All posts by Riff City


DADDY LONG LEGS’ Announce New Album for 2019

DADDY LONG LEGS – The New York City based trio’s forthcoming album, produced by Jimmy Sutton (JD McPherson, Pokey LaFarge, Jake LaBotz), will be released on Yep Roc in 2019.

These beloved blues bashers have been huffing and puffing and blowing houses down on a nightly basis and always bring an elevated level of rough and ready intensity to contemporary lo-fi blues with their explosive fire ceremony!

Be the first to hear news and updates by joining the Daddy Long Legs mailing list HERE!

Follow DADDY LONG LEGS on Spotify HERE.

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Eli Paperboy Reed

Eli “Paperboy” Reed is a survivor. He was one of the first of the new wave of singers and songwriters to embrace unabashedly soulful music and he has been tearing up stages all over the world with his heart-stopping falsetto screams for close to a decade with no plans to slow down. From humble musical beginnings growing up outside of Boston, at 18 Reed moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi and cut his teeth playing and singing in juke joints all over the Delta. From there he took the well-trod path to Chicago where he spent a year as minister of music the Southside church of Soul legend Mitty Collier.

Soon after returning to Boston, he was bit by the songwriting bug and released his first full length, “Roll with You” in 2008. Reed’s combination of powerful soulful vocals coupled with his strong pop sensibility as a songwriter made people all over the world stand up and take notice. Soon there were calls coming in from everywhere; television shows in the UK, festivals in Australia, and a jaw-dropping schedule of national and international tour dates. Major record labels came calling, deals were signed and Reed’s star kept rising, now with the help of song placements in major movies, television shows and commercials.

In 2016, after some much-needed time off from the road, Reed returned to the studio to cut “My Way Home” (Yep Roc – 2016); an album that is at once back-to-basics and startlingly current. Reed has improbably become an elder statesman of the genre, and he’s begun seeing new artists who are taking inspiration from his unique sound. A sound that, over everything else, prizes feeling, energy, and, yes, Soul.


Eli Paperboy Reed – Roll With You (Deluxe Remastered Edition)

Originally released in 2008, Roll With You is Eli Paperboy Reed’s debut album. 2018 marks the record’s 10th anniversary, and for the first time ever, Reed’s iconic album will be available on CD and vinyl, complete with exclusive content, packaging, and bonus tracks.  Stream and purchase the record HERE.

Roll With You is a vital, gospel-tinged mix of sweaty, up-tempo numbers and aching, lovelorn ballads that connect instantly thanks to the passion of Eli Paperboy Reed and his former band, the True Loves. Not only has the record stood the test of time, it has grown even better with age. Reed’s unmistakable soul-infused style leaved listeners wanting to dance and cry all at once, and is a must for long-time fans and newcomers alike.


Mandolin Orange announces new album, Tides of a Teardrop!

Mandolin Orange — North Carolina-based singer-songwriter Andrew
Marlin and multi-instrumentalist Emily Frantz — announce the release of Tides
Of A Teardrop, their first new music since 2016. Out February 1, 2019, on Yep
Roc Records — their fourth album for the venerable label — Tides Of A Teardrop
finds Mandolin Orange exploring the intimate grief at the frayed edges of their
songwriting and confronting loss head-on, facing down the depths of despair and
emerging with something renewed and redemptive. It’s a progressive, personal
statement from one of roots music’s most thoughtful young groups, on the cusp
of yet another prodigious breakthrough. Pre-order the record NOW!

NPR calls the band “a slow-burning, steadily rising folk duo” that “exudes gentle elegance.”  Listen to lead single “Time We Made Time,” on NPR Music HERE!

On the self-produced Tides Of A Teardrop, their slow-burning acoustic
meditations on love and loss are belied by a newfound directness as Marlin
tackles the death of his mother, who died when he was 18. “I think her passing
was almost the genesis of my writing,” says Marlin. “That was when I really
began to find refuge in writing songs.”

Marlin’s songwriting voice emerges clearer than ever, set in sharp relief by the
indelible performances of Mandolin Orange’s longtime touring band: Josh Oliver
on keyboards and guitar, Clint Mullican on bass, and Joe Westerlund on drums.
Whether it’s the trilling, weighty atmosphere of the allegorical “Wolves” or the
Appalachian yearning of the hymn-like “Suspended In Heaven” (written on
Mother’s Day), Marlin and Frantz’s vocal and instrumental interplay is as dialed in
as ever, the instinctual expression of deeply known but unspoken truths.
Mandolin Orange’s last album, 2016’s Blindfaller, is an exceptional outlier in the
age of streaming — a quietly reflective, acoustic album that made a lot of noise.

