it out there and let the listener take their own message from it.
October 25, 2014: Brad Elvis and
Chloe F. Orwell of The Handcuffs pose
for us at their mod pad in Chicago.
16 RUST Magazine
What really makes Count Me In such a great album is the complex personalities that make up the band. Rebelution is all about a
unified band of brothers that have been earning it for years. They’re at the top of their game and they are able to climb the loftiest
peaks and make it all look easy. They succeed in crafting original music that’s both totally contemporary and classic at the same
time. Very Highly Recommended.
RUST Magazine
Charlie and the Foxtrots - Golden
June 17, 2014: In a word, Charlie and the Foxtrots fascinates us.
Originally hailing from our shared home state of Georgia, and now calling
Nashville home, Charlie and the Foxtrots delivers classic folk and rural rock
with an emphasis on core songwriting, and their new Golden EP showcases
a great band that distinguishes itself by reflecting feelings and images from
the back roads of America and the thicketed paths deep in their own minds.
All things seem in within reach for Charlie and the Foxtrots. This is a young
band with a long trail already behind them and they’re in that magical state
where they still have the enthusiasm to dream and the innocence to believe
in the course of that dream. There is a confidence in their voices, though
their knees may be shaking a little. Timid at moments, brash at others,
Golden packs a lot of Charlie-ness into a little space. In addition to The Big
Bad Wolf, which is really an admirable signature song, we particularly liked
both Dorothy Gale and Stomp, Clap. This is a band you MUST check out,
right now.
Transporting the glimmer of dwindling innocence and focusing it into their
music, Charlie and the Foxtrots combines old school southern instruments
with contemporary rock vibes into a very unique group sound. The songwriting
is distinct and complex. Each song is a living, individual thing. Each song
tells it’s own story. All the elements are in the places they should be. There’s
a harmony and natural balance to their music that is truly admirable and
their songs have an easy flow, like a lazy river under the southern sun.
Started in January 2013, Chas Wilson (vocals/guitar) recruited each of the
‘foxtrots’ one by one into the current line up: James Varner (drums/vocals),
Matt McClure (bass), Jeremy Webster (piano/vocals), Andrew Mcpheters
(banjo/mandolin/trumpet, Josh Ramos (guitar/harmonica/banjo/mandolin),
and Rob Hutchison (fiddle). They recorded their Evergreen EP last year after
a successful Kickstarter campaign, and now with the Golden EP, the band is
poised to break out far beyond the region.
Chas Wilson
Guitar, Vocals
Andrew McPheters
Banjo, Mandolin, Trumpet
James Varner
Percussion, Backing Vocals
Jeremy Webster
Piano, Accordion, Jug,
Backing Vocals
Charlie and the Foxtrots is all about great, contemporary rock music that
bridges the vibes of the country and the city. Likewise it crosses the gulf
of generations between the parent and the child and the spaces between
individuals. Charlie and the Foxtrots builds bridges. Their music connects
people because we can all relate to the wisdom of youth that dreams innocent
dreams for the future. Charlie and the Foxtrots believes wholeheartedly in
the music they make, though their vision of the future may, at times, be
obscured by tears.
Charlie and the Foxtrots is – without a doubt – the most interesting new
band we’ve heard so far this year. Not only is this a superior Americana rock
band, but they’re on the vanguard of the new Southern Renaissance artists
movement that is bringing a whole new generation of artists to national
recognition. In this super-connected world, regions and styles are getting all
mixed up and artists are making music that blends the flavors and emotions
from different places into beautiful new landscapes through their music.
So take a ride with Charlie and the Foxtrots’ new Golden EP. You might
ride through the country, you might ride through the city. We’re not sure
where you’ll finally end up, but the journey will be well worth it. Very Highly
Josh Ramos
Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo,
Harmonica, Handsaw
Matt McClure
Electric Bass, Upright Bass
Rob Hutchison
Violin, Mandolin
RUST Magazine
Jared Grabb - Pulling Weight
Julia Klee Session
October 24, 2014: RUST Magazine had
the good fortune to get a last-minute
session with an expecting Julia Klee while
we were in Chicago. Watch the video to
Apples on our YouTUbe channle and be
sure to check out her album Big Charade.
June 5, 2012: Jared Grabb is more than an artist with a new album out. He’s an
amazing artist with a phenomenal new album out. He’s a truly gifted song writer
and performer, and is the singular force behind Thinker Thought Records. He’s also
a new father and he somehow he manages to do all of this in addition to his full
time job. Jared Grabb is - in our appreciation at RUST - the embodiment of integrity
in modern music.
“Pulling Weight” is a mix of folk, rock, bluegrass and punk and follows closely in the
footsteps of his most recent album “Where Do You Hide Your Love Songs.” There
are quiet tracks full of emotion and get-up-and-dance songs that all share insightful
lyrics and stripped-down instrumentation that expose the many different facets of
Grabb’s style. Pick any American songwriting legend and jumble it together with a
modern indie approach and you start to get the idea. It’s acoustic and electric, city
and country. It’s an album that has distilled the modern American identity into a
dozen songs.
Jared sings and plays guitar, banjo and mandolin along with Chris Anderson on bass, Heather Rose on vocals and Thomas “Atomic”
Satterfield on drums. Joining them are musicians Justin MIller, Neal MacCannell and Mark Perez with recording engineer Mike Lust and
Carl Saff mastering. Together they have built the American dream in music, shining away the neglected and tarnished exterior to show the
spectrum of emotions that we have experienced in our modern era.
Matthew Ryan – Boxers
December 12, 2014: Matthew Ryan is the real deal. He’s a vintage style rocker with
modern sensibilities and his own signature style. With an archive of work stretching
back about 15 years, his new album Boxers arrives at a critical moment for him as
an artist. Boxers has the possibility of being “that” album – the one that clicks with
audiences and establishes his legacy. It’s a great album, full of passion, longing, regret
and inspiration.
Matthew Ryan’s real strength as an artist comes from his ability to make a personal
statement with ease. His music flows – seemingly without effort. He never pushes and
never pulls. His art is presented in its own space and its own gravity. Like the seasons
of nature, all things in Matthew Ryan’s world come and go with their own natural
rhythm. His music is that of a wisened artist fully confident in his balance.
Speaking with his own voice, he finds himself in stylistic company with people like Bruce
Springsteen and Tom Petty. There’s a down-home likeability to the music he makes,
and perhaps some of that has to do with the album being recorded in Woodstock, NY
at Applehead Studios with production by Kevin Salem. It could also have to do with the friends he recorded it with, and its dedication to
those fighting ALS.
There’s definitely a message to Boxers, but it’s never at the forefront. You have to read between the lines and listen between the notes. It’s
a message of aging and of loss. It’s also a message of resilience and hope. It’s a message coming straight from the heart and soul of a
person who has dedicated his life to finding that truth and exposing it in all its pain and beauty. Matthew Ryan has traveled the paths inside
his soul, both the dark and the light, and here, at the end of the journey, the tale is told through Boxers.
Boxers is, literally, a great American songbook and it’s time to recognize Matthew Ryan as a great American songwriter and musician.
Timeless and powerful, Boxers delivers great, complex, inspiring rock music with a signature style. It opens the door to an endless path. It
asks questions where the answer is in the asking. It’s a classic rock album from a true class act.
It’s music for music’s sake. There’s no corporate sponsor or crossover marketing gimmick or back-up dancers. Though available in cd
and digital formats it truly shines on vinyl and there are VERY limited quantities of the album available with unique marbled colors that are
already collector’s items. Though there’s been a lot of talk about vinyl making a comeback lately (which is great) you have to understand
that for an artist like Jared Grabb to consign such a limited pressing and to have it in unique colors and a silk-screened jacket, this is not
a money-maker, he’s doing this so that the people who love his music can have it in a format that enhances their experience and brings
them closer to the artist.
With “Pulling Weight” Jared Grabb has accomplished something truly special. Those who know him recognize that he is one of the very
few artists active today who not only accomplish great things themselves but support many other people in pursuit of their dreams. He is
a stellar talent who has labored in relative obscurity, and his new album is not about “making it big” though it surely has the potential. It’s
true to the heart of the artist. It speaks volumes about today and will say even more tomorrow, Essential.
See and download hi-res images at
Jeff Kendrick
from Devil Driver
June 16, 2014: Devil Driver’s Jeff
Kendrick takes a few minutes to update
RUST on what’s up with the band and the
tour at the Masquerade in Atlanta. Watch
the video on our YouTube channel.
20 RUST Magazine
RUST Magazine
June 25, 2014: Here at RUST magazine we have to give it up to FLINTFACE. He’s got
it. He’s got it for real, and his debut album Hope has that magical familiar-yet-new
vibe that speaks with a distinct and individual voice. This album bears the fruits of a
long-simmering artistic soul whose roots go deep into a long and challenging path that
he has travelled to get to today.
As a songwriter, a performer and an artist, FLINTFACE blazes his own path, uncovering
a unique perspective on pop rock. He’s got toughness tempered with soul. He has an
inner drive that pours out through his music. And he is able to balance the elements of
himself as he balances his musical aspirations in Hope. The result is a rocking album
with relevance, intelligence and heart. It’s a fantastic album, filled with moments
where the music is really, really good – then it goes to another whole level.
That’s the real essence of FLINTFACE as an artist. He builds songs with intricacy and
complexity, then uses that structure as a base for a new generation of energy. There
are many facets to every song, perhaps as there are many faces to FLINTFACE himself. And with Hope he has now announced his presence
to the world.
FLINTFACE speaks with an individual, memorable voice. Perhaps this is due to the long and difficult road he has had to walk to get to
here. That path starts in West Philadelphia and crosses through the rural environs of the Pocono Mountains. Along the way he split paths
musically with his co-performing brother, leaving him alone on the journey, though the two remain close. This separation turned into a
motivating experience and – perhaps – the defining moment for his career.
Alone, FLINTFACE immersed himself in writing music and in 2013 he entered the studio with notable producer Ross Hogarth [John
Mellencamp, John Fogerty] to record what would become Hope. Perhaps it is the hope within him, or perhaps it is the hope of building
a community through his music, either way, the result is a new rock album that is simply great. The development of the themes and the
construction of the ideas is first-rate and done with a personal touch.
To accomplish his inspirations, FLINTFACE recruited some amazing people to join him on this new part of his journey. The talented
musicians who are featured on Hope include Rami Jaffee (The Wallflowers, Foo Fighters), Tim Pierce (Jason Mraz, Bruce Springsteen),
Randy Cooke (Eurythmics, Kelly Clarkson), Kenny Aronoff (The Smashing Pumpkins, John Mellencamp), Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction),
Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett), Matt Chamberlain (Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians), Cameron Stone & Loren Gold (The Who), Jessy Greene
(Foo Fighters, P!nk, The Jayhawks). His touring band was handpicked from an array of east coast up and comers and includes Darrell Jones
(lead guitar & backing vocals), Billy Sims (bass), Anthony Scorsone (rhythm guitar), Chris DeMas (drums), and the lovely Beth Scorsone,
who lends her beautiful voice to the harmonies.
FLINTFACE has been able to find balance in his music, perhaps as he has had to find balance in himself after struggling just to be able to
get to today. Hope will certainly mark a change in paths for him, as now the whole world gets to share in his insights and struggles. Hope
is a great rock album from a distinctive new artist that deserves to have his music heard. It’s relevant, intelligent, individual and powerful.
Very Highly Recommended.
Flintface performs
Ready For It
October 13, 2014: FLINTFACE
performs Ready For It for RUST
Magazine at the Nelson Street Bridge,
a famous Walking Dead S1E1 filming
location in Atlanta. Watch the video on
our YouTube Channel.
October 13, 2014: FLINTFACE at the
Krog Street Tunnel in Atlanta Georgia
RUST Magazine
is unique unto itself. It’s taken an incredible amount of work to bring
Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter to reality
in album form, and we can only expect the best when it’s presented live
by the people who have crafted it for months, if not years.
Photo courtesy Ívar Páll Jónsson
few weeks now, and today we want to call attention
to the preview performance of the stage production
at Minetta Lane Theater in New York City’s West
Village on July 28th, 2014. Make no mistake, this
is going to be the ticket of the year. It could even be
the ticket of a generation.
Review: Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar
Agnarsson Furniture Painter
June 25, 2014: Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture
Painter is one of those very special albums that are destined for music
history. It’s that good, that special, and the album is even being brought
to the stage in NYC starting next month, making it the inspiration for the
work of hundreds of people who believe in it, and thousands of people
about to experience it firsthand.
The source for this creative masterwork is Icelandic composer Ívar Páll
Jónsson who has been writing books, lyrics and music since the age
of 15. He’s written thousands of songs in his career, most of which are
unpublished. One morning in 2011, Ívar woke up with the idea for the
project and started working on it, setting out to make the best album
of songs he possibly could. He enlisted Stefán Örn Gunnlaugsson as
producer and arranger, and executive producer Gunnlaugur Jónsson,
who is also co-author of the story to help him. Over the next two years
the project grew in scope and the artists travelled to New York and hired
Bergur Þór Ingólfsson as a director, bringing with him the acclaimed
creative team behind the Icelandic production of Mary Poppins, including
choreographer Lee Proud and set designer Petr Hlousek.
The album itself takes you on an 18 song sonic journey through the
heart and soul of Elbowville, where a story of love and revolution unfolds,
as three brothers live in perfect harmony until their story turns to conflict,
shaking Elbowville to its core. The music on the album was performed
by The Revolutionary Cellular Orchestra, and features an array of
guest vocalists, including Liam McCormick, Hjalti Þorkelsson, Sigríður
Thorlacius, Valdimar Guðmundsso, Arnar Guðjónsson, Lára Rúnarsdóttir,
Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson, Soffía Björg (Orfia) and Ásdís Rósa Þórðardóttir.
What makes this project so significant is that Revolution in the Elbow of
24 RUST Magazine
Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter is a true contemporary rock opera
on the level to masterpieces like Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down On
Broadway. The artists involved are stunningly talented and it seems like
they were able to accomplish an extreme projection of themselves in the
music, bringing out their very best. Moving across expansive and varied
tempos and colors, what’s so fantastic about this album is that there is
just so much there to hear. It’s so complex and vibrant, and just so good
it is clearly destined to make a permanent statement in music history.
This is music that will unite people everywhere because of what the
artists have collectively accomplished. Ívar Páll Jónsson has attracted
some of the very best creative people in his home country as well as
the United States purely by the virtue of the greatness of his music. It’s
music that is so good, and so inspiring that people have come together
to make it happen in ways both large and small. No detail is too small,
and no load is too heavy for these artists who have their community
pride and love embedded in this album.
This is music that is beautiful, inspired and
meticulously compiled. What makes this project
so significant is that it’s like a classic rock opera
transported to our modern world and filtered
through a group of extremely unique artists. It’s
very, very rare that people like this can collect and
group together for an ambitious series of international efforts like this.
What we’ve been listening to is so fresh and vibrant, so well crafted and
lovingly put together, we can only imagine what this will be like with a
live performance and an audience sharing the space and experiencing it.
