Acoustic Syndicate Release “Rooftop Garden”

Watch  “Memphis Girls” Video
Steeped in the tradition of authentic bluegrass and folk music, North Carolina’s Acoustic Syndicate are releasing their first full-length album in eight years, Rooftop Garden, today. In honor of release day, check out the new video for their song “Memphis Girls” courtesy of The Bluegrass Situation. This strangely cheerful tale is about a guy who brings his “big idea” to the city of Memphis, only to go home with his tail between his legs. Fortunately his friends are there to ease him back to reality.
Whether they’re tilling a field or digging deeper into their unique blend of rock and bluegrass, the members of Acoustic Syndicate have a distinct way of reaching back in order to move forward. Raised in a valley of the world’s oldest mountains, brothers Bryon and Fitz, along with cousin Steve, still farm the land in Cleveland County, N.C. that has been in their family since the 1700s. The impact of the years spent with their hands in the soil, growing wheat, soybeans, tomatoes and sorghum, has informed their music as much as the hours spent with their hands on their instruments.
“We are farmers,” said Steve about the McMurry men in the band. “We have a strong ancestral tradition and we will never give it up. In many ways it’s what gives us purpose and has much to do with who we are.” And it’s also why the band can bring such genuine home grown music from the field to the stage.
“But the truth is, the concern for the land can not just be important to us,” says Steve, “the folks who work it, grow food on it for others to eat, tend it from one generation to the next. Even the most apathetic and uneducated citizen might one day wonder why the rain burns their eyes or why there is a hole in the sky – why they can’t breathe or escape the heat. For some of us, only then will we truly realize the seriousness of our situation. And then it will be too late.”
And so the band plays on, with bassist Jay Sanders and dobro player Billy Cardine joining the McMurrys to create Acoustic Syndicate’s signature sound. Jamming and grinning and singing these deep and hopeful tunes encouraging people to think as they dance, expand their minds and open their hearts to the good that can be done around them.
“Through our music, we have tried to maintain a consistent message, a reminder, that this Earth is the only one we will ever have. And though we speak of some lofty ideals in our music, my most fervent hope is that when people listen to us or come to our show, they leave with a laugh and a smile and the satisfaction of having been a part of something positive.”
Tour Dates
9/13 – The Pour House – Charlestion, SC
9/14 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC
9/20 – Oaktoberfest – Oak Park, IL
9/28 – Mount Holly Arts Festival – Mount Holly, NC
10/25 – Ziggy’s By The Sea – Wilmington, NC
10/26 – Ziggy’s – Winston Salem, NC
10/18 – LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival) – Black Mountain, NC
11/30 – North Carolina Music & Arts Festival – Lexington, NC
12/20 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
12/21 – The Lincoln Theater – Raleigh, NC


