Live Review: American Aquarium in Winston-Salem, 10-12-2018

American Aquarium proved that ‘Things Change’ with a near hometown show over the weekend…

American Aquarium lead singer B.J. Barham stepped to the stage backed by his new ensemble for the first time in a while at The Ramkat in Winston-Salem. Having formerly played the venue, then known as Ziggy’s, there have been numerous changes to the event space leaving Barham to comment that, “it was nice having a venue ran by music lovers.”

On the heels of a cancelled show to open the NC State Fair in Raleigh, American Aquarium played a free show at The Pour House on Thursday night. The site of numerous AA shows and album release parties, in addition to being where Barham and his wife wed, it was packed with 300-plus patrons eager to see the band perform.

Despite a disappointing cancellation, the excitement from a show where he now calls home (Raleigh) was carried west to Winston-Salem, just a few miles from Barham’s hometown of Reidsville. At one point in the evening, Barham was sharing the backstory of Crooked and Straight, saying no one knew him when he was a kid – to which one audience member yelled, “I did”.

Barham debuted a Fender electric guitar for the first time at The Pour House and brought the new ride with him to Winston-Salem. Pulling it out for the second song of the evening, Tough Folks, Barham proved that while “things change,” his band, what he plays, the venue – critical constants remain.

Whether in 2012 or 2018, American Aquarium is going to provide a wonderfully entertaining show. Experiencing a roller coaster of emotions from the deeply passionate, hard life lessons, bitter breakups, to a more promising time, the songs represent a sliver of the transformation Barham has taken as an individual over the past decade.

Dedication, determination and an appreciation for his fans – Barham stayed late after his set to shake hands and express his gratitude for those willing to spend their Friday night with him – in addition to seeing a few familiar faces.

One group of patrons even broke into their own rendition of PBR Promenade immediately after American Aquarium left the stage without the song making into their set. Not just the chorus, these guys knew it from start to finish.

Continuing to thrive behind their latest album, Things Change, the first with a new lineup, American Aquarium displayed their ability to connect with an audience and prove their shows are not to be missed – then, now, or ever.

FULL SETLIST 10/12/2018

The World Is On Fire
Tough Folks
Casualties
St. Mary’s
Losing Side of Twenty-Five
Wolves
One Day At A Time
Jacksonville
Crooked + Straight
Betting Man
Lonely Ain’t Easy
Louisiana Beauty Queen
Hurricane
I Hope He Breaks Your Heart
Unfortunate Kind (solo)
Katherine Belle
Rockingham

American Aquarium: Two home dates this week

***UPDATE: Due to the NC State Fair being closed on Thursday, October 11, American Aquarium will play at The Pour House in Raleigh (free admission)***

American Aquarium is set to play the NC State Fair in Raleigh, where lead singer B.J. Barham calls home, and The Ramkat in Winston-Salem on Thursday and Friday – respectively. Barham has always been a proponent of the long leaf pine and his North Carolina roots. Originally flanked by a few North Carolinians in the band, the group has recently undergone a significant lineup shift but continues to press forward, gaining new fans and influencing others with their music on a consistent basis.

Gaining notoriety around North Carolina behind a tireless touring schedule featuring hole in the wall bars and restaurants from Blowing Rock to Statesville, the capital city of Raleigh and even a few homecoming shows pre-Thanksgiving in Reidsville, the band never failed to entertain. No matter the audience size or familiarity, Barham was going to connect with his fans and it’s this persistence that expanded their base, leading to tours across America and internationally with sell outs in tow.

From humble beginnings the band now regularly receives invitations to festivals, including The Music Fest, Medicine Stone and an appearance at Mile 0 Fest next year, in addition to traveling across the pond for another upcoming European tour later this month. Despite their rigorous schedule American Aquarium has also cranked out numerous albums which transcend time and appeal to the current state of Barham and his feelings.

