LEFTOVER SALMON – “Something Higher” – May 4, 2018 on LoS Records

For any band to thrive on the road for nearly thirty years, there needs to be a constant source of renewal, a fresh spring of creativity at the center of the music that brings each member back for more. For Leftover Salmon, one of the great purveyors of Americana, this source came first from the American roots music traditions they came up with: bluegrass picking, Cajun two-stepping, the country blues. For all these years–over the course of their rise to become one of the biggest bands on the roots music circuit today, with legions of fans and routinely sold-out shows–Leftover Salmon have picked up many more influences. Much of this comes from the interactions between the founding members’ roots and the newer band members, who bring refreshingly different influences and ideas to the songwriting process. With their new album, Something Higher, due out May 4, 2018 on LoS Records, Leftover Salmon taps into everything from horn-blasting R&B to reverb-drenched desert noir, from the cosmic roots music sound they helped create to neo-New Orleans-meets-Appalachia liquefaction. There’s an unmistakable evolution to Leftover Salmon’s sound, and Something Higher has an edge to it that feels entirely new.

@LeftoverSalmon will be playing an intimate album release show at @BoweryElectric on 5.7.18.

Jacob Needham & The Blue Trees: “Southern Americana Groove Rock” by Eileen Shapiro

Nashville based Alabama raised band, “Jacob Needham & The Blue Trees” have recently released a sexy, bluesy, rock n’ roll single via Spectra Music Group, entitled “Alabama Baby”, which is accompanied by a salaciously fun-loving video. “Alabama Baby” is the first single off their debut album being released on April 6th  called, “Procrastinated Memoirs”.

I spoke with the band as they explained their music in depth and why it’s so much fun…they not only have a lot to offer the world musically, but also came up with some of the best conversation I’ve ever had with a band…

Why don’t we begin by you all properly introducing yourselves?

Jacob: My name is Jacob Needham, I’m the singer and the rhythm guitar player.

Ben: Ben Trexel, the leader of the pack so to speak. I co-produce and play the bass.

James: James Cody, I’m the lead guitar player, co-writer, co- producer.

RaShaun: I’m RaShaun Whetstone, and I play the drums.

How’d you all get started?

Jacob: We formed I guess around three years ago. The band has been together for two, but I met James and we started playing and doing some songwriting stuff. Then Ben the producer came on but also played the bass, and then RaShaun came on, and it’s been a steady climb ever since.

Who wrote “Alabama Baby”, its very sexy and a lot of fun?

Ben: We all pretty much write together. Someone will have a seed of an idea, and we just work it out organically. I feel that that’s sort of one of our unique qualities. We are able to bring all our influences to the table when we write a song, so it comes out sort of unique.

What influenced this particular one?

Jacob: “Alabama Baby”, …we were in Cleveland Ohio, and we were playing a show there. It was cold, and it snowed, and we were in the room one night…and some of our songs come spontaneously. Someone will play a riff, and we’ll tell them to keep playing it. So, it just kind of came. We were all jamming, and the idea of Alabama just came into my mind. Lyrically I was thinking of another way of thinking “Sweet Home Alabama”. Not that it takes the place of “Sweet Home Alabama”, but just something that gives something to Alabama again, and Alabama has beautiful women and we’re all from Alabama. So, then I thought, “why don’t I write something about that”? That’s kind of how that song came into our playing rotation.

James:  Yeah, Jacob and the band…how we write is very unique. We’re able to just get in a room and can write a song in about 5 to 10 minutes. We are just very fortunate to have that magic, and that cohesiveness among all four of us. We just gel, we’re very fortunate to have that in today’s world.

Ben: Each of our songs have a different type of feel to it. “Alabama Baby” is sort of fun, and light. We like to share that side of our band, but we also have a more serious side. We have a pop side, we have a harder edge side, we just allow different songs to embody the different approaches. I think when our album comes out it’s going to take people to listen to it more than once to really get a full idea of what we are. If you listen only to “Alabama Baby” you won’t get a full picture of what the band is, but then that’s the case with almost every song, so you have to sort of hear a combination of songs to hear where we’re coming from. That’s why we were so proud of this first album.

“Procrastinated Memoirs” is your debut album?

Jacob: We had done a little demo album a year and a half ago, and we never did anything with it. Then Spectra Music came a long and wanted to work with us, so we signed with them and this is going to be our debut. So, we are really excited, we’ve been working really hard just to get to this point.

Ben: We also realize that in today’s world a record is just a part of your product, but it’s not your entire product. So, we’re going to have to play for everyone over the country and sort of take our product out there and let people know who we are. That’s our goal.

Do you plan on heavily touring?

Ben: We plan on lots of touring this year. Lots of touring.

You guys have really cool accents…

James: We are all from Birmingham Alabama. We moved to Nashville this past February, so we’ve been up here about a year. It’s been really cool, I would say about half of our album we wrote within the span of the year. Just being in Nashville and how the different environment effected our growth as musicians and our sound. We call our genre, “Southern Americana Groove Rock”. We have a little southern influence, a little rock influence, a little groove influence…we like to have fun, we like to rock out, so it’s just sort of our self-pinned genre.

