A Good Read, a Good Listen, and a Good Drink: Shivering Timbers


It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss.

In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire.


Life in the Shivering Timbers’ household, i.e. the home of Sarah and Jayson Benn in Akron, Ohio, doesn’t leave much time for leisurely drink while flipping through pages and listening to the hi-fi. On top of raising their four-year-old girl and the handful of jobs that Jayson works, the band just released their … Continue reading

Shivering Timbers Album Release Show


If you loved the Shivering Timbers Dan Auerbach-produced debut We All Started in the Same Place, be ready for a little shift. Sing Sing, the Kickstarter-backed album for which they’ll be playing an album-release show at Music in Akron this Friday, diverges from the quirky nursery rhyme tunes of their debut, instead reflecting more accurately the band’s live sound, with Sarah Benn’s strong vocals soaring open wide while Jayson Benn’s gorgeous guitar weaves and fuzzes out back on earth.

As Sarah noted in her interview with Tim Quine over at Rubber City Review, We All Started… was largely an on-the-spot creation. But through all the subsequent gigging, Shivering Timbers have grown confidently and reflect that growth, their stronger self, gloriously on the Brian Olive-produced Sing Sing.


Shivering Timbers – Generations from TurnStyle Films on Vimeo.


While the album begins on lighter, brighter notes with title track “Sing Sing” and Neil Diamond cover “Holly Holy”, the stream of the album roils with the kind of darkness … Continue reading

Give: Shivering Timbers


Not that they need our help, but they’re going to get it anyway. The lovely and talented Shivering Timbers, out of Akron, Ohio, are raising funds for their next album. I just found out about this Kickstarter project yesterday, and I see that Sarah and Jayson have already surpassed their original fundraising goal (that would allow them to produce a basic version of their forthcoming album) and have even surpassed their second goal (that would fund high-quality mastering, a vinyl release or both), but there is still a third goal that you can participate in that would allow high-quality mastering, plus vinyl releases of the forthcoming album and of their debut album, We All Started in the Same Place.

Aside from getting to enjoy more of the Shivering Timbers’ unique and enchanting music, the Benns are also offering up some wonderful and personal items as rewards for pledging: Sarah’s 1950s Bacon & Day banjo, Jayson’s 1965 Kay Galaxie hollow-body electric guitar, a quilt made by Sarah’s grandmother, a day in the studio with the band and more. Wow.

For a listen to some songs from their first album and some new material – including songs from … Continue reading

Record Store Day 2011: Ashley Brooke Toussant and Shivering Timbers

Record Store Day was not the buy-a-palooza for me this year that it was last year. The one album I was really interested in this year – the reissue of Vanguard’s Skip James Today! – was unlikely to be available at any of my record stores, and having just lost my day job Friday, spending money on a piece of vinyl I can’t play right now anyway (I have four turntables, and none of them are working properly) didn’t feel like a priority.

What was a priority was getting down to Square Records in Akron to catch in-store performances from Ashley Brooke Toussant and Shivering Timbers.

(Don’t feel bad for me. While I didn’t get the Skip James vinyl, I did pick up the Godfathers’ Birth, School, Work, Death on vinyl for a song. And I met Square Records’ resident cat, Kali. Record store cats are aces. So much less haughty than book store cats.)

Ashley Brooke Toussant

It’s difficult to think of a description of Toussant that does not include the word “adorable”. But while she is a wee thing with a cherubic face and big, blue peepers (two people remarked that she looks … Continue reading

Bits: Railroad Revival Tour, SXSW, Raekwon, Booker T. Jones, Shivering Timbers

  • Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros will be kicking off the Railroad Revival Tour on April 21. The bands will travel by train across the southwestern United States and perform at outdoor venues in California, Arizona, Texas and Louisiana. Not quite as fun as the Roots on the Rails shows since the audience won’t get to travel on the train with the bands, but a unique and cool gimmick nonetheless.
  • Our friends at Ninebullets.net will be throwing a couple of fine parties at SXSW this year – on March 18 and 19 – featuring artists like Caitlin Rose, Kasey Anderson and the Honkies, Two Cow Garage, the Only Sons and more. Details here.
  • If you can stand heading over to MySpace, you can stream Raekwon’s new album Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang.
  • Booker T. Jones will be releasing a new album, The Road from Memphis, on May 10. THe album is produced by Jones, ?uestlove and Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliot Smith), and Jones is backed by the Roots.
  • Shivering Timbers will be in the WRUW studios on March 31 around 5 PM EST. … Continue reading

Bits: Patrick Sweany, Infantree, Shivering Timbers, Bill Withers, Empires

  • Patrick Sweany was featured on Cleveland public radio program Around Noon this past Thursday. A lovely interview with a couple of wonderful live songs. Listen here.
  • Infantree will be re-releasing their album Would Work in a re-mastered version at the end of April.
  • Akron’s Shivering Timbers are venturing out beyond Ohio and will be playing Nashville, Tennessee – February 25 at the Basement and February 27 at the 5 Spot. Their album, We All Started in the Same Place, is now available on iTunes.
  • Still Bill, a documentary about the amazing Bill Withers is now airing on Showtime.

