With banjos blazing and foot-stomping galore, the English quartet Mumford & Sons are back with their highly anticipated second album Babel. Their gritty and triumphant take on folk rock has seen unparalleled success around the world in the past few years, which has consequently built high expectations for their follow up to the commercial success of Sigh No More. After all, it’s pretty hard to top a musical journey that has included playing at the Grammys with Bob Dylan and performing for President Barack Obama at the White House.
While January may be the technical start of each new year, those of us who can’t shake thinking of life in terms of school reserve September as the real start of the year, even if we’ve left behind textbooks and classes years ago. As the hot summer months turn colder with the arrival of autumn, September is when the expectation of change hangs in the air (or here in Southern California, we have to be satisfied with blistering heat turning to a medium heat as we enter fall). So if we think of September as a fresh start, music lovers have a lot to look forward to because autumn is set to bring an array of exciting new releases. Here is a rundown of albums, in no particular order, that you can look forward to:
Mumford & Sons have just announced the details of their forthcoming second album, Babel. The album will be released through Glassnote Records and made available in the US on September 25th, 2012.
Mumford & Sons are pleased to announce details of a series of Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers in the United States this August. The Stopovers combine the intimacy of a community celebration with the excitement of a world-class music festival. Featuring local vendors and activities, each Stopover will begin with a concert at a unique site and end with a series of smaller events involving local businesses, venues, and, most importantly, local people. Mumford & Sons will headline the main event, alongside an eclectic and energetic roster of artists curated by the band themselves.
Hi everybody and welcome to the third edition of Project Rhythm Seed’s Free Music Friday for 2012. Sadly, we received news of Etta James’ passing this morning in Riverside, California. She died of complications from leukemia at age 73. The singer had one of the best and most versatile voices in the business. Her songs, often drenched in strings, were big winners for Chess Records. Some, like her signature hit “At Last” went on to be absolute staples. Etta was inducted into both the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall Of Fame. Over the course of her career she won four Grammy awards, one of which was for best jazz vocal performance, which she won in 1995 for the album Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday. Etta died with her husband and sons at her bedside. This edition of Free Music Friday is dedicated to her. Rest in peace Etta!
By J. Brown
Australia’s answer to the Fleet Foxes, Boy & Bear recently released their highly anticipated debut album Moonfire. This five-member band from Sydney burst onto the indie-rock scene with the release of their 2010 EP With Emperor Antarctica, and the song “Mexican Mavis” in particular grabbed enough attention to land the quintet a spot as opener for Laura Marling during a recent UK tour.
Cameron McLain grew up in London, going to high school alongside many now-famous UK folk musicians, including Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons, Charlie Fink and Tom Hobden of Noah & The Whale, and even had a band with Andrew Davie of Cherbourg. Cameron was around at the beginning stages of this now world-famous UK folk scene, performing at some of the early country nights at Bosun’s Locker, a now defunct pub on King’s Road in London.
Story and Photos by J. Brown
No longer a cult indie favorite, The Avett Brothers have stepped into the limelight by reaching bigger and bigger audiences over the last few years, thanks to their first major label debut I and Love and You. Starting in 2001, this band worked tirelessly to develop a loyal and strong fan base and the fruits of their labor were evident at the Pechanga Resort & Casino on July 23.
British singer, songwriter and guitarist Laura Marling will release her third album, A Creature I Don’t Know on Ribbon Music on September 13th, 2011. Since her emergence onto the London music scene in 2007 Laura Marling has been steadily securing her position as one of the most exciting musical talents of her generation.
By J. Brown
Kyla la Grange, Marcus Foster, Ben Lovett, Matthew & the Atlas, Ryan O’Reilly, Sarah Blasko, Beans on Toast, Mt. Desolation, Pete Roe, Damien Rice, The Staves, Lissie, Angus & Julia Stone, Alan Pownall: This list of artists might sound like the makings of a top-notch music festival, but actually these are just some of the musicians who appear on Communion’s newest release, a compilation album entitled The Flowerpot Sessions.
For today’s Free Music Friday we are pleased to offer you a magic bag of tracks from five different artists. All of these tracks were sent to us by Stayloose, a music PR company located in Bristol, England. We were introduced to Stayloose by Kevin Jones who, along with acclaimed producer Ian Grimble and Mumford & Sons, Ben Lovett, founded the London based Communion Records.
Concert Review: Railroad Revival Tour Starring Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros And Old Crow Medicine Show
By Myles Crawley
Photos by Alana Crawley
A few weeks ago we published an article on the announcement of the Railroad Revival Tour, starring Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show. The basic premise of this tour consists of three bands traveling on a train of 15 vintage rail cars, customized for rock star comfort, that include the ability for the bands to eat, sleep, play and record together while traveling down some of America’s finest rail routes. In fact, during Mumford & Sons set, Marcus Mumford told the audience that all three bands had been up until the wee hours of the morning, jamming, singing and writing. Sounds like a lot of fun to me!
Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show Announce ‘Railroad Revival Tour’
This April, Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show will embark on a tour unlike any in recent memory. Traveling exclusively in vintage railcars, the three bands will journey across the American Southwest over the course of a week. The aptly titled Railroad Revival Tour will feature the three bands playing concerts at six unique outdoor locations along the route, beginning April 21st in Oakland, California.