Burn, Flicker, Die was originally intended to be the final album from the group but instead propelled them to even greater heights. Well received by both fans and critics, the album did just the opposite and allowed Barham and his band to continue touring and making a living but it came at a cost. A few years later the entire lineup would announce a shift in focus after their third “Roadtrip to Raleigh” with year four completed under Barham and an entirely new lineup behind him.

The band released another album, Wolves and their next, which was released earlier this year is arguably the best yet. Things Change encompasses the influences surrounding Barham and his band, in addition to the personal aspects of his own life. Since Wolves, Barham has gotten sober, married and welcomed his first child, a daughter, into the world.

Barham is learning to manage both touring and being a father, while also maintaining a strong commitment to his music. The show dates may not come as frequently, but American Aquarium has been and will continue to be on the road plenty, as their impact on the current music scene has been made and people from around the country are continually taking notice.

American Aquarium is destined for great things behind Barham and their latest break will only leave fans wanting more. “Things Change” in every aspect of life, but the ability to adapt and forge a way has been a staple of Barham and his music. Telling personal tales that anyone can relate to and striking a chord among his followers, although changes are in store, the foundation remains.

Catch American Aquarium at one of two upcoming North Carolina dates this week behind a new album, lineup and reinvigorated lead singer.

Upcoming NC Dates:
Thursday, Oct. 11 – The Pour House – Raleigh (free show)
Friday, Oct. 12 – The Ramkat – Winston-Salem – Get tickets HERE

Live Review: Shinyribs in Asheville – 10/03/2018

Entertaining from the start, Shinyribs brought a midweek pick me up to Asheville’s River Arts District…

From a flamboyant introduction through the encore, those in attendance at Asheville’s The Grey Eagle on Wednesday evening were treated to a musical journey unlike any other. The seven-piece ensemble of Shinyribs crowded onto the stage ahead of Kevin Russell entering and greeting fans with his free spirit, interpretative dance moves and entertaining collection of songs – both original and covers.

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Russell, flanked by The Tijuana Trainwreck Horns and Shiny Soul Sisters, combine with drummer Keith Langford, Winfield Cheek on keys, and bassist Jeff Brown to create one of the most unique and intoxicating sounds imaginable. A self described mix of “country-soul” and “swamp-funk”, the music of Shinyribs stands alone but is enhanced by the theatrics of Russell on stage.

Armed with one of the best band recognition routines ever, Russell introduces the audience to every member of Shinyribs through their favorite root vegetable ahead of the song, Sweet Potato. It’s an amusing yet satisfying mix of admiration and appreciation fitting seamlessly into their set.

Moving in sync with the Shiny Soul Sisters, working out “his calculations” during Who Built the Moon and even crawling around the perimeter of the stage at one point, Russell turned an ordinary Wednesday night into a full on party for a near capacity crowd.

One of the most unique shows you can experience, Shinyribs never fails to entertain, connecting with their audience in a free spirited, dance like no one is watching affair, from start to finish.

Live Review: Cody Canada and the Departed in Asheville – 09/29/2018

The legendary Cody Canada and the Departed rocked Asheville over the weekend.

There are few names synonymous with red dirt music and rarely do these individual’s who helped cultivate an entire music scene across the country visit North Carolina, but on Saturday night, Asheville got to experience one of the best with Cody Canada and The Departed. Absent a tour stop in NC over the past two years, it was a welcome return and one that those in attendance truly appreciated. Canada brought a set list of songs from The Departed’s latest album, “3” and a few hits from his previous band, Cross Canadian Ragweed in addition to some covers and a tribute to Tom Petty.

While on stage Canada briefly spoke about his reconciliation with Mike McClure who produced the latest album and also shared a meaningful story related to his song, ‘Pay‘. While even further from Texas than North Carolina, at a tour stop in Oregon, Canada ran into a fan named Travis Moore, sharing a special story behind the song. On Saturday, Canada dedicated the song to him as it once saved his life – keeping Moore alive during a down time after he heard it play while contemplating suicide.

