Larry g(EE) Went ‘Round and ‘Round to Create His Latest EP

Larry gEE has truly come into his own with his latest EP. The acclaimed singer-songwriter has navigating the Dallas music scene for nearly a decade as part of Odis, The Texas Gentleman and eventually a solo artist. He’s earned two Dallas Observer Music Awards while also conquering personal and professional challenges that all threatened to derail his career. He’s grown beyond those setbacks and has used the challenges as fuel to propel himself, personally and professionally, forward and Larry’s resilience is evident in the strength of his latest project.

Fans may know Larry best for his fun-loving, party-ready soul-funk anthems. However, his new EP, Love Things, is a far departure from anything he’s done previously–and that’s exactly what Larry intended.

This is the kind of music I want to make,” he says. Larry’s artistic and personal journey led him to this new sound: vulnerable, soul-baring electro-pop with rich shades of R&B.

The cathartic lines of Love Things were crafted to remedy the wounds of past relationships and provide perspective over the joys and heartaches he’s endured throughout his career.

With this new EP, I wanted to be transparent and talk about some things I wanted to get off my chest,” he admits.

Ironically, Larry found closure with the album’s first single, “Central Valley”. The introspective, electro R&B ballad featuring Sam Lao was penned as Larry’s self-care therapy following his divorce from his wife. The tender tone feels slightly somber, but the singer’s message is one of inspiration. Anyone who’s dealt with a devastating breakup and came out the other side a better person can easily relate.

All my life I’ve been so crazy / Never something I could hide
Living my life without you lately / Never been so satisfied

Larry picks up the pace and drops the bass with the album’s second single “RNR”, a funky, upbeat dance joint with LEV that you can’t help but swing with. The duo effortlessly bridge nostalgia with new-age by weaving modern, electro dance pop and classic 90’s R&B to detail the ups and downs of a previous relationship that was doomed from the jump. And through it all, Larry finds the world still going ‘round and ‘round.

His new sound is a melting of pop, soul and R&B that touches on love, his battle with depression and topics that he has yet to cover in previous songs. “These songs are a new direction; a way for me to just be me.” It’s Larry gEE like we’ve never seen him before–and he’s just getting started.

Larry will be celebrating the release of Love Things on Nov. 9 at Scout at The Statler with special musical guests Ronnie Heart, and DJ Blake Ward. Click here to RSVP

Photos by: Karlo X. Ramos

Corbella is Brewing a Storm With Their Debut Single

Rocky rain clouds have rolled in and the drought is finally coming to an end. The 10-day forecast predicts a powerful thunderstorm heading straight for Austin’s Red River District. Emboldened by a ferocious attitude and a refined sound, Corbella returns stronger than ever and ready to take the Austin music scene by “Storm” with their debut single on August 10th.

This particular rock n’ roll storm system has a familiar aura. That’s because Corbella previously tore through Austin’s music scene under the moniker Nomad City. But, in late 2017 the band subsided and began rebuilding towards a new direction.

We had a lot of influences telling us to try something different,” states powerhouse frontwoman Britny Lobas. “We reached a point where it was time to make a change.”

The time away has resulted in a liberated new attitude. A few tweaks here, an addition there, and a more collaborative approach overall towards creating led to the emergence of Corbella. The band retained that heavy rock base and whirlwind ferocity their fans craved. However, Corbella has modernized their sound and taken a fully revitalized form with more pop and hip-hop influences.

We’ve added more synth sounds and the product overall is much groovier,” states bassist Russell Simonson. “We’re just having fun with it now and the end-result definitely reflects our new attitude. Each one of us is interjecting more and bringing our own ideas and influences to the table and it’s really exciting feeding off one-another to create the highest quality product

The world will get to experience the new and improved Corbella on August 10th when the band drops their emotive debut single, “Storm”. “It’s an angry song…but really groovy and very attention grabbing,” clamors Lobas.

I was in a completely different place emotionally when we started writing the song. I was literally in the midst of a storm and felt hopeless. By the time we finished the song, I had completely overcome what I was going through personally. This song helped me get through what I was going through. There’s definitely some anger in “Storm.” But, there’s also a great deal of vulnerability and it’s ultimately empowering.”

Prepare to reinforce the levees and break out the life rafts. Corbella will unleash “Storm” at Swan Dive on August 10th with special guests Obsolete Machines and The Matters. For more information on Corbella and the single release party visit https://www.corbellabandofficial.com/.