Cabinet Announces Fall Tour, Part 1/Club Cafe Pittsburgh 10/4

When it comes to the music of Cabinet, the essential bywords are soul, simplicity, and serious musicianship. In concert, the combination of these qualities invariably yields an experience that is so celebratory and moving that the very word Cabinet takes on a new, vivid meaning for anyone in the audience. An inclusive and engaging energy is the uniting through-line as Cabinet weaves bluegrass, country and folk influences to powerful effect. Tight dynamics punctuate gorgeous, soaring harmonies as down-to-earth rhythm and lyrics give way to dreamy jams that are the musical equivalent of the back road scenic route. But this impressive result is no accident. Pappy Biondo [banjo, vocals], J.P. Biondo [mandolin, vocals], Mickey Coviello [acoustic guitar, vocals], Dylan Skursky [electric bass, double bass], Todd Kopec [fiddle, vocals], and Jami Novak [drums, percussion], all love and live music. They each have a nuanced approach and posses broad talents in their own rights. But the passionate, affirming, and joyous musical world that they create together is Cabinet.
This is a band that wants to play music, that loves to play music. You can hear in each song a bridled optimism, like they are just waiting to take you on an extended journey across the countryside. It is this tension, perfectly crafted with each player trading licks, that holds the listener in rapt attention.
Cabinet’s 4th record, LEAP, out now on Ropeadope Records, comes after years of tearing apart American music and building it up again in their own vision. Cabinet has unveiled a work that perfectly defines…. Cabinet. The rough hewn structure that began as six musicians with divergent styles coming together has been whittled, sanded, and polished through persistence and hard work. The result is an impressive structure that shows each of the players and their unique contribution in simple, elegant beauty.
Cabinet is a band that has outgrown any “regional favorite” tag and has progressed to a broader fanbase, all while retaining their signature sound. Not only did the band put together their very own celebration of music and art this past spring with The Old Farmers Ball Music Festival in Scranton, PA but they have also played many great venues and festivals (including CMJ 11, SXSW 11 & 12, musikfest 10 & 11, Floyd Fest ’12, Peach Music Festival ’12, Philadelphia Folk Festival ’12, Dark Star Jubilee ’13) across the land. You can expect to see them at All Good, Peach Fest, Sterling Stage String Fling, Bear’s Picnic, Catskill Chill and more this year. Cabinet has shared the stage with Yonder Mountain String Band, Allman Brothers, Pokey LaFarge, Yarn, Delta Rae, Zac Brown, Infamous String Dusters, Railroad Earth, Rusted Root, Hoots & Hellmouth, Blackberry Smoke, Hot Buttered Rum, Cornmeal, Dark Star Orchestra, Keller Williams, Hackensaw Boys, 7 Walkers, New Riders of the Purple Sage and many, many more.
More information, music, photos and more may be found at:
Tour Dates:
9/1 – Twin Rivers Music Festival – Terra Alta, WV
9/6 – Catskill Chill (DEAD SET!) – Hancock, NY
9/8 – Catskill Chill – Hancock, NY
9/13 – Carroll Creek Amphitheater – Frederick, MD
9/15 – Wang Dang Doodle Music Festival – Johnstown, PA
9/24 – ** Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA
9/25 – ** Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY
9/26 – ** Church – Boston, MA
9/27 – Meeting of the Minds 6 – Meshoppen, PA
9/28 – **/++ Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA
10/2 – ** Cafe 210 West – State College, PA
10/3 – ** Woodland’s Backyard – Columbus, OH
10/4 – ** Club Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA
10/5 – ** Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
10/11-13 – The Festy Experience – Roseland, VA
** with Holy Ghost Tent Revival
++ with March Fourth Marching Band

Steve Martin at Heinz Hall: What is High Brow?

Monday night Steve Martin and his backing bluegrass band, The Steep Canyon Rangers, graced the stage of Heinz Hall to a sold out crowd. Edie Brickell also joined in on stage from time to time. It’s interesting that regardless of the art form, anything played or performed in such a venue instantly becomes high brow. Heinz Hall is classy, the concert goers were well dressed, the ushers had little flashlights. With such an atmosphere one comes to expect the epitome of talent and yet, the performance, well rehearsed as it was, seemed rather out of sorts for the venue. Realistically there may be no other adequate venue for such a popular artist but the culture that was cultivated seemed forced.

That is not to say that the performance was a disaster or that comedy or even bluegrass has no place in Heinz Hall. The comedy was good. It was intelligent, sophisticated, and entertaining. The musicianship was superb. Steve Martin is a well seasoned and creative banjo player, the Steep Canyon Rangers are virtuosos on their respective instruments and their harmonies, at times showcasing five parts, were beautiful. Edie Brickell’s voice is angelic. Seemingly all the right pieces are in place for a performance worthy of Heinz Hall, a well dressed audience, and ushers with little flashlights. But, in the combination of all of these parts, something went awry.

While Steve Martin is a superb banjo player, the same cannot be said for his singing voice. Even when he wasn’t performing a comedy song it was hard to take seriously. His voice is dry with little range and much less amplification–a garish contrast to the harmonies that were developing behind him.

Edie Brickell, with her slight southern drawl and pristine feminine delivery, is not much of a lyricist. This is unfortunate as she wrote all of the lyrics for the collaborative effort Love Has Come For You, which brought the pair to Pittsburgh. You’ll remember Edie Brickell from Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians–the smash hit “What I am” still haunts any mind capable of comprehending pop music from 1988, (“What I am, is what I am, is…” whatever) her lyrics today lack just as much substance as they did when the Cold War was entering its twilight.

As far as the Steep Canyon Rangers are concerned, no complaints. They were perfect. In fact, the most enjoyable part of the show was when Steve and Edie left the Rangers to perform a few songs by themselves or, when Steve and the Rangers played an instrumental piece. That dynamic was certainly high brow.

Of course, it’s difficult to present a negative review of someone like Steve Martin. He is hilarious and his on stage banter was entertaining. Unfortunately, due to the dissonance created by the elite musicianship of the backing band against the low quality singing of Steve Martin and Edie Brikell’s lyrics, Heinz Hall felt a little underwhelming.