The story of how Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson grew
from the idea of a single person to include so many passionate people
Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter is the
brainchild of Icelandic author Ívar Páll Jónsson who has been writing
books, lyrics and music since the age of 15. One morning in 2011,
Ívar woke up with the idea for the project and started working on it,
subsequently enlisting Stefán Örn Gunnlaugsson as producer and
arranger plus Gunnlaugur Jónsson as executive producer and co-author.
In 2013 they started working with producers Karl Pétur Jónsson and
Óskar Eiríksson, and a milestone in the process cams when they hired
Bergur Þór Ingólfsson as a director,
bringing with him the acclaimed
creative team behind the Icelandic
production of Mary Poppins;
choreographer Lee Proud and set
designer Petr Hlousek.
Starring Cady Huffman, Kate
Shindle, Michael Biren, Patrick
Boll, Zach Cossman, Karli Dinardo,
Danielle Kelsey – among others –
Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar
Agnarsson Furniture Painter is
destined to be legendary. This will
be the coolest stage musical event
of the year without a doubt. The
music we’ve heard follows a lineage of great works like Genesis’ The
Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and The Gorillaz Demon Days and takes it
into a new and modern space. It’s gorgeous modern rock, and it’s unique
source and powerful alliance of artists puts it truly into a class by itself.
If you are able, this is a show that simply cannot be missed.
Project of the Year:
Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter
The many, many people who have brought Revolution in the Elbow of
Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter to life are examples of the best,
most dedicated, most talented, and most highly inspired and visionary
artists of our modern world. We commend them and congratulate them
on this special album. This is an amazing accomplishment and it’s some
of the best music our world has ever heard. The inspiration behind the
music is genius and the collected community effort to realize it will
provide a testament to the best of our age for all time to come. Essential.
November 20, 2014: Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter is a great album, and it is an achievement that will live forever
in music history. But it’s even more than that. With hundreds of people involved in making both the music and the stage play, Ragnar became
something more than ‘just’ an album. It was the biggest single story we covered this year, and with so many people involved, it grew beyond the sum
of it’s many parts into something legendary. Because it’s more than an album, RUST Magazine is uniquely naming it as Project of the Year for 2014.
Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson on
It took a lot of people with absolute belief in this music to turn it into what it eventually became. Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson
Furniture Painter was the most profound expression of modern music we heard all year and it was the one pre-eminent music story of the year. We
congratulate all involved and we encourage artists everywhere to follow Ívar Páll Jónsson’s lead and to collaborate on a larger scale and to make
visionary music for a whole world.
July 3, 2014: Hey RUST readers, we’ve been telling you about this
amazing new project from Icelandic composer Ívar Páll Jónsson for a
Revolution in the Elbow started as a waking dream in the singular mind of Icelandic coposer Ívar Páll Jónsson, and his personal vision became a
beacon of light and inspiration for some of the most talented people in Iceland, NYC and beyond. These people worked incredibly hard to bring it
both to ears everywhere and to live audiences at the Minetta Lane Theatre. The reviews were fantastic, and Ragnar became a truly global event,
the likes of which the world has not seen since the grand rock operas of the 60’s and 70’s. The music itself is pure genius. And it’s extremely rare
when a project like this attracts enough people to take it through the recording process, and then to the live stage.
RUST Magazine
Ryan Tree’s amazing debut album Illusions
February 5, 2015: Ryan Tree is a fantastic songwriter, singer and musician. His
debut album Illusions is an amazing first effort featuring rock-solid songs and a
great overall vibe. This is an artist with an authentic, personal musical voice and
here at RUST Magazine we – literally – cannot say enough good things about him.
But what really makes this artist, and this album special, can be summed up in one
phrase: crossover appeal.
We hear great music every day. It’s all we write about, and our critical scale never
factors commercial success into what we have to say about someone. There are
enough fame-chasing bloggers already and not enough critics concerned with
the multitudes of independent artists who make profoundly excellent music, often
without reward or recognition. There is more, better music being made every day as
tech tools advance and our society adds to our collected musical knowledge. With
so much information out there and so many great artists to learn from, there is a
whole new generation of musicians like Ryan Tree crafting work at a level of excellence that rivals the “legends” of just a few years ago.
But there is something that makes you take notice of Ryan Tree’s music beyond the music itself. It’s music that cannot be denied greatness
and it’s music that has the power to touch and reach people on a global scale. Ryan Tree has lived up to the words of Steve Martin who
famously said “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
And you cannot ignore this music. Here at RUST Magazine, we see a shockingly bright
future for Ryan Tree. Not only is his music superb purely in itself but it has that special
something, that lightning in bottle that immediately suggests enormous possibilities on a
commercial scale. His music has individuality yes, but it has that “right” sound to fit into
those big genre blocks of music fans where mass success can be achieved. This is an
artist with a massive fan base… they just don’t know it yet. His music hits all the right
notes for lite rock radio play, film and television licensing and red-state & faith-based
community support. It’s anthemic and it just plain rocks.
Ryan Tree is turning the tables on the idea of bigness with his new album Illusions. He
has built a concrete foundation that could support a career that reaches the stars. It’s
that “big time” combination of the right artist with the right material at the right time that
could go all the way. About the best comparison we could make to another artist would
be comparing him to a young George Michael. But don’t take our word for it, check him
out at and decide for yourself.
Homeless Gospel Choir
July 17, 2014: RUST Magazine thanks Derek Zanetti from the Homeless Gospel Choir for taking
the time to talk to us in Atlanta. Wathc the video on our YouTube channel.
Photo courtesy Ryan Tree
RUST Recommends:
John Statz’s new album Tulsa
February 11, 2015: Here at RUST Magazine we’ve been watching a phenomenon in
music lately with an emphasis on the desert. John Statz’s new album Tulsa follows
stunningly good releases from Ryan Tree, Brandon Decker and Miss Shevaughn
and Yuma Wray – among others – who have found a home in the western dry
country. Loosely categorized as desert psychedelic folk, this movement may have
found it’s spiritual leader in John Statz. Tulsa is beautiful, deep and haunting. He
crystallizes the essence of the style with ease and natural timing. This is just one of
those albums that is so good that it’s greatness is what is so great about it. Oddly
enough it was recorded in the middle of a Vermont ice storm, perhaps magnifying
the intensity through the distance.
Tulsa is a sublime and individual masterwork.
Check it out for yourself at
26 RUST Magazine
RUST Magazine
June 29, 2014: Thanks to The Vaudevillains
for performing for us in Atlanta Georgia. See
the videos on our YouTube channel.
28 RUST Magazine
RUST Magazine
Song By Song:
Jeffrey Dean Foster’s The Arrow
The Sun Will Shine Again: My friend Sara Bell played the haunting piano and the rest of the track was cut during those original sessions. I think it
has a “Don’t Fear The Reaper” shimmering murkiness.
October 11, 2014: Jeffrey Dean Foster has always been ahead of his
time. Having been involved in several seminal Americana bands since
the 1980’s he is just now releasing The Arrow, following up his first
solo release, 2007’s Million Star Hotel, and it’s fantastic. His ability to
capture thoughts and feelings and to communicate them in a unique,
individual way is truly admirable. We’ve been rocking out to his music
here at the RUST offices and we wanted to reach out to Jeffrey to hear
what he had to say about it. Here he is in his own words:
Young Tigers Disappear: This is another one that I taught to the band right on the spot. I’d never even really sang it out loud before. The finished
version is almost completely live. I just wanted it to sound like modern warfare and not a romanticized version of wars from the past.
The Lucky One: Sara Bell helped finish the lyric to this one. She took her time, saying that she wanted it to be as good as when Patti Smith added
lyrics to “Because The Night”. I don’t think it’s in that league (that being one of the best singles ever ) but Lynn and Tonya Lamm’s backing vocals
sure are pretty.
I Will Understand: The other side of the coin to “When You Break” I took me a long time to convince folks that I really did want this to sound like the
witches in MacBeth gathered around a fire!
Jigsaw Man: John Pfiffner and I recorded this one all by ourselves. He can play almost any instrument and did on this one.
RUST: Jeffrey, this is a great album, before we talk about the individual
songs can you tell us a little about where your life is at right now?
What’s going on? How is it coming out through your music?
Hang My Head On You: This song has been around for a LONG time. I first recorded it about 25 years ago with Andy York (John Mellencamp, Ian
Hunter). I reworked it and I dig the Ronnie Lane party rock vibe. Cliff Retallick added some of his trademark Floyd Kramer piano licks too.
JDF: I’m not 25 years old and invincible anymore. Me and many of my
friends and family have lost a lot of people close to us in the last few years since we started making this record. The Arrow is still just a collection
of songs, but there does seem to be a little ghost of something running through them. The record is certainly not about death but it may be about
LIFE and how ephemeral it can seem.
Out Of The Blue: Another one that John Pfiffner and I did by ourselves. I think it started as kind of a Plastic Ono Band track but it grew some more
flesh and bone.
RUST: Who are some of the people that helped you make this album?
JDF: Well when I opened the door to the studio on the first day of the first session, there was Don Dixon saying “I’m here, what can I do”. I knew we
were off to a good start. Mitch Easter engineered, mixed and played some guitar, Dixon played a lot of instruments during the 3 days that he was
there. He’s a great cheerleader in the studio and keeps things rolling along. The rest of the record was made by good friends like Lynn Blakey (Tres
Chicas), her husband Ecki Heins, my long time pals, John Pfiffner, Brian Landrum and Brooks Carter. Sara Bell (Regina Hexaphone, Sharkquest)
helped me write a song and played piano on another. Cliff Retallick who is just now finishing up arranging a cool Paul McCartney tribute record in
LA with everyone from Cat Stevens to KISS, sent in some great piano tracks. Crispin Cioe and Larry Knechtel of The Uptown Horns arranged and
recorded some great Exile on Main St. type horns for “Life Is Sweet”
Open Book: Some more Lynn/Tonya backing vocals and some very southern California grooving.
The Arrow: It was originally gonna be a epic ballad but it just kind of laid there when we were recording it. After much consternation I went into the
other room and figured out that it could just be plain and simple, like a Buddy Holly song.
RUST: Thanks Jeffrey, what’s next for you?
JDF: So now I just want some folks to hear this record that I made with such a cool gang of people. I don’t think it would have sounded like this if
I’d recorded it anywhere else or with any other people. Everyone that played on it are close friends and I think it sounds like that. Hopefully we can
get out on the road and let these songs breath a little. I love that records are exactly that, a “record” of something very fleeting, that happened in
one moment, but then they last forever.
RUST: Now that it’s all done, how happy are you with it? Did you get the sound that you intended? Was it a challenge to finish or was it a free flowing
creative motion?
JDF: As usual, some songs come quick and easy and
some take months. I love the sound that we got. I think
it feels like a spin across the FM dial back when I was a
teenager. Back when you could hear the Faces right next
to Al Green and Lynyrd Skynyrd!
RUST: Let’s start with Life is Sweet.
JDF: Cut almost completely live in the studio, 2 guitars,
bass and drums. The horn section was added later by
Crispin Cioe and Larry Knechtel up north. Even though
this one only has about a dozen words, it took me a long
time. It was like whittling a piece of wood until I got rid of
everything that didn’t matter.
When You Break: This is one of two that I wrote with
my teenage daughter. It didn’t occur to me until I was
recording the vocal that this could be a Buck Owens song,
if Don Rich was playing his telecaster through a fuzz pedal.
Morningside: One of my favorites on the record. All my friends played a lot on this one. We were just going for something beautiful and Lynn Blakey’s
voice is always nothing less than beautiful. Her husband’s string arrangement in the coda feels about 150 years old.
Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts: I think this was the first song that we recorded on the first day of the sessions. Don Dixon played some terrific organ
and Brian Landrum came up with a crazy, almost New Orleans drum groove. The title refers to a phrase written on a slip of paper found in Stephen
Foster’s pocket when he died.
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RUST Magazine
The Jigsaw Seen – Old Man Reverb
with commentary by Jonathan Lea
July 2, 2014: At this point, people expect nothing less than pop rock perfection from
The Jigsaw Seen, and the guys deliver it better than ever on their new album Old
Man Reverb. RUST Magazine has been covering The Jigsaw Seen since before we
even were a magazine, and our interview with guitarist Jonathan Lea was one of
our very first articles. Since then, the band has been on a creative binge, releasing
immaculately crafted and produced albums like Winterland and Gifted, interspersed
with dates touring as the band for Dave Davies of The Kinks.
The LP packaging for Old
Man Reverb has a CD
mounted to the front of the
album by a gummy button.
Perennial critical darlings, The Jigsaw Seen explores a post-Beatles vibe and
habitually masters their albums at Abbey Road studios, this time with Sean Magee.
Everything this band does, it does well, and with a signature integrity. This extends to
the packaging and design for the albums – which they’ve been Grammy-nominated
for their album Zenith – and on Old Man Reverb, the cover art and inserts are based on some of the elements of a Fender “silverface”
amplifier including the faceplate, volume knob, speaker, footswitch and tube chart.
We received a cd copy of Old Man Reverb here to review, but we’ve been paying attention to the album construction process on the band’s
facebook page and the vinyl version of Old Man Reverb looks like an amazing package. All of The Jigsaw Seen’s albums are specially
packaged, and one of the most unique touches along the way has been the snow flakes that came with Winterland. The cd packaging of
Old Man Reverb is similarly unique and well done with a metallic base and transparent teal ink on the exterior and three different inserts
emphasizing style and concept.
Packaging aside, what The Jigsaw Seen delivers on all of their albums is some the best rock music ever made. They have been at it for
well over 20 years as a group and they have self-sustained because of the merits of their work. Their music is a master class on song
construction, style and technique. The band is also really good about posting online about what they’re doing, so we’ve been watching
this project as it has developed, and we’ve seen a tremendous amount of work and effort go into it. This group of artists always puts in
maximum effort, and their work ethic equals their compositional excellence.
The Jigsaw Seen has been collecting die-hard fans and getting international exposure, especially from their last few albums including
2010’s Bananas Foster, and they’re getting about a quarter million streams a month, so Old Man Reverb is being released to an expectant
fan base. Hopefully this will be the album that breaks The Jigsaw Seen out and onto the international stages they deserve. Really there are
just two types of people when it come to The Jigsaw Seen, band fanatics and people who have not heard them yet.
Old Man Reverb is a very special album in that The Jigsaw Seen has never been better, more focused or has made music with such clarity
of vision. They’re legitimately legends, and this new album only adds to their long list of accomplishments. What makes this album even
more interesting is the recent series of releases from the band, which have all been excellent. They just keep getting better and better with
each new release, and they were already one of the best… ever. Essential.
RUST Magazine was so interested in what guitarist Jonathan Lea had to say about the tracks on the album that we reached out to him
to tell us a little about each one, where it came from, and what it took to make it through the creative process to Old Man Reverb, Here’s
what he had to say:
Let There Be Reverb – With this album, we decided to go back and
record some songs that we’d played live over the years but had
never recorded and released. This song is the exception, written
by Dennis recently to tie in with the album’s title, it was recorded
in Los Angeles on a day off during Dave Davies’ tour last Summer.
