Train’s ‘Picasso at the Wheel’ Tour in Atlanta on June 5

Photos by Danielle Boise

Train hit the road once again in support of their latest album, Bulletproof Picasso with special guests The Fray and Matt Nathanson for the ‘Picasso at the Wheel’ Summertime 2015 Tour. The talented trio of acts made a stop in Atlanta at Aaron’s Amphitheatre on Lakewood on Friday, June 6, for a perfect night filled with some amazing music.

 

Full Photo Gallery of Train

Full Photo Gallery of The Fray

Picasso at the Wheel Summertime 2015 Tour Dates

June 6  – Tampa @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre @ FL State Fairgrounds
June 7 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheater
June 9 – Charlotte @ PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte
June 10 – Raleigh @ Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
June 11 – Hershey, PA @ Hershey Park Pavilion/Stadium
June 13 – Virginia Beach, @ Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
June 14 – Camden @ Susquehanna Bank Cente
June 16 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
June 18 – Bangor, ME @ Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion
June 19 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 20 – Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center
June 21 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
June 23 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
June 24 – Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
June 26 – Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
June 27 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
June 28 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
June 30 – Burgettstown, PA @ First Niagara Pavillion
July 1 – Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 2 – Cincinnati @ Riverbend Music Center
July 3 – Tinley Park, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
July 10 – Nashville @ Bridgestone Arena
July 11 – Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
July 12 – Noblesville, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
July 14 -London, ON @ Rock the Park Festival
July 15 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center
July 17 – Kansas City, Mo @ Starlight Theatre
July 18 – Englewood, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
July 19 – Salt Lake City @ USANA Amphitheatre –
July 21 – Stateline, NV @ Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s
July 22 – Boise  @ Taco Bell Arena
July 24 – Ridgefield, WA @ Amphitheater Northwest
July 25 – Quincy, WA @ The Gorge Amphitheatre
Sept. 19 – Pomona, CA @ Los Angeles County Fair

British Alt-Rockers Scars on 45 U.S. Summer Tour Dates

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Nettwerk is excited to announce the signing of British alt rock/pop band Scars On 45 to its label roster. The band is currently putting the final touches on their upcoming album, due out this fall (date TBA). They have also just launched an U.S. summer headline tour, which started yesterday in San Diego and will keep them on the road through early August.

 

Scars On 45 released their self-titled debut in 2012, which landed at #4 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. Already a favorite among film and TV music supervisors, the band’s gorgeous melodies, driving instrumentation and boy/girl harmonies caught the attention of VH1 who chose them as a coveted You Oughta Know Artist. They made their national TV debut on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and received media support from the likes of USA Today, People, Entertainment Weekly, Paste, Spin, Billboard and more.

 

Scars On 45 is Danny Bemrose (vocals/guitar), Aimee Driver (vocals), David “Nova” Nowakowski (piano/keyboard) and Chris Durling (drums). Stay tuned for more news on the band’s upcoming full-length release.

 

Scars On 45 Summer Tour Dates

Wed, June 18 – San Diego @ San Diego Aquarium
Thur, June 19 – Los Angeles @ Hotel Café
Sun, June 22 – Napa @ Whetstone Winery
Mon, June 23 – Berkeley @ Freight and Salvage
Sat, June 28 – Portland @ Doug Fir
Sun, June 29 – Seattle @ Tractor Tavern
Mon, June 30 – Boise @ Neurolux
Thur, July 3 – Denver @ Soiled Dove
Sun, July 6 – Chicago @ Schubas
Tue, July 8 – Indianapolis @ The HiFi
Wed, July 9 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
Fri, July 11 – Washington, DC @ Jammin’ Java
Sat, July 12 – Pleasantville, NY @ Pleasantville Music Festival
Mon, July 14 – Boston @ Cafe 939
Thur, July 17 – Roanoke, VA @ Roanoke Island Festival Park
Fri, July 18 – Mt. Pleasant, NY @ Wild Wings
Sat, July 19 – Columbia, SC @ Tasty Tomato Festival
Tue, July 22 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern
Fri, July 25 – Louisville @ New Vintage
Sat, July 26 – Akron, OH @ Musica
Tue, July 29 – Philadelphia @ Boot and Saddle
Wed, July 30 – New York @ Mercury Lounge
Thur, July 31 – Belmar, NJ @ Songwriters In The Park
Fri, Aug 1 – Southbury, CT @ Southbury, CT
Tue, Aug 5 – Mohegan Lake, NY @ The Winery at St. George’s

The Red Rails debut new video “On the Line”

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Ottawa power trio The Red Rails release their brand new music video “On the Line” – the 1st single from their forthcoming record A Living Fiction, due out Tuesday, July 15.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRailkhSJVg] The video is a fun, energy stacked performance/hangout of The Red Rails and depicts the more playful side of the three in numerous ‘behind the scenes’ point and shoot capture.  The video was recorded in a one day shoot at an old farm house in Eastern Ontario.

