Five Head's Summer 2017 Update!

We’re well overdue for a FHE update so without further ado...

We were thrilled to hear that Leif Vollebekk was nominated for the Polaris 2017 Long List and, as of July 13, he’s made the Short List among artists including Leonard Cohen and Feist! NPR’s World Cafe also named Twin Solitude one of the best albums of 2017 so far.

Check out this live video of Leif performing "Vancouver Time" at his sold-out show at La Tulipe in Montreal on March 2. Directed by Kaveh Nabatian.

Aside from the Polaris nom, Leif has had a spring and summer packed with exciting press and tour opportunities. Twin Solitude, was met with praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, Paste, The Village Voice, The Fader, Exclaim (8/10 stars), CBC Music, Le Droit (4/5 stars), and Le Journal de Montreal (4/5 stars), among others. He’s been interviewed by outlets including: CBC Q, NPR's World Cafe and Mountain Stage, Paste, Sirius XM, The Strombo Show, Acoustic Cafe, CBS Music Minute, France Inter ‘Le Nouveau Rendez-Vous, Radio 2 (Netherlands) and 3FM (Netherlands).

This spring, Leif toured with Gregory Alan Isakov in Europe and followed that with a headlining North American tour that had sold-out shows in New York City, Boston, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto. To top it off, Leif will embark on a headlining European tour this fall! 

Also on the awards front, we were stoked that in April, Mandolin Orange's most recent album, Blindfaller, was nominated by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) for both “Album of the Year” and “Country/Americana/Folk Album of the Year” alongside artists including Radiohead, Bon Iver, Angel Olsen and Gillian Welch (PS - It’s been a while since I’ve written a news update and think it’s worth mentioning that Blindfaller also made Rolling Stone’s “40 Best Country Albums of 2016”)!

Aside from the A2IM love, MO has had a busy spring and summer where they wrapped up another EU tour AND another US tour (with a number of sold-out shows). They’ve been hitting the festival circuit hard this summer performing at major events including: Red Rocks, BonnarooForecastle, Newport FolkPickathon, and a sold-out headlining show to nearly 3,000 at the NC Museum of Art! Their performance at Bonnaroo was even considered one of the “6 Best Country and Americana Moments at Bonnaroo 2017!”

The band will stay busy this fall, with a US tour on the books that includes dates at Thalia Hall, the 9:30 Club and Union Transfer with more to be announced soon!

In May, Mandolin Orange released a new music video for "Take This Heart Of Gold." Created by Matt Carter and Ricardo Bouyett.

Earlier in the year, Michaela Anne released a live video for her song “Easier than Leaving” from her 2016 album Bright Lights and the Fame. The video, filmed under a willow tree that was soon to be bulldozed at her former house in Nashville, received praise and coverage from Rolling Stone. Since the video premier, Michaela has released an acoustic, live version of the song (available via the outlet of your choosing)!

Michaela just wrapped up the first leg of her first tour of Europe and the UK. She supported Sam Outlaw who she toured with for over 2 months across the US this spring. Her international tour with Outlaw will continue throughout the fall with dates all across Europe in August, October and November.

The Birds of Chicago have been nonstop on the road this spring and summer hitting up all parts of the US, including their first big string of shows in the SE! They’ve had the opportunity to perform at some amazing venues and festivals along the way including: Thalia Hall, Teragram BallroomRhythm ‘N Blooms Festival, the Woody Guthrie Center, and NPR’s Mountain Stage

Alli and JT have also wrapped up some time at Chicago's storied Electrical Audio studio, where they finished their third album. Love in Wartime is co-produced by North Mississippi Allstars’ frontman Luther Dickinson and we are hard at work sorting a release plan for the first half of 2018. 

Here is a working version of "Lodestar," a song from the upcoming album, that the band taped at Fayetteville Roots Fest last year.

Since their pop-up tour promoting the release of their fourth full-length album, FM, the guys of Farewell Milwaukee have been active this spring and summer performing around the Midwest. They returned to both the Mid West Music Festival and the Riversong Music Festival while also performing some unique events, including a concert at the Fitzgerald Theater in Minneapolis alongside a showing of Westside Story. Although they are staying close to home, you'll be hearing some of their songs this fall on your TV and/or Netflix, as we've locked in a few placements for the guys. 

Hope your summer has been cool and filled with good times. Thanks for reading and supporting these Five Head artists. If you've made it this far, I'm going to take self indulgence to the next level and share a picture of my first whole hog BBQ. BBQ is a hobby when I'm not caught up in the music business minutiae and doing a whole pig was a milestone. 


