Monthly Archives: August 2015

Love’s Black Beauty Available September 11

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Heads up RUST fans we have some legitimate news for you today. On September 11, Love’s Black Beauty – an unreleased full-length studio album – will be available including a special deluxe edition that includes 6 ultra-rare, previously-unreleased bonus tracks, 3 explosive live performances, an interview with Arthur Lee, two unreleased Arthur Lee studio cuts AND “L.A. Blues,” the last song recorded by Arthur Lee before beginning his six-year prison sentence.

If you don’t know about Love yet, this will be a great place to start, and, for fans of the band, this will be an obligatory pick-up. Get it here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/black-beauty-deluxe-version/id1030894972?app=itunes

 

 

On The Go With Summer Children

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Wow, there is so much to talk about here! First, what a groovy, wonderful album this is. The pairing of songstress Leslie Wenzell and virtuoso Dan Akira is perfect. The concept of the group, the personalities, the production, the music and the performances are all unified in fantasticness and we’ve fallen completely in love with Summer Children.

Though some might rush over this release as a retro gimmick, it’s anything but. It’s a rootsy, country, Americana album with a serious time travel syndrome, but behind this retro wrapper, there’s an amazing level of songwriting and performing talent at work. Whatever the genre or catch phrase people would describe Summer Children as, there is depth of concept and a richness of human talent here that makes this a really special release.

This album is relevant in relation to many, many things happening in music right now. Looking for substance in what they want to say, there are lots of new artists similarly going back and finding inspiration in vintage music, though few are doing it as well – or with as much fun – as Summer Children. You also have roots music dominating the hipster scene (just try getting a coffee or slice of pizza without hearing Hank Williams!) and the 70’s are suddenly “in” again, so they’re right on time with their schtick.

There’s also a vacuum of quality “country” music coming out of Nashville as demographics and sales figures have created a soul-less and top-heavy corporate machine there that seems to be crushing any original or innovative thought. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Summer Children is putting out the kind of music now that made Nashville great in the first place. Hopefully, the stars will align for them and they’ll find a critical mass of fans. Maybe with a break out track, Summer Children could become the “big” band of the moment. Their music is more than good enough to make this happen.

The album is produced by Adam Marsland, an artist who we wrote about two years ago when he released his album The Owl And The Full Moon, and who we like quite a lot. One of the tracks from that album, The Man In The Empty Suit, is a staple on the playlist at our live events and – in addition to being both a great artist and producing partner here – he’s well worth investigating on his own. His contemporary pop-rock sensibilities give Summer Children an edge and a driven timing that keep the music from descending too far down memory lane. Making a vintage-esque album is doubly difficult as the artists need to both make great music, but also to do it within a pre-determined space, and Adam Marsland’s touch not only accomplishes that, but lets the artists be free to define their own space and time.

Summer Children’s beautiful and detailed retro ornamentation is an extension of a rock-solid foundation of great songwriting and performances, and there’s such mass and substance here that it’s inspiring and exciting as pure music, whatever the description of it’s outward genre. Summer Children rocks, rolls and grooves to it’s own beat and it is THE album to get right now.

This album also comes at a unique time in music. Some things will forever stay the same, like the sound of a campfire guitar, but technology and business have conspired of late to rob artists of the value of their work. The “content” that they work so hard to compile has been devalued online to a subserviant place as “bait” for traffic. You can’t fight city hall, but what Summer Children have done here is to re-establish the vibrance and value of traditional music in the modern space. This album reminds us how special and rare and valuable music is when it comes from a place of personal dedication and affection.

Whatever year it is, whatever fads or trends are coming or passing, some things stay the same. The more things change, the more they stay the same. In retrospective, we see the great things that artists of the past accomplished and people try to emulate and recapture their specialness. What Summer Children have done here with Adam Marsland is to create new, original, individual and fantastic music that warrants appreciation and respect on every level. On the surface it’s a trip down memory lane, but that’s just the sparkle on the surface, it’s really a genius Americana roots album that both defies, and will stand the test of time on it’s substantial merits.

