Bradford Alexander "Brad" Mehldau is an American jazz pianist and arranger. Mehldau studied music at The New School, toured and recorded while still a student, he was a member of saxophonist Joshua Redman's Quartet with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade in the mid-1990s, has led his own trio since the early 1990s. His first long-term trio featured drummer Jorge Rossy; these bands have released a dozen albums under the pianist's name. Since the early 2000s Mehldau has experimented with other musical formats in addition to trio and solo piano. Largo, released in 2002, contains electronics and input from rock and classical musicians. Aspects of pop and classical music, including German Romanticism, have been absorbed into Mehldau's writing and playing. Through his use of some traditional elements of jazz without being restricted by them, simultaneous playing of different melodies in separate hands, incorporation of pop and rock pieces, Mehldau has influenced musicians in and beyond jazz in their approaches to writing and choice of repertoire.
Mehldau was born on August 1970, in Jacksonville, Florida. His father, Craig Mehldau, was an ophthalmologist, his mother, was a homemaker, his sister, Leigh Anne, became a social worker. There was always a piano in the house during Mehldau's childhood, he listened to pop and rock music on the radio, his family moved to West Hartford, when Mehldau was 10. Up to this point he had played simple pop tunes and exercises from books, but the move brought him a new piano teacher, who introduced him to classical music; this new interest lasted for a few years, but by the age of 14 he was listening more to jazz, including recordings by saxophonist John Coltrane and pianist Oscar Peterson. Keith Jarrett's Bremen/Lausanne helped. Mehldau played in its concert jazz band. From the age of 15 until he graduated from high school he had a weekly gig at a local club, performed for weddings and other parties with fellow Hall student Joel Frahm. In his junior year at the school Mehldau won Berklee College's Best All Round Musician Award for school students.
Mehldau described himself as being, up to this point, "a white, upper-middle-class kid who lived in a pretty homogenized environment". After graduating, Mehldau moved to New York City in 1988 to study jazz and contemporary music at The New School, he studied under pianists Fred Hersch, Junior Mance and Kenny Werner, drummer Jimmy Cobb. In 1989 Mehldau was part of saxophonist Christopher Hollyday's band. Before the age of 20 Mehldau had gigs in Cobb's band, along with fellow student Peter Bernstein on guitar. Mehldau's first recording was for Hollyday's The Natural Moment in 1991. Mehldau's interest in classical music returned when he was in his early twenties, spurred him into developing his left-hand playing, he led his own trio from at least 1992. Mehldau played as sideman with a variety of musicians around this time, his performances with saxophonist Perico Sambeat included a tour of Europe early in 1993, Mehldau's first released recordings as co-leader, from a May concert in Barcelona. Mehldau toured for 18 months with saxophonist Joshua Redman.
This association began in 1993. Redman and his band attracted attention, with their 1994 album Moodswing aiding Mehldau's profile, they played together for the soundtrack to the 1994 film Vanya on 42nd Street, for which Redman wrote the music. Mehldau graduated from The New School in 1993, he formed his first long-term trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy. In the following year, Mehldau recorded Introducing Brad Mehldau for Warner Bros. his first album as sole leader. It was well received, with The Penguin Guide to Jazz commenting that "it's as if he were aware of jazz tradition but unencumbered by it." His second album for Warner Bros. The Art of the Trio Volume One, was recorded in 1996 and was praised by critics; the title was selected by producer Matt Pierson as one that would attract attention and help to build a brand. By the mid- to late 1990s Mehldau was regarded by some as one of the leading jazz musicians: critic John Fordham described him as "the next great keyboard star of jazz".
