Go See Hear In L.A. April 21-30 (Holly Williams/Holly George-Warren/Inara George edition)

Although I am still living the nomadic life, I wanted to drop back in to take a look on upcoming shows. Pardon any obvious omissions, things have been rather catch-as-catch-can of late.

Tues. April 22

The Men will be marching into the Echo with Gun Outfit. Hauschka (aka Volker Bertelmann) showcases his new work Abandoned City, where is inspired by abandoned cities around the world. Onward, Etc. brings their punk-fueled folk to the Hotel Café, while Asher Roth headlines the Troubadour.

Wed. April 23

Top Show: The top show, actually, is an author appearance. The Grammy Museum welcomes the talented Holly George-Warren who will talk about A Man Called Destruction, her bio about the mercurial cult hero Alex Chilton.

The Boston Boys share their revved up acoustic music at Solana Beach’s Belly Up; they will also play Room 5 on the 25th and the Moskowitz Gallery on the 26th. U.K. singer Daley headlines the El Rey. The Three of Clubs tour, featuring Terraplane Sun, Flagship and Little Daylight, comes to the Troubadour, while local troubadour Tom Brosseau has a Bootleg gig.

Thurs. April 24

Top Show(s): Dave and Phil Alvin have a sold-out appearance at the Grammy Museum to celebrate their reunion and upcoming tribute CD to Big Bill Broonzy (due June 3 on Yep Roc). If you can’t get in to see the Alvins, then head to the Troubadour where the potent soul outfit St. Paul & The Broken Bones have a show. Their debut Half The City is a big blast of rock ‘n’ soul music.

The Wilshire Ebell goes Gray tonight when David Gray headlines.

Fri. April 25

Top Show: Peter Case shares his trunkload of songs and stories at Claremont’s Folk Music Center.

Turn back the rock clock to the dawn of the millennium with Dandy Warhol and the Warlocks at the Roxy tonight and April 26. ‘60s folk legend Noel Paul Stookey has a rare solo show at McCabe’s. Dessy Di Lauro’s music looks back even farther – to the 1930’s. She’ll perform her neo-ragtime at Harvelle’s.

Sat. April 26

Top Show: The great Americana rockers Drive-By Truckers come to the Fonda as part of their English Oceans tour. Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley will also be at the Grammy Museum on April 29.

Euro star Carla Bruni performs her first-ever L.A. solo concert at the Luckman. It’s not quite Who’s Next (Generation), but Simon Townshend (aka Pete’s younger bro) has a show at McCabe’s. AL-to-L.A. singer/songwriter Beth Thornley plays the Hotel Café. Sleeper Agent livens up the Satellite tonight and Santa Ana’s Constellation Room on the 27th.

Mon. April 28

Top Show(s): One-time Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell, whose Southern was my fave CD of last year, and Holly Williams, whose last two discs (Here With Me and The Highway) have been divine, share the bill at the Roxy. CD Rising Americana star Hurray For The Riff Raff has a special appearance at the Grammy Museum.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band man John McEuen returns to the Coffee Gallery Backstage. Electro-popsters DWNTWN plays Bardot’s School Night tonight and a free Sayers Club show on the 29th while Teen will be rocking the Bootleg.

Tues. April 29

Top Show(s): Besides the DBT boys’ Grammy appearance, the other top show is a solo show from Michael Nesmith (btw, he’ll be focusing on his impressive solo career and not his Monkees years).

The Wiltern will hail British rock royalty, Franz Ferdinand.

Wed. April 30

Top Show: Largo hosts a tribute to the wonderful Eleni Mandell, with scheduled appearances by Jackson Browne, Inara George, Mike Andrews and others – all to benefit the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

 

 

 

 

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Go See Hear in L.A. April 1-6 (the Rosie Flores/Faun Fables edition)

My apologies for not putting together a concert roundup for last week. It was a crazy week of packing up boxes (and I wish I could say unpacking them too, but that’s a story I am waiting for the happy ending to arrive before telling it). Anyway, it’s April 1st but I’m not joking around with this list of recommended shows.

Tues. April 1

Top Show: The venerable Willie Nelson rolls into the Fox Theater in Riverside tonight and hits the Wiltern on the 2nd.

