Jack Grelle
Got Dressed Up To Be Let Down

You wouldn’t expect radically progressive views in most honky-tonks, but St. Louis Americana artist Jack Grelle and his new record, Got Dressed Up To Be Let Down, have done just that. Grelle’s subversive songwriting tactics, like discussing the pitfalls of traditional masculinity within a classic country love song, owe to the person Jack Grelle is: resilient. In its most basic form resiliency is surviving, but as we evolve resiliency becomes about progress. It becomes a way to enact change, to form communities and to build bridges. Through his time in the DIY punk scene, living that ethos out in the gritty St. Louis underground country community, he has witnessed the plight of his city, and Grelle has an ardent desire to be better. He sees things more clearly and is able to ask the hard questions. He’s also not afraid to take action to support minority voices. In July, Grelle put together a band of like-minded St. Louis musicians to back Patrick Haggerty–the first openly gay country artist, and the creator of the radically powerful Lavender Country album from the 70s–on his mid-Western Lavender Country tour. Touring with Haggerty, an icon of subversion in country music, was a key recent experience in Grelle’s understanding of the power of country songwriting.

To be released on Big Muddy Records on October 23, 2016, the best of St. Louis’ music scene comes out for Jack Grelle’s new album, including the South City Three (Pokey Lafarge’s band) and John Horton (The Bottle Rockets) along with a large cast of Big Muddy Records regulars, including Jenny Rogues Glynn, Chris & Brice Baricevic, Mary Anne Shulte, Mat Wilson, Justin Brown and more. Over the past three years of touring upwards of 150 dates a year Grelle has shared stages with Chris Stapleton, Joe Ely, Billy Joe Shaver, Pokey LaFarge and sat in with Dale Watson, an impressive resume for any artist.

On Got Dressed Up To Be Let Down, Jack Grelle adeptly weaves Cajun, Tejano, country, honky-tonk, rock and folk to create a passionately complex overlay of the genres. As well, through the diverse tracks on the album Grelle’s lyrical integrity stays consistent. From tackling the societal pressures women face on the title track, “Got Dressed Up To Be Let Down,” to writing about the deeply personal, platonic love for his matriarchal grandmother on “Birthday Cards,” Grelle’s intelligent, passionate, and astute lyricism ties the album into a stirring and emotional piece of work. Nowhere is this clearer than in the song “Changes Never Made,” which attempts to process the plight of the black community in America as seen through the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO, a mere ten miles away from Grelle’s home in St. Louis.

We think about the macro all the time, grappling with the realities of immense social change, while what Grelle is looking at isn’t to have all the answers but a way to have frank, open conversations about how to change ourselves and our communities. He knows there is a wrong side and a right side of history; he just wants us to be on the right side.


Jeff Scroggins and Colorado
Ramblin' Feels Good

Bluegrass in the West is known for incorporating progressive, genre-bending influences, but few bands have perfected a blend of deep tradition and new trailblazing like Jeff Scroggins & Colorado. Hailing from the Western Frontier state of Colorado where the mountains run high and the air runs thin, the band brings together dizzyingly brilliant musicianship with powerhouse Appalachian vocals, a solid and energetic rhythm, and an easy stage banter that has delighted listeners all over the world. Fronted by internationally acclaimed two-time National Banjo Champion Jeff Scroggins, who cites influences ranging from Don Reno and Alan Munde to Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, Scroggins’ joined by his son, the preternaturally gifted young mandolinist and tune composer Tristan Scroggins. The band’s vocalist Greg Blake grew up in southwest West Virginia, and when he sings, you can hear a voice that connects to the great old generations of mountain singers, invested with a rich twang and the kind of eerily powerful cry that first inspired the 'high, lonesome sound.' On July 22, 2016, this hard-traveling band will release their newest album, Ramblin Feels Good, a collection of songs and instrumentals both original and from a wide variety of sources. For the album, the core trio of both Scroggins and Greg Blake is joined by star bluegrass fiddler Andy Leftwich, 2-time IBMA award winning bassist Mark Schatz (Bela Fleck, Linda Ronstadt), and harmony vocalists Don Rigsby (Charlie Sizemore), and David Peterson.

