The Lawrence Peters Outfit

The Lawrence Peters Outfit

Two-time Grammy-winning singer and master songwriter Jim Lauderdale is both a "songwriter's songwriter," who's written/co-written many modern classics for iconic artists, as well as an intuitive sideman, who's enhanced the music of a bevy of esteemed musicians. As a solo artist, since 1986 up until now, he's created a body work spanning 28 albums of imaginative roots music, encompassing country, bluegrass, soul, R&B and rock. Along the way he's won awards, garnered critical acclaim, and earned himself an engaged fan base. Today Jim treats his fans to a new adventure, exploring the redemptive traditional sounds of Memphis and Nashville with his double album, Soul Searching: Vol. 1 Memphis/Vol. 2. Nashville (Sky Crunch Records).

This profound entry in Jim's artistic continuum represents an immersive journey into the heart of Americana music different than any of Jim's previous work. Jim recorded each album in hallowed halls with some of the finest and most respected purveyors of these soulfully indigenous sounds. Both albums feature roots savants Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars playing. Vol. 1 Memphis was tracked at the legendary Royal Studios, home base for producer Willie Mitchell and Hi Records, and where classic Al Green songs such as "Tired Of Being Alone" and "Let's Stay Together" were cut, along with R&B smashes from Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, and Bobby "Blue" Bland. Jim produced the album with Luther and Boo Mitchell, calling on some of Memphis' finest musicians including Charles and Leroy Hodges, Alvin Youngblood Hart and others, to capture the city's unique sound. Vol. 2 Nashville, produced by Jim and Luther, was tracked at the historic Nashville Victor Studio A, a treasure of recording history; the site of iconic sessions by such artists as Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, George Jones, among many others. Jim's recording was a celebration of the studio beingsaved after a prolonged fight to keep its doors open. Soul Searching: Vol. 1 Memphis/Vol. 2. Nashville (Sky Crunch Records) is a 26-song release available as a double album, and, conveniently, as individual albums.

Throughout his three-decade career, Jim Lauderdale has helped pave the way for the current Americana movement, recording albums and writing songs that cross genres from country, rock, folk and bluegrass. Jim has written songs and worked with some of the finest artists in traditional and modern music, including Robert Hunter, Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, John Oates, Solomon Burke, Lee Ann Womack, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Blake Shelton, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, and Gary Allan among many, many others. He also co-hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Buddy Miller, "The Buddy & Jim Show," which NPR's Fresh Air described as "...highly entertaining..." He is also co-host of Music City Roots, the weekly live and radio, podcast and PBS series.

In 2014, the documentary, Jim Lauderdale: The King of Broken Hearts, was released, celebrating Jim's unconventional career. In 2010, Jim was honored with the SESAC Inspiration Award. Most recently, he received the prestigious American Eagle Award from the National Music Council along with Kris Kristofferson.

The Lawrence Peters Outfit plays un-ruined country music, a term Lawrence coined to describe their fiery, deep-rooted honky tonk sound. Best known for his lead vocal on "The Old Black Hen", on the watershed Songs: Ohia/ Magnolia Electric Company album, Peters leads the "Outfit" through his own finely crafted originals, and cherry-picked classics. The band is a super-group of Chi-Town pickers, including Matt Gandurski on lead guitar, Dave Sisson on rhythm guitar and harmonies, and Josh Piet on upright bass.

Crazy Water Crystals

The Crazy Water Crystals, a brother duet band hailing from the heart of East Tennessee, features the talents of Kris Truelsen (mandolin) and James Edgar (guitar). With a penchant for sounds from years past, these boys sing like bluebirds, capturing the heart and soul of the great brother bands from the 1930's, 40's and beyond.

The idea for the band was sparked on a mild winter’s night, while passing songs and tunes around a backyard fire. After a year spent under the tutelage of ETSU faculty Roy Andrade and Daniel Boner, the Crystals set out on their own. Bringing together distinct harmonies, tight vocal blends, and strong original material, the Crazy Water Crystals are proud to offer a fresh perspective on the great tradition of brother bands, tailored to the modern audience of today.

Tangleweed

For generations, practitioners of that uniquely American art form known variously as old-time or string-band music – progenitor of country, precursor to bluegrass – have labored in obscurity, their talents unrecognized, their provenance maligned. The men of Tangleweed are proud to uphold that tradition.

Their personal histories, while colorful, bear witness to the manifold hardships and hard-scrabble existences so commonly borne by folk artists. Only one was educated on the Continent. Most were forced to leave college after graduation.

Like most such groups, Tangleweed typically performs at drinking establishments and other communal gathering places, where ordinary people come to wash away the trials and tribulations of their workaday lives. Such venues are far removed from the niceties of the concert hall. Yet they testify to the formative influence that context can exert on performance style. How easily does the plaintive keening of Tangleweed's vocal harmonies rise above the whine of milk frothers and espresso machines. How cleanly do their finger-picked melodies cut through the din of mobile telephones and personal computing devices.

Tangleweed’s repertoire, which encompasses traditional fiddle tunes, African-American blues, rags, and stomps, was born in the rich soil of the rural agrarian South. Unlettered and without formal training, its originators gave rise to a deeply expressive musical idiom that spoke for and to a vast, poverty-stricken community of Euro- and African-Americans, for whom such music functioned first and foremost as an accompaniment to social dance. Tangleweed is proud to claim this rich cultural legacy, without in any way sharing in it.

Relieved of the burden of authenticity, unencumbered by troublesome notions of historical accuracy or, indeed, of personal accountability, the men of Tangleweed are free to pursue their own startlingly original interpretive impulses. So does a great tradition reinvent itself, often beyond all recognition.

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