2012 SHOWS

Mississippi Heat

Thursday, October 18, 7:30 pm
Machinery Row

“Quite simply the hottest band in Chicago. . .” ~ CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

TRADITIONAL BLUES WITH A UNIQUE SOUND. . . As bandleader and composer, Pierre Lacocque’s vision has never wavered since he founded his band in 1991. His mantra is clear and focused. The band has always had an ensemble sound: all musicians are featured and welcome to contribute on stage and on recordings. His music is traditional because it is steeped in Chicago’s golden sounds of the 1950’s, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Rogers, all the great harp players. . . Big and Little Walter, The Sonny Boy Williamsons, Junior Wells, George Smith, and many extraordinary contemporaries such as Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza and Paul deLay. On the other hand, Pierre’s blues is unique because he dislikes to tread on old beaten paths. He always writes new stuff.

Tracy Nelson

Thursday, September 6, 7:30 pm
Machinery Row

“Tracy Nelson isn’t so much a singer as she is a force field — a blues practitioner of tremendous vocal power and emotional range.”– Alanna Nash, Entertainment Weekly

“ . . . a bad white girl . . .” —Etta James, from her autobiography, Rage To Live

She has one of the signature voices of her generation. That natural gift has always guided Tracy Nelson’s soul; indeed allowed her to both write and seek out the deeper songs regardless of niche or genre. A fierce singer of truth, a fountain of the deepest heartache, she is an ultimate communicator and has regularly destroyed audiences across decades of performing. She is one of the few female singers who has had hit records in both blues and country genres, performing with everyone from Muddy Waters to Willie Nelson to Marcia Ball and Irma Thomas, with Grammy® nominations for both her country and blues efforts. John Swenson, writing in Rolling Stone, asserted, “Tracy Nelson proves that the human voice is the most expressive instrument in creation.” With Victim of the Blues (Delta Groove), her 26th album in just over five decades, she has circled fully, back to the original music from South Side Chicago that mesmerized her teenaged mind in the mid-1960s.

Eilen Jewell

with Great Falls’ own We Ski Cousins

Thursday, August 30, 2012, 7 pm
Machinery Row

EILEN JEWELL: Since her official 2006 debut, Boundary County, Eilen Jewell has surveyed a wide range of traditional musical styles, from the folk and jug band leanings of her early recordings, through an album-length homage to Loretta Lynn and the country gospel of her work with The Sacred Shakers, right up to 2009’s Sea of Tears, which bristled with the electricity of ’60s UK garage rock and Chicago blues. Queen of the Minor Key draws on everything from classic country (the fiddle-driven “Reckless”) to early R&B (the shuffling “Hooked”), with an emphasis on sounds from the seamier side of the tracks. With dirty sax riffs and low-slung guitars, the instrumentals that bookend the album—”Radio City” and “Kalimotxo”—evoke the bump-and-grind exotica of vintage Southern California suburban saloons. Yet on the flipside, Jewell imbues slow, jazzy numbers like “I Remember You” and “Only One” with torch and tenacity that linger long past last call.

Jewell is wary of repeating previous success by following formulae. “But I also don’t want to change things just for the sake of changing them,” she adds. Never underestimate the public’s ability to recognize calculation masquerading as inspiration. “You always want to ride the creative process to new territory, without being overwhelmingly novel.”

Eilen Jewell Videos:

WE SKI COUSINS: The combo features Dave Elmquist on acoustic guitar and vocals; Tony Lucas on acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, dobro, banjo, hammered dulcimer and vocals; and Jim Gold on bass, acoustic guitar and vocals. Eighteen months in the making, their debut CD “First Tracks” contains 12 tracks of folk, Americana and bluegrass-flavored original material. “It’s quite a variety,” Elmquist says, adding he penned five of the album’s songs, Lucas six, and Gold one. “I’m pretty proud of these songs. I think the lyrics are really strong.” Elmquist said the album’s lyrical content offers both fun and reflective perspectives.

Click here to sample We Ski Cousins’ music

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers

Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 8:30 pm
Machinery Row

Even after more than two decades on the road, 14 boundary bending recordings and collaborations, multiple Blues Music Awards, personal and professional breakthroughs Tommy Castro, a veteran road warrior – and one of the most successful blues musicians in the world – takes nothing for granted.

In 2012 Castro will weigh in heavily again and turn yet another corner. Stlll inspired by his blues guitar and R & B vocal contemporaries and a strong desire to push the boundaries of today’s roots music Castro has brought together an all new band he calls “The Painkillers” to do exactly that.

