News & Updates

Cuko Rakko 2014
Posted on Wednesday October 01, 2014 By Jessica Brasher

Come hangout and celebrate with us CukoRakko’s Fall Festival this weekend, October 3-5. Taking place at Horse Pens 40, a natural wonderland and music amphitheater in Steele, Alabama, join us and experience that “magic feeling on the mountain”.

Recently named “Jamcaster of the Year” by the Homegrown Music Network for 2011, Wildman Steve will be presiding as master of ceremonies for the fest.  Wildman Steve’s unique programming has brought the acclaim of music lovers everywhere and was awarded Station of the Year by New Music Weekly four years in a row (2004, '05, '06 & '07), and by the Homegrown Music Network in 2007. In addition he was named Program Director of the Year in 2007 by New Music Weekly. Wildman Steve continues to play the washboard as part of the Bibb City Ramblers, and sitting in with such bands as Pyrite Parachute, moe., Col. Bruce Hampton, Rollin' In The Hay, and many others.”



Sam Holt and friends are honoring Widespread Panic’s founding guitarist, Michael Houser, performing a show ‘Remembering Mikey‘ – Honoring the Music, Memory and Spirit of Michael Houser.

The show will feature Houser originals, from his posthumous release Sandbox, as well as songs he wrote for Widespread Panic.  Holt will also perform a number of songs he wrote for and inspired by Houser.


Sam Holt and Friends – Remembering Mikey “Gimme, You Got Yours” Cervantes, Denver


CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival will feature bands such as Sam Holt Music: Remembering Mikey, Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret. & The Madrid Express, Downright, Rollin' In The Hay, Dank Sinatra, Festival Expressions, River Dan & His Band, WildmanSteve Radio, Rodeo Trio, Rescue Dogs Band, Dj COCO, DMFR, DJ Jeffrey James, Gospel Brunch with William Barnes & Marquita Anthony, Pyrite Parachute, and more!

The 2014 Cuko Rakko Fall fest will also feature mixed media arts including glass blowing and blacksmithing, yoga, rock climbing, hiking, kid’s activities, craft vending, food & drinks and much more. There will also be a PDGA Disc Golf Tournament. Purchase your tickets today if you haven’t already!

Gates will open at 8am on Friday and will be open until the event is over. Check out the lineup and schedule below.


Friday – Oct. 3

Acroyoga                                                                                                                                             4:00pm – 6:00pm

The Film “Basically Frightened: The Musical Madness of Col. Bruce Hampton”

Rodeo Trio                                                                                                                                          5:00pm – 6:30pm

Rollin’ in the Hay                                                                                                                              8:30pm – 9:45pm

Downright                                                                                                                                           10:30pm – 12:00am

DMFR AFTERPARTY                                                                                                                         12:00am – 1:30am

Saturday – Oct. 4

Pranyama and Kundalini Yoga with Akasha                                                                           7:00am – 8:30am

Ashtanga Yoga with Akasha                                                                                                         9:00am – 10:30am

Pyrite Parachute                                                                                                                              11:00am – 12:30pm

Rescue Dogs                                                                                                                                      2:00pm – 3:00pm

Col. Bruce Hampton & The Madrid Express                                                                          4:30pm – 6:00pm

Dank Sinatra                                                                                                                                       7:00pm – 8:30pm

Festival Expressions                                                                                                                        9:00pm – 11:00pm

DJ COCO AFTERPARTY                                                                                                                    11:30pm – 1:00am

Sunday – Oct. 5

Ashtanga Yoga with Justinn                                                                                                         9:00am – 10:30am

Gospel Brunch with William Barnes & Marquita Anthony                                                               10:30am – 12:30pm

River Dan & His Band                                                                                                                      12:30pm – 2:00pm

DJ Jeffrey James                                                                                                                              2:00pm – 3:00pm

Sam Holt & Friends: Remembering Michael Houser                                                          3:00pm – 5:00pm


Weekend Charitable Contributions will go toward The Tom Blessing Medical Fund, Michael Houser Foundation, Coosa Riverkeeper, & Sons Of Vulcan School of Metal Work.

Flow Tribe at Zydeco
Posted on Thursday September 25, 2014 By Jessica Brasher

Flow Tribe's New EP Moves Feet And Cracks Backs In The Big Easy

Alligator White, released September 9, Shows Full Spread of New Orleans' Band Funky, Rhythmic Sound

New Orleans, LA: "Back cracking music." That's how the New Orleans natives in Flow Tribe describe their sound. It's a groove-based gumbo, a mixture of classic Louisiana traditions (funk, jazz, electric blues) and modern-day influences (rock, hip-hop). It's music that moves. Music that hits you in the heart and the feet. Music that sounds as celebratory as the Big Easy itself.

