Category: NEWS

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Divine Horsemen, the fiery, eclectic ’80s group that rode the unique vocal chemistry of Chris Desjardins (a.k.a. Chris D.) and Julie Christensen, return to the musical stage with Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix, a collection of all-new recordings, on In the Red Records on August 27.

Co-produced by Desjardins and Craig Parker Adams (who engineered I Used to Be Pretty, the 2019 release by Chris D.’s groundbreaking ’70s punk band the Flesh Eaters), the new 13-track album comprises the first new music by the Horsemen in 33 years.

Founded after the dissolution of the Flesh Eaters and launched with the 1984 Enigma Records album Time Stands Still, billed as Chris D./Divine Horseman, the band released three albums and an EP on SST Records, all of which featured the searing harmonies of Desjardins and Christensen, who were married at the time. The couple split professionally and personally just prior to the release of their January 1988 EP A Handful of Sand.

However, the two musicians remained in touch over the years, and Christensen contributed vocals to five tracks on I Used to Be Pretty, which reunited the 1980 “all-star” edition of the Flesh Eaters heard on the Ruby/Slash classic A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die. By then, the idea of reviving Divine Horsemen was already percolating.

“Julie had asked me about six or seven years ago about doing Divine Horsemen again,” Desjardins says. “I told her I wasn’t quite ready yet, though I did want to do it eventually. Then in 2015 the Flesh Eaters started doing reunion shows. In 2018 we did it some more, and we recorded the album, released it in early 2019, and we went out on tour and supported it. Since the beginning of 2018, Julie and I had been talking about Divine Horsemen again.”

Christensen — who had moved on to work with Leonard Cohen in the 1990s and release seven albums of her own work — adds, “We recorded I Used to Be Pretty in April of 2018. Previous to that we had started plans for a Divine Horsemen tour in the fall, playing older stuff. Chris had song ideas and cover ideas for a studio album — it was just kind of forming in his head. I started looking for covers, too. I did some of the Flesh Eaters ‘live’ gigs the first three months of 2019, and found out that we were getting along really well.”

The singers’ plans called for reuniting with such onetime Divine Horsemen as guitarist Peter Andrus, who had appeared on A Handful of Sand and the 1987 album Snake Handler, and bassist Robyn Jameson, who had worked with Desjardins on the majority of his recordings between 1982 and 2004. However, Jameson tragically died in 2018 following a street assault; Bobby Permanent, Andrus’ longtime musical collaborator, was recruited to take the late musician’s slot on the new recordings. Andrus is also a veteran of bands Crowbar Salvation and Detroit’s the Volebeats. Permanent (under the name Robert Pollard) has also contributed to various movie soundtracks, most notably John Cassavetes’ final film, Love Streams.

The 2021 Divine Horsemen lineup is completed by drummer DJ Bonebrake of the incomparable L.A. band X; he also was a member of the 2018 recording and 2019 touring editions of the Flesh Eaters (which also included X’s John Doe, Dave Alvin and Bill Bateman of the Blasters, and Steve Berlin of Los Lobos). Keyboardist Doug Lacy, another veteran of the Snake Handler sessions, returns to the fold; he and Christensen both later sang backup for the duo of Gaby Moreno and Van Dyke Parks, and Lacy has appeared on several of Parks’ other projects.

The release of Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix was prefaced in late 2020 by Feeding Tube Records’ package of unreleased vintage recordings Divine Horsemen ‘Live’ 1985-1987 and two Bandcamp singles, “Mystery Writers,” a new composition by Desjardins and Andrus, and “Mind Fever Soul Fire,” a song that originally appeared on Love Cannot Die, a 1995 Chris D. solo album issued by Sympathy for the Record Industry. (A new rendition of that set’s title song is also heard as the concluding track on the new album; a high-intensity re-recording of “Handful of Sand,” the 1988 EP’s title number, is also featured.)

The new material on the album reflects a diversity of sources.

