.@TedoStone was born to play rock and roll. Growing up in a family with a musical father and where brothers handed down bass guitars to younger siblings like old sweatshirts, Stone was fronting a band and playing in motorcycle bars around his hometown of Covington, Georgia, when he was 12 years old.

Now living in Atlanta and with a searing new album, Marshes, due out on September 18 via This Is American Music, Stone is making a name for himself with an enthralling fusion of throwback southern vibes, indie rock hooks and a wall-of-sound resonance.

A lifetime of listening to classic country and soul artists like Patsy Cline and Otis Redding imbued the young songwriter with a retro pop and strong vocal appreciation from a young age, though finding his own voice has been an ongoing process. His 2013 debut album, Good Go Bad, saw Tedo delving into glam jams and alt country rock, though Stone admits he wasn’t fully assured of his sound yet.

While hanging out in Athens, Georgia and playing with the endless array of talented young musicians there, Stone realized his songs were sounding different live, evolving into a mixture of Dinosaur Jr’s wailing guitars and Neil Young’s raw emotion; and he liked it. Taking that new energy into the studio last year, Stone recorded Marshes straight to tape, live in a room with a core group of friends. Under the guidance of producer and engineer Drew Vandenberg (Deerhunter, of Montreal), Stone this time around establishes himself as a pure rock and roll songwriter, with invigorating rhythms, addictive hooks and keenly layered guitars.

Certain tracks throughout the album, like “By Your Side” and “Home to It” seamlessly infuse myriad musical elements at once, simultaneously echoing 60’s sock hop riffs, T. Rex-styled big amp fuzz and soaring post-rock solos, all while Stone fearlessly croons with a fierce timbre. Reflecting the swampy mires that Stone grew up around, Marshes is an album of deep grooves and assured writing that will find its way into your rotation with an endlessly repeatable appeal.

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.



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

Music News 360° – April 2018 Playlist
Men I Trust – Show Me How
Pressed And – Pat Pat
Yaeji – raingurl
Entek – Robbery
Daphni – Cos-Ber-Zam Ne Noya
Blaze Foley – If I Could Fly
It is rain in my face. – Restless Diesel
John Craigie – Presidential Silver Lining (Live)
Lonesome Shack – Wrecks
Thompson Springs – Maybe We Be Dreamin’

Listen on Spotify

@ReedTurchi is a producer, label head, band leader and solo artist. He’s also a master of guitar driven blues that shapeshift seamlessly between acoustic slide, electric juke joint boogie, and the improvisational, groove-driven, massive sound of his Nashville based Kudzu Orkestra. @MusicNews360 caught up with Reed returning from a trek deep within the Grand Canyon. Through many twists and turns, we discussed ManateeVans, beagle poop, putting the social back into music, and high proof corn liquor. Below are excerpts from our conversation.

BTW, Reed and his Kudzu Choir will be in NYC promoting their forthcoming album, Just a Little More Faith, this April, 2018. Catch them at one of the performances below.

  • April 17th – The Bitter End
  • April 18th – Leesta Vall Direct to Vinyl Live Session
  • April 18th – Paste Magazine Live Video Session 

Website // Bandcamp // SoundCloud // Instagram // Twitter

Reed Turchi – Full Performance (Paste Studio NYC)

Reed Turchi – Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

RT – Gemini.

MN360° – What is your spirit animal?

RT – Manatee, the Manatee Van.

MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

RT – Perfect pitch. A lot of people have that, but I count it as a superpower.

“Perfect pitch. A lot of people have that, but I count it as a superpower.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what would it be?

RT – Dark Blue.


MN360° – So when does the new record come out?

RT – The record comes out July 2018, though you will start to hear about it in April. I’ll be in NYC with the Kudzu Choir performing at The Bitter End, as well as doing a Paste Live Session and a Leesta Vall Direct to Lathe Session, to help show off the band, and the new record.

MN360° – When did you first get into music?

RT – Haha! Well…in different forms, pretty much most of my life. In terms of playing…My mom rounded up me and two of my elementary school friends and forced us into piano lessons. So that was my first non-recorder music class, pre-k musical learning. Then different versions of piano is what got me up until college, which is when the slide guitar bug bit and proved contagious.

MN360° – Your first musical instrument was the piano?

RT – Yep. Once I had the technical proficiency to be able to, I went down a more narrow piano path, and found stuff that I like, which was almost all boogie woogie piano stuff. Somewhere between Professor Longhair New Orleans stuff and the Pete Johnson Kansas City Blues stuff. All that is real rhythm left hand and more ornamental right hand. I love that stuff, but when I got into Fred McDowell and Hill Country world, I ran out of ways to fake that on piano…

I see a link between establishing musical proficiency with piano, diving more specialized within piano, and then realizing that was the wrong instrument for what I wanted.

You know, I can’t really play the guitar, but the reason I picked up the guitar was to play that particular sound, ignore the rest. The narrow method has proved somewhat useful.

“The reason I picked up the guitar was to play that particular sound, ignore the rest. The narrow method has proved somewhat useful.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – So you arrived at the blues while playing the piano?

RT – That’s definitely the case. Slightly a different blues, though I would say the same feeling. If you really nerd out about the way the Fred McDowell stuff works with the rhythmic thumb and single note melody line…There are a lot of parallels between that and the way, on the boogie woogie piano stuff, how the left hand is the rhythmic monster and the right hand is the melody. That’s not quite a clean comparison, but I see the connection there.

MN360° – You studied slide guitar with Kenny Brown. Can you tell us about your apprenticeship?