Jimmy & the FHE team

Welcome to Leif Vollebekk // Twin Solitude released today!

Leif Vollebekk's record, North Americana, was passed our way a few years back and it was an instant favorite at Five Head. Fast forward to today and we are excited to announce that we've been working with Leif on the management front and his new record, Twin Solitude, is officially out on Secret City Records

We fell in love with Twin Solitude the first time we heard it and we aren't the only ones. NPR Songs We Love described the song "Elegy" as "devastatingly beautiful" and Exclaim gave the album an 8/10 rating, saying "Rarely simple, Twin Solitude is a striking display of Leif Vollebekk’s talent and heart." The Village Voice profiled Leif this week and said "The album exudes a meditative joy." 

We hope you'll give it a spin! CLICK HERE TO LISTEN AND BUY THE ALBUM.

Winter and Spring Tours Abound!

Several Five Head artists just announced some exciting winter and spring tours that they will embark on in the coming months. Catch the highlights below or visit the FIVE HEAD TOUR PAGE for a running list of all Five Head artists!

Mandolin Orange will play Red Rocks Amphitheatre on 5/21/17!

Mandolin Orange will play Red Rocks Amphitheatre on 5/21/17!

Mandolin Orange announced two major plays for next year when it's finally warm! The first will be at RED ROCKS this May (along with Elephant Revival and The Oh Hellos) followed by an appearance at Forecastle Festival in July! Prior to their big summer happenings, they'll have a spring US tour in support of their new album Blindfaller, and a winter tour in Europe. Check out their full list of tour dates here!

Michaela Anne will kick off the new year in sunny California with a string of intimate, solo acoustic shows followed by performances with Sam Outlaw. After CA, she'll continue to make her way across the country, including performances at Music City Roots in Nashville and the Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival. Visit Michaela's tour page for a list of where she'll be this winter and spring!  

Birds of Chicago have also just announced February and March tour dates. They'll start on the east coast and then bounce over to the west coast. The tour kicks off with a performance at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. More dates for the tour are forthcoming, so continue to check their tour schedule for more details.

Five Head Fall 2016 Update!

As the holiday season approaches, I am reminded how thankful I am to work with so many wonderful people (not only are they wonderful artists but they are also wonderful human beings)! A huge THANK YOU goes out to them for all their hard work throughout the year and for letting me be a part of their life. As you can see below, they have all been working ‘round the clock!  

PS - In celebration of the holidays, I’m also going to include a recipe below for a rockin' Tennessee Whiskey Pecan Pie. Oh yea. Cheers to you and yours!

Emily and Andrew of Mandolin Orange released their fifth studio album, Blindfaller, on September 30 which also kicked off the start of their seven week album release tour! They had a full band with them for this run and nearly half the shows were sold-out in advance!  

In addition to the tour success, Blindfaller has received outstanding press coverage and radio rotation (the album had chart placement on four different Billboard charts, including a #3 spot on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album chart)! Emily and Andrew have also been interviewed by some amazing media outlets over the past several months including in-studios at Paste, Sirius XM’s The Village and The Bridge, Relix, Huffington Post’s A-Sides, and Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current. Press coverage alongside the album includes NPR’s Heavy Rotation, Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy, Mother Church Pew, AllMusic, The Bluegrass Situation, and PopMatters, among others!

The press does not stop there for FHE artists! Since her May release of Bright Lights and the Fame, Michaela Anne has been nonstop! This summer she had the privilege of being interviewed by Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters for his Walking the Floor podcast. The session was released in October and was featured by Rolling Stone! Michaela also had the opportunity to contribute her thoughts to Smartists: Women’s Representation in Americana Music, a story that was featured on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls site.

In addition, she recorded a session with Acoustic Guitar, completed her third session with Daytrotter, and guest blogged for American Songwriter. AND, on Thanksgiving, she was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered during a ‘chain of gratitude’ that also featured Laura Mvula, Esperanza Spalding, and Corey King!

In between all of this, Michaela continued to tour with a consistently full calendar. Her summer release tour continued into August, September, October and November, most recently completing a round of dates in TX.

Following the success of their album Real Midnight, the Birds of Chicago just wrapped up their first proper cross-country Canadian tour! The tour spanned the provinces with multiple sold-out shows along the way.