It was named one of Rolling Stone’s ‘40 Best Country Albums of 2016,’ debuted
at #3 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, and helped the band surpass 100 million
catalog streams, multiplying its fanbase through a combination of their “angelic
harmonies” (NPR Music), “low-key instrumental heroics” (Vox), and fervent word-
of-mouth support. Their touring profile skyrocketed: Mandolin Orange sold out
every single U.S. date they headlined in 2018, sold out 12 dates (out of 14) on a
headlining Winter 2018 European tour, played with the likes of the Avett Brothers
and Josh Ritter, and graced iconic stages such as Red Rocks (twice!), the
Ryman, Bonnaroo, and Newport Folk Festival.

Founded by Marlin and Frantz after meeting at a bluegrass jam session in 2009,
Mandolin Orange’s journey has been an auspicious one, as they’ve garnered
praise from NPR, Paste, American Songwriter and more, and performed at such
esteemed festivals as Telluride Bluegrass, Pickathon, and Austin City Limits.
Tides Of A Teardrop follows Blindfaller (2016), Such Jubilee (2015), and This
Side Of Jordan (2013).

Pre-order your copy of Tides of a Teardrop HERE!

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Birds + Arrows

Southwest rock duo Birds and Arrows are Andrea and Pete Connolly. The band was formed in Chapel Hill, NC in 2007 and that year, went on to release two critically acclaimed EPs, “Self-titled” and “Woodgrain Heart”. Over the past 10 years Birds and Arrows have released 4 full length records, “Starmaker” in 2008 (recorded by Andrea herself and Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange), “We’re Gonna Run” in 2009 (produced and recorded by Nick Peterson of Horseback), “Coyotes” 2013 and “Edge of Everything” 2015 (both recorded and mixed by Chris Stamey of The dB’s). During that time, they also released a holiday EP “Holiday Forever” from which, songs have been featured on compilations with Wilco, Big Star, Yo La Tengo, Whiskeytown and more…

After many years spent as an integral part the NC triangle music scene, the band recently relocated to the southwest.

Moving to the Arizona desert has been more than just a drastic change of scenery for Birds and Arrows, it’s turned out to be a radical change in vision and in attitude. Having outgrown the skin of their quiet NC folk beginnings, the desert has given them the space and freedom to finally shed the honeymoon sweetness of their past. Birds and Arrows’ brand new album “Arbitrary Magic” is the band’s first full length release since relocating to the magical land of Tucson, AZ. This new, wildly energetic group of songs allows listeners to experience first hand, Birds and Arrows’ transformation from love lorn folk duo, to hard hitting, rock and roll bad assery.

“Arbitrary Magic” was produced and recorded by Gabriel Sullivan of Xixa and Giant Sand. Gabe’s creative vision is distinctly Tucson, having honed his skills at Wave Lab Studio before founding his own creative space Dust and Stone Studios.

The magnificent fire of Birds and Arrows’ new album”Arbitrary Magic” is like a blazing Phoenix and from it’s ashes, rock and roll is re-born.

The Three O'Clock

The Three O’Clock

The Three O’Clock is an American alternative rock group associated with the Los Angeles 1980s Paisley Underground scene. Lead singer and bassist Michael Quercio is credited with coining the term “Paisley Underground” to describe a subset of the 1980s L.A. music scene which included bands such as Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, Green on Red, and the Bangles.


Mandolin Orange Debut Spotify Singles After 75M+ Streams

Following the release of 2016’s breakout LP, ‘Blindfaller,’ Mandolin Orange have rapidly grown from North Carolinian upstarts into under-sung heroes, selling out tours across the world, serenading the legendary stages of Red Rocks, Bonnaroo, Newport Folk, and the Ryman, and amassing praise from NPR Music, Paste, Vox and more. Today, they release their Spotify Singles, a surprise gift to the fans who have helped the duo earn over 75 million streams.

Inspired by downtown Chapel Hill’s high-rise influx and its impending deforestation, ‘Blindfaller’ standout “Echo” is a poignant match of Mandolin Orange’s socially conscious lyricism and “low-key instrumental heroics” (Vox). Their “angelic harmonies” (NPR Music) are on full-display in “Amsterdam,” however, offering a rich and raw re-imagining of the Gregory Alan Isakov hit.


Darren Hanlon

Darren Hanlon

One ambitious yet unorganised Australian. One battered old guitar. One Amtrak pass. Five recording studios. About twenty-seven musical strangers. And six bullet holes. The story of Darren Hanlon’s fifth album proper Where Did You Come From?spans two continents and a whole lot of miles travelled,resulting in his most resplendent musical effort yet, the songs reaching new levels of maturity without ever losing his trademark lyrical charm and twinkling eye.