RT – One story that comes to mind … Kenny boarded all of his neighbors hunting beagles, as well as his own. So Kenny being the resourceful man that he is built about a 15 foot by 50 foot cement slab, and partition runs within that. All the dogs would be in there and still separated within these narrow rectangles. And that was fenced in. But then Kenny also not wanting to deal with the amount of beagle shit being produced by like 15 beagles, especially in summer heat…he would just take a pressure hose and hose all of that beagle defecation off the back end of the slab.

Unfortunately there was a point at which the immense mound that was being created along the back end of the slab was solidified and dense enough that the pressure washer could no longer push the beagle shit past a certain point. So in effect a shit mound about two feet tall, two feet wide, and fifty feet long had formed along the back end of the cement slab.

Kenny’s idea to deal with that, since it was on the edge of a hill, was to take a big PVC pipe…like a 12 inch diameter pipe…saw it in half, and then lay that behind, doing it at an angle so it could run off the back of the hill. Only problem…and my task…was to dig the trench for the pipe. But in order to dig the trench, and before you got to the ground…one had to dig through the approximate two foot by two foot by fifty foot mound of two year old beagle shit.

So I got about three shovelfuls in, and that was about all I could take before the project was aborted. I did end up burning those shoes.

The most telling moment of all was…when I walked back down to where Kenny was, after he had left me with the shovel and the…hm, informal blueprint. When he saw me walk back down after having stood two feet deep in beagle shit…Kenny said, “Oh…I guess I had some boots I could have lent you!”

The real blues experience is just that last little bit.

“When he saw me walk back down after having stood two feet deep in beagle shit…Kenny said, ‘Oh…I guess I had some boots I could have lent you!'” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – Right on! Any other insights from your tutelage with Mr. Brown?

RT – Park headed out…

“Park headed out…” – @ReedTurchi

Thanks to that intimate time, that lasted about 2 – 2.5 years, he did not directly teach me that much guitar, but I was certainly exposed and hands-on in that type of guitar playing much more than any healthy human should have been. You know, like any non academic tradition, it was definitely more of an informal passing of information, but a passing of information, nonetheless.

Kenny always told me he had the idea for a blues tour where you’d get a bunch of people on the bus from the airport in Memphis. You take them all down on the bus to whatever half functioning music venue Duwayne Burnside is running. Drop them all off. Take their bags, wallets, and just leave them.

So that would be the blues tour–everyone trying to figure out what they could do to get out of there while they were stranded without a wallet or bags, somewhere between Holly Springs, Potts Camp, and Oxford.

“That would be the blues tour–everyone trying to figure out what they could do to get out of there while they were stranded without a wallet or bags, somewhere between Holly Springs, Potts Camp, and Oxford.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – So how has your experience in North Mississippi influenced where you are today?

RT – Well I don’t think I realized this until years later…there just aren’t that many people in the world who have been crazy enough to spend a significant amount of time there. It’s definitely its own world. After spending a decent amount of time there, you realize that what from afar looks like giant genre of musical legends is basically this tiny area where a bunch of dudes just played the same stuff and didn’t have anything better to do…

“After spending a decent amount of time there, you realize that what from afar looks like giant genre of musical legends is basically this tiny area where a bunch of dudes just played the same stuff and didn’t have anything better to do” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – What is the blues?

RT – Well, it’s a folk music and an oral tradition, which is fun. Beyond that, the artists who seem to get it and ring true understand that the blues is a celebration of life and also admitting difficulties in life. If it becomes about guitar work, or it becomes about gear…you know all the blues doctors and lawyers in the world…then you’ve kind of missed the boat. And if it’s just about being sad, then that’s not quite right either.

“The blues is a celebration of life and also admitting difficulties in life” – @ReedTurchi

It’s a social music. I think we have less and less social music in the world because we consume music in our earbuds or as background music in a coffee shop, which is social music of a type, but kind of a social music meant to be ignored. So like all kinds of other music, a lot Latin music…anywhere where the audience and the performers are riding the same wavelength…instead of performers on a stage pretending like the world should worship them–that’s not the experience I’m talking about. Where the music just comes out of daily life, that’s the essence of where blues comes from. That essence or feeling of it coming from life is what matters.

“It’s a social music. I think we have less and less social music in the world because we consume music in our earbuds” – @ReedTurchi

“That essence or feeling of it coming from life is what matters.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – What keeps the blues alive?

RT – The way it looks will constantly change. As long as people are genuinely expressing themselves in music and not just turning it into some sort of anonymous sound or expression for marketability, then that same feeling will live on.

MN360° – What is the connection between blues and spirituality?

RT – Well you know…all the jokes about playing blues music Saturday night and gospel music Sunday morning ring pretty true. Blues at its best is willing to accept that there are great unknowns. There is definitely appeals to a greater or all powerful God that is built within the blues, so I think they are all related.

“Blues at its best is willing to accept that there are great unknowns.”@ReedTurchi

You know there is a Fred McDowell quote that goes something like, “Most people go through their lives and they do not even feel anything until someone they know dies, and then it is too late.”

One reason I liked Fred so much is he would play everything. He would play from 4pm to 2am every single Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon, because that was the gig. He played everything, sometimes it’s spirituals and sometimes it’s blues. It just depends on what the setting is, or who is listening, or what mood he is in. It’s all music.

MN360° – What do you see as the importance of rhythm in blues music?