JT and Alli have also spent time in the studio over the last few months recording with North Mississippi Allstars bandleader Luther Dickinson alongside Amy Helms, Amy Lavere, and a number of other musicians, for the Songbird Project. Further details on the project and release will be coming in early 2017.

Minneapolis’ Farewell Milwaukee released their fourth full-length album, FM, on September 9th! The album received coverage from Glide, Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current, Hype Magazine, and The Alternate Root.

To celebrate the release of FM, the band embarked on a unique “Pop Up Tour” throughout the Midwest! They traveled on Ocooch Mountain Music's bus named ‘La Catrina’ for four days and played 10 unique shows, including roof-top dates. To conclude the run, Farewell Milwaukee had a final, sold-out, release show at the Turf Club in St. Paul, MN!

After a busy summer of cross-country touring (performing unique and intimate shows in collaboration with Cause A Scene), Joshua James has been focusing on his new album, My Spirit Sister. We are gearing up for the album release next April! My Spirit Sister will be Joshua’s fifth studio album and if you’ve watched ABC’s Notorious, then you possibly caught a teaser last week of “Golden Bird,” a song off the new album!  

Details about the release are forthcoming, but starting next week, Joshua will be running a special Christmas pre-order for fans on his website.

Exciting stuff all around for FHE artists! Continue to check back as the updates roll in, and enjoy your holidays!


And, as promised, here is a link to the BEST pecan pie you will ever make! Family started making this pie several years ago when they found the recipe in a copy of Southern Living and it has since become a staple each year. Enjoy!

Five Head's Big Summer Update!

It’s hot and things are busy here. Let’s jump right in, starting in alphabetical order with …

Birds of Chicago: Since releasing Real Midnight in February, Birds of Chicago have received a heap of great press, with a special amount of love from NPR! The album was featured on First Listen and Weekend Edition plus they recorded a live World Cafe session that will air this month!

Throughout these 11 tracks, their performances often feel playful, from the hearty rapport of their harmonizing to Russell's capricious sculpting of enunciation, phrasing and tone. Nero and Russell like to describe the music they make as "secular gospel." As it turns out, that descriptor is well-earned: They show us a way to fully live with the awareness that nothing's forever and everything's at stake. Jewly Hight, NPR’s First Listen

In addition to garnering praise from NPR, Real Midnight received press coverage from the Wall Street Journal, Paste, No Depression, Afropunk, and more. They’ve been staying busy on the road as well, with dates across the US and Europe as well as plenty of upcoming festival dates.

Farewell Milwaukee/Ben Lubeck: Ben Lubeck from FM released his first solo album, Rented Rooms, at the end of February. The album received coverage from the Bluegrass Situation, the StarTribune, and MPR's the Current among others.

Within the last several weeks, we were pleasantly surprised to hear that the album had made the StarTrib’s list of Minnesota’s best albums of 2016!

For his first album away from his (still-rolling) Americana rock band Farewell Milwaukee, Ben Lubeck turns in an introspective and intimate set of songs based on his frayed relationship with his dad and his own newfound parenthood. The results ooze with drama and inspiration, while Lubeck’s Ryan Adams-like voice and the album’s lush, ambient alt-twang arrangements lend them a disarming tenderness. You’ll want to make amends with everyone in your life by record’s end. - Chris Riemenschneider, StarTribune

Farewell Milwaukee holed up at the Terrarium Recording Studio in Minneapolis earlier this year working on a new batch of songs. The album, FM, is scheduled to be released this September! They premiered some of these new songs at the Basilica Block Party and City Pages was in attendance saying:

The strength of their new songs suggests that larger stages and audiences are in the future for this hardworking band. 

Joshua James: Since July 1, Joshua has been back on the road touring in conjunction with Cause A Scene. Joshua is touring for the first time in years and Cause A Scene has been pairing him with unique, non-traditional venues around the country. We just announced the West Coast leg of the tour and you can find all of those details here.

Mandolin Orange: As per usual, Emily and Andrew have been staying busy with not only touring North America and Europe but ALSO recording a new album! The time they’ve taken off the road has been spent working on the release of Blindfaller. We announced the September 30th album release to the public this week along with a sneak peek of a track from the new album.

The band hit a lot of new territory this spring and summer, performing in places they’ve never played before. We were honored that they were asked to perform on the mainstage at Telluride Bluegrass Festival and are looking forward to a string of other festival performances this summer. The touring doesn’t stop there; following the release of Blindfaller, the band will embark on an extensive album release tour throughout the US!

Emily & Andrew performing on the Telluride mainstage!

Emily & Andrew performing on the Telluride mainstage!