The appreciation was not universal: some of the pianist's self-penned liner notes and interview comments, which included philosophical musings and complaints about comparisons with pianist Bill Evans, engendered dislike in some, thereby, in critic Nate Chinen's words, "leaving Mehldau with a lingering reputation for pretentiousness and self-indulgence." Many critics did, reassess their judgment of his main influences, given as Evans, an assessment, attributable more to race than to music. Another, non-musical, similarity with Evans, commented on was Mehldau's struggle with an addiction to heroin during the 1990s, up to 1998. Around
T Bone Burnett
Joseph Henry "T Bone" Burnett III is an American record producer and songwriter. As a producer of the soundtrack O Brother, Where Art Thou?, he renewed interest in American roots music. He received a Grammy Award for that album, for the soundtracks Cold Mountain, Walk the Line, Crazy Heart, for Raising Sand, in which he united the contemporary bluegrass of Alison Krauss with the blues rock of Robert Plant. Burnett helped start the careers of the Counting Crows, Los Lobos, Sam Phillips, Gillian Welch, he revitalized the careers of Gregg Allman and Roy Orbison, he produced music for the television programs True Detective. He has released several solo albums, including Tooth of Crime, which he wrote for a revival of the play by Sam Shepard; the only child of Joseph Henry Burnett Jr. and Hazel Perkins Burnett, Burnett was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1948, raised in Fort Worth, Texas, his grandfather worked as secretary for the Southern Baptist Convention. His father wanted to be a pro athlete and was courted by the Brooklyn Dodgers, but instead he got a job in Ft.
Worth with the Tandy Corporation. Burnett was brought up in the Episcopal Church of his mother, he forgot the origin of his nickname. Burnett learned golf an at early age; when he was seven years old, he played at the Texas Christian University course. He idolized golf pro Ben Hogan, from Ft. Worth. Burnett and the other boys watched him practice at the driving range. Burnett was on the golf team at Paschal High School. In 2014 he participated in the professional tournament at Pebble Beach. Burnett discovered music through his parents' 78s of Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington, the songs of Cole Porter, he was drawn to music that took him to unconventional places, he felt no compulsion to stick to one genre. He heard Peggy Lee, Hank Williams, the Beatles on the radio, was influenced by Buddy Holly, revered Johnny Cash, he was smitten by the music of Howlin' Wolf, Skip James, the Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Reed. He learned about music through his friend, Stephen Bruton.
Bruton's father was a jazz drummer who owned a music store on the Texas Christian University campus where the boys spent many weekends. Bruton, a banjoist, revealed his interest in bluegrass music and field recordings from the 1920s and 1930s. Burnett was enamored with the live version of the song "Wrought Iron Rag" by the Dixieland revival band Wilbur De Paris and His New New Orleans Jazz; the boys would sneak into clubs to hear bands. At around the same age, Burnett picked up the guitar. Overwhelmed by seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, he started garage bands with Bruton. After graduating from high school in 1965, they spent most of their time at Sound City, a recording studio in the basement of a radio station where Burnett became fascinated by recording, he produced his first song, "Free Soul", with the Loose Ends under the name Jon T. Bone, his parents had divorced when he was in high school, his father, with whom he was living, died in 1967. He attended Texas Christian University then dropped out to work as an artists and repertoire agent.
Burnett produced and played drums on "Paralyzed", the novelty hit by the Legendary Stardust Cowboy As part of the pseudonymous group Whistler, Chaucer and Greenhill, he appeared on and produced The Unwritten Works of Geoffrey, Etc.. During the same year, he produced six songs for a group of friends who called themselves "The Case Hardy Boys"; this band would move to Los Angeles and become known first as "The Fare" "El Roacho", would have songs produced by Burnett, Daniel Moore, Steve Katz. He moved to Los Angeles and recorded The B-52 Band & the Fabulous Skylarks under the name J. Henry Burnett. In 1975 and 1976, he toured with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue; when the Revue ended and two other members of Dylan's band, David Mansfield and Steven Soles, formed The Alpha Band, which released three albums: The Alpha Band, Spark in the Dark, The Statue Makers of Hollywood. Burnett and singer-songwriter Sam Phillips were married in 1989 and divorced in 2004, he produced many of her albums, including Cruel Inventions.