RT – Rhythm is all there is in music. That’s why we have it. You can hear the different rhythms that are seen as the pillars of blues rhythms come from the situations they are being played in. Whether it is fife and drum rhythmic background in Hill Country music, or the Texas Shuffle that is closer to western dance. And then, Chicago Blues, having a more homogenized rhythm and structure, although sometimes boring, was the key to keeping those guys playing together, and the key to making Willie Dixon a ton of money when he standardized the songs into 12 bar formats that could be sold to publishing companies.

“Rhythm is all there is in music. That’s why we have it.” – @ReedTurchi

The rhythm is all that really matters, and you can hear each geographic rhythm just comes from the setting it’s being performed in and…the state of the listener. You know, Luther Dickinson says the key to Hill Country blues is the hypnotic properties of corn liquor. If you have high proof enough corn liquor, the way you play and the way the listeners react kind of take a left turn.

“If you have high proof enough corn liquor, the way you play and the way the listeners react kind of take a left turn.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – What do you think about drummers?

RT – Usually how it goes is if I get along with the drummer, I can’t stand how they drum, and if I barely get along with the drummer, I love the way they drum. Thankfully, Wallace (new drummer) breaks that mold. He is in his 60s, maybe 50s, and plays drums in order to play music, rather than playing drums to hit things, kind of like Anthony Cole from that amazing Greyhounds lineup–it’s a much more musical type of drumming than just hitting things.

“It’s a much more musical type of drumming than just hitting things.” – @ReedTurchi

I don’t know anything about drumming…But when I’m trying to play with a drummer, if it doesn’t work right off the bat, I can never get it to work. No matter how much we break down songs, no matter how much I try to speak drummer vocabulary. When it’s just off, it’s totally off.

“I don’t know why, but 9 out of 10 drummers totally shit the bed on Hill Country style drumming. They want to tame it back…” – @ReedTurchi

I don’t know why, but 9 out of 10 drummers totally shit the bed on Hill Country style drumming. They want to tame it back…You know, instead of attacking on the upbeat, they want to flip it over. You lose all the energy that way. I’m very lucky right now to have Wallace here, because…poof…I have trouble with drummers.

MN360° – What are some of the insights you gained from the time spent at Ardent Studios, being around folks like John Fry and John Hampton?

RT – If I was a better audio engineer, I would have more specific lessons learned from that time. John Fry and John Hampton, they…the way they shaped what was being played and recorded wasn’t sort of the producer role we think of today–like polishing something or turning something into a more marketable version of a rougher demo, which is what we kind of assume the process to be now. Rather, they would make pretty amazing artistic and musical choices to enhance the music.

So if it were a Chris Bell song, like “You and Your Sister”… John would get the strings and would be able to make a heartbreaking string section, and he knew how to bring them in and make a perfect mix. Or if you would take some falling apart as it comes together…Big Star “Third” type of stuff. John would treat unintentional guitar feedback as just as vital a piece of a song as someone’s vocal. All the pieces were equal and all the things were musicals. In my mind, the best engineers are able to do that.

“All the pieces were equal and all the things were musicals. In my mind, the best engineers are able to do that.” – @ReedTurchi

Obviously, Memphis has a huge rhythmic background. But if you think about those studios working together in the heyday, between the Stax empire…and all of the string, overdub work, and mixing being done at Ardent, because of the high tech gear and because of Fry…and then using the Swampers rhythm in Muscle ShoalsYou start to get an idea that each of these places were contributing a very special part to making probably some of the best music ever made. Memphis’s heyday was that whole region’s heyday.

So those are the things I try to think about because otherwise you can get a little too enamored with a particular time or a particular place. I mean there are circumstances historically that make that possible, but it’s not like…Yeah, if I go cut a record… I mean you can make believe whatever you want, but at the end of the day, those people with those skill sets made those things happen. It wasn’t just like…there may have been some circumstances that made it seem like it was just “in the water”, but you know there’s a reason why there is a hot period and then a not so hot period–you need the right people.

“There’s a reason why there is a hot period and then a not so hot period–you need the right people.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – So you went from North Mississippi to Memphis to Nashville?

RT – Well, one piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit geographically is meeting, touring, and making the Scrapyard record with Adriano Viterbini … Because, the intensity and the rhythm he uses when playing guitar, and also he’s such an omnivore of styles, a master of learning things and incorporating them, you know, blew my mind sideways. Having someone like that even interested in the least of what I was doing… so to some extent you know validating the very small and narrow approach I had was a big deal for me and a signal to keep going.

And now in Nashville…I’ve got a lot of people that I love making music with all around. Now with Wallace, the drummer, across the street… With the Kudzu Orkestra, I used to start “Going Down South” and just call out the key. Now I call out “Going Down South”, and Wallace asks “Who’s version?” I don’t know how many drummers in the world–the answer is probably about three–have played with as many Hill Country guys.

“Now I call out ‘Going Down South’, and Wallace asks ‘Who’s version?'” – @ReedTurchi

So having Wallace here, and Kathleen to sing and keep me in tune, which is very nice. And then you know Heather, from Caterwauls, who lives about three or four houses away, on piano. I mean, yeah, Nashville is full of great musicians, but these specific people are people that I love recording with and playing with. I feel a real resonance with them. So that really helps me just be able to make music that I love.

“I feel a real resonance with them. So that really helps me just be able to make music that I love.” – @ReedTurchi

You know one of my least favorite things about Memphis, and whoever wants to can kill me for this, but there’s a real pressure to worship the Gods of Memphis’ golden age. I’m into that and I love that music, but that’s not who I am. I’ll try to learn from that and incorporate parts of it, but I can’t get into some pissing contest about who can play the most Stax guitar licks. I mean it is not going to get me anywhere.

