Check 1, 2

Join host Daniel Shaw as he talks to bands, national and local, about the creative process as they prepare to the hit the local stage. "Check 1, 2" is your backstage pass to conversation about the creative process of today's music.

Stoney LaRue

Jan 19, 2015
photo from his website

Stoney LaRue combines a rootsy sound with rock and country and a taste of the blues. When he was a teenager, he moved to Oklahoma and would become part of the Stillwater "Red Dirt" musical community along with likeminded acts such as Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland, and Mike McClure. On the road over 200 dates a year, LaRue has also released several studio and live albums. His latest is “Aviator”.

More about Stoney LaRue: http://www.stoneylarue.com/

Nicole Henry

Jan 11, 2015

From the artist’s website:

Since her debut in 2004, Nicole Henry has established herself as one of the jazz world's most acclaimed vocalists.  Ms. Henry possesses a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance.  Her repertoire includes the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz titles, contemporary' standards, blues, and originals; while her accompaniment ranges from a simple jazz trio to a full big band.

Juanito Pascual

Jan 4, 2015
Daniel Shaw

Jonathan "Juanito" Pascual is acclaimed as one of the top young flamenco guitarists on the international music scene. Born in Minneapolis, MN on July 26, 1973, Juanito has won praise around the globe as a respected new voice in this most Spanish of musical genres. He is recognized in Spain as a unique and creative voice with mesmerizing virtuosity, warm and evocative playing, and original compositional style. He has been a featured artist in some of the best-known fine arts centers, clubs, and festivals in the United States, including the renowned Tanglewood Jazz Festival, New York's 92nd St. Y, Blue Note Jazz Club, Boston's Jordan Hall and Regattabar, and countless colleges and performing arts centers. He has also been featured on National Public Radio's "The World" program, as well as countless television and radio programs.

Juanito holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory and was Second Prize winner of the 1996 New England Classical Guitar Competition. He has studied with Adam del Monte, Parilla de Jerez, Manolo Sanlucar, El Entri, classical guitarists David Leisner and Eliot Fisk, jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini, and Boston-based maestro Dimitri Goryachev.

Since 2005, Juanito has been the director of the annual summer Flamenco Institute at the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston. He made his on-screen debut with an appearance alongside Steve Martin and Andy Garcia in the 2009 Pink Panther 2 film. His latest album release, Language of the Heart, is the next step in his driving passion to share the beauty and soul-stirring power of this ancient yet most vibrant musical style.

Jay Blakesberg

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real is an American rock group based out of California and Hawaii. The band consists of Lukas Nelson (vocals/guitar), Anthony Logerfo (drums), Corey McCormick (bass), and Tato Melgar (percussion). Lukas is the son of Willie Nelson.

The band played their first shows in the fall of 2008, creating “Live Beginnings” from tracks recorded off the soundboard at the Belly Up in Solana Beach, California.

Daniel Shaw

Jimmy Ibbotson & Bobby Mason need no introduction to the Valley. Long time Aspen favorites, Ibbotson arrived in the early 1970s with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Bobby Mason around the same time with his band Starwood. The duo plays songs, share stories, and even take part in a holiday sing-a-long with friends and listeners live on Aspen Public Radio.

You can catch Bobby Mason & Jimmy Ibbotson in a free concert at the Woody Creek Community Center on Saturday, December 20th at 7pm.

Glyn Johns

Dec 14, 2014
Julia Wick

Glyn Johns

From the book's website:

Born just outside London in 1942, Glyn Johns was sixteen years old at the dawn of rock and roll. His big break as a producer came on the Steve Miller Band’s debut album, Children of the Future, and he went on to engineer or produce iconic albums for the best in the business: Abbey Road with the Beatles, Led Zeppelin’s and the Eagles’ debuts, Who’s Next by the Who, and many others. Even more impressive, Johns was perhaps the only person on a given day in the studio who was entirely sober, and so he is one of the most reliable and clear-eyed insiders to tell these stories today.

Jim Lewis

Dec 7, 2014
Daniel Shaw

Jim Lewis has managed to survive nearly 40 years in the music business as a manager, producer and  record company executive. He's done it all. After graduating at the top of his class from Julliard, the bass prodigy took a sharp turn into the world of rock and roll and landed in its epicenter: Atlantic Records. As the assistant to Atlantic's legendary head Ahmet Ertegun, Lewis found himself in the company of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and dozens of other acts that helped forge rock as we know it.

Gram Slaton

Nov 2, 2014
Aspen Peak Magazine http://aspenpeak-magazine.com/galleries/the-7908-aspen-songwriters-festival

Gram Slaton has been Executive Director of the Wheeler Opera House since October 2005. After 9 years, Slaton is stepping down in mid-December to move back to his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. Over his tenure, Slaton has overseen $7.5 million dollars in improvements to the historic venue.

John Waite

Oct 19, 2014

"Songs, and songwriting keeps me inspired, moving forward. I tend to scribble down notes, lyrics or just random thoughts on pieces of paper, backs of cigarette packs, sometimes on my shirt cuff. Rock n’ roll is closest thing I’ve got to a spiritual power. It’s been the higher voice in my life and it’s never let me down."

So says legendary singer-songwriter John Waite, whose career as a solo artist and fronting the iconic bands The Babys and Bad English has spanned nearly four decades. Waite recently released a new career retrospective, BEST. The album features 18 handpicked songs that reflect a remarkable body of work, including eleven studio hits -- three of which were recently re-recorded -- five live songs, and two unplugged tracks.