He married Callie Khouri in 2006. He has three daughters, including one from his marriage to Phillips. In 1980, Burnett released his first post–Alpha Band solo album, Truth Decay, produced by Reggie Fisher, on the Takoma Records label. Truth Decay was a roots rock album described by the Rolling Stone Record Guide as "mystic Christian blues". In 1982, his Trap Door EP, released on the Warner Brothers label, yielded the FM radio hit "I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance". Burnett toured after the release of Trap Door, opening several dates for The Who, leading a band that featured Mick Ronson on guitar, his 1983 album Proof Through the Night, whose song "When the Night Falls" got some FM airplay, his 1987 album The Talking Animals were more in the vein of 1980s new wave music, while his self-titled 1986 album was an album of acoustic country music. His 1992 album The Criminal Under My Own Hat tended toward adult album alternative music. Proof Through the Night was reissued by Rhino Records' Handmade Music in a limited edition of 5,000 on May 29, 2007, in an expanded version.
The double CD included the EPs Trap Door and Behind the Trap Door. In 2006, he released two albums; the True False Identity was his first album of new songs since 1992, Twenty Twenty – The Essential T Bone Burnett was a 40-song career retrospective. Burnett's production credits include How Will the Wolf Survive? (Slash/Warner B
Jason Moran (musician)
Jason Moran is an American jazz pianist and educator involved in multimedia art and theatrical installations. Moran recorded first with Greg Osby and debuted as a band leader with the 1999 album Soundtrack to Human Motion. Since he has released eight other albums—with his trio The Bandwagon, solo or leading other ensembles—and appeared in about 30 albums as a sideman, he has garnered much critical acclaim and won a number of awards for his playing and compositional skills, which combine elements of post-bop and avant-garde jazz, classical music, stride piano, hip hop, among others. Moran was born in Houston and grew up in the Pleasantville neighborhood of Houston, his high middle-class parents, Andy, an investment banker, Mary, a teacher, encouraged his musical and artistic sensibilities at the Houston Symphony and galleries, through a relationship with John T. Biggers and a collection of their own. Moran began training at classical piano playing, in Yelena Kurinets' Suzuki method music school, when he was six.
However, his father's extensive record collection, varied from Motown to classical to avant-garde jazz. As a boy he developed a preference for hip hop music over the piano until, at the age of 13, he first heard the song "′Round Midnight" by Thelonious Monk at home, switched his efforts to jazz. Monk's childlike melodies, with their many silent spaces, struck him as easy to play and not overly ornate, while the rhythms were reminiscent of hip hop songs, the harmonies unorthodox. Both jazz and hip hop were part of Houston's skateboarding scene in which he was involved, he attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, graduating in 1993 from the jazz program headed by Robert Morgan. In his senior year, he was student director of the school's jazz combo and part of the Texas high school all-state jazz ensemble, he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music, from which he would graduate in 1997 with a BM degree, to study with pianist Jaki Byard. The next year he participated in Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead exclusive workshop, composing the piece "Make a Decision" for the final concert.
In 1997, when Moran was a senior at Manhattan School of Music, he was invited to join the band of saxophonist Greg Osby for a European tour, following a conversation that lingered on older piano jazz, no audition. Osby liked his playing, Moran continued to play with Osby's group upon their return to the United States, making his first recorded appearance on Osby's 1997 Blue Note album Further Ado, he would subsequently appear on several other Osby albums, Osby would introduce him to avant-garde pianists Muhal Richard Abrams and Andrew Hill. His stint with Osby led Moran to sign a contract of his own with Blue Note, his debut Soundtrack to Human Motion was released in 1998. Moran was joined on the album by Osby, drummer Eric Harland, vibraphonist Stefon Harris and acoustic bassist Lonnie Plaxico. Moran's next album, 2000's Facing Left, featured a trio that formed out of Osby's group, New Directions: Moran, bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits. Compositions were some of Moran's and some by Mateen, Duke Ellington, Björk and Byard.