Midwestern-bred, L.A.-based Cerny Brothers deliver some rootsy rock at the Mint that’s a free show also featuring Dustbowl Revival. Another local fave, Rich McCulley starts his April residency at the Cinema Bar with the Crockett Sisters as his guests (this show is also free). The beguiling British songstress Jessy Lanza opens for Cut Copy at the Palladium (this show is not free).

Wed. April 2

Top Show: Neil Finn has teamed up with the psych.-tinged Texas rockers Midlake for a series of acoustic shows; they’ll be appearing at the grand Orpheum.

Americana singer/songwriter Melanie Devaney, whose new fine disc Single Subject Notebook is worth seeking out, has a gig at Room 5 as well as a show April 6 at Malibu’s Rosenthal Estate Winery. Quirky popsters Incan Abraham will undoubtedly showcase some tunes from their upcoming album Tolerance at their Bootleg show.

Thurs. April 3

Top Show(s): The Mavericks celebrate their 25th anniversary with a festive show at the Fonda. Emmylou Harris also is doing some celebrating. She is touring with Daniel Lanois to salute their landmark 1995 collaboration Wrecking Ball and they’ll be performing at Wiltern.

Dawn McCarthy, who teamed up with Bonnie “Prince” Billy last year for an Everly Brothers tribute, brings her own folk duo Faun Fables to town for a Roxy gig. The up-and-coming Nikki Lane shares songs from her feisty, Dan Auerbach-produced CD All Or Nothin’ (due May 6 on New West) at the El Rey.

Fri. April 4

Top Show: Ben Watt (of Everything But the Girl fame) plays the Echo with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler. Watt is releasing his first solo outing (Hendra) in over 30 years at the end of April.

The War on Drugs have a new album (Lost In The Dream) and starts their 2-night sold-out Troubadour stand tonight. NHM’s First Friday series features the talented Mikal Cronin along with the Tijuana Panthers. The eclectic Dan Croll comes from Liverpool to the El Rey with his just released debut Sweet Disarray out on Capitol. Things will be grooving at the Orpheum when Widespread Panic (who are well-known for their live show prowess) comes to play. McCabe’s, meanwhile, welcomes the highly respected singer/songwriter Lucy Kaplansky. Director Penelope Spheeris is scheduled to appear at a special screening of The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years at LACMA (how come Part I seems to be screened so rarely?

Sat. April 5

Top Show(s): Two long-time L.A. music icons Peter Case and Rosie Flores have local shows. Case has a special 60th birthday show at McCabe’s (a favorite place to see him play) while Flores will be shaking things up at the Arcadia Blues Club.

Fitz & The Tantrums will do their modern soul thing at the Palladium. Nashville’s savvy popsters The Leagues (featuring Thad Cockrell) will land at the Satellite. The Church on York plays host to Henry Wolfe, Cory Becker and Crash.

Sun. April 6

The Magic Band salutes their mastermind Captain Beefheart with a show at the Roxy packed with Don Van Vliet’s unique music. Kate Taylor (James’ little sister) will have a show at McCabe’s.

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Go See Hear In L.A. March 19-23 (The Galactic/Supersuckers edition)

On the whole, it seems like a rather regular, maybe even quiet week – except for Friday. March 21 is one of those days overloaded with shows. Like a “super sized me” only with music instead of calories.

Let me provide a sampling of Friday’s concerts. There’s Kings of Leon at the Forum with Local Native. O.C. folks can flock to the Observatory for the terrific teaming of troubadours: Foy Vance and Brett Dennen. St. Vincent showcases her much-praised new CD at the Wiltern. The awesome Nashville singer/songwriter Amelia White also has a new album Old Postcards and a local record release show at the Hotel Café, where Lily Kershaw also will be doing a set. However, topping Friday’s list is Lydia Loveless I love her new album Somewhere Else and she’ll be at the Satellite.

Wed. March 19

Top Show: The British duo Bear’s Den settles into the Hotel Café to share their harmony-based folk-rock.

