REVIEW AND PICTORIAL: PITTSBURGH HOSTS A STAR STUDDED FARM AID 2017

Just wow.  Take in the stage at this moment and realize how surreal it is.  There is Neil Young, Willie Nelson, and John Mellencamp all together on one stage.  And amongst them, Jamey Johnson and his non-brother Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow, Nathaniel Rateliffe, Margo Price, Lukas Nelson, and Valerie June and some other soon to be household names.  The press conference pre-show was enough to get any music enthusiast running like a Mopar engine.  But it was also an excellent reminder of what the day was really about, who the true stars and heroes were: The Farmers.  Local farmers from the Pittsburgh area were also invited to speak and the Farm Aid organization made some short documentary-style film pieces to explain what their daily lives are like.  Let’s just say ‘it ain’t easy’. It put a whole lot of perspective on the day and the true reason why it was important that the music heroes were putting this all together, on their own dime and without profiting from any merch sales.

All photos © 2017 AWeldingphoto

 

The traditional send-off was a prayer with Willie Nelson and representatives of the Native American community, and then it was truly down to business once the Blackwood Quartet started to their synchronized crooning.  The true rocking got going once the highly experimental psych-rock Insects vs Robots out of Venice, CA took the stage.  The band includes Micah Nelson, son of Willie.  The sound comes off more Neil Young than Willie Nelson though and they put on a tremendous eclectic performance.  Of special note were the massive LED screens set up throughout Key Bank Pavillion, incredible not only in their detail but technology.  The stage background was LED as well and included an ingenious separation that allowed a quick load in and off of equipment between bands.  The sound was excellent and for the most part, the sets ran like clockwork.

 

Valerie June is best described as a blend of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, and  Appalachian bluegrass.  It’s not something one may expect if judging by appearance, she’s a naturally beautiful African American woman with dreds like Lenny Kravitz once had.  Blessed with a killer voice and being able to play multiple instruments definitely makes her a multi-faceted threat.  Her performance was clean crisp and a great invitation to her style of music.

Lukas Nelson (also a son of Willie) and his band Promise of the Real are so good they are also Neil Young’s backing band.  They have a chill rock sound with a country basis a la The Allman Band.  Blackberry Smoke put a lot more of the rock into their country-tinged sound that takes its influence from The Stones, Aerosmith, and of course Skynard.

The more well-known acts then started to fill in along with the crowd.  Jamey Johnson started revving up the fans with his country music stylings.  Jamey is a very accomplished having contributed songs to  Willie Nelson and Merle HaggardTrace AdkinsGeorge StraitJames OttoJoe Nichols and Jessie James Decker.  The signatures on his acoustic guitar reveal a lot about who he has worked with, even the very visible Kris Kristofferson signature.  He played some great cover songs including The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek,” Don Williams’ “Some Tears Will Never Mend,” Little Feat’s “Willin’,” Jerry Reed’s “Eastbound and Down” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” Next up was alt-country newcomer Margo Price out of Nashville.  Price’s music is also very country based, but not as much as some of her alt-country peers, more along the lines of June Carter with a modern twist.

Around 4PM things started to definitely kick up a notch with Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, most well known for the hit “S.O.B.”  Their set had a ton of gusto and movement creating a dynamic experience that matched well with the exciting Avett Brothers who went on after Rateliff.  The Avett Bros. are no strangers to Pittsburgh and put on a foot-stomping ho-down of folk-rock that was definitely one of the more “fun” sets of the day including Laundry Room,” “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” and “Talk on Indolence.”.  But, Jack Johnson and his ability to get many of the acts such as Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, and Nathaniel Rateliff to jam with him to play Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” made the set amazing to witness.  He also got The Avett Brothers to play with him and an improvised guitar accompaniment by Lukas Nelson that Johnson described as “that’s beautiful”.  Probably the most laid back and hilarious songs of the day had to be Jack’s backstage Farm Aid written a tune, “Willie Got Me Stoned and Took All My Money.”

When Sheryl Crow was done with a few of her hits (Every Day is a Winding Road” “My Favorite Mistake”), she also got some of the other band members to come up, most notably Willie, the man himself.  The 23K plus attendees went nuts as “Pops” strapped on an acoustic that has witnessed many miles and many stories.  To see Willie Nelson pay tribute to Gregg Allman on “Midnight Rider” with Crow, his son Lukas, and Jack Johnson was a beautiful moment.