Get it here! http://karmafrog.com/store.html

The Stolen talk to RUST Magazine

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Hey RUST fans we have a New Jersey pop-rock-punk band to talk about today. They’re The Stolen and they are currently touring to promote their “Adults” EP, produced by Jesse Cannon and Mike Oettinger. These guys have a great sound and a rock-solid approach to songwriting. With them, being right on time and right on the vibe seems to just be “how they do it” and people are starting to catch on. Their “Chardonnay” music video is a winner and things definitely seem to be going in the right direction for them.

We were actually set to do a shoot with them when they came to Atlanta but a flat tire confounded that plan. Luckily the band took a minute to chat us up and tell us about this moment in their history

RUST: We think your song construction and balance of artist personalities is pitch perfect. Did the songs on “Adults” come together easily or was it a lot of studio work to make the sound just right?

TS: Well before we went into the studio to record the EP we spent a lot of time writing and working on the songs. When we got to the studio we showed them to Jesse and Mike and they made changes where they felt they should be made and we went from there.

RUST: You’ve had some good gigs and you’ve shared the stage with some powerful personalities, folks like Neon Trees, The Offspring and Allstar Weekend – how has the stage time with people like that affected the band’s vibe?

TS: Those are shows that we definitely won’t forget playing, they were such a fun time. You learn a lot from those bands not only musically, but as well as their stage presence. It’s really cool to study the way different bands engage with their fans on stage. Learning from bands like them, definitely helped us tighten our live set.

RUST: This tour is over a month long, you’re really seeing the country from coast to coast. When you get back home will there be a break or will it be back on the road or back in the studio?

TS:  We are always writing new music and always looking to get back on the road so there is nothing set in stone but we will definitely be touring and recording again in the near future.

RUST: Pop bands often complain that people don’t appreciate the work that goes into a great anthemic song like in the classic FM days and that it’s hard for them to break out. You seem to have that “just right” combination of elements – is this an effort to craft and maintain, or do you just roll out of bed that cool?

TS: I think with our sound we just make music that makes us happy. We don’t set out to make a certain type of music, we just make music that we like, and we feel that’s the only way to do it. Don’t make music just for other people, make it for yourself.

RUST: Is there someone working behind the scenes with you that deserves some mention and credit? Maybe an unsung hero?

TS: Definitely a person behind the scenes that deserves credit is our manager Matt. He’s an awesome guy who wants the best for us as a band as well as individuals. He’s a big part of our decision making process and he’s a smart guy who knows what he’s talking about.

RUST: Thanks, last question, is there any other band you’ve seen that people should know about? Who is rocking your world right now?

TS: There are bands that we enjoy who are also big influences on us. The Maine, The 1975, and All Time Low are just a few bands that we take influence from but also jam to on the road.

Thanks! Get more info on the band here: http://thestolenmusic.com/

Robert Hill talks about Have Slide Will Travel

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When you talk about Blues Men you have the usual criteria of technique, style and timing, and Robert Hill excels on all those levels on Have Slide Will Travel, but what makes him such a great artist, and this such a great album is the human wisdom that comes through between the notes. And this wisdom takes many shapes and colors. Robert Hill has the ability to be relevant, intelligent and sympathetic in an amazing variety of moods and emotions and this collection of songs delivers a stellar diversity of thoughts and expressions all picked and plucked with style and confidence.

Each song is it’s own creation and stands alone. Whether tearing it up on a track like Evolution Blues or slowing it down on something like Alma De Una Mujer this awarded musician is completely at peace with his creative ideas and completely at home in the recording process. Recently we wrote about Tom Principato and what we commented about him was that he had the ability to create a narrative and to perfectly fulfill the listener’s expectations as the song unfolded. Similarly, Robert Hill’s ability to tell a story with his music, and to give you the feeling of having accomplished a journey through his music is simply superb. And these journeys have such different feelings and spaces… it’s a truly brilliant musician that can inhabit so many environments and to meet the challenges of saying such different things. This album almost feels like a collection of musicians rather than just one, but Robert Hill keeps the whole ship on an even keel by quiet mastery of his captainship.

