Friday, February 23, 2024

Alberta & The Dead Eyes: “There is a simplicity and spaciousness that is rare… When done correctly, as it is here, that’s all you need.” — The Big Takeover

Carpenter by day, Dave Boone, offers, “a swampy groove with a bit of a mid-1970s tint to it a la peak Fleetwood Mac” (Treble) at night; Album out March 15.

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Dave Boone of Alberta & The Dead Eyes as photographed by The Dead Eyes


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Alberta & The Dead Eyes | In The Press


“Just as interested in the past as the future.” — Various Small Flames


“A journey to the heart of human vulnerability.” — IGGY (France)


“It’s a joyful, playful sound built on the blues.” — Alt 77


“Covering ample stylistic ground... It’s a winner from the first.” — Neufutur


“Vocal styling similar to legends such as Amy Winehouse.” — Lost In The Manor


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Alberta & The Dead Eyes | “Slow Fool”



[STREAM]: https://Fanatic.lnk.to/AlbertaAndTheDeadEyes-SlowFool

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About | “Slow Fool”


Listen to “Slow Fool,” the latest single from the upcoming album Give Or Take by Alberta & The Dead Eyes via The Big Takeover here or at the link above.

“Kicks off without any fuss or fanfare and then builds slowly, gathering almost imperceptible musical weight as it adds layers of tones and texture around it along its journey. There is a simplicity and spaciousness that is rare in music making circles today. But, when done correctly, as it is here, that’s all you need.” — The Big Takeover

“I was living in the recording studio that whole year,” Dave Boone of Alberta & The Dead Eyes explains, “and it was wearing on me. I locked myself in the control room for an entire day just for a change of pace and I was listening to the radio. Sure enough I got bored and wrote this little junker. This is one of those songs that just spilled out. ‘A little too low to be that high.’ Pretty self explanatory to me.”

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Alberta & The Dead Eyes | “Spiff”



[STREAM]: https://Fanatic.lnk.to/AlbertaAndTheDeadEyes-Spiff

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About | “Spiff”


Listen to “Spiff,” the first single from the upcoming album Give Or Take by Alberta & The Dead Eyes via Treble here or at the link above.

“The song carries a swampy groove with a bit of a mid-1970s tint to it a la peak Fleetwood Mac, but with a rich backing of organ and layers of vocal harmonies that rise into a brief moment of transcendence that fades nearly as soon as it arrives. But vocalist Dave Boone’s hollers and yelps make the path to and from that climactic chorus just as fun. — Treble

“False hope or pure will sums up this song quite a bit. The narrator never lets on too much here one way or the other. An edge of confidence makes one believe both characters (the narrator and whomever they are talking to) will get out of whatever they are in.

The last line, ‘We know what we’re in for this time.’” Yeah. I have some confidence there; I still don’t know if I believe it. I know I want to by the end of this tune. I think that’s the whole point of this song. Even the bass part mimics that sentiment, swimming back and forth from root note hard rhythm to kind of solo counter melody.” — Dave Boone, Alberta & The Dead Eyes

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Alberta & The Dead Eyes
Give Or Take
March 15, 2024
(Dead Eyes Collective)


Track Listing:

01. So Cool
02. Slow Fool (STREAM)
03. Spiff (STREAM)
04. Wild Creature
05. Wannabe
06. Stop Gap Blues
07. Wicks
08. Bogachita Blues
09. Walk Walk
10. Welcome
11. Get There Faster

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Alberta & The Dead Eyes
“Ghost Kitty” EP
Out Now
(Dead Eyes Collective)

Streaming Link:


Track Listing:

01. Bundled Up Blues (STREAM)
02. Roofbeam Riser
03. Boyfriends (STREAM)
04. Excavation Blues

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Alberta & The Dead Eyes | About

Alberta & The Dead Eyes is the giant-sounding band that in reality is the majority work of one real-life carpenter, David Boone (or D. Boone as he often signs off, evoking another literal and figurative giant of musical history, D. Boon of The Minutemen.)