Free Music Festival to Showcase Music Venues in Pittsburgh’s Deutschtown Neighborhood



On July 6, 2013, more than 40 bands will perform on Pittsburgh’s Northside as part of the Deutschtown Music Festival. Local bands will perform in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues throughout the neighborhood, starting at 2pm and ending late into the evening. A wide variety of music styles will be showcased, including jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass, German, Middle eastern, Irish, and electronic. The daytime portion will be family-friendly, while the evening will be more adult-focused. Food trucks and other vendors will be on-site. Admission to this event is absolutely free. Attendance is expected to be around 800 to 1,000.

The festival was conceived by neighborhood advocate, Cody Walters. When asked about his motivation behind organizing the event, he said “Deutschtown has an up-and-coming music scene that so many people just don’t know exists. There’s live music somewhere in the neighborhood almost every night of the week. I thought it would be easy to draw attention to everything Deutschtown has to offer by taking advantage of an asset that we already have.”
Participating venues to date include James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, The Rattskellar at Max’s Allegheny Tavern, KeyWest, The Parkhouse, Artists Image Resource, Bistro To Go, Stedeford’s Records, Peanutz, The ELKS Club and a great outdoor stage on Foreland Street. Performers to date include Meeting of Important People, The Harlan Twins, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Round Black Ghosts, Locks and Dams, Chet Vincent and The Big Bend, Al Dowe and Etta Cox Band, Autobahn, Ishtar, Grand Piano, Big Gypsy, The Red Western, Brewer’s Row, Dave O’brien Trio, Triggers, Legs Like Tree Trunks, The FED, Nic Lawless and his Criminales, Neighbors, Nerve Ending, Gene Stovall, Mega Def, Tracksploitation, DJ Three, Chrome Baby Jesus, Arlo Aldo, DJ Harry Lurker, Sun Ray Shining Light, The Wreckids, Sleep Experiments,  Blue X Baxter, Faithful Sinners, Dan Pritchard, Ike Mississippi, Tyree Morgan, Household Stories, Blue Redshift, Motometer, Weird Paul, Casino Bulldogs, Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo, The Dressed Frets, Adadsdad, The Banned, & Hot Metal Bridge and a number of others still in the works. (40+ bands so far)
Response from local bands has been remarkable, but other acts interested in performing can contact Cody Walters at More information can also be found online at or

Blood and Banjos Kickstarts Their Campaign

If you’ve been reading PMM then you know we dig the crazy blend of metal and bluegrass pioneers, Blood and Banjos.  check out their new Kickstarter campaign as well as their new lyric video…

Blood & Banjos: A Marriage of Bluegrass and Metal

The musician collective known as Blood & Banjos is announcing the release of a full-length story album, slated for the first quarter of 2014. Concurrent with this announcement is the official release of a 3-track demo and the upcoming launch of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds needed to produce the album. The campaign will run from February 28th until March 31st.
Blood & Banjos advances a unique genre of music called Blackgrass: a mash-up of musical genres largely inspired by bluegrass and black metal. The project consists of over a dozen artists from across the United States and Germany. Instrumentation includes guitars (acoustic and electric), fiddle,mandolin, banjo, cello, percussion, and seven male and female vocalists. Enabled by Soundcloud, Skype, and Google Sites, the album writing process has consisted predominantly of remote online collaborations amongst the contributing musicians.
Blood & Banjos creator Mike Lindsay and many of the project’s contributors share common roots in Michigan. In conceiving of the album’s story, Lindsay was inspired by a Northern Michigan legend of an ill-fated family doomed by its deranged patriarch. For the project, this legend was appropriately adjusted to unfold in the heart of Appalachia, a nod to the project’s bluegrass influence. The story features the blighted Abram Stone, a once innocent mason who is consumed by the delusion that everyone around him, including his own family, is possessed by evil. In his poisoned mind, he and his 5-string banjo must prevent the coming of the Anti-Christ and the subsequent apocalypse.
Accounts of murder, lynch mobs, and undead love are set adeptly to banjo plucking, 3-part harmonies, and shredding electric guitars.
The project’s final release will include 10 tracks, all of which are frequently updated and posted to the project’s blog as they mature. The story writing, artwork, and other developments are also openly shared on this blog.

Check them out on Facebook:

Stay tuned for our review in the coming weeks…

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus w/Dopapod @ Rex Theater Feb. 8

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus is an explosive five-piece progressive improvisational band with a rapidly growing fan base across the U.S. and Europe. Described as “brightening the future of the jam band scene,” Ultraviolet Hippopotamus mixes tight, funky jams with new dance beats, heartfelt lyrics, compelling composition, eccentric effects and a vibrant light show for an incredible, one-of-a-kind musical experience. Known for its on-stage musical alchemy – cultivated from years of relentless touring – the band performs an eclectic selection of technically demanding compositions and improvised material along with unconventional and fun covers.

