From the writer of the Flat Five albums comes Chris Ligon's own latest release "Summer Vacation", a love letter to his wife featuring 10 new songs written during a summer like no other. From the electronic buzz pop opener "Bee Beard" to the emotional acoustic closer "God's Famous Heart", Ligon presents music largely thought out while lying on various unpopulated beaches during one of history's scariest summers.
Another World was produced by band member Scott Ligon and The Flat Five. It was recorded/engineered by Flat Five drummer Alex Hall at his popular Chicago studio, Reliable Recorders with some additional sessions done at Wilco’s gearhead paradise, The Loft, engineered by Mark Greenberg.
The charms of this band are manifest. These guys are all about vocal harmony — five hardcore vocal buzz junkies — and they share a vast range of influences from The Free Design to The Three Degrees to Captain Beefheart and a restless desire to explore a song from the inside out: to see just how far out it’ll go. This sophomore album showcases The Flat Five’s trademark keen musicianship and their slightly subversive sense of humor. It’s marked by the playful wide-eyed sweetness that colors all their music, tempered with their appreciation for how freaking good it feels to listen to a beautiful bummer on repeat sometimes. Like Charles Schultz said: “Happiness is a Sad Song.”
Work and Love
Sunshine Boys CD Download
Sunshine Boys return with Work and Love, the eagerly awaited follow up to Blue Music, their highly acclaimed 2018 debut. The indie rock superstars -- Freda Love Smith (Blake Babies, Mysteries of Life), Dag Juhlin (Poi dog Pondering, The Slugs), and Jackie Schimmel (Big Hello, Justin Roberts) -- have taken their urgent, soaringly melodic pop to even greater heights. Work and Love holds everything from full-bore rockers and world class power pop to intimate atmospherics and string-dappled modern masterpieces, and the result is nothing short of emotional uplift. Another powerful statement from the band the world needs now more than ever. Produced by Sunshine Boys and Matt Allison.
I Was Already Gone 3:240:00/3:24
Infinity Girl 3:120:00/3:12
Summertime Kids 4:160:00/4:16
No Showdown 3:180:00/3:18
Every Step 4:000:00/4:00
Don't Keep it Inside 3:080:00/3:08
A Ghost, at Best 3:080:00/3:08
In Between Time 4:160:00/4:16
Right Where You Need 4:370:00/4:37
Matt Wilson of Minneapolis is best known as a singer and songwriter for Trip Shakespeare, a band that blossomed in the 90s. But his new group which he calls an Orchestra is making waves both because of its appealing sound built around a unique combination of instruments including harp and banjo, and because Matt’s songwriting is as inspiring as ever.
Raised in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Matt and his high school friends formed a group called The Panic, and spent much of their youth as under-aged performers in Minneapolis nightclubs such as 1st Avenue and 7th Street Entry. In the early 80s, Matt followed his brother Dan to college in Boston where they formed a number of bands including the Love Monsters in which Matt took his first turn as a front man. Returning to Minneapolis, the brothers joined forces with bass player John Munson to form Trip Shakespeare, touring and recording together for a decade.
Matt’s music has been featured on MTV, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Spin, The Toronto Star and many other publications. Trip Shakespeare’s single, “Toolmaster of Brainerd”, was named by City Pages one of Minnesota’s 50 Greatest Hits, and that group was included by nationally-influential radio station The Current in its 2017 list of 893 Most Essential Musical Artists of All Time.
Matt’s new orchestra has a grassy sound that’s easy to fall into. Most striking to both the eye and ear is the harp mastery of Phala Tracy. The band’s sound is underpinned by the propulsive banjo groove of Quillan Roe. The bright sounds of harp and banjo are sent forth on black road of electric bass paved by Minneapolis guitar wizard Jacques Wait. The group sings together in striking close harmony. Their new album, When I was a Writer, represents not only a new and appealing sound but a 10-track songwriting triumph of melody, rhyme and pure emotion.