The trio, which came to be known as The Bandwagon, was joined by saxophonist and pianist Sam Rivers for their next album, Black Stars, which appeared in 2001. Black Stars was included in NPR's "The 50 Most Important Recordings of the Decade."In 2002, Moran released a solo album and followed it in 2003 with a live trio album, recorded at New York's Village Vanguard, called The Bandwagon. That same summer he appeared in the Montreal International Jazz Festival, first partnering with Lee Konitz, with the trio. In 2004 he played on Don Byron's Ivey-Divey; the Ivey-Divey Trio toured for a number of years, from the Monterey Jazz Festival 2004 to Montreal's Jazz Festival in 2006 to WinterJazzFest in 2009. Moran's 2005 album Same Mother, an exploration of the blues, brought guitarist Marvin Sewell into the Bandwagon mix. Moran's 2006 release, Artist in Residence, included a number of selections from different works commissioned by museums, all of which premiered in 2005: "Milestone" is centered on a visual work by Adrian Piper from the Walker Art Center.
Critical reception to Artist in Residence has been arguably colder that to his other releases. Moran's IN MY MIND, premiered in 2007, is a multimedia presentation inspired by Thelonious Monk's 1959 "large band" concert at The Town Hall in New York City, it utilises filmed and taped material of Monk's rehearsal, found in the archive of W. Eugene Smith, video art by David Dempewolf. A text-laden painting from Glenn Ligon extracted the words "In My Mind" - which Monk says on one of Smith's tapes - as did Moran, incorporating the soundbite into the set; the program is played by The Big Bandwagon: the trio with a changeable five piece horn section. The New York Times wrote, "It had a magical balance of theory and intuition, the crowd stayed with it." The February 2009 installation is the subject of a documentary film of the same name. In April 2007 Moran took the piano in Charles Lloyd's New Quartet, succeeding Geri Allen, he was the last member to join the group, which keeps touring, having recorded one studio album and two live ones.
Moran and Lloyd recorded a duo album, Hagar's Song, in
Marc Ribot is an American guitarist and composer. His work has touched on many styles, including no wave, free jazz and Cuban music. Ribot is known for collaborating with other musicians, most notably Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Vinicio Capossela and John Zorn. Ribot was born in New Jersey, he grew up in the Montrose section of the son of a noted physician. He has worked extensively as a session guitarist, he has performed and recorded with Tom Waits, Caetano Veloso, John Zorn, David Sylvian, Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, The Lounge Lizards, Arto Lindsay, T-Bone Burnett, Medeski and Wood, Cibo Matto, Sam Phillips, Elvis Costello, Tift Merritt, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Susana Baca, The Black Keys, Vinicio Capossela, Alain Bashung, McCoy Tyner, Elton John, Madeleine Peyroux, Marianne Faithfull, Diana Krall, Mike Patton, Neko Case, Joe Henry, Allen Toussaint, Ikue Mori and others. Ribot's earliest session work was featured on Tom Waits's Rain Dogs and helped define Waits's new musical direction.
Ribot worked with Waits on many of his following albums including Franks Wild Years, Big Time, Mule Variations, Real Gone, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards and Bad as Me. He has appeared on Elvis Costello's Spike, Mighty Like a Rose, Kojak Variety. Ribot has appeared on numerous recordings by John Zorn, including many of Zorn's Filmworks recordings, solo performances on Zorn's Masada Guitars, is a member of Zorn's Bar Kokhba Sextet and Electric Masada. Ribot's first two albums featured the Rootless Cosmopolitans, followed by an album of works by Frantz Casseus for solo guitar. Further releases found him working in a variety of band and solo contexts including two albums with his self-described "dance band", Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos, featuring compositions by Arsenio Rodríguez. Ribot admitted to Guitar Player a limited technical facility due to learning to play right-handed despite being left-handed: "That's a real limit, one that caused me a lot of grief when I was working with Jack McDuff and realizing I wasn't following in George Benson's footsteps.