Katherine Grace showcases her new album No Place To Fall at Room 5. Jack Antonoff’s new band Bleachers will fill the Troubadour with its big-hook rock ‘n’ roll. A pair of legends, Dionne Warwick and Kenny Rogers, have appearances in town: Warwick’s at the Grammy Museum while Rogers plays the Saban Theater.

Thurs. March 20

Swedish folk/pop duo Solander saunters into the Hotel Café. The Roxy has a potent bill featuring the Apache Relay, The Lonely Wild and The Soil & The Sun. Blow Up Hollywood ignites its twisted rock at Room 5. Lynda Kay does her cool, ‘60s Vegas thing at the Three Clubs. The Belle Game plays the Bootleg with Ski Lodge, while New Orleans adventurous funksters Galactic create merriment at the El Rey.

Fri. March 21

Besides the Friday shows I mentioned earlier, you can catch the Rev. Horton Heat at the Roxy. Nekromantix opens for them tonight and the Dwarves on Sunday, but my favorite openers would be Saturday’s pairing of Deke Dickerson and James Intveld. The Toadies celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Rubberneck show by performing it at the Troubadour on a rockin’ bill with the fun-loving Supersuckers and Battleme. Meanwhile, Colin Hay will be working it at Largo.

Sat. March 22

Dreamy folk-popsters Coldair has an Origami Vinyl in-store today and then plays the Bootleg on the 23rd. Guitar ace Doug Pettibone will be play with Chris Pierce at the Hotel Café as will Mandolin Orange. G. Love serves up his Special Sauce at the House of Blues, while Death makes an appearance at Santa Ana’s Observatory for Burgerama III.

Sun. March 23

Top Show: The Gaslight in Long Beach is hosting a fundraiser for veteran blues drummer Max Bangwell (is there a better name for a drummer?) who is fighting lung cancer. James Harman, Rick Holmstrom, Kid Ramos, Junior Watson and the Blasters are a few of the scheduled performers.  UK suave rockers The Crookes brings its Soapbox to the Echo, while Patrolled By Radar lands at the Mint with Casey Neill & The Norway Rats and the Unsound Foundation.

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Go See Hear In L.A. March 10-17 (The Sam Morrow/James Vincent McMorrow Edition)

For those of you not jetting off to SxSW this week, here are some shows to help you get over your “I’m Not In Austin” blues.

Mon. March 10

School Night at Bardot has a lineup that includes Mighty Oaks, Gossling and (the act that stands out for me) Cheyenne Mize. U.K. rockers The Kooks will have some fun at the Troubadour. Moses Sumney’s Bootleg residency continues with Tom Brosseau as his special guest. The L.A.-based Sam Morrow has a gig at the Dresden. His upcoming disc reveals him as an impressive, wiser-than-years troubadour.

Tues. March 11

Real Estate and The Shilohs team up for a cool bill at the Fonda. Is it going too far to say that their new album Atlas is really putting them on the map? Local heroes Ozomatli celebrate their new CD A Place In The Sun with an Amoeba in-store.

Wed. March 12

Top Show: Danish singer-songwriter Agnes Obel shares her lovely, ethereal music at the Roxy. Her latest album Aventine has been a big hit in Europe.

Two Sixties survivors ex-Byrd John York and Barry “Eve of Descruction” McGuire come to the Coffee Gallery Backstage tonight and tomorrow. Power Pop-ster Mike Viola returns to the Mint for his monthly gig there.

Thurs. March 13

Top Show: Scott H. Biram is a one-man wildfire of roots music. Shooter Jennings described him as a “scumbag Leonard Cohen.” He has a new Bloodshot CD Nothin’ But Blood and a gig at the Echo, with Whiskey Shivers and Larry and The Flask also on this hard-living bill.

Judy Collins isn’t scheduled to sing at Amoeba, just sign her new CD/DVD Live In Ireland, but it is rare chance to have an up-close encounter with this folk music legend. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will serving up some big time jams at the Roxy with Ivan Neville‘s Dumpstaphunk also on this funky (or is it “phunky” bill). Tommy Castro and the Painkillers lay down the blues in Agoura Hills at the Canyon and hit Hermosa Beach on March 16 for a Saint Rocke show.

