Colin Hay Continues Momentum with 'Next Year People' and Fall Tour

October 06, 2015
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Though Colin Hay made an indelible mark on pop music back in the ‘80s, he’s been far from idle in the years since his unmistakable tenor and witty, ska-inflected songs sent Australian band Men at Work to the top of the charts. His second-chapter career includes 12 solo albums (his latest, Next Year People, was released in February on Compass Records) and a variety of acting gigs; multiple appearances in the TV show Scrubs alone endeared him to a new generation of fans.

Of course, he’s kept his nose to the touring grindstone, too, organically growing his audience the old-fashioned way — by putting on the kinds of shows people tell their friends about. Following the success of his Last Summer on Earth outing with Barenaked Ladies and Violent Femmes this past summer, Hay is embarking on a solo excursion across the Midwest and Northeast starting Oct. 29 in Cleveland. Naturally, he’ll showcase tracks from the new release, which Rhythms magazine called “his latest admirable installment,” adding, “there is more than enough to confirm that he has lost none of his ability to craft openhearted songs with insightful lyrics and catchy melodies.” described the album as “warm, welcoming … a friendly letter from an old pal” and  “plenty charming.” Glide magazine labeled it “beautiful and thought-provoking.”

The title song takes on the perspective of farmers struggling to survive the Depression and Dust Bowl droughts that also inspired some of Woody Guthrie’s greatest work. In “Waiting in the Rain,” Hay sings about his parents and memories of their Scottish music shop, where his young ears picked up the sounds of myriad instruments and countless hit singles. (The family moved to Australia when he was 14.) 

The longtime Los Angeles resident produced all but one track: “Are We There Yet?,” which was co-written with Richard Jacques and Renee Stahl and co-produced by Jacques and album mixerChad Fischer (The Practice, Scandal). Major contributors include young Cuban emigres San Miguel Perez and Yosmel Montejo, plus pianist Larry Goldings, pianist/Hammond player Jeff Babko (Jimmy Kimmel), drummer Charlie Paxson, and Colin’s wife, vocalist Cecilia Noël.Michael Georgiades, who co-wrote six of the album’s 12 tracks, also contributed guitar and backing vocals.

Hay’s solo career has included several forays into film and TV; Scrubs creator and longtime fan Zach Braff also included Hay’s “I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You,” on the Grammy-winning soundtrack to the film Garden State. Hay’s “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” can be heard on the soundtrack to the film Words and Pictures. He also voiced a character in the animated film The Wild.

Hardly one to rest on old laurels (though the set does include the hits “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Overkill,” which contributed to his former band’s Best New Artist Grammy win), Hay’s latest activities include producing a live performance/in-depth interview Web series with weekly installments focusing on songs from Next Year People. He’s also the subject of the documentaryColin Hay: Waiting for My Real Life, directed by Nate Gowtham for Diving Indian Films, which recently made its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Hay is now selling out multiple nights at venues such as Alexandria, Va.’s legendary Birchmere, where he recently regaled fans with anecdotes about life as a musician who’s never stopped working. Catch him at one of the following tour stops: 

Thu., Oct. 29  CLEVELAND, OH Trinity Cathedral 
Sat., Oct. 31  MADISON, WI  Barrymore Theatre
Sun., Nov. 1  MINNEAPOLIS, MN Pantages Theatre
Mon., Nov. 2  IOWA CITY, IA The Englert Theatre
Tue., Nov. 3  BLOOMINGTON, IN Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Thur., Nov. 5  MILWAUKEE, WI Turner Hall Ballroom
Fri., Nov. 6  CHICAGO, IL The Vic Theatre
Sat., Nov. 7  CINCINNATI, OH Taft Theatre
Sun., Nov. 8  ANN ARBOR, MI The Ark
Tue., Nov. 10  WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ Pollak Auditorium
Thu.-Fri., Nov. 12-13 ALEXANDRIA, VA The Birchmere 
Sat., Nov. 14  GLENSIDE, PA Keswick Theatre 
Sun., Nov. 15  RIDGEFIELD, CT Ridgefield Playhouse 
Tue., Nov. 17  ITHACA NY Hangar Theatre 
Thu., Nov. 19  NEW YORK, NY The Town Hall
Fri., Nov. 20  CONCORD, NH Capitol Center for the Arts 
Sat., Nov. 21  BOSTON, MA Wilbur Theatre 
Sun., Nov. 22  HARTFORD, CT Infinity Hall 