Grabbing the Blues By the Horns
Vince Salerno and Gerald McClendon
For four decades, Vince Salerno has been a double threat on Chicago’s blues scene, blowing up a storm on saxophone as well as harmonica. At long last, he’s made his debut album—and Grabbing the Blues By the Horns was well worth the wait. It’s a veritable soul, blues, and jazz extravaganza that expertly showcases Vince’s talents on both instruments, backed by an all-star Windy City crew that knows how to groove. The set also features the riveting vocals of Gerald McClendon, one of Vince’s longtime musical collaborators. It’s been a long time coming, but Grabbing the Blues By the Horns should finally make Salerno a household name among blues aficionados.
Passion. Irony. Weirdness. Melody. These are some of the core elements of The Melismatics' sound that has been developed over the past decade through intense recording, heavy touring, and an inhuman intake of caffeinated beverages. With six albums under their belt thus far, The Melismatics have been constantly evolving their own stylings of post-punk and indie-rock. Their latest release "Rising Tide" (Available is a concept album that follows the life of a 21st Century man through birth, high expectations, loss, social exile, and redemption. This record explores new musical territory for the band, illuminating previously less-apparent influences like Brian Wilson and EDM. Jon Auer of The Posies and Big Star produced 7 of the tracks on "Rising Tide," while Melismatics founder Ryan Smith handled production duties on 4 songs, including the title track.
Andre Williams does not need an introduction anymore. At age 80, his career has taken him around the world and back, spanning over 60 years with more ups and downs than most people would not survive. Andre is a true survivor who continues to tour the world, write songs, write books, and generally entertain anyone sitting next to him with his stories and charisma. With this 12 song LP, Andre has teamed up with some of the finest NewOrleans musicians to assemble a collection of songs that reflect his current mind-set and attitude. One part rock, one part R&B, and one part Andre Williams- having fun and doing his thing! This is a soulful record, a serious record and a reflective record of an icon still at work as a world-class entertainer.
With each release The Diplomats Of Solid Sound grew in sophistication and depth as they ingested the sounds of 60s soul, R&B and deep funk. Their albums captured the band in its natural habitat, a dimly lit bar where people appreciate a good smoke, a vodka gimlet and a funky little combo that knows how to get the cats and kittens out of their seats and onto the dancefloor. The sound got the boys a gig backing R&B legend Andre Williams, with whom they cut "Aphrodisiac", released in 2006 on both Pravda Records and the Spanish Vampisoul label . That same year the group asked 3 three gifted soul sirens (Sarah Cram, Katherine Ruestow, and Abigail Sawyer) aka The Diplomettes to join the band, which brings us up to date. With a slightly renewed line-up (original drummer Jim Viner is replaced by Paul Kresowik and the departure of Abbie Sawyer leaves Sarah Cram and Katharine Ruestow as The Diplomettes), the group prepares to launch their latest full-length and fifth album, "What Goes Around Comes Around" in October 2010, confirming their standing as one of the more prolific funk and soul groups of the contemporary scene. Prepare for a supercharged new set of prime cuts for the dancefloor guaranteed to groove its way into your head and your ass -- and get both moving fast!
Pravda Records proudly presents the sixth full-length by Iowa City Ambassadors of groove The Diplomats Of Solid Sound, entirely mixed and edited at The Magic Barn in Iowa City and inspired by the sounds of the best 60s style soul and funk. Having already cut 5 full-length albums, "Instrumental Action Soul" (Prescription Records - 2001), "Let´s Cool One"(Estrus Records - 2003), "Destination Get Down!" (Estrus Records - 2005), self-titled “Diplomats Of Solid Sound featuring The Diplomettes” (Pravda Records/Record Kicks 2008), and “What Goes Around, Comes Around”, the band is just getting warmed up. “A Higher Place” is chock full of irresistible funk and soul bombs ready to melt your heart or make you shake it on the dance-floor, strongly confirming their standing in the contemporary funk and neo-soul scene.
The Lilacs Endure is the first new release by Chicago PowerPop quartet, The Lilacs, in more than 25 years. Produced by indie rock legend Richard Lloyd (Television, Matthew Sweet), and recorded in Nashville at the legendary Studio 19, The Lilacs Endure features four never-before-recorded Lilacs songs and is being released by Chicago's Pravda label August 16.