This track features some great Rod Argent-style organ playing by
Morley Bartnoff on the outro.
Idiots With Guitars – This is one of my favorites, with its “Rock ‘N’
Roll Suicide” meets “Baby Blue” feel. We’ve played this one for the
past 15 years and we’ve actually opened shows with it. Great lyrics
dedicated to some of our “friends” on the LA music scene.
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Die Laughing – This and the following song are from the same era,
mid-1990’s. For this we tried to imagine The Who being produced
by Phil Spector (without the victims.) The track features some great
Abba-esque piano by Tom and “Mr. Blue Sky” himself, Dennis on
Understand – Like the previous track, this features a great
performance by our rhythm section, Tom and Teddy. Dennis added a
lot of great harmony vocals to this one while I played the guitar solo
using a Uni-Vibe pedal, made famous by Jimi Hendrix and David
We Women – This is our third attempt at this one and I think we
finally got it. Recorded live in the studio without me, I added the
guitars and piano later. Previously recorded in 1993, 2003 and
2013, maybe we’ll tackle it again in 2023 (a doo-wop arrangement?)
Your Mind Is Like Mine – I originally recorded electric 12-string
guitars for this but thought it sounded too “British Invasion” so I
replaced them with acoustic guitars. Another “oldie,” Dennis and I
performed this song on the BBC in 2001.
Madame Whirligig – This and the following track were demoed
by Dennis and me for “Bananas Foster” and the two songs were
originally connected. Dennis played the swirly phased guitar while I
played the bass and also an E-bow guitar recorded through a Leslie
Abide – The oldest song on the album, actually one of the first
songs we played when Dennis and I met in the 1980’s (I guess
we were in no hurry to record it.) Influenced by Ennio Morricone’s
spaghetti western soundtracks, I play baritone guitar on this.
Hercules And Sylvia – Similar in feel to the previous track, this one
also features a great string arrangement by Dennis. Me on bass
(again) and “Hello Hooray”-influenced harmony guitars.
Grief Rehearsal – The other relatively new song on the album, this
one was influenced by Jimmy Webb and Gene Clark. Pretty laid
back for us, with Dennis on Chamberlin strings, me on tremelo
guitar (and more baritone), Tom on bass and Teddy (under duress)
on brushes.
Thanks Jon.
RUST Magazine
Zanzibar III - Analog Prison
December 12, 2014: There’s a cool new movement happening on the rock scene right
now, and it’s something you might not expect. The rock opera is making a comeback.
Our Project of the Year for 2014 was an Icelandic album (and stage show – check it out
here) that energized listeners with a bright, modern and inspired collection of songs all
built around a fantastic imaginary story line.
The music world has been moving to a smaller and faster approach for years now,
resulting in many bands releasing a song a month rather than an album a year. Contrary
to this are bands like Look What I Did whose cartoonadelic over-the-top apporach to
making dramatic rock music delivers a whole concept package of music and art. It’s
part punk, and part sci-fi pulp fiction with a swashbuckling swagger and irreverence.
It’s refreshing to see a band like Look What I Did complete an album that has so many
layers and aspects to it because bands have not been attempting project like this since
the golden age of albums like Tommy and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.
Zanzibar III: Analog Prison is a creative cluster of concepts that deliver real substance
musically and philosophically. And it’s fun. And entertaining. And maybe even something of a guilty pleasure as listeners today have not been used
to taking so much time to appreciate anything for so long. The rock opera never went away, of course, but there’s definitely a thirst on behalf of
listeners who want more from their music, and from artists frustrated with the tiny boxes that they are relegated to by modern circumstances.
Zanzibar III is also available in some incredibly cool limited edition multi-color LP’s with really nice album artwork. We’re really digging the sound of
this album and the other big, new concept albums coming out – check it out!
Soft News - Used Melodies
RUST Magazine recently interviewed James Raftery, half of the creative core behind
Rat Wakes Red, along with Jeral Benjamin, who described his work as making “music
so beautiful it hurts” and Used Melodies, the debut album from Soft News is just that.
Erik Laroi – the man behind Soft News – takes a focused approach to defining his own
particular musical space with intense, stripped-down and beautifully re-arranged songs
from days past. Used Melodies is much more than a cover album, it’s truly new music
in it’s own radiant way. What Soft News does so exceptionally is to isolate particular
elements from a song, then re-embellish something new, built from elements of the old
Michael Dustin Youree
August 6, 2014: Pushmethod’s Michael Dustin Youree stopped by to see RUST Magazine after nearly a
year on the road. Ho posed for some photos, sang a few songs for us and we all took a swim in the cool
rivers on Dahlonega, Georgia. Watch the videos on our YouTube channel.
All this is done with gorgeous vocals and immaculate production. The arrangements
are so unique and complex that most people would not recognize any of the original
songs except for having the same vocals. And the tone of songs is completely different
from the original. Billy Idol’s top-40 hit Dancing With Myself here is a lonely ballad, and
this is done for songs such as Love Touch by Rod Stewart, Separate Ways by Journey,
Holocaust by Big Star and Red Headed Woman by Bruce Springsteen.
Used Melodies is perplexing in it’s pleasing, and that’s what really makes it so unique and special. It’s like a multi-layered puzzle with no answer. Of
course it’s the journey, not the destination in music, and Used Melodies is like a labyrinth of memories suspended in golden twilight. You’re forever
losing and reconnecting with visions in a whole other time and space. Soft News traps you in it’s dream, and you cannot wake up. After a while, you
stop trying to emerge from the dream and give in to it, letting it take you to places both dark and light.
What’s even more interesting about his treatment is that there’s been a big movement in the post-rock space, especially in Europe where really,
really great music is being made by slowing the music down and exposing unexpected things within it. It’s like people have been in such a hurry and
so socially accelerated that we’re all craving the richness that comes with patience. Maybe that’s why this album, at this moment, is extra significant.
It’s got a trans-generational appeal that speaks across time, and will continue to do so on it’s individual merits for a very long time to come.
Whether you know the original songs or not, Used Melodies stands as a unique, personal, intimate album by a very special performer, supported by
people like Charles Newman and Ray Ketchem and artists Lorraine Lelis, Margaret White, Perry Serpa and Jean Cook. Deep and rewarding, Used
Melodies is itself a world without end.
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RUST Magazine
Jeremy Bass talks about Tenant
October 11, 2014: 2014 has been – without a doubt – the year of the indie rock
singer-songwriter. We’ve had amazing releases like Xander Smith, Matt Turk and
Sean Watkins coming in one after the other, and they just keep getting better and
better. The latest album to amaze us is Tenant by Jeremy Bass. It’s a daring, brave
set of songs that strips away the mind’s trickery of camouflage and crutches, and
bares the truth of an individual through words and music. It’s touching, relevant and
Jeremy Bass is a bi-coastal singer/songwriter, published poet and literary critic and
on Tenant his stunning lyrical and language skills are perfectly framed and beautifully
displayed. His ability to paint pictures with words and music is simply superb and he
takes the listener on journeys that are elegant, deep and seemingly endless. There’s
a whole world lensed through the shimmering window of Tenant. Joining Jeremy
are producer Matthew Vitti, bassist Pete Griffin, keyboardist and composer Aaron
Kotler, members of Silouette Quartet, and a backing array of mandolin, banjo, and
lap steel guitars who have all combined to craft an album that will surely stand the
test of time. Together they have put together a collection of complex, poignant and personal songs that have been beautifully realized with
love and attention to the finest detail. Very Highly Recommended.
RUST Magazine was so taken with Tenant that we reached out to Jeremy to have him tell us about the recording of Tanant and a little about
each song on the album. Here he is in his own words.
RUST: First, Jeremy, this really is a great album. One could say that it took a lifetime to make it, so we’re curious, how long had you been
working on some of the songs here?
JB: Thanks so much. I think you could say that about a lot of first albums–it’s an artist’s first offering, and in a sense all the musical
experiences they make up to that point go into that album. That being said, yes, the album took a long time to make, and some of the
songs are quite old, as much as 8 years or more. Some of them I wrote in the first weeks and months after moving to NYC, and some were
written as the album was being recorded.
RUST: Who were some of the people that helped record this album? What was it about them that made them right for the project?
JB: The core tracks were all recorded at Matthew Vitti’s MotherBrotherStudios in Bridgeport, CT. Matt is the main reason the album came
to completion and sounds the way it does–he recorded all the guitars, vocals, mandolin and banjo, strings and piano, as well as playing
and recording drums and percussion and writing all the string parts. He was perfect for the project, not only for his technical skills at mic
placement, mixing and arranging, but also for his creativity and openness to helping me achieve what I was hearing but couldn’t make
yet. We spent hours in his studio playing around with ideas until we found what worked, and Tenant wouldn’t exist without that sense of
possibility and discovery.
RUST: During the recording process, did the songs develop like you expected or did you find new directions as you worked through the
JB: Because I’d lived with most of the songs for a long time, I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted them to sound like, and what the
arrangements and instrumentation would be on some of them. With other songs, the vision changed as we heard what the instrumentation
sounded like, usually in the direction of less-is-more. “Gone,” for example, began as a kind of southern-rock anthem and ended up sparsely
arranged with light percussion, organ and mandolin.
RUST: Now that it is all done, how do you feel about it?
JB: I love it, and I’m really happy about the reception it’s been getting. I feel, though, that I moved on to the next project some time ago.
The mixing took quite a long time, as did the production and promotion, and in that intervening time I cooked up two batches of other
songs and recorded them, each as their own EP, funded completely by my fans on Kickstarter. Winter Bare was recorded at New Monkey
Studio in Los Angeles this past summer (Elliott Smith’s last studio), and I just finished recording the second EP, New York in Spring, last
week at a new studio in Brooklyn called Creekside Sound. We’ve got quite a lot of work left to do, overdubs and arrangements and some
more recording before the mixing process begins, but I hope these will come out in Winter and Spring of 2015. And while that’s going on,
I’ll probably start in on something new–not sure what that will be yet.
Brooklyn, also played on nearly all the tracks, sometimes contributing three or four keyboard layers, and Tenant wouldn’t be so lush without
his contributions. Of course, I can’t thank my friends and fans enough for all the support they’ve given me while making and touring to
support this album.
RUST: Thanks Jeremy, what can you tell us about each of the songs?
Pickup Lines for the Love of my Life: My first weeks in New York City. In May, everyone comes out of hiding, and they shed as many layers
of clothes as possible. Ah, God be a gust of wind under a woman’s skirt. This is a fantasy, pure and simple, of finding the love of your life
among the many beautiful passing faces in the crowd.
Grey Days: My first apartment was an old, converted warehouse building in Bushwick that looked across a garbage-processing plant into a
seemingly never-ending expanse of warehouses and row-buildings. There were a lot of cloudy, windy days that autumn, and I have to admit
I’ve always suffered a bit from the shortening daylight of November and December (good ol’ seasonal affective disorder), and this was my
attempt to get beyond that and just enjoy my time there. I was listening to a lot of Elliott Smith, which probably didn’t help my mood, but
certainly informed the sound and structure of this song.
The Road: A Paul Simon tribute, and my attempt at a semi-narrative song. One thing about NYC is that you can get trapped there, spending
as much as a year without realizing you haven’t left. It really sucks the life out of you, but all you have to do is hop in a car (which nobody
has usually) and get the hell out of town. I’m from New England, and for a while this became the simplest solution for the NYC blues.
River, River: This is an old Peggy Lee tune. I was sitting around one night, listening to a bunch of her music, and was so taken with this
song I decided I had to learn it. While I was puzzling out the chords, the thought occurred to me that Jeff Buckley would’ve done a killer
version of it, and I tried to approximate the chord voicings and 6/8 cascading triplet rhythms he loved so much. So I can’t take too much
credit here. Everyone’s gotta have a cover, right?
Almost Empty: There’s a phenomenon in early Spring in New York City where everyone is so sick of winter and being cooped up in their
apartments that as soon as it shows the slightest sign of being the least bit warmer than the day before, they rush out to have dinner or
drinks in the outdoor patios and open-door cafes. Inevitably, however, some freezing torrent of spring rain comes crashing down and sends
everyone running inside. I was one of those unfortunates one night in April, and I was thinking of my mother, who had died recently, and
was trying to write a poem for her. I sketched out what later became these lyrics, and when I got home, realized that it could be a killer
song instead of lame poem, and wrote the whole tune that night.
Songs of Sex and Ritual: A reviewer recently called this my “rock opera anthem,” and I think I agree. Funny enough, the main melody was
inspired by Bjork, but it ended up as something very different.
Millimoon (Calvino): This is a re-telling of a short story by the great Italian post-modernist Italo Calvino, called “The Distance to the Moon.”
It’s from a book called Cosmicomics, where each short story is a re-envisioning of a creation myth–how we came to be solid forms, how
we first became land animals after living in the sea for so long, etc. This story is about a time when the moon was so close that people
used to row out to it, lean ladders against its surface and climb up to harvest the delicious moon-milk. The narrator of the story is in love
with someone else’s wife, and when she climbs up one time to search for milk, the moon starts to pull out into its current orbit, and he
loses her forever. Calvino ends the story by saying that this passion and lost love is what causes our dogs to howl when the moon is full
and close to the earth again.
Gone: Lost love, a bad breakup, the middle of winter, and lessons that arrive just when they can do no good anymore. What are you gonna
do but sing about it?
These Hands: I wrote this song for my ex-wife to sing on her first album. Hard to believe, looking back, how violent it is, how indicative of
the decline of our marriage. That’s the amazing thing about art–try as hard as you can, when you’re really committed to making something
good, it can’t help but be authentic, and it reveals things you didn’t even know you thought or felt. We broke up soon after I wrote this tune.
She never recorded it, so I decided to instead.
The Thief’s Song: This was the first song I wrote as a make-up song. I’d really fucked up, and so it had to be good to get her back. It worked,
for a time anyway. I think this may be my favorite tune on the album right now.
The Bridge: Let’s end on an positive note. This is still New York City, after all–life, people, chaos, possibility, dreams. And Matt’s kick-ass
percussion moving things along.
RUST: Is there anybody you want to thank for supporting you while you worked on Tenant?
JB: Certainly Matthew Vitti, for numerous reasons. Pete Griffin, a touring and session musician, bass-player extraordinaire from Los
Angeles, played on every track, and without him this album wouldn’t be what it is. Aaron Kotler, a brilliant jazz pianist and composer from
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RUST Magazine
Fred Gillen Jr. talks about Wage Love
photos © 2013 Tom Kristich
January 8, 2015: Several years ago, when the economy collapsed, there was a communal
need in our country to revisit our roots culturally and to seek wisdom, guidance and
comfort in the things that our predecessors found solace in. Bands like The Blueflowers,
The Great Tribulation, The Grahams and Jared Grabb came to be grouped in – what we
called – the New Rustbelt Sound. Bringing back musical memories of the dust bowl and
the lonely sounds of dark heartland artists like Patsy Cline and Roy Orbison, these new
voices joined a long and distinguished lineage of poets and rebels disenchanted with the
shine and finding substance in the shadow.
