On Stage: New Reveille is worth getting to know

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

New Reveille

When Shawn James’ fans make the trip northward to Upper Bucks County to catch his show on August 10

The Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com), they would be well advised to get to the comfy theater early enough to hear the opening band’s set.

Performing the role of lid-lifter will be New Reveille, an Americana/alt-country band from Raleigh, North Carolina.

New Reveille — Amy Kamm (lead vocalist), Daniel Cook (banjo, guitar), George Hage (lead guitar), Kaitlin Grady (cello), and Autumn Brand (violin) — self-released its debut album, “Cannonball,” in 2013. 

The band sold out its very first show at Deep South The Bar and soon was playing to standing room only audiences — crowds drawn in by the band’s powerfully crafted songs, incredible showmanship, and eclectic live shows. 

New Reveille will be kicking off its current tour this weekend with shows at the Sellersville Theater on August 10 and at Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, New Hersey on August 11. It will mark the band’s first show at the highly-regarded venue. The rest of the tour will run through the South and Mid-South.

The versatile musicians are touring in support of their new album “The Keep,” which was released late last year via Loud & Proud Records. The 13-song album was released on September 2.

“The Keep” was produced by Nashville-based, Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer Ben Fowler (Rascal Flatts, Ruby Amanfu, Lucy Hale, Kip Moore). New Reveille performed the songs for the first time at AMERICANAFEST in Nashville this past year.

“We recorded ‘The Keep’ in Nashville with Ben Fowler,” said Cook, during a phone interview last week from his home in Raleigh. “We cut it at Ocean Wave Studio and also did some recording at Blackbird Studio.

“We did a couple stints in January and February 2018, did a little co-writing, and then came back a few weeks later to finish it up. Most of the writing on ‘The Keep’ was done by me and Autumn. Now, it’s more of a collaboration with three of us. Autumn and I write, and Amy puts her stuff on top.”

Originally, Cook was the sole driving force.

“The band got together around 2013,” said Cook. “I went to the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. It was a studio project with Amy and me. Amy had never sung before. She was a nurse, a mother and a wife. We met through a Craigslist ad.

“We recorded music at my house and our first EP was called ‘Cannonball.’ We had Autumn Brand come in as a session player. We had a music video and an album before we played a show.

“Our first show was in January 2014 at Deep South The Bar in Raleigh and it was sold out. We mostly played locally for the first year-and-a-half. Then, we took a year-and-a-half off.

“We got back together in 2017 and signed a record deal. Our music has a broad appeal – fans in their late teens and early 20s to people in their 70s.”

The good news for New Reveille fans – other than the opportunity to see the band perform live on stage – is that there is a new album on the horizon.

“We’re looking to do the next record late fall or early winter,” said Cook. “We’ll do it ourselves with crowd funding. With the recording part, we’re going to keep it in North Carolina this time.”

Video link for New Reveille – https://youtu.be/RsClryD3ngk.

Shawn James

Shawn James, whose voice is described as “a force of nature,” just released his fourth studio album, “The Dark & The Light,” on March 22. Additionally, he just released a single on July 26 – an acoustic version of the album track, “Burn the Witch.”

“We’re playing several songs from the new album,” said James, during a recent phone interview. “It’s about 50/50 old and new. There are a lot of people who really, really relate to my older music.”

James has always been a musician who flourishes when touring and performing live. James annually tours more than 150 dates around the world and has released more than 70 songs over the past five years.

“I was living in L.A. for the last year,” said James. “Right now, we’re without a home. I’m on the road so much that it’s become my home. I tour a lot and when I’m off the road, I try to get in the studio.

Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, James’ timeless sound is steeped in blues legends like Robert Johnson and Son House, forever at the crossroads of damnation and redemption, the two inextricably woven into the fabric of his songs.

“I’ve been playing music since I was a little boy,” said James. “It was just singing for a long time. I started out in gospel and also opera and choir. Then, I got tired of it all. I quit everything and got into a rock band.