“I wanted to mash up some European folk material,” Desjardins says of “No Evil Star,” a madrigal-like composition. “There are a whole bunch of sites on the internet that have public domain folk songs from Europe, specifically England, Scotland, and Ireland. These are all from the 1700s and 1800s. The music for the verse is from one folk song I found on a Celtic folk site. The words are all original. But the chorus music is not Celtic, it’s more Latin — they also had a few Spanish folk songs on there. Peter joked when we were working up that tune that it was our Jethro Tull song.”

Like “Ghost Cave Lament” — the sprawling number that concluded I Used to Be Pretty — both “Barefoot in the Streets” and “Stony Path” reflect Desjardins’ ongoing fascination with Spanish flamenco.

“Those songs are linked lyrically,” Desjardins says. “‘Stony Path’ is a continuation of ‘Barefoot in the Streets.’ They’re both murder ballad-styled songs. The lyrics of ‘Barefoot in the Streets’ is flamenco-inspired, but the music is not really Spanish — Julie came up with the music.”

Christensen says the writing of the latter number came late in the recording of the album: “Chris called and said, ‘You know, I’ve just been remiss. I feel like we should write a song together, and I have this “barefoot in the streets” idea.’ He’d already written the lyrics. He had a little bit of a melody idea, too, but not much of one — there was just the scan of it.”

She adds that singing “Stony Path” presented some unique vocal challenges: “Flamenco singers break their voices in order to do what they do.” The song was left for the end of the album sessions, and she nailed her demanding part in a single take.

Christensen is represented as a co-writer on another song, “Falling Forward,” written with Lathan McKay. “He’s an actor and musician who lives in Austin,” Desjardins says. “He’s also the foremost authority on Evil Knievel!”

Beyond her writing, Christensen served an invaluable function by finding outside compositions for the album.

“I found a couple of covers from Tennessee writers,” the former Nashville resident says. “‘Any Day Now’ is by Tim Lee and Susan Bauer Lee. They used to have a band called Tim Lee 3, he was also in a band called the Windbreakers, and now Bark. They used to get hold of Divine Horseman LPs and hand them out to people – ‘Here, you’ve gotta hear this.’ We got to be fast friends, and their song ‘Any Day Now’ just floored me.

“‘Strangers’ is by another Tennessee writer named Johnny Duke — he wrote it with Will Kimbrough. I originally heard it acoustically, just him and a guitar. I spoke to him after I heard him play it, and I said, ‘I don’t know if you’d be into this, but I have this band, and I’d love to try doing it with them as a Neil Young and Crazy Horse kind of thing.’”

Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix is rounded out by a typically diverse selection of covers. “25th Floor” is a Patti Smith-Ivan Kral original, heard on the 1978 album Easter. “Ice Cream Phoenix” was a vehicle for the vocal harmonies of Grace Slick, Marty Balin, and Paul Kantner on Jefferson Airplane’s 1968 LP Crown of Creation. But the album’s greatest curiosity may be the raucous, profane “Can’t You See?,” an oddball tune that had obsessed Desjardins for years.

He says, “That’s a song written by Charlie Cuva and Robert Downey Sr., for Downey’s movie Pound. I’d heard that song at the Fox Venice Theatre in 1972, in the intermission of a double feature. Robert Downey Sr. had pressed up 100 or so copies of five songs from Pound to send out to independent theaters, as a promotion. It was never commercially released as a record. I had not heard it in years, and the guy who put out my book A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die sent me an MP3 of it. When the prospect came to do this album, I thought, we’ve got to do this. I played it for Julie and Peter, and they went through the roof over it.”

In all, Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix stands as a bracing new achievement by a distinctive musical partnership that has always marched to the beat of its own drum. Like the Flesh Eaters’ recent reunion, it’s a welcome return that plays to the group’s historic strengths.

“It was really good for both of us,” Desjardins says “and we really enjoyed it. There’s also — unintentionally — context in some of those songs about what happened between us as a couple.” Christensen adds, “One thing Chris has always been adept at is taking a song, and you hear the raw bones of it, and then he casts the band so well, and he runs a rehearsal like a tight ship. We would fashion these gems of songs out of rocks. He’s always been really good at directing a song toward what it’s supposed to do.”

