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Independent country singer and songwriter Ben Donovan talks about the debut album release in 2015:

“I grew up in Virginia, raised on country and bluegrass music. I also sang in church. Mom’s family reunions turned into all-afternoon picking sessions. Dad always had “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo” on in the house. I started the band when I was living up in Burlington, Vermont while going to college there. It started as a pick-up thing; we’d play country standards in bars on Saturday nights. It’s kind of an uphill battle, in those parts–country music, roots music, just isn’t part of the vernacular up there, so we needed to be the loudest, weirdest thing in town if we were gonna get anybody’s attention. So I went online and became a reverend for $18–now we weren’t just playing badass country music, we were saving your goddamn soul too.

We recorded the debut album Reverend Ben Donovan and the Congregation (released August 2015 by Future Fields) in the dead of winter in Burlington, in a studio above a bar and across from the divorce court. Tracked about 20 songs in two days. We’d make a couple passes at a song, step outside for a smoke, walk into the bar for a shot, then back up to the studio. Sing, smoke, drink, repeat. We didn’t sleep much. Figured the best way to do the songs justice was to record them the same way I’d lived ’em–fast, dirty, sincere, and with little regard for my own health.

The songs reflect the music of the honky-tonk heroes I grew up on–guys like Hank Williams, Buck Owens, Gram Parsons–but aren’t trapped under that tradition either. On this record, you’ll hear everything from old-fashioned juke-joint country to loud, badass rock and roll, to old-time gospel standards. Drinking songs. Traveling songs. Degenerate love ballads. There’s something for everybody. I hope y’all dig it.”


“As for San Juan Peaks”, specifically:

“San Juan Peaks is about a breakup I had a few years back, told through the story of a road trip we took across the country right before things went south. It’s a song about how two well-intentioned people can grow apart, and how sometimes the worst heartbreaks aren’t necessarily anybody’s fault–it’s just the way things go sometimes. You learn a lot about somebody when you spend a month or two living with them in a Honda Civic, and they learn a lot about you. Sometimes you learn a little too much.”


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Rock band Sevendust has been together since the 90’s and is originally based out of Georgia. The band released their first studio album (self-titled) in 1997. Ten studio albums later, Kill The Flaw was released on October 2nd, 2015.

Album: Kill The Flaw

Video: “Not Today” (Lyric Video)


English drum & bass group Rudimental was formed in 2010 and released their second studio album titled We The Generation on October 2nd, 2015. The music video “We The Generation” feat. Mahalia was released on September 22, 2015.

Album: We The Generation

Video: “We The Generation” feat. Mahalia


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The rock group Collective Soul is based out of Georgia and was formed in the early 90s. The band is lead by guitarist and vocalist Ed Roland. Roland is the member that founded the band and has been in the band since the very beginning. Collective Soul released the debut album Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid in 1993, and more than 20 years later, the album See What You Started by Continuing was released on October 2nd, 2015.

Album: See What You Started by Continuing


The Naturalists

The rock band The Naturalists are based out of Buffalo, New York and are releasing an EP titled Home Honey I’m Hi in late October of 2015. The band released the single and music video “Potions” in Early September. When New Millennium Music asked what they had to say about their new music and first EP recordings, here is what drummer Travis Perno had to say –

Travis Perno: “We’re putting the EP (“Home Honey, I’m Hi”) out through the upstate New York based Dadstache Records. They have other amazing artists on the label like Comfy, Scope, Figure and Dumb Angel. There’s a lot of talent in the label’s family. They’ve all been great so far and we can’t wait to get this EP out for everyone to hear. The release show will be at Nietzsche’s in Buffalo, NY on the day the EP comes out, October 30th. We’ll have Dadstache limited run cassette tapes of the EP for sale there as well as available on the label’s webstore and plently of other digital formats. We’ll then be hitting the road for a few weeks in November to promote the EP”

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“When we decided to record this EP with Paul Besch at Quiet Country Audio, we initially walked in thinking we were going to be recording two singles. Once we heard how good the songs were turning out and how well we were connecting with Besch, we decided to go all in and record our entire first EP with him. The studio was a bit outside of Buffalo and it was during that horrible winter storm that lasted like 3 months around the area, so we would be driving through ice and eventually get to the studio where we would sit, basically barricaded inside just pumping out these songs that would eventually become the tracks on Home Honey, I’m Hi.”

“This year has been busy for us and we’ve been on the road a lot trying to promote this new EP. We did a few east coast tours and have been steadily playing in Manhattan or Brooklyn as well as our home town, Buffalo, NY. Buffalo’s always a good time for playing shows. The bars are open until 4am, so them Buffalonians are out looking for some live music to get good stinkin’ drunk to.”

“I would say as a band we’re particularity easy going. We don’t really need a lot. Our van is tiny, our gear is beat up, our bass player smells, but that’s what works for us. We just want to drive around and play music for as long as we can. We’ve been lucky so far to be able to do that as well and see some new places and meet a ton of awesome new people along the way.”

Video: “Potions”


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Blackalicious member Gift Of Gab at the Star Theater in Portland, Oregon on 9/26/2015
Blackalicious member Gift Of Gab at the Star Theater in Portland, Oregon on 9/26/2015

Hip hop duo Blackalicious released their first studio album in ten years titled Imani Vol. 1 on September 18th, 2015. The album is contains 16 tracks and is the result of more than 20 years of experience in hip hop. Members Chief Xcel (DJ) and rapper Gift Of Gab have been collaborating since the 90’s and have released four studio albums since the formation of Blackalicious. The duo is based out of the Northern California area and has roots in Sacramento and the Bay Area. Blackalicious performed live at locations in the Pacific Northwest immediately following the release of the album Imani Vol. 1, with more than 20 tour dates scheduled in Europe in October and November of 2015. Imani Vol. 1 is the first of a three volume series to be released over the next few years.

Blackalicious was accompanied by hip hop artist Lateef the Truthspeaker and the group Lifesavas for the concert that was held at the Star Theater in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, September 26th, 2015. Warming up the crowd as a DJ was Producer/Emcee Jumbo, who joined everyone on the front of the stage as an MC later in the evening. All associated acts of the concert joined in with Blackalicious in the late evening hours, demonstrating a very on-point performance by everyone.

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One notable media outlet and non-profit organization that was in attendance was Legacy Youth Media. LYM is based out of Portland, Oregon and provides programs for youths to engage in training for video, stage and media production. The focus of the organization is to create the best media program possible to help educate, build confidence and provide equipment to youths to further their life goals. LYM has also has a proposal in the works for a Heritage Summer Soulfest to bring people and organizations together to celebrate diversity and paths that lead to success of the growing generations.

Album: Imani Vol. 1


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