ZAK RILES, R. KEENAN LAWLER, NATHAN SALSBURG, MIKE TAMBURO, and BEN REYNOLDS at the SWAN DIVE, Tuesday, November 24

ZAK RILES (of GRAILS, from Louisville)
R. KEENAN LAWLER (from Louisville)
NATHAN SALSBURG (from Louisville)
MIKE TAMBURO (from Pittsburgh, PA; on the New American Folk Hero label)
BEN REYNOLDS (from Glasgow, Scotland; on the Tompkins Square and Strange Attractors Audio House labels)

at the SWAN DIVE
921 Swan Street
8 PM, $5, 21 and over

ZAK RILES is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in the Important/Temporary Residence band Grails. His creative contributions to the group are immeasurable and can be heard clearly on this self-titled debut solo outing. In fact some of the pieces on this solo record have been reinterpreted into Grails favorites. Like his band Grails, ZAK RILES’ solo work is an elaborate mansion built of inspiration but with so much strength and originality that it stands firmly on its own. On these rocky shores come crashing waves of Sandy Bull, Mogolar, Deuter, Popol Vuh and the Ventures while Persian breeze drifts by wafting the melodies of Hossein Alizadeh. Essential listening for followers of Important Records who favor the likes of Grails & James Blackshaw.

R. KEENAN LAWLER is a musician and sound artist based in Louisville Kentucky. For over 25 years his musical journey has taken him from early experiments with reverb tanks, noise and tape decks to all manner of avant-garde, “new” music, psychedelia, electro-acoustic, drone, ethnic and sampler-based work. LAWLER is best known for developing a highly personal and exploratory language for the metal bodied resonator guitar which Baltimore’s John Berdnt called “Cosmic, monolithic and deeply American.” Indeed his work is informed by carnatic classical, Charles Ives, Albert Ayler, blues, minimalism and non-western trance musics. Primarily a solo performer, he is also known for collaborative work. The “Keyhole II” album he recorded with Pelt and metal worker Eric Clark is one of Pelt’s most beautiful and memorable recordings, and his guitar playing is also heard on releases by Paul K., Jack Wright, My Morning Jacket and most visibily on Matmos’ “The Civil War.” He has collaborated or performed with a wide range of forward-thinking musicians and mavericks including Rhys Chatham, John Butcher, Eliott Sharp, Charalambides, Ignaz Schick/Perlonex, Kaffe Matthews, Burning Star Core, Jason Kahn, Ut Gret, Thaniel Ion Lee, Ed Wilcox, Ramesh Srinivasan, Kevin Drumm, Arco Flute Foundation, Helena Espvall, Ian Nagoski, Connor Bell, Andy Willis, Alan Licht, Taksuya Nakatani, Tom Carter, Bhob Rainey, Aaron Rosenblum, Joe Dutkiewicz, Evergreen, Eric Carbonara and Joseph Suchy.

NATHAN SALSBURG is an archivist, producer, guitarist and writer based in Louisville, Kentucky. He has worked for the Alan Lomax Archive since 2000, for which he currently serves in the capacities of production manager, photo and video archivist, and general digital catalog editor. Since 2006 he has produced and hosted “Root Hog Or Die,” a vernacular/traditional music program on East Village Radio, and is curator of the Twos & Fews recording imprint, also a vernacular music entity, and a collaboration with Chicago’s Drag City label. Its first album, I Want to Go Where Things Are Beautiful, drew on Mike Seeger’s 1982 recordings of the late miner, union activist, and singer Nimrod Workman; its second, Ouled Bambara: Portraits of Gnawa, features 2005 recordings of several master musicians of the Gnawa, a Sufi order of trance healers, living in Marrakech, Morocco. He has recently finished the production of a tribute album to the singer/guitarist E.C. Ball, late of Rugby, Virginia, entiled Face A Frowning World, due out in December 2009 on New York’s Tompkins Square label. It features contributions from Michael Hurley, Jon Langford, Catherine Irwin, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Jolie Holland, and the Handsome Family, among others. Salsburg maintains an index of on-line vernacular music resources at his blog, roothogordie.wordpress.com, and contributes occasional music writing to the Louisville Eccentric Observer and the Other Music weekly update. His most recent musical contribution was to the third volume of Tompkins Square’s Imaginational Anthem guitar compilations. He is currently working on an album of his own acoustic guitar compositions and arrangements.

MIKE TAMBURO is a 21st century Renaissance man who has forged his way into the consciousness of the American underground music community. For the past 13 years, Tamburo has been relentlessly releasing records (31 releases and counting) under different monikers and projects including Meisha, Arco Flute Foundation & various imprints under his own name. He has performed over 500 shows all over the United States, traveling to every nook and cranny, searching for some kind of an understanding of what America truly is. Though always considering himself a multi-instrumentalist, he gained fame and notoriety with his fingerstyle guitar playing and his idiosyncratic use of effects; only to swear himself off of the acoustic guitar, eventually setting it on fire and hurling it off of Pittsburgh’s 40th Street Bridge. His effects soon followed. Tamburo is a man who continues to reinvent himself, recently finding his new musical passion in the hammered dulcimer; building upon his own unique compositional stylings, he has developed a voice for the instrument that is very much his own. He is greatly inspired by American folk and minimalist music traditions as well as Indian classical music, but often expands outward to include influences from avant-garde to noise to modern compositional music. A Tamburo performance is always a very transportive experience. Tamburo is also an artist, film maker, writer, instrument builder, curator of the Fantastic Voyagers Festivals, Kundalini Yoga and Pranayama devotee, and inner state researcher; exploring alpha and theta states, floatation tanks, ethnobotany, orgone energy, and ecstatic states of being. He also runs the New American Folk Hero label, which continues to release an eclectic roster of creative and experimental musics.

BEN REYNOLDS is a songwriter, solo steel string guitarist and improviser. He has released two proper solo albums, How Day Earnt Its Night (on the Tompkins Square label) and Two Wings (on the Strange Attractors Audio House label). Outside of solo concerns he has been a collaborator/contributor to various musical projects including Motor Ghost (a duo with Alex Neilson), Baby Dee, Ashtray Navigations, Nalle, and Directing Hand amongst others. Ben is also a member of Trembling Bells, a band featuring Alex Neilson, Lavinia Blackwall, Simon Shaw and sometimes George Murray and Aby Vulliamy. Their debut album Carbeth was released in April, 2009 by Honest Jon’s to glowing reports from the likes of Will Oldham and Joe Boyd.

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