Foregoing the horns this time out Castro returns to a more stripped-down lineup that recalls the earlier days of the band and even features original bassist Randy McDonald along with new band mates Byron Cage on drums and James Pace on keyboards. The leaner unit allows Castro’s versatile guitar work to come to the fore and his soulful voice to tell the story in every song.

Take caution, these Painkillers could be habit forming…..

Rootsfest: Carrie Rodriguez

Friday, August 17, 2012
Forde Nursery

Love and family have always been sources of inspiration for critically acclaimed singer/songwriter/musician Carrie Rodriguez, but never have they featured so prominently than on her brand new release Love & Circumstance, a covers album that includes songs written by her father, and once performed by her great aunt.

Rodriguez’ journey from teenage violin student to touring the world with the likes of Chip Taylor (famed songwriter of “Wild Thing), Lucinda Williams and Alejandro Escovedo, has resulted in a prodigious output of recordings – eight albums in as many years – for the young musician; with the new album, Carrie relies on others to handle the songwriting duties, she provides the interpretations.

Praise for Love and Circumstance, released April 13th, 2010

  • “…simply an understated triumph. Grade: A “ – Glide Magazine (Jun 07, 2010)
  • “Carrie Rodriguez proves herself an astute interpreter of other people’s material via her latest – and best album to date.” – Lee Zimmerman/BLURT (April 21, 2010)
  • “…a case of the right album at the right time.” – Village Records (04/02/10)
  • “…her latest absolutely floored me. It’s a dozen covers so skillfully done that some of the original artists might be tempted to enter the witness protection program. If this isn’t her breakthrough album there’s no justice!” – Phoenix Brown & Lars Vigo/Off-Center Views (May 1, 2010)
  • “This is an album that you do not want to miss.” – NoDepression.net (02/04/10)
  • “Taken as a whole, the album is a slow burn reminiscent of Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball…. the best showcase of Carrie Rodriguez’s talent to date.” – Juli Thanki/Music & Musicians (May, 2010)

Carrie Rodriguez Videos:

Rootsfest: Peter Karp and Sue Foley

Friday, August 17, 2012
Forde Nursery

Gifted singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist and American troubadour, Peter Karp, is a master songsmith with an art for spinning true-to-life emotions, humor, and candor. With an upbringing that was equal parts southern Alabama and the swamps of New Jersey, Karp¹s music is fueled bythe Yankee-Rebel juxtaposition. He first caught national attention with help from Rolling Stone guitarist Mick Taylor who recorded and toured with Karp on his first label release “The Turning Point.” Karp further established himself on the national scene as a critically acclaimed songwriter, and accomplished guitarist and pianist with the release of his Blind Pig debut entitled “Shadows and Cracks.” On the road across the U.S. and Canada, Karp repeatedly transfixes his live audiences. Critics compare his songwriting to John Hiatt and John Prine, with impressive guitar and slide licks infused by his love of Freddie King and Elmore James. Peter Karp personifies the amorphous Americana sound,seamlessly blending blues and roots music with a high sense of entertainment.

Sue Foley is considered to be one of the finest blues and roots artists working today. Born to a working class family, Sue spent her early childhood moving from Canadian town to town with her mother. At sixteen, she embarked on her professional career. By twenty-one, she was living in Austin TX and recording for the legendary blues label, Antone¹s Records. Her first release, “Young Girl Blues,” quickly established her unique talents as a blues guitarist and songwriter. Throughout the 90¹s she took to the road with her paisley Telecaster and honed her craft, working and sharing the stage with such artists as BB King, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams and Tom Petty. After moving back to Canada, Sue won the prestigious Juno Award for her critically acclaimed CD “Love Coming Down” as well as seventeen Maple Blues Awards.

Peter Karp & Sue Foley Videos:

Romi Mayes featuring Jay Nowicki

Thursday, August 2, 2012, 8 pm
Machinery Row

If Keith Richards, Joan Jett and Ray Charles could somehow spawn a love child, it’d be Romi Mayes (suitably pronounced RAW-ME). Hailing from Winnipeg, Canada, and renowned as one of the hardest working independent musicians touring the globe today, Mayes has chipped away at the rock and roll stone over the past couple of decades, and now, this Juno nominated, CFMA nominated, four time WCMA award winner, has done it again. Her latest and fifth full length album, ‘Lucky Tonight’ stamps one more victory in this bad ass guitar playin lady’s discography. Featuring guitar demon Jay Nowicki of the well known rockin blues band ‘The Perpetrators’, Mayes chose to record a rare electric duo album. Not unique enough for ya? Inspired by what another Winnipeg raised artist, Neil Young, did with his 1973 release ‘Time Fades Away’, Mayes and Nowicki recorded an album of all unreleased and unrecorded brand new songs live and in one take at a sold out concert in Winnipeg in the middle of winter.
All brand new tunes.
All live.
And in one take. “Romi and Jay are an absolute force of an electric blues duo. The end result is an album that’s carefully balanced between grinding, grooving roadhouse rhythms, heartfelt guitar solos, and Romi’s aching, yearning voice and lyrics.,” says Uptown Magazine’s John Kendle.