In fact, Boone’s songs contain that same ramshackle joy and conversational, inclusive tone that Boon’s do. It’s the sound of a natural talent letting it fly.

“I’m a carpenter by day and sometimes even by night,” Boone says. “A fine carpenter at that, but a better musician.”

You may want to leave the page now to find out more about Boone, but don’t bother. He made the right choice. The choice that none of us made and many wish we had. Boone is nowhere to be found on social media.

He lets the songs do the sharing.

Alberta & The Dead Eyes will release its new 11-song album Give or Take on March 15, 2024. The album is preceded by “Ghost Kitty,” a four-song EP of additional songs, out now.

The songs on Give or Take represent a man in withdrawal from a two-packs-a-day cigarette habit that went on for 15 years.

“Mama, did it fuck me up more than I expected,” Boone confesses. “I wrote the entire record pretty much curled up in a ball.”

Grieving his relationship with nicotine while composing, Boone kept company with his influences, numerous and varied. So numerous and varied that mentioning a handful isn’t going to help you any more than looking for Boone online will.

“I love Billie Holiday. And The Stooges. And The Band. And Outkast. And Duke Ellington. And Cole Porter. And David Sedaris. And Bill Watterson. And the Detroit Pistons. And John fucking Prine.”

Boone doesn’t mention The Minutemen, but likely would, if prompted.

“I mean Jesus, should I keep going?”

Get it?

The thing about Boone as musician that isn’t likely is how much Boone as carpenter makes it into his music. He doesn’t mention the Grateful Dead either, but the steadfast focus that underpins Boone’s freestyle nature is kinda Alberta & The Workingman’s Dead Eyes.

“I’m a complete ‘no one is coming to save you’ type of person,” he explains. “Keep your head down and do your job. Musician schmoosician. Do what your supposed to fucking do. Write good songs. Play good shows. Show up on time. Be humble and be fucking nice.”

A real-life carpenter keeping it real-life real. Refreshing.

It should be even less surprising now that musician Boone rejected Instagram squares for T-squares just like he painfully swore off smokes cold turkey for the clean lungs that arrived with the songs, or as Boone sees it, he arrived to them.

“The songs are just there, hanging out, waiting for someone,” he says.

Now that someone is you.

Alberta & The Dead Eyes will release its new 11-song album Give or Take on March 15, 2024, preceded by “Ghost Kitty,” a four-song EP of additional songs, out now.

Dave Boone of Alberta & The Dead Eyes is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.

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Alberta & The Dead Eyes | Links


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Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion | Contact

Thursday, February 22, 2024

With 14-piece band The Knockdown Dragout, Chris J Norwood takes “headfirst dive into horn-laden, Memphis-style R&B” (Dallas Morning News).

“Lyle Lovett has his big band. Now Chris J Norwood has his,” says Twangville of band’s debut self-titled album, out now. Hear “The Cheap Seats” here.

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Chris J Norwood as photographed by Joseph Brewster

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Chris J Norwood & The Knockdown Dragout | In The Press

“A headfirst dive into horn-laden, Memphis-style R&B.” — Dallas Morning News

“Infectious, unapologetic sense of soulfulness... there’s a muscular fullness to these tracks.” — KXT 91.7, Dallas

“Songs that celebrate life rather than bemoaning it.” — Dallas Observer

“A hell of an introduction for those looking for their next favorite modern soul act.” — Glide

Lyle Lovett has his big band. Now Chris J Norwood has his.” — Twangville

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Chris J Norwood & The Knockdown Dragout | “The Cheap Seats”

[STREAM]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoN5vepFSWo

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About | “The Cheap Seats”

“My favorite memory is being at the Kenny Rogers perfect game.”

“It’s another classic soul groove on this one,” says Chris J Norwood of “The Cheap Seats,” taken from the just-released album The Knockdown Dragout by his band of the same name. I wouldn’t consider myself an avid sports fan, though I do follow and enjoy the local Dallas teams.