Dave Matthews did a forceful acoustic performance with Tim Reynolds that was powerful and passionate as he played “Don’t Drink the Water,”“Satellite” and “Mercy” as well as“What Would You Say.”  He also did an unreleased tune called “Odds Are Against Us” which he did with a bit of trepidation.  The set was intense and a clinic in how two acoustic guitars can blow away a full band at times.

John Mellencamp, a Farm Aid founder, brought a backing band that was dynamic and showed why the top acts have the ability to stay in the spot for decades.  Opening with “Lawless Times,” and transitioning to big hit “Small Town”, Mellencamp had a nice mix of the old and new with a cover of Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway,” “Check it Out,” “Pink Houses,”and an acoustic singalong to “Jack and Diane”, a song he said of, “I don’t even know why I play this song, I only play this song ’cause I know you guys want to hear it.”  He then told of writing the song as a young man as he was “working” on something in one room and writing the song in the other, accomplishing both goals by the wee hours of the morning.  His “Rain on the Scarecrow” will forever be a defining moment for Farm Aid history, telling the tale of the plight that the American Farmer had back in the 80’s.

 

Neil Young came out meaning business with  “F*!#in’ Up” (frequently covered by Pearl Jam) and wailing on his classic Gibson “Old Black” and doing his giant walk to Lukas Nelson and his backing band POTR.  The super long guitar jam of “Cortez the Killer” was blistering only to go into the ultra-fave “Cinnamon Girl”.  Young paused to thank the everyone for coming to Farm Aid and strongly noted, “Farmers are the American heroes today. They’re living a real life.”  Going into acoustic mode Young put on the famous harmonica and jammed out “Human Highway,” “Heart of Gold”, “Comes A Time” and fan faves “Like a Hurricane” and “Rockin’ in the Free World.”  Much of the crowd talked about the set is one of the best Young had ever done at any Farm Aid.

Willie Nelson and The Family went on to close out the night.  Along with some of his family members, they performed “Whiskey River”,“Still is Still Moving to Me,” “Beer for My Horses” and “Good Hearted Woman” (”one for Waylon,” he said). Jamey Johnson accompanied Willie and took the Merle Haggard part on “It’s All Going to Pot.” Sheryl Crow, Valerie June and the Avetts came out to participate on “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away,” and son Lukas just crushed the guitar on “Texas Flood.”  It was a day and evening for the record books. Hopefully, it won’t take Farm Aid another 15 years to return.

 

 

