Live Preview: Catching up with pop/rocker Jeremiah Cosner; opens for Brent James and the Contraband at Indianapolis’ Rathskeller on Friday night

With the release of a four-song EP of original songs called Hold Steady in December of 2010, Indiana’s Jeremiah Cosner was able to leap forward musically with an album recorded at the Sound Kitchen in Nashville, Tennessee, and filled of robust-sounding Black Crowes/Rolling Stones/Faces rock.

Hoosier-based Cosner has shed his band, and has been playing solo shows. And maybe the only thing between some deserved notice by American rock fans here in Indiana is more gigs.

His opening slot at the Rathskeller on Friday night with the Nashville-via-Michigan rock/pop of Brent James and the Contraband is a good match, pairing him with James, whose Moment of Silence album rocks with a Train/Why Store sound.

“I am amped about showcasing (with) Brent James & the Contraband,” he says, noting it’s a reunion of sorts for him and the band. “The lead guitar player (Mike P.) for the band produced and played lead on Hold Steady. I gave him the nickname “The Wizard.”

The 2007 IU School of Music grad says he has been writing for a new record (or two), contributed a charity song called “Reflection in the Water”, the songs have been used in a movie called “The Big Idea”, and Cosner has a wild idea to build a studio in a trailer.

Rockforward: When have you been writing new music?
Jeremiah Cosner: All day, every day. I now have enough material for three to four full length records. Acoustic and organic is my favorite way to write, and I am excited to record the new material.

Rockforward: Hold Steady has a Stones-like vibe. How have those four songs helped your career?
JC: The Hold Steady EP was recorded in Nashville at the Sound Kitchen. I have found releasing singles via iTunes is beneficial. “Money Maker” and “Lipstick & Cigarettes” have both been spun on the radio locally.  Recently, I have written (music) for the Children’s Leukemia Foundation. Doing this type of work and writing has allowed me to become an affiliate with SESAC and start my own publishing company, Baby Blue Café.

Rockforward: How has Indy been treating you?  What are the differences you feel and see when you venture outside the Indy to play?
JC: Indy is great (but) traveling is hands down my favorite thing to do, so anytime I get the chance to play in another city I take full advantage. Nashville is my favorite place to play simply because the city is a melting pot of anything that has to do with music and has allowed for my network to grow tremendously. When I venture out of Indy I realize how many other events and organizations are built around working with independent performing artists to gain exposure. I was fortunate enough to get involved with Music City Circus (in Nashville) and showcased with other talented artists at Nashville’s 12th and Porter. That gig led to meeting and greeting new friends who introduced me to the Sound Kitchen to record Hold Steady.

Rockforward: How have you been touring? Band or solo?
JC: I have not toured with a full band since 2010. Traveling as a solo act is more rewarding and easier as I journey out. I have a revolving door of very talented musicians who lend a helping hand when I need it. All of us share one musical influence: 70’s rock and artists like Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, and the Rolling Stones.

Rockforward: What have you been listening to? What bands should we all turn up to 11?
JC: Recently I have been listening to Bachman Turner Overdrive, Elvis Costello, and The Marshall Tucker Band. But anymore, I get a kick out of finding Tom Jones records or some good Neil Young. Current bands that flip my switch are The Alabama Shakes, Kasabian, and The Band of Skulls.

Rockforward: Future plans that we’d find interesting?
JC: A few talented people and I have plans to build a studio within a Streamline Trailer that will sit on a few acres of land down south. This is where we want to be as creative as possible and pump out songs, movies, ideas, and other productions. Keep an eye out for a new bluesy rock record I plan on cutting by the end of 2012.

VIDEO: Jeremiah Cosner and the Concrete Sailors

VIDEO: Brent James and the Contraband

Indiana Roots-Rockers The Elms Set Album Release; with Henry French and Shameless in Indy Friday; Mellencamp Box Set, More

TheElms_street
The Elms hit the Rathskeller Friday with new album ("The Great American Midrange") finished

The Elms’ new studio album, “The Great American Midrange”,  is out on August 25 and will have 12 brand-new songs, recorded in Nashville and Seattle from February – April of this year. Their new single, “Back To Indiana”, will have its official premiere this Sunday on ABC during the national television broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 race

Of the local bands (regional bands?) that flip my Americana switch, they are one.  And they team with an up-and-coming band to hit the Rathskeller in downtown Indy Friday (5.22) night. The Elms just wrapped recording a new album, and are out playing tracks from it. More of their crunchy, literate heartland rock. Henry French and the Shameless open up. Check out their webpage, ’cause you may not be familiar with who they are.  If you are reading this, you will like it.

BONUS TIP: It is the outdoor biergarten with French from 7-8p and Elms rock from 8-11pm. Hands down, it is the best place to see live music in the summer. Stop arguing. Go see.  Good beer.

Patterson Hood (Drive-By-Trucker leader) releases his second solo record in June.
Drive-by-Trucker leader Hood releases second solo album

Summer Roots Rock album releases…and more to come.

JUNE 9
TODD SNIDER – THE EXCITEMENT PLAN
RHETT MILLER – RHETT MILLER

JUNE 23
TIFT MERRITT – BUCKINGHAM SOLO
LEMONHEADS – VARSHONS
PATTERSON HOOD – MURDERING OSCAR

JUNE 30
WILCO – WILCO (THE ALBUM)
LEVON HELM – ELECTRIC DIRT

JULY 7
SON VOLT – AMERICAN CENTRAL DIRT
THE JAYHAWKS – MUSIC FROM THE NORTH CO…

John Mellencamp will release a four-disc, 72-track box set titled “On the Rural Route 7609” this fall.  The number 7609 is a reference to the fact that the set spans Mellencamp’s entire recording career from 1976 to 2009. It will include a disc of early demo recordings, two discs of various versions of well-known songs and previously unreleased songs, and a fourth disc that will include different versions of other material. It is estimated that 65-75% of the material on the box set will be previously unreleased recordings, whether they are demos or alternate versions of familiar songs or songs that were never released for one reason or another.

indiana_telecaster_flag150INDIANA AMERICANA: Stella and Jane
Even when comparing artists to other similar-sounding bands, there seems to be a musical flavor that runs through many of the artists who come from Indiana.  A lack of pretension.  A small, almost unnoticable degree of dirty rock in the sound.  And usually a nod (or more) to some kind of 60 or 70’s rock sound, even from today’s younger bands.

Stella and Jane are Stella  Weakly and Bobbie Jane Lancaster, based in Bloomington, and with harmonies Indigo Girl-like. But there is far more twang from these two (and the band that comes along) than to stop with that comparison.  Soulful, folky and even three-chord rockish in places, the album “On With the Show” also features multi-instrumentalist Jeff Foster.