Some of my fondest memories as a kid were going to Rangers games and sitting in up in the nosebleeds. My favorite memory is being at the Kenny Rogers perfect game. I thought that lyrically it was a fun metaphor to see through and play with. I’m particularly proud of the ‘Casey At The Bat’ reference in the bridge and another incredible sax solo by Preston Lewis!”

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Chris J Norwood & The Knockdown Dragout
The Knockdown Dragout
Out Now
(Gastonwood Music)

Streaming Link:

Vinyl Order Link:


Track Listing:

01. Introducing...
02. The Knockdown Dragout (STREAM | VIDEO)
03. The Cheap Seats (STREAM)
04. Dancing In The Kitchen (STREAM | VIDEO)
05. Run Rosie Run
06. I Want It All
07. Love Me Back To Life (STREAM)
08. Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa (Sad Song) (STREAM)
09. The GOAT
10. Got To Get Back To Texas
11. Darling Don’t Leave

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Chris J Norwood & The Knockdown Dragout | About

If the photographic evidence accompanying The Knockdown Dragout (Gastonwood Music, Out Now) is any indication, then Chris J Norwood is a beaten man.

Beaten, maybe… But not out!

As Norwood sings on “The Knockdown Dragout” — the ensemble, album, and first single all share the same name — he is a fighter:

I know it don’t look good
They got me up against the ropes
I ain’t no light weight kid
I got the fight, the will, the hope

The “will” and “hope” part comes in as the Dallas-based songwriter — and now bandleader, commanding a Stax-inspired ensemble cutting tracks live on the studio floor in the same building where Willie Nelson made Red Headed Stranger — leaves behind his acoustic guitar to make the album of his dreams.

“I have wanted to make this record for a long time,” Norwood says about a passion so strong, he parted ways with his record label to be able to see his vision through. “If you were to come over on a Saturday afternoon, Otis Redding is what is playing on the stereo.”

The Knockdown Dragout cover the Redding classic “Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa (Sad Song)” in a joyous rendition that sits perfectly alongside Norwood’s originals.

“I had to include an Otis cover,” Norwood explains. You can’t help but feel good, and that’s what I love about soul music. Even the sad songs make you dance.”

Norwood had become tired of sadness.

“I’m disillusioned with the ‘sad bastard’ scene of singer-songwriters that I found myself a part of,” he admits. After releasing two records that reckoned with darkness and personal tragedy, Norwood wanted to make an album that was “just fun.”

A “knockdown dragout” is a phrase I used to hear my mother use,” he explains of the album’s statement of purpose, which also addresses his relationship with the music industry. “It’s essentially a fight between two people that is particularly bad.” Norwood’s decision to leave his label to make this album was actually amicable, but even civil closure smarts.

The same goes for Norwood’s surprise genre switch-up.

“I wanted to write some songs that I could actually sing to Carrie and dance in the kitchen to,” he says,  alluding to one of the album’s standout tracks, “Dancing In The Kitchen,” a love song to Norwood’s wife.

Finally! Songs that are about me!” Carrie Norwood, who also appears on the record as one-half of the background vocal duo, The Knockouts, jokes.

“Being a Knockout comes with attitude and sass,” she says. “The world is pretty crazy right now, but there is still love and goodness to sing about.”

After listening to the celebratory songs on The Knockdown Dragout,  Norwood’s “will” and “hope” win this bout by unanimous decision.

The Knockdown Dragout by Chris J Norwood & The Knockdown Dragout is out now via Gastonwood Music.

Chris J Norwood is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.

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Chris J Norwood & The Knockdown Dragout | “Dancing In The Kitchen”


[STREAM]: https://fanatic.lnk.to/TheKnockdownDragout-DancingInTheKitchen

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About “Dancing In The Kitchen”

Watch the video for “Dancing In The Kitchen” via Adobe & Teardrops here or at links above!

