About the artist
Description provided by artist representative
|The Atlas||Phantasmagoria|| |
|Mind vs The Media, Part 1 (2004 demo)||Phantasmagoria (Deluxe Version)|| |
|The New Handshake||Phantasmagoria|| |
|The Escape (Single Version)||Phantasmagoria|| |
|Mind vs The Media, Part 2 (2004 demo)||Phantasmagoria (Deluxe Version)|| |
|Step Outside Your Mind||Phantasmagoria (Deluxe Version)|| |
|Step Outside Your Mind (Single Version)||Phantasmagoria|| |
|Where Do We Go From Here? (2004 demo)||Phantasmagoria (Deluxe Version)|| |
|Dear John||Phantasmagoria|| |
|Into the Light (Live Improv Jam, 2012)||Phantasmagoria (Deluxe Version)|| |
The latest CD—Blues and Beyond—from guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, Chris Stevens cooks a simmering stew of acoustic music: one pound of CLASSIC BLUES, eight ounces of POP song sensibility, blended with a huge helping of TODAY.
Chris has performed on the primary festival stages in central Illinois including: Budweiser Illinois Blues Festival, Miller Lite Illinois Blues Festival, Budweiser Grand Nationals, Summer Camp, Taste of Peoria, Frost Yer Buns and a stint as the guitar player for the touring cast of Hairspray at the Peoria Civic Center.
“…a background of musical expertise, talent and credentials that will impress even the difficult to please.”
Jubilee Advocate, Toulon, Illinois
Chris co-founded the successful Blues-Rock trio, LIAR’S DICE. He co-wrote, played the guitars and sang on the self-titled album. The album contained the song “Don’t Change the Answer” which climbed to #2 on KSYM-FM in San Antonio, Texas. The song also reached #4 on WWVU-FM in Charleston, West Virginia. Two other songs on the album, a cover of the Ides of March “Vehicle” and another original song “Like-A-Roller” both climbed to #5 on WERG-FM in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Years of playing ‘cover songs’ and learning the signature licks of Eric Clapton, Freddie King, Carlos Santana, Duane Allman, Buddy Guy and many others help Chris bring a passionate, improvisational style of lead guitar and vocals to the studio and live performance stage.
When you want to enjoy a show in the heavens reach for some new stars, the unknown players and 'no-name' bands who have honed their skills on a thousand late night gigs, in hundreds of different clubs, concerts and anywhere else they let us play.
It all started with a dream, or maybe it was the lack of sleep driving home from a great gig. Actually it was while listening to the Allman Brothers band Chris "Stinger" Stevens decided once and for all to play the music he wants to play.
Chris also appears as a solo acoustic artist and performs a wide variety of material ranging from traditional blues to original pop. Chris also coordinates and conducts the popular and successful Blues Workshops at the annual Budweiser Illinois Blues Festival...
Chris co-founded the successful Blues-Rock trio Liar's Dice. He co-wrote, played the guitars and sang on the self-titled album, which contained the song "Don't Change the Answer". which climbed to #2 at KSYM-FM in San Antonio, Texas. The same song also reached #4 at WWVU-FM in Charleston, West Virginia. Two other songs on the album, a cover of the Ides of March "Vehicle" and another original song "Like-A-Roller" both climbed to #5 on WERG-FM in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Perhaps the outside patters were what lulled their inside ears into inspiration. Perhaps the echoes against the plaster walls of an empty room made the music from their violin and piano sound all the more beautiful. Maybe it was the careless nature of an unintentional collaboration with no rules --in that particular moment-- that allowed two friends to create what has now become an unrivaled brand of orchestral indie pop music.
Or, perhaps Feather & Belle was born that day in 2010 simply because two friends wanted to create their favorite kind of art. And so they decided to spread their wings.
With respective roots in Minnesota and North Carolina, best friend duo Kelsey Kopecky and Laura Musten both followed their heartbeat to Nashville and landed at Belmont University where they first met. Their friendship was marked by laughter, ice cream for any meal, and a deep love for creating music, and the two were quickly inseparable.
