An Update with Austin Lucas


NTSIB’s good friend Michelle Evans checks in with road report on Austin Lucas. Midwestern Ohio NOTE: Austin is playing Zanesfield TONIGHT. More details below.




I was able to catch up with Bloomington, Indiana musician Austin Lucas this past weekend before his set at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville, where he and his back-up band for the past couple of weeks, Glossary, opened for alt-country Tennessee rockers Lucero. It was a line-up made in heaven, for which people from all over the country drove and flew in. We talked about what it was like for him touring with Glossary, his European fan base, and what’s ahead.

You can catch him with his family band in Zanesfield, Ohio this Friday, November 25th at 7 p.m. at the Mad River Theater Works Studio, and/or next Friday, December 2nd at The Bishop with Murder by Death in Bloomington, IN. I don’t recommend missing these shows; he won’t be touring the U.S. again till next year.

How’s it been touring with Glossary?

Amazing. It’s like being on tour with five stand-up comedians. We … Continue reading

James Leg is Coming to Cleveland (and Other Cities, Too)


Solitary Pleasure is ingrained with James Leg’s extensive knowledge of the rock and roll canon and the album displays his passion and originality to full effect. Granted, Leg’s gargled-with-goat vocal style could be an acquired taste, but it’s also a quality instrument that, like his keyboard work, will prove powerful, yet supple and dextrous over the course of the album. Imagine Tom Waits doing Bobby “Blue” Bland covers.

“Long live rock and soul and pianos and devil horns.”

If you’ve been reading NTSIB for a while, you know that I freaking love James Leg (a.k.a. John Wesley Myers of the Black Diamond Heavies) and that his album, Solitary Pleasure, is probably my favorite album of 2011. If not, here’s a little memory refresher.

I already have two James Leg shows under my belt this year, and I’m excited for a third. Sitting down at the keys, Leg generates more energy on stage than most of his more mobile counterparts, leg flailing to the beat and hair flying in his face as he pushes his foghorn howl through the microphone to blast you out and … Continue reading

Postcards from the Pit: Patrick Stump, Starland Ballroom, NJ, 11/4/11

To the left, in the snazzy teal suit: Patrick Stump, formerly of Fall Out Boy. To the right, on the bass, Matthew Rubano, formerly of Taking Back Sunday. Also present are Michael Day on guitar, and Casey Benjamin (HEAVy) on keys and saxophone. (Skoota Warner of Ra is playing drums on the tour, he’s just not in this picture.)

Patrick Stump and friends – technically this is a solo tour for him – were the second of three acts in the show I went to last Friday. The  first opener was Foxy Shazam, the headliner was Panic! at the Disco, and I’ll get to back to them later. First I have to tell you that how Mr. Stump and his merry crew put on a defiant, triumphant, raucous roller-coaster ride of a show. I was actually really surprised at some of the pictures I was able to get, given the way the pit was heaving.

Like this one, for example:


The set started with … Continue reading

An Evening At: The Grand Ole Echo, The Echo, Los Angeles, with Welldiggers Banquet, Grant Langston and the Ruby Friedman Orchestra

On my very last night in Los Angeles I ventured out to Echo Park to check out the Grand Ole Echo, a weekly Americana/country/roots music event held at The Echo. Once again I had no idea what to expect, this time because I was mainly going to check out the event as a concept.

It turned out to be an excellent evening, the kind of thing that I decided if I lived in town I would totally go over every Sunday. (In fact I really wish there was something like it in New York.) If you’re in the Los Angeles area, drop in on them sometime – it’s free, all ages, 5-9 PM on Sundays, April through September. Plus there’s BBQ and more music on the porch!

Confession: I did not manage to sample either the BBQ or the bluegrass band that was playing on the evening that I went. I spent all of my time indoors, absorbing the musical stylings of the following bands:

1. Welldiggers Banquet


My post-set notes on this band were “country with rockabilly swing, great stuff.” They … Continue reading

Barnstormer 5 is coming to Akron!


There are still music-loving, internet-connected people in the world who don’t know about Daytrotter. That’s amazing to me. Since 2006, Sean Moeller and crew have been recording sessions by touring bands and throwing the results of those sessions up on the internet for anyone and everyone to download and enjoy for free, and since I learned about the site a few years ago, I have felt it a wonderful example of what the internet can be used for. The Horseshack – the studio in Rock Island, Illinois, that sees most of the recording activity you find at Daytrotter – has welcomed everyone from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Dinosaur Jr. to Kris Kristofferson to Andrew W.K. to Charlie Louvin to that new indie band you keep hearing people talk about. NTSIB favorites A.A. Bondy, the Felice Brothers and Local Natives all have sessions up, and the amazing Mr. Patrick Sweany has a session forthcoming. And those good Daytrotter people post at least one of these free sessions every day, sometimes posting two sessions in one day.

