Old Salt Union
Old Salt Union is known for playing music by their own set of rules. While the men who make up the group are not complete rebels, they are certainly focused on exposing people to a purer, more exciting, and more original form of music. Drawing influence from Bill Monroe, Sam Bush and Del McCoury, to jazz great Bill Evans and Composer Danny Elfman, it’s obvious the group has a unique and broad genetic make-up. What makes Old Salt Union special is their ability to further explore the jazz and blues roots of bluegrass in a mature and refreshing manner. With in-depth musical compositions, a catchy hook, and a high- energy metaphorical punch to the gut, they are truly front runners in the new generation of string music.
Established in 2012, Old Salt Union recorded their debut album “Western Skies” just a few months after inception. With the album independently released in March of 2013, and a tour schedule consisting of nearly 200 shows in the coming calendar year, it was clear the boys were on the move. Old Salt Union stretched from coast to coast, exposing both traditional and progressive grass fans to a new, complex, high-energy, St. Louis style string music.
Traveling consistently in 2014-15’ shined light on new inspiration and new subject matter for OSU. The long months on the road provided a new perspective on writing that showed its weary eyes on their second full length release entitled “Bridge.” Released in August of 2014, Bridge acted as both a figurative and literal path home. The album revealed Old Salt Union morphing into the band they were always meant to be. Dramatic chord progressions, thoughtful arrangements, and the constant longing of a familiar bed and a warm home resonated with people all across the nation. Winning both “Best Bluegrass Band” and “Best Country Band” in the Riverfront Times ‘Best of St. Louis’ edition, proved they were still peddling in the right direction. This year of expansion found the boys on grand stages near and far. From appearing at the Bluegrass Underground, Music City Roots, John Hartford Memorial Festival, ROMP, Stagecoach, Freshgrass, and Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Festival, to sharing the stage with Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Travelin’ McCourys, Jeff Austin Band, and Ricky Skaggs, Old Salt Union still felt they had much more to prove.
Their new EP entitled “Cut & Run” was released in March of 2016. A brief, 6-song, glimpse into the new, polished, and well-executed style of Old Salt Union. Finally finding their bearings and learning to weave the genre crossing compositions and heartache infused songwriting in a complete and wrapped package, they are ready to expose the people to what Old Salt Union was always meant to sound and feel like. With 30+ songs on the backburner, a new single produced by Alison Brown, and a full length to be recorded in the winter of 2016, the men of OSU will be touring full time until they settle down to record. The ever-evolving sound of Old Salt Union has always been based on the idea of forward progression. Individually, and as a unit, the music must continue to inspire and move them to a new destination. With the release of the new EP, they have 30+ dates on the calendar and intend on continuing to unveil their sound and energy to any and everyone who will listen. Always confident in their live performances, you certainly mustn’t miss an opportunity to see them live.
Lines West (Duo)
Stop Look and Listen, the first full-length from Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Lines West. Compared to Wilco and Big Star, Lines West feature a wide range of American rock traditions. Lines West is a four-piece group co-fronted by John Radzin on guitar and vocals and Brian Larney on keyboard, guitar, and vocals. Radzin and Larney formed Lines West in May 2013. Stop Look and Listen was co-produced by Radzin and Larney (under their production moniker JAYBEE).
Fueled by the songwriting tandem of Radzin and Larney, Stop Look and Listen is a unique blast of rootsy pop/rock described by Review Stalker as as "perfectly crafted pop songs that should be all over terrestrial radio at the very least".
Radzin was born in Wisconsin, where he learned to camp, build fires, and wear cowboy boots. Long car rides across the prairie were spent singing harmonies with his mother, brother and sisters, and once he picked up a guitar, he never looked back. After formally studying music at the University of Wisconsin, Radzin spent two years in London, absorbing what he could of that music scene before departing for Los Angeles. He spent eight years in Los Angeles, working as an engineer with artists as diverse as Slash and Neil Diamond. Radzin left the studio world to front L.A. heavy-pop trio (and KCRW favorite) Magnified before moving to Connecticut.
Larney also brings to Lines West a wealth of music industry experience. Larney released his second solo record, Jupiter With You, on July 22nd. His debut solo album, At the Starting Line, was recorded at famed studio SUMA Recording in Ohio and was produced by Grammy-nominated David Mayfield in the winter of 2013. At the Starting Line earned Larney rave reviews from fans and critics alike: "Larney’s charisma and voice are distinctive enough to pull off anything he wants to do." (Wildy Haskell, Wildy's World)