Now, their compelling musical collaboration is not only rooted in deep friendship, but is also characterized by their diverse experiences in the music industry. Before becoming Feather & Belle, Kelsey toured the country singing and playing keys in indie-rock band, Kopecky Family Band, and continues to write and tour with her musical band of brothers. Kopecky Family Band has frequented the stages of CMJ Festival, Bonaroo, and South by Southwest, and has been a featured band on NPR. In addition to her musical contributions, Kelsey’s homemade art and graphic design is featured as both the band’s album artwork and merchandise design.
Laura, on the other hand, quickly emerged as a recognizable studio and performing violinist in Nashville, playing for artists like Brooke Waggoner, Chris Tomlin, Elenowen, Paper Route, and the Trans Siberian Orchestra. Most notably, she has toured extensively for 2 years with global electronic act, Owl City, and has recorded for many artists including Relient K, Owl City, Deas Vail and Breanne Duren. Her recent string arrangements and recordings are proudly featured on the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Soundtrack with indie band, Sleeping at Last.
Together, Kelsey and Laura as Feather & Belle are an unstoppable pair drawing from a rich well of musical history. After writing songs drenched in lessons from classical music studies that musically agree with the pop sensibilities of Fiest, Andrew Bird, Regina Spektor, or Grizzly Bear, Feather & Belle is now making their debut with an 11 song album in hand, Pockets Run Deep.
This album is in equal parts lovely and haunting, cinematic and thought-provoking, colorful and timeless. Tuning wine glasses to hover over their haunting ballad for jackals, “Zombie”, Feather & Belle present a battle between good and evil told in a 3 movement orchestral composition laced with whispers and wind-chimes. Whether it is the retro handclaps in their Motown influenced tune, “Tennessee Baby”, or lush string orchestration in songs like “Dress”, Pockets Run Deep is truly a visual narrative that showcases the grand nature of these multi-instrumentalist songwriters who have composed songs made to simply make you feel alive.
And so the story of best friends turned band begins. Sunlight is beaming through their windows, and Feather & Belle now have a song to sing to the world. After all, birds of a feather will find a way to flock together.
As for their music? You’ve heard it. Fort Lean write big, anthemic rock songs, and they play the hell out of them. Stakes are high. Fort Lean don’t want people to “kinda like” them. They want to be a girl’s first crush. They want college kids to make bad life decisions based on misinterpretations of their lyrics. They want to write the song you dance to with your second wife on the night of your wedding to your first wife. When your son moves to whatever the new Bushwick is in twenty years, and when he calls you, crying, to report he just got shook down by a bunch of punk kids, Fort Lean want you to smile to yourself and think of that line from “Sunsick”: “Get-tin’ mugged by chil-drennn!!”
You would think this is every band’s wish–to be The Biggest Band In The World. But it turns out that’s a lot of work! It turns 99.9% of bands just don’t have the chops or the songbook. Fort Lean somehow have both–which is why they stuck out like a sore thumb this past CMJ. They’re writing choruses you wish you had written, and playing tighter than your band ever could. They’re only going to get better too. Mark my words: the world will get at least five great albums from this band before the singer cracks and decides he wants to be a doctor after all.
I could write thousands of words about keyboardist Will Runge’s impeccable style (great face, great denim). I could rap on drummer Sam Ubl’s tasty hi-hat work, or bassist Jake Aron’s smart use of space. I could tell you about the first time I heard Keenan’s voice–an oaky, siren-like tenor that proves once and for all that nature does in fact trump nurture. Or how about this: Zach Fried routinely wears tight red pants, plays a Telecaster, and insists on using an enormous eighty-pound pedalboard even though he only has like two pedals–and somehow gets away with it all! There’s just so much to like about this band in the particular. But right now, the thing I like most about Fort Lean is quite simple. They pay their rent on time. They chip in when equipment gets broken. They let me use their Twin Reverb, and the Peavy Bandit (great for leads). I didn’t have to tell them twice about not leaving bikes in the hallway. It’s hard to find bands like this. I will miss them when they’re gone.