“I didn’t start songwriting until when I was 20. Part of it was therapy. I was always touring in bands and I decided that I wanted to stand on my own two feet. So, I started songwriting on guitar. I had all the life experiences and stories for inspiration for the songs.”

Video link for Shawn James – https://youtu.be/N8myBEC4cmA.

The show at the Sellersville Theater, which features Shawn James and New Reveille, will start at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices arnge from $19.50 to $29.50.

Other upcoming shows at the Sellersville Theater are Edgar Winter Band with Chapell on August 13, and The Waifs on August 14.


Thunderpussy, which is based in Seattle, has already conquered the Pacific Northwest.

Now, the hard-rocking quartet is ready to conquer the rest of America with a nationwide tour that includes a stop on August 10 at MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-925-6455, www.milkboyphilly.com)

The band was formed in Washington State in late 2013 by guitarist Whitney Petty and vocalist Molly Sides and has had an abundance of drummers and former drummers. Five of the six members – past and present — have experience at the drum kit.

Petty began her musical career playing guitar for Deerhunter and playing drums in The Grizzled Mighty. Prior to the formation of Thunderpussy, Sides was the vocalist for This Bitch Don’t Fall Off.

Lena Simon, Sides’ best friend from Cornish College of the Arts, later joined the band as drummer. Leah Julius, drummer of classic rock cover band Sundries, met Sides and Petty in the Seattle music community and joined the band as bassist. In 2016, Simon left the band and was replaced with Ruby Dunphy. In January 2019, Dunphy left to pursue other projects.

“We’ve been trying out different drummers since Ruby left,” said Sides, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon as the band travelled from New Haven, Connecticut to Boston. “We have a new addition – a really good drummer from Bend, Oregon named Lindsey Elias. We’ll see if she sticks around.”

Pearl Jam’s guitarist Mike McCready and Thunderpussy crossed paths at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in 2016 and quickly became friends. Thunderpussy’s debut single, “Velvet Noose,” was released in 2017 on McCready’s HockeyTalkter Records and featured a guitar solo by McCready. The song was featured in the 2017 crime drama “Molly’s Game.”

After releasing that inaugural single, Thunderpussy was signed to McCready’s Stardog Records. The quartet released its debut EP, “Greatest Tits,” in February 2018. The label was originally started in the late 80s by Mother Love Bone, before relaunching in 2016 as a subsidiary of Republic Records. Thunderpussy became the first new band to sign to the label.

Then, the band recorded its first full-length record, “Thunderpussy,” and released it on May 25, 2018. The foursome kept the Pacific Northwest vibe going by cutting the album at Sylvia Massy’s home studio in Ashland, Oregon with Massy and engineer Josh Evans.

“We’re still living in Seattle – when we’re here,” said Sides. “We’ve been on the road a lot over the last two years.

“We recorded the ‘Thunderpussy’ album in 2016 and it took two years to put it out. We self-funded it through the Seattle music community. We thought we were going to self-release it and then we started having talks with Republic Records. Even after we signed, it still took a year to put it out.

“We’re really happy with it. It’s a story about Whitney and me. We’ve been together going on eight years now and it’s this little journey of our relationship.”

According to Petty, “People talk about that magic. There’s some voodoo happening between Molly and I, which is like a cosmic connection. She has this power. Somehow, I’m under her spell when we’re performing — we all are.”

The four talented musicians have continued in a creative mode even while on the road.

“At the beginning of the year, we started writing and working on a new album,” said Sides, whose band recently released a hard-ass cover of the Jefferson Airplane classic “Somebody To Love.” “We’re writing all the time. For the new album, we’ve been trying out different producers.

“In our live shows, we’re playing lots of new stuff. It’s so important to play new songs live and check the energy – to see which ones work. Right now, we mix it up pretty much every night.”

Video link for Thunderpussy — https://youtu.be/FY0L0z1xCkQ.

The show at MilkBoy, which has Hollis Brown and Full Bush as opening acts, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12.

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