We’re off to a rollicking start this weekend on Music City Roots, when Nikki Talley, Dan The Torpedoes!, Sarah Potenza, and Driftwood perform some incredible sets! Jim Lauderdale hosts.
About the artists:
Nikki Talley is a hardworking, energetic, mountain girl with a big voice. She is one half of a FULL TIME touring husband & wife DUO based out of Asheville, NC contributing acoustic guitar, clawhammer banjo & of course her trademark stunning vocals. Since January 2012 she & husband Jason Sharp, who accompanies her on finger style & flat picking guitar as well as bass, have played 200+ shows in over 20 states touring out of their Chevy van, Blue Bell, they bought w/ money raised from a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Raised in Ruffin, North Carolina and hailing from Asheville, it’s only fitting that Nikki’s music is as eclectic as the state that boasts the mountains and the sea. Trying to pin down Nikki’s style, critics and reviewers alike have compared her to Patty Loveless and Gillian Welch, but to leave the comparisons there would be doing a disservice to her fiery stage performance, hauntingly seductive and raw gritty lyrics, lifted by a voice that harkens back to her Appalachian roots, and shores up on the edges of contemporary country, folk, and old time that has her audiences stomping and clapping for more.
Nikki’s latest release Beautiful Charmer garnered the #7 spot in WNCW’s top 20 regional releases of 2010 and #23 in top 100 releases & features Grammy-winning alt-country icon Jim Lauderdale among other guests.
One thing she isn’t: afraid of the microphone. Talley has undeniable stage presence.
Talley’s always silken, yet adaptable voice is on full display on this album, whispering sweet nothings to the listener on some songs (as on the title track), belting out her passion with full desperate power on others (as on “Fugitives”) and crooning out her heartache honky-tonk style as on “Don’t Stand” or “Sing Him Away.”
In 1960 a young band that would change music forever was formed in Liverpool. That was not DAN THE TORPEDOES! That was the Beatles. DAN THE TORPEDOES! came about much later at an amusement park in Nashville called Opryland. Their path was slightly different…..
DAN THE TORPEDOES! members have had songs recorded by Kid Rock, Restless Heart, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Molly Hatchet, Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Osmond, Bob Welch of Fleetwood Mac, BJ Thomas, the Imperials and many others.
The band features long-time music industry friends Greg Jennings of Restless Heart, Blaine Barcus of Provident Music Group, Ronnie Brooks of Corner Music, Katherine Jennings of Dale Buchanan & Assoc., Stephanie Taylor of Bone McAlester and Dan Keen from the faculty at Belmont University. The band writes and plays original songs. DAN THE TORPEDOES! Full speed ahead!
Hailing from Rhode Island, Sarah Potenza took her passion for performing and her powerful voice to Chicago in 2003 where she formed Sarah & The Tall Boys. The band spent years on the road showcasing Potenza’s monster vocals and her honest reflective songwriting. They quickly became a regular staple on the club and festival circuit earning them thousands of loyal followers and a reputation for being one of the top live acts in the country.Nine years and three self-penned albums later, Sarah left the band and made her way to Nashville (East Nashville to be more precise) with her husband Ian Crossman to be a part of the booming Americana music scene and to make a name for herself.
That same passion for performing, authentic, heart-felt songwriting about real-life and that undeniable voice quickly put Music City on notice. In just over a year, Potenza has earned a spot among East Nashville royalty. She has performed and toured with the likes of Todd Snider, Elizabeth Cook, Jim Lauderdale, Kevin Gordon and Derek Hoke while managing to land several coveted slots such as a feature performance at the historic and world renowned Bluebird Café and the globally broadcast Music City Roots program.
Currently, while not on tour, Sarah Potenza is working on her fourth album, which she is co-writing with Ian Crossman and booking shows across the country with her new band!
The energy of rock n’ roll is impossible to categorize – mercurial, specific to its beholder and profoundly reflective. From the Binghamton, New York music scene comes Driftwood, a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to the Americana/roots music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette. But the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely. “We started off playing rock in high school. Then studying jazz and classical music in college. Then we dove headfirst into folk and bluegrass. At some point I guess we kind of met in the middle”, says guitarist/songwriter Dan Forsyth. Drawing on aspects of everything from 0ld-time recordings to 1960’s R&B, the music is crafted to serve the songs. With fast-growing audiences singing along at live shows, it’s easy to tell the primary focus is on song. “We recognized early on that one of our strongest points was songwriting. The greatest songs transcend genre and time and this was one of the motivating ideas behind the band at the start”, says banjo player/songwriter Joe Kollar. Trading lead vocals between Forsyth, Kollar and violinist Claire Byrne, the group’s stage dynamics are as captivating as the songs. “I give so much of myself when I play because I deem it necessary in order to do the music justice”, says Byrne, whose violin-shredding performances galvanize fans. Songs or shredding, “There’s a reason people won’t let them off the stage”, says Jess Novak from The Syracuse New Times.
Coming from a town not often recognized for music but predominantly for industry, being the home of Twilight Zone author Rod Serling and donning the title of the “Carousel Capital of the World”, it’s easy to wonder how this not-so-traditional string band came out of the Binghamton music scene. “What people don’t often realize is that bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, The Horseflies and The Highwoods String Band came out of this same area and had a huge influence on us”, says Forsyth. “We played a lot of old-time in the beginning and it was a huge part of our band learning to play music together”.
Formed in 2005, the band spent four years playing just about anywhere they could. “We just wanted to be able to play for any crowd and turn heads”, says banjo player Joe Kollar. “We played everywhere. Coffee houses, bars, churches, rock clubs, Bluegrass festivals and the streets…a lot on the streets. We didn’t make any money, but what we learned was invaluable”.
After the release of their Debut CD Rally Day in 2009, the band has spent most of the last 4 years on the road. With club and festival appearances alongside of artists such as Bela Fleck, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rusted Root, Del McCoury, Brett Dennen, The Wailers, Railroad Earth, Robert Randolph, Rubblebucket, Leon Russell, Emmylou Harris and Donna the Buffalo, Driftwood is making serious waves on the East Coast scene. In the last three years they’ve played over 475 shows. With the release of their second CD “A Rock & Roll Heart” in 2011, the band landed spins on a slew of great radio shows and stations such as WFUV’s Sunday Breakfast with John Platt (New York, NY); KZSU (Stanford, CA), WCBE (Columbus, OH), WNRN (Charlottesville, VA), WUNC (Chapel Hill), NC and WDVX (Knoxville, TN).
In November 2012, Driftwood started work on their third and latest CD. Despite a grueling tour schedule and very little time at home, the recordings were finished in the summer of 2013. The self-titled new disc was recorded in a church outside of Ithaca, NY with Grammy-winning engineer Robby Hunter. It is set to be released on December 3rd, 2013.