 More than anything, though, its music that gets you dancing.

 "It's a genre of movement and rhythm," says John Michael Early, one of six childhood friends who formed the band while attending high school in the Crescent City. "We're rooted in funk. We move a lot onstage, and we want the audience to move, too. You won't hear us do a lot of ballads. We're not gonna cry with you, but if you are crying, we'll help you forget whatever's troubling you."

Flow Tribe's latest release, Alligator White, (is the crystallization of a sound that's been brewing since those early days. The hooks are bigger. The production is crisper.  The results are an EP that bounces between funk, rock and Latin music. There's no better representation of Flow Tribe's wide-ranging capabilities... apart from the band's live show, of course.

Catch up with Flow Tribe and see them LIVE at Zydeco October 4. Get your tickets here. Can’t make it? Check out Flow Tribe’s 2014 Tour dates

Link to Alligator White

Follow link to Flow Tribe's Tour dates

Click here to get your tickets for October 4th show at Zydeco

Pyrite Parachute Looking Forward To Cuko Rakko
Posted on Sunday September 21, 2014 By Jessica Brasher

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the second annual Cuko Rakko Music & Arts Festival. Taking place at Horse Pens 40, a breathtaking mystical natural amphitheater the festival will feature an outstanding lineup of musicians. One of only three bands to repeat the spring and fall festivals, Pyrite Parachute is scheduled to perform on the main stage Saturday, October 4 at 11am.

Festival director Greg Entrekin is excited to have Pyrite Parachute return to Cuko Rakko’s fall festival. “They are 20 year seasoned musicians and have had success locally and regionally, however, in my opinion, [Pyrite Parachute] is extremely under rated. They have brilliant original material and studio albums.” (Greg Entrekin, Festival Director)


Pyrite Parachute plans to release their first EP and is scheduled for some time in late October. Like their first single released earlier this year this song is also only available via stream from


Pyrite Parachute has always been about doing something different. The band was formed on a whim by musicians who were looking for a no holds barred creative outlet.


From the beginning it was obvious that the diverse influences in jazz, blues, rock and country were going to compliment, not clash. “It’s like making a stew. It takes all the different ingredients together to make it right… to make it good.” says Joey Howard, lead singer and guitarist for the band.


That mixing of influences gives Pyrite Parachute a sound that is difficult to fit into a genre. Everything from blues to jazz to country to calypso is fair game, and while the song genre may change, the sound remains unmistakable. “We move around a lot musically during a set and even more during a show. The closest you may get to classifying us is a term a festival we played used: ‘progressive southern rock’ — which I’m not even sure is a classification…” offers Donnie Garvich, the band’s keyboard player.


Chip Dews, Pyrite Parachute’s lead guitarist adds “It’s fun to play music without boundaries. You can get on stage with these guys and just cut loose. Whatever you do it won’t be too much, or too little. It just ends up sounding good. There’s a lot of territory you can explore when you have that kind of freedom.” “You end up moving between musical feelings pretty seamlessly, which is something not every band can do. It gets pretty addictive pretty quickly.” adds Keith Weber, drummer. “It definitely frees you up to do whatever you want, however you want, whenever you want…” adds Chip “… and that’s kind of what Pyrite Parachute is all about.”


Recently we were given the opportunity to chat with Donnie Garvich, the band’s keyboard player. Donnie talks about their upcoming show at Cuko Rakko, a little about last May’s festival and their first EP that will be available later in October.


Q: How do you guys feel about being 1 of only 3 bands invited back for Cuko Rakko's Fall Festival?

A: “The simplest way to say it is that we feel honored. We were excited to be involved in the initial Cuko Rakko in the spring and to be asked back was just some really nice icing on the cake. We’re really into what Cuko Rakko is doing and their approach to doing it, so being included with such a fantastic lineup of artists twice is something really cool for us.


Q: When moved, due to a rain delay, from the main stage to the Pavilion back in May was your performance effected at all? As a result, were there any last minute changes made to the show you had planned?

