PG-13for thematic elements, disturbing images, violence, brief sexuality, nudity and smoking
Few acts have carved as distinctive a niche in modern musical history as Confederate Railroad. With their high-energy combination of honky-tonk rockers, sensitive ballads, and offbeat humor, they have created a unique identity that has brought them chart success, multi-platinum sales, and continued popularity as a road band. Versatility, likeability, and a willingness to stretch boundaries are all part of the mix, but if there is a formula, not even they can put their finger on it.
"I don't think I have any more of a clue now than I did when we started," laughs founder/frontman Danny Shirley. "I know that if you start thinking, 'Is radio going to like this"' or 'Is this going to offend anybody?' that it really waters things down, so I don't try to second-guess anybody. What I do is look for songs I like--that seems to work best."
Nearly five million albums later, there is no doubt that it works. Songs like "Queen Of Memphis," "Trashy Women," "Jesus And Mama," and "Daddy Never Was The Cadillac Kind" became major hits and established Confederate Railroad as a key part of country music's landscape during the genre's expansion of the '90s. The accolades kicked off with the Academy of Country Music's Best New Group award in 1993 and have included a Grammy nomination, and a host of nominations from the Country Music Association and the British Country Music Foundation.
For guys who started as a Georgia bar band, it was the stuff of dreams. "I remember saying when we got our first platinum album," says Shirley, "'At this point, our success has pretty much surpassed our talent, and from this point on, everything else is just icing on the cake.'" The latest swirl of icing is the band's new Audium Records CD, Unleashed, a microcosm of everything Shirley and company do best. There is sensitivity, hard-driving honky-tonk, and a generous dose of pure fun, not to mention good-natured new assaults on decorum and political correctness. The rollicking "I'm Diggin' It," as well as "White Trash With Money" and "That 'R' Word" have attitude to spare, and show that time has not dulled the edge of the band's skewed and witty worldview. Likewise, "That's What Brothers Do," "Wasted Time," and "Between The Rainbows And The Rain" show the band's flip side, its ability to capture life's poignant and tender moments. "Body Like A Temple," a duet with country legend and longtime friend George Jones, brims with honky-tonk fire, and "Still One Outlaw Left," finds the band and David Allan Coe, who share a great deal of road history, teaming up for the first time on record. "Borrowed Time" show's the band's way with a pure Southern rocker, and "Thick As Thieves" celebrates the camaraderie that has marked CRR's long road history.
Jones and Coe continue a CRR tradition involving guest artists. Steve Earle and Charlie Daniels are among those who have sung on the band's earlier projects, and this time, songwriters have joined the chorus. Bob DiPiero and Craig Wiseman sing backup on their "Diggin' It," Anthony Smith on his "What Brothers Do," and newly signed Mercury Records artist James Allen Otto on "Borrowed Time."
This album also showcases Shirley's writing skills. He is a co-writer on "White Trash With Money" and "Wasted Time," both based on real-life events. Confederate Railroad's current line-up includes, along with vocalist/guitarist Shirley, Mark DuFresne on drums, Wayne Secrest on bass, Gates Nichols on steel guitar and vocals, Jimmy Dormire on lead guitar, and Cody McCarver on keyboards and vocals. The quintet's love of the give-and-take of live performance is such that they still perform a hundred dates a year, and their legions of fans are as appreciative as ever.
"There's nothing profound about this," says Shirley. "We've been playing music in one form or another for 20 years, and we still enjoy it. One reason is that we do material we like. We do what we want the way we want, regardless of the consequences." It is a strategy they have employed since the band's early days in the 1980s. Then, Shirley and his cohorts were splitting their time between a regular stint as house band at Miss Kitty's in Marietta, Georgia, and roadwork backing up David Allan Coe and Johnny Paycheck. The strategy, while effective in the long run, was not a quick ticket to the top. "I knew eventually we'd get a label deal and a real shot at it," says Shirley, "but we had a rougher image than what was the going thing then. When other club acts around us--people we were often out-drawing--began getting deals, I questioned myself for a time. 'Do I need starched Wranglers and western shirts? Should we try to be a little more mainstream and play the game?' We made a decision back then that we would be ourselves."