 

Close friends Kim Vincent (Vocals, Guitar), Chris Slaney (Bass, Vocals) and Steve Brogno (Drums) came together in February 2012 over a love of improvisation and minimalist rock and roll. Now, The Red Rails are about to release their debut full-length album A Living Fiction. Recorded at a winter retreat in rural Quebec, the album showcases ten high-octane songs that explore themes of isolation, loss, and redemption.

 

With a stunning new album and explosive, glove-tight live performances, The Red Rails are a band to watch this year. You can see them at Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest on Sunday, July 13. They are also embarking on a five week tour of Eastern Canada this summer with dates in July and August.

 

Upcoming Tour Dates

Friday, June 27 – 3030 Dundas West – Toronto, ON
Saturday, June 28 – The Mansion – Kingston, ON
Sunday, July 13 – RBC Ottawa Bluesfest – Ottawa, ON
*Album release tour commences July 25.  (Tour to be announced)

Interview with the band The Bitteroots

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Interview by Danielle Boise

 

The Bitteroots are an Atlanta-Decatur jam band fused with a grassroots bluesy rock that is filled with heart and soul, emphasizing on the heart of the matter with Laura’s Dee’s enigmatic voice full of lush notes drawing the listeners and rounded out with a stellar cast of musicians. If you’re musical tastes runs the gamut from Melissa Etheridge to The Tedeschi Trucks Band and Beth Hart, then check out The Bitteroots.
 

How would you describe your sound? 

 

 

Mike Davis (drums): We’re kind of a mixture or jam and pop. Underneath Laura’s really powerful vocals there’s a solid band that’s not afraid to take chances and stretch out a little.

 

Kyle Bryant (guitars): I think Mike’s description describes it pretty well. We can play back to back songs in a set where the first is a three to four minute structured pop song, and the next is eight minutes long jam with a lot of improvisation. We like to fly without a net a little bit.

 

Laura’s vocals are bittersweet and heartbreaking, especially with “Under The Big Sky,” what inspired this song? 

 

Laura Dees (vocals): Each year, we take a trip for a writing retreat to south Georgia.  The location is secluded, private and extremely laid back.  There are no distractions which allows us to explore and focus on our writing and quite honestly, the home on the property is so conducive for our creativity.

 

One beautiful day during our retreat, Mike captured an amazing photo of the farmland surrounding the old historic house we were staying in.  What really caught our eye was how clear and blue the sky was that day.  For me, it was an open and honest feeling and it inspired the lyrics and melody of “Under the Big Sky.”  We knew after seeing this photo, it had to be the cover and after the writing was complete, we had our title.

 

What inspires your writing process? Who are you currently listening to that you are absolutely blown away by? 

 

Kyle Bryant (guitars): For me, I’m always looking to come up with a guitar part that adds to a song as a whole. I feel like my guitar part should be a memorable part of the song, whether it be a signature hook or riff, solo, or just a simple chord change that is just a little different than anticipated.  For two songs of our recent EP, “Defenseless” and “Under the Big Sky,” I was just playing riffs in between practice breaks that I had written years and years ago that had never developed into full fledged songs. Thankfully, the band liked them, and every member added their own touch and feel (and great lyrics from Laura) to create the songs they are today. I’m looking forward to seeing what else we can come up with as a group moving forward

 

Laura Dees (vocals): Everyday life inspires me.  My own personal journeys, watching, engaging and listening to others around me also drives my curiosity.  I’m currently listening to Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle.  The songwriting is so pure and real – I just love it.

 

 How would you describe getting up on stage and performing live verses going into the recording studio to write and record? 

 

Kyle Bryant (guitars): As much as I love recording new material in the studio, my favorite part of being in a band is absolutely playing live. Having an audience, especially one who is actively into what you are playing, makes all the hard work of playing music worth it. Plus, with the improvisational nature in which we approach a lot of our songs, we have a chance to play them differently every time we are up there. It’s definitely exciting to start a song or solo and know where you’re going, but not exactly how you’re going to get there.

 

That said, you have to write and record new material to have songs to play. It’s definitely a rewarding process in itself to leave the studio with a recorded document of exactly where you are as a band at that moment, and share with everyone.

 

Laura Dees (vocals): I personally love the energy the audience brings when we perform live.  When recording it’s difficult to capture the “it” moment such as one of Kyle’s incredible guitar solos or Bill and Mike feeding off each other as they work their way into a jam session.  Their talents really shine during our performances and you can see it and feel it.  It’s just so much fun to be a part of!

 

You are getting ready to celebrate six years of performing together, who has the journey been so far? Where do you see the band going? 