“There’s a real pressure to worship the Gods of Memphis’ golden age.” – @ReedTurchi


“I can’t get into some pissing contest about who can play the most Stax guitar licks.” – @ReedTurchi

So it’s refreshing to be somewhere where…like if I was here in Nashville trying to do country or country pop or even Americana, wherever that is…I think there would be a lot of a similar weight. I don’t care about that stuff. I feel like I’m a little more free in the music I can make because of what’s going on and also being surrounded by some of my favorite musicians within walking distance of the house, or in the house. So that’s the best case scenario for me. And now I get to practice all the time since I actually live somewhere–that makes a big difference!

MN360° – What is the biggest misnomer about Nashville?

RT – The biggest misnomer is that it’s all country. Though, in truth, it is the country empire, so that is only partly a misnomer. I would say that for a lot of those genres it is really shitty and hyper competitive, or even worse, passive-aggressive competitive. It is also true that there are a lot of great musicians in the woodworks, not just guys that have had a country hit. It’s a town that right now is in that sweet spot of affordability and creativity. I’m sure that won’t last…and I’m sure I’m part of the problem. It’s a nice place to be right now…there are interesting things happening. When that door closes or when we all get priced out of the neighborhood, we will all look back on it as a special moment and scene. And I’m not talking about people moving here from Portland with their Stetsons to be part of a scene.

“Nashville’s a town that right now is in that sweet spot of affordability and creativity.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – Can you tell us a bit about the Kudzu Orkestra?

Kudzu Orkestra is a totally open invitation, recurring gig, that happens on average once a month. I lead the songs and get them started. It’s a mix of Hill Country classics and the simplest “Reed” songs, so almost no chord changes, or no chord changes at all–best case. People who are into that, having a somewhat led but otherwise pretty free interpretation chance to perform without an ego trip and without, you know, a lot of money worries involved love it, and they come back and maybe bring a friend or play whenever they’re in town, stuff like that. So it’s incredible.

I mean the group of people that play in it are pretty spread out in who they are and how professional they are with their music. But the music we make is some of the best. There are a lot of people now who say it’s the most fun gig and their favorite band they’ve ever heard in Nashville. It’s just a party. We play in a room about the size of your living room kitchen, and there will be 14 people playing.

It’s just about sharing rhythm. We do it the last Wednesday of every month at the Inglewood Lounge.

“It’s just about sharing rhythm. We do it the last Wednesday of every month at the Inglewood Lounge.” – @ReedTurchi

There’s no pressure. There’s no judgement. Especially in a town where everyone is always being begged to come to everyone else’s show, so they can get the right number of people at the door. There is none of that. It’s just a good time. And I think people are just starting to recognize that that feeling that seems like it should be so basic in music is actually absent most of the time. So they’re kind of refreshed by it.

MN360° – How are these Kudzu Orkestra gigs informing the new album?

RT – The album morphed more out of my solo touring over the last year and a half, which has been the most gigs I have played in my life. I did about 100 gigs in 2017 and will aim for about the same number in 2018. So the album really grew out of that.

The relationships for the people on the album came from the Orkestra. I experiment with some stuff but it’s more fun…The Orkestra really experiments on me. I start songs and then just see where they go.

We recorded the album all live in the same room together with no headphones, no computer overdubs, no computer edits, none of that. On the new album there’s a lot of vocal heavy stuff, in large part thanks to Kathleen’s harmony abilities. She can help me get vocals together and figure out parts, because I have no ear for that.

The album is me and my Kudzu Choir. It’s not a Kudzu Orkestra record, like the last one. It’s Kathleen singing. Wallace playing drums. Heather playing piano and singing. Then Lee playing bass and also singing. So we have got four singers, and instruments. I’m playing slide guitar through a tiny little amp. We’re all together in the same room doing it live, all the vocals at the same time. So volume is really important.

“We’re all together in the same room doing it live, all the vocals at the same time.” – @ReedTurchi

MN360° – Can you tell us more about recording with the Kudzu Choir?

RT – The strength of the album is that it is obviously a recording of people in a room sharing a certain moment and mood. We recorded the entire album on Saturday, mixed the entire album on Sunday, and sent it off to be mastered on Monday. We rehearsed for it, and I had spent 100 some gigs playing these songs–it’s not like this was totally off the cuff. But the beauty is in how it came together, and how the personalities came together.

“It’s not the musicianship so much as it is the combination of personalities and characters. I really think you can hear that on the record. There is just a feeling to that you recognize is a very special, and rare, trait.” – @ReedTurchi

You know, Lee is from Tupelo, MS. Heather is from Woodbury, TN. Wallace has spent the last 12 years in Holly Springs. The only rehearsal everyone attended was the Friday night before the session. Everyone came over, and had dinner. As soon as everyone sat down, it was obvious that this was the group. It’s not the musicianship so much as it is the combination of personalities and characters. I really think you can hear that on the record. There is just a feeling to that you recognize is a very special, and rare, trait.

@DarylHance is an artist whose music is steeped in the spirit of blues, funk, and rock n roll, fortified with vintage tones, bottom-end, and transcendental messages high on life. @MusicNews360 caught up with Daryl in the process of building a back porch, and meditating on a forthcoming fourth album. We talked about lot lizards, meth heads, gardening (or lack thereof), and corn snakes. Below are excerpts from our conversation, as well as the WORLD PREMIERE of the video for ‘Inside’.

Music News 360°: Interview – Daryl Hance






Tour Dates


Wild Blue Iris (2016)

Land of Trembling Earth (2014)

Hallowed Ground (2011)




MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

DH – Sagittarius


MN360° – What is your spirit animal?