Canada also departed from his traditional guitar to play one created by 357 Custom Guitars, a local company. Playing ‘Constantly‘, the aforementioned ‘Pay‘ and a few other songs on the new axe, Canada mentioned the guitar had been designed for students at his new School of Rock in New Braunfels, Texas but after his test run (maybe jokingly) said it wouldn’t reach the hands of his students.

There were a few moments in the set where Canada gave way to bass player Jeremy Plato, who he’s known since the sixth grade and being playing music alongside for numerous years. A talented musician in his own right, the two are backed by beats from the always entertaining Eric Hansen on the drum kit.

The new three person interpretation of The Departed will forever be in tact according to Canada – at least until his two sons are of “legal drinking age.” It definitely works as Hansen fits in seamlessly between Canada and Plato like he’s been there all along.

A wonderful, energetic, and entertaining show that shouldn’t be missed once Cody Canada and the Departed return to North Carolina – hopefully before both his boys join the band.

Shinyribs sashays across NC this week

Shinyribs is a band unlike any other with the cure you need, even if you didn’t know you did…

Shinyribs, a name synonymous with high-energy, can’t miss performances and the ability to entertain through stage presence, voice, music and the sheer talent of everyone involved – audiences are always left wanting more after any of their shows. From the always fun and thoughtful introductions to a never know what you’re going to get show, Shinyribs has been wowing audiences throughout the land since 2007 and in their current form for the past few years.

Led by lead singer Kevin Russell, formerly of The Gourds, Shinyribs began as a side project before morphing into the awesome show they are today. Performing both their own original music and a number of covers, Shinyribs never fails to delight and their reputation precedes them.

Born and raised in Beaumont, East Texas, Russell’s been variously dubbed (mostly by himself), the Baryshnikov of the Big Thicket, the Pavarotti of the Pineywoods, the Shakespeare of Swamp Pop, or the Shiniest Man in Showbidniz. One of the pioneers of Americana as a member of The Gourds, Russell took his musical inspiration from the fertile Ark-La-Tex turf. In the immortal words of the title track to their most recent album, “I Got Your Medicine,” Shinyribs have the cure to whatever ails you, moving that ass until you’re a helpless member of the Kevin Russell-led “all-in” conga line which snakes through the audience at the close of every show. “It’s the universal dance anyone can do,” he says. “Nobody feels self-conscious or out of place. It’s a great way to get everybody involved. You can’t really top that.”

Whether you are familiar with the sounds of Shinyribs or not, one thing is guaranteed. You will be entertained. Always worth the price of admission, Russell and his crew never disappoint and he’s spreading the cure to your ails across North Carolina this week.

I Got Your Medicine,” was released in 2016 and couldn’t have come equipped with a better title. Even if you’re oblivious to this gaping hole in your musical spectrum, Shinyribs can fill it after witnessing just one live performance.

The combination of country, folk, bluegrass, funk, rap and any other genre you can think of creates a sweet elixer of enjoyment that you won’t soon forget.

Upcoming NC Dates:

Wednesday, October 3 – The Grey Eagle, Asheville (TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE)
Thursday, October 4 – The Ramkat, Winston-Salem (TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE)

Medicine Stone 2018: The 10 best things we saw over the weekend

Following are the 10 best things we witnessed during Medicine Stone 2018…

The sixth annual event created in collaboration with Jason Boland and the Turnpike Troubadours takes place annually at Diamondhead Resort on the banks of the Illinois River in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. This year’s event brought an extremely talented lineup to entertain the thousands in attendance who travel not only from all of Oklahoma but also neighboring states and even halfway across the country – as we did. In no particular order, here are the 10 best things we experienced at our first-ever Medicine Stone event.

Camping

To get the full Medicine Stone experience attendees need to camp or stay at one of the on site bunkhouses. Offerings from areas only large enough for setting up a tent, to “glamping” upgrades and even RV spaces complete with full hookups, there is a variety of different options from which to choose. The camaraderie established between attendees in only a short period of time is fun to watch. Life-long friendships are created and strengthened, meals are shared, parties last into the wee hours of the morning and musical talent can easily be found outside of the festival lineup as many artists bring instruments to entertain campsites at all hours of the day and night.

