Kevin Garrett

 

Kevin Garrett is a singer and songwriter from Brooklyn, New York. His poignant lyricism and musicianship have been showcased in numerous projects over the past several years. The Pittsburgh native has spent much of the last decade performing his original work, sharing the stage with James Vincent McMorrow, Emily King, Norah Jones, and Maps & Atlases among others. Kevin recently released his debut single “Coloring,” a small part of a larger body of work that signifies a new direction and highlights his versatility as a songwriter. The song has earned considerable attention since its premiere on Pigeons and Planes, being featured on Spotify’s New Music Tuesday list as well as charting on the Spotify’s Viral 50 list. Kevin is preparing for a busy start to 2015 with more dates alongside James Vincent McMorrow as well as a forthcoming EP.

Kevin currently lives in Brooklyn. He has a fish named LeVar Burton as well as several failed attempts at indoor gardens. One day he’ll figure it out.

http://www.kevingarrettmusic.com/

 

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The Devil Makes Three

“There’s a road that goes out of every town. All you’ve got to do is get on it,” Pete Bernhard says.

The guitarist/singer and his cohorts in the raw and raucous trio The Devil Makes Three have found their way onto that road numerous times since they first left their picaresque rural hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont. Back then, they had no idea it would lead them to such auspicious destinations as the Newport Folk and Austin City Limits Festivals, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, and on tours with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell and Trampled By Turtles. Along the way, they drew numerous accolades from a growing fan base and press alike.

TDM3’s travels and travails serve as inspiration for their fourth album and their New West Records debut, I’m a Stranger Here, produced by Buddy Miller and recorded at Dan Auerbach’s (Black Keys) Easy Eye Sound in Nashville.

With upright bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist Cooper McBean, Bernhard crafted a dozen tunes, part road songs, part heartbreak songs and part barnburners. While most bands are propelled from behind by a drummer, TDM3 builds exuberant rhythms from the inside out, wrapping finger-picked strings and upsurging harmonies around chugging acoustic guitar and bass, plying an ever-growing audience onto its feet to jump, shake and waltz.

TDM3’s sound is garage-y ragtime, punkified blues, old n’ new timey without settling upon a particular era, inspired as much by mountain music as by Preservation Hall jazz. “We bend genres pretty hard,” Bernhard says.

The combination could only have happened via the circuitous route each of them took to forming the band. As kids in Vermont, “all raised by sort of hippie parents” who exposed them to folk, blues and jugbands, Bernhard says, they blazed a path to nearby Boston, Massachusetts in search of punk rock shows. They found venerable venues like The Rat and The Middle East, drawn to east coast bands like the Dropkick Murphys and Aus-Rotten.

“It would be like 6 bucks for 13 bands, everyone playing for 20 minutes,” Bernhard says. “I had so much fun going to shows like that. The energy coming off the stage makes a circle with the crowd and comes back. We were really attracted to that energy.”

Bernhard and McBean, a multi-instrumentalist who plays banjo, musical saw and bass, forged a particular bond. Unlike most of their mutual friends, they both liked to play acoustic music, with McBean showing Bernhard the wonders of Hank Williams and Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys. They kept in touch after high school, when nearly everyone in their clique relocated to the west coast like the characters in Delbert McClinton’s song “Two More Bottles of Wine.”

“It was a mass exodus of kids who went out to start bands and be creative, searching for the unknown, dreaming of something different,” Bernhard says. “We wanted to get away from where we were from, as many kids do, and California was the farthest we could get.” Eventually they landed in sunny Santa Cruz, California, where TDM3 took shape in 2001. Their early gigs were house concerts, then small bars, punk shows, bigger rock clubs and theaters and festivals, all the while defying genre and delighting whomever turned up to listen.

Turino learned bass to join the band, but her unremitting sense of rhythm comes naturally from being raised by parents who were dance teachers, and from her own dance background. Attacking the strings of her upright, she understands how to infuse songs with the force it takes to get a crowd moving.

