Band of Horses

Band of Horses Saddle Up Acoustic Tour Behind Ryman Album

Modern indie heroes Band Of Horses are set to embark on an acoustic theater tour behind the release of their upcoming, and equally acoustic, album, Band of Horses: Acoustic at the Ryman.

The intimate winter run is due to kick off on February 11th in Los Angeles. The 13-city outing will then see said band (Of Horses) makes stops in major markets, including San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago, as well as featuring a couple of Canadian dates, before wrapping up with a March 5th concert at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium – the same venue where the band recorded their impending live release.

Band Of Horses: Acoustic at the Ryman, meanwhile, will see physical, digital, spiritual and other kinds of release on February 11th, the same day the supporting tour begins. The 10-song set, recorded in April 2013 over two nights, features acoustic renditions of the group’s biggest hits.

“The game plan was to keep it wild and expressive like the show while capturing it with highest resolution available,” bassist Bill Reynolds said in a press release. “The electricity in The Ryman was off the charts. If that makes it to the listener, then we’ll consider this a success.”

The live album comes nearly a year and a half after the band’s most recent studio effort, Mirage Rock, which peaked at No. 13 on that magical Billboard 200.

Acoustic appears to be something of a running theme for the band recently, with frontman Ben Bridwell hitting the road just last month for a mini solo acoustic tour across the southeast under the moniker Birdsmell. Don’t worry – you’re not alone – we hate that moniker too.

Shaky Knees Festival Comes to Atlanta with Lumineers, Band of Horses

The inaugural Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta will feature the Lumineers and Band of Horses.

The new event will take place May 4-5 at both Historic Fourth Ward Park and the Masquerade Music Park. Throughout the event, 28 bands will play on three outdoor stages.

Other notable acts in the lineup include The Orwells, Jim James, the Joy Formidable, Kurt Vile & the Violators, Drive-By Trucker, Gary Clark Jr., Lucero, Dr. Dog, the Antlers, Shovels & Rope and Heartless Bastards.

The festival is curated by Tim Sweetwood, a long-time Atlanta promoter.

“I’m not trying to appeal to every music fan or break into new territory that has already been well covered by other festivals,” Sweetwood said in a statement. “I’d love for people to be able to find enough of a connection in the lineup to be familiar with several of the artists. But I want to offer enough of a range musically that they could get turned on to an artist they might never have heard of but end up loving.”

This will be the first ever concert held in the Historic Fourth Ward Park.

“The Historic Fourth Ward Park Conservancy and Atlanta BeltLine did such an amazing job putting together the park and it’s brought so much more life to the area,” Sweetwood continued. “We’re really excited and grateful to be able to have access to the park’s even lawn for our festival site.”

Two-day general admission tickets for the festival cost $99, and you can also upgrade this to the Paste magazine VIP 2 Day tickets, which cost $265. The extra money includes access to 2 VIP lounges, special acoustic performances by festival artists and free water and beer. That last part might be enough to make quite a few festivalgoers shell out a few extra bucks.

Album Review: Band of Horses ‘Mirage Rock’

Album Review: Band of Horses ‘Mirage Rock’

This band is almost completely different from the Band of Horses who made their mark with their 2005 debut, Everything All the Time. Lineup changes have come with each of their four releases up until now, when for the first time the band has managed to hold a lineup together. The result should be a refined and maturing sound, right?

The record just doesn’t have the presence that it should, and these guys have proven themselves more capable in the past. Here they feel like tourists of music, just sort of passing by and making Band of Horses-like sounds that don’t really resonate. It’s not an album that a lot of people are going to be very passionate about, and a band of this build cannot afford to be relegated to background music.

The first single and opening track, “Knock Knock,” is pleasant enough, and if I ended my review right here you would probably have a complete picture of the album as a whole. It’s a poppy, but plodding song. This stable, comfortable version of the band feels complacent, or even bored.

