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Just announced: Protoje & Indiggnation Band DJs Young Warrior & Mikey Don, 24th October.

Protoje & Indiggnation Band DJs Young Warrior & Mikey Don

24 October / 19:00 / More Info / Buy Tickets

Protoje, with his band The Indiggnation, bring their dub rock roots reggae to the Band on the Wall.

There is an exciting resurgence of conscious, organic music in Jamaica  and hailed as the front-runner of reggae’s musics Roots’ revival, Protoje is Jamaica’s latest musical export that’s making waves the world over. Leading the militant band, Indiggnation, this powerful songwriter and philosophical thinker articulates the righteous anger of an emerging generation. Protoje reports for duty, re-establishing the standard for the decaying art of socially responsible, mentally stimulating lyricism.

His debut album, The Seven Year Itch, made a fan of David Rodigan amongst many others and picked up Reggaeville.com’s #3 album of the year 2011 as well as earning the titles of him Songwriter of the Year and Best Newcomer from Riddim magazine. Within a week of his sophomore, The 8 Year Affair’s release, the Billboard-affiliated ‘Next Big Sound’ chart listed Protoje at #4. The album also charted in the top 5 on the iTunes Reggae charts in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.

Now, he has a third album ready to drop in Autumn. It’s titled Ancient Future and features collaborations with fellow “Reggae Revival” artists Chronixx and Kabaka Pyramid alongside the UK’s Prince Fatty.

With lyrical content that ranks social justice over frivolity, Protoje’s music sits in the proudly positive lineage of legends like Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, with a uniquely Millennial spin.

This show will be followed by a reggae clubnight ft. DJ Young Warrior DJ Mikey Don.

Just announced: Mike Stern Band, 14th October.

Mike Stern Band

14 October / 19:30 / More Info / Buy Tickets

In a career that spans three decades and a discography that includes more than a dozen eclectic and innovative recordings, six-time GRAMMY nominee Mike Stern has established himself as one of the premier jazz and jazz-fusion guitarists and composers of his generation.

Since his days with Blood Sweat & Tears in the mid-1970s, followed by stints with Billy Cobham and Miles Davis’ band in the ‘80s, and a solo career that now spans more than 25 years, guitarist Mike Stern has used his jazz roots as a starting point for exploring a range of alternate territories that include R&B, rock, swing, funk, world music and numerous other regions along the musical topography. The recipient of Guitar Player magazine’s Certified Legend Award for 2012, he’s an artist who’s not afraid to bring numerous styles and ideas – however diverse – into the same place just to see what happens.

“The guitar tends to keep you open-minded, because you hear it in so many places,” says Stern, listing many places he himself has ventured along the way – not just on All Over the Place, but in earlier work as well. “You hear it in rock, in country, in pop, in funk, in classical, you hear it in jazz, you hear it in so many kinds of music that you can immediately identify it on one level or another.”

Stern is ready at a moment’s notice to go to all of these places and more, and he’s ready and willing to bring anyone along for the ride. “Music, to me, is a language of the heart,” he says. “I hope people will get some emotional payoff from what I’ve done on this recording. That’s the vibe that I continue to go for with all of my music.”

Just announced: Jarrod Lawson, 9th October.

Jarrod Lawson

09 October / 19:30 / More Info / Buy Tickets

Every once in a while, an album comes along by a new artist that raises the bar and blows you away (think D’Angelo, Badu, Maxwell). Jarrod Lawson has made one of those albums although all together different from those artists, his debut comprises songs and musicianship of such quality it is like a breath of fresh air. Jarrod writes songs with meaning, sings with true feeling and beautiful harmonies, and his keyboard playing is superb throughout.

Jarrod’s musical mentor, the legendary local singer and keyboardist, Bobby James has clearly left his indelible mark, evident in Jarrod’s trifold, multi-tasking live performance approach, covering both the right hand comp/solo and left hand bass keyboard roles, simultaneously spreading soulful lead vocals over the top of it all. Now, well on his way to making a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest, Jarrod has shared the stage with such international acts as Average White Band, Maceo Parker, Angelique Kidjo, Bilal, Ronnie Laws, Loose Ends, Liv Warfield, and Robert Glasper. Maybe best of all for Jarrod, so far, was performing at Stevie Wonder’s birthday party.

