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Playlist: Andrew Bird

Indie rock giant and one man orchestra Andrew Bird has done it all. He’s sold out European tours, made late-night talk show rounds and he’s even written and performed a song for The Muppets. Bird mixes indie rock with folk, New Orleans style jazz and gypsy influences to create a sound distinct for its idiosyncrasies and nuance. His most recent album, “Are You Serious” is nominated for a Grammy for the best non-classical engineered album. In anticipation of his show at The Blue Note, I’ve put together a playlist combining some of my personal favorites, as well as some tunes you’re sure to hear Monday night.

This post was written by Ben Kane, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose Blog.

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Q&A: Houndmouth is back on the road

Houndmouth has earned themselves a spot in the limelight. From their start in the small Indiana city of New Albany, the band has blown up and is now headlining festivals and selling out shows on a national tour.

Their most recent album, “Little Neon Limelight” includes their hit single “Sedona” and is great in its entirety. It’s hard to pick favorites but “Otis,” “Black Gold,” “For No One,” “By God” and “Darlin'” are some of mine. The hook of “My Cousin Greg” always comes to mind when I think of the album. “If you wanna live the good life / Well, you better stay away from the limelight.” Regardless of their newfound fame and the departure of the bands former vocalist and keyboardist Katie Toupin, Houndmouth still seems to be living the good life.

Houndmouth is composed of Matt Myers (guitar, vocals), Zak Appleby (bass, vocals) and Shane Cody (drums, vocals). Accompanying them on the tour are Caleb Hickman on the keys and Graeme Gardiner and Drew Miller on the horns.

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Q&A with Matt Myers and Zak Appleby

It’s just the beginning, but how is the tour going so far? 

Zak: Really well. We just added a horn section which is super fun. We have Caleb Hickman playing really intricate stuff and he’s super good.

Katie Toupin parted from the band recently. Did you ever think about canceling the tour and how are you adjusting to touring without her?

Zak: We’re touring as six-piece band. We didn’t decide to cancel the tour. So we have Caleb Hickman, Graeme Gardiner and Drew Miller. It’s been really good; the shows have been great. They’re all into jazz and they’ve just been blowing my mind and showing us new stuff every night…With a female vocalist, there’s a range that’s very high and it comes out of the chest and it’s powerful, so now we’re either doing some falsetto stuff or pushing really hard to get the highs.

How did you find them?

Matt: I was at home over break and did a David Bowie tribute show and they had Drew and Grahm doing horns with them. And then Zak and I also did a Neil Young song at the Brown Theater and they came out and just hopped in and did some back solos over his music.

Any chance they’ll be on the next album?

Matt: We haven’t thought that far ahead yet. It’s kind of up in the air right now.

Zak: Yeah, I mean everything’s kind of subject to change. We would like to have them on all the time, really dependent on schedule. But this is definitely something we love and want to keep doing with them.

Do you have plans for new music yet?

Matt: Yeah, we’ve got some stuff in the works. We don’t have a set time we’re gonna go in the studio.

Zak: We’re doing new material right now…just in the process of writing stuff. It’ll just take some time.

What festivals this summer are you the most excited for?

Zak: Shakey Knees. We’re always pumped to play that and Lolla.

Matt: I don’t know what festivals we’re going to yet.

Zak: We think like maybe three days ahead.

How have you chosen bands to open for your shows?

Zak: People will throw in bands for us to listen to. And the last few tours, the bands that have opened for us have been totally new to touring and they just come on with us and get thrown into it. It’s really fun to see. I remember when we started and hadn’t toured before and met up with a band and were like, “What do we do?”

Matt: We try to take care of them real well…It’s hard opening and we did it for a long time. You don’t get to sleep overnight so you pack up after the show and drive two hours, sleep for two hours and then drive another 8 hours. It’s insane.

What is your favorite part of touring?

Matt: I’m gonna go with breakfast…Brekkie.

This post was written by Cameron Evans, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose Blog.

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Playlist: What You’ll be Hearing at Roots ‘n’ Blues

The 8th annual Roots ‘n’ Blues festival isn’t until next weekend, but CoMo is already getting pumped.

And rightfully so. Forget the delicious food, the music is where it’s at this year. (Duh.) The 2014 artist line up is looking musically diverse and all around kick-ass. With music ranging from the progressive bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles to the indie/jazz/soul hybrid Lake Street Dive, Roots ‘n’ Blues ‘n’ Bbq is bound to be a good time.

Returning artists include TJ Wheeler, The Hooten Hallers, and Robert Randolph and the Family Band, but there are also some newbies. Johnny Cash‘s daughter Rosanne Cash and Amos Lee will be making their Roots ‘n’ Blues debut.

So much awesomeness packed into one weekend!


Here is a playlist of some of what you can expect to hear.