I couldn't be a straight-ahead jazz contender if you held a gun to my head, but that begs the question of whether I would want to be one."He performs and records with his groups Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog with bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith of the avant-garde band Secret Chiefs 3, Marc Ribot Trio with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Chad Taylor of Chicago Underground, The Young Philadelphians, covering 1970s Philadelphia soul music with Philadelphia-based musicians bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer G. Calvin Weston with guitarist Mary Halvorson plus a three-piece string section. A biographical documentary film about Ribot was called The Lost String. Ribot was a judge for the sixth annual Independent Music Awards. Rootless Cosmopolitans Requiem for What's His Name Marc Ribot Plays Solo Guitar Works of Frantz Casseus Shrek Subsonic 1: Sounds of a Distant Episode with Shrek The Book of Heads composed by John Zorn Don't Blame Me Shoe String Symphonettes The Prosthetic Cubans with Los Cubanos Postizos Yo!
I Killed Your God ¡Muy Divertido! with Los Cubanos Postizos Saints Inasmuch as Life is Borrowed limited edition Scelsi Morning Soundtracks Volume 2 Spiritual Unity Exercises in Futility Party Intellectuals with Ceramic Dog Silent Movies Your Turn with Ceramic Dog Live at the Village Vanguard with Henry Grimes and Chad Taylor The Young Philadelphians: Live in Tokyo with the Young Philadelphians YRU Still Here? with Ceramic Dog Songs of Resistance: 1942–2018 Sabbath in Paradise The Soul of a Man A Bookshelf on Top of the Sky: 12 Stories About John Zorn The Lost String Gare du Nord Marc Ribot official website Marc Ribot on IMDb Marc Ribot at AllMusic
The Jayhawks are an American alternative country and country rock band that emerged from the Twin Cities music scene during the mid-1980s. Led by vocalists and songwriters Gary Louris and Mark Olson, their country rock sound was influential on many bands who played the Twin Cities circuit during the 1980s and 1990s like Uncle Tupelo, the Gear Daddies and the Honeydogs, they have released ten studio albums with and without Olson who left the band in 1995, including five on the American Recordings label. On hiatus from 2005 to 2009, the 1994–1995 lineup of the band reunited, releasing the album, Mockingbird Time, in September 2011. After the tour, Mark Olson again left the band. After another hiatus in 2013, the 1997 lineup led by Louris reunited to play shows in 2014 to support the reissue of three albums released between 1997 and 2003; the band has remained active touring and recording since, including the release of the albums Live at The Belly Up in 2015, Paging Mr. Proust, produced by Peter Buck in 2016 and Back Roads and Abandoned Motels in 2018.
The Jayhawks were formed in 1985 by Gary Louris, Marc Perlman and Norm Rogers. Their first album, The Jayhawks, was released by Bunkhouse Records, a small independent label, in 1986, their music at the time written by Olson, showed a strong roots/country rock influence. Rogers left and was replaced by Thad Spencer, the band worked for the next years on demo tapes in search of a major label recording contract. During this period, Louris left the band and Dan Gaarder replaced him. Louris returned, the collected demos from 1986 to 1989 were brought together to create Blue Earth, released on the Minneapolis label Twin Tone in 1989. On this album Louris shared more of the songwriting with Olson. After touring the U. S. in support of Blue Earth, Spencer left the band and was replaced in 1988 by Ken Callahan, who stayed with the band until 1993. In 1991, Dave Ayers, the president of Twin Tone, was on a phone call with A&R representative George Drakoulias of Def American while Blue Earth played in the background.
Drakoulias asked about the music and met with and signed the band to the label that year. In 1992 the Jayhawks had Hollywood Town Hall, on Def American; the album was produced by Drakoulias and recorded in Los Angeles and at Pachyderm Recording Studio in Minnesota. Though Louris's fuzzy guitar was at the forefront, a clear folksy influence was emerging in Olson and Louris's songwriting; the album was successful, powered by the single "Waiting for the Sun", it brought the Jayhawks a wider fan base. Adding Karen Grotberg on keyboards and vocals, the band toured extensively; that year Olson and Pearlman, along with Olson's longtime friend and future collaborator in the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers, Mike Russell, were recruited by Joe Henry as the backing band for his album ""Short Man's Room" and its 1993 followup, "Kindness of the World." In 1995 they went into the studio to produce Tomorrow the Green Grass on the renamed American Recordings label. The lead track, "Blue", was a Top 40 hit in Canada, but the record's production had been expensive and the album failed to sell as expected in the U.