 

Feature photo by: Demetrius Judkins @wolfspiritofthesun

On the Run With the Highway Sisters

Kindred spirits, Amelia Presley and KK Bodiford, share an unconventional sisterly bond. Their unique personalities couldn’t be any further apart, yet, they’re connected in nearly every manner. When a previous band venture didn’t quite pan out, the Highway Sisters relied on each other…and where they ended up is possibly the happiest place they could’ve imagined.

Now armed with their brand new EP, Smoke & Mirrors, the Highway Sisters are on the run setting the country ablaze and not looking back. Soulful harmonies roaring with passion, heartfelt songwriting and relatable self-awareness are just a few of the wonderful qualities found in Smoke & Mirrors. The five-track album rolls from deep and spiritual at times to inspiring and comical at others, all the while remaining genuinely authentic to its Texas Country roots. However, even through their emotive songwriting, these two ladies still can’t quite explain exactly how they’re so connected to one another. But, thank God the Highway Sisters found each other and can celebrate life’s beauty so eloquently through their music.

We had a chance to speak with the Texas Country outlaws during their Smoke & Mirrors tour. Read what the Highway Sisters had to say about their time on the run below.

 

The story behind the Highway Sisters is “deep, comical and inspiring.” Can you elaborate on how the two of you came together and became known as the modern day Thelma and Louise?

We have a connection both musically and spiritually that is beyond anything that either of us have experienced. We were brought together for a different band and instantly bonded as if we had known each other forever. There was a point when we both knew we wanted to move onto a duo, just the two of us. We experienced a lot of negativity in the former band, and decided to make lemonade out of the lemons we were dealt. Thank goodness we did, because our journey has taken such a positive turn. The name “Highway Sisters” was purposely created based on the fact that we truly are just like sisters. We believe people call us the “Modern day Thelma & Louise” because of our two completely different personalities, yet connected in every way. We love to write and perform together, laugh like crazy, finish each others’ sentences, and truly lift one another up….despite our silly sisterly banter on and off stage!

What has been the most important thing you have each learned from one another since joining forces?

No matter where you’re from, what your passions are, who you are or what you want out of life, as long as you live with the ultimate goal of lifting others up and inspiring, you will all succeed together!

Smoke and Mirrors presents a beautiful contrast of heartfelt songwriting detailed with sparkling melodies. Was it difficult finding a balance between the deep songwriting and the overall upbeat tone of the album?

We are so proud of our first EP together, because it was truly our heart and soul without overthinking any part of it. It is easy to get lost in the mechanics of writing or recording, but we let our experiences and heart do all of the work. Our producer, Eric McKinney of Wonderland Studios in Austin, Texas, made the experience better than we could ever imagine. He truly gave us the organic canvas to enhance our authenticity through the music we created in the studio together!

Writing the lead single “Papa” from a father/son perspective provides an interesting twist. Can you elaborate on the inspiration behind the song and it’s perspective?

KK was the songwriter on “Papa.” She was inspired by another individual’s story of their Papa/Son relationship and special journey together. We were both equally connected to the song because of our own relationships with our hard-working papas, and felt it was the perfect song to complete our EP.

Congratulations, KK. Will “Mama” possibly be a single on the next project?

(KK): Thank you so much!! My husband, Chris, and I found out that we will be having a son in December! It’s funny that every time Amelia and I perform “Papa” on stage, I always feel him kick right before the finale line. It also makes me choked up a bit thinking about Chris and the future bond with his first boy. I’m getting choked up right now as I’m answering your question, lol! As far as “Mama” being a future song…It wouldn’t surprise me. The most important thing to Amelia and I are our families. She has 2 children as well, and being a mama is what inspires us the most! People used to say that you can’t be a singer/songwriter/artist if you have children and aren’t super young. In our own lives, we couldn’t imagine the opposite. Our children and experiences over the years are the core foundation of our lyrics and melodies!

What have you enjoyed most about being on the road and have there been any interesting stories you’d care to share from the current Smoke and Mirrors tour?

We have enjoyed just about every moment on the road together. The best is that we get to have a sidekick no matter where we go! There are so many interesting stories from our “Smoke & Mirrors” tour, that we don’t even know where to start! One of the most amazing moments was playing the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. It was such an honor to perform on the stage that so many legends have performed. Something hilarious that recently happened was in Pennsylvania. The President of the festival took us hunting at his ranch. Both of us were successful in our ram hunt. But because KK is pregnant, she has to potty often. She decides to ask the guide to walk ahead so she could squat in the woods. Right about then, the President drives down on his 4-wheeler. It may have been horrible timing, but we couldn’t stop laughing! That really is what we love the most about this tour, and just being together, is how much fun we have. You’ll have to check out our “Highway Sisters” YouTube channel, and there are so many documented stories that truly represent what we’re about….And we’re pretty sure you will be laughing with us! 🙂

Be sure to catch the Highway Sisters tonight at Saxon Pub and for additional info and tour dates visit https://www.highwaysisters.com/.