The band recently joined the rooster at Hoplite where founding partners Tom Baggott and Chris Cate have presided over the foundational career development of Disco Biscuits, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Railroad Earth, Ryan Montbleau Band, Zach Deputy and many other smaller artists. Through time spent at other agencies or in other roles ranging from artist management, tour management, production, marketing and management over the last 20+ years, they also participated in the career growth of Agents of Good Roots, Johnny Winter, Michelle Shocked, The Radiators, Tim Reynolds, Victor Wooten and many more. The band is now being managed and booked by the agency which has already led to bigger and better touring opportunities.

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus also just spent time in the studio recording a new concept EP, Broomhilda Suite, which they released to fans at its Halloween 2012 show. It is now available for purchase at shows and online for just $5. Broomhilda Suite is the band’s latest studio effort featuring an epic story of the hero Kanyon and his journey to defeat a mean, old witch Broomhilda. The band is extremely proud of the work and can’t wait to release a full-length studio album later this year.

The group deftly journeys between funk, jazz, livetronica, space rock, reggae, bluegrass, and progressive rock within a single show and, sometimes, within a single song. Exploring new ground and taking risks make every performance unique, and fans are never sure what exactly the band will deliver each night; other than exceptional music.

Anyone remotely familiar with the ‘jam band sound’ will immediately recognize Ultraviolet Hippopotamus’ influences and genre-mixing musical objectives, but the band adds a level of talent, intricacy and polish that truly sets it apart. Tight, energetic jams and outstanding vocals — a true rarity among the band’s peers — coupled with the act’s spontaneity and strong songwriting add to its appeal. The word is out, and the band is quickly developing into an international sensation.

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus’ highly praised third album, “Square Pegs, Round Holes,” reached No. 3 and spent much of the year in the top 25 of the Relix Magazine/ National Radio Chart and was voted “2011 Studio Album of the Year” at the Home Grown Music Network. It also received similar nominations from several radio programs, among other acclaim. The album continues to sell steadily and receives airplay across the U.S. as well as internationally in Italy, Brazil, France, Switzerland, England, Spain, Germany and other countries.

Dopapod exists at the crossroads of full throttle intensity, deep pocket groove, intricate technicality, and limitless experimentation. With no regard towards limiting themselves to stylistic boundaries, the sound that emerges from the quartet both live and in the studio is as varied and diverse as the many influences that they adapt from.

ONLINE INFO: (“Square Pegs Round Holes” available here)

LIVE STREAMING MUSIC: (Halloween: Nintendo Power Show)

CMT Edge Gifts Music Fans with a Free Digital Sampler via Amazon

Discover bold new roots artists with the CMT Edge 2012 Sampler available as a free digital download now on CMT Edge has curated 16 tracks across Americana, roots, bluegrass and classic country genres from new and noteworthy artists including Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Trampled by Turtles, Elizabeth Cook, Turnpike Troubadours, Lord Huron, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Corb Lund, Lindi Ortega, Chris Knight, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, The Lone Bellow, Charlie Mars, Lilly Hiatt, Daniel Romano, Robert Ellis and Ronnie Fauss.

Download the 16-Track CMT Edge 2012 Sampler FREE on

Track Listing
1. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Alabama Pines
2. Trampled by Turtles – Midnight on the Interstate
3. Elizabeth Cook – Gospel Plow
4. Turnpike Troubadours – Gin, Smoke, Lies
5. Lord Huron – Time to Run
6. Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale – I Lost My Job of Loving You
7. Corb Lund – September
8. Lindi Ortega – The Day You Die
9. Chris Knight – In the Meantime
10. Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons – Laura
11. The Lone Bellow – You Never Need Nobody
12. Charlie Mars – Let the Meter Run
13. Lilly Hiatt – Young Black Rose
14. Daniel Romano – Middle Child
15. Robert Ellis – Westbound Train
16. Ronnie Fauss – The Night Before the War

About CMT Edge
CMT Edge takes listeners to the edge of country, where roots artists like the Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars and Mumford & Sons are earning critical acclaim, strong sales and multiple Grammys. Written with a lively and trusted voice, this blog spotlights musicians who write their own music and pursue their careers on their own terms. The focus reaches beyond Nashville, allowing avid music fans to discover Americana, bluegrass and classic country from across the U.S. and around the world. With audio and video embeds, along with exclusive content like Concrete Country and in-studio performances, CMT Edge will guide readers toward their discovery of bold new music. Visit online at

9th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) Deadline This Week

The 9th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) deadline is fast approaching. IAMA promotes excellence in Acoustic Music Performance and Artistry. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition. Participating sponsors include
New Music Weekly, Loggins Promotion,, Acoustica, SongU, Acoustic Cafe Radio Show, NoisyPlanet, Sonicbids, Broadjam and XM Satellite Radio.

