"The soulful fury of this talented three-piece, the Travis Larson Band, washes the stink of the recording industry’s lame offerings out into the gutters while unleashing it’s unique brand of instrumental rock fusion (think of a musical stew mixing a thick brown Rush gravy with big hearty chunks of Steve Morse and a dash of Jeff Beck).”
Comprised of Travis Larson (guitar), Jennifer Young (bass), and Dale Moon (drums), TLB’s complicated phrasing, impossible timing, and seamless flow cause some to suspect that the band must surely operate from only one, albeit enormous, brain.
With seven studio albums and three full-length performance DVDs, the award-winning Travis Larson Band is firmly rooted as one of instrumental music’s premiere acts, having worked on record with Steve Lukather (Toto), Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck), Dave LaRue (Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Dixie Dregs), Vinx (Sting, Herbie Hancock).
Years of ambitious touring and shared live billing with notables such as Ted Nugent, UFO, Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs), The Aristocrats, has established the band’s reputation for live performances that masterfully deliver full throttle rock-fusion.... See MoreSee Less
Take the elegance of jazz guitar as inspired by Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, and Joe Pass. Blend it with the greatest melodies of heavy metal (Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and Aerosmith, et al). What do you get?
AST (Alex Skolnick Trio).
Known for their sophisticated re-harmonizations of heavy classics as well as quirky originals, AST perform with a depth, humor, and character that enthralls fans across the musical spectrum. An AST concert will quickly achieve legitimacy in the eyes and ears of skeptical jazz fans, while at the same time introduce metalheads to the pleasures of music without moshpits. A 2015 cover story said of its leader, well known for his work with thrash metal group Testament, "Though he’s pretty much a household name in heavy metal, Alex Skolnick is not your average, everyday shredding guitarist. In reality, he defies categorization by musical genre." (Making Music Magazine 2015).
Conceived while Alex was pursuing a jazz degree from New York's New School University, the project came together when he and a fellow student, AST drummer Matt Zebroski, began incorporating metal melodies into their explorations of standard jazz repertoire. Bassist Nathan Peck, a fellow Pittsburgh Native of Matt's, was brought in a couple years later.
AST has been frequently chosen as support act by the immensely popular guitar duo, Rodrigo y Gabriela, performing in such venues as Paris's Olympia Theater and New York's Radio City Music Hall, while an AST tour of the UK elicited the following reactions from music journalists in Dublin and London, respectively:
"A wonderful display of rock infused jazz" (Dublin Concerts) “Alex Skolnick is that rare thing, a passionate, innovative and adventurous guitarist.” (GRTR UK) "Originals & metal covers converted into jazz w highly satisfying results. Sumptuous, technically proficient music" (Egigs.co.UK)
The band just returned from their first ever headlining tour in Europe, and it was incredible. The trio enthralled audiences in The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria. The audiences were made up of jazz aficionados and metal heads wanting to see what the lead guitarist from the thrash metal band TESTAMENT is up to. Every promoter on the tour wants him back. On top of that, we are now getting offers in from Scandinavia for the next tour.
Now, Alex Skolnick is releasing a new live album with his jazz guitar trio and we are putting together a U.S. tour to promote the release! In concert, AST performs a mix of compelling original compositions, with radically altered yet heartfelt arrangements of Scorpions, Aerosmith, Ozzy, Judas Priest, and more, to standing ovations.
Alex Skolnick (guitar and vocals), Matt Zebroski (drums), Nathan Peck (acoustic standup bass) are stellar virtuoso artists who thrive on playing challenging music in front of their fans. AST delights their dedicated audience while breaking hallowed and, supposedly, mutually opposite music genres. Along with Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett and Charlie Hunter, Alex has the profound distinction of being one of the more successful breakout individual students of uber-guitar-hero Joe Satriani.
The international music press has been overwhelmingly receptive and effervescent in their support of the Trio. Since the debut, AST had had an entire Jazz notes column in Billboard, garnered 4 ½ stars by Downbeat, reviewed by Jazziz, The Village Voice and much more. With a successful European tour under its belt and more in the works, a new chapter is beginning for AST.
