Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers – Passing away on November 7, 2016, a day before the election, the legendary Leonard Cohen missed the dawn of this troubling time in America known as the “Trump Era” by a single day. Yet his social consciousness and prescience concerning the cultural and political battles to come is alive and well in the outrage, cries for justice, and artistic vision of veteran Charlottesville, VA based folk/rock Americana singer-songwriter Keith Morris.Morris was originally going to call his masterful new album “Trump Songs for Leonard Cohen” as a tribute to the venerated songwriter, but when Cohen’s estate wouldn’t allow it, he came up with the perfect alternative – Psychopaths & Sycophants, which Morris calls the “paradigm of fascism.”“I started writing these songs in 2016 as Trump’s campaign gained traction,” Morris says. “Having grown up in the Deep South, and having studied the rise of Hitler, Trump’s fascist and racist agenda was not lost on me. I knew immediately how dangerous he was, and began writing warning songs about him and his campaign. But then everything took on a more direct meaning a year later, when the Alt-Right attacked my adopted hometown.”
“Writing, recording and releasing Psychopaths & Sycophants has been a cathartic experience. Something’s been unleashed. I have clarity of focus, an amazing group of musicians to work with, and my writing is going great. Like I’ve tapped into a new frequency. We recorded 40 songs this year, and I’m thrilled with them, so yeah — we have a lot of music on the way.”Morris’s first three albums, Songs From Candyapolis, Love Wounds & Mars, and The Dirty Gospel, received great acclaim from press and fans alike. Love Wounds & Mars and The Dirty Gospel both were included on several “Best Albums” lists– from the likes of No Depression, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and others.
Wes Charlton – A semi-finalist in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition, this singer/songwriter from Virginia integrates his Americana roots with modern themes to create a poetic and at times haunting vision of relationships, the struggle to find yourself, and the pursuit of the “Promised Land”. Opening for artists like Tim Easton, Stephen Bruton, Michelle Shocked, Pat McGee Band, and Virginia Coalition, Wes plays to enthusiastic audiences everywhere. Past conference showcases include the Midwest Music Summit in Indianapolis and Americana Music Conference in Nashville. He was featured as the guest artist at NY Film Academy’s summer music video workshop, and was asked to complete a publisher-sanctioned recording project for Arc Music Group of some industry promos for John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson. With proficiency on a variety of instruments, Wes blends his musicianship with sophisticated lyrics to paint a profound portrait of growing up in rural America, while maintaining a connection to contemporary youth through driving rhythms, electric guitar and the exploration of found-sounds.
Devon Sproule – Devon Sproule’s music welcomes the magical and the tangible. It celebrates human complication in the language of nature. It is North American music with weirdo roots. Since 2007, Sproule’s recordings have been released by Tin Angel Records, based in Coventry, England. She collaborates regularly with Toronto-based band Bernice and producer Sandro Perri. In Summer 2015, she recorded songs from a new collection, “The Gold String,” in Yukon and Nova Scotia. Besides Canada and America, Sproule also tours regularly in Europe and has traveled with her music to Africa and Australia.