IAMA is open to all independent artists and labels. Unlike other music industry competitions, IAMA focuses on developing new markets for Acoustic artists, labels and with or without CD releases. Past years’ winners include Maddy Rodriguez(Canada), David Francey (Canada), Liz Longley, The Refugees (USA), Kate Lush (Australia), Wayne Southards (USA), Larry Pattis (USA), Omega (Uganda), El McMeen, etc.

Win prizes in 8 different categories: Folk/Americana/Roots, AAA/Alternative, Instrumental, Open, Bluegrass, Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group/Duo. There will also be an Overall Grand Prize winner awarded to the top winner worth over US$11,000, which includes radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and Canada.
Winning songs will be heard on radio! Winners and runner-ups will be featured on our CD compilation. Also, we feature up to 10 different artists get featured and promoted on IAMA website every month, which provides a review, ratings, CD information and more. The sooner, you enter, the sooner you get featured!
Judging is based on excellence in music performance, songwriting/composition/song choice, Music Production and originality. (Please note that IAMA is a different competition from USA Songwriting Competition).

*Deadline to enter: Nov 9, 2012, Hurry! Enter here with your MP3, Youtube or Soundcloud files:

Or by mail:

Angel Mary & The Tennessee Werewolves Release “Cowboy”

Angel Mary & The Tennessee Werewolves are quickly becoming a notable name in country music. The band puts the sexiness back in country music with cool collective sounds of old fashion Dixie roots, bluegrass picking and Haggard styled lyrics; giving traditional country music a modern overhaul. Their debut project, an EP titled, Angel Mary & The Tennessee Werewolves features the highly anticipated singles ‘Cowboy’ and ‘Waiting On You’ and are both available on iTunes. Frequently referred to as outlaw-themed, ‘Cowboy’ has already triggered the industry buzz.

Co-Produced by Grammy Award winning artist Doug Phelps of The Kentucky Headhunters, the new single delivers a well-balanced rhythm of traditional country music with a hint of pop. Written by the band members Angel Mary, Antoine Wolf and Christian Wolf this collaboration solidifies a new frontrunner in country music. The strong lead vocals and the group’s fun rockstar flare offers a renewed approach to excellent country music.

Angel Mary & The Tennessee Werewolves attended this year’s CMA Festival in Nashville and were greeted by hosts of loyal fans during the red carpet event. The band will be opening up for country music legend John Michael Montgomery November 17th at the Plaza Theatre in Glasgow, Kentucky.

While the group is continuously touring and working on new music, they are also actors. Angel Mary (who once dated Ryan Gosling) has appeared in Hollywood films, The Other Guys with Will Farrell, The Sitter featuring Jonah Hill and in Nicholas Jarecki’s directorial debut, Arbitrage featuring Richard Gere. Antoine Wolf has appeared in Mitch Albom’s For One More Day, produced by Oprah, The Last Airbender, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and is currently being considered for a role on ABC’s new drama, Nashville. Christian Wolf is a Method Acting Alumni of The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute.

PMM will be interviewing Angel Mary & The Tennessee Werewolves in the very near future…stay tuned.

Official website:



BOB WAYNE to Play Wacken Open Air Festivial

Outlaw Country star BOB WAYNE has stayed very busy this past year. Sticking to the road with a number of dates overseas, BOB is proud to announce he has confirmed two landmark gigs. On December 7th, BOB WAYNE will be direct support for punk rockers SOCIAL DISTORTION on their Anaheim, CA date at the House of Blues. BOB WAYNE has also been confirmed to play the 2013 Wacken Open Air Festival. Held in Wacken, Germany, the Wacken Open Air Festival is one of the largest metal festivals in the world, attracting all kinds of metal fans to the grounds. More information on the festival and billing can be found here:

BOB WAYNE released his fifth studio album, TILL THE WHEELS FALL OFF, on People Like You Records earlier this year. Produced by Andy Gibson, the 13-track stand out record showcases BOB’s talent for blurring the lines between country, roots, bluegrass, rockabilly and punk rock. The album features a diverse collection of tunes, including a duet with HANK 3 entitled “All My Friends,” his trademark party anthems and a handful of more introspective songs.

For more information on BOB WAYNE, please visit: