Everest

Comprised of five singer/songwriters, the members of L.A.'s indie alt-country band Everest boast some impressive pedigrees, having played with groups like Earlimart, Sebadoh the Folk Implosion, Slydell, Mike Stinson, Great Northern, Alaska!, John Vanderslice, and the Watson Twins. Sharing a mutual admiration for each other's respective track records, the five were drawn together by a common desire to make classic-sounding pop songs in the style of earthy bands like Wilco and Calexico. Russell Pollard, Jason Soda, Joel Graves, Rob Douglas, and Derek Brown first assembled in 2007, and connected quickly. Graves was especially excited about the instant chemistry, remarking in interviews, "I'm getting to play with my favorite singer, my favorite bass player, my favorite guitar player, and my favorite drummer. It's the band I've always wanted to be in."

In August 2007, they entered New Monkey studio with Foo Fighters producer Mike Terry to capture a set of light, acoustic-based songs on vintage equipment. After only two weeks of recording, one week of mixing, and an afternoon of mastering, their debut album, Ghost Notes, was finished, and they started shopping it around. Neil Young's Vapor Records label -- home of Tegan and Sara and Jonathan Richman -- seemed a logical choice, and after signing there, the group made plans to tour in promotion of Ghost Notes, which was scheduled for release in May of 2008. Two years later, they returned with On Approach, an album co-released by Warner Brothers in conjunction with Vapor. The band toured ceaselessly in support of the album, but the Warner Brothers connection didn't last long. In the beginning of 2011, road-weary from constant gigging, the band was dropped from the label and set about the process of regrouping for their next album. Teaming up with producer Rob Schnapf, well known for his work with Beck, Elliott Smith and many others, the band set about on a very careful and considered recording process for their third album Ownerless, released in 2012

The Breaking

The Breaking is a new band by multi-instrumentalist songwriter Adam Sweeney (Incredible Yacht Control, The Cabin Project, Adam Sweeney & the Jamboree).

The band's sound is quite a departure from the straightforward folk rock of Sweeney's previous project, The Jamboree. Banjo and accordion have been replaced by swirling psychedelic harmonies, jangly 12-string and growling reverb-laden electric guitars.

Sweeney cites a diverse range of acts from the 70s and 90s as influences on the new project, including REM, Fleetwood Mac, CSNY, and U2's Achtung Baby.

With Sweeney on electric guitar and vocals, his band consists of Rian Lewis (Crosstide, The Dimes) on drums, Zach Pace (The Jamboree) on bass, and Chris Benson (Supercrow, Benson Amplification) on lead guitar.

Aaron Lee Tasjan

East Nashville-based musician Aaron Lee Tasjan has always considered himself a songwriter first and foremost, writing his own off-kilter folk-inflected songs since he picked up his first acoustic as a teen guitar prodigy. “A lot of the stuff I did previously was never the main focal point,” Tasjan explains. “It’s all just been pieces along the way.” His soon to be released Silver Tears (New West Records – Oct. 2016) will offer a glimpse through the eyes of one gifted songwriter and versatile musician. Whether playing guitar in the late incarnation of riotous glam-rock innovators the New York Dolls, the gender-bending, envelope-pushing sleaze n’ tease arena rock band Semi Precious Weapons, the Neil Young-signed alt-country act Everest, British roots rock band Alberta Cross, Southern rock stalwarts Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ or even as frontman of the devilishly cleverly-named Heartbreakers meets Replacements rockers Madison Square Gardeners, offer a glimpse through the eyes of one gifted songwriter and versatile musician.

While those stints may have never been his main destination, each one has been a stepping stone that has uniquely informed his songwriting and made him a compelling, singular artist. Tasjan’s songs, as first heard on his debut solo EP, 2014’s Crooked River Burning, are indebted to great American storytellers like John Prine, Tom Petty, Guy Clark, Steve Goodman, Arlo Guthrie and Todd Snider. They are imbued with wry wit, a sharp tongue and a lot of heart.

Last year’s self-released LP, In The Blazes, received accolades from American Songwriter, Rolling Stone, Nashville Scene and NPR and suggested Tasjan was an artist to keep an eye on. While that album hinted at Tasjan’s enormous potential, it’s his sophomore effort, his New West Records debut, Silver Tears, that best realizes his artistic ambitions and solidifies him as one of the most intriguing singer/songwriters to emerge in sometime. An inspired and confident set of songs, the 12-track album, which features a cover with Tasjan decked out in a reflective suit and Stetson, careens from woozy pot paeans to brooding, cinematic observations to laid back ‘70s country-rock and galloping anthems to introspective folk and rollicking honky-tonk. “I might have made something that will surprise people,” Tasjan admits. “I didn’t completely abandon the recipe, but I really stretched myself and pushed beyond what people might expect from me. Being true as a musician, I’m not just one thing – and a variety of styles is a way to accomplish that. “

As in the song “On Your Side,” which sees Tasjan warble, “I sing jokes/And call ’em songs/Nobody knows where they belong/I’ve come up short/For far too long/And what felt right/Now feels so wrong,” Tasjan often turns the mirror on himself, never afraid to cast himself in a negative light. “One of the reasons I’ve been able to connect with people is by being honest and saying this is a really realistic picture of who I am,” he says. “It’s not always the good but it’s me.”

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