Telling a tale of broken hearts and fresh starts, Eden’s new video arrives with perfect timing: on Valentine’s Day.

Eden Brent has already earned a heap of praise for her latest album Jigsaw Heart: two Blues Music Award nominations (including Acoustic Album of the Year), several months on the blues radio charts and rapturous quotes like “It smoked a hole in our soul” (Blues Music Magazine). She’s about to do the same with her brand-new video for the album’s title track, a beautiful little film mostly shot in front of the church at Mont Helena, a 19th-century plantation home near Rolling Fork, Mississippi.

The video was produced by Mississippi filmmaker Robbie Fisher, creator of the award-winning documentaries “Boogaloo & Eden: Sustaining the Sound” and “Delta 180: Changing Lives in the Mississippi Delta,” and was directed by Aaron Phillips, also a Mississippian.  Mississippi actors and musicians star alongside Eden in the Jigsaw Heart video, too, making this a Magnolia State affair from top to bottom.

Love, like everything else on Earth, is impermanent. That old church still standing in Eden’s new video? “It collapsed, three months after we shot the video,” says Eden. Watch her soul-stirring new video (and probably the last footage of that old Mississippi church as it premieres today on The Boot.

Eden Brent - Jigsaw Heart Video

2015 Blues Music AwardsAlso Adds Another “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year” Nomination to her C.V.

For the third time in a row (how many artists can claim THAT?), Eden Brent has released an album that’s earned a Blues Music Award “best album” nomination. Previously, Mississippi Number One earned an Acoustic Album of the Year win, then Ain’t Got No Troubles was nominated for Album of the Year. Now, her sparkling new Jigsaw Heart has once again earned her an Acoustic Album of the Year nomination.

Eden’s proven herself in the scene as a triple threat: piano master, soulful singer and superb songwriter. This is a good time, though, to underscore just how much acclaim she’s gotten for her piano skills alone. This is the fifth time in the last seven years that she’s earned a “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year” nomination from the BMAs — and there are a lot of great piano players out there! Congratulations, Eden.

The Claudettes were eating a vegan breakfast (despite the omnivorous protests of at least one of the members) in a Michigan cafe when the text messages starting coming in: they were currently being featured on Sound Opinions. Hosted by renowned music critics Gret Kot and Jim DeRogatis, “The World’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Talk Show” is heard on NPR stations all around the country each week.

Infernal Piano Plot…Hatched was picked by Kot as one of his “Buried Treasures” of the year — albums that might be flying under the radar but deserve more attention.  Miss Claudette was thrilled at Kot’s praise of her band and his chronicle of her business operations, too. Thank you, Sound Opinions!

Mississippi Piano Powerhouse brings her renowned skills and a set of soul-baring new songs to Nashville

Take Eden Brent to a Nashville studio and you’ll still hear the sound of the Mississippi Delta. There’s no way around that. Say you’ve decided to drive from New Orleans to Nashville. Whichever way you go — straight up 55 or heading northeast on 59 — you’re gonna cut across Eden’s home state of Mississippi. And that’s precisely the route Eden’s recording career just took, as her last album — Ain’t Got No Troubles (recorded in New Orleans in 2010) — gives way to her deepest, most personal album yet: Jigsaw Heart, recorded in Nashville but shot through with Eden’s Mississippi roots.

She chose to record this soulful slice of Americana at Ben’s Studio (Ben Folds), formerly the historic RCA Studio A, laying down the tracks live and with minimal isolation. True to life, Eden had to journey through Mississippi to get from New Orleans (the location of her last recording) to Nashville (the site of her new one), stirring up the echoes of her past and reaching out to her stable of longtime friends to create this riveting, reflective new work.

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We’re jazzed as usual about the Blues Music Awards on Thursday, May 8, and we’re looking forward in particular to our Yellow Dog Records showcase, which takes place Thursday afternoon, prior to the big awards ceremony that night, and features three artists who have been on quite a roll lately. First, at 12:45 p.m., our always-in-demand, deep-blues dynamo Colin Linden — who recently toured as Bob Dylan’s guitarist and wrapped his second season on ABC’s Nashville — steps up to the mic, ready to rivet the crowd with his world-renowned guitar mastery.

Then, at 1:45 p.m., Cassie Taylor — just a few weeks removed from her month-plus European tour — brings her blues-soul power to the stage, playing songs from her latest album Out of My Mind and more.

At 2:45, the piano lid gets lifted as Eden Brent closes our showcase with songs from her brand-new Yellow Dog Records release Jigsaw Heart (out May 6). Eden is touring a ton surrounding the arrival of her fantastic new album, so she will be at the peak of her formidable powers as she takes the stage.

It all goes down at BB King’s at 143 Beale Street. This is free and open to the public, so come join us as we bask in these soul-satisfying sounds!