On Ramblin Feels Good, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado bring together country, bluegrass, and folk in a hard-driving sound. Opening with Willie Nelson’s “I’m A Memory,” the songs on this album are drawn from bluegrass sources like Don Reno (Wall Around Your Heart), Leon Jackson (“Love Please Come Home”) and Hylo Brown (“Down the Road of Life”), as well as classic country like Jimmy Webb (“Galveston”) and Dennis Linde (“Night is Fallin in My Heart”), all the way over to Nashville songwriter Walt Aldridge (“She’s Got a Single Thing In Mind”). To round out the trinity, they draw from folk sources like Gordon Lightfoot (“Carefree Highway”) or Seattle songwriter David Keenan (the fun romp “Sometimes Dig for Taters”). In between, Jeff and Tristan Scroggins have crafted blazingly-hot instrumental tunes likes “Dismal Nitch” or “Lemonade in the Shade” to showcase their picking abilities on the banjo and mandolin respectively. All of these influences come together in a tight, cohesive package because Jeff Scroggs in & Colorado know what the secret to what makes bluegrass so compelling: take music as old as the hills, and push it to its furthest reaches without ever losing site of the heartbreak and passion at the heart of the songs. That’s why bluegrass, country, and folk will always be so closely tied.  Each of these genres is built on the foundation of honesty and authenticity. Listening to this album or watching Jeff Scroggins & Colorado tear it up onstage, it’s clear that they came to this music the honest way: through hard work and great energy. With their new album, Ramblin Feels Good, cementing their place at the forefront of Western bluegrass, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado have nothing left to prove, but a lot left to say.

The Deer
Tempest & Rapture

With the sort of ingenuity, you might expect to come out of Austin, TX, The Deer encompasses the innovation of the modern indie-folk revival and the cross-pollination of Austin’s diverse music scene. Described as transcendental Texas folk and stargaze surf-western, The Deer creates psychotropic soundscapes and tranquil, vivid dream-pop. In 2016’s release, Tempest & Rapture, The Deer marries their brand of moody Americana with rapturous psychedelia, like two wings of one soaring bird. What began as the solo recording project of singer/songwriter Grace Park (The Blue Hit), The Deer formed its core membership in 2012 after the release of “An Argument for Observation” under the band name Grace Park & The Deer. Grace Park & The Deer was adapted to just the The Deer in early 2015 to represent the cohesive collaboration between all of the artists in the band and because the group especially identified with deer as symbols of protective guidance. Their music, in that way, acts as a beacon in the dark wilderness: shining of pure melodies, vivid images, and strong musicianship in a world of vapid ditties.

Tempest & Rapture is their most expansive, experimental recording to date. Original members upright bassist/songwriter Jesse Dalton (MilkDrive), guitarist/sound engineer Michael McLeod (Good Field, Richard Linklater film composer), drummer/pianist Alan Eckert (Dimitri’s Ascent), and Park, combine the gothic soul they’ve had all along with new cross-genre inspiration: analog tape and reverb effects, vocals and piano by Roger Sellers, pedal steel by Lloyd Maines, as well as the expert string stylings of both Dennis Ludiker (Asleep at the Wheel) and The Deer’s newest member, Noah Jeffries (MilkDrive, South Austin Jug Band), who adds orchestration to live shows. Engineered and mixed by Grant Johnson & Michael McLeod, with auxiliary engineering by Christopher Cox and Evan Kleineke, and mastered by Erik Wofford, was recorded at Cacophany Recorders, Good Danny’s, 5th Street Studios, and McLeod’s own Nine Grey Clouds Studios in Austin, TX.

With Tempest & Rapture, The Deer has created a dynamic collection of songs ranging between the blissful and euphoric to the dark and the dangerous. As rooted in surreal folk and Southern gothic, as transcendental surf-rock, The Deer moves fluidly between genres, eliciting emotion as varied and surprising as Tempest & Rapture implies.