We were so interested in this artist we reached out to him to tell us a little about Have Slide Will Travel in his own words:

RUST: Robert, thanks for making such a sweet album. Is there a story behind it? How long have you had these songs awaiting the light of day?

RH: Four of the songs I had cut the basic tracks for live-in-the-studio as far back as 5 or more years ago. They languished on the shelf for a long time, until I signed a deal with a production house to do several slide tracks. I had a deadline, so this lit a fire under me to finish these, and write some new material. I would write and record a new one, and then immediately start on something new in a different direction. Most of the songs were written and recorded in about a 9 month period. Being under the gun is a good thing for me.

RUST: The diversity of what we hear is tremendous. Did you always intend to move through so many moods in this group of songs or did ideas emerge as you recorded?

RH: I wanted to touch on most of the genres that I like, but I also made a conscious effort to break some new ground. To me, that was the best part – pushing myself to write and perform something that I’ve never done before, and not just keep repeating myself. My first two cds were fairly diverse, as well. I’ve always liked bands that were diverse and musically deep.

RUST: No man is an Island, though Robin Williams would comment that some men are peninsulas, who are some of the other musicians at work here?

RH: A lot of these guys are well-known around NY/NJ area. I’ve played with bassist Mark Murphy,(Guy Davis,Levon Helm, among many others), off and on for a number of years. He’s just got an excellent ear and touch on the upright bass, and bows as well, which adds a great texture. Same goes for Jerry Krenach,(Chris Whitley, among many others), on the drums – perfect timing and plays for the song. Bob Hoffnar, from the band Hem, played some great pedal steel on one of the songs. Derrik Jordan, a virtuoso of many genres,and composer/performer with a number of cds to his credit, contributed on “My Babe”. Multi-instrumentalist, Art Labriola, laid down some nice accordian. I was lucky to snag local NJ legend, Frank Pagano, (Blondie, Donovan, Donald Fagen, Lesley Gore, Al Green, Levon Helm, Doctor John, Gladys Knight, Al Kooper, Darlene Love, just to name a very few), on drums for one song. I recently started playing some with bassist,Doug O’Connor, (McMule, (Whitney Road), and he did a great job on “The Robusticator” and “Alma De Una Mujer,” the latter of which he put some real thought and work into. I was also very glad to get Steve Jordan, (formerly from my hometown of North Little Rock, AR, now living outside Madrid), to do percussion on “Alma De Una Mujer”. I recently returned from tour of Spain with Steve on drums.

RUST: Is there anybody that really helped you get this album done that deserves a little credit and appreciation?

RH: Eric Puente on drums and percussion. I would have never finished this cd without his tireless help,creativity,and desire to get it right. Able to take on anything I threw at him, and do it with a healthy sense of humor, which kept it all fun and loose. Just a great player and person.

RUST: Can you tell us a little about your gear kit for Have Slide Will Travel? Any secret weapons you brought into the studio?

RH: Well, I’ve never been too interested in pedals, etc. I subscribe to the school of thought that all you really need is the right guitar and the right amp. Bascially, a little reverb, maybe a little delay, and once in a while some amp tremelo. I used a Mesa Boogie Mark IV for some of the guitar parts. On a lot of the other electric guitar parts, I ended up just recording the guitar clean and using a few amp plugins in ProTools. Saved a lot of time, made mixing more flexible, and kept my family from killing me. I used a National Radiotone for a lot of the acoustic slide parts. For the electric guitars, a ’74 Strat, an early 90’s Fernandes Strat, a G&L Legacy and a G&L ASAT.

RUST: Thanks so much, last question, we’ve been seeing a phenomenal expansion of the companies making guitars and the kinds (and quality) of instruments available. Is there any make or model that might be on your wish list, or that you might recommend to an aspiring player?