It should be noted, in addition to producing (or co-producing) all of his Flesh Eaters and Divine Horsemen efforts, Desjardins has a modest but important legacy as an A&R man/in-house producer at Slash/Ruby Records from 1980-1984, co-producing with Tito Larriva seminal work by the Gun Club (their debut album, Fire of Love), producing the Dream Syndicate (Days of Wine and Roses) and Green on Red (Gravity Talks), and mixing with Glenn Danzig the Misfits (Walk Among Us). He also shepherded the Lazy Cowgirls on their eponymous debut (released through Enigma subsidiary Restless Records in 1985). Last but not least, Desjardins produced Soulsuckers on Parade, a wildly unhinged, never-available-before-to-the-public 1984 session by Jeffrey Lee Pierce (with a backing group of then-Blasters Dave Alvin, Bill Bateman, and Gene Taylor, and Green on Red’s Jack Waterson) that is only now being released in 2021 by Minky Records — 36 years later!

RECORDING ACADEMY CLASS OF 2021

I am thrilled to announce that clients Akina Adderley + Anastasia Hera have been added to the Recording Academy Class of 2021!!

Recording Academy Bolsters Membership With 2,710 Music Creators And Professionals Invited 

Facebook (opens in a new tab)Twitter (opens in a new tab)Email The membership invitations are a reflection of the Recording Academy’s commitment to excellence and further growing its robust membership body and also reaffirm the organization’s recognition of the important contributions of music peopleMEMBERSHIP  JUN 28, 2021 – 6:00 AM 

Today, the Recording Academy extended membership invitations to 2,710 established music professionals from wide-ranging backgrounds, genres and disciplines. The invitations are a reflection of the Recording Academy’s commitment to excellence and further growing its robust membership body. The invitations also reaffirm the Recording Academy’s recognition of the important contributions of music people to influence progressive changes within the music industry.

The 2021 class of invitees is 48% female, 32% Black or African American+, 13% Hispanic or Latino/a/x+, and 4% Asian or Pacific Islander+. The Academy’s existing membership represents 26% female and 27% from traditionally underrepresented groups. Since setting the goal of adding 2,500 women voting members by 2025, 831 women have joined the Recording Academy’s voting membership, putting the organization 33% closer to reaching that milestone.

To celebrate the new class of invitees, the Recording Academy is activating across its social channels, giving the music industry and music fans a look into what it means to be a member of the Recording Academy. New invitees will be featured across Instagram Reels, Voice Tweets and Instagram Lives hosted by Recording Academy staff and executives. Activations can be followed on the official Recording Academy Instagram(opens in a new tab) and Twitter(opens in a new tab) pages.

Learn more about the Recording Academy’s membership process and requirements as well as the new class of invitees.

NEW SIGNING: MORRIS MILLS

Morris Mills is an artist who treats the artificial boundaries between genres, as well as those between secular and sacred like speed bumps – he knows that they are there but he does not allow those boundaries to deter him. Mills was born in Greenville, Texas and raised in Chicago and those two musical hotbeds where genres like country, blues, funk, soul, jazz and Latin music bump up against each other informed a musical personality that is at one rebellious and reverent and constantly in pursuit of his own personal musical truth. 

Over the course of six studio albums released since 2005, the pursuit of the ultimate personal musical, spiritual and political truths lead Mills to evolve artistically. His first project “Love and Coffee” was an R&B record that incorporated elements of funk and hints of the guitar god rock that he would embrace on later records, like 2019’s “The Dawn” and “The Revival,” a project released during the pandemic year of 2020.

Those divergent project were produced by one man for whom evolution has been the one constant in his artistic life. Mills has always been an artist who keeps his audience guessing. Mills will create a hard charging, rock influenced gospel tune like “Revival” and then drop a cover of the hedonistic Prince classic “Uptown.” Where some with limited vision will see this as hypocrisy, Mills focuses on the connective tissue of spiritual freedom of social expectations and norms the bind secular and sacred philosophies. That is the kind of deep insight that enlivened the art of the late great Prince Rogers Nelson, the Mills cites as his greatest musical influence. 