Pixies Announce Leg Two of 2017 North American Tour/ @StageAE Oct 4

 PIXIES ADD SECOND LEG TO 2017 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
Baltimore Date Added to Leg One
Pixies L-R:  Paz Lenchantin, David Lovering,
 Black Francis, Joey Santiago * Photo Credit:  Travis Shinn
With more than half of Leg One already sold out, Pixies announce the addition of Leg Two to its 2017 North American touring schedule.  The band will kick off the second leg September 19 in New Haven, CT, and will perform in major and secondary markets over a five-week period.  Tickets go on sale this Friday, February 24; log onto www.pixiesmusic.com for pre-sales details and complete purchasing info.
Pixies also announce that a Baltimore date has been added to the first leg of the tour.  The band will play Rams Head Live on Tuesday, May 14.  Tickets for this show also go on sale this Friday, February 24, and all details are at www.pixiesmusic.com.
Pixies, a long time leader in helping to break the ticket scalper stranglehold, will be working to get their face-value tickets to their fans, and not to touts for inflated resale, something they did very successfully during last Fall’s UK tour.  Said Pixies manager Richard Jones, “On this tour, we are asking the promoters and the venues to make avaialble as many tickets as possible for pre-sales.  That way, we can help insure that tickets get into the hands of the fans and not the scalpers.  We’ve also asked the promoters to remove any secondary site links and to use their anti-tout teams and technology to help combat the scalper market.”
Leg Two – the second of three planned for North America – will also include additional New York shows – the initial three NY dates on Leg One are sold out – as well as this cycle’s first Canadian shows, scheduled in Toronto and Montreal.   Sunflower Bean, who Rolling Stone called “NYC’s coolest young band,” will provide support on the first half of the tour with Brooklyn’s Mitski (“one of the most compelling voices in the sphere of indie rock” – Pitchfork) opening the shows on the second half. The confirmed itinerary is below and includes the band’s upcoming international dates.
On the 2017 dates, Pixies – Joey Santiago/guitar, Black Francis/guitar & vocals, David Lovering/ drums, and bassist Paz Lenchantin – are introducing to its global audiences a brand new stage set designed by their longtime production manager Simon Foster and lighting designer Myles Mangino.  The design is simple and sleek and fashioned around special pods that are positioned behind the band, housing all of the lighting.  Fans can expect a set list comprised of the classics and catalogue rarities as well as newer songs from Indie Cindy and the band’s latest release, Head Carrier.  As is the norm, there will be no firm setlist for Pixies’ shows; their sets, while pulled from nearly 90 songs that the band has rehearsed and is prepared to play, will change somewhat from night to night with every number determined just before it’s performed.
Pixies launched the European leg of this 2016-17 global run last November, playing sold-out shows throughout the UK and wrapping up in Birmingham on December 8.  The band is back on the road as of February 25, playing a series of dates in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and, for the first time, South Africa.  Following the April/May North American leg, Pixies will head to Europe to play a series of major summer festivals.
Confirmed dates are below:
February 25 – March 18, 2017
Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
North American Tour, Leg One
APRIL
21   Fox Theatre, Pomona, CA*
22   Cal Coast Open Air, San Diego, CA*
23   House of Blues, Anaheim, CA*
25   Ace Theatre, Los Angeles, CA*
29   Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX*
30   White Oak Music Hall, Houston, TX*
MAY
 1   Stubbs, Austin, TX*
 3   Saenger Theatre, New Orleans, LA*
 5   Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN*
 6   Madison Theatre, Covington, KY*
 7   Express Live Amphitheatre, Columbus, OH*
 9   The National, Richmond, VA**
11  Durham PAC, Durham, NC**
12  Shaky Knees Music Festival, Atlanta, GA**
14  Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD**
16  Lincoln Theatre, Washington, DC**
17  Lincoln Theatre, Washington, DC**
19  House of Blues, Boston, MA**
20  House of Blues, Boston, MA**
21  Paradise Ballroom, Boston, MA**
23  Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA**
24  Webster Hall, New York, NY**
25  Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY**
26  Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY**
* Public Access TV will support
** Cymbals Eat Guitars will support
July 6 – August 11, 2017
UK/Europe
North American Tour, Leg Two
 
SEPTEMBER
19   College Street Music Hall, New Haven, CT*
22   The Westbury Theatre, Westbury, NY*
23   Stone Pony Summerstage, Asbury Park, NJ*
24   The Capitol Theatre, Portchester, NY*
26   State Theatre, Portland, ME*
27   Metropolis, Montreal QC*
29   Massey Hall, Toronto, ON*
30   Massey Hall, Toronto, ON*
OCTOBER
 1   UB Center for the Arts, Buffalo, NY  (support TBA)
 3   The Agora Theatre, Cleveland, OH*
 4   Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA*
 6   The Fillmore Detroit, Detroit, MI*
 7   20 Monroe Live, Grand Rapids, MI**
 8   The Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL**
11  Palace Theatre, St. Paul, MN**
14  Peabody Opera House, St. Louis, MO**
15  Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, Kansas City, MO**
18  Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO**
21  The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, NV**
* Sunflower Bean will support
** Mitski will support

Anthrax with Robert De Niro on “Late Night with Seth Meyers”/Pittsburgh date 9/15 @StageAE