Michaela Anne: On May 13th, Michaela released her third studio album, Bright Lights and the Fame. We are honored with how much praise and press the album has received, including a review in the New York Times!

This week, we were also fortunate to receive an NPR Songs We Love feature for one of the bonus tracks that didn’t quite fit with the album. It’s a track called “Where Will I Be Found” and it features Kenneth Pattengale from the Milk Carton Kids sitting in.  

On her latest album, Bright Lights And The Fame, Michaela Anne works through weepers and hits the honky-tonks as every great country singer should. Song after song, her confidence and conviction shine through without casting a shadow on her craft. - Kelly McCartney, NPR

Since the release of the album, Michaela has traveled coast to coast performing and has made time for some awesome tapings, radio interviews and podcasts along the way (including an interview with Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters for his podcast Walking the Floor). She will continue touring this Fall with shows in the Southeast and Midwest with tour dates constantly added to her schedule.

As always, thanks for your support of Five Head and Five Head artists. If you’ve made it this far into our news update, kudos! Here’s a recipe for some delicious beef brisket that you should enjoy if you’ve got another novel to read and 8 to 12 hours to kill.

Five Head February update!

So much has been going on in the Five Head world since my last update, that I suppose the best course of action is to jump right in. 

New albums coming early this year from Birds of ChicagoBen Lubeck (Farewell Milwaukee), and Michaela Anne! Welcoming Joshua James as a new artist. Mandolin Orange continues to tear it up, both on and off the road! 

Birds of Chicago - They've got a new album called Real Midnight coming February 19 (pre-order here!). It was produced by Joe Henry (awesome!) and funded by a humongous Kickstarter project (yowza!). Street date is still a week away but things are off to a great start including an NPR First Listen, premieres from the Wall Street Journal and Paste, and an international release tour! It's a cliched bird pun but excited to see how high they fly! 

Birds of Chicago -  Real Midnight  cover

Birds of Chicago - Real Midnight cover

Farewell Milwaukee - While the band's been wrapping up their fourth album, lead singer Ben Lubeck has been making moves to release Rented Rooms. It's a non-traditional love letter to his father that was inspired by the birth of his daughter. It's incredibly heavy at times but it's oh so good. MPR has been showing him some love (download a track here!), he just had a great release show at the Turf Club, and we've got some great national confirms as well. Read more about the record here and check out his Radio Heartland appearance below. 

Click to listen to Ben's Radio Heartland appearance. Photo by  Nate Ryan

Click to listen to Ben's Radio Heartland appearance. Photo by Nate Ryan

Joshua James - Joshua is a new addition to the Five Head roster and couldn't be happier to have him on board. I'd unexpectedly attached to a number of his songs when I heard them on Sons of Anarchy, then I had the privilege of getting to know him over the last year. He's a great person and a great musician! Check out the video for "Lawn Full of Marigolds" below. It's one of his older songs but I think it exemplifies his honest approach. We are working on lots of ideas, which naturally includes new music, for this year. 

Mandolin Orange - Where haven't Andrew and Emily been since September? They wrapped up a successful European run in November, took a little time off over the holidays, and are now traipsing around the mountain west including a big headlining show @ the Bluebird Theater in Denver later this week. This spring/summer will see them doing some headline touring, some bills with Elephant Revival, a return to Europe and quite a few festivals...

but it wasn't all road for them. The great folks over at Nashville were kind enough to feature 'Jump Mountain Blues' on an episode, the band got some fantastic EOY love including a #1 spot on Magnet Magazine's Best Indie Roots list (thanks, Devon!), and they even found some time to curate their own "Feature of the Week" selection on Spotify. Click here to check out the playlist and catch the lovely, animated video for 'Jump Mountain Blues' below! 

Michaela Anne - Last but certainly not least, Michaela has been gearing up to release Bright Lights & the Fame. It's due out May 13 and Rolling Stone Country was kind enough to announce the album last week. It features a number of special guests (Rodney Crowell, Noam Pikelny from the Punch Brothers ... no big deal!) and is her ballsiest work to date. Check out the album cover below. In the words of the great Stan Lee, 'nuff said!'.

Michaela Anne -  Bright Lights and the Fame

Michaela Anne - Bright Lights and the Fame

As always, thanks for your support of Five Head and all the artists that I work with. Kudos if you've made it to the bottom of this news post. If you made it this far, here is a great, vintage video of Van Morrison at Montreux for your enjoyment. Take in all 100've earned it!