TO BOOK MORRIS JUST EMAIL OR CLICK


Mills is an artist constantly on the move, and in an industry that rewards those with a follow the pack mentality, that kind of adventurous spirit carries risks. But the brave souls who stay for the all the artistic, spiritual and emotional twists and turns will be better for experiencing the ride. 

Morris writes, produces ,arranges and composes. His live shows are impeccable.

Morris is out now, can be found on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play Music. 

ROGGIE BAER OF RAJIWORLD JOINS ATOMIC MUSIC GROUP

Veteran talent agent Roggie Baer revealed that she is merging her longtime agency RajiWorld with independent talent agency Atomic Music Group.

Roggie Baer
Roggie Baer

As part of the deal, Baer will bring her extensive client roster, which includes Naomi Achu, That Carolina Sound, Headcat 13, Flam Chen, The Divine Horsemen, Akina Adderly, Honeysuckle Sage Riders, and Warren Hood among others to AMG.

As well, the deal includes RajiWorld’s endorsements and brand sponsorships business to AMG, and will serve as the agency’s North American Director of Partnerships following the merger.

One of the largest independent talent agencies in the U.S., Atomic Music Group is based in Los Angeles and maintains regional offices in Austin, Nashville and Torotono.

Roggie Baer’s full roster

Akina Adderly
Anastasia Hera
Bill Elm/Friends of Dean Martinez
Chris Stamey
Danny B Harvey and Annie Lewis
The Divine Horseman
Flam Chen
Grey Delisle-Griffin
Headcat 13
Hector Ward & The Bigtime
Honeysuckle Sage Riders
Julie Christensen
Laser Spectacles, Inc
Morris Mills
Nakia
Naomi Achu
Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts
Sly Curtis
That Carolina Sound
Warren Hood

JULY 3RD KEYZSTREET BLOCK PARTY

Catch Austin-based rap artist and vocalist Anastasia Hera at the Keyz Street Block Party on Saturday, July 3, at Empire Garage (606 E. Seventh St., Austin, Texas)
Anastasia will hit the stage at 8:10 p.m. – for tickets and more information, see here.
For more on Anastasia, visit www.anastasiahera.com, and for a recent performance by Anastasia with her band The Heroes, see here.
For media RSVPs to Anastasia’s July 3 show, or general press inquiries, contact:joseph@juiceconsulting.com and to book your own follow up show, contact roggie@rajiworld.com

Categories: NEWS

POLLSTAR 2021

TOO much to recap. I feel like history was made at this one with so much change to the future of our industry and a much smaller group than in the past, plus the addition of the apps like Clubhouse and our year of introspection and education. My favorite bits will surely come to the service but I will never forget the hugs!

Categories: NEWS

JOIN WARREN HOOD JULY 25, 2021 SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN THE BEAUTIFUL TEXAS HILL COUNTRY

Schreiner University is about to kick off its Sunday Afternoon Songwriters concert series at the new Trailhead complex on the Schreiner campus, with the debut show featuring Texas songwriting legend Shake Russell on the afternoon of June 13.  

The shows will be mostly every other Sunday afternoon, from 2:30 to 5:00 PM.  Schreiner Songkeeper Bill Muse, a veteran singer/songwriter in his own right, will host the series, featuring a different guest artist for each show.  Muse has taken advantage of his long association with touring performing songwriters from across the country to put together an impressive lineup, including:

  • Shake Russell (Houston) – June 13
  • Johnny Chops (Austin) – June 27
  • Dana Cooper (Nashville) – July 11
  • Warren Hood (Austin) – July 25
  • The Flyin A’s (Austin) – August 8
  • Bernice Lewis (western Mass) – August 15
  • Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines (Texas Hill Country) – August 29
  • Doug Wintch (Salt Lake City) and Ken Gaines (Houston) – September 12
  • Michael Bowers and Siobhan Quinn (Austin) – September 19
  • Steve Fisher (northeast Texas and Oklahoma) and Bernice Lewis (western Mass) – September 26
  • Michael McNevin (SF Bay area, California) – October 10
  • Buddy Mondlock (Nashville) – October 24