S. Among the album's songs is "Miss Williams' Guitar," a love song for Olson's then-girlfriend, singer-songwriter Victoria Williams. Drummer and songwriter Tim O'Reagan joined the band for the 1995 tour. By the end of 1995, Olson unexpectedly left the band to spend more time with Williams; the band continued adding Kraig Johnson on guitar. Johnson, another Minneapolis musical fixture, had played in the seminal SST band Run Westy Run and Golden Smog; the Jayhawks released Sound of Lies in 1997, with Louris composing most of the songs and allowing all of his influences a share in the proceedings. The result mixed straight rock, psychedelic and some dub elements, taking the band far from its country-influenced origins. Smile, produced by Bob Ezrin, had more of a pop music feel, jarring some of the band's long-time fans; the New York Times positively reviewed the album, but in a nod to the band's lack of widespread recognition, titled the review "What If You Made a Classic and No One Cared?" Though still a member through the recording of the album, Grotberg left the band before the Smile tour and was replaced by Jen Gunderman.
The song "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" appeared in a Ralph Lauren commercial, the second soundtrack released from Dawson's Creek Songs from Dawson's Creek Volume 2, the 2001 film All Over the Guy. Rainy Day Music, was stripped down, more acoustic, seen as a return to their alt-country roots; the band now consisted of founding members Louris and Perlman, along with drummer O'Reagan and touring band member ex-Long Ryder Stephen McCarthy, from Richmond, who played with Johnny Hott and the Piedmont Surprise. McCarthy added pedal steel, lap steel, banjo and backing vocals to the album and subsequent live shows; this lineup toured in 2003 and early 2004, including their first appearance on PBS's long-running series Austin City Limits. The band's final show was in Spain. In addition to their studio albums, the Jayhawks released Live from the Women's Club, an all-acoustic live recording of Louris, Perlman and O'Reagan from
Angela Maria "Ani" DiFranco is an American singer, poet and activist. She has released more than 20 albums. DiFranco has received positive feedback from critics for much of her career. DiFranco's music has been classified as folk rock and alternative rock, although it has additional influences from punk, hip hop and jazz, she has released all her albums on her own record label, Righteous Babe, giving her significant creative freedom. DiFranco supports many social and political movements by performing benefit concerts, appearing on benefit albums and speaking at rallies. Through the Righteous Babe Foundation DiFranco has backed grassroots cultural and political organizations supporting causes including abortion rights and LGBT visibility, she counts American folk songwriter Pete Seeger among her mentors. DiFranco will release a memoir entitled No Walls and the Recurring Dream on May 7, 2019 via Viking Books. DiFranco was born in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Elizabeth and Dante Americo DiFranco, who had met while attending MIT.
Her father was of Italian descent, her mother was from Montreal. DiFranco started playing Beatles covers at local bars and busking with her guitar teacher, Michael Meldrum, at the age of nine. By 14 she was writing her own songs, she played them at bars and coffee houses throughout her teens. DiFranco graduated from the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts high school at 16 and began attending classes at Buffalo State College, she was living by herself, having moved out of her mother's apartment after she became an emancipated minor when she was 15. DiFranco started her own record company, Righteous Babe Records, in 1989 at age 19, she released her self-titled debut album in the winter of 1990, shortly after relocating to New York City. There, she took poetry classes at The New School, where she met poet Sekou Sundiata, to become a friend and mentor, she toured for the next 15 years, pausing only to record albums. Appearances at Canadian folk festivals and larger venues in the U. S. reflected her increasing popularity on the North American folk and roots scene.