LOS ANGELES, CAAugust 25, 2016 — Last night, Anthrax not only made its “Late Night with Seth Meyers” debut, but hung out with the iconic Robert De Niro.  Check out the band’s live performance of their new single, “Monster At The End,” here: http://bit.ly/2bIYbEm
To support the band’s critically-acclaimed new album For All Kings and in celebration of their 35th anniversary, Anthrax hits the road this fall with Slayer starting September 9 in Cleveland; dates are below.
SEPTEMBER
  9   Jacob’s Pavilion, Cleveland, OH
10   Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, Detroit, MI
11   Ground Zero, Travers City, MI*
12   Sound Academy, Toronto, ON
13   Metropolis, Montreal, PQ
15   Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
16   Anthology, Rochester, NY*
17   Revolution Rock Fest., Mashantucket, CT
18   Rock Allegiance Festival, Chester, PA
20   Egyptian Room, Indianapolis, IN
21   Concord Music Hall, Chicago, IL*
22   The Pageant, St. Louis, MO
24   Houston Open Air Festival, Houston
25   Knotfest, Devore, CA
27   Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL
28   Fillmore, Miami, FL
29   Club L.A., Destin, FL*
30   Horseshoe Casino Tunica, Tunica, MS
OCTOBER
 1   Louder Than Life Festival, Louisville, KY
 3   Norva, Norfolk, VA
 4   Orange Peel, Ashveille, NC*
 5   Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA
 6   Varsity Theatre, Baton Rouge, LA*
 7   Gas Monkey Live, Dallas, TX
 8   ACL at the Moody Theatre, Austin, TX
10   Fillmore, Denver, CO
11   The Complex, Salt Lake City, UT
12   Rev Hall, Boise, ID*
13   The Wilma Theatre, Missoula, MT
14   The Hill event Center, Idaho Falls, ID*
15   Revolution Concert House, Garden City, ID
16   Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA*  (offer)
17   ENMAX Centre, Lethbridge, AB
19   S. Okanagan Cvents Centre, Penticton, BC
20   Abbotsford Centre, Abbotsford, BC
21   Hawthorn Theatre, Portland, OR*
22   Discovery Park, Elverta, CA (w/Aftershock)
23   Reno Events Center, Reno, NV
22   Aftershock Festival, Sacramento, CA
25   Orpheum Theatre, Flagstaff, AZ*
26   Top Deck, Famington, NM*  (offer)
* Anthrax & Death Angel
unnamed (2)
L-R:  Anthrax’s Charlie Benante, Scott Ian; Robert De Niro;
 Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna, Frank Bello and Jon Donais
Photo courtesy of Charlie Benante

Whitechapel reveals final round of confirmed dates for co-headlining USA tour with Suicide Silence this fall

Whitechapel reveals final round of confirmed dates for co-headlining USA tour with Suicide Silence this fall

As previously announced, Whitechapel will co-headline a USA run withSuicide Silence this fall! Sponsored by BlackCraft Cult Clothing (blackcraftcult.com), the “Straight Outta Hell” tour also features Carnifex andOceano as support, with Despised Icon appearing at select shows. This must-see trek kicks off in late September and ends in late October – see below for all confirmed dates!

Whitechapel tour dates
w/ Suicide Silence, Carnifex, Oceano

Sept. 28 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre #
Sept. 29 – Seattle, WA – Studio 7 #
Sept. 30 – Spokane, WA – The Pin
Oct. 1 – Billings, MT – Pub Station
Oct. 2 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall
Oct. 4 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
Oct. 5 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
Oct. 6 – Minneapolis, MN – Cabooze
Oct. 7 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Oct. 8 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews
Oct. 9 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
Oct. 11 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater *
Oct. 12 – Webster, NY – Harmony House *
Oct. 13 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theater *
Oct. 14 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club *
Oct. 15 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Oct. 16 – Freehold, NJ – Gamechanger
Oct. 17 – Greensboro, NC – Pete’s
Oct. 19 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live #
Oct. 20 – Dallas, TX – The Door #
Oct. 21 – Farmington, NM – Top Deck
Oct. 22 – Las Vegas, NV – Vinyl at Hard Rock #
# = newly added
* = w/ Despised Icon

Whitechapel recently completed an extensive trek across the USA on the annual Warped Tour, touring in support of their sixth full-length, Mark of the Blade. Hailed as “an exciting milestone” (Alt Press), Mark of the Blade was produced by Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse) and sees Whitechapel redefine who they are and what they are capable of with the resulting 11 tracks. Kicking off with “The Void” – which has a Slayer-esque ferocity that is perfectly suited to the band’s three-guitar attack – the songs that follow all leave a distinct impression, and by the time the rich, dark melodies on “Decennium” bring the record to a close, it’s impossible to deny the emotional weight brought to bear. Alex Wade explains, “At this point in our career and as we grow older, we are taking a more open-minded approach to creating our music, allowing what we think sounds good to evolve naturally, rather than to just write what is expected of us.”

To purchase Mark of the Blade in various formats, please visit:metalblade.com/whitechapel – where the video for the latest single, “Elitist Ones”, can also be viewed.