“You can hear Norwood channel that intensity in his performance, bringing a punk rock lineage to his R&B. ‘Dancing in the Kitchen’ is a reprieve on an album that chronicles Norwood’s victories and defeats, but we get the sense of a determined drive to keep pushing through it all.” — Adobe & Teardrops

‘Dancing In The Kitchen’ is a love song for my wife Carrie that is true to where we are at in our lives. We have been married for over a decade, and we have small kids, so if there is going to be romance, we have to make it happen. Dancing in our little tiny kitchen after we put the kids to bed and have done the dishes is as good a place as any for romance!

“I wanted the video to feel like a fly on the wall. The video is about the most accurate portrait of our love for each other as possible. The other part of the video, where you see me playing into the spotlights, is a nod to the Otis Redding video ‘I've Been Loving You’ from the Monterey Pop Festival 1967.” — Chris J Norwood

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Chris J Norwood & The Knockdown Dragout | “The Knockdown Dragout”


[STREAM]: https://fanatic.lnk.to/TheKnockdownDragout-TheKnockdownDragout

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See the video for the eponymous cut “The Knockdown Dragout” at Americana Highways, listen via Glide Magazine (or use the links above!)

“Swaggery and enjoyable... Bluesy glory characterizes this song from the start. Playing together in the woodsy studio helps bolster this song’s Stax-style intent.” — Americana Highways

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About The Video | “The Knockdown Dragout”

“We had a lot of fun and that is something I wanted to showcase with the music video,” Norwood says. “When I first started dreaming up this project, it was important to record in the same way my favorite Stax and Motown records were recorded. All the musicians playing together in a great sounding room with vintage gear.

Audio Dallas immediately came to mind and was the perfect studio for us. It’s got such a storied history, with so many great records made there. It looks virtually the same as it did in the 70s.

“In a lot of ways the studio was like another member of the band. There’s a reason why records that are made this way sound the way they do. There’s a joy and a camaraderie and a vibe when you make music with your friends.”  — Chris J Norwood

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Chris J Norwood & The Knockdown Dragout | “Love Me Back To Life”


[STREAM]: https://fanatic.lnk.to/TheKnockdownDragout-LoveMeBackToLife

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About “Love Me Back To Life”

Listen to “Love Me Back To Life” via Twangville here or at link above!

“This song started with the drum beat, which is essentially the groove from ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ — such an iconic old soul groove. Lyrically, I wanted to write a song about how amazing my wife is! Previously, I’d spent too many albums writing about heartache, and I wanted this one to reflect where I’m currently with the love of my life. One of the things I love about soul music lyrically is that not everything has to be so heavy-handed.

“It’s not that the lyrics don’t matter; it’s just that they’re a part of the greater aim of giving you that good soul feeling. One of my favorite parts of this song is the amazing string playing (arranged by my friend Nick Seeley). The strings still give me goosebumps when they come in on the second verse. And that sax solo by the excellent Preston Lewis on the outro is phenomenal!

“Using Motown as a guide for this track, I knew I wanted to make it big and sweeping. Those early Motown hits are so expansive with the band, background vocals, horns, percussion, and strings. And it’s almost reminiscent of Phil Spector’s ‘Wall Of Sound’ approach.

“This track has 14 musicians on it. I had so much fun building the whole arrangement. We started with the rhythm section (bass, drums, percussion, guitar, and keys) playing together in the room. Then, I overdubbed the lead vocals and then the backing vocals with that call and response. I then added the horn with the amazing sax solo on the outro. Then, finally, the strings. But everything fits together. We were very intentional about each layer complementing and supporting the whole groove.” — Chris J Norwood

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Chris J Norwood | Links

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Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion | Contact

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

See the crushedvelvets cover “Mambo Sun” by T-Rex, bringing a sound described as a “tranquil blend of Chris Isaak and The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group.”

Tune taken from “Live In Studio” EP shot live at Chris Schlarb's Big EGO (Mike Watt, Nels Cline, Sufjan Stevens); Debut album arrives later this year.