 

Matisyahu and Stephen Marley Taking Strength to Strength Tour to Stubb’s

GRAMMY-nominated artist Matisyahu has announced his 2018 Strength To Strength Tour alongside eight-time Grammy award winning singer, musician and producer Stephen Marley. Fresh from his Forest of Faith Tour, Matisyahu continues a blistering run of dates that began in 2017 with the Broken Crowns Tour and will be hitting Stubb’s on May 31st for a night of reggae royalty. Matisyahu will be making his return to Austin’s iconic venue after recording Live at Stubb’s Vol. IV last November.

Matisyahu has created his own space in modern music, developing a loyal following that has driven singles such as “One Day” and “King Without a Crown” to international recognition. His newest album, Undercurrent, was released last year via Thirty Tigers and Matisyahu’s own imprint, Fallen Sparks. The album embodies a collaborative and freeform spirit as Matisyahu and his band seamlessly merge instrumental improvisation sessions with lyrics and vocals. The synergistic energy of the album is especially apparent onstage, where Matisyahu and guitarist Aaron Dugan, bassist Stu Brooks, drummer Joe Tomino and keyboardist Big Yuki bring their creative dynamic to life. Undercurrent has showcased Matisyahu’s improvisational aptitude and live music chutzpa, that has the jamband and festival worlds taking note with his recently announced LOCKN’ Festival set.

The King Without a Crown continues to his journey on the road, both physically and spiritually, In his own words, “I started tour last fall in somewhat of a fallen, broken place with the Broken Crowns tour, then I entered into the unknown of the forest with faith in the Forest of Faith Tour and come out of it having found my strength, I am now going from strength to strength in my summer Strength to Strength tour. The names of the tours for me are truly a reflection of where I am spiritually and right now and I am feeling strong and confident”. Stephen Marley has also set his eyes onward towards the tour, and is “looking forward to playing music for the people on the Strength to Strength tour with Matisyahu”.

The boundary-breaking artist has been busy on tour, dropping a 3-part video series on the making of Undercurrent and taking time to speak to Billboard and the Huffington Post about it. He took time at his show in Austin 2017 to record LIVE AT STUBB’S VOL IV., capturing the freeform essence of his set at the historic venue, where he is set to reappear near the top of the tour.  Don’t miss the unforgettable duo of Matisyahu and Stephen Marley at a city near you and catch what Rootfire calls “Improvising Greatness.” Tickets go on sale Friday, 4/6 at https://fanlink.to/strengthtostrength
Strength To Strength Tour Dates:

5/30 – Houston, TX – White Oak Outside
5/31 – Austin, TX – Stubbs
6/01 – Dallas, TX – Canton Hall
6/03 – St. Louis, MO – Atomic Cowboy
6/06 – Minneapolis, MN – Cabooze
6/08 – Detroit, MI – Sound Board at MotorCity
6/09 – Kalamazoo, MI – Bells
6/12 – Columbus, OH – Express Live Indoor Stage
6/13 – Ocean City, MD – Seacrets
6/14 – Wantagh, NY – Mulcahys **
6/15 – Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theatre Summer Stage **
6/16 – Atlantic City, NJ – Borgata Casino **
6/17 – Baltimore, MD – Concerts at the Port **

**Without Stephen Marley

Fresh Lies, Vol. I Release Party and Guitar Giveaway

Last month, Austin’s one-man-band Mobley dropped Fresh Lies, Vol. I, a career long project that is the first in a series of conceptual releases from the post-genre pop, “swiss army knife of musical talent”.  Mobley will be celebrating the album’s release on June 2nd at the Mohawk with special guests Alesia Lani and Mamahawk and he’s got a very special prize for one lucky fan.

Want to win the guitar Mobley is wrecking on in the feature photo? All you have to do is buy advance tickets to the album release party here and that lucky fan could be you.

“This guitar has served me well for over a decade and I used it extensively on Fresh Lies, Vol. I. But I want someone else to have it now,” states Mobley.  Good luck!