Of course, these voices were never silent. They never have been and the never will be. But
this new generation of musicians were doing amazing work at a time when their relevance,
which had been neglected while the world was distracted with other fads, suddenly
became essential. It’s been a few years since then and there has been a continuation of
the development of Great Americana music with bands like The Fugitives, The End Times, Sean Watkins and Cabinet merging the country and the
city, and the new and the old into fresh, vibrant, relevant music.
Last year, we picked Matt Turk’s Cold Revival as our album of the year. Like the other current and historical works that defined the American, and
the human experience, Matt delivered a unique, personal and superb collection of music in the classic American singer-songwriter space. One of
the other people involved in that album, and a co-creator and performer with Matt is Fred Gillen Jr. who is about to release his new album Wage
Love, and it’s going to make history.
Or perhaps it’s going to join other great works in the endless history of our world. Reaching back to those first definitive union anthems, Wage
Love bridges the generations and eras of our shared culture to find profound truths both new and old in the quietness of poverty – either fiscal or
philosophical. Matt also joins Fred on this album playing mandolin, and just as with Cold Revival, a dedicated core group of people have helped Fred
realize this expression of his music.
A prolific poet and musician, Fred Gillen Jr. has an archive of work going back almost 20 years. He’s released solo albums as well as working with
groups like Hope Machine and he’s been heavily involved with the arts community in his home region of upper New York. Wage Love is focused
more on political and social issues than his previous work, and it gives the album a specificity that accentuates it’s relevance and timeliness. This
is an album with something to say. It has a self-evident importance and clear identity. RUST Magazine gives it our highest recommendation, but we
wanted to hear from Fred about what he thinks about it himself and he graciously answered a few questions for us:
RUST: A few years ago, there was a big resurgence in what might be called Americana Roots music, while it is now becoming somewhat less present
in the public space. Perhaps times aren’t as profoundly hard as they were a couple years ago, maybe people have adjusted to a new normal. You
finely interpret the spirit of that moment with the song Occupy Your Own Mind, did you write this as a cautionary message not to forget the occupy
movement as well as the other moments that inspired other people to write about their times?
FGJR: We definitely do quickly adjust to a new normal. I think Occupy Your Own Mind was more of a “here is what is” song for me. I had that word
occupy rolling around in my head for a long time. I set out to write a very “political” protest song, but wound up with something else. The two verses
are about two things I think about a lot. We’ve wound up in a situation where our so- called leaders can only get elected by coming up with a whole
lot of money. Citizens United made that even worse- now corporations can “donate” so much money anonymously. In Germany where they have
publicly-funded elections they’d call a private donation to a candidate a bribe! Duh! Also every President has been a male over 6 feet tall who was
educated at one of just a few colleges. We elected a black man president, which to me was frankly surprising and great, but we did it before we ever
elected a woman. Twenty years ago I would have said you were crazy if you told me that would happen. With how racist this country seems to be I
think this illustrates how sexist it also still is. Woman still don’t have equal pay for equal work, and are still culturally treated as objects pretty easily
in the media and in our daily conversations. In the midst of all of this, in the northeast we had a big hurricane a couple of years ago and the reason
that seniors and disabled people without electricity got meals and heat was because Occupy Sandy organized and made it happen. They had a lot
of help from churches and synagogues and other organizations, but Occupy were the organizers. This gives me great hope! The Occupy movement
was bigger, more organized, and accomplished more than the mainstream media, which is owned and run by the Wall Street folks, showed us. The
great thing is that the occupy movement didn’t go anywhere. They’re still here!!!
RUST: As a whole culture, with hindsight it appears that America lost some of it’s own self-identity in the gilded age before the crash and they looked
to the music of old – as you might phrase it – to regain that sense of cultural pride when hard times returned. Perhaps people felt that they had to
now earn that which was previously so easily bought, and they had a new appreciation for it. Are you wary that this righteous message is beginning
to again fade as times continue to change?
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FGJR: Living in the Hudson Valley I guess I don’t see this as
much, because it has not faded here at all. I don’t think it ever
fades anyway – I think it just stops getting televised for a while
until it becomes sexy again. But I do think that the hard times
give it a sense of urgency. The thing about this music is that it
is a community-building thing, and in hard times we all need
community in a more urgent way. I think American cultural pride is
still out there, but it is more underground, or perhaps more local.
RUST: But I’m making it sound as though this style was sealed
away in a “break glass in case of emergency” container, and of
course it wasn’t. You’ve been active for about 20 years, as have
fantastic artists like Matt Turk. You must have met some amazing
people along that journey, can you share a story with us about one
person that inspired you along the way?
FGJR: Of course the first person who comes to mind is Pete Seeger.
The last time I played with Pete was after a parade in Beacon with
a group of school children. The event was “Spirit of Beacon Day.”
Pete had helped create this event because he observed, many
years ago when he moved to Beacon, that the town was basically
segregated, and he wanted to for at least one day a year integrate
it. He and some other folks created this event in September every
year. Anyhow, here was the guy who co-wrote Turn Turn Turn and
If I Had A Hammer playing on the street after a parade! This is very
inspiring. When Pete’s career and livelihood were taken away from
him by HUAC and the black-listing, he took it to the streets and
schools, and I think he found out that that’s where it belonged! I
was fortunate to get to spend much more than my share of time
with Pete, because of a few people who seemed determined to put
me in the room with him. Matt Turk, David Bernz, Susan Wright,
Rick Rock of Tribes Hill- they all put me in the room or on stage with Pete, along with a few other folks, over the years. Knowing him and having
spent some quality time with him it is hard to imagine him on the mall with Springsteen at the inauguration. That last time I played a gig with him he
taught us a new verse he’d written for “This Land” about fracking. He said “last week I sang this at Farm Aid with Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and that
nice young man Bruce Springsteen.” Sure enough I looked it up, and there it was on Youtube. Dave Matthews and Mellencamp were also there. “NY
is your home, NY is my home, from the upstate mountains down to the ocean’s foam, with all kinds of people, we’re all polychrome, NY was made
to be frack free.” Polychrome- such a Pete kind of word! I wasn’t close to Pete the same way Turk was, but boy do I miss him. We all do!
RUST: It’s just the new year. Hello 2015. As another new year begins, do you have hope that a new generation of musicians has looked to people
like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie to inspire them as they grow as musicians?
FGJR: Hope Machine did a lot of work with the Woody Guthrie Foundation/ archives. Anna Canoni, Nora Guthrie’s daughter, got us a lot of gigs
playing Woody songs. It always struck me that the “myth” of Woody Guthrie was very appealing. He is really kind of a classic outlaw/ underdog. I think
one of the things that they do at the foundation is attempt to tell the real story without undermining the myth. Kind of interesting. When I consider
that This Land was never on the radio or television (until the Obama inauguration) but almost everyone in this country knows the song, I’ve got to
figure that something big is going on. I talked to Cy Hamlin, the guy who designed the Clearwater Sloop, on the phone this summer. Some story about
Pete and the Clearwater came up and he said “that’s not how it happened but it is a good story so let’s let it stand.” At 94 he had the wisdom and
humility to let the myth be built, and to know he was a little part of it. He understands that the Clearwater is not just a boat and not just a currently
active vehicle for change, but also a part of a mythology. It helped get the Clean Air & Water Act passed, after all! So it is with Woody and Pete. I think
some of what happened in their lives is just what happened, just the chaos of life. I also think they made large and small choices which changed the
course of their lives, and therefore changed their legacies. Woody left a good-paying radio job because he was censored there. In the moment the
impact it had on his life was that he was broke but had his integrity, but in the long term it changed everything. This was a very difficult choice. Woody
met Will Geer and Will brought him to see the jungle camps, and this politicized him. Was this luck? Maybe they were “meant” to meet. Maybe it was
inevitable. In any case, Pete and Woody’s decisions made a difference. What strikes me is how many of these decisions were made for the sake of
integrity. More than the music, this is what I hope young musicians get out of their stories. Integrity is something worth fighting and suffering for, in
my opinion. If Wall Street had more of it we wouldn’t need an “Occupy” movement! Now we’ve got “B-corporations,” and I’m hopeful we’ll have more
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humane capitalism in the future! But
there are a handful of people grasping
a big pile of money and they’ve been
pulling strings, greasing palms, and
even breaking laws for a long time to
get it. We don’t have to ask what Pete
would do, because he was at Occupy
Wall Street, at 93 years old! Pete and
Woody were human and flawed, but
they are also archetypical heroes, and
both were very stubborn about their
integrity. I think a lot of young artists
recognize that about them.
RUST: So, we’re both big fans of Matt
Turk. You’ve worked with him and
toured with him. We gave him album
of the year. Do you have a funny (and
hopefully mildly embarrassing) story to
tell about your mutual adventures?
FGJR: Most of the funny stories I have
from touring with Turk I don’t want to
tell in print because it could hurt the
other people involved. Suffice it to say it is always an adventure. The thing I love most about Turk is that he isn’t necessarily as happy-go-lucky as
he appears, but he WORKS at being positive, I’d say at all times. I think if it came as easily as it appears it wouldn’t have the impact it has. He brings
positivity everywhere he goes. He manifests it in the world. It is the same with the music- he makes the mandolin sound easy, but I can tell you he’s
worked very hard at it, studying with Barry Mitterhoff of Hot Tuna and practicing many hours a day. Our Spring tour is going to be called the “Love
Revival Tour.” Wage Love, Cold Revival. But that’s kind of who Turk is- a walking love revival. He sort of refuses to accept negativity! A great friend.
Actually he’s more than a friend, he’s family.
RUST: Who are some of the other people who helped make Wage Love? What about them made them right for this album?
FGJR: It’s funny. When I first started working on the album, Tom Kristich, the photographer, called me. He said he wanted to shoot some photos of me
at an abandoned Department of Public Works garage near his house. We had to climb through a fence, and walk past broken bottles and a fire pit
where kids hang out and drink at night, and there we found the torn American flag on the ground. I picked it up and brought it with us for the shoot.
I know a whole bunch of great singers, including great folks like Abbie Gardner and Laurie MacAllister of the band Red Molly and Brooke Campbell,
who have sung on my records. I met Laura Bowman when my cousin jazz drummer Brian Woodruff suggested I call her to play at a songwriters night
in Astoria, Queens that she hosted. She turned out to be really community-oriented and we kept in touch. Last year she did a project called “Busk
or Bust,” where she planned to busk her way across the country until she ran out of money, and make a documentary about it. It was supposed to
be a film about not being able to make a living as a musician, really about having to go home out of money. She wound up on the road for the whole
summer, going to the West Coast and back. I think this really transformed her. So though I really like her singing, I called her for more personal
than musical reasons, thinking that she was right for this record in a personal sense. About 95% of what she sang she arranged. “I Dreamed I Saw
Pete Seeger” I wrote at the last minute, so Laura heard it for the first time just before she sang it! Talk about a home run! She put out a great ep
recently called “Troubadour.” Paul Magliari is just groovy as a drummer. He made “We The People” less square, and “Election Day” more musical.
I’m currently recording, at my studio, an album with him of his music. His music is a bit like early Genesis. He calls it “conceptual pop.” I thought of
Turk as soon as I wrote “Ghost of Joe Hill.” He says he thinks he went to a new place singing on “Freedom Highway,” and I agree. He also helped
me work out the arrangement for that, because we’re singing what the audience usually sings. Lastly Jeffry Braun, who designed the cover, named
the album. I’ve been giving away “Wage Love” stickers for almost 15 years now but I never would have named the album that!
RUST: We The People is *one* of our favorite songs on the album, can you tell us a little about it?
FGJR: I wrote what I’d call the first finished drafts of that and Killing Machine in 2003, after the war in Iraq started. Killing Machine didn’t undergo
much revision after that. That one wrote itself. I made a quick, limited-run e.p. called “We The People” that summer because I was angry about the
government’s reaction to 9/11. The first concert I ever played with Pete Seeger probably in 2005 I sang that version of We The People, and he told
me it was important and I should keep working on it and keep singing it. I’ve been revising it since then. Ten years! I’d thought about including it
because I knew it sort of fit, and when Pete passed away last January I kind of felt a sense of responsibility for the song, because Pete told me to
work on it. I think a lot of songwriters in the Hudson Valley feel a similar sense of responsibility, because it will take all zillion of us to do anything
like what Pete did. When I get really down and cynical I pick up my little paperback of the constitution and Declaration of Independence, and remind
42 RUST Magazine
myself that the constitution and the people are the country, not the
current politicians. We the People! It is our country! When you join the
Army you swear an oath to uphold the constitution. This is bigger than
any political party or person!
RUST: The album isn’t out yet, but maybe you have you heard from
some people about it already? Which songs seems to be the ones
other folks like the best?
FGJR: Well, “Killing Machine” has been around a while, and I’ve heard
from a lot of veterans and other people over the years about that song.
That song seems to really work. It is a difficult story to hear but the
music seems to open people’s ears to it. “Walking Down That Freedom
Highway” has been a big song for me live since I wrote it, and is
already being covered by local Hudson Valley songwriter Scoot Horton.
(We cover a lot of each other’s songs up here!) “Election Day” nobody
seems to want to hear, though it is probably my favorite song on the
record. I know it is a tough one, but I think it speaks the truth. I’ve just
started singing “Cost of War” live and that one has also been wellreceived. “I Dreamed I Saw Pete Seeger,” though the closing song
on the record, has been a great opening song at solo shows. It really
brings everyone into the room, so to speak.
RUST: Thanks Fred, one last question, is there one artist out there right
now that people should be listening to?
FGJR: Well- the first person I thought of was Chris Moore. http://www. I’ve been a fan for years and we’ve gotten to know
each other and played some shows together. He’s out of Brooklyn, but
was the drummer of the 80’s Detroit hardcore/ punk band Negative
Approach before he became a singer/ songwriter. He’s got a new ep
and a new full-length album out.
Check it out:
Go Betty Go’s Reboot
January 20, 2015: Die-hard fans will remember Go Betty Go from two Warped tours plus
a lot of SoCal and Mexico gigs, and they’re back (and badder than ever) with their suprise
new album Reboot. The orginal foursome of Michelle Rangel, Betty Cisneros, Nicolette Vilar and Aixa Vilar have re-assembled and are re-emerging
with an anthemic 6-song album that kicks butt, then chases it down the street and kicks it again! Strong, soulful and full of depth and intensity
Reboot sounds great all around. It’s a classic punk band with a unique self-identity delivering fresh music that showcases a huge reservoir of
stored-up energy and intention. It’s a confident quartet at work here with a little help from producer Ted Hutt and the result is an album that’s rock
solid – and a lot of fun. Go Betty Go keeps it real… real punk rock – check it out!