DH – Oh I don’t know…I recently had a dream in which a Seagull appeared.


MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

DH – Teleportation , that would be cool. Load up my gear, and teleport to the gig.


MN360° – You live in the swamp?

DH – Ahhh…More pine forest. The Okefenokee Swamp is about a half hour north of where I live. Though, the whole area is swampy. Pretty much all around me there is water.


“Pretty much all around me there is water”



Lots of wildlife. Deer, turkey, wild boar. There some wild boar out there. They’re around.

A lot of snakes in my yard, too.


MN360° – Does living out among nature influence your music?

DH – It has an effect…definitely, it has an effect. I have a yard full of animals. I don’t have a well groomed lawn–I just let everything grow. I don’t use any pesticide or spray or any of that shit. I let my lawn grow and grow, so all the animals flock to my yard.


“I let my lawn grow and grow, so all the animals flock to my yard”



I found a 5 foot snake in the yard this year.

Corn snakes, garden snakes…haven’t seen any rattlesnakes recently. Well…actually, I found one pygmy rattler about 4 or 5 inches long. Lizards. Every once in a while you will hear an owl. Hawks all the time. Buzzards. Ground dwelling critters…Moles. Rabbits. Foxes, around there.

I try to keep them outside. Every once in a while, one of the animals makes it inside. I went out the screen door one time, and a snake fell on my head. I felt something slide down my neck…it was a corn snake. I had a frog explosion at my house too, right after the first hurricane this year. Lot of frogs. When you get frogs, here come the snakes. But yeah…all that gets into the music, somewhere or another.


“Every once in a while, one of the animals makes it inside”



MN360° – What sparked your interest in music?

DH – When I was eleven or twelve years old, I had a friend that had a drum set. I would go over to his house, and he used to play the drums. One day I sat behind the set and kicked a beat. Something snapped. From that moment, I wanted to have a drum set and get into drums.

My first infatuation was with the beat and the groove. I used to do a lot of air drumming.

So I did that for a little bit. Then when I was 17, I got a guitar, and started playing with friends. We had a band right after high school. Went from there… There was a bass around, so started playing bass too. I picked up singing in my mid to late 20s.

I would say early on that I knew I wanted to do music. Of course, back then when I was 14, it was more like, “I want to be a rockstar”, because that was the only point of reference. Then over the years, you start peeling back the layers and discovering more and more things….It’s a process, I guess.

I always knew from an early age I wanted to be a musician. As far as which capacity that would be…for a time I thought I would be a drummer, and then I thought I would be a guitar player. I had no idea I could even sing or write songs. So it has been self discovery…


MN360° – Who is your least obvious musical influence?

DH – I would say Miles Davis. I gravitate towards music with space–atmospheric music, you know, on top, though underneath the rhythm part is a big thing too. I’m not total ambient, but somewhere in between. That makes the music sound alive, when you add some space to it.


“That makes the music sound alive, when you add some space to it”



MN360° – We hear that on your latest record, Wild Blue Iris. How did you create that space?

DH – I am beginning to get a better handle on the recording process, and a lot of that comes through on Wild Blue Iris. Also, we mixed the album through a Neve. That’s why it sounds more vibey and cohesive.


MN360° – Where did you record Wild Blue Iris? What was the process?

DH – I recorded the album at JJ’s house, at his studio. I tracked most all of the instruments. Reed Turchi played slide guitar on a couple of tracks. Cameron Weeks played drums on about half the tracks. I played drums on the other half, and some songs have two drum tracks.

I usually start with a rhythm ace drum machine or a metronome, and then cut three takes of the backing track. Pick which rhythm track feels the best. From there, I add lead guitar and vocals.


MN360° – What percentage of your songs would you say are autobiographical?

DH – I’d say all of them are, to a certain degree. Or, at least, all of them that have been on the records, thus far. I am getting out into some other areas, more into social commentary. I’ve had social commentary kind of songs for years, but haven’t put them out there…It’s kind of like, you meet someone new and he starts making social commentary right off the bat–it could throw you off.

A lot of the music just comes out of thin air…Sure, I’m guiding it, though it is coming to me from somewhere. I don’t sit down and write a song. Most of the songs come over the course of months and years. For instance, I have a song I started writing back in 2000 and just finished.


“A lot of music just comes out of thin air…Sure, I’m guiding it, though it is coming to me from somewhere”


MN360° – What is the background to the song ‘The Secret’?

DH – Everything is interconnected, that’s what the song is saying…that tree, the squirrel, the chair you’re sitting in, the air you’re breathing, you, your friends, Mt. Rushmore…It’s all interconnected. It’s all God, and everything else is illusion.


“That tree, the squirrel, the chair you’re sitting in, the air you’re breathing, you, you friends, Mt. Rushmore…It’s all interconnected. It’s all God, and everything else is illusion”



To me, I was trying to pour all the positive thoughts I could muster into that kind of premise. Even from the music…I remember coming up with the guitar riff. That’s actually one of the hardest guitar parts I have recorded–just picking two notes in succession for that long. That two string picking thing is hard–it gives me a newfound respect for The Edge.


MN360° – What do you see as the connection between the blues and spirituality?

DH – Well, the blues comes from real life experiences. It’s about spilling your guts, and not trying to produce hits, necessarily. Lots of modern music has lost what makes the blues great: its realness. Steering music towards money can throw the ship into the rocks, so to speak.

I’ve been fortunate enough, or unfortunate enough, to have not been hugely successful. Having just a little taste of success can really shift your focus. That shit can change you real quick.