The payoff took awhile, but it came. "Our first single, 'She Took It Like A Man,' went to #26," says Shirley, "and management and the label were bummed out, but I was thrilled." He had reason to be. The next two singles, "Jesus And Mama," and "Queen Of Memphis," shot to the top of the charts, and three more--"Trashy Women," "When You Leave That Way You Can Never Go Back," and "She Never Cried," gave them an even half-dozen hits from their first album, which has sold nearly three million copies. They were named the Academy of Country Music's Best New Group in 1993 and earned a Grammy nomination. Their million-selling second album's "Daddy Never Was The Cadillac Kind," "Elvis And Andy," and "When And Where" further established them as among the most versatile acts in the business. Their long history as club mainstays and road warriors had given them a noteworthy stage presence, and they drew both kids singing along with "Trashy Women" and grandparents touched by "Jesus and Mama." Other highlights were more personal. "There was the time I was lying on the floor at George Jones's house watching the Tennessee-Georgia football game in 1992," says Shirley. "He turned to me and said, 'You sang real good on that 'Jesus and Mama' song. That comment was like getting a blessing from the pope." Jones also told the band that watching "When You Leave That Way" was the first time he'd ever cried watching a video. That was indicative of the band's wider success with videos. The cool combination of humor and emotion that marked their recorded work made their videos among the industry's most interesting. They consistently reached the top of the video charts--the drag sequence in "Trashy Women" still comes up as a conversation topic among fans--and were nominated for Best Country Video by the CMA in 1996.
The road warriors may be a little tamer these days ("We can get as wild as we always did, just not as often"), but they're still providing both poignant moments and pure fun, and enjoying all of it. "You start playing music in your bedroom because it's fun, an enjoyable part of your life," Shirley says. "Then as you start to become successful at it, it becomes a business. If you're fortunate, and you're around long enough, it gets to be fun again, and that's where it is for me."
Sonya White is based in Chicago, IL. Originally from Virginia, she has combined southern charm with big city street smarts to create a show that won her multiple appearances on CBS’ “Star Search” and a promo spot on NBC’s "Last Comic Standing 4." Sonya is currently working on a CMT production “Southern Fried Chicks” with a 2007-2008 tour to follow. She has been honored with a nomination in "Campus Activities Magazine" as Best Female Performer. Sonya has appeared on Oxygen’s “Girls Behaving Badly.” She has also been featured on “Comcast Comedy Spotlight Roadtrip 2002” and at The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival 1999, which was aired on HBO, E, and Comedy Central.
White’s observational comedy is enhanced by dead-on impersonations and appropriate sound effects. Both her comedy stage show and her one-woman show, “Airing Dirty Laundry,” are based on real-life experiences and her fond, but irreverent, interactions with friends, family and the world at large. White’s television credits include roles on the Fox Network’s “Nightshift,” The Family Channel’s sitcom “Big Brother Jake” and MTV’s national promotion for “Spring Break ’98.” She has played a colorful character on national promos for “The Jerry Springer Show,” and done cartoon impressions for The Cartoon Network’s “Pick Your Shorts.” Sonya is a member of both the Screen Actor’s Guild and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
Sonya White has made her international debut in the media. She has been a featured comedienne for Verizon Wireless on their “Fun and Games” mobile accessories option in 60 different countries.
PG-13for thematic elements, disturbing images, violence, brief sexuality, nudity and smoking
The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II.
In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Antonina Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh, a European Film Award nominee for the Academy Award-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care.
When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are stunned and forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Golden Globe Award nominee Daniel Brühl of Captain America: Civil War).
To fight back on their own terms, the Żabińskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.
Unspoken traditions are those things we hold dear to our hearts that are so sacred that they don’t even need explaining. In fact, in most cases they can’t be explained, only felt. The memory of carving your first turkey with the family watching, and the guidance of your father. The feeling of taking your boots off at the end of a long day. The pre-show ritual of a drink with fans and loved ones. Gathering for soup-nights with extended family. Weddings. Baptisms. Funerals. Trekking into the mountains of NC to find that fresh cut Christmas tree with the woman you love. The beer enjoyed after emerging victorious from a day’s hard work in the yard. All of these are things we feel so deeply that they largely remain acted out, but seldom spoken.
