2012 sophomore release from the Canadian singer/songwriter. Cigarettes & Truck Stops was largely inspired by Ortega’s move to Nashville from her hometown, Toronto, which brought her closer to the origins of many of her influences, including Hank Williams. By reading a biography of Williams, Ortega discovered his mentor Rufus Tee-Tot Payne, the street performer who taught Williams to play guitar. This sparked Ortega’s interest in the influence of blues on early country: a fascination that comes through strongly on the record. Ortega brought on praised producer and T-Bone Burnett musician Colin Linden (O Brother Where Art Thou, Lucinda Williams, Bruce Cockburn) for the project when she found that he shared her interest in blues and the roots of country music.
Trying to describe Brave Combo’s music requires a pretty extensive vocabulary – at least when it comes to musical styles. For the past three decades the Denton, Texas based quintet has perfected a world music mix that includes salsa, meringue, rock, cumbia, conjunto, polka, zydeco, classical, cha cha, the blues and more. They are America’s Premier Dance band and a rollicking, rocking, rhythmic global journey — offering what one critic recently wrote, “Even if you come for the party, you’ll leave with something of a musical education.”
Brave Combo’s catalog of recordings range from Japanese pop to Latin American dance tunes, to the orchestral classics to rock and roll at its finest. The band has recorded with the late Tiny Tim, and were the band Talking Head’s David Byrne chose for his wedding reception. From festivals and fairs of all varieties across the globe, rock clubs big and small, colleges, roadhouses, dances, cultural centers (including the annual Midsummer Night’s Swing at Lincoln Center in New York City) Brave Combo has charmed countless listeners and won avid devotees. The band has won two Grammy Awards and been nominated for their work 7 times.
Brave Combo’s vivid music can be heard in the films David Byrne’s True Stories, Clive Barker’sLord of Illusions, Late Bloomers, Fools Rush In, Envy, The Academy award winning The Personals. They appeared at Oktoberfest in the beloved American burg of Springfield on an episode of “The Simpsons” and in 2008 Brave Combo provided the musical score for PBS’s first ever animated series, “As the Wrench Turns” which resulted in an “Annie” nomination from the International Animated Film Society. Their music has also been featured on ABC’s hit series “Ugly Betty”, and Fox Television’s “Bakersfield P.D.” They have also contributed original music for ESPN and The Big Ten network.
Keyboardist, guitarist, accordionist, and singer Carl Finch founded the band in 1979, releasing their first records on the band’s own Four Dots Records. Alongside Finch for most of Brave Combo’s 30 years has been multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Barnes, who joined in 1983. Barnes is known for his lively and imaginative stage wear, as well as playing an array of reeds and woodwinds, harmonica, pennywhistle, guitars, you name it, sometimes in multiple, simultaneous combinations. Rounding out the current line-up are trumpet player Danny O’Brien, drummer Alan Emert, bassist Little Jack Melody and Ginny Mac on accordion.
Brave Combo continues to tour extensively and is currently working on their next CD release.
One sad night in New York City, Adam Weiner was playing “Stormy Weather” to twelve half-naked drunks at a drag karaoke bar called Pegasus. He had left New Jersey 10 years earlier with lofty hopes of artistic success in the Big Sexy Apple… and this salty dump is where he had landed and gotten stuck like a musical kidney stone. A small Asian man dressed as Diana Ross was finishing the last verse and segueing into “Sometimes When We Touch”, while Adam plunked the piano keys with bluesy relish.
Right at this moment, a thought occurred to Mr. Weiner. ”Why don’t I start the greatest rock n roll band this town has ever seen? Why don’t I titillate and massage the throbbing cultural masses in unknown ways? Why don’t I dream a new boogie for all of mankind?” Instantly, the room started to spin with sensual visions and Elvis ambitions. Barry Manillow whispered in his ear “DO IT!”. The patrons all shook their stuff and tipped Mr. Weiner generously. ”The slump was ending”, he felt.
The next morning, he called up his old buddy Dan “Swampmeat” Finnemore in Birmingham, England. A couple years before, Adam and Dan had shared a urine-soaked stage in a gnarly UK warehouse and gotten stuck in a freight elevator for 4 hours with nothing but guitars and a duffel bag of booze. They had emerged brothers from across the pond. When the phone rang, Dan was busy duct-taping his wounds after a night of heavy punkabilly brawling and low-brow impregnations. He had screamed his head off and been spat on by rabid drunks and footballers. Adam asked him if he wanted to turn their slumps around and light a mighty rock n roll flame. Dan picked up his sticks and said “Fuck it, let’s get weird. See you in 6 hours, fool.”
Sensing the creation of a profound cocktail of boogie and benevolent sleaze, Weiner and Finnemore scoured the crab-infested streets of old Philadelphia looking for a couple of salty vagabonds to complete the line-up. At the end of a sad alleyway, they found a couple of swarthy tramps watching the Golden Girls through the window of a retirement home. They resembled Trading Places-era Ackroyd. After a quick interview, the Hebrew and the Brit realized they could clean these boys up, make em look like half-decent musicians, and no one would ever know the difference. They agreed to work for beer and Slim Jims, and Low Cut Connie was born.
In the weeks and months that followed, the boys went into all the downtown clubs and all the phenomenal dumps across America…just to get the juices flowing, to make all the boys and girls dance again, fondle each other, and fall in love.
Over the past year, Billy Dorsey has received major industry accolades as a songwriter and producer, namely for his work on two of gospel hip-hop artist Lecrae’s albums. The Gravity album won Best Gospel Album at the 55th Grammy Awards. Read Article Here
Disarm The Descent marks the return of original singer Jesse Leach to Killswitch Engage. Leach was the voice behind the genre defining release Alive Or Just Breathing. This album has been hailed as one of the most anticipated releases of 2013 by magazines, blogs and most importantly the fans who are eagerly welcoming Jesse back into the band after 10 years away.
“If you are you are looking for one of those “bands to watch in 2013,” Infinite Apaches should be on that list. Their upcoming album, Suave Creation of the Monolithic Other, crackles with a nervous, tripped-out energy that keeps on foot in Nuggets realm of 60’s garage but manages to keep the other foot in with the modern noisy throat throttling of bands you can find on labels like Goner or In the Red.” -Ramon Medina “Free Press Houston”
Warren Hood is an accomplished musician who plays violin, fiddle, mandolin, and composes and sings as well. He lives in Austin, Texas and performs with his local band, Warren Hood and the Hoodlums, in a blend of jazz/blues/newgrass acoustic fusion of music, on Sundays @ Momo’s. In the 2005 Austin Chronicle Best Musician Awards, Warren was voted #1-Best String Player and his band was voted 2nd in the bluegrass category, by the Austin readers.
“Like the Possum (George Jones) Dayton is the possessor of a tear-stained voice, a lost soul sensibility and probably a high degree of familiarity with the kinds of places mama warned you about.” — The Austin American Statesman