“I’ve been fortunate enough, or unfortunate enough, to have not been hugely successful”



Back in the 60s, the artists had the freedom to express themselves and experiment. The Beatles had the freedom to go into Abbey Road anytime they wanted, to record any song they could think of…With the music I’m doing, I have the freedom to record what I want. It’s an organic thing.


MN360° – What is the strangest thing you’ve experienced on tour?

DH – While on tour with @JJGREYandMOFRO there would be chicks going around to each dude in the band asking us to come back to their place…She would be with her man, and he is kind of off to the side. She would be practically all over you. You’re kind of caught off guard, and the dude is looking at you all excited. It’s like, I don’t think I want to go anywhere with these people, I don’t want to end up being fitted with a ball-gag or something. That’s happened a couple of times… Not the being fitted with a ball-gag part, but the part about being awkwardly propositioned after a show. It can get weird sometimes…


MN360° – How about strangest place you’ve crashed while on tour?

DH – Well, we often sleep in the van at truck stops. There is a truck stop around Kennewick, WA…somewhere around there. You just get this weird vibe when you go there. There is always some kind of shady shit going on. You can tell there is something shady going on but you don’t know exactly what it is….people acting weird.

For instance, you are standing in line to get a shower, and one of those trucker guys comes along and starts chatting you up and says to you, “Gettin’ a shower, huh?”


“One of those trucker guys comes along and starts chatting you up and says to you ‘ Gettin’ a shower, huh? ’ ”


Another night, we were actually looking for a hotel, around Kent, OH. I go into this EconoLodge. There is some dude just kind of pacing around, in the lobby. There were two chicks behind the counter. Then another girl walks out from the back, and she has these sores all over her chest and upper neck. The chick at the register…I was asking her about a room, and it took forever for her to compute. She ended up asking me, ‘May I see your debit card’, while having the money drawer open, counting the money over and over. She kept screwing up and having to start over again. I ended up saying, ‘I left my wallet out in the van’, and went across the street to the other hotel.

There had to be some kind of meth situation going on there. Funny thing was, when we went across the street to the Super 8 and asked the girl behind the desk there, she was like, ‘Yeah, the cops are always going over to the EconoLodge.’

MN360° – What are the essential items that you carry while on tour?

DH – I bring a coffee maker. You know, one of those Keurig things. At the end of a tour, a Starbucks bill can add up…One time on a three week tour, we spent almost $150 at Starbucks. That adds up.

Also, might get a stun gun, or something. We don’t run into too many problems, though. We just stay moving.


“We don’t run into too many problems, though. We just stay moving”



MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what color would it be?

DH – Purple or blue.


MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

DH – It would be plexiglass, so you could see right through it…


Review form No Depression
Alive Records has long-since reached a critical mass that just seems to attract heavy, blues-soaked guitar rock bands. The label’s gravity has pulled this Buffalo quartet into orbit for a follow-up to their independently released Super Moon. Their new album is heavier on the grooves, with guitar strings thick with twang, deep bass lines, resonant snare drumming and just enough organ (both keyboard and mouth) to step this up from power trio form. The songs burn slowly, with tempos that emphasize power over speed. There are a few guitar solos, but they’re rangy rather than flashy, and what really draws you is the unwavering authority of the rhythms. The album hits a soul stride with “Leave it All Behind” and “Right On, the former sounding as if Arthur Alexander stepped out of the studio just long enough for the band to work up an original, the latter could be Little Feat’s heavier alter ego. Handsome Jack’s music resonates with the atmospheres of rock’s great ballrooms – the Avalon, Fillmore, Winterland, Agora, Grande – and the bands who rocked them. They call their music “boogie soul,” but the boogie gave birth to rock and their souls are plugged into an extension cord that stretches from Buffalo to the Delta. [©2014 Hyperbolium] 

Kenny Brown (born July 5, 1953 on the Air Force base in SelmaAlabama) is an American blues slide guitarist skilled in the North Mississippi Hill Country blues style.

Brown apprenticed with Mississippi Joe Callicott, who was his neighbor in Nesbit, Mississippi, from age 12 to 15, when Callicott died. He had heard Othar Turner and others in nearby Como picnics, and cited Junior KimbroughJohnny Winter, and Johnny Shines as influences.

Around 1971, beside working in construction, Brown began playing with two other musicians. Johnny Woods would make an occasional playing partner to his death in 1990. More steady was Brown’s learning with R. L. Burnside, who claimed Brown as his “adopted son,” and affectionately called him “white boy on guitar” and “my white son.” Brown has noted that they had trouble to book dates, when European event organizers would hear he is a white musician playing the traditionally African American blues,] and that American record producers and critics have similar reservations.

Still in the early seventies they started to perform in their region, and would keep up as a duo for twenty years. Cedric Burnside joined their tours from about 1994, as Burnside’s reputation surged. In the 1990s and early 2000s Brown participated in most of Burnside’s tours and recordings, including the Burnside-Jon Spencer Blues Explosioncollaborations and the remixed albums.

Brown first appeared abroad in Sweden in 1989, and later in the 1992 Åmåls Blues Fest with George “Mojo” Buford.

On record, he plays second guitar on two of Junior Kimbrough’s albums throughout, and on some tracks on the posthumous compilation, God Knows I Tried. He is on tracks by Asie PaytonCeDell Davis and Paul “Wine” Jones, as well as Frank Frostand Cyndi Lauper.

Brown’s own debut album was Goin’ Back to Mississippi (1996), produced by Dale Hawkins. He has recorded one album for Fat Possum RecordsStingray (2003). He released Cheap, Fast, and Dirty (2006) with Danish guitarist Troels Jensen, at Olufsen Records. Meet Ya In The Bottom (2008) is a CD Baby release. His double album Can’t Stay Long (2011) was released on Devil Down Records.