Recording it involved an unplanned and sometimes perilous lope through the American South, through various cities, towns and recording studios. “For lack of any real purpose I went on an exploratory adventure of the American southern states and the whole thing grew up around me like rogue lantana. I spent about 20 nights sleeping on different Amtrak trains with my jumper rolled up for a pillow.”

Prior to his time in America, Hanlon spent a month in the Australian desert. Whilst sowing the seeds for a batch of new songs in the mining town of Broken Hill – famous as the filming location for Mad Max 2 – he sent some demos to a list of US studios he liked the sound of. By the time he’d flown to Portland, Oregon to begin work, he’d only heard back from one.

Andrija Tokic wrote with positive feedback from his Bomb Shelter studio in Nashville. Having recently garnered great success with the Alabama Shakes, his calendar was pretty full, save for a single session. Hanlon took the long train trip to Nashville, arriving with a kinked neck and notebook full of lyrics, discovering that Tokic had handpicked a backing band and organised a bed in a friend’s basement. “Another songwriter was staying upstairs. Riley Downing, from a folk band called the Deslondes,” Hanlon says. “We spent many nights trading songs and talking. Through him I met a revolving cast of musicians he was friends with. I got a real sense of a scene that was developing across many cities of the South, connected by friendships and a mutual appreciation of traditional roots music.”

This chance encounter was just one wellspring that would feed into the songs that eventually made up Where Did You Come From? And people he’d meet would tell him about other interesting studios in other places, each journey unlocking the next. Leaving from Nashville he did one-off sessions in Memphis, Muscle Shoals, New Orleans and Clarksdale. Sometimes the musicians these studios had on hand had played on hit songs Hanlon had heard since a child.

David Hood and Spooner Oldham sat in on a song in legendary Fame Studios, and Howard Grimes, the 72-year-old long-time Al Greene drummer, backed him up on the Memphis sessions. “Now that was a strange and beautiful collaboration,” Hanlon remembers, “I don’t think Howard had played with anyone as straight and Queensland as me before. He said I was taking him back to school!”

To hear the analogue richness and singular vision resulting in the collection of songs that makeWhere Did You Come From? belies the accidental nature of its process. It’s a cohesive, hopeful and vibrant testament to the joys of travel, the tyranny of distance and the vagaries of love and fate. To know the precariousness of the steps it took to realize only makes it more special and amazing.

“When I hopped off the Amtrak I just walked around and met buskers, tap-dancers, preachers, drunks and drug dealers, all of whom had something worth learning about,” Hanlon tells. “I started having compulsive notions that whoever I met should somehow contribute to the album. Let fate play into it. One guy tried to break into a car I was sitting in and even he ended up playing bass on a song.”

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Alejandro Escovedo Signs to Riff City Sounds!

Riff City Sounds proudly announces the signing of acclaimed Texas singer/songwriter Alejandro Escovedo. Currently working on material for his debut anticipated for 2018, Escovedo will headline the Think About the Link 12-city tour beginning January 13, in Austin, TX. A full list of dates is below.

In partnership with Prevent Cancer Foundation®, the Think About the Link® tour will raise awareness of the Foundation’s educational campaign about the connection between certain viruses and cancer, of which Escovedo is a spokesperson. As a hepatitis C survivor, Escovedo hopes to raise awareness about the link between hepatitis C and liver cancer. Each night he will perform his A Man Under the Influence album in its entirety with most of the original musicians featured on the album and a string section. For more information about the Prevent Cancer Foundation®, please visit

With 14 solo albums throughout his illustrious career, Alejandro Escovedo has a rich musical history and future. In a trailblazing career that began with The Nuns, San Francisco’s famed punk innovators in the mid ‘70s, to the Austin-based-based alt-country rock pioneers, Rank & File, to Texas bred darlings, True Believers, through countless all-star collaborations and tribute album appearances and a series of beloved solo albums beginning with 1992’s acclaimed Gravity, Escovedo has earned a surplus of distinctions, including No Depression magazine’s Artist of the Decade Award in 1998, and the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing in 2006. Previously produced by John Cale, Tony Visconti, and most recently Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey on his last album Burn Something Beautiful.

January 13 – Austin City Limits at Moody Theater – Austin, TX
January 16 – The Hamilton – Washington, DC
January 18-20 – City Winery – New York, NY
January 21 – City Winery – Boston, MA
January 23 – World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA
January 25-27 – City Winery – Chicago, IL
January 28 – The Castle Theatre – Bloomington, IL
January 30 – City Winery – Atlanta, GA
January 31 – City Winery – Nashville, TN
February 6 – Knuckleheads – Kansas City, MO
February 8 – The Kessler Theater – Dallas, TX
February 9 – The Heights Theater – Houston, TX