Fri. March 14

Top Show: I’m partial to the Americana night at the Mint featuring Dustbowl Revival and Moot Davis, who touring with his dynamic new disc Goin’ In Hot.

You can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early with the Young Dubliners at the City National Grove of Anaheim. The band has just released its 9th album, entitled Nine. The Smell welcomes Philly rockers Purling Hiss, while the acclaimed singer/songwriter John Gorka will undoubtedly share tunes from his new disc Bright Side of Down when he plays McCabe’s.

Sat. March 15

Top Show: You’ll have to travel all the way out to Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena to catch big-time Nashville acts Lady Antebellum, Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves, but Musgraves might be worth the drive along.

The Church on York hosts a Jason Molina tribute: Songs: Molina with A Memorial Electric Co., Deradoorian and Miles Cooper Seaton. The Wiltern will be jamming with Umphrey’s McGee and blues guitar ace Guitar Shorty holds court at the Arcadia Blues Club. The hot buzz band Lake Street Dive have a sold out show at the Troubadour (they’ll also be at the Hotel Café on the 18 – and good luck getting in there too).

Sun. March 16

Top Show: I guess it would be Lavender Country’s appearance at the Church On York. For the first time in 15  years, the band will be playing songs from their self-titled 1973 album, which is recognized at the first openly gay country album. While Fence and Gun Outfit also are on the bill.

McCabe’s is a great place to catch veteran bluesman man David Bromberg. James Vincent McMorrow reveals an interestingly expanded musical palette on his new CD, Post Tropical, which has divided listeners based on what their expectations were for the Irish musician’s follow up to his more traditionally singer/songwriter-based debut. He’ll play the Roxy tonight and the 17th. Get there early enough to see the band Aiden Knight whose debut Small Reveal was a big revelation to me last year.

Also on the 17th, soul man John Nemeth brings his new album Memphis Grease and the great band the Bo-Keys to his Grammy Museum appearance. Also, the psychedelic-tinged folk-rockers The Turin Brakes have a rare L.A. show at the Troubadour.

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Top Picks From 2014 So Far: Loveless, Greyhounds, Arc Iris, The Sea The Sea and more

I have been meaning to share some thoughts on a bunch of music that have impressed me so far this year. So without further ado…

Lydia LovelessSomewhere Else (Bloodshot)

Loveless is a torch & twang firecracker and her new album revs up as a fun and fierce joyride. For newcomers – think Neko Case with a punk/garage rock engine. On an earlier album, she had a great tune called “Steve Earle” and then time around she has one entitled “Chris Isaak” although the song I prefer is “Wine Lips”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTjF3Tt0JDA

Irene KelleyPennsylvania Coal (Patio Records)

Is the other end of the twang spectrum from Loveless. A veteran songwriter, Kelley’s new CD is the first one in too-long of a while. It’s filled with songs where all the pieces (lyrics, hooks, heart) fit together exquisitely.

IreneKelleyPressPhotoByDeoneJahnke1-231x300

The Sea The SeaLove We Are We Love

The Sea The Sea is yet another duo and yet another good one. Chuck E. Costa and Mira Stanley create this brand of melodic Americana ala the Lumineers and it’s damn fine stuff. The gorgeous title track stands out here and is one you’ll hear on soundtracks if you haven’t already.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywdPqnvpLP0

Jonny Two BagsSalvation Town (Isotone Records)

Jonny Two Bags (aka Jonny Wickersham) is the long-time guitarist for Social Distortion. His solo debut makes you go – dude, why did it take you so long to make an album? Salvation Town comes populated with rough-hewn roots rock (think the Del-Lords) and colorful storytelling.

jonnytwobags

Your FriendJekyll/Hyde EP (Domino)

Taryn Blake Miller is Your Friend. I don’t know much about her except that she lives now in Lawrence, Kansas. I’ve only heard one tune off of her debut EP but “Tame One” is a keeper. It starts all lo-fi and builds slowly into something untamed and memorable.