In their 2003 tour he has opened for Widespread Panic (and the extended combo Smiling assassins), as he earlier had with Burnside.

Brown’s guitar work was featured in the 2006 film Black Snake Moan, where he provided backing for star Samuel L. Jackson‘s vocals. He can be seen in the film’s climax as a guitarist in a blues band, playing alongside Cedric Burnside.

Brown lives in Potts Camp, Mississippi, in the North Mississippi Hill Country with his wife Sara.

Review from www.seattlepi.com .

After the huge success of Brothers and El Camino, it’s hard to believe that The Black Keys’ debut album was recorded in the drummer’s basement.

On The Big Come Up (2002), Dan Auerbach‘s vocals are as raw as those of Little Richard and Bo Diddley. His lyrics are heavier than Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti,” mourning over the loss of a girl in eight of the 13 songs. They’re typical blues rock lyrics (“Well, my heart goes out to you in your time of need/But you cause me pain most every time you breathe”), but they’re certainly welcome in a time where blues rock isn’t the most popular genre. Like Auerbach’s vocals, his guitar work is gritty with few impressive flourishes. He doesn’t hammer out power chords or spend 10 seconds proving his skill. Instead, he uses his guitar as a supplement to his vocals, sort of as the overdubbed harmony that the mediocre recording devices can’t maintain.

Patrick Carney doesn’t match his partner’s choice of genre, but he does complement it with another historically black style. Rather than settling for the simple beats and heavy toms of ’50s rock and roll, Carney throws in the tang-te-tang cymbals characteristic of jazz. Sometimes he even tosses in a snare to mimic a ’90s New York hip hop feel, especially in “Breaks” and “240 Years Before Your Time,” which include spoken samples that further contribute to the hip hop feel. Carney’s balance of cool snare and popping hi-hat maintains through the next six albums, as the rhythm in “Do The Rump” reappears in Brothers’ “Tighten Up.”

Review from www.glidemagazine.com .

Low Cut Connie made their wacky and weird debut in 2011 with the truly fantastic record Get Out the Lotion. With its oddball album artwork and throwback soul songs like “Full of Joy” and “Johnny Cool Man”, no one knew what to make of them. It seemed the Philly-based band had just popped up out of nowhere and satisfied every hankering you never even knew you had. And then, if you were lucky enough, you saw them live, then you got a taste for front man Adam Weiner’s monkey-like showmanship. An insanely energetic leader, he moved from the piano bench to the edge of the back of a chair in seconds, and made the microphone is bitch.

Since then, Low Cut Connie has been busy, but has flown mostly under the radar, releasing their follow up Call Me Sylvia in 2012. But not for long. Their latest Hi Honey is a powerhouse that will no doubt get them the attention they so deserve.]

Initially just Weiner and fellow founding member Dan Finnemore, Low Cut Connie has grown to include James Everhart and Will Donnelly, and you can hear it in their sound. Hi Honey features a more full-band sound, but with that same retro rockabilly soul aesthetic they’ve always done so well. Produced by Thomas Brenneck (Charles Bradley, Alabama Shakes, Black Lips, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings), that soulful sound has been deepened and more polished. There’s a raucousness to their songs, like they’re just completely losing their shit in the best way. Weiner sounds like a wild man on songs like “Taste So Good” and “Danny’s Outta Money.”

Hi Honey has a heavy 1960s vibe to it, which is so well suited to what Low Cut Connie does best. “Danny’s Outta Money” has that old Elton John pop sound, and “Shake it Little Tine”, “Diane (Don’t Point That Thing at Me)” and “The Royal Screw” are theatrical and cheeky. Weiner and Finnemore have always injected a hilarious, often perverted, over-the-top sense of humor into their songwriting, setting themselves apart. “You got extensions in your royal ‘do”, Weiner sings on “The Royal Screw”, putting a high maintenance chick in her place. Weiner’s bellow is Low Cut Connie’s secret weapon, but his band knows how to back him up. “Dumb Boy” is a harmonious explosion of all their sounds, with an almost Britpop edge to it.

The hot twinkling of Weiner’s piano keys add life to each of the songs on the album, along with his boisterous vocals and totally unself-conscious demeanor. Hi Honey feels the most cohesive out of all Low Cut Connie’s records, with one solid sound throughout. Whereas Lotion had moments of country, moments of pure rockabilly and elements of punk garage rock, Honey is a soul-rock record through and through. “Me N Annie” captures this sound the best, and is a standout  that will warrant countless listens.

If anyone has yet to hear of Low Cut Connie, Hi Honey is the album that will jolt them to awareness. The electric energy coming out of this band is something special, and it radiates through each song on Honey, a serious blast.

Review from www.sputnikmusic.com .

Haunting and ethereal. These are the two words that could embody the entire spectrum of descriptors when contemplating the qualities within the sound created by Mazzy Star. So Tonight That I Might See had one lone radio hit. A minor blip on the pop music radar that came at time when everything was alternative – no matter how wide its appeal, nor its actual genre of origin. “Fade into You” was a dreamy, somber resignation of a song, with aspirations larger than the band and the moment from which it drew forth. With a quivering slide guitar, a modest chord progression and airy vocals, “Fade into You” was a once in a decade ballad, capable of branding a moment in time. A California pixie, floating on a psychedelic plane, Hope Sandival is without a doubt the strongest instrument in her band. Soft as tissue and light enough to drift for miles, her voice creates a hologram of sound that establishes itself as the focal point of every song it bestows itself upon. Formed in the late ’80s, Mazzy Star was the combined effort of guitarist and songwriter, David Roback, and Sandival, the ghostly-voiced frontwoman/lyricist. In 1990, they released a debut, She Hangs Brightly, which received about as much attention as Hope’s stature commands. It wasn’t until unearthing the career defining hit on 1993 sophomore release, So Tonight That I Might See, that anyone would take much notice.