Illinois River

The weather didn’t cooperate for patrons to take full advantage of the Illinois River but it also didn’t keep people from giving it their best shot. Day one provided the best opportunity as the sun beat down ahead of an impending rainfall forecast for Friday and those campers who were ready when the gates opened, completing set up before lunch crowded into the river ahead of BC and the Big Rig kicking things off at 3:00pm. Setting up lawn chairs and just enjoying the fellowship of other concert goers, pack a bathing suit because regardless of what Mother Nature had to offer, the river still beckoned those who wished to float or relax as people made their way down to the water every day.

Yellow House Revisited

Some of the greatest musicians to come out of Oklahoma have ties to the Yellow House in Stillwater, following the dissolution of The Farm – including Mike McClure, Cody Canada, and Jason Boland. These three reunite on occasion and when they do it provides for a must see experience. All talented and entertaining in their own right, when the three share a stage the stories, lyrics, and music are endless.

Crowded into Mary Ellen’s Greenhouse (one of two side stages), which Boland shared was the namesake of a family friend and subject of his song by the same name on the Rancho Alto album, patrons were treated to a song swap before the grand finale – Carney Man.

The crowd asked and Canada reluctantly obliged after stating he was saving the song for his own set later in the evening. The first track on the very first Cross Canadian Ragweed record, Canada retired the song from his repertoire for many years before recently bringing it back. A crowd favorite, although Canada teased they were “easily entertained”, hearing it live with McClure was epic.

Reckless Kelly

Scheduled to perform on the main stage Friday evening, Reckless Kelly had their set moved into Mary Ellen’s Greenhouse which lead singer Willy Braun affectionately nicknamed, “The Cheeseburger Tent”. Turning a negative into a positive, the tight confines allowed for an intimate set with one of the best in the business and Reckless Kelly didn’t disappoint.

Ending their set with a tribute to Prince and inspired by the continuous downpour outside, Purple Rain ignited the crowd and helped everyone to forget about the dismal weather conditions. Admitting they hadn’t played that song in quite some time, the band showed no signs of rust as it was one of the highlights of the entire festival.

Jamie Lin Wilson

In her first performance since giving birth to her fourth child, a baby boy, Jamie Lin Wilson greeted fans with a toast. “Here’s to the first show since last Christmas without a baby in my belly – cheers.” Set to release her new album, Jumping Over Rocks, in late October, Wilson wowed the crowd by triumphantly owning the stage back from her maternity leave.

The Medicine Stone debut of Oklahoma Stars, a single from her new record written by Wilson and Evan Felker of the Turnpike Troubadours (who previously released the song), took on an entirely different feel at the place of its inception. Hearing her sing, “on the banks in late September” brightened an otherwise dreary day as Wilson shone like the sun throughout her entire set.

John Fullbright

In the first three minutes of John Fullbright‘s early afternoon set inside Mary Ellen’s Greenhouse he captivated the audience grabbing everyone’s attention with dynamic guitar skills which were surprisingly overmatched by his ability to control the harmonica.

Fullbright not only entertained with exceptional talent but also shared some jokes, displaying a vibrant personality while on stage. His Satan and St. Paul, in addition to Fat Man, which displayed his ability on the keys, ended with an accentuated foot to the keyboard. A rousing set of songs touching on a number of emotions, Fullbright is not to be missed.

Turnpike Troubadours

The originally scheduled finale for night two, the Turnpike Troubadours returned after a brief hiatus of touring to “open” for Jason Boland and the Stragglers on night three. Another first in Medicine Stone history, both Turnpike and Boland performed on the same night.

Turnpike picked up right where they left off showing no signs of what has been a noticeable break, entertaining the crowd for what felt like a homecoming performance as many of the current members hail from Tahlequah and the surrounding area.