For a teaser to the Fresh Lies, Vol. I Release Party, check out Mobley cutting it up with a completely different guitar below during SXSW 2018.

 

Photo by: Demetrius Judkins

Video by: Mark Bowers.

Shy Beast Ready to Rage For My Stride Release Party

Austin’s favorite electro-pop ensemble Shy Beast will be releasing their brand new single “My Stride” on Saturday, May 19 with an official release show at The Mohawk (indoors). Darkbird will kick off the evening at 10 :30p.m. followed by Shy Beast at 11:30 p.m. and Otis Wilkins at 12:30 a.m. Grammy-award winning, New Zealand pop star Kimbra will be performing on the outdoor stage that same evening.

Led by songwriter, singer and keyboardist Mariclaire (MC) Glaeser, guitarist and vocalist David Tenczar, guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Andrew Bennett, bassist Jay Cesak and drummer Drew Silverman, Shy Beast creates its own unique fusion of electro-pop that blends effortlessly with MC’s vast vocal range and creative instrumentation from the other bandmates.

“‘My Stride’ is a reference to the heavy feelings that come with all the different choices you are presented in life,” said frontwoman MC Glaeser. “It represents the moment of freedom you experience by simply picking a direction, or a way of being, and running with it.”

“My Stride” was recorded in Lockhart, Texas at Good Danny’s and produced, mixed and engineered by Danny Reisch (White Denim, Okkervil River, Bright Light Social Hour). The song was written by Mariclaire Glaeser and arranged by Shy Beast.

To purchase tickets, see here. For more information on Shy Beast visit http://www.shybeast.com.

Marmalakes Gearing Up to Debut Please Don’t Stop

It’s been a long time in the making. But, after a five-year hiatus from recording, Austin’s indie pop duo Marmalakes are finally releasing their much-anticipated full-length debut, Please Don’t Stop. And it promises to be well-worth the wait.

Please Don’t Stop will be released on May 11th via Austin Town Hall Records. However, the official release party will be held on May 5th at Fine Southern Gentleman with special guests Star Parks and Andy.

Comprised of lifelong friends Chase Weinacht and Josh Halpern, Marmalakes have rooted around Austin’s underground for nearly a decade. They released their debut EP Wonder Winds in 2010 and followed that with a handful of well-received EPs released in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Through those years, Weinach and Halpern have remained actively involved in several other musical projects. However, the duo always return to write songs together as Marmalakes.

Please Don’t Stop features an intricate arrangement of 10 warmhearted and introspective stories that effortlessly flow from reflective indie rock to passionate, guitar-driven pop with a spirited flare of folk sensibilities. Songwriter Weinacht pays tribute to rural life in sparsely populated Texas towns he lived in as a child (those scenes and voices permanently inform his songwriting), while employing a playfulness only found in Austin.

Marmalakes can be distinguished by their affinity for high energy performances and strategic pop nuances. The duo has become a mainstay in Austin and recently took their live act out west with a tour that kicked-off at The Volstead on April 17th. They have three more shows this week in Denver and northern New Mexico before returning home for the Please Don’t Stop Release Party on May 5th and a Waterloo in-store performance on May 7th. Then the guys are back on the road. For additional information and upcoming tour dates visit http://www.marmalakes.com/.

In the meantime check out the snaps below from the Marmalakes tour kick-off party at The Volstead.

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Photos by: Demetrius Judkins @wolfspiritofthesun

ATASH and The St. Stephen’s Global Ensemble to Perform at Carnegie Hall

The St. Stephen’s Global Ensemble, a touring chamber orchestra performing highly expressive and dramatic concerts of original music will perform with the award-winning Austin-based world music band ATASH at Carnegie Hall in New York City this Monday, April 23. The groups will be performing a four-part concert entitled “Global Harmony,” composed and arranged by Roberto Paulo Riggio and conducted by John Moon. Tickets may be purchased through CarnegieCharge (link here) or by calling (212) 247-7800. To see a recent performance, please click here. For more information on ATASH, please see http://www.atash.com.

The St. Stephen’s Global Ensemble includes student members of the orchestral and percussion programs at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas. Orchestra director and ATASH violinist, John Moon, leads this group through an eclectic program influenced by classical, blues, jazz, percussion, Mystic Sufi, Central and South American, South Indian and European musical traditions. As part of their mission, ATASH has always sought out opportunities to work with young people. St. Stephen’s, as an international day and boarding school, brings student from around the world together for a college preparatory education. Building on the values of global awareness, education and collaboration, John Moon, as orchestra director and ATASH member, brought these groups together to produce their successful European tour in March 2017. Trevor Detling, Director of St. Stephen’s Thunder Drums, and John Moon prepared the student musicians as they learned to perform these highly intricate rhythmic, melodic and formal compositions.