The immense weight of the album’s lone hit single severely imbalances the record for those not prepared for (or expecting) a journey into lifeless abyss. Accessibility takes a plunge after the opening draw of “Fade Into You.” While the album as a whole is a well executed exploration into moody territory, the overall sound of the record is suited for contemplative relaxation and introspection, with individual tracks less independently sturdy than the album opener. Immediate intimacy and aural appeal is less discernible throughout the remainder of the listen. This does not, however, create for a weak offering. It only makes the fruits more esoteric.

Hope floats her other-worldly vocal across the dreamy haze of instrumentation on “Bells Ring.”Rich in seduction, her voice is a soothing breeze – a breath of melody and polished-smooth drawl; Lyrics nearly inaudible, strewn over a backdrop of alternating chords and tamborine. A bad mushroom trip manifesting as a song, “Mary of Silence” slows the album down to a near halt, with each bpm unwillingly forced into existence. The verse’s lyrics expressed through a tripped-out string of incoherence, lost amidst a bed of reverb and wavering pitch; The stylistic manifestation of Roback’s understated approach. Three arpeggiated chords make up the simple beauty of “Five String Senenade,” one of the albums finest moments. Simple, delicate and minimal in nature, the track could be considered runner-up for album’s best. With little deviation, So Tonight That I Might See never tries to do too much, but continuously achieves its specific intentions with commendable results. “Wasted,” rooted in its distortion-riddled, electric blues riff, is the punchiest of the album’s ten compositions, but is still a laid back excursion, by any conventional standard. Album closer, “So Tonight That I Might See,” introduces Native American inspired percussion and the intermittent tamborine crash, covered over with a spoken-word vocal, executed with the trademark passive enthusiasm demonstrated throughout the record.

Songs on So Tonight That I Might See bleed together, unwavering in their solumn resolve to remain completely subdued, resistant to any kind of hope or need to pick themselves up; Instead, content to wallow in limp, listless misery. Ambivalent to its self-imposed constraints, the album flows as a consistent, tangent sentence, drawn out across a dreamy, dusty landscape. Certainly not the most exciting record to ever meet the needle’s drag, yet still a fully realized attempt at exposing and revealing the darkest layers of expression and resignation. The perfect soundtrack to a rainy day or indulgence in self-pity. The kind of record anyone can appreciate and take comfort in, at one time or another.

Robert “Wolfman” Belfour (September 11, 1940 – February 24, 2015) was an American blues musician. He was born in Red Banks, MississippiWhen he was a child, his father, Grant Belfour, taught him to play the guitar, and he continued his tutelage in the blues from the musicians Otha TurnerR. L. Burnside, and Junior Kimbrough. Kimbrough, in particular, had a profound influence on him. His music was rooted in Mississippi hill country traditions, in contrast to Delta blues. His playing was characterized by a percussive attack and alternate tunings.

When Belfour was thirteen, his father died, and music was relegated to what free time he had, as his energy went to helping his mother provide for the family. In 1959, he married Noreen Norman and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he worked in construction for the next 35 years.

In the 1980s, Belfour began playing on Beale Street. Eight of his songs are included on the musicologist David Evans‘s compilation album The Spirit Lives On: Deep South Country Blues and Spirituals in the 1990s, released by the German Hot Fox label in 1994. This led Belfour to Fat Possum Records and record his first albumWhat’s Wrong With You, released in 2000.

The album Pushin’ My Luck followed in 2003, receiving a positive critical review.

Belfour died on February 24, 2015, at the age of 74.

Review from www.nodepression.com .

Junior Kimbrough died four years ago at the age of 67. His was not a death by misadventure, but from heart failure after a life of hard work in a region of the country where the median income dips precipitously low and the work days run back-breakingly long. His juke joint in Holly Springs, Mississippi, known simply as Junior’s Place, served as the de facto headquarters for a motley assortment rural bluesmen (R.L. Burnside, Asie Payton, T Model Ford, etc.) who all wound up recording for the Fat Possum label in the 1990s. Within a couple years of Kimbrough’s death, Junior’s Place followed suit, burning to the ground.

Though music coursed through the full of his life, he had recorded only five songs prior to the sessions for his first album, All Night Long, in 1992. This set commences with the rare 1969 single “Release Me”, on which Kimbrough is joined by Charlie Feathers. Jumping ahead nearly 25 years, there’s a seamless consistency to Kimbrough’s approach in every regard. His songs are all slowly undulating grooves — not the urban boogie of John Lee Hooker, rather the unfolding rhythmic swirls of Africa and the Mississippi Delta.

Electric, but less overtly amped-up than the music of his longtime friend and rival R.L. Burnside, Kimbrough’s music oozed danger and sex. It’s all deep wants and teeth-clenched insistency. Included here, from his last session, is 1996’s “Most Things Haven’t Worked Out”. The title, adhered to a six-minute instrumental, is what makes this music so relentlessly powerful. As his singing danced between whispers and wails, it shut out every other outside force in his world. It’s as if the most sustaining breaths in Junior Kimbrough’s life were all recorded during the takes of these dozen songs.