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 Music: Gypsy Revival

In the end, it’s the final song, “Days to Come”, from the new self-titled Gypsy Revival EP, that gives a listener reason to think these guys are worth following. Clearly the rootsiest, most country rock take on the record, it sounds like they’ve been listening to Old Crow Medicine Show, as they make the line “Back then, everybody was living to be laid; today, everybody is living to be laid” sound tossed off and brilliant at the same time.

Continue reading “Indiana Music: Gypsy Revival”

Rolling Stones to go to #1? Urban and Phish roll (and rock) Keith and the boys

With the Rolling Stones “Exile on Main Street”  re-released, I read today on Robert Hilburn’s (longtime LA Music writer) Twitter feed that the package may hit #1 this week on the album chart, which is nearly unheard of for a true, non-compilation re-release (think about all those Elvis songs repackaged.  Or the Beatles. I don’t count them).  Also makes me think back to what Late Night with Jimmy Fallon pulled off last week – producers brought in a band each night to perform their version of a tune off that legendary Stones album. It became a perfect example of making a show feel niche and cool and retro too.  The week became nicely hit-and-miss. Even when some artists struggled to make their take a definitive version (Green Day on “Rip This Joint”  and Sheryl Crow on “All Down the Line”), they still looked like they were having fun.  And when a band found the magic and had a great performance (Keith Urban with “Tumbling Dice” and Phish with “Lovin’ Cup”), it was great music TV.

Below are two of the best.  Seen them yet? I can’t find the Phish version anymore, so I substituted a smart next-best take.

Urban’s band is straight up rock and roll here and gives us the side of the artist that’s been drowned out by Nashville hitmaking pop bullshit on his recent albums.  Bonus: Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell joins them.

And Phish? They were freakin’ inspired and just so damn good on their song.  Put any anti-jam band bias in your pocket for five minutes (I did) and just get into it

KEITH URBAN (from the show)

PHISH (live version from film “Phish 3D”