It’s not a bad record, but it is a disappointment. Things become decisively more southern-rock, but without the big riffs that make the genre impactful. When the band is at its best on Mirage Rock they are somewhere between the indie darlings of old and Neil Young minus Crazyhorse. That may read like high praise, but how good would any Neil Young album be if he didn’t seem to mean a word he sang?

“A Little Biblical” feels like an opportunity lost. It has a very strong pop structure, but the band plays it cool and quiet, seeming to intentionally stop the track from breaking through. It has the sound of a surf rock song in its lazy, jangling approach, which would be a great fit for this band if they could let their songs breathe more.

“Dumpster World” features a strangely forced aggression which comes across as if mocking its own message. The words are humorous and awkward, which is completely unintentional, and as a result the song is almost embarrassing to behold.

The album picks up a bit in its dying moments, but it is almost certainly too little, too late. They lean back towards the indie end of their sound and it all begins to work again, but neither “Electric Music” nor “Feud” are good enough to single-handedly pull this record up and out of the muck.

When all is said and done, Mirage Rock actually feels like the perfect title for this album. They have slightly bent existing genres into their own style of rock music, but it feels quite fake and insubstantial. When the last notes play your life will go on like the record never existed; as if it was all just a mirage.

Release Date: September 18, 2012
Image Courtesy of Columbia

Railroad Revival Tour Cancelled, New Dates for Band of Horses

Railroad Revival Tour Cancelled, New Dates for Band of Horses

The Railroad Revival Tour, designed to include Band of Horses and Willie Nelson traveling the country by rail, has been cancelled. Fortunately, Band of Horses already has announced some dates to makeup for the cancelled tour.

The conditions of the cancellation of the tour were not explicitly revealed by a statement posted to the tour’s official website.

“It is with extreme regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2012 Railroad Revival Tour,” read the statement. “The decision to do so was a difficult one, but it was determined that certain complications would not permit us to host the shows in the manner intended, and that the bands and fans deserved.”

The tour was scheduled to kick off October 20 in Duluth, Ga. and then travel the country in vintage rail cars, performing in seven more cities along the way. The final scheduled stop was October 28 in Oakland.

Band of Horses have scheduled seven shows to fill the gap the cancellation of the Railroad Revival Tour left in their itinerary. The first new show will be at the House of Blues in New Orleans October 21, and the final new show will be held in Oakland at the Fox Theater on October 28.

The dates extend Band of Horses’ U.S. tour leg that begins October 10 in Cincinnati. After the October 28 show, the band will head to Europe for a string of shows that will take up most of the month of November. The group will then play a handful of U.S. dates in early December before taking some time off for the holidays and then eventually heading to Australia next January to participate in the Big Day Out traveling festival.

The Railroad Revival Tour website also including a note that the tour “will be giving ticket holders a full refund. These will be processed by October 21, 2012. Please be patient while these refunds are processed and give them time to appear on your credit card statement.”

Stream Albums: The Killers ‘Battle Born,’ Band of Horses ‘Mirage Rock’

Stream Albums: The Killers ‘Battle Born,’ Band of Horses ‘Mirage Rock’

This week’s “albums you can stream before their release date news” stars the Killers and Band of Horses.

Both the Killers’ Battle Born and Band of Horses’ Mirage Rock are slated to drop next Tuesday, September 18, but both can be heard in their entirety today. The stream of Battle Born can be found on iTunes, while Mirage Rock is available on Minnesota Public Radio.

Battle Born will be the Killers first album since 2008’s Day & Age. After that album was released, the group went on a brief hiatus while frontman Brandon Flowers released a solo album called Flamingo in 2010. The new album is named after the state motto of the band’s home state of Nevada, “The Battle Born State.” The first single from the albums, “Runaways,” was released in July.

The band also will appear on an upcoming episode of American Express’ web series “Unstaged,” which couples rock bands with notable film directors for a performance. The Killers will work with legendary director Werner Herzog.

Band of Horses most recent album was Infinite Arms, released in 2010. For Mirage Rock, the group teamed up with legendary producer Glyn Johns, who has worked with artists including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and many others.