In addition to all that goodness, since the summer of 2009, the Daytrotter crew have been putting together the Barnstormer … Continue reading

Deep Blues Focus: Old Gray Mule featuring CW Ayon, Cashman

The Deep Blues Festival is tomorrow! I’m freaking excited. There will be great artists on stage, cool people in the audience, and it’s all going down at one of my favorite places in Cleveland. Come along and buy your favorite blogger a drink. And if your favorite blogger isn’t there, you can buy me a whiskey.

One more time, those details are: Deep Blues Festival, Beachland Ballroom, Saturday, July 16, doors at 4 PM.


Name:Old Gray Mule featuring CW AYON
Homebase: Austin, Texas/Las Cruces, New Mexico


Old Gray Mule with CW Ayon – My Girl

Old Gray Mule Official Website

CW Ayon @ Reverbnation


Name: Cashman
Homebase: Nashville, Tennessee


Cashman – Pistol Blues

Cashman @ Reverbnation


DBF Alumnus
T-Model Ford & GravelRoad


T-Model Ford & GravelRoad – Hip Shakin’ Woman – DBF08

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Deep Blues Focus: Mississippi Gabe Carter, The Misery Jackals

Going in to the homestretch with a gentlemen how embraces the sound of the bluesmen from Bentonia, Mississippi, (which was the birthplace of my favorite blues musician, Skip James) and the other Ohio band on Saturday’s ticket. (And if you can listen to Pearlene without wanting to sigh or writhe around on the floor or something to that effect, then… well, you’re clearly not having as much fun as I am.)

Deep Blues Festival, Beachland Ballroom, Saturday, July 16, doors at 4 PM.


Name: Mississippi Gabe Carter
Homebase: Chicago, Illinois
Related artists: Duck Holmes


Mississippi Gabe Carter – Leavin’ – DBF09

Mississippi Gabe Carter @ MySpace

Rick Saunders’ interview with Mississippi Gabe Carter


Name: The Misery Jackals
Homebase: Akron, Ohio
Related artists: The Goddamn Gallows


The Misery Jackals – Trapper Jack

The Misery Jackals Official Website


DBF Alumnus


Pearlene – All Fears (Have Faces) – DBF08

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Deep Blues Focus: Ten Foot Polecats, Boom Chick

Deep Blue Focus, part three, and halfway to showtime, folks. Check out Rick Saunders’ DBF11 profile for a little mo’ somethin’.

Deep Blues Festival, Beachland Ballroom, Saturday, July 16, doors at 4 PM.


Name: Ten Foot Polecats
Homebase: Boston, Massachusetts


Ten Foot Polecats – Goin’ Crazy – DBF09

Ten Foot Polecats Official Website


Name: Boom Chick
Homebase: New York, New York


Boom Chick – The Ghost of Bo Diddley

Boom Chick Official Website


DBF Alumnus
Scott H. Biram


Scott H. Biram – Get Me Religion – DBF08

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Deep Blues Focus: Scissormen, The Staving Chain, Molly Gene One Whoaman Band

The second installment of our Deep Blues Focus series includes one of two Ohio bands on the bill and a one-woman band who has me pretty jacked up.

Remember: Deep Blues Festival, Beachland Ballroom, Saturday, July 16, doors at 4 PM.


Name: Molly Gene One Whoaman Band
Homebase: Kansas City, Missouri
Related artists: Bob Log III, The Reverend Deadeye, The Goddamn Gallows


Molly Gene One Whoaman Band – Bumble Bee

Molly Gene One Whoaman Band Official Website


Name: Scissormen
Homebase: Nashville, Tennessee


Scissormen – Do Wrong Man – DBF08

Scissormen Official Website


Name: The Staving Chain
Homebase: Toledo, Ohio
Related artists: Henry & June, Johnny Walker (Soledad Brothers, Cut in the Hill Gang), Black Diamond Heavies, Mark Porkchop Holder


The Staving Chain – various

The Staving Chain @ Danger Limited Recording Company

The Staving Chain @ Facebook


DBF Alumnus
Patrick Sweany


The Patrick Sweany Band – After Awhile – DBF08

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Deep Blues Focus: Left Lane Cruiser, Mark Porkchop Holder, Javier & the Innocent Sons

The Deep Blues Festival, an annual celebration of “outsider blues”, will be reborn this Saturday, July 16, at the Beachland Ballroom in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio. The original incarnation of DBF – which featured some NTSIB favorites like Patrick Sweany, the Black Diamond Heavies, Scott H. Biram and T-Model Ford with GravelRoad – saw it’s end with an announcement from founder Chris Johnson in February of 2010. (Check out this interview with Johnson for a brief history of the fest.)

Unwilling to let DBF die, Ted Drozdowski of Scissormen and Jim Chilson of the Ten Foot Polecats took over the name and the spirit – with Chris Johnson’s blessing – and moved the fest from Minnesota to Ohio. And we are freaking excited about it.

In this week leading up to DBF11, we’re going to spotlight a few of this year’s artists each day, along with some DBF alumni.


Name: Left Lane Cruiser
Homebase: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Related artists: The Black Diamond Heavies, James Leg, Scott H. Biram


Left Lane Cruiser – Set Me Down – DBF08

Left Lane Cruiser @ Alive Records

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