Alex Skolnick (Testament, Stu Hamm Band, Metal Allegiance): GUITAR Matt Zebroski: DRUMS Nathan Peck (Maynard Ferguson, Maria Maldaur): BASS... See MoreSee Less
Surfer Blood - South Florida quintet that features high-school buddies who channel surf rock through noisy indie-pop.
Terry Malts - California-based trio began in late 2009 when three members of the Smiths-influenced indie pop quintet Magic Bullets conceived the band as a side project. Guitarist/vocalist Corey Cunningham, bassist/lead vocalist Phil Benson, and drummer/vocalist Nathan Sweatt eventually opted to concentrate on Terry Malts full-time, and Magic Bullets disbanded. Self-classified as "chainsaw pop," the group follows in lines drawn by classic fuzz-pop institutions like the Ramones and Jesus and Mary Chain, pop-punk roots like the Descendents and Hüsker Dü, and the reverb-coated stable of late-2000s Slumberland Records bedroom pop.... See MoreSee Less
Marbin is a progressive jazz-rock band based in Chicago, IL, with a unique story that stands out in today's music world. With a do-it-yourself approach, Marbin started touring extensively in 2011, bringing their original instrumental music to every part of the United States. Through word of mouth, Marbin has gained the attention of thousands of devoted fans all over the world, and has sold tens of thousands of albums. Marbin has released six albums: Marbin (2009), Breaking the Cycle (2011), Last Chapter of Dreaming (2013), The Third Set (2014), Aggressive Hippies (2015), and Goatman and the House of the Dead (2016). Marbin regularly plays in clubs all over the US and in jam and jazz festivals around the world.
Los Angeles band Ivory Deville produces an uncommon swagger and juxtaposition of sound that hits its stride at the intersection of honky tonk, glam rock, and mid-century rock and roll. Born out of the raucous beer joints and restless bones of the Plains, and warmly branded by soaring female harmonies from the California coast, Ivory Deville is an authentic roadhouse band for our time.
THE MAIN SQUEEZE is a blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock. They know their sound is “soulful, powerful, and unique" (Newman). Rolling Stone agrees in their recent critique of a live show: “Lead singer Corey Frye's powerfully soulful vocals forms the foundation of an energetic set."
These underpinnings are important yet The Main Squeeze's true focus will always be to “strive to reach people" through their beat loving heart in their music. “We are devoted to making great music for people to get lost in and to feel real emotion and love, and also to dance and enjoy life. And it's only just the beginning" (Newman). Billboard believes they have touched on this goal: “Funk runs deep in their DNA. Dare you not to two-step."
The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men are a rootsy rock n’ roll band born and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Influenced by those early surroundings, songwriters Jamie and Kellen Coffis’ blend of folk, blues, R&B and straight-ahead rock is evidence an upbringing spent listening to all of the right records from Tom Petty, Neil Young, and The Beatles.
On their third full-length album, Roll With It, The Coffis Brothers put that rock into overdrive, looking ahead to the good things coming and suffering no fools. First single “You Ain’t Got the Heart” is a barn burner and a fan favorite, having already been part of the band’s live set for a couple of years. “There’s a little bit of that sense of angst and that sort of ‘I don’t need this’ attitude,” says Kellen Coffis, “but don’t overthink this one.”
Not that there isn’t plenty to think about on Roll With It. Tracks like “Bad Luck” and “Better Days” reflect on how to live with and learn from rough times, while “You and Me” is a testament to how people can make it through these things together. But on every song, The Coffis Brothers & the Mountain Men stay true to a rock sound that draws from Southern grit and California hills.
Sugarkane & Co is an up and coming band from the north of California, made up of Kane McGee (formerly of Northstar Session) and local singer/songwriters Rachel Shannon and Ken Simmons. Their eclectic sound has its roots in classic rock and country, with a model indie feel.... See MoreSee Less