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IP: Mum and Dad to start that
off. They’ve always been behind
us 100% After that it’s hard
because so many people have
helped us get to where we are.
For one example: our friend
Michelle from 45 South Café
just put on a big album release
party for us and did such an
awesome job promoting it and
named a cheeseburger after
us and everything. And on
top of that she’s pretty much
convinced her son that we’re
super heroes or something. So
there’s been tons of people like
that having us play for house
parties or letting us open for
them at a show or inviting us
into their homes for a night and
there are so many to thank.
IP: When we put our first EP out
I thought that was the biggest
thing we would ever do. All we
wanted was to have one person
that was a complete stranger
to us say that they were a fan.
I never thought we’d be on
our third independent album
though, I absolutely love doing
it all ourselves.
RUST: The album sounds really
good, can you tell us a little
about the recording process?
Highbeams: One Word
July 22, 2014: Recently, one of RUST Magazine’s top secret investigative listenening secret agents messaged us about a band with a cool sound,
original and stylish material, and who put on a great live show. Highbeams truly is a band of brothers, comprised of Adam Pendlington, Ian
Pendlington, and Stephen Quinn, and their new album One Word is a collection of indie folk-rock with a distinctive, likeable sound.
One Word follows up their 2013 release Keeping Tomorrow in Mind, and the band has been getting a lot of love playing regionally around their
Georgia home base. In fact they self-recorded the album at home and it sounds great. The guys put a lot of effort into their music and the cd is a
really nice overall package. Highbeams has crisp timing, gentle instrumentation and a wide range of thematic ability – they’ve got a good thing going
and they’re sharing it through their music.
Highbeams is really a good example of where the music world is at right now. You’ve
got talented, dedicated people like them out there just doing it. There’s an enthusiasm
to what they do that carries over into their music, and we commend them on their
moxy. Check out Highbeam’s new album One Word, it’s full of fun, folky rock with a
fresh sound and an authentic positivity.
RUST Magazine was curious about Highbeams and we reached out to Ian Pendlington
to talk to us a little about it
RUST: We heard about you because of your live show, what do you think you bring to
the stage that’s unique and that people are responding to?
IP: We recorded the whole
thing in our basement. We
used to only do our demos
down there before paying for
the big pro studio version, but
we eventually got good enough
that we were really liking our
home recordings. There was
no rush to lay everything down
and if a song didn’t sound
good we could just start over
completely. The first track on
the album had at least five
different versions, and then there
was one or two songs that we got
right on the first try somehow haha.
IP: Pretty much just playing to
as many new people as we
possibly can. The more we
Adam and Ian Pendlington, Stephen Quinn
play, the better things get. We
feel like we really got our sound
right for this album so this is the time for us to work our hardest getting
RUST: Do you write whole ideas and then record them, or do you discover it out there. We couldn’t be happier with the response so far. We’re very
excited for whatever happens next.
songs more in the recording process?
IP: We always get really excited and try to record when it’s just an idea
but that almost never works for us. There are certain parts of a song that
you don’t think of until you record and hear it though, which is why being
able to start over is so awesome. The whole rap god part on “If I Give Up”
wasn’t on it until the very last version.
RUST: The three of you compliment each other and you share writing
credit, what’s the vibe like when you’re crafting new music? Is it
competitive or cooperative?
IP: People always comment on our energy when we play live, especially when there
aren’t many people at a show. People really like watching you loving what you’re doing
and loving the people you’re doing it with. Whenever we first started doing shows we
always wanted that to come through live.
IP: It’s very cooperative. A lot of the time Adam brings something to me
or to both of us that he can’t quite finish and then with a couple play
throughs we can tell if something feels good. Some songs can seem
barely there and then we all play it together and it pretty much writes
itself. We all know each other really well and anticipate each other when
we’re improvising in the early stages. It’s always a really good feeling.
RUST: Can you tell us a little about your early times together, did you ever imagine the
three of you would be putting out albums and playing on the road?
RUST: Who are some of the people that have helped you get to where
you are right now?
46 RUST Magazine
RUST: Thanks Ian, last question,
what’s next for Highbeams?
Watch the videos from our November 25, 2014 session with
Highbeams in Ball Ground, Georgia plus their Hard Rock Cafe gig in
Atlanta on February 26, 2015 on our YouTube channel.
RUST Magazine
5 Tips to Break Through and Get Exposure
November 21, 2014: Being a music writer, and focusing on the indie scene, I’ve seen a lot of lists and tips lately advising aspiring artists
on how to break through and get some exposure. Some of this advice is good, and some isn’t – like all advice – but the truth is that there
isn’t a play book or check list of things that will universally work.
And there is a big mis-assumption that there is somewhere to break through to… in a lot of ways there isn’t. The best most bands can
hope for is to have a tour where you don’t lose a ‘lot’ of money, and to have enough money to record your next album. Sorry kids, but that’s
about as good as it gets these days.
Having reviewed and interviewed hundreds of bands, and being the one on the receiving end of all the emails and promotional posts, I’m
going to add to the clutter of similar articles with my personal take on the things that get my attention, and that get written about.
1: Hire a good PR person. I get dozens of emails daily about new music. They all sound the same, and I can’t read most of them –
because I have a life and things to do – and I already have a backlog of articles to finish. But, when a PR person I have a relationship
with messages me and asks me to take a
special look at an artist, I do it 100% of
the time. A good PR person will be able to
cut through the red tape, if you can afford
them. The truth of our modern world is that
it is pay to play, and if you want to cut to the
front of the line it’s going to cost you.
2: Get a good band photo. This is probably
the number one tip above all others. Before
someone will listen to you, they will see
you. Whether it’s on an album cover, a
social post or an email message, there will
be a visual image of you that people will
see before they hear your music, and this is
the sizzle that sells the steak. Again, a good
shot will cost you, but a bad shot or a lack
of one will cost you even more.
3: Videos, videos and more videos. They
don’t have to be fancy. They don’t have to
be from an expensive camera. They don’t
even have to be good! Seriously. But you’ve
got to have them, and the more the better.
YouTube is the number one promotional platform for music. Having a video link gives you the “thing” to blog about and for your fans to
share. If you had started doing a video a week last year, you would have 50 videos online right now and that would give the search engines
something to find… and that’s how people will find you.
Making The Video - Eight ‘O Five Jive
October 31, 2014: RUST Magazine shot the official music video for the song Young Enough To Be
My Son by Eight O’ Five Jive from the album Too Many Men with a little help from the band and
starring Nick Currier as “Guido.” It was a fast and furious shoot in three locations and barely half a
day but everybody was on time and ready to shoot. You can watch the video on our YouTube chanel
and check out the band at
4: Write a personal letter. I can tell the difference between a form letter and a personally written letter in my email box instantly. I trash
the form letters and read the personal ones, and when a band takes their time to write to me personally, and to ask me if I want to check
them out I say yes 100% of the time. Even if I don’t have time to write a full review I will take my time and blog about them if they have
taken their time to write to me. I consider it being polite. Remember, music writers are people too. Try to make a personal connection.
5: Be so good they can’t ignore you. This quote is attributed to Steve Martin, and if you have exceptional talent, and an authentic belief in
yourself and satisfaction with your artistic accomplishment, it shows through no matter what the medium. If you believe in yourself, others
will believe in you, so don’t try to sell yourself, let your talent sell itself. And if, like most musicians, you fail to find commercial success,
you will have the pride of accomplishment within yourself. That’s something you cannot buy no matter how much money you make and it’s
also something that can never be taken away from you.
A little more personal advice? Relax and enjoy your time in the band. You might make money, you might not, but the time people spend
expressing their art and their rock and roll spirit together with like-minded people defines them and grows their humanity and depth. There
is a 99.9% probability that you’re not going to break through, so if you orient your life around that and it doesn’t happen, you’ll feel that
you have failed. So make the music that you want and be grateful that you are privileged enough to have a life where you even have the
chance to spend your time making music.
PHOTO: World War IX
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Cam-Jam Festival
On October 5th, 2014 at the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth, Georgia, RUST
Magazine and AMP Artist Management and Promotion presented the
first Cam-Jam Festival and it was a star-studded night of amazing
performances. Eddie Owen Presents, Galerie Wardrobe Boutique, Tree
Sound Studios and the Deadwood Guitar Company all helped make it a
great event and you can watch all the videos at
Ralph Roddenbery
Copious Jones
The Pussywillows
Donna Hopkins Band
Uncommon Kind
feat. Sam French
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Deep Blue Sun
The BJ Wilbanks Band
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Interview with Bill Fay from Roman Ring
November 14, 2014: Recently I went to Chicago to visit family and do some interviews and one of the very cool people I wound up talking to
was Bill Fay who plays guitar for Roman Ring. Along with bandmates Nate, Franco, Jason and Danny they’re making some tough Chicagostyle math metal, and since it’s been a long time since I was on the scene there, I was curious to hear what things were like today.
EP: So I’ll date myself here with a story about 1983 when Black Sabbath came to town with Ian Gillan from Deep Purple on vocals. I was
just seventeen and really didn’t understand ticket buying so I went all the way down to the venue to buy my tickets. I wound up getting
delayed and lost and showed up at a lone ticket booth in an empty parking lot downtown thinking I was late for the 10am tickets to go on
sale, and that the show had sold out already. It turned out that the first ten rows had been reserved until noon and I wound up with front
row seats. The show was amazing. How could it not be? Black Sabbath X Deep Purple?! Was there one particular show you saw back in
the day that really changed things for you?
BF: For me that would have been the Rage Against The Machine’s reunion show at alpine valley in ’07. I was completely blown away by
how many people were at that show and 100% into it and screaming the lyrics.
There was also a pretty sweet mudslide that if you stepped on it you were going
down it whether you wanted to our not.
EP: What about today? Who are some of the Chicago people that are putting on
the best metal shows?
BF: Currently I’d say bands like Thieves, Jar’d Loose, Ox King, Wasted Fortune,
all these bands put on really great shows with either great energy, tight playing,
and just looking like they’re having a good time on stage.
EP: What’s the best current metal album in your opinion? What makes it so?
BF: When we met a few days ago I mentioned that I’m not a really good metal
head, but I have been listening to more metal the last few years. Unlike some of
my band mates I don’t go too far down the rabbit hole of finding metal bands.
Currently there are three bands that come to mind that are current, but are
all probably due for another album by now are, Cattle Decapitation, Obscura,
and Spawn of Possession. All of them have some crazy technical styles, with
drummers that blast at a 1000 bpms, singers that sound like pigs vomiting, and really catchy riffs. What Travis Ryan does Vocally on Cattle
Decapitation’s Monolith of Inhumanity you’d have to get 6 vocalist from other bands to do what he does, the guy’s range is insane and
not human. Christian Muenzner who is in Spawn of Possession and formally Obscura is one of my favorite guitarist regardless of genre,
he is another one that plays like he’s not even human. The drummers in those bands are all amazing, but of the 3 Hannes Grossmann of
obscura is my favorite
EP: Is there a Chicago band from days past that you think should have gotten more exposure? Maybe a lost treasure people outside the
city don’t know about?
BF: My number one pick from that was this band called O’Glorious Leader, I’ll admit I’m a little biased because I have been in bands with
several of the members, two of which are my best friends, but that’s because of this band. In the sea of local bands from back in the day
they were one of the ones that just shocked the shit out of me. I was going to a show to see Small Town Murder (the band I would join
and become Roman Ring) and some other locals and OGL happened to be on the bill. They got up on stage and for 30 minutes just killed
it and I was hooked. After that I was determined have my band do shows and go to as many shows of theirs as I could. Unfortunately it
was relatively short lived after that and they disbanded a few years after that show. If you do a quick Google search you’ll find their sweet
MySpace page they haven’t touched in years, but it’s sweet that it still exists, just make sure you blow the dust off.
EP: What about the clubs, where are the hottest shows happening right now?
BF: One of my personal favorites is Cobra Lounge for so many reasons; amazing staff, great stage and room, awesome sound, and when
the kitchen is open one of the best buffalo chicken sandwiches ever! Other great venues would be live wire, which is small but some of
my favorite shows I’ve played and seen were there. The empty bottle is sweet, the sound there always sounds good, I’ve yet to play there
but I’ve seen some awesome shows there. The bottom lounge is sweet, also great food, however it’s massive place and they get a lot of
big acts that I’m not too into.
shows being booked you’d see the Unholy logo on the flier and you still do. More specifically Eddie Gobbo books some really awesome
bands and sets up some great shows for us even before he was a part of Unholy. Rick Linus the guy in charge of the label has been really
great to work with!
EP: You just released the Babel EP which moves fast and hits hard. There’s a lot packed in there. Do you come into the studio with your
ideas already mostly constructed or is there a lot of improv and discovery as you put the songs together?
BF: Being technical metal we really try to construct 99% of the music before recording, that other 1% is reserved for solos and drum fills
and outros. On recordings I like to keep it pretty straight forward, it isn’t until we are playing live that I’ll get a little crafty because then I
have my pedal board in front of me and I get to make a bunch of wacky sounds. Nate’s not a fan of that, but it puts a smile on my face
and our friends that know our songs well enough to know that when they hear my guitar sound like a slide whistle I’m clearly fucking off.
EP: Can you tell us a little about your gear kit? What are some of the effects and tools you use to really define your sound?
BF: I’ve acquired a lot of gear of over the years and tend to switch stuff out from time to time but the main gear I always go back to are
my Ibanez S prestige that I absolutely love but it doesn’t look like it cause it’s taken some beatings and a Parker Nitefly that I completely
stripped and refinished and built a pick guard for with one pick up. To me it’s a great live guitar because it’s really simple and less likely to
have any issues. For an amp I’ve been using my Peavey 6505+ for a while now cause it’s not too expensive and it sounds great, plus I’ve
been using an effects loop now and as a result using that with my mesa two channel the effects don’t sound as good. The Peavey holds a
special place in my heart because I completely change up it’s looks with a new front and white tolex. For cabs I switch between and Engl
with v30’s and g12k-100’s and a Framus Cobra with an x pattern of v30’s and greenbacks. However I’ve recently started building cabs
and even impressed myself with the way they’ve come out so I’ll be playing those soon. For pedals I’m not to crazy, I have my boss NS-2
Noise Suppressor to help cut back on extra noise, a boss tu-2 tuner which everyone should have, everyone! Boss DD-3 delay, CE-3 Chorus
Ensemble, RV-5 Reverb all go through my effects loop which makes switching on and off of all three easy with the peavey. Honestly with
our current set I’ll only switch these on 3 or 4 times for a few seconds. I have a PS-5 Pitch Shifter which is a lot of fun, I use it to dive bomb
because my parker has a fixed bridge and the whammy bar on my Ibanez broke several times and I gave up fixing it. Last I have a Dimebag
Darrell signature wah and an digitech whammy 2, which everyone assumes because I have these I’m a huge pantera fan, and sadly I’m
not really, I just think that particular wah is one of the best Dunlop makes, and with the whammy I like making slide whistle sounds.