Throughout the early and mid-1990s DiFranco toured solo and as a duo with Canadian drummer Andy Stochansky. In September 1995, DiFranco participated in a concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio, inaugurating the opening of the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York City, she released a CD on Righteous Babe of the concert entitled Til We Outnumber Em featuring artists such as DiFranco, Billy Bragg, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Indigo Girls, Dave Pirner, Tim Robbins, Bruce Springsteen with 100% of proceeds going to the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum educational department. In 1996, bassist Sara Lee joined the touring group, whose live rapport is showcased on the 1997 album Living in Clip. DiFranco would release Lee's solo album Make It Beautiful on Righteous Babe. In 1998, Stochansky left to pursue a solo career as a singer-songwriter. A new touring ensemble consisting of Jason Mercer on bass, Julie Wolf on keyboards, Daren Hahn on drums, augmented at times by a horn section, accompanied DiFranco on tour between 1998 and 2002.
The 1990s were a period of heightened exposure for DiFranco, as she continued playing larger venues around the world and attracted international attention of the press, including cover stories in Spin, Ms. and Magnet, among others, as well as appearances on MTV and VH1. Her playfully ironic cover of the Bacharach/David song "Wishin' and Hopin'" appeared under the opening titles of the film My Best Friend's Wedding, she guest starred on a 1998 episode of the Fox sitcom King of the Hill, as the voice of Peggy's feminist guitar teacher, Emily. Beginning in 1999, Righteous Babe Records began releasing albums by other artists including Sara Lee, Sekou Sundiata, Michael Meldrum, Arto Lindsay and Animal, That One Guy, Utah Phillips, Hamell on Trial, Andrew Bird, Kurt Swinghammer, Buddy Wakefield, Anais Mitchell and Nona Hendryx. On September 11, 2001, DiFranco was in Manhattan and penned the poem "Self Evident" about the experience; the poem was featured in the book It's a Free Country: Personal Freedom in America After September 11.
The poem's title became the name of DiFranco's first book of poetry released in Italy by Minimum Fax. It was also featured in Verses, a book of her poetry published in the U. S. by Seven Stories press. DiFranco has written and performed many spoken-word pieces throughout her career and was showcased as a poet on the HBO series Def Poetry in 2005. Since her 2005 release Knuckle Down DiFranco's touring band and recordings have featured bass player Todd Sickafoose and in turns other musicians such as Allison Miller, Andy Borger, Herlin Riley, Terence Higgins on drums and Mike Dillon on percussion and vibes. On September 11, 2007, she released the first retrospective of her career, a two disc compilation entitled Canon and a retrospective collection of poetry book Verses. On September 30, 2008, she released Red Letter Year. In 2009 DiFranco appeared at Pete Seeger's 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden, debuting her revamped version of the 1930s labor anthem "Which Side Are You On?" in a duet with Bruce Cockburn and duetting with Kris Kristofferson on the folk classic "There's a Hole in the Bucket".
DiFranco released an album on January 17, 2012, titled ¿Which Side Are You On?. It includes collaborations with Pete Seeger, Ivan Neville, Cyril Neville, Adam Levy, Righteous Babe recording artist Anaïs Mitchell, CC Adcock, a host of New Orleans-based horn players known for their work in such outfits as Galactic and Rebir
Helmet is an American alternative metal band from New York City formed in 1989. Founded by vocalist and lead guitarist Page Hamilton, Helmet has had numerous lineup changes, Hamilton has been the only constant member. Helmet has released two compilation albums; the band found mainstream success with their 1992 major label debut Meantime, which debuted at number 68 on the Billboard 200, with singles "Unsung" and "In the Meantime". After the releases of Betty and Aftertaste, Helmet broke up in 1998. However, the band reformed in 2004, has since released four more albums ― Size Matters, Seeing Eye Dog and Dead to the World. After Hamilton had left the Band of Susans, Helmet formed in early 1989, they were spotted by Tom Hazelmyer and signed to Amphetamine Reptile Records, releasing their debut 7 inch single, "Born Annoying" that year. AmRep released their first album, Strap it On, in 1990. Helmet has been described as a "thinking man's metal band". Eschewing the traditional metal image of long hair and black clothing, the band stood out with their preference for simple T-shirts and sneakers, short haircuts.