Waite has been successfully writing, recording and performing some of the most listenable, enduring and appreciated popular music for more than 35 years. He rose to fame as bassist and lead vocalist for The Babys, who rocketed to Top 20 chart positions with a pair of infections hits - “Isn’t it Time” from the band’s 1977 sophomore LP, Broken Heart and the monster ballad, “Every Time I Think of You” off 1978’s Head First.

After the breakup of The Babys--prompted by a serious injury to Waite in 1980 when he was pulled from the stage by an overzealous fan during an encore--Waite began an abundant and prodigious solo career, ignited by the well-received 1982 release, Ignition, which featured the hit single, “Change.”  John’s next solo effort, 1984’s No Brakes, did exactly what the title inferred, barreling at runaway train speed to international acclaim and U.S. platinum success thanks to the smash hit, “Missing You,” which did not stop until it reached Number 1 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles, Album Rock Tracks and Adult Contemporary charts. The following up single, “Tears” was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.

In 1988, a reunion with former Baby’s band mates, Jonathan Cain and Ricky Phillips –along with uber-guitarist Neal Schon from Journey and drummer Deen Castronovo –resulted in the John Waite fronted supergroup, Bad English. And in 1989, the group’s ballad, “When I See You Smile,” – penned by Grammy-winning songwriter, Diane Warren – went to Number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and was certified Gold. The album reached Top Five and sold more than two million units in the U.S. alone. Bad English released two albums before breaking up in 1992.

Since returning to the recording studio and concert trek as a solo artist in 1995, John has produced a string of solid, existentially eccentric, courageously eclectic and blisteringly electric rock n’ roll records, including 1995’s Temple Bar, 1997’s When You Were Mine, 2001’s Figure in a Landscape, 2004’s The Hard Way, 2006’s Downtown: Journey of a Heart, 2010’s In Real Time and 2011's Rough and Tumble, the title track of which earned Waite a Grammy nomination.

http://www.johnwaiteworldwide.com

Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers made a needle’s-eye leap onto the national music circuit in 2012, bringing with them a refreshing sound, spirited stage show and wellspring of good vibes, along with a turntable and milk crates stocked with their favorite vintage vinyl for backstage sustenance.

Now, the San Francisco-based band and its striking front woman with a girl-next-door demeanor step out with Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, a luminous, heartfelt patchwork of California folk-rock, brisk Americana and show-stopping soul, punctuated with fresh four-part harmonies, crisp rock guitar and Nicki’s soaring, nuanced vocals that some critics say remind them of Linda Ronstadt. The first record under the banner of the full band, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers is very much a family album, featuring 11 new songs penned by the band members, arranged and produced by Nicki’s husband and the band’s musical director, Tim Bluhm, and recorded at the Bluhm’s Mission Bells studio in San Francisco.

The lead single “Little Too Late” kicks off the proceedings with a fun and funky punch of soulful rock and an anthemic quality to the lyrics that quickly made the song a fan favorite at live shows in the months prior to the album’s release. Also released in advance of the album, “Ravenous” marks a departure for the band as Nicki flirts with her dark side, urged on by haunting echoes of classic Fleetwood Mac. Tim and Nicki’s great love of country music and Americana storytelling takes center stage in the sparkling “Till I’m Blue”, an enchanting ode to lasting love, as well as in “Deep Water”, Nicki’s endearing telling of life lessons learned. Bluhm family friend Steve Poltz, best known for his collaborations with the singer Jewel, contributed the coaxing soul waltz “Check Your Head”.

There is an evergreen quality to the band’s music that resonates with music lovers across ages and time zones, fans who are touched by the band’s natural, bright-eyed charm and timeless expression of life and love. “We make music that generations of friends and families can share,” Nicki offers with a quiet confidence. “For me, there is a tenderness, a humanness. It’s about getting down to the basic level of bringing joy. We’re a fun, honest group of people who love traveling and seeing the country. I’m with my husband and my best friends, we’re so lucky to be doing this, and we’re so grateful for those coming out to visit with us.”

With such an earnest appreciation for every moment of the grueling work and endless hours required for touring “uncharted waters,” as she puts it, one can imagine Nicki almost pinching herself to prove that this really is her life -- and rightfully so. She never saw any of this coming.

Tim and Nicki’s paths first crossed at a house party, when someone passed a guitar to Nicki. Though she’d never before sung in front of a crowd, she took a chance and belted out an impromptu blues number, immediately catching Tim’s ear. It was a spark-plug moment that evolved into the two playing music together, followed by Tim mentoring Nicki as she developed into a career singer/songwriter. As love blossomed and marriage ensued, the couple created and released Nicki’s debut solo album, Toby’s Song (2008).

The formation of Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers happened in similar organic fashion, when Nicki recruited her childhood friend, Deren Ney, to play lead guitar in her new band. Dave Mulligan accepted an invitation from Nicki to join the Gramblers on guitar and vocals while out hiking with the Bluhms one day. Bass player Steve Adams and drummer Mike Curry each got the call from the Bluhms and agreed to double-time it with their existing musical commitments. When not working with his own band, the Mother Hips, Tim takes his place on guitar, keyboard and vocals. Nicki’s second album, Driftwood (2011), earned numerous positive reviews and put Nicki and the Gramblers in front of a wider swath of show goers across the western U.S.

It was during this time that the band’s “Van Sessions” video for Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That” went viral and introduced Nicki and band to the world of their endearing, stripped down versions of classic songs as well as to an existing catalog of original tracks from Nicki’s two previous solo albums. They went back on the road and quickly developed into a tight knit, six-piece headlining act, logging over 200 dates in 2012. In 2013, Nicki and the Gramblers’ touring schedule has included auspicious sets at Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Hangout Music Festival and Mountain Jam, as well as being featured on network television by veteran journalist Anthony Mason for “CBS This Morning”.

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