EP: OK, last question. Music is the same worldwide, and metal fans are equally rabid everywhere, but what makes a Chicago metal fan
BF: The thing that makes a Chicago metal fan special would be dedication. Honestly the metal scene in Chicago has really gone down since
I was a kid going to metal shows. Chicago really isn’t a big market for metal which is why a lot of metal acts usually don’t come through
here or at the least play in the suburbs. Being such a small group I feel like people are a little more picky when it comes to their metal, so
if you can hook a Chicago metal head to like your band you’re doing something special.
A Love Letter to TG and the Swampbusters
January 14, 2015: Here at RUST Magazine we liked roots-rocker Tim Gibbons’ new
project so much, we actually wrote him a love letter instead of a review:
Dear TG and the Swampbusters,
We love you. You are so cool. We love the way you play guitar and we love your funky
down-low beats. We love the way you keep it so real, and we love how you write your
songs. We love your swagger and your style and we love your new CD Swamp Tooth
You are our very favorite roots rockers. We listen to your album all day long and at
night and we play it in the car and we nod our heads up and down while we drive down
the road. We told all the other kids at school about it too! We think you are awesome.
So, if you’re not dating another music magazine, can we go steady?
EP: Who are some of the people really driving or contributing behind the scenes? Maybe a producer or promoter?
Love, RUST Magazine
BF: The group Unholy Empire is doing some awesome stuff, however I’m being biased because they are our label. Even before that most
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Motopony – A Legend Is Born
November 2, 2014: The Last night, on November 1st in Atlanta, Motopony, RUST Magazine and DooGallery collided in a night of music and
art – and it was amazing. Wrapping up their North American tour and getting ready to head overseas, the six members of Motopony set
up at the Buy It or Burn It art show and we had all our cameras rolling. Though we’d been listening to their latest EP Idle Beauty for a few
days, nothing could have prepared us for the intensity, the originality and the excellence they brought to their live performance.
It was – in a word – legendary.
Motopony is a thoroughly modern art rock band that could perhaps be best compared to the Talking Heads in their diversity of musical skill,
their originality of songwriting and the simple wow factor of hearing their different personalities come together. Here at RUST Magazine all
we do is document musical artists. We do it all day, every day. We only cover the best, and Motopony showed themselves to be just that
last night. We’ll have photos and videos from the night coming soon but right now, RUST Magazine is calling it: Motopony was the best
live band we saw all year.
They’re mesmerizing. They have what it takes to command the biggest stages and we see things happening for them on a global scale.
They’re just one of those bands that takes their music into new and extreme places with amazing technical skill, original songwriting and
a unique group personality. They have a “bigness” that is undeniable. Motopony takes inspiration through a time machine, starting with
The Beatles, and through the alt-rock space of bands like Modest Mouse, then projecting it into a whole other, new space and time that
is thoroughly their own.
What comes through when Daniel Blue (Vox + Guitar), Forrest Mauvais (Drums), Mike Notter (Guitar + Vox), Terry Mattson (Bass + Vox),
Andrew Butler (Keys + Vox), and Nate Daley (Guitar + Vox) unite is nothing short of magical. This stellar group of dedicated, intelligent and
creative artists became much more than the sum of its parts when they played, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be there to
see and hear it. Motopony is “that band” which is just so good, that they set their own standard.
The technical setup for the show was extremely complex. It was analog heaven with old school tools delivering a vintage rock band sound.
We haven’t seen a band on this scale with this much gear ever, and their tools were masterfully put to use for the stage show. Motopony
is a behemoth of both vintage and contemporary rock and roll. They have deep roots in the psychedelic rock space, and they’ve taken
their sound well beyond today and into the future. People will be listening to – and will still be amazed by Motopony – decades from now.
What RUST Magazine saw last night was a band thoroughly embodying the greatest ideals of the combination of music and art. With six
performers, some of whom mixed and swapped instruments during the show, Motopony has a complexity in both concept and execution.
They are as good as it gets. Amazing talent like this comes together incredibly rarely, and we are extremely grateful that we not only had
the evening to experience them, but to document this moment in their history. It was truly an enlightening and inspiring experience… then
when it was all over everybody went
out behind the gallery and burned art.
Ryan Boss @ The Hard Rock
December 1, 2014: We caught Ryan Boss on stage at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta, Georgia for an evening of
originals and covers. Watch the five videos on our YouTube channel.
Well, we burned some of the art. It was
Buy It or Burn It after all.
Today, as the sun rose, and the
implications of what Motopony did last
night truly sank in, all we can hope for
is that – through our lens – the world
will see that there is a new, truly great
art rock band that has come to full
maturity and potency in our presence.
Perhaps, like the sparks from the late
night fire behind DooGallery, we can
hope that the work we did last night
to document Motopony will carry
their radiance on the wind, alighting
the minds of people everywhere with
fascination and reverence.
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RUST Magazine
The Lost Patrol – Chasing Shadows
October 21, 2014: The Lost Patrol is one of our favorite bands here at RUST, but what
really impresses us about them is the respect and admiration they get from their peer
musicians. Again and again, we hear amazing things being said about them from
other bands, and this is a testament how good they are. They’re the band folks want
to gig with and who travel to their shows just to see them. We’ve been talking about
them a lot in conjunction with the Rustbelt sound that sprang up several years ago,
and the last time we reviewed their album Driven we broke our own scale and called
the album Obligatory.
Chasing Shadows is another great album in the Noir space that The Lost Patrol has
explored so distinctly in their music. Part sci-fi, part grindhouse, each song is an
acoustic treat, meticulously detailed with production and effects that make every
aspect of the music significant. On Chasing Shadows, long time bandmates Mollie
Israel, Stephen Masucci, and Michael Williams are now joined by drummer Tony Mann,
and the band has never sounded better. The Lost Patrol is a group with excellence of writing and performing skills, and personalities, on par
with a group like Genesis. They really are that good and the music they have been making is simply astounding again and again.
We’ve said so many good things about this band we reached out to guitarist-keyboardist Stephen Masucci to tell us a few things in his own
words about the band and this latest album:
RUST: Stephen, what are some of the tools and techniques you use to craft the sound of the band and this album?
SM: Most of the sound of the band is actually in the writing, and, almost more importantly, in the arranging. So much of the arranging
really defines the character of the sound and song. Having said that, we keep a small studio at the rehearsal space that we do most of our
work in. The equipment selection is always evolving but we’ve been using primarily an Allen and Heath analog board coupled to an Alesis
HD24 recorder. There’s a small selection of Lexicon reverbs, Spectra Sonics mic preamps and a few mics. Nothing exotic at all, really. The
instruments we use are more or less standard but do include some nice keyboard instruments like a Moog modular synth, various digital
synths, omnichords, etc. We really just use whatever suits the song at the time. Very little of our material is recorded “live” in the traditional
sense. We usually record by overdubbing tracks as we go, adding parts and building the mix as we record. When we’re done recording the
last track, the mix on the board is usually very close to the song’s final mixed version.
RUST: How do the song ideas grow and develop? Do you all start with pre-written lyrics and notes and such, or do concepts come from audio
experimentation and then accumulate specifics to grow into complete songs?
SM: The songs can develop from almost anywhere; there’s no set or standard way we work. A tune could just as easily result from sonic
experimentation, a rhythmic idea, a lyric, a melody, a chord progression or any combination of these. Once in a while Mollie might come in
with something that is pretty much a finished idea, and then we set about arranging it. Again, no set pattern to any of this. The only thing
we’re really wary of is the dilemma that most artists feel – do you have a style that is somehow uniquely yours, or are you simply repeating
yourself or what others have been doing?
SM: Any changes in instrumentation, or our approach to it, really just stems from or goes hand-in-hand with us always looking for something
new to do. Sometimes it’s what you DON’T do that makes a particular song unique or gives it it’s own flavor. The main thing that has changed
for me is that you start to realize that it’s not about the equipment, the studio, what guitars or keyboards you have, etc.; it’s all about the
singer and the song. It sounds simple enough but it’s where the real hard work is. The things that make a great recording or performance is
about your vision and how hard you’re willing to work toward your goals.
RUST: Thanks Stephen, last question, lots of bands love you, what’s one band that you really like?
SM: There’s a lot of really great bands that I (and the rest of the group ) really love. However, I really have a soft and warm spot in my heart
for the Cramps.
RUST: Thanks Stephen!
RUST: What have the past few years been like for you as an artist? Are you feeling that you’ve “made it” to the place you wanted to be?
SM: The past few years have been nice in that the work never really seems to stagnate, there’s always something new to explore. That’s not
to say that it’s not tedious or hard work at times, but over all we love moving forward. We’re never really in the “place we want to be”, we’re
always looking over the horizon.
RUST: What in your opinion makes Mollie “right” for TLP? What is it about her performing persona that makes her so special?
SM: It’s not so much Mollie being “right” for TLP as much as she brings so much to the table. She’s a gifted composer and lyricist who
possesses a unique world-view, and that’s wonderful and inspiring to work with. Her musical interests are very wide ranging, and her musical
vocabulary is really astounding for someone so young. Our (the instrumentalists) job is to frame and support Mollie so she and her ideas can
be heard in the best possible way. She’s a unique person and should be heard that way. Pop music is essentially a vocalist’s medium, and
showing the singer in the best possible way benefits the song as well as everyone involved. Also, she’s a truly gifted and original singer, and
completely her own person on stage. How rare is that?
RUST: What changes to your approach to instrumentation have come about from delving so deeply into this space? How has your style, or
philosophy changed because of TLP?
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The Love Is Loud!!
at The Hard Rock Cafe
January 9, 2015: Thanks to The Love Is
Loud!! for taking the stage at our showcase
at The Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta. The guys
played some songs we already knew, and
some from their upcoming double release.
Read more in Issue #6.
RUST Magazine
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RUST Magazine
Mustered Courage
August 4 and 5, 2014: Mustered
Courage poses in the Gainesville
industrial district and on the shores
of Lake Lanier, Georgia.
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Sean Watkins new album All I Do Is Lie
July 23, 2014: Here at RUST Magazine we have been receiving some truly amazing
albums recently in the singer-songwriter space and it’s become evident that there is a
real movement happening – right now. Xander Smith has not only defined himself, but
has redefined a regional sound with his album Outside, Matt Turk’s yet-to-be-released
Cold Revival is simply radiant, and now with the release of Sean Watkins’ All I Do Is Lie,
all we can say is that it is, without a doubt, a new and special age in modern music.
Wooden Hez defines their legacy with Spew
October 29, 2014: Here at RUST Magazine our history with Wooden Hez started
about a year and a half ago when a chance encounter jumbled us together for
a last-minute session and shoot at Jay Lou’s Restaurant in Gainesville, Georgia.
Guitarist Dave Pitone, Bassist Alan Lee and drummer Tim Stevens showed up at 7
in the morning and we spent a few hours together having breakfast and rocking a
tiny bacon-and-eggs diner. Jay Lou’s is a vintage industrial district style eatery that
hasn’t changed in 50 years, and though the guys had been up driving all night,
they mustered their groove and we recorded several excellent renditions of songs
as baffled farmers and truck drivers walked in on the shoot. The rural Georgia
crowd was not quite ready for Wooden Hez’s Philadelphia style heavy but we got
to know them, they got to know us and we had a great shoot.
After the audio session we went out back and lit a stack of prop money on fire and we got some iconic shots of Timmy lighting up a smoke
with the stack. It looked so realistic that several people actually messaged the band later in complete outrage at the waste. Really, it was
a thing. But the fun was short lived as Timmy passed away in his sleep several months later from natural causes. For us the lesson was
that, as documentarians, what we do at RUST Magazine can sometimes be the one and only record of bands like Wooden Hez and people
like Timmy and that we needed to take our responsibilities much more seriously. That day perhaps had the single greatest effect on what
direction RUST would take for the future.
Perhaps Dave and Alan felt a similar way as their new album Spew is a thorough and complete realization of the idea of what Wooden Hez
is capable of being. Joined by E. Joseph Neenan on lead guitar and keyboards, and Ed Galang on drums, Spew is a strikingly excellent
collection of nightmares and fever dreams, slowed down and torturously extended, exposing rich details and powerful emotions. This
album is a classic. It’s a dark punk masterpiece. It’s music that sinks you deeper and deeper into a visionary paralysis. For us it’s not just
good, it’s great and knowing what Dave and Allen have had to go through to make it happen, we appreciate it even more.
Wooden Hez has craftfully developed a niche territory with their sound unlike any other. They take a Low-esque vibe and electrify it with
a focus on languid and tormentuous guitar phrasing. It’s captivating. There are half a dozen absolutely legendary tracks on this album
with Sundown, Punk Rock Jack and Old Same Old topping our favorites. This is music made by true artists who will never surrender their
originality. They will make the music they want the way they want no matter what.
Wooden Hez defies description. They are thoroughly original, and with Spew they have made some of the best, most fascinating audio
art ever recorded anywhere. Spew is an amazing, intricate and intense. You can stream it for free at and it’s
available on Bandcamp for $5. Just get it.
Xander, Matt, Sean and others like Owen Campbell and Luke Elliot are all crafting
beautiful personal music with intensity and passion, and though people have been
working in this style of music continually, having so many albums that are so good
come out right at the same time is unique and special. There are more artists doing
better work every day, and they have technologies and support communities that are
empowering them to take their music into truly new and deeply personal places.
All I Do Is Lie is an album that stands as equal to the best rememberances from
the golden age of FM. There is a relevance to everything Sean Watkins says and plays. His technical skill has earned him a place in the
company of people like Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, Dolly Parton and Hank Williams Jr. and it’s his humanity that really shines through
here. He’s awarded. He’s experienced. And the long trails of life that have led him to today have worn and weathered his soul. It’s the sum
of all these elements that is the collage of emotions presented in All I Do Is Lie.
Touching, inspiring and full of regret, thoughts flicker and dance like lights
contrasted against the dark in his songs. Issues of family, faith and longing
prevail and are poignantly punctuated by his gorgeous instrumental style.
All I Do Is Lie is an album that stops time. This is partly because it could
be an album from many years ago. There are no contemporary hallmarks
or distractions to cue you to when it was made. It stands alone, captivates
you, and draws you further and further in. It’s also an album that will be
just as relevant (if not more so) many years from now because it’s so
personal and unique.
What makes music – or any art – special is that magical combination of
technical skill and individuality where one person can make a statement
that is special because it says something about both being human and
Photo courtesy Sean Watkins
being a human. If an artist can communicate something about themselves,
and something shared, to another person using these intermediary
musical tools, that’s the highest aspiration an artist can acheive. We all feel. We all think. When someone can capture the emotion of these
things and put them into a form for another to appreciate, that’s art.
So we commend Sean Watkins on his abilities, his beauty and his humanity. All I Do Is Lie is a touching, vibrant and complex album that
comes from a very deep place. What we learn from listening to it is that this deep place is both individual and shared. It exposes the true,
undeniable, inescapable and inexplicable nature of us. We discover things about ourselves through music, and it’s the resulting growth
that has value, significance and relevance. It’s why we value the arts. They enrich us and empower us on our journey to enlightenment.
