Indie Concerts and Island Camping!

I first met Mike Males and the MyRuralRadio.com crew last October at their FallFest at Naylor Winery in southern York County.  I can’t say enough about their dedication to promoting indie artists!  If you haven’t yet checked out their website, you are missing out on a wide array of very talented musicians from all genres.  I’m thrilled to help promote this festival, the first of its kind in York Co.  -Sam

Indie Concerts & Island Campfires at Genesis Fest;

First Annual Features Bands from Noon to Midnight

For many music enthusiasts, getting the chance to hear 12 hours of live music, cook over a campfire, and camp on an island, the Genesis Fest is a made-to-order dream. MyRuralRadio.com’s First Annual Genesis Fest—an exciting mix of live bands and solo artists—will take place on Saturday, June 2, next to Halloween Park on a private island located on Conewago Creek. Organizer Mike Males expects a crowd of about 500, based on past festivals. Mike assembled the vibrant, eclectic lineup of regional bands from MyRuralRadio’s list of recording artists.

Featured bands include The Lone Wolf Project, Lost Companion, Dr. Slothclaw, J.D. Sage and the Dagnabbits, American Hollar, High Point Ramblers, Darry Miller and the Veil, The Plums and Walt Kreider and the Old Time Way. As for the music styles, festival founder Mike Males refuses to be pinned down. “You can’t really pigeonhole this group of musicians,” he says. “I wouldn’t want to try because they each have their own sound.” According to some of the bands’ myspace pages, they run the gamut from bluesy, southern rock/country and experimental to funk R&B fusion and acoustic Americana and bluegrass. Most come under the heading of rural, in keeping with the Internet radio station.

 

Mike comments, “We are very excited about the Genesis Fest. It is our first festival with overnight camping, and the lineup is stellar. We hand-selected the artists with the festival atmosphere in mind. The Plums are new to our lineup, and Walt Kreider, well…can anyone say ‘Legend’?” According to Mike, all of the bands are indie, unsigned performers who are touring show bands from our region.

 

The Venue

 

Mike adds, “The festival will be epic; the property is the perfect place to hold such an event because of the indoor and outdoor stage areas, not to mention the private island where our overnight campers get to stay.” Located between York and Harrisburg, the site is technically in York Haven, just south of Newberrytown. The Genesis Fest runs with continuous music from noon until midnight; part of the proceeds go to three nonprofit causes.* Tent camping is welcome (sorry, no camper vehicles), and those staying overnight will be allowed to stay until 5 pm on Sunday. Nine bands are slated to appear, with possibly more joining in as the fest gets closer.

Tickets are $15 for a day pass and $25 for the day pass plus overnight camping. Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be sold, but attendees can bring their own food and drinks, including wine or beer. For more information, check www.myruralradio.com/genesis.asp; for tickets, go to www.eventbrite.com/event/3387172123. Attendees with a valid Pennsylvania fishing permit will be allowed to fish from the island.

 

About myRuralRadio.com: With over 70,000 listeners worldwide, the station was launched by Mike Males in 2009 “so that great music that didn’t have record company or label backing could be heard by a broader audience.” Using today’s modern technology and social networking and good old fashioned referral, the station has grown to the point where they get hundreds of submissions from musicians per week. Mike explains, “My vision is to keep doing it, have the audience grow, and change the world one song at a time.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb6Qdhfeiac

 

About Mike:  MyRuralRadio’s Station Director, web designer Michael Males, who also leads the American Hollar band (www.americanhollar.com), is immersed in the regional music scene as a musician, songwriter, station master and promoter. Mike has organized 6 festivals so far. His Fall Fest, a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network, has raised over $4,000 for the charity to date. Proceeds from the Genesis Fest support three causes:

 

*1. repairs to Halloween Park, which suffered flood damage last summer not covered by insurance

2. operating expenses for myruralradio.com

3. the proposed 4th Fall Fest in support of the Children’s Miracle Network, slated for October 27, 2012

 

 

Michael S. Males
443 928 1940

Creative Director – Sunken Treasure design
http://www.sunkentreasuredesign.com
Station Director – MyRuralRadio
http://www.myruralradio.com

Kalob Griffin Band and Cabinet at World Cafe Live 6/1

Many thanks to TriState Indie and Fryth at Lancaster Dispensing Company for turning me on to this band!  I have seen them three times and can’t wait to see them again this Friday at World Café Live in Philly.  Folks, if you haven’t seen KGB yet, get on it!  If my word isn’t enough, did you catch the fact that Cabinet is the opening band?  Either one of these bands is worth the ticket price, and this will be a very memorable night!  -Sam