Whether he sings and plays funk, folk, R&B, rock or jazz - as has been said many times - “everything he touches turns to soul.” What began as a child’s interest in sound and rhythm has become a man’s expression of his own character. He sings from his integrity and spirituality, passion and compassion, empathy and sympathy…in other words, his own soul.

Just announced: The Shires Ward Thomas, 13th November.

The Shires Ward Thomas

13 November / 20:00 / More Info / Tickets on sale 09:00, 08 August

Country music in the UK has been having a renaissance in recent times, what with the success of the television series ‘Nashville’ and of the huge Country 2 Country event in London, which saw some of the biggest US names playing the UK. It isn’t just American talent that’s enjoying this resurgence though: The UK has produced a new wave of talent who are putting a British spin on the down south sounds of Nashville.

Chief among this new wave are The Shires and Ward Thomas, two bands from the Home Counties who have taken inspiration from the sounds of Nashville legends such as Johnny Cash and Dixie Chicks. Not content to merely copy the US acts though, these bands are flying the flag for a British Country music that reflects the lives of young people living in the UK. This shared vision has led the bands to team up and take their music on the road for the nationwide ‘Home-grown tour’.

The seeds for this tour were sown when the two bands ran into each other in a road house in Nashville while they were both paying pilgrimage to their spiritual home. The chance to take their shared message out on the road together seemed too good to miss and the ‘Home-grown tour’ was born.

It seems that The Shires have come from nowhere overnight, but behind that first impression lies the story of two musicians who have been working towards this moment for a long time. Crissie has been singing her whole life, and came to love country music through artists like Dolly Parton and Faith hill, whereas Ben has toured as a singer/songwriter with the likes of K.T. Tunstall. Introduced by a mutual friend after a comment from Ben on Facebook, the pair instantly felt a musical connection, and discovered that they both lived near each other in “the Shires”. 

Hampshire and Country music may not be obvious bed fellows but 20-year old twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas (who have been singing harmonies together since childhood) have had Country music in their blood ever since they were introduced to the sounds of Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks and Alison Krauss by a Canadian cousin in their early teens. One listen to the vocal cadences and close harmonies on their debut album ‘From Where We Stand’ and Nashville and Hampshire suddenly don’t seem all that far apart.

“Even a few years ago, the idea of British Country music spelt wannabe Dollys, line-dancing seniors and unconvincing American accents. Now though, fresh artists with country influences and the dexterity to create a credible home-grown version of the music are emerging” – Sunday Times

Just announced: Acoustic Bhuna Special ft. Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, 25th January.

Acoustic Bhuna Special ft. Cahalen Morrison & Eli West

25 January / 19:00 / More Info / Buy Tickets

Cahalen Morrison & Eli West are, simply put, two of the most innovative and subtle roots musicians today. Their music draws from old folk sources, but it sounds vibrantly alive. Cahalen Morrison writes songs that sound like a Cormac McCarthy novel: simple, beautifully crafted, and seemingly formed from raw natural elements. Eli West brings jagged, angular arrangements based in bluegrass and old-time, but refracted through a 21st century lens. Like Ansel Adams’ photography, their music is instantly accessible and built from the simplest materials, but at the same time seems to transcend its base fundamentals. Together, Cahalen and Eli tap the root of the old country and bluegrass duets. As the sparse landscapes of Cahalen’s vocals reflect the warm glow of Eli’s voice, it’s clear that this duo was made to sing together.

Cahalen Morrison & Eli West’s new album, Our Lady of the Tall Trees, is a stunning example of the power of great songwriting and musicianship. And we’re not the only ones saying this. They’ve been building buzz first and foremost among the top echelon of roots musicians, with Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, and Aoife O’Donovan actively singing their praises and spreading the gospel. Cahalen & Eli can easily back up that kind of expert acclaim, as they show on album standouts like the title track, “Our Lady of the Tall Trees,” or the opener, “Stone to Sand.” Their stripped-back cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta” has been gathering early praise as well. Cahalen Morrison & Eli West’s music sounds eminently familiar, for they’re drawing from our common love of American roots music, but it also sounds entirely different. Even on the classic, or traditional covers on the album like “Church St. Blues,” or “Poor Cowboy,” they sound totally unlike the many, many roots music bands covering this same hallowed ground. Gone are the twangy accents, gone the overplayed search for the “old, weird America,” and gone the banjo-as-a-prop theatrics. This is music built on the joy of the craft, made by hand by two young masters with love for the traditions, but a bold vision for how the old sounds can fit into new soundscapes.

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