I wanted to share a few acoustic songs that have some light hearted lyrics.  

First off is John Craigie, who recently won the annual battle of the bands competition at The Northwest String Summit music festival earlier this summer.  This song below is a comical story tune so pay attention and have a laugh.

The next tune is from Ryan Montbleau, who I really couldn't tell you much about.  I did come across this catchy song though which has some enjoyable lyrics. Have a listen!

Who could not use a little Reggae on Sunday?  I feel the need to share a pretty regular tradition of mine in this hopefully recurring installment of jah's purest zion music on Sundays.  Today I have been listening to man himself, Mr. Bob Marley, and would like give you a few 'rastaman' tunes to indulge in. 

5 Piece band calling themselves Polecat out of Bellingham, WA has been blending a variety of styles to create their unique sound for the past four years or so.  You can find yourself skipping around to grassy licks and the next moment bouncing to reggae influenced jams with these folks.  I have really enjoyed catching them play from time to time this year and recommend giving them a try.

This post is one that's long overdue.  About a month ago I came across the Bandcamp page of a group called Ripe.  In the time that has passed from that fateful day to now, Ripe have become an obsession.  They are, at their core, a pop band. That sweet, sweet, pop music is wrapped in a delightfully funky/jammy/ska-like package that is just irresistible.  Its's the kind of music that invades your brain and plays on repeat weather you like it or not.  The kind of music where you find yourself dancing at work and singing in the shower.  These guys are the real deal. Unfortunately as of the writing of this post the only available music they have are two short EPs. I cannot stress enough how good every track on both are. Obviously I have become a giddy fanboy for Ripe so I will just post some live (from the studio) videos and let them speak for themselves. Enjoy!

I stumbled across this little gem the other day. The man is Darrell Scott; the song is "River Take Me". It's earnest and real, one of those perfect songs to listen to on the porch as the seasons change. With a beer in hand and good company surrounding it's hard not to enjoy.

For those that haven't heard of Thundercat he is a funky bass magician, somewhat like this generation's Bootsy Collins. He has been gaining a massive fan base from the likes of listeners and musicians alike, most recently as the man behind Kendrick Lamar's highly acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly.  It's Thundercat's solo work where he really shines though.  His most recent single "Them Changes" is one of those indescribably catchy songs. With the help of an Isley Brothers drum sample, Thundercat soulfully sings about heartbreak and loss while perfectly juxtaposed to a video of a modern day samurai who loses his arms to a superior swordsman.

A few weekends ago I went to Union Park, Chicago for North Coast Music Festival. I had my must see's: Widespread Panic, SOJA, and Atmosphere. Each show was fantastic with great crowds and energy in the warm sun of Chicago summer. In between shows I was wandering around the grounds and was drawn to one corner. Amidst the mostly EDM sounds, there was the bumping of a trumpet and saxophone mixed with a soulful melody of old school R&B and funk. I found myself in the small crowd for Turkuaz, self described as "part freight train and part tyrannosaurus rex."  The ensemble of nine had the stage at capacity, but each member had a unique sound to add to the total vibe. Mostly focusing on local shows in their home of Brooklyn, they are just starting to expand their circle. Check out a quick clip of the show here, and keep an eye out for a show near you for a chance to experience a funky fresh show.

Keller Williams is someone I have been listening to here and there since I was about 14 years old.  Though in the last few years or more the listening has been close to nonexistent.  This man can do it all from his energy and antics to his musical diversity and unique style.  I can now say I have dug back in, thanks to recently being able to catch him play with a couple of his "projects."  I forgot how many people and bands Keller is constantly playing with and if you do not know who he is you should check out a few of them as you are sure to find at least one of them interesting.  

His group "Keller Williams with the Travelin' McCourys" has caught my attention for the strange cover choices which they turn around into grassified bluegrass tunes.  Also, not to mention the talent between the guys is ridiculous: joining Keller is Ronnie McCoury, Rob McCoury, Alan Bartrum, and Jason Carter who are all very well respected members of the bluegrass community...ever heard of Del McCoury?? Check out some of their cover songs below.

Check out The Dip, a huge funky soul like band

The art of the music video has come a long way since the days of MTV.  Nowadays the best ones can be as good as a full length movie. Punk rockers Pup have delivered a true gem in this regard with their music video for the song "Guilt Trip".  Even if their punk rock sound isn't your thing, the video is worth a watch as it tells the Stand By Me kind of story of childhood shenanigans that takes a turn for the dark. It's a great song too, so what's not to love?

In trying to keep in touch with the kids these days I took a dive into the fine print of this years Bonnaroo Music Festival to see if there was anything up and coming to look out for. What I discovered was yet another Australian band with a catchy sound about them.  In all honesty, I downloaded Little May's single "Hide" with my wife in mind, thinking it would be right in line with the radio pop that she loves. What ended up happening was that I can't stop listening to it, while it took a back seat to her Beyonce. There is something whimsical about them that I just can't put my finger on. Anyway, see for yourself, and as always Enjoy!

