Aaron Lee Tasjan doesn't take himself too seriously, and he's dead serious about that notion. Reeling with insight that is humorous and sincere all at once, his irreverently poetic style begs listeners to think about the triumphs and pitfalls of life and love in a new way. After touring and recording with a number of bands (Semi Precious Weapons, New York Dolls, Alberta Cross, Everest, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’), Tasjan has struck out on his own, releasing two solo EPs since 2012. His latest EP Crooked River Burning was released on Rockwood Music Hall Recordings in the spring of 2014.
Since he became a Nashville resident, Tasjan’s list of accomplishments and accolades continues to grow. A masterful collaborator both on stage and in the studio, Tasjan has worked with a vast number of rock and country legends throughout his career, from BP Fallon to Jack White to Pat Green. In addition to releasing Crooked River Burning and hitting the solo tour trail, 2014 has also brought further collaboration with Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, including writing and recording music for the fifth season of FX’s Archer with frontman Kevn Kinney, Jessy Lynn Martens and Kenny Loggins. Tasjan was recently honored by ASCAP at The Kennedy Center as one of America’s great songwriters of the next generation.
Tasjan says of his creative process, "When I write songs I try to put all of my favorite things into each one, and those things happen to be loud rock 'n' roll, folk and country music. It just occurred to me one day that I'd love to see someone singing real songs with beauty and grit, then launch into some sort of stadium rock-esque guitar solo and then go back to the song again. I do my best to land somewhere between a folk singer and the dude with no shirt on as the wind blows through his hair and a fucking eagle lands on his guitar neck." As one reviewer aptly said, “Tasjan’s words are soaked in spilled whiskey, misunderstood tears and dusty memories. Each number seeps into the cracks of your troubled soul” (Garret Woodward, Smoky Mountain News).
The critically acclaimed duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, aka Shovels & Rope, released their sophomore album Swimmin' Time (Dualtone Music) on August 26. Swimmin' Time is the highly-anticipated follow up to the band's 2012 breakthrough debut O' Be Joyful, which garnered unanimous praise from the press, followed by dozens of sold out shows, national television appearances, numerous year-end lists, impressive album sales and major festival performances. To cap it all off, Shovels & Rope took home two of the top honors, Song of the Year ("Birmingham") and Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2013 Americana Music Awards.
While O' Be Joyful was recorded at home, in hotel rooms, in their van and throughout their travels, the band remained stationary by recording Swimmin' Time at their home studio in Charleston, SC with Trent again producing. Swimmin' Time features 13 new songs that maintain the elemental Shovels & Rope songwriting and sound while incorporating new ingredients to the mix. From the heady harmonies of "Devil Is All Around" and the quirky "Mary Ann & One-Eyed Dan" to the epic beauty of "After The Storm" and the Waits-ian "Ohio" fans are sure to be pleased and pleasantly surprised by some of the chosen new paths and dark turns.
Shovels & Rope has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and PBS' Austin City Limits, while coverage ran in a multitude of outlets including The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Associated Press, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, American Songwriter, Filter, Nylon, and much more, including a NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Also, the new documentary film The Ballad of Shovels & Rope, which chronicles the band's humble beginnings through the release of O' Be Joyful recently had its premiere at the Nashville Film Festival.
Shovels & Rope make music that exudes raw beauty, honesty, grit and passion. Hard work does pay off; the band spent the better part of 2012 and 2013 touring almost non-stop, spreading their signature blend of rock, country, punk and folk to the masses. Their live performances are undeniable, as the couple does not sing to each other, they sing at each other, pushing one another while playing multiple instruments. "The husband-and-wife duo's chemistry and ramshackle playfulness make them difficult to resist," says NPR Music. Hearst & Trent throw it all out there, without a safety net, and audiences feel every nuance.
- Bio courtesy of Dualtone Music Group
US Assembled Model 33
The Loar Model 33 takes elements from some of the earliest electrified guitars and combines them with our choicest acoustic archtop woods and handwork.
Each piece of wood for the top, back, and neck is hand selected specifically to become a Model 33. These three integral parts are then meticulously hand carved to the ideal shape for vibration and comfort. After assembly, the finish is applied in Santa Cruz, California by one of the world's premier nitrocellulose instrument finishers.
Even though the instrument could stop its journey and remain an acoustic-only instrument, we then install a Seymour Duncan Charlie Christian pickup with the original 3-screw Traditional Mount. The Model 33 pickguard is handmade and bound one piece at a time. The Waverly tuning machines, custom endpin cable jack cup, and ivory knobs and endpin round out this US Assembled guitar truly evoking the greatest jazz sounds of the early 1930s.
Small Body LH-204-BR
You don't have to go down to the crossroads to get vintage-style blues sound any longer. The new LH-204 Brownstone has tone as dark and meaty as the turned earth you can see from your front porch. You want the blues? The LH-204's got 'em.
Based on the award winning LH-200, the Brownstone has a solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany back, sides and neck and a rosewood fretboard in a classic pre-war body style. We've finished the body with a brown satin finish and a vintage-style bound soundhole. The low-key headstock design is a simple gold logo decal that gives a nod to the guitar's rootsy heritage.
With a 1-11/16” bone nut, 25.4” scale and comfortable C profile neck, the tone and vibe of the LH-204 drip with the blues style that many consider to be the foundation of all guitar music since.
The Brownstone is available in brown satin finish with an ivoroid bound soundhole. It comes with The Loar's industry-leading lifetime warranty.