Uncle Bekah’s Inappropriate Trucker Hats

No matter where you found yourself on the grounds of Diamondhead Resort you didn’t have to look far to find an inappropriate trucker hat created by Uncle Bekah. One patron told her she had the best vendor booth on site and two doors down they were passing out free shots of whiskey – he wasn’t wrong.

Hats available in a range of colors, Bekah has taken her concept and organically grown it into a modern day phenomenon deeply rooted in the music scene. There’s already an option for seemingly every occasion but should you find yourself in need of something new, one can be created in seconds.

Rain

Medicine Stone 2018 brought the rain – literally. A brief shower early Friday morning gave way to more steady rainfall as the day progressed. By mid-morning clouds covered Diamondhead Resort and a rain never before seen in festival history ensued.

As the main stage flooded, every performance was relocated to Mary Ellen’s Greenhouse, the only covered venue on site. A tent city was erected out onto festival grounds as patrons attempted to get as close to the action as possible.

The performers, fans, and especially those responsible behind the scenes handling equipment and changing out stage setups for each act, all deserve a round of applause for making the best out of a difficult situation.

Collaborations

Often the highlight of a festival atmosphere when so many talented individuals are gathered at the same location, the collaborations witnessed over the course of the event were amazing. Beginning on night one with Koe Wetzel joining Wade Bowen after his own set and extending to both the Turnpike Troubadours with Jason Boland and the Stragglers sharing the stage on night three, many once in a lifetime moments were witnessed.

Kaitlin Butts joined Flatland Cavalry for their hit song, A Life Where We Work Out, Jamie Lin Wilson sang alongside Wade Bowen and Cody Canada, who joined Reckless Kelly for a monumental performance of the song performed by both, Crazy Eddie’s Last Hurrah.

Cody Braun played alongside seemingly everyone on Friday, on stage with Jamie Lin Wilson, his own Reckless Kelly, Cody Canada, and Charley Crockett. Fullbright also joined The Red Dirt Rangers and Austin Meade for a few songs.

Jason Boland sang without a guitar, hands stuffed into his jacket pockets alongside The Departed, jokingly stating that he didn’t know what to do with them.

Overall, Medicine Stone was an amazing festival full of quality music, people, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Medicine Stone 2018: Day 3 Preview

Preview every main stage artist set to perform on Day 3 (Saturday) of Medicine Stone…

Medicine Stone is just two days away, kicking off at Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on Thursday, September 20. Now in its sixth year of existence, the festival continues to grow and attract fans from all over the country to the home of red dirt music.

The music begins at 11:30am on Saturday with the main stage lineup set for a 5:25pm start, featuring each of the following:

Red Dirt Rangers (5:25pm)
“The act that represents Red Dirt? You couldn’t do any better than the Red Dirt Rangers, who’ve been carrying the banner for Red Dirt music since the late 1980s.”

Red Shahan (6:50pm)
“The red-headed troubadour with the lonesome howl and penchant for somber portraits of busted boom towns and gritty, white-knuckled anthems.”

Flatland Cavalry (8:15pm)
“Lubbock roots-country outfit Flatland Cavalry straddles that line between the Panhandle and the badlands of West Texas with their bright, earthy country ballads and gritty folk ramblers. Vocalist and chief songwriter Cleto Cordero’s honest, smooth songwriting revolves around the vernacular world of West Texas that he’s constructed with dusty, sun-soaked character sketches, brooding self-evaluations, and candid love songs that all have the ability to turn into singalong anthems.”

Jason Boland and the Stragglers (10:00pm)
“That mix of subtle musical sophistication and unruly Oklahoma junkyard pedigree has resulted in some of the best independent honky tonk in recent memory.”

View the complete Day 3 Medicine Stone music lineup here.

Medicine Stone 2018: Day 2 Preview

Preview every main stage artist set to perform on Day 2 (Friday) of Medicine Stone…

Medicine Stone is just two days away, kicking off at Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on Thursday, September 20. Now in its sixth year of existence, the festival continues to grow and attract fans from all over the country to the home of red dirt music.