And, from Jennifer:

  • Empires, scrappy little band of my heart, has a shot at being the first unsigned band to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. They are from Chicago, and when I last discussed them on NTSIB , I described them as a “punch drunk love affair” and that description is still true. Their sound is big and raw and sexy and, basically, rock and roll at its finest.

    Please, NTSIBbers, go and vote for them here at Rolling Stone, and then … Continue reading

Bits: the Dirtbombs, the Grande Ballroom, the Black Keys, Shivering Timbers, Jamie Stillman, Drive-By Truckers, Carolina Chocolate Drops

  • Stream the new Dirtbombs album Party Store at the Detroit Free Press. Do it now!
  • Speaking of the greatness of Detroit music, there’s a campaign on to fund a documentary called Louder than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story, about the enormous, once-majestic venue that played hosted to local Detroit legends like the Stooges and MC5 as well as national acts like the Who.
  • The Black Keys brought tales of urine-soaked minivans to NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. Listen here.
  • Baby You Can Drive My Car shares a lovely performance and interview with Shivering Timbers.
  • The Akron Beacon Journal has a nice article on Jamie Stillman (he of Drummer, Harriet the Spy, Party of Helicopters, Relaxer and about umpteen other projects) and his effects pedal business, Earthquaker Devices.
  • The Drive-By Truckers reunited with Jason Isbell for an evening in Huntsville. You can download the show.
  • The Carolina Chocolate Drops have released a collaborative EP with Luminescent Orchestrii, and CCDs will begin their 2011 tour tomorrow in New York with a show at Lincoln Center.

Continue reading

Crazy and the Brains/The Due Diligence/Shivering Timbers at Now That’s Class, Cleveland, OH, 1.13.11

Crazy and the Brains

Imagine: You’re in a chilly punk bar, the kind with band stickers all over the walls, along with a little graffiti, and bike quarter pipes along the back of the room. There’s four-piece punk band on stage whose line-up includes xylophone. The band starts up, and a crowd comes dancing in, some of whom look like they were shipped in from the suburbs. There is a conga line at one point.

This was my cognitive dissonance-inducing introduction to not only Now That’s Class (a nice little venue with good acoustics and a laid-back vibe – easy to see why they received more than one nod in Scene’s most recent “best of” round-up), but also Crazy and the Brains. The audience, who had apparently been priming themselves at the bar for a while, was ready to dance, and CatB supplied just the right soundtrack with their bright, high-energy punk rock. While their originals, like “Birthday Song” and “Saturday Night Live”, were well-received, the most popular song of their set was a scream-along cover of “I Want … Continue reading

The Due Diligence, Crazy and the Brains and Shivering Timbers Tonight

Laying low at NTSIB HQ today, but we wanted to remind the locals that the Due Diligence will be hitting Now That’s Class tonight with Crazy and the Brains and Shivering Timbers (whose new album was produced by sound connoisseur Dan Auerbach). The show is at 9 PM and costs a measly 5 bucks. They’re practically giving it away, people!

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Notable Shows in the Greater Cleveland Area + Shivering Timbers

Shows worth checking out this week in and around Cleveland:

The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern

  • Fri, Dec 3| 8:30 PM (8 PM door)
    A Benefit for the Cleveland AIDS Taskforce
    Craig Ramsey
    Field Trip
    Juggler / Magician: Charlie Peachock
    $5 adv / $7 dos
    Ballroom | All Ages
  • Sat, Dec 4| 9 PM (8 PM door)
    State Bird
    Old Boy
    Tavern | All Ages
  • Sun, Dec 5| 8:30 PM (8 PM door)
    Shivering Timbers (CD Release)
    Rebekah Jean
    Tavern | All Ages
  • Wed, Dec 8| 8 PM (7:30 PM door)
    Chasin’ Gus’ Ghost
    A documentary on the history of jug band music
    Presented by Ohio Independent Film Fesitival
    $8 ($5 admission with Jim Kweskin ticket)
    Ballroom | All Ages
  • Wed, Dec 8| 9 PM (8 PM door)
    Cary Ann Hearst
    & Michael Trent
    Maura Rogers
    Jason Patrick Meyers
    Tavern | All Ages
  • Fri, Dec 10| 8 PM (7 PM door)
    Jim Kweskin
    Geoff Muldaur
    $20 adv / $22 dos
    Ballroom | All Ages

Grog Shop