Their atypical look was referenced in an episode of Beavis and Butthead, in which the pair's commentary on the video for "Unsung" included the lines "That drummer looks like a regular guy" and "If you, saw these guys on the street, you wouldn't know they were cool."Their music is characterized by repetitive, staccato guitar riffs in unconventional time signatures, always in a minor key with drop-D or drop-C tuning. The guitar sound is distorted and dissonant, with choruses that involve guitar feedback waves. Before Hamilton had settled on a name, the guitarist Peter Mengede's then-wife Reyne Cuccuro suggested the Germanic name "Helmuth". Hamilton misinterpreted her and mistakenly believed that she was referring to the form of protective gear. Hamilton thought excitedly that Helmet had "sounded like a pretty cool name for a band" and opted for the Anglicized spelling. Other names taken in consideration were "Cry Ruth" and "Poly Orchids", along with the more esoteric and obscure "Tuna Lorenzo" and "Froth Albumen".
The band achieved success after signing to Interscope Records in early 1992. It is rumored that the members received in excess of $1 million at signing, along with an unprecedented amount of control over their work, their first Interscope release, was released in 1992 and certified Gold in 1994. The album remains Helmet's top-selling album. Helmet toured the United States, Brazil and Asia relentlessly with other AmRep recording artists. Internal tensions rose high at times. In early 1993, guitarist Peter Mengede left the band and formed Handsome which only released one album in 1997, he was replaced by guitarist of hardcore band Rest in Pieces. The band's third album, was released in 1994. Despite managing the band's highest-ever chart position on the Billboard 200 at number 45, the album failed to sell as many copies as Meantime. In 1995, the band appeared in The Jerky Boys: The Movie, covering Black Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe," and featuring a cameo by Ozzy Osbourne as their manager. After recording and touring in support of Betty, Echeverria left to join Biohazard.
The band elected to record 1997's Aftertaste as a three-piece. A first version of the album was withdrawn at last minute in the fall of 1996 when promotional activities had begun. Release was delayed to March 1997 for a new audio mix, guitarist Chris Traynor was recruited for the supporting tour. Although the song "Exactly What You Wanted" became a moderate radio hit, the album spent only a few weeks on the Billboard 200 and has sold 135,000 copies as of April 2006; the Aftertaste Tour in 1997–98 would prove to be the band's last. Amid long-standing private disputes, the members decided to call. Asked about the breakup, Hamilton replied, "9 years, 1,600 shows, 5 albums, we found it hard to look at each other anymore" After the dissolution of Helmet, the members went on to numerous different projects. Hamilton relocated from New York to Los Angeles and became involved in many different projects, from playing guitar for David Bowie to doing sessions for film scores, working with composer Elliot Goldenthal on the 1999 soundtracks to In Dreams and Titus.
When working on film scores, he was part of a "guitar orchestra" called "Deaf Elk" with other guitarists of which he was the primary. He periodically returned to New York to work with his band Gandhi, where several of the songs appearing on Size Matters began. Bogdan formed the Moonlighters, for which he played steel guitar, in New York with Bliss Blood, before returning home to Oregon to play for the Midnight Serenaders. Stanier took a break from drumming for over a year, but returned to play drums for Tomahawk, The Mark of Cain and Primer 55. After moving to Los Angeles, Hamilton began working with drummer John Tempesta on a new project. After searching for a record label and a name for the project, Hamilton was urged by Jimmy Iovine of Interscope to release the new project under the established Helmet moniker, to which Interscope held the rights. Hamilton had resisted for some time, but since his relationships with Stanier and Bogdan had not improved since 1998, his prev