The music begins at 11:30am on Friday with the main stage lineup set for a 5:00pm start, featuring each of the following:

Jamie Lin Wilson (5:00pm)
“No one covers the spectrum of age and experience quite like Jamie: moving portraits of men, women, and children coping, striving, wondering, and celebrating.”

Reckless Kelly (6:10pm)
“Reckless Kelly is a great band with an apt name. The outlaw’s spirit pervades the ambiance. They are rugged individualists who dedicate themselves to advancing the state of their art.”

Cody Canada and the Departed (7:35pm)
“There’s plenty of amplified crunch, Red Dirt twang, roadhouse-worthy guitar riffs, story-based songwriting, and the familiar rasp of Canada’s voice — an instrument that’s been sharpened by years of raw, redemptive shows.”

The Toadies (9:00pm)
“Burst[ing] onto the scene in 1994 with the breakthrough Rubberneck, including the singles “Possum Kingdom,” “Tyler.”

The Turnpike Troubadours (10:30pm)
Narratives put to music are nothing new, but Evan Felker and his bandmates have upped the ante, creating a web of unforgettable characters that show up on album after album in songs that are both catchy and musically complex: men and women with their backs against their wall, represented realistically but also imbued with dignity.

View the complete Day 2 Medicine Stone music lineup here.

Medicine Stone 2018: Day 1 Preview

Preview every main stage artist set to perform on Day 1 (Thursday) of Medicine Stone…

Medicine Stone is just two days away, kicking off at Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on Thursday, September 20. Now in its sixth year of existence, the festival continues to grow and attract fans from all over the country to the home of red dirt music.

The music begins at 3:00pm with the main stage lineup set for a 6:00pm start, featuring each of the following:

Read Southall (6:00pm)
This band from Stillwater, OK gets things going on night one.

Koe Wetzel (7:15pm)
East Texan native based out of Stephenville, TX. Texas Rock N’ Roll.

Wade Bowen (8:45pm)
Long-time Texas artist and a staple in the scene.

Randy Rogers Band (10:30pm)
The Texas-based band has kept its lineup intact since 2002, and the group has reached the Top 5 of Billboard’s country albums chart with each of its last three studio releases, including 2016’s “Nothing Shines Like Neon.” The group recently completed a new album, set for mid-2018 release, at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A with GRAMMY-winning producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson).

View the complete Day 1 Medicine Stone music lineup here.

Ever More Nest and Kelcy Mae: Finding Her Place

Kelcy Mae tours NC ahead of her new album, ‘The Place That You Call Home‘ due out October 12…

Shreveport, Louisiana native and New Orleans based singer-songwriter Kelcy Mae has been writing music and touring on a mission of self discovery for many years. Recording three albums (Half-Light, 2014 – Pennies in Hand, 2011 and The Times Compiled, 2007) along her journey, it never seemed she had quite found her place but that is changing.

Aided by producer Neilson Hubbard, Mae captured her vision for ‘The Place That You Call Home‘, creating Ever More Nest and compiling a record full of songs that blend Americana, folk, southern rock and story-telling depth with lessons in life, love, frustration, and inner soul searching.

Traveling with guitarist Dave DeCotiis, the duo has multiple stops across North Carolina this week where you can hear these songs and experience the smooth, bold, live performances of seeing Mae on stage.

Prior to her first stop, RedDirtNC caught up with the rising star to find out more about ‘The Place That You Call Home‘, her musical influences and Ever More Nest.

RDNC: Can you briefly share the backstory behind your career, how Ever More Nest began and what ultimately led to the upcoming album ‘The Place That You Call Home‘?

