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David Shaw of The Revivalists
The Revivalists Prep Jazz Fest Headlining Set: “It’s What the Good Stuff is Made Of”
Ahead of the New Orleans festival’s 50th anniversary, fest producer Quint Davis and Revivalists frontman David Shaw discuss the making of a historic moment
Quint Davis would be the first to call out an interloper on the New Orleans music scene. As the producer of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, it's his duty to uphold the heritage of a city that doubles as a musical crucible.
That's why it's a huge honor that Davis decided to book the Revivalists to headline the fest's 50th anniversary — even they are, as he calls them, "Yankees."
"There's one common denominator with everyone that's on the festival," explains Davis. "And that's the level of musicianship. Can you play, and can you sing? Musically, the people in this band play at the highest level." On Friday, Apr. 26, the band will bring that energy to the headlining stage. The Subdudes and the Head and the Heart will open.
The Revivalists, who released their fourth album, Take Good Care, last November and currently have more than 300 million streams, were not born in New Orleans. The band's eight members hail from the Southwest, the Midwest and Washington, D.C. Unlike fellow co-headliners Santana, Van Morrison and the Rolling Stones, they are not household names. But any notion of an "overnight success" can be put to bed.
The band began gigging in 2007 — not at Jazz Fest, but a combination laundromat and bar called Checkpoint Charlie's. "It's a classy place," says Davis. "But if that's your first gig in New Orleans, there's no place to start lower than that."
Turns out they were hitting the ground running. Since their humble beginnings among the beer taps and washing machines, the Revivalists hit a pace that would lay most other acts flat — 150 shows a year.
"Think about that," says Davis with awe in his voice. "That's playing a gig every other day. For a year!"
Some of the members met jamming at Tipitina's, an uptown warehouse space that Davis calls the "soul" of the city. Instead of indulging in staid reverence to the Big Easy, theirs is a fresh, fusionary sound — pedal steel, tenor sax, hints of Prince, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Marley.
"So many people still think of New Orleans as trad-jazz, the old-school R&B," says Reid Wick, a representative from the Recording Academy's New Orleans chapter. "They're pushing the boundaries and the awareness that there's more than just the old-school music."
It fits a festival that has historically refused to be put in a box. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival first sprang up in 1969 at the behest of jazz impresario George Wein. He desired a festival that leapt beyond the genre to include R&B, country, blues, zydeco and other indigenous forms.
To Davis's surprise, he was tapped to produce the first festival. "I had never booked anybody or produced anything," he notes with a chuckle. Still, he helped assemble a murderer's row — Duke Ellington, Mahalia Jackson, Fats Domino and others.
Whether in 1969 or 2019, Jazz Fest thrives on fearlessness and invention. Revivalists frontman David Shaw is over the moon to be headlining a stage that he considers "one and the same" with the Big Easy — and by his telling, he considers it a family affair.
"I have a very fond memory of playing at Jazz Fest," he states about the early years, in which the band played the supporting stage rather than the main. "It was my grandmother's 90th birthday, and she made it down from Ohio to New Orleans."
His wheelchair-bound grandmother sat sidestage, "with a big ol' smile on her face." In that moment, Shaw decided to pull out the first song he ever completed — "Soul Fight," from their 2012 album City of Sound.
Shaw wrote the tune at age 22, during a particularly aimless time in which he struggled on-and-off with drugs. And in the presence of his oldest, closest fan, he decided there was no better dedication. The Revivalists launched into the song, Shaw locking eyes with his grandmother.
"It was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful moment," says Shaw. "I have tears welling up in my eyes just thinking about it. That's the vibe. It's what the good stuff is made of."
That "good stuff" separates the Revivalists from specious notions of citizenry; sometimes being a genuine New Orleans band has nothing to do with your birth certificate. "We don't mention that they were born in the North," says Davis as our call wraps up. There's a quiver of well-earned pride in his voice. "They're ours."
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards
Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category
The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.
Championships – Meek Mill
In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.
i am > i was – 21 Savage
Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.
IGOR – Tyler, The Creator
The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.
The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.
Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour
El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances
Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.
El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.
"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.
Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork.
Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist.
Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/VMN19/Getty Images
Taylor Swift Plots 2020 World Tour With U.S. Dates For Lover Fest East & West
Following dates in Europe and South America, Swift will land in the U.S. for Lover Fest East and West, where the pop star will open Los Angeles' brand new stadium
Taylor Swift will be spreading the love in support of her hit album Lover.in 2020, but it may or may not be in a city near you. The GRAMMY winner announced plans for her summer 2020 tour in support of her seventh studio album, including two shows each in Foxborough, Mass. and Los Angeles for Lover Fest East and West respectively as the only four U.S. dates announced so far.
The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic. I want to go to some places I haven’t been and play festivals. Where we didn’t have festivals, we made some. Introducing, Lover Fest East + West! https://t.co/xw6YMN38WE pic.twitter.com/IhVPQ8DMUG— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) September 17, 2019
The tour kicks off in Belgium on June 20 and hits festivals in seven European countries before heading to Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 18 then heading to U.S. Swift will then present Lover Fest West with back-to-back Los Angeles July 25 and 26 at the newly named SoFi Stadium. The concerts will serve as the grand opening of the much-anticipated NFL venue. The tour will wrap a double header at Gillette Stadiuim in Foxborough July 31 and Aug 1
"The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic," she tweeted. "I want to go to some places I haven’t been and play festivals. Where we didn’t have festivals, we made some. Introducing, Lover Fest East + West!"
Tickets for the new dates go on sale to the general public via Ticketmaster on Oct. 17.