Whitechapel line-up:
Phil Bozeman – Vocals
Ben Savage – Guitar
Zach Householder – Guitar
Alex Wade – Guitar
Ben Harclerode – Drums
Gabe Crisp – Bass

Whitechapel online:
http://www.whitechapelband.com
http://www.metalblade.com/whitechapel
http://www.facebook.com/whitechapelmetal
https://twitter.com/whitechapelband
http://instagram.com/whitechapelband
http://www.youtube.com/WhitechapelTV

Christopher the Conquered at PGH Winery in Pittsburgh – July 30

Christopher the Conquered at PGH Winery in Pittsburgh – July 30!

Ryan Adams calls his new album “crazy & incredible”: http://www.christophertheconquered.com/im-giving-up-on-rock-roll-single-2015/

Consequence of Sound Video Debut: http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/08/christopher-the-conquered-shares-new-song-on-my-final-day-and-video-watch/

Christopher the Conquered has performed with Andrew Bird, Leon Russell, Martin Sexton, Natalie Prass, The Mountain Goats, Madisen Ward & Mama Bear, Max Jury, and more

Christopher the Conquered wants you to read between the lines. That said, he’s got a damn good reason for naming his full-length debut album, I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll [Maximum Ames Records].

“I’m not referring to music,” he explains. “It’s the idea of Rock & Roll as a metaphor for misrepresenting yourself. Living behind a mask or a façade is not a healthy way to live. That’s what I’m giving up on. People love Rock & Roll, and I love Rock & Roll. However, the person I am onstage is also the person I am offstage.”

It’s this sort of pure honesty that defines the album’s nine tracks, and it’s also why Christopher made some serious waves in 2015. The Iowa singer, songwriter, and performer has crafted a declaratory musical statement that’s impossible to ignore. In the summer of 2015, he shared the stage with Natalie Prass and handed her an early copy of I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll. She in turn passed it on to Ryan Adams who took to Twitter and Instagram calling the album, “Crazy and incredible.” Soon after, Christopher landed on the front page of Reddit and in Billboard as the title track and single “I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll” quickly passed 60,000 plays on Soundcloud. This properly set the stage for the album’s 2016 release.

“I wanted this to be a cohesive experience that takes listeners on a journey,” he goes on. “This album strips everything back; this is me.”

Mapping out the skeleton of the record from the piano melodies to the horns in his Iowa basement, Christopher had architected a clear vision by the time he entered Ardent Studios in Memphis with producer Patrick Tape Fleming. As a result, they cut the entire album to tape in just nine days.

The music segues from pensive lyricism to heavenly horns and resounding keys on the likes of the elegiacally gorgeous “On My Final Day.”

“I always want people to really focus on the lyrics,” he says. “The song is about contemplating the way you spend your time and the one life you have. It comes out in a positive light asking the question, ‘What impact did I make?’”

Everything culminates on the delicate strings and guitars of “I’m Not That Famous Yet” where Christopher’s self-effacing philosophizing reaches divine heights as expansive as his vocal range.

“I was in a bit of a jealous mood,” he admits. “I was watching a band, and I wrote this in response to the silliness of the interplay between the audience and the artist. After I wrote the song, I sorta snapped out of it and realized that group worked their asses off up to that point and brought joy to every person in the room. Now, I get excited for another artist’s success because it means there are opportunities for me to do what I want to do.”

Christopher has known what he wanted to do since growing up in an Iowa town of just 1,300. Without even an antenna for the family TV let alone cable, he became obsessed with music through listening to Motown and classic rock & roll with his parents and repeatedly watching Disney classics like The Lion King and The Jungle Book on repeat. He taught himself drums, trumpet, piano, and guitar, even auditing a college Jazz History class at just 12-years-old alongside his dad. He also found music via faith. Living in a devoutly religious home, he spent a lot of time in church.

“Our church was full of music, and I even played for a while as part of a worship group there. The experience taught me the power of music to connect with people on an emotional level. That spiritual feeling is something that has stuck with me, and that I try to inject into my performances.”

Throughout, Christopher architected a sound that’s both poetically ponderous and theatrically bombastic. Now, he’s officially sharing it.

“This album isn’t for me,” he leaves off. “The art happens when you’re alone at the piano. I got my satisfaction from that part of the process. Now, I’ve created something for the world. I want people to reflect on their lives and what they’re doing when they listen to this and feel happy. There’s no reason to live under any pretense or obligations other than your own passion and love. The album is about that.”