KM: I’ve been performing as Kelcy Mae for the last few years. I started pursuing music more seriously after finishing grad school (MFA in Poetry), when I was able to focus more on songwriting. I put out a couple records and toured a bit. After my last record (Half-Light), I felt like I really hadn’t quite found myself and my groove yet. I think of those last few years of touring and performing as a journey in self-discovery. By 2017 I had a number of songs I knew I wanted to record and a specific aesthetic I wanted for them. That led to the birth of Ever More Nest. Neilson Hubbard (Producer on ‘The Place That You Call Home‘) helped me manifest that vision on the record, and now I’ve got the band to back it up. Kelcy Mae didn’t feel like the right name and identity anymore, and it didn’t help its case that people misspell it nearly all the time. Ever More Nest helped free me creatively and allow me to explore the Americana aesthetic dear to my heart.

RDNC: What are your favorite songs off the new album and can you share any lyrical highlights, why?

KM: The album is so new that I’m still in love with these songs. I’m so excited for people to hear them and to play them live. Major Tom is definitely one of my favorites. The lesson of letting go has truly been life-changing for me over the last year. As discussed in the Atwood Magazine video premier, it’s a song that came to me quickly in a low moment right after the presidential election. Learning how to stay active and engaged with my world and how to know what I can and can’t control, what I can and can’t contribute, was really helpful to me in all aspects of my life. I feel so at home in that song, floating in space as it were, I know nothing but what I know, and this world done lost me a long time ago. I feel like Major Tom, out of control. And of course the song ends with the line, “I feel like Major Tom, letting go”.

Another current favorite is Broken Bones. The title for the album comes from this song, No one can break your heart quite like the place that you call home.Written after the major flood that happened last year in New Orleans, it’s a song about the frustrations of “home.” For me, of course, that’s New Orleans. My favorite lyrics are in the bridge, “Broken streets, broken homes, broken hearts that roam alone along broken streets, broken homes, broken hearts that beat through beating“. The next lines speak to the rhetoric we all get from our civic leaders who say they’re doing everything they can for us, for the betterment of society, community, whatever. “Tell me one more time how you’ve got me on your mind…one more time for the people at the end of the line“. “Home” can be so insanely frustrating, especially for those less fortunate—living with dysfunction, be it on a familial or city scale, is heartbreaking.

RDNC: What does the title, ‘The Place That You Call Home‘, reveal about the album’s overall theme and impact?

KM: I’ve always been interested in the idea of “place.” For me, the title isn’t strictly literal, though, like it more or less is within the song Broken Bones. “Home” can be a lot of things. So can “place.”I chose it for the album because I think the idea of place permeates the entire record. And looking at the record now, I can see that it’s a record about finding my place in the world. I feel like this is simplifying a more complex bigger picture, but that’s the easiest way to describe it, I guess.

RDNC: Who have been your musical influences and did any one in particular have an impact on this particular album?

KM: My musical influences have varied over the years, but I’ve always loved that southern, Americana sound. Direct influences on this record include Emmylou Harris (Wrecking Ball) and probably Ryan Adams’ former band Whiskeytown. Lucinda Williams and Lucero as well. Caroline Spence has become a big influence–it was her record ‘Spades & Roses‘ that led to my working with producer Neilson Hubbard. Other favorites include Aimee Mann, Bon Iver, Bonnie Prince Billy, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Jose Gonzalez.

RDNC: How would you describe the sound of the album to any potential new fans?

KM: I imagine the artist influences I just named can give you a general idea of the sound of the record. It’s southern country and rock and roll with lyrics that hopefully make you do a double take. I think it’s something you can listen to on a lonely dirt road or on a bustling city street. It’s gritty, yet lush … We can’t wait to be back in North Carolina. Hope you all remain safe and dry–we’re rooting for you as Florence approaches.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
9/17 – The Town Pump (Black Mountain, NC) – 9:00pm
9/19 – The Dinghy (Isle of Palms, SC) – 7:00pm
9/20 – ISIS Music Hall (Asheville, NC) – 7:00pm
9/21 – The Evening Muse (Charlotte, NC) – 7:00pm
9/22 – Mystery Brewing (Hillsborough, NC) – 8:30pm

Find more at www.kelcymae.com/shows