Your-Friend

Liz Green – “Where The Rivers Don’t Flow” video

Another musician I’m just discovering. She’s from Manchester, England and has an intriguing dark music hall/cabaret vibe to this song from her upcoming CD Haul Away on PIAS Recordings. It’s the stop-motion animation in this video that makes it so awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpAOw6haD3A

Cloud Nothings – “I’m Not Part of Me” (Carpark/Mom+Pop)

This band from my old hometown Cleveland has had a buzz around them for the past few years. This track from their upcoming Here And Nowhere Else will excite those longing for the next great Replacements(ish) tune.

cloudnothings

Line & Circle – “Mine Is Mine”

Similarly, “Mine Is Mine” will put a smile on those who still have a soft spot for pre-Warner Brothers REM and other jangle-pop bands from Georgia and/or I.R.S. Records of the ‘80s. Nostalgia done right by this L.A.-based group.

line-circle-band

Greyhounds – “What’s On Your Mind” (Ardent Music)

This Austin-based band comprised of Anthony Farrell and Anthony Trube, who toured in JJ Grey’s group. On this song they take some classic soul elements roughen them up with some blues rock grit and create something that exudes a laidback cool. It really whet my appetite for their debut Accumulator that is due in early April.

greyhounds

Arc IrisArc Iris – Anti- Records

Arc Iris is the solo project from Jocie Adams, who used to be in the Low Anthem. From the couple of the tunes I’ve heard, Adams has a lighter touch with music than her former band. There’s a charming appealing to her eclectic sound that dips and swirls around styles (and her videos are very cool too). Arc Iris’ self-titled debut arrives on April 1.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttaJByGQ5mo

Don WilliamsReflections (Sugar Hill)

I will conclude with this country music veteran, who has been around the Nashville scene since the ‘70s. Nicknamed “the Gentle Giant,” Williams might be best known for his hit “Tulsa Time.” On his new album, the seventy-something Williams has gathered together a great set of tunes (featuring songs penned by Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Jessie Winchester, Merle Haggard and others) that perfectly blend an air of well-earned wisdom, a feeling of an enduring spirit and, true to its title, a sense of reflection – all delivered in his familiar laidback style.

Don-Williams

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Go See Hear In L.A. March 3-9 (The Miner/Early Winters Edition)

Now that we have slogged through the wet weekend and the Oscars telecast, let’s get back to music.

Mon. March 3

Top Show (s): Monday is your first chance to see Eric Brace & Peter Cooper as the marvelous Nashville duo come to the Coffee Gallery Backstage. You might remember Brace from leading the roots rock band Last Train Home back in the ‘90s and Cooper is a top Nashville music journalist besides a talented songwriter. During their Southern California swing, they’ll also be at Pasadena’s Firefly on March 5 and at McCabe’s on Friday. The Early Winters, featuring Carina Round and Justin Rutledge, showcase their new CD Vanishing Act at the Del Monty Speakeasy with Venus & The Moon, which is Chris Stills and Rain Phoenix’s band.

If you missed Vikesh Kapoor on Friday night at McCabe’s, you get another chance tonight as he plays the Bootleg with Moses Sumney and Jerome Holloway. The artful Toronto rock band The Darcys (whose CD Warring has been turning heads in the Great White North) blast off at Bardot and then come back around to L.A. with a March 8 Troubadour gig with NO and Ruben and the Dark. The Monday’s bill over at the Satellite features the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers and the DA & the Jones (who will also play the Echo on 3/10). Origami Records hosts an in-store from Vertical Scratchers, a hooky indie rock outfit who just released their Merge debut. Run River North’s hometown record release show at the Troubadour

Tues. March 4

Top Show(s): L.A.-based Charlie Greene exudes a Southern charm in his (often) piano-based country tunes. He’ll be at the Piano Bar tonight and again on the 11th. Club Nokia hosts the annual Country Music Hall of Fame fundraiser All For The Hall, with Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Heart and Jason Mraz slated to appear.

Phox is a cool young Wisconsin band that a soulful singer in Monica Martin and some interesting quirks to their indie rock. See what the buzz is about when they play the Echo. The Smoking Flowers ignite their country rock at the Hotel Café.

Wed. March 5

Top Show: Nicole Atkins will be heading the Bootleg but get there early to catch Arc Iris, the new band from Jocie Adams (ex-Low Anthem) that has a delightful eclectic sound.

