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!
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.