Asylum Street Spankers Wake Up in the Morning and Find a Butt-Load of Wonderful New Asylum Street Spankers Recordings.  Do Any of You Have Any Idea Where These Came From?

If you know the story of the Asylum Street Spankers, you probably know that the group was founded in 1994 at a booze-filled party at the Dabbs Hotel along the river in Llano, Texas, and for the next seventeen years left a swath of astounded audiences in its wake. Well, it appears that America’s favorite old-time hellraisers have once again musically triumphed over overindulgence and memory loss. Or have they?

Christina Marrs, Nevada Newman, Charlie King and the other Spankers do recall getting together to play their final shows ever in April of 2011. They all remember setting up the three-day “The Last Laugh” finale in their hometown of Austin, Texas at the Cactus Café, Ruta Maya and Spider House Ballroom. But, honestly, that’s the last thing any of them remember.

Look: it’s embarrassing for such an acclaimed band as this to have to admit that they honestly don’t remember where their final album came from. What becomes clear upon listening to these recordings is that none of these songs has ever been recorded by the Asylum Street Spankers before. What’s even clearer is this: the band is in their finest form ever here, living up to their firmly cemented reputation as an acoustic powerhouse. Who else can blend string-band virtuosity, multi-instrumental skills, tight vocal harmonies and counterculture wit like this?

Clearly, these were unforgettable nights for all those who packed the clubs and cheered on their internationally beloved hometown heroes. Hazily, the Spankers figure these must have been some of the most treasured personal moments of their 17-year career. Imagine the satisfaction of taking their fans through one last journey together, from the Tin Pan Alley and vaudeville echoes of their sound, to the country, blues, jazz and swing songs they’ve borrowed and created, all filtered through the punk-rock ethos at their core. “It must have really been something,” Christina muses.

ima_logo

Each year, artists and labels everywhere (in a wide range of genres) anxiously await the posting of the IMA nominees. Here at Yellow Dog Records, we’ve learned to feel good about our chances, as we’ve now seen our artists nominated in seven straight years.

In the 2014 R&B category, The Soul of John Black (whose album Good Thang netted an IMA in 2012) has been nominated for Soul Album (A Sunshine State of Mind) and Soul Song (Higher Power). And our piano-drums powerhouse The Claudettes has been nominated for Instrumental Album (Infernal Piano Plot…HATCHED!) and Long Form Music Video (The Claudettes: Live in the Studio). Well done, boys.

The general public is invited to vote in each of these categories for the IMA’s “Vox Populi” award. Visit the links below to check out these songs, albums and videos…and vote!


Cassie Taylor - European tour 2014She’s only in her mid-20s, but Cassie Taylor is already a bona-fide road dog, having been in planes, trains and automobiles with her father Otis Taylor since her teen years. The soulful vocals and rock-solid bass skills she brought to her dad’s shows are now front and center as Cassie embarks on a sizable swing through Europe that will find her belting out her songs all across Germany and in Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

It all starts today at Das Bett in Frankfurt and winds down at Bluesiana in Velden, Austria on April 11. That, right there, is a tour, folks. Cassie is NOT messing around, on her latest album Out of My Mind (available on CD or white vinyl) or on her 44-day European tour that begins today!

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logo_bluesmobileWho loves the blues more deeply, more enduringly, more outwardly than Elwood Blues — a.k.a. Dan Aykroyd?  Mr. Aykroyd has been “on a mission from God” to spread the word about his favorite records for many a decade… most recently with his award-winning BluesMobile Radio Hour.

Each week, Aykroyd picks his favorite song — his Blues Breaker of the week — and shines a bright light on it; this week, his spotlight is squarely on The Claudettes and their killer cut “Tide Pool” from their Yellow Dog Records debut Infernal Piano Plot…HATCHED! .

Read what Mr. Aykroyd had to say about the band (and their too-bizarre-not-to-be-true back story) right here and listen to his introduction and the track itself right in the player below.  Thanks for the shout-out, Elwood!

bluesandmusicnews_logoJohnny Iguana has been playing piano at Buddy Guy’s Legends since his days in the Junior Wells Blues Band. He’s been on stage there with Buddy himself countless times and with a host of other Chicago blues royals, too.

And so Johnny was taken aback when some of the staff at Buddy’s reacted with, shall we say, bemusement when Johnny brought his Claudettes to Buddy’s legendary stage on Friday the 13th of September of last year. The band’s unorthodox stage show ruffled certain feathers at Legends that night — but now, the official Buddy Guy word on the Claudettes’ music is out… and the word is good.

Check out this positively glowing review of the Claudettes’ Yellow Dog debut Infernal Piano Plot…HATCHED! in Buddy’s own music-news magazine, BG. This piece not only raves about the record, but also places it within the continuum of the constantly evolving sound of Chicago blues. Right back ‘atcha, BG!

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