On our playlist – A Leaf
November 13, 2014: Hey RUST readers we’ve got a groovy band
spinning our heads at our international headquarters. They’re called
A Leaf and we’re digging their sound, y’all should check them out!
All I Do Is Lie is not just one of the best albums we’ve heard recently, it’s
an album that has significance and relevance on a permanent scale. It’s
a superbly crafted collection of songs that defines the singer-songwriter
for our modern age, and gives us perspective, wisdom and inspiration
for today and tomorrow.
Also check out Sean in
Fiction Family, a side project
with Jon Foreman
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RUST Magazine
July 26, 2014: RUST Magazine catches up with Moon Hooch at Bragg Jam in Macon, Georgia for a
conversation about their new album This Is Cave Music. Watch the video on our YouTube channel.
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Anthony Rankin talks about Love Elektrik 2
May 8, 2014: Anthony Rankin has just released Love Elektrik2, the second in a
series of 4-song mini-albums, this one featuring party-starter Phoenix In Vegas and
if you don’t know who he is - yet - stay tuned because his breakout is happening, like
right now. It’s all about song writing talent and ninja-skills-in-the-studio execution
for Anthony Rankin. His songs are complete and flawlessly constructed. He brings
an old school mastery of concept, timing and punctuation to modern material and
it’s all good. Along with co-producer Victor Brodén they present great creative ideas
realized with overpowering energy, intense emotion and authentic excitement.
RUST Magazine was so curious about this virtuosic multi-instrumentalist, obsessive
self-producer and exhilarating entertainer that we reached out to him to talk about
music, love and living in Nashville.
RUST: So Anthony, you live in Nashville, which on the surface might
surprise some people being that you are a modern electric music
composer. Big changes have been happening in Music City and a
lot of the music that city is now known for is anything but country.
There’s a lot of talk going on about this... What is your perspective
on the new Nashville?
AR: I’ve only been in Nashville for a few years, and even in that short
period of time it seems to have changed face a bit. People I know
who have been here for a long time say that ten years ago or so,
it was unrecognizable to what the city is today. It’s certainly still a
country town above all, at least in the projected image; the industry
is headquartered there, and the TV show Nashville is filmed here,
along with many other modern-day country themed reality shows.
But every style of music imaginable is being made and performed
by new artists and players in Nashville, from EDM to indie rock to
throwback soul/R&B. To me, the city feels like a mini LA--without
the traffic--and is becoming more diverse in culture all the time.
RUST: What have your experiences been there finding other likeminded artists to collaborate or socialize with there?
AR: It’s been interesting, because Nashville (like other industry
towns such as LA or NYC) is full of creative people who have all
migrated there for one general career reason (music/entertainment)
but on a personal sense, everyone seems to be after their own thing
and not fighting over the same piece of pie. I’ve been extremely
fortunate to have met, worked or written with other artists/
songwriters who have completely different approaches than I do
and who are pursuing a different genre or different path than I am.
So to me, the competitiveness never seems to get in the way of
healthy collaboration, and the social aspect and friendships often
comes out of those get-togethers or writing sessions.
RUST: Can you tell us what it’s like working with Victor Brodén? He’s
credited as your co-producer and co-writer. What is it about his
talents that make you work so well together?
AR: Victor is like a brother to me, and even though we’re apart in
age by about a decade, our musical tastes are nearly identical. We
met a couple years ago while we were both on tour with another
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artist and discovered on the first bus trip that our favorite Prince
record was The Gold Experience and our favorite Bruce record was
Darkness on the Edge of Town, and that we both had a dangerous
obsession with Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream and producers Mutt
Lange and Max Martin (side note: like Max, Victor is also Swedish).
Those unusually specific things we had in common led to the
conversation of collaborating on a project together. I hadn’t made
a solo record in years, and my last endeavor was very old school
funk-inspired, where I played all of the instruments and had much
more of a throwback, live feel. So this time around, with Victor’s
ear towards melody and both our desires to make something with
the intention of reaching a wide mainstream audience (and our
overwhelming love of all things ‘80s), I began working very hard to
improve my songwriting, and started bringing demos to the table in
early 2013, which is when we really started the production of these
EPs without necessarily knowing it.
In addition to being a great producer, Victor is an incredibly wellknown and in-demand touring bassist in Nashville, having been
musical director for LeeAnn Rimes, Jake Owen, and currently
Thompson Square, so needless to say he’s a busy guy, which
influences how and when we work, as well. What makes us click
as a production/writing unit is my OCD nose-to-the-page detail
orientation, and his really broad big picture vision. There’s a yin
and yang element to how we arrive at a finished idea. Many times,
I will bring him a complete song and he will make a small change
or addition that will wind up being the most significant part of the
song. In the case of “Phoenix in Vegas” I had another song entitled
“Flatbroke” that had strong verses but a weak chorus, and he had
this vision of a modern pop anthem, so we sort of morphed that
song into “Phoenix” and re-wrote all of the major elements in about
a half hour. Where I struggle with a lot of ideas (often writing too
many parts for songs or lyrics that are too obscure), Victor is a great
editor and one with very clear, simple vision towards what a song
needs and what it doesn’t. So in that sense, I’ve been extremely
lucky to have found a co-producer and friend who really helps me
carve out the core of what I’m always trying to say musically.
RUST: When you’re working on songs, are they mostly composed
before you record, or are they less focused ideas that get developed
in the studio?
AR: It’s probably about 50/50. Different songs come from different
approaches. A song like “Neon Wings” (which will come out on
Love Elektrik 3 in a few months) or “Name in the Stars” was a
written composition, if you will. Those were born from sitting
down with an acoustic guitar or at a piano and just writing the way
most people probably envision how a song comes to life. Those
are essentially complete from a writing perspective pre-studio,
and then we produce them in a traditional sense. But a song
like “Better Than Dreaming” or “Lexi J” came more from writing
a lyric and melody over a basic track that was already produced,
even if it wasn’t quite the refined track
that wound up on the record. Or like
I mentioned with “Phoenix in Vegas,” I
had another complete song with a fully
produced demo, so elements of that
track informed where we ended up in
the re-write. I don’t have a specific way
of working, but Victor and I do seem to be
more efficient and productive when we
are sort of writing/producing/recording
simultaneously. In many ways, because
of that approach, we’re much more able
to capture ideas as they happen.
RUST: Your music has such a complete
feel to it, like the ideas and the
production are all done with a very
specific end goal in mind. Do you feel that you have realized the
ideas in your head now that you have the final albums in hand?
AR: Yes, absolutely. I know it’s a cliche thing for every artist to say,
but I’ve never been more proud of my work than with this most
current material. It’s not contrived in any way, even if it is blatant
mainstream pop. We did have extremely specific goals for the style
and sound and spectrum of songwriting, but I can honestly say we
didn’t do or write anything that we didn’t want to hear, and we didn’t
produce anything with a mind just to fit in. It might sound right for
the time (and we aren’t complaining about the Bruno Mars and
Justin Timberlake comparisons) but that wasn’t really a deliberate
thing. Just being pop nerds, we simply made the music we wanted
to hear, and I think we succeeded to that end.
RUST: Can you tell us a little about some of the other people that are
part of your life or maybe were involved in the album?
AR: Andrew Maltese is a mega-talented engineer and musician who
mixed the songs in Los Angeles at Speakeasy Sound, a studio he
operates. He was more than just someone who balanced levels
and things of that nature. We saw Andrew as part of the creative
process, and in a lot of instances didn’t give him much direction
just to see how he would hear things and what his take would be.
A great example is “Two Glasses” from the first Love Elektrik EP,
which sounded completely different before he got his hands on it,
and his mix really brought that song and every other song to a
level we couldn’t have imagined ourselves. I have to tip my hat
to Andrew for taking what were already very polished songs and
making them competitive with anything on the radio.
Jesse Naus mastered the music, and is a great friend of mine
from college, where we both studied music and recording. Again,
another person who influenced the outcome of the product and
made it better than it was when Victor and I were finished.
Myron Howell, a world-class musician, lent his drumming skills to
the song “Liar Like Me.” All of these people made this music far
more exciting than it was initially.
RUST: Is there anybody in particular that
has been there for you and supported
you as you’ve grown your skills and
AR: My family for sure. My dad is
the reason I got into music, being a
professional drummer for most of
his life. My parents always tempered
their encouragement and praise with
instilling humility and a really strong
work ethic in me. I credit them with
my relentless drive to always get better.
There certainly have been friends and
girlfriends who’ve been really great
anchors along the way, too. All of the
people in my life play a significant role in my growth as a person,
which has a lot more to do with where I’ve gotten than just career
support. I’m sort of a sponge, not just musically, always learning
from everyone around me. It’s important to be open to other ways
of thinking or looking at life, especially as an artist.
RUST: Thanks for taking the time here Anthony, one last question:
Which artist is really impressing you right now? Who is doing work
that you think is amazing?
AR: I’m a major believer in what Bruno Mars has done and is
continuing to do. What he’s done the last few years has really
opened up a path in the industry for the kind of music I make to
work again. I love what Neon Trees are doing, their new record
is fantastic. LA artist Rachele Royale has been releasing singles
that have been stuck in my head for months. Avan Lava is an
electro band from NYC I’ve been obsessed with since 2012. And
Nashville’s own Annie Bosko, who I’m lucky to call a dear friend, is
one of the most genuine, honest, mega-talented singer/songwriters
I’ve ever known. Her songs are superstar quality, as is her voice
and personality. There is so much good stuff out there, whether it’s
#1 on the Billboard Hot 100 or in your backyard. It’s an exciting
time to be making pop music!
RUST Magazine
Pill Hill - It Tastes A Little Sweeter
Owen Campbell - The Pilgrim
October 29, 2014: Hey RUST fans we have a groovy new release to tell you about today.
We’ve previously covered the synth scene in Minneapolis with bands like CLAPS and
Aaron And The Sea – and those are both great groups well worth checking out – but
if tuff guitarsey rock and roll is more your style, Pill Hill has just dropped their second
full-length album It Tastes A Little Sweeter. Made up of Dan Fowlds, Judd Hildreth, Heath
Henjum, Jacques Wait and Ben Glaros, Pill Hill kicks out the jams with a traditional big
rock sound and an individual approach to lyrics and arrangements.
July 2, 2014: What makes Owen Campbell such a great musician can be summed up on
one word: diversity. His new album The Pilgrim showcases a wide variety of styles, and in
each different space, he just plain owns it. Being able to maintain a consistent personality
across different songs like these is truly an admirable talent, furthermore it speaks to his
confidence as a performer that he would move so swiftly and deftly between these different
It Tastes A Little Sweeter is an album that reminds us how good a stright-up rock band
can sound and feel. Just like back in the day. There’s a rawness here that is real and
a style that is memorable and distinct. These guys remind us a lot of NC’s Temperance
League who also deliver great, original Americana rock and similarly press on vinyl. RUST
very highly recommends their 2012 self-titled album and It Tastes A Little Sweeter will
be available digitally as well as on translucent butterscotch vinyl in honor of the 6th song
on the album – Butterscotch House.
That’s not to say that The Pilgrim is a random combination of styles, it’s all blues all day
long, but that each song is distinct and that the approach that Owen Campbell takes for
each song is matched to the concept of the music. Whether it’s a slow, dark and menacing
song like “Leave It Alone” or a homesick ballad like “Cried For Yesterday,” Campbell brings
a wise perspective and well-earned sense of judgement to each passage. Oh, yeah, then
he rocks your socks off with classic electric blues jams like “Wreckin Ball” and “Remember
To Breathe.” All along the way, there’s heavy jams and electrifying moments that lick at you like inescapable hot flames. The Pilgrim leaves you well
done, and a little crispy on the edges!
Pill Hill takes sage advice from the Petty-Springsteen recipes and then spices up their own style of rock and roll on It Tastes A Little Sweeter. This is
a great, fresh band with serious depth of skill and writing ability. It Tastes A Little Sweeter reminds us about how awesome things were back in the
day – and that today is a new day with fresh adventures and challenges to experience. Get it now for Name Your Price on Bandcamp!
American audiences might not be familiar with this Australian talent – yet – but audiences there and in New Zealand have already had their hands
on The Pilgrim for a few weeks, and it’s a runaway hit there. Not only that but he has THREE albums in the top ten there right now… which is all of
his albums, with Pilgrim being his third, and his song “Sunshine Road” just tallied 1,000,000 hits.
Owen Campbell’s tougness and style are a formidable combination, and RUST Magazine is predicting that The Pilgrim is about to break him out here
in the states. This is just one of those albums that has an intensity and depth to it that cannot be denied. Wherever he is from, or wherever his music
goes, the songs on The Pilgrim are so varied, and all so very well done that just completing the album can only be viewed as a tremendous success.
See all the RUST Magazine videos at
As a songwriter, Owen Campbell speaks with a sincere and individual voice. His songs cut to the heart of feelings and regrets, balanced with
aspirations and dreams. Each song is a whole world unto itself with subtle development and expansion of ideas being decorated with his masterful
guitar technique. Pulling influences from Cajun and delta blues, you’d never guess this was anything but an American-born bluesman who had
earned his scars on lonely rail journeys and dusty back roads.
Wherever he is from, Owen Campbell has learned the lessons of life, the blues and himself along the singular path he has walked to get to today.
It’s this individuality that makes him great, and makes him worthy of attention. On the crowded blues scene it takes something special to stand
out, and this artist stands out in every way and on every song. He’s had time to grow his craft and learn perspective, and now, with The Pilgrim, he
is ready to step out onto the world stage and be given the respect and appreciation he deserves. Because he’s earned it. Because he’s that good.
Very Highly Recommended.
Owen Campbell Video Shoot
July 16, 2014: Owen Campbell serenades RUST Magazine on the shores of Lake Lanier, Georgia. Watch the videos on our YouTube channel.
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Artist of the Year: The Grahams
November 20, 2014: RUST Magazine met the Grahams twice this year, once at the Atlanta Amtrak train station on National Train
Day, and again weeks later on the train between Gainesville and Atlanta. After walking the length of the Mississippi river to prepare
for their 2013 album Riverman’s Daughter, they embarked on a month-long-plus journey across America by rail to get inspiration
for their next album. This trip took weeks and, besides the material cost, it took an unbelievable investment of heart and soul.
Without a doubt, The Grahams displayed the most dedication of any band we met this year. Not only are they dedicated to what
they do, but the doing of it intertwines their lives and their music, merging the two into an expression of both individuality and
shared humanity. For them, making music means a complete and total immersion in the process of creativity. It means leaving
the comforts of home and creating new life experiences with unknown people in strange places. It means changing their own
perspectives through travel and adventure. It means that they have new, relevant, personal things to say as people and artists,
and it gives their music a unique value.