“If Mayes isn’t already included in the realm of badass rock n’ roll songstresses, she should be after this album. This is really how rock should be.” -Grey Owl Point

“”This is the sort of sound you’d want to hear pouring out of roadhouses as you drive up expecting to get drunk and maybe fall in love.”
– David Cowling, Lead Writer, Americana UK Magazine

Romi Mayes Videos:

Paul Thorn

Thursday, July 19, 2012, 8 pm
Machinery Row

Paul Thorn took an unexpected detour on the road to recording a follow-up to his most successful release, 2010’s Pimps and Preachers. After writing many discs of semi-autobiographical tunes that have drawn comparisons to John Hiatt and John Prine, the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter – hailed as the “Mark Twain of Americana” – decided to do an album of covers. “I wanted to take a break from myself,” he reveals, “do something different, and just have fun.”

Watch these videos:

The collection, entitled What The Hell Is Goin’ On? (Perpetual Obscurity / Thirty Tigers) finds Thorn putting his own gritty rock stamp on some of his favorite songs. There are some names familiar to Americana fans (Buddy Miller, Ray Wylie Hubbard), some lesser-known (Foy Vance, Wild Bill Emerson) and some surprises. The Buckingham/Nicks tune Don’t Let Me Down Again originated on that duo’s debut, not during the Fleetwood Mac era, while the Paul Rogers/Free song that Thorn chose to cover is an obscure one, Walk In My Shadow.

STEVE YOUNG with Jubal Lee Young

Thursday, July 5, 2012: 8 pm
Machinery Row

Watch these videos:

Jubal opens the concert with high-energy, fresh sounds of earthy tunes. Then, Steve anchors the show with his no-holds-barred baritone and lightning-fast, finger-style guitar, taking the audience into the musical soul of America. His vibrant repertoire draws from Roots, Appalachian, Blues, Alt- Country, Americana, Southern Gospel, Celtic and Tejano.

“Once you’ve heard Steve Young, he’s impossible to forget.” – David Freedlander, American Songwriter

You’ll hear Steve’s own version of popular songs he’s written like “Seven Bridges Road,” “Lonesome On’ry and Mean” (Waylong and “Montgomery in the Rain.” Plus Steve and Jubal, father and son, partner on songs, trading guitar licks and artfully blending their voices in close harmonies only blood bonds can achieve. Together, they are living proof of the force of true roots music.


Steve Young is the American Troubadour – a pioneer of alt-country and Americana music and writer-composer of songs consideredmasterpieces, recorded by The Eagles, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, Waylon Jennings, Dierks Bentley, Travis Tritt, Shooter Jennings and dozens more. Keith Urban sings Steve’s “7 Bridges Road” as the first songin his concerts. And Steve’s “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” became Waylon’s signature tune

Steve counts 14 critically acclaimed recordings on his discography. His newest CD is Stories ‘Round the Horseshoe Bend, a live concert recording. Rolling Stone awarded 4 stars to two of Steve’s CDs – Renegade Picker and No Place to Fall. Billboard selected his Primal Young a “Critic’s Choice,” remarking that “Steve is a singer of major status.”

Cody Beebe and the Crooks

Friday, June 29, 2012: 8 pm
Machinery Row

Bound by their collective roots in Central Washington and Washington State University, Cody Beebe & The Crooks began performing together in February of 2009 in Seattle, WA. The band spent the following subsequent three years exploring music together and discovering what CBC was to become. The band calls it Roots Rock; some radio gurus have dubbed it Progressive Americana, and others have said “Steve Earle meets Pink Floyd.” Musically, strong elements of gritty blues, classic rock, country, and funk are obvious. More subtle are the splashes of jazz, R&B, and metal. Sometimes soaring above, sometimes smoothly crooning, sometimes twanging, and always deeply emotionally invested, their melodies and lyrics soulfully unite the sound. If their genre can’t be easily named, that says nothing of its approachability and timelessness.

Cody Beebe and the Crooks Videos:


An Evening with The Mighty King Of Love –
Phil Lee

Thursday, June 14, 2012: 8 pm
Machinery Row

Phil Lee writes intelligent songs full of wit, humor and grace that blend sizzling Dylan-esque rock and roll, country and western, mid-sixties British Invasion and medicine show sounds that end up being utterly unique and sung in a voice that can shoot straight through to your heart.