KALOB GRIFFIN BAND TO RELEASE DEBUT FULL-LENGTH ALBUM

JUNE FOUND A GUN ON JUNE 1ST, 2012

***ALBUM RELEASE PARTY AT PHILLY’S WORLD CAFÉ LIVE***

 

“We believe in delivering honest lyrics you can relate to, creating music that moves you, and sharing a live show experience that leaves us all wanting more…”

-Kalob Griffin Band

 

May 10, 2012 – Philadelphia Americana rockers the Kalob Griffin Band proudly carry out the mantra above that is displayed on their interactive fan site upon the release of their debut full-length album June Found A Gun, due out June 1st off of their own record label There He Is Records.   Fans and friends alike can join the band with openers Cabinet to celebrate the release of the album downstairs at Philadelphia’s World Café Live on Friday, June 1st.

 

“We got lucky and captured some very special performances on this record and those unplanned moments bring life to the songs and the album as a whole,” says lead singer Kalob Griffin.  “I can’t wait to see everyone in June and share our proud work with them.  If we do our job, World Café will likely run out of whiskey or someone will get married.”

 

The Kalob Griffin Band, better known to many as the KGB, strive to create an unforgettable live show experience, turning strangers into fans and fans into family.  After graduating from Penn State, the band embarked on three national tours with colleague Bobby Long (ATO Records) and have been touring the East Coast ever since.  Life on the road is nothing short of an adventure, decorated with stories of selling outrowdy venues in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York City, transforming ordinary southern dive bars into wild honky tonks, and bringing crowds together for a  memorable night.

 

The 12-track June Found A Gun is a collection of reflective tales of the band’s past and a glimpse into the next chapter of their journey.  Take Me River” opens the album and invites audiences to howl along before unfolding into the catchy “Cheatin’ Joey.”  The mandolin-heavy “Honeymooners” tempts the crowd to grab the person next to them and dance the night away, continuing into the compelling story of “Go On Your Way.”  The musical narrative keeps listeners craving for more with the southern delta influenced rock jam “Johnny Double Down,” skipping along to fan favorite “Whiskey My Love.”  “IPA,” an energetic ode to the band’s home state, sweeps listeners off of their feet and brings them back down to the tell tale concluder “A Girl From Chapel Row.”
Recorded at Milkboy Studios in Ardmore Pa. and mastered by Tom Volpicelli at The Mastering House, the debut album will be available physically and digitally through the band’s website and other digital retailers this June.

 

On June 1st, the doors open at 7 pm and the musical festivities kick off at 8 pm.  Tickets are available for $15 on World Café Live’s website.  Fans can download five free tracks from June Found A Gun on the KGB fan site and can relive the making of the album here. The KGB will be heading back to World Café Live on June 12th to partake in a musical tribute to the late Levon Helm.

 

For more information, free downloads, & upcoming shows for The Kalob Griffin Band:

http://kalobgriffinband.com

http://kalobgriffinband.com/kgbfamily

http://www.facebook.com/pages/kalob-griffin-band#!/pages/The-Kalob-Griffin-

Band/181399394825

http://twitter.com/thekgband

 

For press related inquiries, contact:

Eleni Psaltis, Publicist

 (e): eleni@kalobgriffinband.com

(c):             516.524.2267      

For all other inquiries, contact:

Trevor Kerin, Manager

Plug In Rewind Management

(e): trevor@pluginrewind.com

(c):             610.247.2465      

Pilgrims: It’s Festival Season!

Pilgrims: It’s Festival Time!

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?  Pilgrims!  I logged a lot of miles in May but nothing compared to what summer promises!  It’s festival season!  What could be better than joining hundreds or even thousands of like-minded music-lovers to celebrate peace, harmony and live music?

I’m finishing May tonight with tickets to Dawes at York’s Strand-Capitol theater.  The fact that it’s sold-out should tell you that this band is great and on the rise.  I can tell you that they take me back to the days when Jackson Browne and The Eagles created the southern CA sound and they move me forward with poignant songs.  Their latest album Nothing is Wrong grabbed my gut just the way I feel when I see a friend who’s obviously suffering, ask what’s wrong and they say, “Nothing.”  The story-song “A Little Bit of Everything” is quite a mix of landscapes and is one of the most perfect songs I have ever heard.  Sorry if you didn’t get tickets.

The good news for you is that Dawes will be playing the Long’s Park Summer Concert Series in July.  That’s a FREE show on a lovely, sloped lawn at a great-sounding amphitheater.  If long-distance travels or camping aren’t your style, you can still get the festival feel and a great show there all summer long.  The music starts this Sunday night, June 3 with Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds!  I’m proud to crow about that one!

