Jonny Kaplan and The Lazy Stars, Broken Rodeo, Dear County (Album Release!)

Jonny Kaplan and The Lazy Stars

Jonny Kaplan is a travelling troubadour in the truest sense. Whether sailing to a far off island, playing sold-out shows in Europe with his band, riding motorcycles up and down the West Coast or wandering around a developing country with his acoustic guitar in hand, it’s all part of the same journey. And it’s the journey of a true artist.

SPARKLE AND SHINE is the fourth album from Jonny Kaplan & The Lazy Stars. Jonny, an impassioned musician and songwriter, and the group have created an innovative and engaging collection of American rock numbers that opens the artist into a new era of his musical career.

It’s the product of collaboration, bringing together a slew of talented musicians whose presence augments the quality of the songs. The Lazy Stars include Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, The Wallflowers) on keyboards, bassist Jokin Salaverria, guitarist Dan Wistrom and drummer Joey Galvan. Jonny also enlisted help from some very cool friends: The Black Crowes keyboardist Adam MacDougall, Blind Melon’s Brad Smith, Foo Fighters’ Jessy Greene on violin and Daryl Hannah, who lends her vocals to two tracks. “I think Daryl on vocals is going to surprise a lot of people who just know her as an actress,” Jonny says. “She has an amazingly beautiful voice that blends perfectly with mine.”

The end result is a striking collection of rock numbers that draw from Americana, country and folk, recalling musicians like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Ray LaMontagne, The Band and Gram Parsons. “It was apparent in the songwriting that there was an extreme diversity on the record in what kinds of songs they are,” Jonny says. “A lot of the songs needed to be recorded completely differently. Sometimes you set up and make everything on the record have a similar sound, but there’s a lot of different sounding music on this record. It was also a definite conscious decision from the beginning to add an element of sophistication to the record.”

Broken Rodeo

Broken Rodeo’s days as obscure outsider artists are coming to a close with a migration into the cities and appearances at top notch festivals. With a vintage pitched voice and a driving rhythm guitar atop his unconscious kick drum: J echos heart wrenching lyrics along Lemond's mercurial utility on the mandolin, lap steel, and tenor banjo. As if that wasn’t enough; Ramsey Turn has joined the most sweet and down home rhythm with a jolt of blue blooded electric guitar riffs; not to mention harmony that fits the timeless melodies crafted inside the most extraordinary mood alive today in contemporary music!

Dear County (Album Release!)

Dear County’s debut LP Low Country, available August 26th on pOprOck records, is a dynamic 9 song offering that seamlessly blends the Oakland based band’s unique brand of California Country, Rock n’ Roll, and 60’s Soul. Low Country is a modern take on retro stylings, equal parts rough around the edges and dreamlike, laced with powerful yet heartbreaking vocals, four part harmonies and reverb-laden guitars.

Mark W. Lynn (lead guitar, vocals) and Arrica Rose (lead vocals, guitar) met on a spring evening at the Huntington Beach Library in Southern CA when Arrica was still a teenager and Mark was just a few years older. Her local punk band (Uxby) was opening for his touring band (Uranium 9 volt). They had a brief conversation involving their mutual Italian heritage and New York family roots. Fast forward many moons later, they re-met in San Francisco at Hotel Utah under similar circumstances. The stars aligned and their bands once again shared a stage, Arrica playing with her project Arrica Rose & the …’s and Mark with his, The Devil’s Own. After the show, Mark recalled their initial meeting, much to Arrica’s surprise. Within a few months a long distance love began and Arrica was arranging to spend a lot more time in the Bay Area (traveling up from Los Angeles). Just like that, Dear County was born.

Dear County was initially founded upon a mutual love of country music. Mark and Arrica began writing songs intending to start a simple classic country band. But given their vast and eclectic love of many genres their songwriting expanded toward 60’s Soul, 70’s Rock n’ Roll, and California Country while also adding the impossible to avoid indie rock influences. Drawing inspiration from artists like Gram Parsons, Eagles, Dusty Springfield, Big Star, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, and The Replacements the aim of Dear County soon evolved into paying respects to their influences while creating something uniquely their own. Once a handful of songs were in place Michael Smartt (drums), Nelson Saarni (bass, vocals), and Julia Napier (percussion, vocals) got on board to create the five-piece band Dear County is today.

Low Country was produced by Dear County and recorded by Lee Bothwick at Jingletown Recording in Oakland, CA with additional recording by Arrica Rose at The Treehouse. Mixed by Jason Achilles Mezilis at Organic Audio Recorders in Los Angeles, CA. and mastered by Dan Garcia at Radio Hill.

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