A little Rock, a little Country, a little Alternative – all at
The Big Four Roadhouse.
Steve Earle & The Dukes
Steve Earle is one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of his generation, a worthy heir to Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, his two supreme musical mentors. Over the course of twenty studio albums, Earle has distinguished himself as a master storyteller, and his songs have been recorded by a vast array of artists, including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, the Pretenders, and more. Earle's 1986 debut , Guitar Town, is now regarded as a classic of the American genre, and a subsequent releases like The Revolution Starts...Now (2004), Washington Square Serenade (2007), and Townes (2009) all received Grammy Awards.
Restlessly creative across artistic disciplines, Earle has published both a novel and a collection of short stories; produced albums for other artists; and acted in films, TV shows and on stage. He currently hosts a radio show for Sirius XM. in 2019, Earle appeared in the off-Broadway play Samara, for which he also wrote a score The New York Times described as "exquisitely subliminal." Each year, Earle organizes a benefit concert for Keswell School, which his son John Henry attends and which provides educational programs for children and young adults with autism .
The Mavericks, the eclectic rock and country group known for crisscrossing musical boundaries with abandon, has gone through three distinct phases since it was founded in Miami in 1989. An initial period of heady success marked by big hits and critical acclaim in the ‘90s. A long hiatus starting 2003 when the musicians each went their own way. And finally, a triumphant reunion in 2012 which held long enough for them to recently celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary.
Now, The Mavericks have ushered in the fourth phase of their evolution with the #1Billboard debut of their first-ever, all Spanish album, En Español, released on the band’s own Mono Mundo label. Although all 12 tracks are in Spanish, as the title suggests, the collection represents a diversity of musical styles and cultural traditions, from tender boleros to brassy mariachi to reimagined Afro-Cuban classics. Seven of the tunes are familiar gems drawn from the vast Latin American songbook, while five are originals written or co-written by Malo.
Like the band’s entire body of music, this one album cannot be boxed into a single category. The songs are as diverse as Latin America itself, and as cohesive as the ideal of the American melting pot. To season this rich musical paella, The Mavericks add their signature country/rock/Tex-Mex flavors and a refreshing spontaneity to the mix. En Español flips the band’s usual fusion formula, which adds a striking assortment of genres–salsa, ska, norteño, mariachi, and much more–to its sturdy rock/country base. Now, the foundation is solidly Latin with streaks of irreverent rock and twangy guitars running through it, all branded with the unmistakable Mavericks style
Since departing seminal alt-country collective The Guthries in 2002, Matt Mays has alternated between solo projects (his self-titled debut, the film soundtrack...When the Angels Make Contact) and band projects (the eponymous Matt Mays & El Torpedo record and 2008’s Terminal Romance). Following the dissolution of Matt Mays & El Torpedo in 2009, Mays released Coyote in 2012 to much acclaim, including a JUNO Award win for Rock Album of the Year. In 2017 Mays released Once Upon a Hell of a Time...to be followed a year later by the album’s ‘woody’ companion Twice Upon a Hell of a Time.... As the pandemic shut down touring in early 2020, Mays set up a studio in his garage and produced Dog City, an inspiring album written from the perspective of a rescue dog. In early 2021, From Burnside With Love, a live album showcasing unplugged versions of his most popular songs, was released along with a concert film of the same name.
Since their debut in 2011, Toronto’s Whitehorse has evolved from magnetic folk duo to full-blown rock band. In truth, Whitehorse is never fully either one or the other, but a never-evolving creative partnership between Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet. As five consecutive JUNO nominations in four categories attest, whether it be a holiday album or reworked blues covers or pop noir album, Whitehorse rises to every challenge with guitar wizardry and magnetic harmonies.
With The Northern South Vol. 2, Whitehorse returned to their JUNO Blues Album of the Year nominated project, which reimagines the early days of electric blues. For the second instalment, The Northern South Vol. 2 deals 1950s blues bops, sexed-up cuts and hellfire gospels to meld the grooves and melodies of the original selections with the band’s steamy, swampy, squalling approach. Both snapshot and slingshot, with an eye on the end-of-days and Whitehorse’s ear for blues grooves, The Northern South Vol.2 expanded the universe of the Northern South with foreplay, foreboding, fever and Fenders--plenty of them--on cuts from Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed, Slim Harpo and more.
Lucette is the moniker of Canadian artist Lauren Gillis, a soulful and emotive singer who self-describes her music as “country infused dream-pop”. Her two albums vary from dark folk and southern gothic tales to what Rolling Stone describes as “a bold expansion of Lucette’s melodic sensibilities...that avoid the rootsy clichés of Americana music.
Lucette’s first album, Black is the Color, was produced by Dave Cobb and led to her opening for Sturgill Simpson on his Metamodern Sounds of Country Music tour. Her song Bobby Reid was featured as the title track on the critically acclaimed Netflix special “Nanette” and the single Black is the Color was featured on “South of Hell” and “The Vampire Diaries”. Her second album, Deluxe Hotel Room, was produced by Simpson, whose no-nonsense instruction to her was, “Sing it like you mean it.” The two connected with the intent of making art, timeless yet fresh.
Lucette has toured the United States, Canada, and the UK with artists such as Joe Ely,David Ramirez, The Secret Sisters, and Netflix documentary star Rodriguez. Following the release of Deluxe Hotel Room she performed her own headlining tour in the summer of 2019. Lauren is currently finishing writing for her new album and is scheduled to record with producer Matt Pence (Jason Isbell, Elle King, Shakey Graves) in January of 2022.