 

Me:

I am Christopher the Conquered. I am a songwriter, recording artist, singer, performer, and pianist. I make interstellar soul music. My vision: To bring people together through story and song. To ignite within the listener a hunger for greater self-awareness. To help listeners identify true motivation for their actions and how those actions reflect their beliefs. My approach combines sincerity with satire. Every word I sing comes from a place of love.

 

History:

Des Moines, Iowa’s Christopher the Conquered (Christopher Ford) has been sitting behind the keys and saying what he can say since he released his debut album I Guess That’s What We’re Dying For… in 2007. In 2008, Christopher sat in on drums with The Poison Control Center for a national tour supporting The Apples In Stereo; when they got home, he and Patrick Tape Fleming (of The PCC and Gloom Balloon) went to work on a follow-up album, You’re Gonna Glow In The Dark, which found a lot of love, with popdose.com writing “…let it come pouring through your speakers, and you’ll experience one of the most enjoyably off-kilter albums of indie rock you’re likely to find this year…”. It led to The Conquered growing from a one man band to a 9 piece pop-soul outfit.

Christopher the Conquered & His Black Gold Brass Band went on to tour the country with Leslie & the LY’s and play hundreds of shows, along with recording a couple of Daytrotter sessions. All that culminated in 2012’s The Fate of a Good Man, Christopher’s most sincere effort by far. In addition to its music videos being featured on Magnet Magazine’s website and Consequence of Sound, the album received stacks of thumbs-up reviews (see Quotes).

Following the release of Fate, Christopher went on to work on a variety of musical projects, contributing original instrumental music to the production of the Des Moines Social Club’s original play ‘MethLab’, which the Des Moines Register called “absorbing” and “effective drama”. His song “Treasure Catcher” was used in the film Turtle Hill: Brooklyn, which received thumbs up reviews from a variety of critics, including Village Voice. The New York Times wrote: “The multicultural slice of Americana, the low-budget ethos and the reluctance to sell cheap pleasures are part of a commendable reach for truth.”

Now, Ford is back to where he started to share his songs in their purest form, the way they were written: one voice and eighty-eight keys. And his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. His solo sets have impacted thousands of people with their intimacy and grace: The Lincoln Journal-Star noted his as the best performance at Lincoln Calling Fest 2012.

Christopher the Conquered also continues to perform regularly with a rhythm section and various arrangements of His Black Gold Brass Band, in addition to solo piano shows. He has toured the United States of America 5 times since 2010 and abroad in Italy, Ireland, and Canada. View upcoming and past tour dates here.

Over the course of 2013, Christopher the Conquered collaborated with dozens of artists to create just under 50 videos of performances covering some of his favorite songs, many of which are available to view on MaximumAmesTV.

In 2014, Christopher the Conquered was one of five Iowa Arts Council Fellows for the State of Iowa. This support in part enabled to produce his most ambitious album yet, recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN. I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll will be released in early 2016, but received early attention in August 2015 when singer-songwriter Ryan Adams got his hands on an advance copy and posted about it on Twitter and Instagram, calling Christopher “the real deal” and the album “crazy and incredible”. The accolades caught the attention of the online community Reddit, where a post about them reached the top of the front page. In the fall of 2015,I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll made its radio debut as a CMJ Top 20 Most Added Album and breaking the CMJ Top 200.

 

Influences:

Some of my favorite songwriters are Randy Newman, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats), Jonathan Richman, and John Grant. I also have read many books that have no doubt influenced me. At some point I’ll tell you about them.

 

The Team:

Christopher the Conquered is Christopher Ford plus an ever-evolving team of most excellent musicians. The following contribute or have contributed to Christopher’s mission:

Drew Selim, Dan Kreipke, Kyle Gowin, Gemma Rose Cohen, Anna Gebhardt, Devin van Holsteijn, Nate Logsdon, Derek Lambert, Brian Stout, Dustin Harmsen, Patrick Tape Fleming, Hannah Marks, Brandon Ruschill, Kate Kennedy, Donny Peterson, and C.J. Howard, and Caleb Swank.

Jennifer Leatherby, Anna Frederick, Graham Gardner, Bruce Bales, Avalan Wilson, Jerrod Jordahl, Alli Arnold, Darren Williams, Patrick & Ashley Tape Fleming, Josh Becker, Hillary Nelson, and Jon Pearson have provided beautiful visual accompaniment in various forms.