Friday June 1st is a great kickoff to the month!  I plan to volunteer at WXPN in Philly during their Spring mini-fund drive all day and then stick around for Cabinet and The Kalob Griffin Band at World Café Live.  I love XPN and am so grateful to receive a strong signal from them in central PA!  They will be staging their own festival at the end of July and I’m planning on a three-day pass for that one!  With a three-day pass, you get lawn-seat admission to Dr. Dog, The Avett Brothers and Wilco!  That show alone is worth the pass price but the list of performers for XPoNential Music Fest is flat amazing.  I have yet to see its equal within $100 or 400 miles!

I’m so psyched for the Cabinet and Kalob Griffin Band show that I’m giving the press release its own blog spot!

Saturday June 2nd is also a festival worthy of its own blog spot: MyRuralRadio.com’s Genesis Fest!  York County will finally have an all-day music fest to call its own and wow, you should see the lineup for this all-day event!  I have visited the site and the camping area is on a beautiful, manicured island in the Conewago Creek.  I can’t say enough about the folks at MyRuralRadio and their dedication to promoting indie artists.  Check out the over 400 bands featured on their site and try and tell me I’m wrong.

I am also running an ad for Hot August Blues Fest on my website right now.  They were the winners of TriState Indie’s Best Festival in 2011 and this year will be even better.

Finally, I have to give a shout-out to my friends Lovebettie!  They not only are playing the main stage at SummerFest, the nation’s oldest and largest rock festival, but their song “Red Roses” will be the first song featured on the festival’s compilation disc.  That means between 750,000 to 3.5million people will see them live and/or hear their signature song!  Now that’s an Independence Day!

Where is Everybody?

Where is Everybody?

I go to a lot of shows.  I like all kinds of music and love the vibe when a talented group reaches a lively, receptive audience.  Most days and certainly every weekend, I have too many shows to choose from.  So where are the crowds?

I had a ball at Music Friday in Lancaster 5/18 and Binn’s Park was packed with happy people of all ages to see The Slackwater News and The Dirty Bourbon River Show.  Leo DiSanto drew a crowd on Market Street.  Music For Everyone created music happenings all over town that night and Lancaster responded.  Yay!  But there was room for at least 1,000 more people and these events are FREE!

I get out of town to see shows too.  Recently, I visited The Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport to see BuzzUniverse.  Last Thursday I crossed the moat to see Mike McMonagle play The Cove in York.  I even bailed on Music Friday to see The David Mayfield Parade stomp it up and down at Abbey Bar.  Saturday night I took my wife out to see our pals Lovebettie at Liquid 891 in Harrisburg.  These four shows featured original, sparkling talents in delicious, great-sounding venues.  I have the videos to prove it.  What all four needed was about 100 more people there to witness these unique expressions of love.

I know.  The economy, your schedule, your kids’/spouse’s schedule, the weather, road construction, the President: you have a million excuses why you can’t go out and see a show.  

So what are you going to say when there are no more shows?  Oh, you downloaded the songs?  The difference between having the song and hearing it performed live is equal to the difference between reading a play and seeing a play performed.  It’s the difference between watching porn and making love.  It’s the interaction between performer and audience that makes the moment and makes it memorable.  You remember your vacations, not taking pictures on your vacation.

So get out there.  Do it for the kids.  The musicians, sound guys, bartenders, baristas and wait staff are all somebody’s kids.  Many of them have kids and those kids need cleats and uniforms and guitar strings.  The schools don’t provide them anymore, just like they have cut the funding for music and art programs.  If our economy is what they call a “service economy,” and you want to do your part for America, go out there and get served!  Let’s save the economy one gig at a time and celebrate our culture.

Every Friday is Music Friday!

Every Friday is Music Friday!

When you live in/near Lancaster, PA as I do, every Friday seems like music Friday.  There are more shows going on here than you could possibly attend.  Of course, I take my role of Gigspotter seriously and do my best to try and point out all the best.  You can’t say I didn’t tell you about last Friday at Chameleon with Loretta Bilieux and The Dive Bar Pretties! Click to see what you missed!

This Friday is extra special because it’s an OFFICIAL Music Friday.  All summer, every third Friday of the month will feature live music downtown.  Tonight’s show at Binn’s Park features The Slackwater News (Lancaster rock stars!) and Dirty Bourbon River Show from New Orleans.  A new stage has also sprung up between Carr’s restaurant and Lancaster Central Market for Music Fridays.  Appearing tonight to start it right is Leo DiSanto.  Who knows who might be jumping up there with him but I know the fellas from Vinegar Creek Constituency won’t let their front man roam too freely alone!

