Berkeley, CA (Top40 Charts/ Ninth Street Opus)
The Berkeley, CA-based independent record label Ninth Street Opus (NSO) is in high gear for the rest of 2011 with exciting tours and projects from artists including Blame Sally, Sarah
Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Carrie Rodriguez, The Real Nasty, and Forrest Day. Genre-agnostic and committed to long-term career and fan-base development for its diverse roster, NSO also encompasses a state-of-the-art recording studio, in-house marketing and promotion, and artist management, among other integrated services.
Bay Area female quartet Blame Sally is currently on the road and touring nationwide all summer long in support of their new release, Speeding Ticket And A Valentine (May 2011), the group's fifth album and second on NSO-and a new addition to Billboard's Heatseekers chart. A Top 20 Americana album, it has drawn critical raves including this from Terry Roland for No Depression-"The kind of intensity captured on this record is the kind usually felt in live performance...and through all of the beauty of the lyrics, their layered and crafted harmonies simply enchant with each listen." Three Blame Sally tracks-"Living Without You," "Bird In Hand" and Parjaros Sin Alas"-are currently featured in Starbucks' in-store rotation, and the video for "Living Without You" was released just prior to the song being featured as NPR's "Song of the Day" on June 16. Blame Sally will tour Europe later this year, following the international release of Speeding Ticket And A Valentine. For more information and updates, www.blamesally.com.
Alt-pop/rock husband & wife Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion are riding the acclaim of their second album as a duo, Bright Examples (Feb. 2011), co-produced by Andy Cabic (Vetiver, the indie folk outfit whose members back SL&J on the tracks), and Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart). "The album has moments where you feel like you are listening to the harmonies of Johnny Cash and June Carter," writes L.A. Record. Sarah Lee (Arlo Guthrie's daughter) and Johnny recently played at City Winery in New York City in show presented by public radio station 90.7 WFUV-FM. Upcoming, the duo plays two dates with Martin Sexton, and is in the lineup for Solid Sound-a music and arts festival curated by WILCO-in North Adams, MA. Bright Examples will be released in Europe later this year, and they will tour there as well. For additional information, visit www.sarahleeandjohnny.com.
Austin, TX-based singer-songwriter and fiddler Carrie Rodriguez's latest, We Still Love Our Country (Feb. 2011), is a collection of country duets with Ben Kyle, the Belfast-born lead singer for Minneapolis-based band Romantica. A Top 5 Americana album, it spotlights classic covers by greats including Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Chip Taylor-Rodriguez's mentor-and Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, whose "Love Hurts" prompted iTunes to write, "Rodriguez becomes Emmylou Harris to Kyle's Gram Parsons." The Kyle-penned single, "Your Lonely Heart," was a KCRW "Tune of the Day." The album follows up Rodriguez's 2010 solo release Love and Circumstance, about which the Washington Post wrote, "adding a toughness to her voice's sweetness...she emerges as a superb interpretive singer...revealing new implications in the lyrics." The two albums will be bundled together for a special European release in September, followed by a fall tour of Europe. For details and updates, visit www.carrierodriguez.com.
Named for its lead singer-songwriter, San Francisco-based band Forrest Day's music mixes hip-hop rhythms with rock, jazz, and reggae sounds-and wildly creative confessional songwriting. "In the midst of this unique awesomely ear tingling sound there's an incredible pop sensibility that gets everyone bobbing their head, shaking their ass, wiggling their toes...whatever it is you do when you hear great music, you'll do it when you hear Forrest Day," writes the Bay Bridged. "They are one of the most talented, hard working groups and they're out there pounding the pavement proving themselves one show at a time. Each time the crowd grows, the band gets even better." Forrest Day's self-titled NSO debut is set for release in September and, fresh off San Francisco radio station Live 105's BFD festival, the band will tour California throughout the summer, with several dates in other markets as well. To learn more, visit www.forrestday.com.
San Francisco-based power trio The Real Nasty is also playing dates this summer, building on the momentum of their 2010 album, Strangers and Friends. The group is known for its raucous fusion of rock and country, and its unconventional instrumentation-Ryan Lukas slams on upright bass, carrying lead vocals at the same time. "Too many bands talk about their 'sound,' as if they've gone and single-handedly revolutionized pop music," wrote the East Bay Express, adding, "few groups ever really do anything new, so tip your hat to The Real Nasty for actually coming up with a fresh approach." The trio is preparing for a major fall tour, and a new album before year's end-for details, www.therealnasty.com.
Diego's Umbrella, a San Francisco-based band with a worldwide cult following, is NSO's most recent signing. The group has called its Eastern European-influenced, anarchy-inflected music "gypsy pirate polka," and Glide Magazine recently wrote, "It is a combination or mariachi, ska, and a massive serving of minor chords. Their matching outfits are homemade, and they often perform shows without set lists." Among other dates, they'll play the Outside Lands Festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco this August. For more information, visit www.diegosumbrella.com.
Behind the scenes, the Rondo Brothers are in-house producers for NSO. Multi-instrumentalists, producers, and DJs, the duo-the Bastard Prince and Diamond Jim-have worked with artists including Yoko Ono, Foster the People, Dan the Automator, the Matches, Vinyl featuring Les Claypool and Bernie Worrell, Common, Lily Allen, and legendary producer Jack Douglas.
Ninth Street Opus focuses on artists that are as gifted onstage in live performance as they are at working magic in the recording studio. Combining a back-to-basics artist development model with leading edge technological assets-and an experienced internal team with a broad network of strategic partners-the label offers insight and infrastructure for artists to build an audience and achieve career success in a new entertainment era.
For more information: www.ninthstreetopus.com