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Dani Meza of the crushedvelvets as photographed by Cristopher Cichocki

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the crushedvelvets“Mambo Sun” (T-Rex Cover) (Live In Studio)


[YOUTUBE]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlhPtQv8SC8

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‘Mambo Sun’was just for our pleasure, and to show the diversity of influences on the music I write,” Dani Meza of the crushedvelvets explains. “This song kept coming up in conversation when I would share some of the new music we were recording for the album. I couldn’t ignore the sign when more than a handful of people brought it up.”

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Dani Meza, the lead singer and braintrust of Indio’s the crushedvelvets, has quietly become indie rock’s Captain of Cool. A tranquil blend of Chris Isaak and The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, Meza’s songs sway with dark flourishes and adroit percussion.” — Stereo Embers

Dani Meza of the crushedvelvets recently wrapped up recording a full-length debut album with veteran producer Chris Schlarb (Mike Watt, Nels Cline, Sufjan Stevens) at the helm. While working in Schlarb’s BIG EGO Studios, Meza decided to cap his 2022 series of EPs as the crushedvelvets with one more.

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the crushedvelvets
“Live In Studio” EP
(S/R)
Out Now

Streaming Link:
STREAM FULL EP


Track Listing:

01. Intertwined (Live In Studio) (STREAM | VIDEO)
02. A Hero’s Sin (Live In Studio) (VIDEO)
03. Mambo Sun (T-Rex Cover) (Live In Studio) (VIDEO)

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Throughout 2022, Dani Meza released a series of three-song EPs under the dark and sexy name the crushedvelvets.

Described by Stereo Embers as “dreamy and soulful shuffles that have all the night-kissed grace of Julee Cruise and the poetic finesse of The Jazz Butcher,” Ghettoblaster proclaimed that “the vibe is reaching levels of ultimate leisure.”

It was as if Meza’s physical need, following his recovery from aneurysm and two strokes, to approach music from a more relaxed perspective had allowed him to relax his listeners as well.

“These songs are all about the groove,” Meza said at the time, citing Al Green, Marvin Gaye, and Prince as primary influences.

Meza has now wrapped up a full-length debut album with veteran producer Chris Schlarb (Mike Watt, Nels Cline, Sufjan Stevens) at the helm. While working in Schlarb’s Big Ego Studios, Meza decided to cap his 2022 series of EPs as the crushedvelvets with one more.

“Live In Studio” (out now) is a unique companion to Meza’s previous releases in that it was recorded live on the Big Ego studio floor accompanied by a professional multi-camera video shoot.

“We perform two of the song taken from two of the earlier EPs that people liked the most,” Meza says of “Intertwined” and “A Hero’s Sin.” The band also lends its signature sound to a cover of the T. Rex classic “Mambo Sun.”

‘Mambo Sun’ was just for our pleasure, and to show the diversity of influences on the music I write,” Meza explains. “This song kept coming up in conversation when I would share some of the new music we were recording for the album. I couldn’t ignore the sign when more than a handful of people took it up.”

The musicians joining Meza for this live session comprise the same band that accompanies him on the album he tracked the week after the “Live In Studio” shoot and session went down.

These include Ben Lumsdaine on Drums (Durand Jones), Danny Frankel on Percussion (Lou Reed, Fiona Apple, She and Him), Heather Sommerhauser on Synth (Junatime), and Max Diaz on Bass (scarypoolparty, W I R E S, Broken Baby.)

“This live EP is the closing of a book in order to move on to the next one,” Meza states.

“Live In Studio” (out now) with visually stunning performance videos to accompany each of its three tracks, is the fourth and final EP in the crushedvelvets series by Dani Meza.

The debut album by the crushedvelvets is scheduled for release in 2024.

Dani Meza of the crushedvelvets is available for interviews. Contact Josh Bloom at Fanatic for more information.

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the crushedvelvets | Links


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Josh Bloom at Fanatic Promotion | Contact