A: “Every show has what we call a “twist” to it. There’s always something that happens that you didn’t plan on and Cuko Rakko in the spring was no different. There had been nothing but beautiful weather in the area leading up to the festival and then, that morning, wham… cold and rain. Keith, our drummer, hadn’t brought his own kit because we were back lining the drums. He was running around for an hour prior to the show trying to get the main stage kit, a kit he was unfamiliar with, ready and playable. Of course, Keith’s a pro so none of us feel like it impacted the actual show, but the normal preshow process we go through was… shall we say, a little more tense than normal. The only other thing, other than the obvious stuff like being cold and wet, was that I didn’t have my Hammond on stage. I chose instead to go with a two keyboard setup, so I had to make some creative choices to make the keyboard parts work. I think in the end, though, because we’re such an improvisational band we really don’t get too shaken over things going not according to plan. Because, let’s be honest, we don’t really get hung up on having a plan anyhow.


Q: What was it like to have Wildman Steve sit in on the washboard?

A: “Oh that was fantastic. Chip and I originally met Wildman at an Umphrey’s McGee show a few years back. Chip has been a fan of his for years and after I met him I’d become a fan as well. We talked to Wildman before the set and asked if he would like to jump in with us at some point. He was a little unsure, because he’d never heard us play, so we told him if he felt that the music was something he wanted to participate in he could just jump on stage whenever. It didn’t take him long to reach that decision, which was cool. After our first song break, Wildman jumped on stage and just fell in lock step with Keith and Aaron. I think we ended up doing about a 20 minute jam with him… I think we did “What’s Mine” and maybe even ended up in “Steppin’ Out” by Joe Jackson at some point which was kind of hilarious and fun; there’s video of it somewhere. We’re all big fans of Wildman and what he’s done for years to push music that a lot of mainstream channels seem to ignore, so having him feel like what we were doing was something he wanted to jump in on was cool to us in a lot of ways.


Q: How do you guys feel about being chosen to play first on Saturday on the Main stage?

A: “We’re definitely really excited to be part of that Saturday morning / afternoon lineup. Have you seen that thing? It’s insane. I think it’s going to be us, Rescue Dogs, who we love, and then The Madrid Express and the Colonel himself. How can you really want more than that? We’re looking forward to getting people moving around more as lunch time approaches, so we’re excited to see how that works out.


Q: Do you plan on one long set or will you take advantage of a set break?

A: “We hate set breaks, we really do. They break up our musical conversation. If we’re given any time slot that we can physically play without compromising the music because of fatigue we’ll just keep playing.


Q: Have you guys been working on any new material since you were at Cuko Rakko in May?

A: “Absolutely! We’ve been writing and recording pretty much nonstop since then, actually not playing any shows so we could get some of these songs close to complete. We finished recording our first EP and released two studio tracks in the time between the spring and fall festivals. The EP, “One Week” is now in the process of going through branding and marketing and all that stuff, but it should be out pretty soon after the festival.


Q: What kind of covers could we possibly hear or have you done most frequently in the past? Would you say there is a specific band you generally go to the most for covers?

A: “That’s a tough one to answer, as we definitely focus on our original music far more than covers. A lot of times covers just happen with us, someone starts teasing a song we all know and we just follow them into playing it. Those tunes are always varied and will range from movie scores to Herbie Hancock to The Allman Brothers Band to Neil Young. There are also times, though, where we fall in love with a cover. In those cases we tend to gravitate blues / rock / jam bands like The Allman Brothers Band and Widespread Panic, progressive / jazz acts like Weather Report, Traffic or even classic rock acts like The Rolling Stones. We’re just kind of all over the map and anything, realistically, can and will happen during our sets. We just kind of go with it and our fans seem to like the variance and the possibility that any song may happen at any time.


Q: Will you be touring or have any shows scheduled after Cuko Rakko?

A: “We will! We’re booking now for winter shows. We already have a couple on the books that we haven’t announced yet and we’re working on more. We’re going to be getting back out around the Southeast after this time recording and writing and we’re excited to reconnect with the fans we’ve met along the way and see if they like the work we’ve been doing.


Pyrite Parachute at Cuko Rakko


The 2014 Cuko Rakko Fall fest will also feature mixed media arts including glass blowing and blacksmithing, yoga, rock climbing, hiking, kid’s activities, craft vending, craft beer, food & drinks and much more. There will also be a PDGA Disc Golf Tournament and a Home Brew Beer Contest.


With a max occupancy of only 2000 people better get your tickets while they’re still available!


See ya’ll there!