“It was a natural fit: Given how much Glyn’s fingerprints were all over the parents’ record collections we grew up on, it’s not hard to imagine how Glyn influenced so much of not only our tastes and musical voices and personalities, but Rock n Roll as we know it,” Band of Horses’ frontman Ben Bridwell told the Minnesota NPR station. “Glyn is part of the fabric of this music and it’s all been part of us since childhood.”

He also spoke of the making of the new record.

Mirage Rock was more fun and easier to make than any record I’ve ever played on,” he said. “…In the five or so year’s that this line-up has been writing, recording and solidifying as a live powerhouse and second family, we’ve all learned how crucial collaboration is to our formula, and that no one person’s idea is more important than another’s.”

Willie Nelson, Band of Horses Head Out on Railroad Revival Tour

Willie Nelson, Band of Horses Head Out on Railroad Revival Tour

Willie Nelson and Band of Horses will be among the acts playing the second annual Railroad Revival Tour, it was announced recently.

This year’s tour will continue the tradition started last year of traveling by train to play outdoor dates in a handful of cities. The tour will kick off on October 20 at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Ga., and is scheduled to run through October 28. At that point, all of the bands involved will have ridden the rails across the country to a show at Oakland’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park.

Other cities the tour will visit are Memphis; Oklahoma City; Old Town Spring, Texas; Tempe, Ariz., San Padro, Calif. and one more city that will be announced later. Traveling with Nelson and Band of Horses are Jamey Johnson and John Reilly & Friends.

The tour’s official website describes the tour like this:

Railroad Revival Tour is an experience that transcends typical music tours or festivals and glorifies the historical romance between music and trains under the setting of the great American landscape. This one-of-a-kind U.S. train tour travels from town to town aboard 16 vintage, 1940’s rail cars, setting up open air, pop-up concert venues in parks, fields and lots around the railroad tracks where they stop.

Last year’s inaugural Railroad Revival Tour event included music from Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show. As you might expect, that tour also featured impromptu jam sessions at train stations along the way, so there’s little reason to suspect the same wouldn’t happen this year.

A documentary about last year’s tour called “Big Easy Express” was made and is out today on DVD and Blu Ray; it was released on iTunes late last month. The film was inspired by the 2003 documentary the “Festival Express,” which documented a 1970 railroad tour of Canada by the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and the Band.

My Morning Jacket Buddies Up with Band of Horses for August Dates

My Morning Jacket Buddies Up with Band of Horses for August Dates

In what may result in the most vocal reverb ever applied to any tour, My Morning Jacket has announced that they will bring Band of Horses along with them on a newly announced North American trek later this year.

The two bands will stay on the road together for more than three weeks this summer, and will mark the beginning of the tour with a two-night stand at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo., August 3-4. The tour will then continue through the end of August with a gig in Raleigh, N.C. on August 26. In between these dates, the bands will play cities including Toronto, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Atlanta.

The Brooklyn date, which is August 19, will not feature Band of Horses, who will be replaced by Shabazz Palaces. Trombone Shorty will appear during the Red Rocks dates, and Trampled by Turtles will also provide additional support during a Minneapolis show, which is scheduled for August 10.

In a statement, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James expressed his excitement about the upcoming jaunt.

“We are delighted to be sharing the stage with our pals in Band of Horses,” James said. “We danced a beautiful dance together at Madison Square Garden [in December 2011] and there is a lot of love between our camps. It’s gonna be a good old-tyme thrill ride.”

Ben Bridwell, singer of Band of Horses, echoed this anticipation.

“YES! We’re touring with the incredible My Morning Jacket!” Bridwell said. “So psyched to hit the road with our buddies and (hopefully) warm you all up for the greatest band going.”

My Morning Jacket has quite the busy schedule even before this tour begins. From now until July, the band will be appearing at summer festivals both in the States and in Europe. Events they will be playing on this side of the Atlantic include Beale Street Music Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.