RH: I’ve always been a Fender guy, but I mainly play G&L guitars now. Their Strat model, The Legacy, and their Tele, The ASAT are really solid, well-built, and to my ears, sound better than a lot of the Fender stuff now. The pickups are excellent, and they have a lot of options available. I also like to take inexpensive guitars, like my Fernandes,and change the pickups and other things to get a unique sound. I would say don’t get too bogged down with effects and gear – it really boils down to what’s coming out those fingers.

Thanks again Robert, for more info visit http://roberthillband.com/

Rikki Rockett talks about his Cajones

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A few days ago, the music videos “Boneyard” and “All I Need” off the new Devil City Angels’ album hit the streets and fanboys and girls everywhere heard the news that Tracii Guns, Rudy Sarzo, Rikki Rockett and Brandon Gibbs had combined into a new supergroup. Their debut album will be released shortly, but here at RUST Magazine we’ve been hearing about this for a while now from our friends at KOPF Percussion. They make Cajones, the slap-box percussion instruments which are emerging in all sorts of music styles.

Originally a Latin music instrument, these “boxes with a hole cut in them” are now showing up all over the place, and the folks at KOPF Percussion have been blogging about the individualization they’d done for Rikki while the Devil City Angels were working on their new material. We first encountered a Cajon when Tylan and Ingrid Elizabeth from Mouths of Babes performed for our cameras, and since then we reached out Steve Head from KOPF to get both a Cajon and a ToeKicker for our videos.

As practical as they are simple, you can get a Cajon in a variety of sounds and styles. Trevor Hall’s percussionist Chris Steele uses a bass Cajon as the cornerstone of his kit, and you can get them with snares and external pedals for foot stomping. In our videos we use a KOPF S-Series Snare Cajon, and more and more of these are showing up on stage and in the studio. Something we’re starting to see a lot of are where drummers replace their old-style seats with Cajones, and because most KOPF Cajones have padded seats, this provides comfort along with an extra instrument for full set-up drum kits.

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We were curious about how the drummer from Poison came to use one of these instruments so we reached out to ask a few questions.

RUST: Rikki, thanks for talking to us here. Have you always used Cajones or is this something new? What was it that got you on one?

RR: Actually it was my wife. She plays acoustic guitar and she asked me to join her for some shows. At first I was thinking “Man, what do I do? I’m a big rock and roll drummer” but I wanted to find something that worked for both of us and the Cajon was it. Now we play together all the time and it’s great. The guitar and the Cajon are a perfect pairing, they really compliment each others’ sound. The Cajon is perfect for acoustic environments and it’s something we can do together. I really enjoy playing it and it’s cool that I can have fun times with her.

RUST: How did it work out for you going from a big kit to a Cajon? Was it hard to adjust to the new instrument?

RR: Yes, actually, it was a pretty big change from what I had been doing. I really had to teach myself to play the Cajon and I had to learn the instrument from scratch. It took a lot of work. There are so many different sounds the Cajon makes and so much subtlety to it that it took quite a bit of work to get my style right for it. I was surprised at the range of sounds are that Cajones make, and what it takes to get the most out of the instrument. It’s totally rewarding and worth it, and once you “get it” there’s just so much you can do with it.

RUST: How do Cajones fit into your life now? What are some of the other times you use them?

RR: Oh, I love ’em! I’ve got several and I play them all the time, both at home just for fun and also when I play with Brandon Gibbs, my bandmate in Devil City Angels. He tours and play acoustic and I just love playing a Cajon when I’m with him. The sounds the instrument makes have so many variations and flavors… I’d say that the thing that makes sound they make special is the “bouquet” to them that’s really sweet. They just have a sound that compliments acoustic music especially, and they’re powerful enough to fill a whole room, and fill it with a lot of different flavors and personality.”

RUST: What was it like working with Steve at KOPF? What it is about their instruments that you like so much?