- 2.5 million+ youtube views
- 100,000+ twitter and facebook fans
- 400,000 album downloads
- #1 on Amazon and #1 on Frostwire.com
- 1 of only 7 Hip Hop Acts invited to perform at the Bonnaroo Music Festival 2011
Kellee wants to change the world. She feels we all have the power to help positively affect the world by "being the change we wish to see", as Ghandi puts it. While this can bei ncredibly challenging given our human tendencies and emotions, she believes we are entering a new stage of evolution in human consciousness.
Kellee feels that all people have a special gift that will be a piece in the puzzle to transform the world. We are all made of the same energy and therefore are really all one. Music and art will usher in the peaceful revolution we need from our current fear stricken society.
We can enjoy this time/space reality while opening hearts and minds, and creating lasting change.
XXL Magazine says Kellee Maize is "unlike the rest" - Her 4 albums have been downloaded over 1 million times proving that her "new-age, politically-aware, mother earth respecting hip hop is edgy, sexy, fun and highly rhythmic." - Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Kellee's 130K twitter followers agree!
#1 Female Rapper on Amazon
Google "female rapper" to get all of her music for free!
Her new EP entitled “Shannon Labrie,” has five songs that are goose bump worthy. Her lyrical content hints at artists such as Bob Dylan and James Morrison. If that weren’t enough already, her voice sings with a Lauren Hill type of R&B. Her songs will make you want to hang with the gospel choir while smoking a long cigarette. Her soulfulness, deep emotion and honesty will invite you into a place where you can be yourself, ask questions, and hope for something more.
In the past two years Shannon has had her music placed on several TV shows and continues to have her songs on hold for charting artists. There is no doubt that Shannon Labrie’s career is just getting started and her new EP is an incredible window into what she is capable of.
Sugar & The Hi Lows know that popular music isn’t a mirror, that melodies and lyrics aren’t tethered to the cultural landscapes of their day. Breathing a new sound into music with an old soul, this rootsy, vintage duo reminds us why people dance, especially in the midst of hard times.
Music has always had the power to buoy spirits and wash communal hardships into the background. When Judy Garland clicked her sparkling heels and sang of a place “Over the Rainbow,” the rest of the nation was still reeling from the Great Depression and entering World War II. From the ashes of the same economic tragedy sprang Duke Ellington’s flitty jazz number “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).” And though decades have come and gone, music still possesses that power.
Ringing in their new sound, Sugar & The Hi Lows are bringing back the era of feel good music, the days when one take as enough and an auto-tune was a thing you did to your ’55 Chevy. Brought to life by experienced songwriter/performers Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup, Sugar & The Hi Lows is a bit of a nostalgic love offering.
Growing up in Mississippi under the sway of Memphis blues, Dabbs was raised to the soundtrack of Motown, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations. “My father used to make blanket statements like, ‘It’s not good if you can’t dance to it,’” he remembers. And though he wasn’t into his father’s sonic selection at the time, he says that style of music has come to evoke a feeling he just can’t get anywhere else.
“The older that I got, I realized how that was kind of seeping into what I loved musically, and it just brings this joy, it brings this happiness,” Dabbs says. “With the climate of everything right now – with the economy – you could write the most depressing songs ever, but I really feel like the world needs light; the world needs lighthearted.”
The happy-go-lucky numbers that evolved into Sugar & The Hi Lows began to take shape when Dabbs purchased a vintage box amp and sat down in his basement for a regular co-write with Stroup.
“We got talking about his dad and throwback music from the ‘50s and ‘60s and just like, ‘Why isn’t there that type of music now?’” Stroup recalls. That day, their song “This Can’t Be the Last Time” came in less than two hours. But somehow everything had changed. A newfound creative freedom had been tapped, and the next seven tracks for the project fell quickly into place after that.
“We weren’t really trying to treat it like a band,” explains Stroup. “We just wrote this series of songs, but they didn’t feel like an Amy Stroup song or an Amy and Trent duet. It really felt like its own thing.”
With more than 100 TV placements between the two of them, Dabbs and Stroup are certainly no strangers to pop culture, but they’ve chosen to step away from their traditional singer-songwriter sound to pursue something with more of a swing.