 

Bill Taylor (bass/vocals): These past 6 years have been really amazing. We’ve played on some of the biggest stages in town playing main stages at The Dogwood Festival, The Sweetwater 420 Festival (in both 2011 and 2013), The Decatur Arts Festival and The Summer Shade Fest, just to name a few. We’ve produced 4 recording projects – 2 full length and 2 EPs. We played with some of our favorite bands including The Freddy Jones Band, Allgood, and Col. Bruce Hampton. We played live on the 11Alive morning show and currently have our song “Defenseless” in rotation on 100.5FM as part of their “Local Licks” program. It’s been a great ride so far!

 

In some ways, we feel like we’ve just started to hit our stride. The band’s sound has been morphing for the past few years, but with the recent addition of Kyle Bryant on lead guitar, we’ve really opened up the sound and we are really enjoying the new direction of a more improvisational approach to our live shows. One of the aspects of our live shows, is that we almost always bring in guests to sit in and augment that particular show. No two shows are ever the same. One of the benefits of being part of local music scene, is we’ve met some incredible musicians. And we’ve been able to bring in some of those musicians as guests on percussion, saxophone, harmonica, vocals, guitars and pedal steel guitars which has been great and always keeps everything really fresh.

 

Up until about a year or so ago, we had primarily played in Atlanta, and mostly in our hometown of Decatur, but this last year has taken us out into the suburbs and other venues in Metro Atlanta. Later this year, we have dates in Macon, Milledgeville and Athens, so we are finally taking the show on the road. We are probably going to take 2014 to continue to work up the new sound. I’d expect we’ll have another full length album (possibly a live album) sometime in 2015.

 

Laura Dees (vocals): With several line-up changes through the years, I feel we are finally capturing “our” sound.  We’re always moving forward and challenging ourselves to try new things, but the scary part has been change. As we push forward, we have learned change can be a wonderful thing.  Kyle has been a crucial part of the shift in our live performances, our writing and our overall sound.

 

How is it being a local band on the scene? What advice have you found to be beneficial? 

 

Laura Dees (vocals): I’m so happy to be a part of this band and a part of the musical community in Atlanta.  We have met some talented and creative professionals and the support they have shown though the years has been amazing.

 

As far as advice, a really good friend gave me a little advice/reality check the other day…”don’t worry about what others think and stay true to who you are.”  Although you always hear this in life…but it’s so hard to follow when you’re pulled in so many different directions.  Oh yeah and “always have a Plan B if the music thing doesn’t pay the bills.”

 

The Bitteroots Concert Schedule

 
April 30 – Atlanta @ Limerick Junction

May 17 – Decatur, GA @ Eddie’s Attic

Jun 28 – Duluth, GA @ Sweetwater Bar and Grill

July 9 – Atlanta @ 10 High Club

July 26 – Marietta, GA @ The 120 Tavern & Music Hall

Aug 9 – Woodstock, GA @ Ronnie John’s Sunset Grille

Aug 23 – Atlanta @ The Star Bar

Sept 6 – Decatur, GA @ Big Tex Cantina

Sept 14 – Atlanta @ Atlanta Arts Festival

Sept 20 – Milledgeville, GA @ Buffington’s

Film Review: “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

Wisely placing his name above the title, “Precious” director Lee Daniels no doubt has visions of little gold statues dancing before his eyes.

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Review by David Feltman

“I know the way.”

Wisely placing his name above the title, “Precious” director Lee Daniels no doubt has visions of little gold statues dancing before his eyes. And rightly so. Daniels’ quasi-biopic brings together a staggering list of Hollywood heavy hitters for a poignant piece of American history. “The Butler” may be Oscar bait, but it’s worthy Oscar bait.

Based on the true story of Eugene Allen, Forest Whittaker stars as Cecil Gaines, a White House butler that served through eight presidential administrations. From Eisenhower (Robin Williams) to Regan (Alan Rickman), the story spans the entirety of the Civil Rights Era. Danny Strong’s script nimbly knits an engrossing family drama onto major historical backdrops. The result is occasionally saccharine, but only rarely so, as most of the emotional moments strike just the right chords.

The lighting and cinematography are beautifully executed. Daniels deftly fashions a montage sequence where Whittaker prepares dinner service for the president while his son fights to be served at a “Whites Only” lunch counter. The sequence utilizes symmetrical composition with parallel tracking shots, reinforcing the analogy between the two moments. Cinematographer Andrew Dunn captures the menace in the glow of an out-of-focus cross just as easily as he turns up the passion by silhouetting a kiss, making the visuals every bit as captivating as the story.

John Cusack’s prosthetic Nixon nose notwithstanding, the makeup effects are otherwise outstanding. Whittaker and his wife, played by Oprah Winfrey, gradually turn grey and tired, with every little wrinkle and bloodshot vein seamlessly applied. The film provides everything an Oscar hungry actor or actress could wish for, filled with meaty complex characters and an entire lifespan to flesh them out. It’s no wonder that even the smaller roles are occupied by names like Vanessa Redgrave and Terrence Howard. Award season is still several months away, but “The Butler” is going to be the picture to beat this year.