RR: Oh, wow, well, Steve is just a master craftsman and a perfectionist. They really put old school hard work into everything they do there. He authentically cares about each instrument and everything is built by hand here in the USA. He could probably send out some of the work and make a little more money but that’s not what he’s about. So I’ve got a lot of respect for him and I appreciate what he’s doing there.

RUST: Thanks Rikki, last question, where do you see Cajones in the future of music?

RR: Man, I love mine, I play them all the time and I see more and more people catching on. They’re great instruments for anybody and I think we’ll see more and more of them all over the place. They’re really good for a percussionist just starting out, and there’s enough there to make it interesting for a guy like me so no matter where you’re at with your music, I’d definitely give them a try.

DCA album

Get more info here: http://www.devilcityangels.com/

Yacht Rock Revival August 22

The guys from Yacht Rock Revue talk about their annual Revival coming this Saturday in Piedmont Park in Atlanta where they will be joined by STEVE AUGERI (former Lead Vocalist of JOURNEY), MATTHEW WILDER (“Break My Stride”), ROBBIE DUPREE (“Steal Away”), JEFF CARLISI of .38 Special (“Hold on Loosely”), ELLIOT LURIE of Looking Glass (“Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl”), PETER BECKETT and RONN MOSS of PLAYER (“Baby Come Back”), and WALTER EGAN (“Magnet and Steel”) 

Get more info here: http://www.pleaserock.com/

The Spill Canvas Concert Review

RUST Magazine sent Travis Blake, our man in the street, to check out The Spill Canvas show at The Masquerade in Atlanta and here’s what he had to say about it:

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The Spill Canvas brought down the house at the Masquerade in Purgatory this weekend. They performed their album, One Fell Swoop, in it’s entirety to celebrate the album’s ten year anniversary. This album was already very special to me. However it could not have prepared me for the raw emotion behind every note that these guys portrayed during their set. The crowd was hyped, the on stage jokes were bad, and not a pair of lips in the venue weren’t singing along to every tune. Definitely an evening to remember for any regular concert-goer. Kudos, Spill Canvas, you still got it!

More info here https://twitter.com/thespillcanvas

RUST Magazine recommends Aircraft

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Hey fans, we’ve got a pure-cool band to introduce you to today… Buffalo’s psych-rock quartet Aircraft. They just dropped 7 Gems From The Sparkling Void, a 7-song EP that follows up their 2013 release Sonic Boom and we’ve been jamming out to it for a good week now at the RUST offices and it keeps opening up and showing us new things. There’s a real substance to this band. They have a concept and the skills to really enable their vision. Cool is definitely the operative word here as these guys have a punky-surfy-alt sound that’s both classic and fresh. The 7 songs here definitely live up to their billing as gems from the sparkling void. This band is so cool they piss ice cubes. Word is they have a tour coming up and RUST Magazine whole-heartedly endorses Aircraft and we encourage our readers to both pick up their album and check them out if they come around.

Get ore info here: http://www.aircraftband.com/

Steve Lewis talks about Creepers and Vines

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Steve Lewis talks about Creepers and Vines

Nashville-based guitar brain surgeon Steve Lewis is about to self-release his new album Creepers & Vines and it’s a magnificently diverse panorama of musical moods and extreme moments. With a feeling reminiscent of the classic guitar-centric albums of the early 70’s, Steve Lewis deftly navigates waters both still and deep as well as crushing waterfalls and raging whitewaters. It’s all good, but there are moments where the music is so strong, the notes come so fast and furious, and everything comes together so perfectly that it takes the experience to a whole new level. This has a lot to do with the creative ideas, but it also has a lot to do with the tech… both the artist’s technique and the technology used to get “that sound.” Not only does RUST Magazine endorse this album but we do so with enthusiasm, and we were so curious about the story behind the music that we reached out to Steve to talk to us about recording Creepers & Vines.

RUST: Hello Steve, thanks so much for talking to us, first question, who were some of the people that helped you put this project together?

