ROCKinsights Members


The Band Of Heathens
Another in the seemingly endless supply of solid bands based in Austin, this group is one that deserves the favorable comparisons it gets to Little Feat, the Black Crowes and other fine bands.  And with three outstanding writers, The Band Of Heathens draw on a wealth of original material that makes it clear this is a group that can have a strong presence and lasting impact on American Rock.  There's nothing fancy or flashy going on here - just genuine musical talent and great song writing.  Colin Brooks of the band says they are comfortable being in a mode that was more common in the late 60's and early 70's when "
the music was what drove the wheel, not the tabloid pop-star personality". Amen to that!
The Band Of Heathens is the real deal.


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James McMurtry
The characters and circumstances of James McMurtry songs are so vivid you feel like you witness each one first hand.  It's a talent he shares with his father, celebrated novelist Larry McMurtry, who introduced his son's early songs to John Mellencamp when he was working on a film adaptation of one of Larry's books.  Mellencamp was so impressed he produced McMurtry's 1989 debut.  The nine albums released since are filled with hard knuckle truths of lives lived on the edge, each an example of why McMurtry is one of the best writers of our time.  The fact he counters the brutal songs with disarmingly funny remarks and irreverent tunes makes him a great act to catch live. Live In Europe, released in 2009, shows that none of the power of McMurtry's songs and his outstanding band gets lost in translation.


 
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Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Vermont's tiny Goddard College has hosted some amazing musical events.  King Crimson did its first U.S. show there in the fall of 1969.  The J. Geils Band and Dr. John did a concert the following spring that those lucky enough to witness will never forget. In 2005, Grace Potter and her band added a chapter to the campus barn's great musical history when they recorded their second album in it.
Grace is soulful and passionate, and The Nocturnals cover a range of material that would overwhelm a lot of bands.  Their command of Delta blues, jazz, tender love songs and straight ahead Rock make Grace Potter & The Nocturnals a band you should get to know.
Talent, great songs, relentless touring and genuine devotion to and love for what they’re doing created the grass roots buzz that grew into a social media tsunami spreading the word about what an amazing band this is.
She's definitely on a trajectory that will make catching her in small venues for $20 or less history in a hurry.  Saw her recently and she and the band just tore the place apart.  But the bigger hooks and sexier looks of recent months are window dressing to the early fans that hope Grace can hang on to the soulful, earthy essence at her core while she is on this E-Ticket
ride.


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Ray Lamontagne
Every once in a while a singer  stops you dead in your tracks and makes you realize how seldom you hear a singer dig deep into their soul on a song.  In 2004, Ray Lamontagne did it with "Trouble".
Stephen Stills didn't discover Ray, but he and a Maine radio station deserve some credit; hearing "Midnight Flyer" on his clock radio at 4 a.m. in Lewiston, Maine got Ray to blow off going to work in the shoe factory to go buy the album, and that album inspired him to devote himself to becoming a full-time musician.

 

 

 


 













Lucinda Williams
Like Louisiana hot sauce, Lucinda can be smooth and sultry, or deliver a jolt like lightning. The quality of her writing, singing and playing all rise to a level that makes her an exceptional artist.
Don't miss a chance to catch her live - she and her band are guaranteed to impress, with everything from sparse, tender ballads to Hendrix infused, rip roaring rockers.

 

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Widespread Panic
This Georgia band released its 10th studio album, Free Somehow, in 2008. The Panic's hard earned reputation as an outstanding live band makes them a major draw on the road. Appearances on H.O.R.D.E Tours and three strong live albums have helped them build a fan base that bridges generations.  They get lumped together with "Jam Band" crowd, but have much more substance than a lot of those groups.


 

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Big Head Todd & The Monsters

You'd be hard pressed to find a cooler band than Colorado's BHT. They recorded an album using wind power. They let fans download their latest album for free - and gave them the chance to buy The President, the 1989 Ford Econoline van the band put a quarter million miles on barn storming the country.
Todd Mohr deserves recognition as one of the guitar greats of rock - bar none.  He's more understated than most, but catch him live and chances are he will measure up to the best you've ever heard.


 

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Sonny Landreth

The fact Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, Jimmy Buffett, and Dr. John all jumped at the chance to play on his most recent release lets you know that Sonny Landreth has tremendous talent.  From The Reach is Landreth's ninth album.  Talk about a great host, he wrote each song specifically for the player he wanted to showcase on it.
Sonny's unique style compliments them all, making it easy to hear why he is so highly valued on other players projects, and why so  many great players accepted the invitation to play on his.  
 

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Photo Copyright Mark Crace all rights reserved
 

Eric Johnson
T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Billy Gibbons, The Vaughan brothers... The Lone Star State has produced a lot of great guitar players.  Eric Johnson takes a back seat to none, and has more versatility than all.  Whether it's churning, burning blues, straight ahead rock, fuel injected fusion, or acoustic picking, Johnson delivers the goods.

 

 

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