Andrea Zonn's Rise - Out Today

September 25, 2015

Andrea Zonn Rise

Compass Records Announces

Andrea Zonn

      Out Today! 
“Distinguished by her gorgeous vocals, masterful songwriting and sweet fiddle playing, RISE is one of the year's greatest music treasures.” –Rolling Stone Country
Features special guest appearances by James Taylor, Vince Gill, Keb' Mo', Track Adkins, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Jim Oblon, Bryan Sutton, Michael Landau, Mac McAnally, Alison Brown, and many more...
 ANDREA ZONN, one of the most respected fiddle players and harmony vocalists in contemporary music, knows as well as anyone that the right players and the right chemistry are what elevates an album and serves the songs. On her second album as an artist, Andrea is supported by the illustrious musicians she usually accompanies: James Taylor, Vince Gill, and Keb' Mo', for starters. 
The 10 tracks on her new record RISE, out September 25th on Compass Records, show Andrea digging into songcraft with focus and newfound confidence. The results escape any neat genre descriptions –– folk-rock suits as well as anything –– but they're heavy on groove, natural tones and spontaneous, transparent beauty. 
The blending of genres is perhaps due to the multi-faceted dream team she assembled in the studio, a group of musicians she's worked with over her career: Dobro star Jerry Douglas, founding Newgrass Revivial mandolinist Sam Bush, former Newgrass Revival vocalist and current Doobie Brother John Cowan, and multi-award winning musician Mac McAnally.
Central to the project's conception and guiding her songwriting was the core rhythm section of bassist Willie Weeks (Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Rolling Stones) and drummer Steve Gadd (James Taylor, Steely Dan, Paul Simon). The two legendary musicians had rarely recorded together before these sessions, but Zonn, who's known both of them for years, conceived the project around their studio collaboration. These are the kind of high-level recording sessions any producer would put together if they had these contacts. Zonn was not just dropping names when she put the album together.
One could say Zonn is worthy of close attention based on the company she keeps. But it's even more telling that they seem just as honored to have her around. As a champion bluegrass fiddler and an accomplished classical violinist, a recording artist and a songwriter, her own albums have been admired widely for their beauty, taste and impeccable musicianship. 
1. Another Side of Home  
2. No Reason to Feel Good
3. Crazy If You Let It
4. I Can't Talk About It Now
5. Let Them Go
6. Where the Water Meets the Sky
7. Rise
8. Another Swing and a Miss
9. You Make Me Whole
10. Ships
09/29 - Station Inn - Nashville, TN 
10/06 - Station Inn - Nashville, TN
10/12 - Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour - Lexington, KY 
10/15 - The Down Home - Johnson City, TN 
10/16 - Rooster's Wife - Aberdeen, NC 
10/17 - Acoustic Stage - Hickory, NC
10/23 - Eddie's Attic - Decatur, GA 
10/24 - Isis Music Hall - Asheville, NC 
10/30 - Barking Legs - Chattanooga, TN 
12/02 - Ashland Coffee & Tea - Ashland, VA
12/03 - World Café - Philadelphia, PA
12/04 - Rockwood Music Hall - New York, NY
12/08 - Club Passim - Boston, MA
12/12 - The Strand @ 38 Main - Waynesville, NC

Special Consensus 40th Anniversary

September 23, 2015

Special Consensus

Special Consensus

40th Anniversary Concert in Chicago!

Featuring 25 past members


GRAMMY-nominated Special Consensus is celebrating 40 years together in 2015. They are set to play their 40th anniversary concert on Saturday, October 24 in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois at the historic Old Town School of Folk Music. 25 past and present members will join them on stage throughout the evening.

Special Consensus was founded in 1975 by banjoist Greg Cahill as a showcase for his urban traditionalist take on bluegrass, which encompasses elements of Chicago blues, swing, newgrass and country music. Over the past 40 years, the group has seen a multitude of personnel changes and has been the breeding ground for some of the best young stars in bluegrass today; Josh Williams, Chris Jones and Robbie Fulks are just a few names in a long list of former members who have gone on to build solo careers.  
Their GRAMMY-nominated 2012 release Scratch Gravel Road was a top-10 album on the bluegrass charts. Compass Records released the seventeenth band recording Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute To John Denverin March 2014. Two songs on this recording received IBMA awards in 2014: “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” received the Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year Award and “Wild Montana Skies” received the Recorded Event of the Year Award.

Mountain Heart Signs to Compass Records

September 23, 2015

Mountain Heart

Mountain Heart Signs to Compass Records

New album slated for spring 2016 release

Five-time GRAMMY nominee Molly Cherryholmes joins the band

Compass Records is excited to announce the addition of Mountain Heart, the award-winning newgrass band, to its roster. The 5-piece band has been known for cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since its inception in 1999. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually pushing the boundaries of bluegrass inspired roots music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans as a result of their superlative musicianship and constant touring.
Now, they have further broadened their sound by adding the expert fiddle talents of Molly Cherryholmes. With five GRAMMY nominations under her belt, Molly is a revered fiddle player, as well as an accomplished singer, and she fits right in to a band comprised of top pros in every position.
Mountain Heart has unmatched energy and a keen sense of entertainment dynamics, both of which have helped them forge a unique sound and stage show that appeals to an ever-growing variety of musical tastes.
Mountain Heart has been nominated for GRAMMY, ACM, and CMA awards, and has won multiple IBMA awards. They've appeared on the stage of The Grand Ole Opry over 130 times and have shared the stage with acts ranging from Punch Brothers, The Avett Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Yonder Mountain String Band, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, Levon Helm, and John Fogerty, to name a few.
"We cannot wait for our friends and fans to hear the new Mountain Heart lineup, and we encourage you to stay tuned as we unveil national touring news as well as new details of our forthcoming release. For now, please help us welcome Molly to the Mountain Heart family!”