The series will demonstrate the ethos of the Schreiner Songkeeper program, that is the preservation and support of the indigenous art form of the Texas Hill Country – songwriting.  While many of the feature artists have written songs that have become chart toppers for major recording stars, the lineup is filled with poets of the first order, and this venue and this format will create a unique opportunity to hear the songs the way they were originally conceived.  At the same time, all of these artists are proven performers whose shows have impressed audiences from northern Europe to southern California, from Boston to Austin, and from Nashville to Kerrville.  And to preserve the craft, Muse and his feature artists will not only play their own songs, but will throw in a few tunes from legendary Texas songwriters who have passed on, but who collectively created the world-famous genre of the Texas singer/songwriter.

The Schreiner Trailhead is an inviting, family-friendly venue, with a great set of amenities, including – besides a great outdoor stage and dance floor in the shade of some nice oak trees, alongside the Trailhead Beer Garden, multiple food trucks, an outdoor gaming court with washer and cornhole pitch, a sand volleyball court, and much more.  Y’all come on out.

WARREN HOOD IS NOW ACCEPTING HOUSE CONCERTS FOR SUMMER AND FALL

“The cream always rises to the top, and there are young performers out there who will find their audience [such as] Warren Hood, a terrific songwriter and singer.””Lyle Lovett

Warren started playing classical violin at age 11 in the school orchestra, later studying privately with Bill Dick. He won classical music competitions, including the Pearl Amster Youth Concerto Competition and the Austin Youth Award, which gave him the opportunity to perform as a soloist on “Lalo Symphonie Espagnole” with the Austin Symphony, conducted by Peter Bay. 

Warren later balanced studying at Austin High with touring with Charlie Robison and the South Austin Jug Band. After high school, Warren earned a rare scholarship to Berklee College of Music where he majored in Violin Performance, played with Steven Tyler and formed an acoustic string band, Blue Light Special. At Berklee, Warren earned the coveted String Achievement Award, an award chosen by faculty to honor talent and as a vote of confidence on future success.

GO ANASTASIA, GO!

JOIN US WEDNESDAY MAY 26

CH May26

RajiWorld plus one is proud to present another episode of “Music Business Charm School” with my beloved friend and DJ Francisco and with the professional assistance of Stage Manager and friend Ari Nisman who owns Degy International the future of touring colleges and military bases, bringing music and creative ideas to the masses.

And now onto the music:)

This new family I was subconsciously building took my breath away musically while connecting to my core beliefs that we can be ourselves and inspire others through our natural gifts was manifested when I heard VINX. I was thrilled to learn that (my CH crush), multi-instrumentalist Al Berry shared my feelings about Vinx… As an Austin girl I remember this moment and love the juxtaposition of that kind of playing in a true believer...It is rare to be evolved and down home simultaneously!

D. Bottz is the big brother every girl wishes for in this crazy biz. He is hard working and wildly productive while connecting with new artists and finding their magic. Katrina Blackstone is the slumber-party guest I always wanted for my middle-school sleepovers….so it was cool to find out she lives right down the street now to where I did then! She is mystical, brilliant, funny and sings like the bird you follow all day to learn secrets! We will pick one lucky audience member for a live reading on stage!

In my favorite daily “room”, I discovered the exact kind of bands I would have discovered with no quarantine in place. THANK YOU to Francisco and his team of bad-ass and charming dolls for allowing me the platform to discover Joe The Lobster and Of Sea and Storm.

In a world of his own (and ya’ll know I love that!) is DPAK Robot of Robot Nature who I heard speak (nearly in tongues) on just one of his other passions. I am proud to introduce a true renaissance man!

MY TREE

link tree

I love the feel of the word tree, it conjures up all of my favorite places and people, meals and music. I invite you to join me in my link tree. It’s nearly summer ya’ll!

Categories: NEWS

JOIN ME ON CLUBHOUSE 4/8 at 12pm PST

April8CHevent

First, note, I am not an expert at NFT(yet) but I feel very driven to allow my clients all of the freedom to put out the content they want, how they want and when they want to anyone on the planet. Please join me so we can learn together how to be part of this new big beautiful world!

Categories: Clubhouse NEWS

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