I also suspect that when they chase Leo off the stage, the chase will lead right to Lancaster Dispensing Company mere steps away.  Trixie Greiner and The Inca Campers play there tonight!  Friday!!

Also returning to Lancaster this week are the pianos.  How many of you found yourself walking through town last summer and being drawn to some impromptu piano jam?  The wonderful non-profit Music For Everyone has again placed colorful, artful and tuned pianos in ten locations around the city for you to play and hear.  Thank you to MFE and their generous sponsors!  Who knew pianos could look so cool?!  And I will always remember one very late night downtown last summer when some player drew a crowd.  It was 2:30am and this piano Pied Piper had people streaming towards him from all over town!

I will be the blur in the Gigspots shirt.  I plan to start at Marion Court Room for happy hour music by The Love Haters and then work my way downhill: Binn’s Park, Market Street, DipCo.  I think I can do all of the above if my hour doesn’t get too happy.  If I miss Leo, I know I can catch him Sunday at Chestnut Hill Café (3pm).

By sundown I plan to be hustling up 283 to Harrisburg.  David Mayfield Parade is playing Abbey Bar and after seeing his last show in the area, I promised myself not to miss the next.  Man, that Greenbelt Events season pass is still the best $100 I spent in 2012!

Call Me the Working Man

Call Me the Working Man

My rock and roll activities were confined to night time last week.  I did catch two fantastic concerts: Loretta Bilieux and the Dive Bar Pretties at Chameleon and BuzzUniverse at The Bullfrog.  But most of my energies last week were spent doing physical labor.  I got away from Facebook, Twitter and blogging.  I dug a big hole in the yard and chopped up some trees.

I had a few reasons for abandoning computerworld.  After all the writing, editing, uploading, tagging, Liking, Commenting and Sharing of LAUNCH week, it was time to get outdoors.  I get fidgety sitting at a desk and staring at my laptop.  It doesn’t do me any good to spend too much time thinking.

I’m getting a shed.  My neighbors and I pitched in and bought a lawn tractor and we need somewhere to store it.  My yard was nominated and seconded.  The timing is right and my garage is awfully cluttered as it is.  So I set to work digging a foundation and trimming trees to make room for the new addition.  Plus, it gave me an excuse to invite Loretta and her chainsaw over for some noise and drinks in the rain.

I could draw a number of analogies between physical labor and mental health: laying a foundation, staying grounded, leveling the playing field, trimming away the dead wood.  Perhaps the best fit for my situation is “doing your homework.”  I can’t fully enjoy running around at night doing my rock and roll thing when I know there are chores to be done at home.  If my home is unsettled, live music and social networking have to wait.

The Heart and Soul of Gigspots

Originally posted May 4, 2012.  My heart and soul are still on board.  Are you?

The Heart and Soul of Gigspots

I met a lot of interesting people over the LAUNCH weekend.  One of them asked me to describe my exact vision for Gigspots.  Most people just ask me how I expect to make money doing it.  I gave it a few days thought, did my prewriting, and sent him the following.  Now I’m sharing it with you.  I’m glad to say that my passions and priorities have not changed since I began this a year ago.  I must say that I have learned many lessons, some harder than others.  Give me some feedback and help me continue to learn.

What are my passions that drove me to create Gigspots?

I love to bring people together for good times.

I love the experience of live music performances and want to share it.

I want to encourage young people to explore their world and socialize.  Social networking is not the same thing as socializing and young people need guidance to find positive social venues.

I want to make it easier for people of my generation to find bands, venues and destinations they might enjoy.  For someone not raised on computers, the Internet can be intimidating/frustrating.  You Google “live music” and get 40 million hits.  You turn on the TV.

I want my friends in bands to be able to find audiences, network and keep playing.

I want my friends who work in the restaurant, entertainment and tourism industries to stay employed and make profits.  Nothing pains me more than seeing a restaurant or live music venue close.

What are the core values of Gigspots?

Familiarity: I want people to see Gigspots (the website, blog, Twitter and Facebook page) as the place where they find and share great music, travel opportunities and social happenings.  I hope it becomes a platform where people interact and build trust and familiarity across the region.

Trust:  If I say a venue/town is friendly, clean, reasonably priced, safe and accommodating, it needs to be true.  I personally visit and inspect every place I represent and report what people can expect when they get there.  I build relationships with venue owners, chambers of commerce, hotels and tourism bureaus so they will roll out the welcome mat.  It often leads to discoveries I might have missed just rolling into town.