SL: These tracks were first put together in NYC when I was working with some great producers and engineers, including Rev. John DeLore and Jon Altschuler. Many of the basic tracks were done on a really sweet API console, top of the line. We also did a lot of the tracks at Seaside Lounge in Brooklyn. Overdubs were mostly at various locations in Nashville and New York. And the team at Ol Elegante (Birmingham, AL) did a great job on the finished sound – Lester Nuby III mixed and Jason Hamric did the mastering.

RUST: Now that it’s all done, how do you feel about the final album? Did you accomplish what you had hoped?

SL: Yes – I feel so good about the sound and the lineup of songs. The performances from some of my favorite musicians really came together. Also I love the photography and design from Jay Frederick, who also played the all the drums on the record.

RUST: The album starts super-strong with “Off This Rock” can you tell us a little about this song? To us, it’s got that classic FM 2.0 sound.

SL: It’s an escapist song, really, about alienation, but there’s a teamwork aspect too. So I think of it as a desire to leave Earth behind, and confusion at the fact that we’re not living in some Diamond Dogs-esque dystopia on another planet already.  

RUST: We really like to track Hard Bargain, especially the intro guitar work. It sets the stage for the whole song and really captivates. Steve, how did you get that funky sound?

SL: I recorded that track with my Lotus Les Paul, which is a bolt-on Korean black beauty. I’ve had Seymour Duncan P-Rails installed, as well as a Schaller 4021 retrofit tremolo for Les Paul. So it’s reminiscent of the sound of Neil Young’s Old Black with the Bigsby. On this track we stretched out the delay (MoogerFooger delay) to be its own texture within the track. It’s a really weird guitar, and I always use it for the p-90 Les Paul sound.

RUST: Baby’s On It. Wow! You just dominate this sizzler from the get-go. This is a pure shot of guitar goodness and it’s our favorite song on the album. So Steve, did the amps and speakers catch fire while you were playing this… because that’s how we’re imagining it!

SL: I was playing a Fender Tele Deluxe through the factory Fender Champion 600 reissue (Left Channel), with it cranked to 10. We were definitely going for the Ron Wood/Faces dry tone from tracks like “Borstal Boys”, “Stay With Me.” I’ve used that amp on lots of records, and now I’ve had a custom speaker (6 inches!) put in by Kevin Shaw (Shaw Audio) so it is even louder and more powerful for such a cool tiny amp. Milo in the right channel is playing a great old Gibson SG through the Fulltone Fulldrive and a Fender Deluxe Reverb. There’s definitely some good tone interplay between the two guitars.

RUST: Hmmm, are you sure no speakers caught fire? Maybe exploding mice like in Rock And Roll High School?

SL: Well, we goosed it in the mix a little too I’m sure, with eq & compressors and such…

RUST: Alright, Moving To France. This song is more of a slow burn with long, long lead up to an audio butt-whoopin. What was your mindset in going into this track?

SL: This is a bragging song, and the protagonist is a loudmouth who is clearly full of it. Maybe he will be a big man in France, and maybe things will be better for him there. I wish him well. There’s lot of bluster in the lyric, which comes out in the chaos of the rocky sections.

RUST: Thanks Steve, last question, can you tell us about your favorite guitar? Maybe tell us about your favorite effects? What does the essential Steve Lewis gear kit contain?

SL: My favorite guitar is a 1981 Gibson ES-347, which is very versatile as it has dirty fingers pickups which are coil-tapped for Fender-ish sounds – I love it! My rig I try to keep simple – after much wandering from amp to amp, I have come to love and embrace the Fender Deluxe Reverb (blackface) and make it my go-to. I love the crunch you can get, but still plenty of clean headroom for most gigs. Effects-wise I always have a Dunlop Crybaby Wah and Fulltone OCD. lately I’ve been using the Way Huge Swollen Pickle Fuzz – which I love for rhythm guitar – and a variety of delays including Catalin Bread Belle Epoch, and MXR Carbon Copy. And with the Deluxe Reverb I love having the footswitch, and switching the vibrato and reverb a lot for texture.

Thanks! For more info visit http://www.stevelewismusic.com/