Acclaimed Banjoist Alison Brown's First Album In Six Years The Song of the Banjo To Be Released 10/9

September 17, 2015


The Song of the Banjo album cover



Album Includes Brown Originals And Inspired Covers Performed With Guests Colin Hay, Indigo Girls, Jake Shimabukuro, Rob Ickes, & More





Hear Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" Featuring Keb' Mo' Via Billboard:

With her new album, The Song of the Banjo (out Oct 9 on Compass Records) GRAMMY Award-winning musician/composer/producer/entrepreneur, Alison Brown plants another flag in her ongoing journey of sonic exploration.

Along with her Compass Records co-founder, husband, bassist and co-producer Garry West, Brown has assembled an all-star cast for the album including Indigo Girls, Keb’ Mo’, Colin Hay, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro as well as some of acoustic music’s most adventurous session players including legendary drummer Steve Gadd, fiddler Stuart Duncan, Dobro player Rob Ickes, upright bassist Todd Phillips and, on guitar and bouzouki, Irish phenom John Doyle.

Of the 12 tracks on The Song of the Banjo, seven are Brown originals, including the melodic, pop-flavored title piece that opens the set, as well the gravity-defying piano/banjo duet, “Musette for the Last Fret.” Then there are her trademark compositions written in Cinemascope - grandly sweeping melodies like “Long Time Gone” and the Celtic-tinged "Airish." "The Moon in Molly’s Eyes" brings in bossa nova, with lush strings by Andrea Zonn. “Stuff Happens,” written by Brown and West, turned into an accidental tribute to Gadd’s old band of studio aces, Stuff, which set the bar for ‘70s pop-funk-jazz fusion. 

Brown’s choices for cover songs are even more surprising, from her bouncy take on Orleans’ soft-rocker “Dance With Me” to Cyndi Lauper’s hauntingly beautiful “Time After Time” to 1980’s instrumental chart-topper Chuck Mangione’s “Feel So Good,” featuring Shimabukuro’s tenor uke and the drumming of Gadd, a boyhood friend of Mangione. In Brown’s masterful hands, all three sound as if they were written for the banjo. “Time After Time” is particularly stunning. “It just lays out so beautifully on the banjo,” she says, “and I figure if it was good enough for Miles Davis it’s good enough for me.”

Brown’s unique cover versions work two very different kinds of magic, revitalizing these rock and pop classics while stripping away stereotypes of what a banjo can or can’t do. “Familiar music allows folks to understand an instrument that they may not be overly familiar with. The banjo is complex, with melodic ideas normally surrounded by rapid fire arpeggiated chords, but when you play a familiar tune it allows the audience to more clearly hear the voice of the instrument, and to understand how the playing style is integrated into, and around, the melody.”

Brown and West keep those surprises coming, as Colin Hay wryly sings Dionne Warwick’s 1970 Bacharach/David hit, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” accompanied by Brown on her custom-built wooden banjola. Keb’ Mo’s Americana-soul version of Marvin Gaye’s seminal “What’s Going On” is another unexpected pleasure. The bonus track, recorded after the album was finished and rush-released as a free-standing single, will be available on the CD’s Deluxe Edition. Along with Keb’s warm vocals, the song features instrumental sparks between Duncan and Brown, as well as an explosive piano solo by Joe Davidian. But it’s Brown’s understated backup and exploratory solo on low banjo that quietly steals the show.

For those who came of age in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Brown’s re-invention of these familiar songs makes them sound brand new. For younger listeners hearing them for the first time, her versions may well set the new standard. That’s all part of the alternative banjo universe that Alison Brown occupies so beautifully on The Song of the Banjo, reaching into the past as she looks to the future, creating an album for people who didn’t know how much they liked the banjo, while giving banjo fans new reasons to love the instrument.

“It’s amazing to me how much the banjo changed in the 20th Century,” Brown says. “And here we are in the dawn of the 21st; who knows where it may go?”

For one answer to that question, look no further than The Song of the Banjo.


Track Listing for The Song Of The Banjo

1. The Song of the Banjo

2. Dance With Me (feat. Rob Ickes; original performed by Orleans)

3. Carolina in the Pines (feat. Indigo Girls; original performed by Michael Martin Murphey)

4. A Long Way Gone

5. Windansea

6. Time after Time (original performed by Cyndi Lauper)

7. Stuff Happens

8. I'll Never Fall in Love Again (feat. Colin Hay; original performed by Dionne Warwick)

9. Airish

10. Feels So Good (feat. Jake Shimabukuro; original performed by Chuck Mangione)

11. The Moon in Molly's Eyes

12. Musette for the Last Fret


Bonus Track:

—What's Going On? (feat. Keb' Mo'; original performed by Marvin Gaye)


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