According to that video, looks like you like to have fun.

Jacob: It’s a lot of freshness from moving into Nashville….We did some recoding in Fort Knox studio…. just a lot of good things have happened here…I’m really excited about it.

What do you enjoy most about playing live?

RaShaun: Really, the freedom of playing live is just like not having to stick to the one particular script all the time. As long as we just get the music to fit the song and hope that everything else will. I pretty much have the freedom to have as much fun as I want, and I like the energy of live crowds, even though sometimes it makes me a little nervous, I still feed off it. That’s one of the things I like about it.

If you guys could say anything to your fans and followers, what would it be?

Jacob: I would definitely say to get ready for this album, get ready to fall in love with what we’re doing, what we’re creating and get ready this year for seeing some awesome live shows. Just thank you to everybody that is supporting us already, and pushing for us…and to the new people that come on and are following us…we thank you for your support. You’re a blessing to us …without you guys we would not be able to do what we do.

James: I just want to add that when our fans come to see us, we want them to know that we really are an organic, legitimate rock band. We do what we do because you chose us, and we didn’t choose you. We do actually have the passion to be able to pursue what we really want to do, and we are really very blessed to be able to do that. We want the fans to know that it’s completely real and genuine, it’s The Blue Trees.

Jacob Needham & The Blue Trees new single “Alabama Baby” is available now at iTunes, Amazon, Google Music, Spotify and more! Check out the music video for their latest single on You Tube. “Procrastinated Memoirs” will be available worldwide on April 6th, 2018.

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/alabama-baby-single/1318001646

Visit their website at: https://www.bluetreenation.com

Follow Jacob Needham & The Blue Trees on Twitter @JNandTBT

For interviews and radio airplay, please visit www.spectramusicgroup.com

Young Galaxy Announce First Fully Independent Album

Down Time Out April 6

Release Lead Single “Under My Wing

Announce Upcoming Release Tour

Montreal’s electro-pop duo Young Galaxy have announced the upcoming release of their first fully independent, “punk spirit” album. Down Time stories Young Galaxy’s shift into complete independence and positions the band as a countercultural beacon during the current climate of isolation, corruption and despair.

LISTEN to ‘Under My Wing’ here: Spotify / Soundcloud / Smart link

Showcasing the band’s new independence is lead single, “Under My Wing”. The track intentionally blurs what listeners have come to expect from the band. Musically it’s cloudy and swirling, the lyrics obscured, almost unintelligible by design. As the band puts it, “it’s a song that sleeps during the day and walks the empty streets at night. It’s about the failure of capitalism, the isolation of suburbia, and the drive to discover sensuality, connection, and a spark of life in the face of despair.”

Young Galaxy began writing Down Time with a sense of reinvention in mind. In order to stay ahead of the ever-shifting landscape of the music industry, the band felt the need to step away from the industry entirely and take stock of and control over their career. Tired of the industry’s exploitative, conservative nature, the band started their own label in an effort to create a sense of community, and to stay true to an ethos of experimentalism and independence.

Young Galaxy’s Catherine McCandless says:

“Beginning to write and record is always a question of seeking the headspace that will manifest the life that we want to live – it feels essential that we get up against what feels most valuable to us: love, art, subversion, risk and vulnerability. Those are the tools of the work of writing for us. In immersing ourselves in a kind of daily labour that brings about questions of whether we’ve gone far enough, left out enough, left bare enough, said too much, sweated enough, bled enough, I think we are putting out into the world powers and vulnerabilities that could be the balm, or even antidote to it. The music industry needs it, politics need it, people need it. It’s love and sex and comfort and blood and unity amongst seekers on the outside of what seems to be an absurd and lonely state of normalcy currently.”

Young Galaxy’s reverence for love and art are the driving forces behind each of their albums, and it’s from this perspective that Stephen Ramsay and Catherine McCandless decided to attack the subjects of late period capitalism, the rise of nationalism and neoliberalism on Down Time. The album is full of images of satellite towns, ring roads, empty halls, shuttered windows, abandoned train stations, suburban decay – of existences without prospects. In juxtaposition to that, there is sensuality and longing at the heart of the record. Themes of transgression, and desire are explored. Despite the challenging nature of our day to day lives, passion and inspiration are never far from the surface.

Like it’s title, the music of Down Time is ambiguous enough to evoke the desire to relax and find peace, as well as images of struggle and darkness.

The album will be available in full on April 6, 2018 via the band’s own imprint. A full list of tour dates is below – tickets available January 16th at 10AM EST.

Tour Dates:

April 4 – Vancouver, BC at Venue

April 7 – San Francisco, CA at Rickshaw Stop

April 9 – Los Angeles, CA at The Echo

April 13 – Brooklyn, NY at Knitting Factory

April 14 – Washington DC at DC9

April 19 – Hamilton, ON at The Casbah

April 20 – Toronto, ON at Velvet Underground

April 21 – Montreal, QC at PHI Centre