Discovery:  In one year I have discovered dozens of bands and venues I might never have found randomly.  People love to learn and experience new pleasures; they also love the satisfaction of recommending those experiences to friends.

Music and the Arts: Music, dance, performance arts, works of beauty and wonder, the culinary arts: these are the things that make us human on very basic biological, sociological and psychological levels. The interaction between performer and audience ignites the imagination.

The industrial age and our current age of technology, I fear, have led to an isolation and resigned attitude that individuals have little power, freedom and choice.  The image of everything is a click away.  But virtual experience is not true experience.  I think encouraging people to experience performances and socialization can combat this.  We all need to gather around the campfire and play in the shadows, shimmy and croon.  It’s what mankind has done since we harnessed fire.

Splashdown: My Crash After LAUNCH

Splashdown

I awoke Monday morning as I usually do since starting Gigspots: eager to do my rock and roll thing!   I figured I’d write my blog while uploading some of the great videos I shot at LAUNCH over the weekend.  I pulled the memory card from the camera and stuffed it into the laptop and ooofah! Dozens of thumbnails that should have shown Joy Ike, Kurt Scobie and JD Eicher playing a breath-taking show at Mosaic instead showed !ERROR!.  WTF!?  I was devastated.  I scrambled through all the troubleshooting guides only to realize that if I had loaded from the camera instead of pulling the memory card, I might have been able to repair/salvage the videos.  My brilliant flight through LAUNCH had splashed down hard.

As usual, I started beating myself up pretty badly.  I had spent too much money over the weekend, I didn’t sell any Gigspots shirts, I didn’t really draw a crowd, was it all worth it, I’m a loser.  While I was chasing shows all over town, two venues I had been recruiting hard emailed to say they weren’t interested in joining my site.  They said it looked more like a “band” site than a “Venue” site.  I had met a representative of ReverbNation at LAUNCH and told him how my site compared to theirs and how mine offered several advantages to regional bands and venues.  I realized later I had been talking to Lou Plaia, co-founder of ReverbNation.  That made me a loser and an ass.  If the dog had not had a vet appointment that morning, I might have gone to play in the street.

The vet gave me a gold star for the health of my dog but the glow only lasted until I got home.  I didn’t want to blog, check email, post events on Facebook or upload videos anymore.  My camera and laptop were mocking me.  It all felt so pointless.  I tried to tell myself it was just the post-concert blues: a low after many highs.  I knew I needed distraction.  As I often do when reality gets too scary, I abandoned it and ran for some fiction.

Have you read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?  It might not be your kind of story but I found it brilliant and quite distracting in a scary, morality-challenging way.  It shook me like an old rug and reminded me that life is nothing but loose threads: some woven together, some undone.  So besides the annoying threads I mentioned from Monday morning, here are some others that helped string me back together.

My dog is happy, healthy and in love with me.  Dogs are great!

My wife and daughter are happy and healthy and love me.  They are kind, patient women.

Pete Bush and Hoi Polloi finally played Lancaster.  We hit Neptune and they crashed at my place.

Lovebettie finally played Lancaster: the main stage at Chameleon Club no less!

I got 30 new Likes on my page www.facebook.com/Gigspots during LAUNCH.

Four new bands have signed onto www.Gigspots.com since LAUNCH.

Mark DeRose won the TV I gave away at my vendor booth and everyone cheered for him.

I finally got to hear Joy Ike sing live.  WOW!  JD Eicher and Kurt Scobie also wowed me!

Here’s the one that got me wrapped back together the most.  On Thursday eve before the Slimfit/Rusted Root show, I was killing time at Annie Bailey’s.  I struck up a conversation with this young man who also had LAUNCH credentials.  He told me he was in a band and they were playing.  He didn’t tell me his name, or the name of his band, or where they were playing, but he was a nice young man.  I kept seeing him all through the weekend and just as I was about to leave Chameleon Saturday night, there he was again.  He said, “You can’t leave now.  My band is up next.”  It turns out that his name is Eric Hinerdeer (really) and he plays bass for Face for Radio.  This band blew me away from the first four measures.  After three songs, I texted a friend who stages shows and told him to check them out asap.

Just twenty minutes after finishing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I got email notification that Eric had tagged me in a post on Facebook.  Face for Radio had just been booked to play World Café Live Philly in June and he gave Gigspots a thank-you shout-out.

So I might be a loser and an ass; but if I could help a young band catch a break, I didn’t have to focus on it!  I stashed the book, took the dog for a walk, and then cranked up some Pete Bush while I made dinner to share with my wife.