And the songs on I’m a Stranger Here tell the rest of the story, with the music often joyously juxtaposed against lyric darkness…the rootless nature of being in a touring band, traveling from town to town with little sense of community, represented by a devil-like character (“Stranger”)…thorny transitions into adulthood…struggling with relationships (“Worse or Better”), watching friends succumb to addiction (“Mr. Midnight”), coming to terms with mortality (“Dead Body Moving”), nostalgic notions of childhood (“Spinning Like a Top”). Bernhard even considers the destruction of changing weather patterns, inspired in part by Hurricane Katrina as well as a flood that wreaked havoc in Brattleboro (“Forty Days,” a gospel rave-up recorded with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band).

Bernhard wrote more than 20 songs for the album and turned them over to producer Buddy Miller, who gravitated toward the darker material but insured that the recording was lit up by the band’s innate ebullience. It was Miller’s idea to record at Easy Eye rather than his renowned home studio. “Easy Eye is like Sun Records,” Bernhard says. “There’s one live tracking room filled with amazing gear, and that defines the kind of record you’re going to make. That was exactly the record we wanted to make, and we knew Buddy was the one who could capture us playing together like we do.”

For a band that made its bones with dynamic performances, recording an album is almost like coaxing lightning into a bottle, but Miller and TDM3 succeed on I’m a Stranger Here. Now they’re continuing the journey that began when they found their way to the road that led them out of Vermont. “I can’t wait to get onstage, I love it,” Bernhard says. “Playing music for a living is a blessing and a curse, but for us there’s no other option.”

the smalls

“We’ve been tossing around the idea of doing some shows together for a few years now, and the time felt right. Feels good to be relevant enough 13 years later to be playing with some of the other bands on the bill. Jack White, the Pornographers, etc. We got together to rehearse a little last week and it felt really good to just hang out and play that stuff. It brings up a lot of good memories. Hopefully it will for the audience, too. Very satisfying to play fast and heavy again. I’m genuinely looking forward to this, it’s gonna be intense.” – Corb Lund, the smalls

Toronto, ON – May 27, 2014 – A twitter account ‘@thesmallsmusic’ pops up a couple of months back. Hmm…suspicious. Ardent fans raise their eyebrows. Astute media start to wonder. This is how rumors get started. And those rumors are true! Alberta’s reigning indie punk/metal band the smalls are reuniting for two festivals this summer – X-Fest (August 30th in Calgary) and Sonic Boom (August 31st in Edmonton). The shows will feature the original line up of Mike Caldwell on vocals, Corb Lund on bass, Dug Bevans on guitar and Terry Johnson on drums. For more information on X-Fest in Calgary please visit here. For more information on Sonic Boom in Edmonton please visit here. Watch the smalls are back video.

“Lookin’ forward to seeing old friends and fans and making a bunch of new ones….seeing what the next generation thinks of us and our music.” – Terry Johnson, the smalls

“Personally, it’s kind of a big deal – I mean we’ve spent over a quarter of our lives creating music together. So it’s going to be pretty great to reconnect with the guys and play these heavy songs live again” – Dug Bevans, the smalls

It was hard to walk down the streets of Edmonton, Calgary or any number of prairie towns in the early 90’s and not see someone wearing the iconic smalls t-shirt. Formed in 1989, the smalls were to Alberta what Nirvana was to Seattle. They sold over 40,000 albums independently and built a voracious fan base that has mourned their break up ever since they played their last show together in Edmonton on October 20, 2001. Evidenced by overflowing shows at legendary clubs across the west (including a riot in Kamloops that the RCMP were called in for and subsequently made the CBC evening news), the smalls were extremely prominent in the underground scene in Western Canada and have cropped up in countless other bands’ bios as an influence and driving force in the evolution of the prairie music scene.

Their self-produced debut eponymous album was released in 1990. To Each A Zone, their sophomore album, was released in 1992. Produced by Vancouver punk rock producer, Cecil English (NoMeansNo and DOA). Their third album, Waste And Tragedy, was produced by Joel van Dyke, and distributed through Cargo Records. Their fourth and final album, My Dear Little Angle, produced by Glenn Robinson, was released through Outside Music in 1998.