There are a lot of unspoken traditions that are a part of heritage music. We make sure that our music honors its creators. We make sure it grows within tradition by adding our original approach. We make sure it maintains its role as something for everyday people who, although they may come from different backgrounds, are united through the love of great music! We are 5 working class guys from North Carolina. Great music is our passion and Bluegrass is our love. The band started in Cherryville North Carolina, the hometown of its three founding members Lee Shuford and Audie and Zane McGinnis. The three came together at historic picking sessions at the home of Jack Bingham. Soon they were doing what many new groups do, playing locally and building a fan following. In 2014 the current lineup was fully formed with the additions of Ty Gilpin on mandolin and vocals, and Tim Gardner on fiddle and vocals. With a repertoire of new, original bluegrass music, traditional bluegrass numbers and creative covers, we open our band to an even wider audience and bring a passionate energy to the stage. Our 2013 release, Simple Little Town, with its live feel and mostly original songs also showcases the band’s ability to keep one foot in the past and one pointed towards the future. The album offers something for everyone with hardcore Grass numbers, a rock ‘n roll cover, and original songs. We have a motto…. “We play Working Class Bluegrass”. The philosophy here is that Bluegrass is for the people and by the people. It’s participatory music and community music. It’s real music that anyone can relate to with its themes of life, love, work, family and American culture.
Unspoken Tradition is:
Audie McGinnis – guitar and vocals
Lee Shuford -bass and vocals
Zane McGinnis – banjo
Ty Gilpin – mandolin and vocals
Tim Gardner – fiddle and vocals
“Wonder Woman” hits movie theaters around the world next summer when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins (“Monster,” AMC’s “The Killing”). Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine (the “Star Trek” films), Robin Wright (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Netflix’s “House of Cards”), Danny Huston (“Clash of the Titans,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), David Thewlis (the “Harry Potter” films, “The Theory of Everything”), Connie Nielsen (Fox’s “The Following,” “Gladiator”), Elena Anaya (“The Skin I Live In”), Ewen Bremner (“Exodus: Gods and Kings,” “Snowpiercer”), Lucy Davis (“Shaun of the Dead,” FX’s “Better Things”), Lisa Loven Kongsli (upcoming “Ashes in the Snow”), Eugene Brave Rock (AMC’s “Hell on Wheels”) and Saïd Taghmaoui (“American Hustle”).
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.An Amazonian princess leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world's greatest heroes.
1st Place Winners of the 2015 FreshGrass Duo Contest
Debut duet album Equinox named one of the “Outstanding Duo Albums of 2015″ by No Depression Magazine
Zoe & Cloyd spring from deep roots in American music. Founding members of the acclaimed Americana trio, Red June, and long-time veterans of the Asheville, NC music scene, Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller are set to release their second full-length album, Eyes Brand New, in spring of 2017. Highlighting their emotive songwriting and signature harmonies, this new recording finds the duo returning to a full band sound with Kevin Kehrberg on bass, and special appearances from Will Straughan of Red June on dobro and Jens Kruger of the Kruger Brothers on banjo. Eyes Brand New showcases the breadth of their collective musical spirit, seamlessly combining original folk, country, old-time and bluegrass with sincerity and zeal. Zoe & Cloyd’s debut recording, Equinox (2015), met with high acclaim and the pair have continued to gain momentum with a 1st place win at the prestigious FreshGrass Festival Duo Contest along with performances at MerleFest, Music City Roots and more.
John Cloyd Miller’s foundation in traditional bluegrass and old-time music coupled with his modern sensibility combine to make him a natural musician and performer. A twelfth generation North Carolina native and the grandson of pioneering bluegrass fiddler and NC Folk Heritage Award winner Jim Shumate, his Appalachian roots run deep. John is well known for his haunting mountain voice as well as his instrumental prowess and award-winning songwriting. He is a 1st place winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest and a recipient of an Artist Fellowship for songwriting by the North Carolina Arts Council.
Natalya Zoe Weinstein also comes from a musical family: her father is master jazz pianist and her grandfather, originally from Russia, was a professional klezmer musician. She is an accomplished fiddler in a variety of styles as well as an inspired singer and songwriter. While trained classically in her home state of Massachusetts, she has spent many years fine-tuning her bluegrass and old-time fiddling with some of the country’s top traditional musicians. Now a mentor to many young players, Natalya is a sought after instructor and is in high demand as a teacher and session musician.