Hard Working Americans Announce Release of "The First Waltz"
Posted on Monday September 08, 2014 By Jessica Brasher


Photo by Jay Blakesberg

Nashville, TN – Hard Working Americans, featuring Todd Snider, Dave Schools, Neal Casal, Duane Trucks, Chad Staehly and Jesse Aycock, has announced the release of The First Waltz on October 28. The First Waltz is both a live album and live concert rockumentary film, which will be sold together in a special two-disc package via Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers. Take a look at this trailer of The First Walt.


In January, the band released their self-titled debut album to much critical acclaim that included Rolling Stone, NPR’s Fresh Air, Huffington Post, Relix and a TV debut performance on Conan. Hard Working Americans reached #1 on the iTunes Rock Chart and #1 on the Americana radio chart, where the album remained in the top 5 for 13 weeks. The band also received an Americana Music Award nomination for Best Duo/Group of the Year and will be performing on the awards show on September 17.
In The First Waltz, filmmaker Justin Kreutzmann (The Who, Grateful Dead) chronicles the band’s first collaboration, the making of their debut album and their sold-out, first-ever live performance in Boulder, CO. The band wanted to capture that first performance, as risky as that could be, and use it no matter what the outcome. Fortunately, the show was a major success, leading to a string of sold-out performances.  The film features interviews with band members, as well as extensive behind-the-scenes footage. The First Waltz CD features a selection of songs featured in the film, as well as live tracks from the first tour. The album includes the brand new studio track, “Come From The Heart”, with Rosanne Cash, that also closes the film.  
The First Waltz will premiere via a special showing, followed by a Q&A with the band and Kreutzmann, on September 16 at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville. The second showing will be at midnight in NYC on September 20 at The City Winery following the band’s Beacon Theater performance that evening. Leading up to the release, The First Waltz will have multiple showings on Palladia with the first airing on October 24 at 9pm EST.
Hard Working Americans – The First Waltz
Track Listing
1. “Blackland Farmer”
2. “Another Train/Working Man Blues”
3. “Play A Train Song”
4. “Mission Accomplished”
5. “Run A Mile”
6. “I Don’t Have A Gun”
7. “The Mountain Song” 
8. “Straight To Hell”
9. “Stomp and Holler”
10. “Guaranteed”
11. “Wrecking Ball”
12. “Come From The Heart” (Featuring Rosanne Cash)
Catch Hard Working Americans On Tour
Hard Working Americans – Tour Dates
Sept. 17 – Americana Music Conference – Nashville, TN
Sept. 19 – Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA #
Sept. 20 – Beacon Theater   –  New York, NY 
Sept. 21 - Howard Theatre – Washington, DC #
Nov. 11 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA %
Nov. 12 – The Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR %
Nov. 13 – Phoenix Theater – Petaluma, CA %
Nov. 14 – The Regency Ballroom –  San Francisco, CA %
Nov. 15  – Cocoanut Grove  – Santa Cruz, CA %
Nov. 16  – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
# - with Todd Sheaffer of Railroad Earth
% - with The Congress
Hard Working Americans TV debut performance of “Stomp and Holler” on Conan

Duquette Johnston with Armand Margjeka
Posted on Friday September 05, 2014 By Jessica Brasher




Friday, September 12, 7:30pm
Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center
It promises to be unlike any show you’ve caught of his before. With special opener Armand Margjeka, this is a show you don’t want to miss. Get your tickets here TODAY!
The ASC is excited to present Duquette Johnston one of the most talented artists to emerge from Birmingham’s music scene. This performance brings together Johnstons rock band with orchestral musicians, forming the largest band the artist has performed with to date. “I’ve been performing with a nine-piece band which includes my string quartet, but being able to play in the ASC’s Sirote Theatre will allow me the space and setting to bring the orchestra I have envisioned over the last year to life,” says Johnston.
The 2013 groundbreaking release, Rabbit Runs a Destiny, is new territory for Johnston, unveiling a voice that’s willing to be both vulnerable and strong. Anchored by sweeping and majestic sonic landscapes, Rabbit shows a musician firmly in control of his craft, but unafraid to grow and dig deeper. These songs mark a new journey for Duquette Johnston, and one that’s worth hitching a ride to follow.
As a songwriter and producer, opening artist Armand Margjeka has developed a reputation for his fascination with the process of making great records: the intentional, incidental, and accidental sounds breathing life into a recording and embodying its unique character. Margjeka’s sophomore album, Hummingbird, is available now from Birmingham’s PIPEANDGUN and Communicating Vessels.
Duquette Johnston - Dancing Song (Official Video)

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