Voted “Best World Music Band” in Austin for six years straight, ATASH combines master musicians from around the globe to create a powerful, worldly and original sound that inspires people of all ages and from all walks of life. Music Director and founding member, Roberto Riggio, composed and arranged ATASH music for the band, with full orchestra and percussion. Mohammad Firoozi, founding member and front man, sings lyrics in Farsi and English based on the poetry of Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi mystic. ATASH has spread its message of love and peace on the east and west coasts, in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Taiwan, China, Spain and México, gaining legions of fans. They are truly the Austin ambassadors of world music.

ATASH AND THE ST. STEPHEN’S GLOBAL ENSEMBLE, AUSTIN, TEXAS
JOHN MOON, Conductor

“Global Harmony”
ROBERTO PAOLO RIGGIO & ATASH:

Thunder and Lightning
Baaraan (Rain)
Song for Leili
Destiny

Lyrics by Mohammad Firoozi

Participating Ensembles
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School’s Thunder Drums, Austin, TX (Trevor Detling, Director)
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School’s Global Orchestra, Austin, TX (John Moon, Director)
ATASH, Austin, TX (Roberto Paolo Riggio, Music Director)
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For more information please see:

 

The Book of Mormon Announces Lottery Ticket Policy

 

Austin, TX THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, is pleased to announce a lottery ticket policy for the National Tour, which begins Tuesday, April 17 at Bass Concert Hall and plays a limited one-week engagement through Sunday, April 22.  In Austin, the production will conduct a pre-show lottery at the box office, making a limited number of tickets available at $25 apiece.

The wildly popular lottery for the Broadway production has attracted as many as 800 entries at some performances.  The producers of THE BOOK OF MORMON are pleased to offer low-priced lottery seats for every city on the National Tour.

Entries will be accepted at the box office beginning two and a half hours prior to each performance; each person will print their name and the number of tickets (1 or 2) they wish to purchase on a card that is provided. Two hours before curtain, names will be drawn at random for a limited number of tickets priced at $25 each. Only one entry is allowed per person. Cards are checked for duplication prior to drawing. Winners must be present at the time of the drawing and show valid ID to purchase tickets. Limit one entry per person and two tickets per winner. Tickets are subject to availability.

THE BOOK OF MORMON features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are the four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of the landmark animated series, “South Park.” Tony Award-winner Lopez is co-creator of the long-running hit musical comedy, Avenue Q.  The musical is choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone) and is directed by Nicholaw and Parker.

The Book  of Mormon
Kim Exum, Conner Peirson – The Book of Mormon (c) Julieta Cervantes 2017

THE BOOK OF MORMON is the winner of nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Book (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Direction (Casey Nicholaw, Trey Parker), Best Featured Actress (Nikki M. James), Best Scenic Design (Scott Pask), Best Lighting Design (Brian MacDevitt), Best Sound Design (Brian Ronan) and Best Orchestrations (Larry Hochman, Stephen Oremus); the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical; five Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album; four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Musical, and the Drama League Award for Best Musical.

THE BOOK OF MORMON features set design by Scott Pask, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt and sound design by Brian Ronan.  Orchestrations are by Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus.  Music direction and vocal arrangements are by Stephen Oremus.

The Original Broadway Cast Recording for THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, is available on Ghostlight Records.

For more information, visit http://www.BookofMormonTheMusical.com

Follow THE BOOK OF MORMON on Twitter and on Facebook.

 

Matt & Kim Bringing The Rage to Stubb’s

After being sidelined all of 2017 due to a knee injury, electro-pop duo Matt & Kim are hitting the road this spring on a massive headlining tour with friends in Cruisr and Twin Kids.

Armed with a new album titled Almost Everyday that’s scheduled to drop on May 4th and two brand new singles “Forever” and “Happy If You’re Happy” that you can hear right now, 2018 is a return to form for the Brooklyn natives. Having recorded the entirety of Almost Everyday during the time Kim was recovering from an ACL tear she suffered playing a festival in Mexico, the group is eager to hit the road and share their new material with the world.

If you missed Matt & Kim’s sweat fueled set in Austin during South By Southwest, you’ll have another chance on April 12th when they bring their tour to Stubb’s BBQ.

Tickets can be found on the band’s website or directly through the venue.