Now that Game of Thrones has ended for yet another year, sometimes the best hungry fans can do is follow the actors and actresses from the amazing show.  In doing so, the London based duo Seafret deliver with a moving music video featuring none other than our favorite under-age-assassin-in-training Maisie Williams (Arya Stark). The song itself is a devastating story about being distant in a relationship both physically and emotionally.  

Stumbled across these guys searching for some up and coming Chicago jams.  After listening to (We Could Even) Learn to Fly and Juanita, summer sank in and brought back a mix of funk and rock with a festival jam style. Blends of soulful rhythms and guitar solos to match produce a solid performance. Just released their first EP in May, check it out on Spotify or click here. Hope to catch a live show soon.

I am starting to get very anxious about the upcoming 50th Anniversary Dead Shows here at the end of the month. This will be the last time the surviving members play together and man have they played quite the number of shows.  Enjoy the weekend listening to the legendary american rock band!

Start with this..

and this..

Fruiton made a stop at the Levitt Shell this past week on there first large scale tour. Unfortunately lightning stopped the show after only a few songs, but not before their bluegrass and rock influenced sound grabbed the attention of all. After several years of touring the country with other bluegrass notables like Greensky Bluegrass they have established themselves in the folk realm. Check out their newest album Just One of Them Nights  released in 2013 for a glimpse at the irresistible blend of harmonica, piano, and strings. 

Every once in a while I enjoy digging back through the scratched cd's of years past to remember some old favorites. Back in the day (late highschool/early college), I went through an industrial rock/metal phase that had me banging my head to the thumping fusion of heavy guitar riffs and EDM elements. Two old favorites that I recently rediscovered from this period are Rammstein and Powerman 5000. I stumbled upon both of these bands while watching summer action films such as xXx ( Rammstein - "Feuer Frei!") and Mission Impossible 2 (Powerman - "When Worlds Collide").

One of my favorite Rammstein tracks is "Mein Teil" off their 2004 album Reise, Reise. If you haven't seen footage of their concerts, do yourself a favor and check em out on YouTube - it's ridiculous.

One of my favorite Powerman 5000 tracks is "Bombshell".

Enjoy and rock on,

Wild Rabbit out of Bellingham, WA grabbed my attention the other night so thought I would share.  They have quite the energy playing their folky stomp styles live and are currently kickstarting to raise money for their next album....that's pretty much all I know.


There isn't much to say here. Umphrey's McGee spent some time at Abbey Road. The result is a damn fine cover. Enjoy!

Couldn't resist this one. Take a few minutes to listen to this superb instrumental from Holly Springs' own blues legend Junior Kimbrough. Sometimes everyone needs some blues music in their lives.

Run The Jewels released their highly anticipated second album recently and it's a damn fun listen.  The collaboration between underground hip-hop stars El-P and Killer Mike consists of super heavy beats and funny, yet "hard" lyrics.  Run The Jewels 2 is one of those legendary hip-hop albums that will keep you coming back again and again just for the good times. While they receive basically no radio play, they are currently in heavy rotation in lots of other popular media, from commercials, to Adult Swim bumps, to comic books.  Run The Jewels has exactly the right chemistry to take the world by storm. As an added bonus, on their new album, they even manage to rustle up a rare appearance by Rage Against The Machine's highly reclusive frontman Zach De La Rocha. What's not to love?

This one is pretty cut and dry. In the mood for something lite and catchy? Here is "Kites" by Geographer. Enjoy!

Australia's favorite "shitty punk band" The Smith Street Band has released a new single, and in an interesting turn of events it's a highly politicized track. Truth be told I know little about Australia's politics but Google tells me "Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face" is about the immigration policies of their Prime Minister. One thing I do know is they have made a damn fine song here. Fight for your beliefs kids.

The hip-hop co-op that is Hail Mary Mallon is at it again with their fantastic beats, dark humor, and cool videos. For those uninitiated Hail Mary Mallon is a Rymesayers outfit bringing together the likes of Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, and DJ Big Wiz. Enough talk, its time to listen (and watch) now.

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band have been a festival staple for many years now, and show no signs of slowing down with their newest roots blues endeavor So Delicious. For more grumbley blues check out their newest single "Pot Roast Kisses" and of course "Raise A Little Hell" (below).

This is it.  The Fare Thee Well shows are coming up and tickets go on sale tomorrow morning Feb, 28th at 10am CST!  Tickets will sell out in a second, but if your face is exploding with luck then who knows.  The Dead will play their final shows at Soldier Field in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend.  They will be celebrating their 50th anniversary with Trey Anastasio, Jeff Chimenti and Bruce Hornsby.  The venue is where the Grateful Dead played their last show ever, with Jerry passing away shortly after.  I obviously have nothing to share that includes this unique line up, but I do have some tunes with Anastasio playing with a few of the boys at Interlocken festival in 2013.  I was able to attend the festival in 2013 in which Trey came out to play with Furthur, a Dead band including Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, which little did we know was just a small taste of was yet to come.