We congratulate The Grahams on their excellent music and their imagination as music makers, and we
hope that their example inspires others to go out there and take journeys to grow both their own skills,
and their souls. Alyssa and Doug Graham are the RUST Magazine Artist of the Year because they lead by
example – literally. And to reward The Grahams, our friends at Kopf Percussion have generously donated
one of their ToeKicker Stompboxes. We hope this prize will be a part of their future journeys and music, and
be with them on their next adventure.
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RUST: Is there anybody (or anybodies) that really helped you
personally during this time?
Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses
May 13, 2014: Here at RUST Magazine we only cover the very best music. It’s more
than a slogan, it’s our purpose. There’s more, better music being made every day,
and our goal is to recognize these great artists and attempt to give them critical
assessments that are as good as they are. So for us, it’s not so much a question of
‘if” they are good, if we’re writing about them, they’re good... really good, but the
question is exactly what about them is extraordinary and unique?
For Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses, this what is the plain and simple hard work
that you hear on Blow, their second full-length album. You hear dedication. You
hear a collected body of musical knowledge expressed with ease. You hear style,
substance, labor and exhilaration... and they make it all look easy. It’s amazing. And
integral to all of this is hard work, both in the effort to make the album as well as the effort it took for each artist to get to the point where
they could make music like this. Blow is like a victory lap after running a thousand marathons.
But this should be no surprise as the Senior to this Junior was one of his era’s best known and most successful band leaders and
performers. He played for Presidents and received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. The music on Blow bears the clear hallmarks
of a tradition taken to heart. It would seem that impeccable timing and New Orleans spice are truly in his blood and it’s refreshing and
exciting to hear a new album coming out with such a classic sound. Blow reminds us that the old ways are still the best ways, but that
each generation finds a new and unique way to interpret the legacy they leave for the future.
No man is an island, though, so joining Louis Prima Jr. is an industrial-strength crew of horny bayou blues rockers whose collected energy
moves mountains and shakes the ground for miles around. Make no mistake, this is an all-star safe-cracking bank-robbing crew. As a
whole unit, this interwoven fabric of talent deftly moves from fast to slow tempos, with a diversity of ability that is astounding. Whether it’s
a quiet moment, like a full moon hanging in the swampy night air or a frenetic dance-party where everything in the hall gets broken, the
Prima Jr. team treats every note as if it were the most important one ever.
This band works as a single unit like almost no other. Their mutual timing and sense of team identity is incredible. You can almost hear the
band teasing you with an upcoming punctuation, and then they wind up and hit that note, and it’s just so right... Louis Prima Jr. and the
Witnesses never, ever make a promise they cannot deliver on. In a lot of ways, their band synergy and sense of chronology remind us a lot
of the live stage dynamic of Frank Zappa.
Blow is a timeless album. It’s thoroughly fresh and contemporary while being traditional and familiar. It’s a combination of history and
hysteria. You could take this music 50 years into the past or future and it would be just as vibrant, and just as relevant to either audience.
And the music is fun! For instance our favorite song on the album is track 10: Robin Hood. It’s a swingy re-telling of the classic British tale
complete with stylish vocals and crazy horns blowing on top of a naughty, naughty bassline. It’s the kind of song that makes you want a
zoot suit really bad... a white one with a big hat and wing-tip shoes to match. Though, truthfully, every song on the whole album is good
enough to be someone’s favorite song, and Blow is already one of our favorite album ever, Very Highly Recommended.
RUST Magazine was so impressed with the whole production of Blow that we reached out to Louis Prima Jr. to see what he had to say
about the people that helped him make this album. Here’s what he had to say:
RUST: Firstly, Louis, wow what a great album! How long were you
working on this project?
collective years of experience and taste, thrown and served shaken,
not stirred.
LPJR: My Whole Life! But seriously, as musicians, entertainers,
artists, your goal is always to create some sort of magic that others
enjoy. When I began “this project”, “this band” 7/8 years ago, it
was leading to this, original music, new music, its own genre. That
is where I’ve been headed alls long. When we met Jim Ervin from
Warrior Records 4 years ago, and came to terms on distribution
of our first album Return of the Wildest!, he said, “I want album
number two, I want to see what y’all can write”. Writing actually
began last summer on the road. It is the culmination of hundreds of
RUST: Did you have a specific idea of what you wanted Blow to be
before you started recording or did the project find itself through the
recording process?
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LPJR: We did not set out to write music with “daddio” in it, if thats
what you mean. There was no effort to write any specific song, or
any specific style. We just came together with little parts of souls,
and put them together. What you have is honest and pure. “trying”
to write music is shallow, and fans see right thru it. If it is not naked
and raw, it will ultimately be short lived.
LPJR: Just the 9 people wailing’ it. Honestly, ever person who
influenced us along the way, every person that touched us along
the way, every person we idolized, that’s all the help you need. Well,
that and a record label that believes in us. Without Jim Ervin and
Warrior Records, we would still be selling out of our garage (so to
speak). We are fortunate to have a complete team, management,
agents, PR, everyone. You are truly only as strong as your weakest
link, and once the have put together an uniquely strong foundation,
there ain’t no shakin’ it,,,, well unless
you’re shakin’ your booty. :)
LPJR: Phil Clevinger - How do you describe Phil.. He is kind of like
the class clown, without the alcohol. Phil wanders off from the
group and comes back with snakes. Yes snakes. If we asked him to
bungee jump while soloing, he would. What an amazing performer
and player. I love his Ska feel.
LPJR: Ryan McKay - Guitar God with flowing blonde locks…. Ryan
forever challenges himself musically. He quietly masters every note,
studies and perfects every lick, and when no one is looking POW.
The guitar is so crucial to our style of play, yet no one knows it, until
he is out front screaming’ a solo. And I am very jealous of his family.
LPJR: Ted “Two Lips” Schumacher Ted is our military leader as we take
over the world. Ted grew up in his
family’s ice cream parlor, yet doesn’t
eat sweets. He is organized and
dependable. If you needed a button
for your jacket, he would have one
that matched EXACTLY. His attention
to detail hits every note of his playing,
until he steps up to solo, and it
becomes a free-for-all of “Wail” That
and he states awake with me when
RUST: Louis, where did you get these
guys?! Seriously, this is an amazing
team of players, how do you feel
being able to bring them together?
LPJR: It was my own personal
Where’s Waldo. I have played with
so many talented folks on the way
to finding this “Band of Merry Idiots”
(lovingly) Everyone comes from their
own stoop. Everyone brings with them
their own style. I wanted Talented cats
LPJR: Steve Pandis - MAHHHHM (in
who could also entertain. It was a long
my best Cartmen) Steve stepped up
wait, but I have that now. WE are a
to the plate on two days notice and
family. We each care deeply for one
kept up with our mayhem for 32
another. We value everyones input
days without a break. He plays many
and respect their individuality. We
things but pounds the bass in perfect
have the GREATEST time together,
tandem with A.D. Loud, boisterous
on and off stage. We are that group
Photo courtesy Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses
and juvenile (lovingly) he give my
of people that you see that make you
“rocker” rhythm section balance.
clutch your purse, but deep inside you
want to come join the mayhem. I am having the time of my life, and LPJR: Leslie Spencer - Leslie is our newest member. Met her on
am thankful each and every day that they allow me to share a stage Twitter actually. I don’t think I had everyone on our team sold on her,
with them.
until she hit that note on Someday in the studio. What a goose bump
RUST: Can you tell us a little about each person? There isn’t enough
time!!! but I’ll give you a quickie on everyone.
LPJR: A.D. Adams - I have not felt a drummer like this since the
great Jimmy Vincent. He is a roughed up little old school punk that
would give you the shirt off his back. I cannot imagine performing
without him in the driver seat. Not just a stick handler though, he
writes, teaches, and can bounce a phone off of anything.
LPJR: Gregg Foxx - Helicopters come to mind (inside joke) Greg
is amazing, what a wealth of experience and talent. And a lot of
times, he will out perform everyone on stage. Matched only for his
tendency to get into trouble. He is the one we keep tabs on, or pay
bail.. One of the two.
LPJR: Marco Palos - Marco came to me in 2010, and said that He
was my sax player. And after only a few notes.. well, you be the
judge. He has been playin’ and writing this since he was a little
puppy. He is masterful and intense. Kills himself every night, for
every note, and every swoon. He is happily our Eddie Van Halen.
moment. Actually, her first meeting of everyone was IN the studio.
She wasted ZERO time becoming one of us. She was the missing
piece. That amazing voice, mixed with more schoolyard bad-ass
then the rest of us combined. But just listen to her voice. That’s
Words just don’t do anyone justice. I can never understate the
importance of everyone in my little chunk of the world. I am noone without them, not just the band, but everyone involved. I am
RUST: Wow, Louis, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to
us here, last question... which performers are you really impressed
with right now? Who is rocking your world?
LPJR: As far as new “popular” artists. Bruno Mars, talented, period.
And he uses a BAND... Imagine that, actual musicians.
RUST Magazine
October 15th and 17th 2014: Bobby Long poses for us in
Decatur and Arcade Georgia.
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Hollis Brown - Ride The Train
March 5, 2013: Hollis Brown makes today the best day ever. Their debut album “Ride
On The Train” is an immediate classic. Pulling from the roots of rock, soul, ballads,
folk and jam this hybrid sound feels as comfortable as your old jeans and sneakers
on a stroll through sunlit paths. Get-up-and-jam tracks are mixed with patient
ballads and they all sound distinctive. Superior songwriting, analog processing and
a self-evident dedication to musical excellence across the board has resulted in a
total package of musical intensity.
Not only is “Ride On The Train” a must-have for any rock and roll fan but the band is
currently on an extensive tour and this is a band that demands to be seen live. Young,
but already well seasoned, they bring a fresh vibe mixed with a classic sensibility.
Make no mistake, Hollis Brown is headed to big, bright places, and they’ve earned it
by staying true to themselves. It’s pretty rare when a group comes on the scene with
such a total identity already earned, and they are just getting started. These guys are
here to stay because they’re just so darn good that fans won’t let them fade away.
Whatever you’re doing today, stop. Take a pause, just for a moment. Check Hollis Brown out. That task can wait. That email can wait. Invest
just a single moment to take a listen to this amazing band. Essential.
The Bixby Knolls
Near & Undear
December 11, 2013: The Bixby Knolls bring a really fresh
“now” energy to the alt-indie space with their debut
album Near & Undear. Expanding the vibes of a Red Hot
Chili Peppers/Galactic mash-up, they also remind us
a lot of Dengue Fever with their multi-cultural, crosspacific origination and maximum retro-alt energy. This is
one of those fun, fresh bands that mixes up influences,
techniques and approaches like mad musical scientists
drinking too much of their own potions. They’ve been let loose
in a time machine and have returned from beyond with fuzzedout tools of sci-fi mass distortion. Built on a super solid foundation
of alt-rock, The Bixby Knolls come on strong and keep the energy redlined for the whole album. It’s an awesome audio assault that will *hopefully* get this
band the attention and break-out it deserves. Very Highly Recommended.
Big thanks to Curt Barlage from the band who answered a few quick questions for us!
RUST: What’s at the top of your playlist right now?
‘OBSERVATOR’... a lot of soft stuff, you know. Most new ‘indie’ records are soft these days, the whole shoegaze thing is coming back, which we’re
really into...but, The Bixby Knolls are trying to add that rougher edge to the new sound today, bring a little r-n-r back into it, so to say. Been also
digging in the crates and listening to a bunch of REPLACEMENTS, ORANGE JUICE and SWERVEDRIVER (who we supported on their last tour).
Hollis Brown Interview
March 22, 2013: RUST Magazine talks to Dylan
and Jon from Hollis Brown at Smith’s Olde Bar.
See more interviews on our YouTube channel.
RUST: Which musician would you like to get drunk and steal a car with?
CB: Well... I’d say go with someone more likely not to do something like that rather than someone thugish. Like steal a car with Elton John as
opposed to Tupac because your chances of getting away with it would be a lot greater. That is if I can make a post-mortem reference... otherwise
we’d be in big trouble if we were in a car with him!
RUST: Who would we abduct to be the 5th honorary Bixby Knolls member, and what would you ransom them back for?
CB: Hope Sandoval. But back in the 90’s if time wasn’t referenced. We’d still have her in now, she’s one of our heroines. Although, I don’t know if
we’d be able to abduct her. I hear she’s one crazy, ass-kicking bitch! We’d ask for 1 million dollars in ransom... why that much? I don’t know, isn’t
that what you’re supposed to ask for?
RUST Recommends
The Mojo Gurus - Who Asked Ya?
August 8, 2014: Get your motor running, head out on the highway and follow
the sweatiest, dirtiest pack of bikers you can find to their roadhouse, and that’s
where you’ll find the Mojo Gurus laying down the rock and roll heat like a stretch
of Florida asphalt in the noon-day sun. Their new album Who Asked Ya? rocks
from start to finish with old-school cool and southern swagger all mixed up in a
whirlwind of spicy style. Known for their sadistically awesome live shows in their
Florida West Coast home zone, the whole world is about to get a big taste of
their true rock and roll soul. Who Asked Ya? comes on like an electric hurricane
blowing all the way across the country, so forget your flood insurance and buy this
album. This is a straight-up rock and roll show, so check your square at the door,
get into the groove and join the party with The Mojo Gurus.
All Eyes West Interview
October 24, 2014: We caught up with All
Eyes Wes in Chicago just as they were
leaving for their tour and talked to them
about life, love and our shared appreciation
for Jared Grabb
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Bolder Monkey Sessions
November 23, 2014: RUST Magazine had the good fortune to meet up with Thom Jenkins, Kenny Smith, Spike
Brantley and Les Horn from Bolder Monkey for a living room demo session – and it was fantastic. These four
monkey men brought a great classic acoustic rock sound accentuated with beautiful winds from Thom Jenkins.
We had a gaggle of recording gear on hand including mics from our friends at Cascade and we even had a
Focusrite ISA 428 MkII mic pre-amp running for this session, and it sounded great. The Focusrite delivered a
really strong sound to our Roland VS-2400 and we used it to dial in subtle volumes on vocals, woodwinds and
both guitars. This was our first time using the ISA 428 MkII and it really added that high-end sound to what we
were doing, even in a crowded living room. We’ll have more info on the Focusrite ISA 428 MkII in future posts.
RUST Magazine welcomes
Cloud Microphones
For 2015 RUST Magazine is very pleased to welcome Cloud Microphones to our support roster. They join
Cascade Microphones and KOPF Percussion in supporting us and we thank them for their enthusiasm in
our efforts. The gear we’ve been using from Cloud Microphones are their CL-2 Mic Activators, and we’ve
been getting great results in conjunction with the Fat Head mics we received last year from Cascade.
We’re getting fantastic sound using this pairing of gear, and there are great bundles deals available on
the website, plus they have their own microphones at
including the legendary 44-A. Cloud Microphones Mic Activators have made a huge difference in our ability
to present today’s best artists - in the best possible way.
Thanks Cloud!
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Bolder Monkey at The Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta on January 5, 2015
I The Victor
Coming in Issue #6