New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Dead Rock West, the acclaimed California alt-country rock group fronted by Cindy Wasserman and Frank Lee Drennen, are heading into 2018 with array of tour dates beginning a with a set in support of John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X, followed by an East Coast tour leg opening for Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.
Their recently released More Love (August 2017 via Omnivore Recordings) was produced by John Doe, who helped create an album that places Wasserman and Drennen's achingly beautiful signature vocals and harmonies in finely etched rock, alt-country, and pop settings. The sound is both contemporary and timeless.
"Boundless Fearless Love," the joyously infectious first single from the album, drew praise from Los Angeles Times' Randy Lewis, who noted the song is "set to a propellant track that's part R.E.M., part Tom Petty
and part Neil Young
Says Doe: "They have combined all of the influences (alt-country, gospel, Everly Brothers) from their previous records into this one. Great songs. Great playing. Wonderful performances. More Love is heart and soul from two deeply original singers and songwriters . . . Somehow Cindy and Frank connect the dots between '70s country and '60s soul music. They are a modern day Gram and Emmylou, singing songs that Otis and Carla would sing."
More Love, recorded, mixed and mastered in Los Angeles by multiple Grammy Award-winner Dave Way, is composed of 12 songs about the joy and heartbreak of love. There are 11 Dead Rock West originals, among them "Boundless Fearless Love," "Radio Silence," and "Waiting Patiently," plus a cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me" that thematically closes this deeply felt album. The disc's masterful band includes D.J. Bonebrake of X, lead guitarist Elliot Easton of the Cars, and ace pedal-steel guitarist Greg Leisz.
More Love follows the Los Angeles-based duo's critically hailed Everly Brothers
tribute album, It's Everlys Time! (2015), which galvanized the group vocally in the studio — and onstage, at their own headline performances as well as on tour with X and Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin.
"These are difficult days and we need more, more love," says Drennen about the new release. "Love never fails," he adds about "Boundless Fearless Love," which cuts deep with lyrics like: I hear it calling in the distance/ I take it on like a boxing champ/Though desolation has no secrets/I still believe the loser stands a chance.
"As Willie Dixon said to me when I was blessed to meet him some years ago, all songs are about love," says Wasserman. "Happy or sad songs, they are all about love — more love. This record to me is performed and created from the spirit seed of the wonderful Willie Dixon in mind and with all our love."
A review of a recent performance:
"…with powerful backing from a muscular four-piece band, Wasserman and Drennen tapped an insistent groove similar to that which Robert Plant
and Alison Krauss
conjured up on their 2007 version of 'Gone, Gone, Gone.' Toward the end, they also introduced an original song, 'More Love,' that fit stylistically and emotionally alongside the vintage Everly songs." —Los Angeles Times
Dead Rock West will support More Love with an assortment of dates set to include West of the West/Roots on the Rails, live music performances on a privately chartered vintage train with an ever-changing cast of stellar musicians over the course of an epic (6532 miles, to be exact) ride. The rail journey is scheduled to span three of the most iconic geographical railroad routes throughout the West. Artists scheduled to perform in addition to Dead Rock West include Dave Alvin, John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Laurie Lewis duo, Blind Boy Paxton, Ruthie Roster, Carolyn Wonderland, Bill Kirchen, Rick Shea and Christy McWilson. https://www.rootsontherails.com/upcoming-trips-2017-west-of-the-west
Dead Rock West Tour dates:
Wed., May 2 SOLANA BEACH, CA Belly
Up Tavern — supporting John Doe and Exene Cervenka
Thurs., June 7 PHILADELPHIA, PA World Café Live — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Fri., June 8 NEW YORK, NY City Winery — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Sat., June 9 FALL RIVER, MA Narrows — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Wed., June 13 ANNAPOLIS, MD Rams Head In Stage — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Thurs., June 14 ALEXANDRIA, VA Birchmere — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Sat., June 16 TURNERS FALLS, MA The Shea Theater — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Thurs., Jun. 21 CLEVELAND, OH Music
Box — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Fri., June 22 COLUMBUS, OH Valley Dale Ballroom — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmy Dale Gilmore
Sat., June 23 PITTSBURGH, PA Club Café — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Tues., June 26 CAMBRIDGE, MA Atwood's Tavern — supporting Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Tues., Oct., 16 PORTLAND, OR Roots
on the Rails Train
Wed., Oct. 17 PORTLAND, OR Roots
on the Rails Train