Jamestown Revival teams up with the Wild Feathers and Saints of Valory for a big show at the Troubadour. The Pigpen Theatre Co is a theater troupe and an indie folk band; they’ll stage their unique show at the Echo. Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance and Skygreen Leopards’ Donovan Quinn have teamed up as the New Bums, who have a Church on York show.

Thurs. March 6

Top Show: Typhoon is the headliner at the El Rey but it’s the undercard that interests me. Miner is a fine local group with an easy-to-love country rock sound (check out their newly released Into The Morning), while the L.A. band Line & Circle made me think about Eighties-era R.E.M. and other college rock heroes – which is a good thing.

The Kitchenette is full of a wide variety of world music sounds; this UCLA group has a gig on their home turf at the Fowler. The Bootleg hosts the eccentric styling of Ava Luna with Krill.

Fri. March 7

Top Show: Steve Forbert has been writing great tunes for several decades, going back to his breakout hit “Romeo’s Tune” in 1980. He’ll share his songs and stories at McCabe’s, with Eric Brace and Peter Cooper as his openers.

Smooth soul crooner Nick Waterhouse has a new CD (Holly) to share when he plays the Hollywood Legion Hall, while Nashville’s Korby Lenker previews his latest at the Hotel Café. Vancouver multi-instrumentalist Jay Arner brings his pop/rock music to the Echo Country Outpost on a Calvin Klein-sponsored tour (but don’t hold that against him). San Fermin, Son Lux and wild Up! are part of First Friday at the NHM.

Sat. March 8

Ages & Ages mines a smart, hooky rock sound. Make note that their catchy new CD Divisionary comes out later this month. They’ll be at the Satellite with Mirah tonight. Garden & Villa headline the El Rey with Jonathan Rado and Waterstrider as their openers. Australian rockers Glass Towers brighten up the Bootleg on the 8th and are part of the Aussie BBQ the next day at the Fold. La Luz opens up for the Entrance Band at the Roxy. The Mint’s lineup includes Ben Taylor, Suzanna Choffel and Beautiful Things Unplugged. The gifted songwriter Willy Porter plays McCabe’s with guitar wizard Tony Furtado. 

Sun. March 9

Carla Olson, Susie Glaze, John York and Matt Cartsonis are among the performers scheduled to take part in a Pete Seeger Tribute at the Coffee Gallery Backstage. The Parson Red Heads will be joined by the World Record and Mimicking Birds at the Satellite. The Fold’s Aussie BBQ includes a large dose of Aussie acts, including Ben Lee.

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Causes For Celebration: Wild Honey Benefit and Other Good-Hearted Projects

I forgot to mention in the weekly concert roundup that on March 1 the Wild Honey Foundation will throw a big benefit concert to raise funds for Autism Think Tank and the Children’s Music Fund. Taking place at the Wilshire Ebell, the show features a fantastic lineup of cool musicians: the Bangles, Big Star’s Jody Stephens, Denny Laine (Moody Blues/Wings), Chris Stamey, Matthew Sweet, Christine Collister, John Wicks (The Records), Al Stewart, Tommy Keene, Mike Viola, Ric Menck (Velvet Crush) and many more. These power-poppy Anglo-philes and English ex-pats are all joining forces to perform the Beatles’ albums Revolver and Abbey Road. Learn more at http://wildhoney.bpt.me

 wildhoney

In other benefit news, Rock The Cause Records has organized a tribute honoring the late Jason Molina, who passed away last year. The double-disc Farewell Transmission will include acts like My Morning Jacket, Sarah Jaffe, Jim and Jennie & The Pinetops, Catherine Irwin and Cory Branan covering by Molina, who led both Songs: Ohia and the Magnolia Electric Co.

One of my favorite songwriters Matthew Ryan has released a tune “Anthem For The Broken” to help raise awareness and funds for his good friends John and Amanda Anderson who are dealing with the disease ALS. The song also will appear on his upcoming Kevin Salem-produced CD, Boxers. For more details go to: https://johnandersonbenefit.bandcamp.com/album/an-anthem-for-the-broken-a-single-to-benefit-john-anderson.

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