Spend an Intimate Evening with the Mighty King of Love — Phil Lee — one man, one guitar and a bag of great songs about love and death, misplaced faith, discarded spaceships, hard times and the funny side of all that. Guaranteed to please!

Phil Lee “combines the social consciousness of Woody Guthrie with the twisted fury of Jerry Lee Lewis.” — Associated Press

“Phil spills out song after brilliant song . . . his voice a reedy twin to Dylan, his storylines etching the best and worst of people living five days ahead of flat broke. He’s the most clever lyricist to ever come out of Nashville.” Keth Harrelson, Moonlight on the Mountain — Birmingham, AL

“The Don Rickles of disenfranchised nashtwang strikes again…Lee presents himself as a lovable, if formerly dangerous, rapscallion. Skirting genre boundaries between rock, soul and country with his music and writing lyrics that knock right through walls of taste, decency and political correctness without ever landing him in a punk-rockish, spittin’ for show camp.” — Peter Copper, Nashville Tenessean

Phil Lee Videos:

Deadstring Brother

Thursday, May 17, 2012: 7 pm
Machinery Row

The Deadstring Brothers’ heart beats with pure rock and roll. Simple and shor ’nuff. Built on a the unshakable foundations of blues, rock country and soul, DSB manages to create something at once totally fresh but totally recognizable. It’s all ragtops and cold beer, seeds and stems, gatefold LPs and foxy girlfriends with tight, flared jeans. You can imagine them walking as a gang down Carnaby street in London in the late 60’s, or tearing up the stage at Cobo Hall in De-troit Rock City or sweating buckets at a Muscle Shoals recording session in the 70’s. Read more….

Read a great interview with Kurt “Deadstring Brother” Marschke, where he mentions his past Rootboy shows in Great Falls! 

Fred Eaglesmith

Fred Eaglesmith Travelling Show

Friday, April 20, 2012: 7 pm
Machinery Row

Acclaimed singer, songwriter and bandleader Fred Eaglesmith is a genuine iconoclast and true original. It’s the natural result of following the cue of his musical career and now 19 albums with the January 2012 release of 6 Volts. The result is one of the most fascinating and musically rewarding careers in contemporary music.

As he has doggedly gone his own way as an independent musical artist, Eaglesmith has also enjoyed such high profile rewards in recent years as having his songs covered by country superstars Toby Keith, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert, among many other accomplishments.

Kelly Richey

Thursday, April 12, 2012: 7 pm
Machinery Row

Kelly Richey has been described as “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body with Janis Joplin screaming to get out.” That’s an apt appraisal of the Lexington, Kentucky native who’s been based in Cincinnati for many years. Richey has often been compared to such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan because of her ability to capture and entertain an audience with ripping guitar leads that both sing and astonish.

Passionate and electrifying, Kelly Richey is a master guitarist. She has been compared to such greats as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer, Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt. A professional touring musician for over 30 years, Kelly enjoys playing traditional blues, blues-based rock, indie folk and ambient blues. Infusing the music with her own inimitable style, Kelly is unique and stands among the best guitarists known today. A powerful singer and songwriter as well, Kelly will astonish you with her scorching leads, powerful vocals, and solid, well-honed musical sensibility.

Romi Mayes featuring Jay Nowicki

Thursday, February 9, 2012: 7 pm
Machinery Row

“If Mayes isn’t already included in the realm of badass rock n’ roll songstresses, she should be after this album. This is really how rock should be.” -Grey Owl Point

“”This is the sort of sound you’d want to hear pouring out of roadhouses as you drive up expecting to get drunk and maybe fall in love.”
– David Cowling, Lead Writer, Americana UK Magazine

Studebaker John and the Hawks

Thursday, February 2, 2012: 7 pm
Machinery Row

Studebaker John Grimaldi was born in an Italian-American section of Chicago and started playing harmonica at age 7. Under the spell of music he heard on Maxwell Street, Chicago’s famed blues melting pot, Grimaldi began performing as Studebaker John and the Hawks in the ‘70s. The band name referenced the Studebaker Hawk, a car Grimaldi still owns today, and was also intended as a tribute to his friend, J.B. Hutto and the Hawks. John began playing guitar after a life-changing experience of seeing Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers perform. “…Hound Dog started playing, hitting notes that sent chills up and down my spine. He was versatile and powerful and would play rhythm as well as leads. I left there knowing what I wanted to do. I had to play slide guitar.”

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