Tag Archives: Outlaw Roadshow

Passion People: The Outlaw Roadshow


I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I hopped on a plane last week. I was heading out to support my friend, singer-songwriter Kathleen Sieck, as she made her New York debut.  I knew she would be playing at something called The Outlaw Roadshow, which I assumed was your basic lineup of Americana bands and artists. But what I experienced was so much more…

Started by radio host, Ryan Spaulding and Adam Duritz of The Counting Crows, the Roadshow describes itself as a family of fans and artists. And can I just tell you – this is not hype or an empty attempt at some ‘authentic branding,’ nor is it a big business, corporate-money-making festival for “independent artists, (ahem). No, this is truly what it looks like to build up and support a community of indie artists.

Logistically, it is a 3-day series of free live shows in 3 different cities each year, supported by a weekly radio show. But behind the scenes, I witnessed an actual community of artists in the flesh. During the day, they filmed live recordings of each artist performing an acoustic set in Adam’s loft – littered with an audience of other musicians and bands. The scene was like the day-after-Christmas-hangover – everyone was moving slow, eating bagels and leftovers, and sharing quiet stories amongst themselves, while the rotation of bands took their video stage.  In the evenings the two-stage rotation of back-to-back performances at The Bowery Electric, was packed out with fans, and the other artists and musicians, (btw-this was not the obligatory, ‘I’ll stay to support my opening band’…this was musicians hanging out and listening and encouraging each other all evening long). And then, as the shows wound down somewhere between 1-2am, all the musos would find their way back to an afterparty at the loft, which basically turned into a boozy all-night sing-along and jam session. For three days.

Along with the support that the bands gave each other, I was struck by the overwhelming generosity and excitement of the crew of people who produce this thing. Ryan and Adam and their teams were there for each and every show, sitting right up front…listening, swaying, nodding, smiling…     And then, there was this whole other cast of artisan characters – to name a couple – there was John Wright, a winemaker from Santa Ynez Valley, who also hosts a live music series in his barrel room – he provided the wine and swag and an overall show of support from the Cali Coast.  And then there was the painter, Felipe Molina, whose beautiful artwork was a backdrop for the whole party. There were more…a whole crew of Passion People – doing inspiring things, living inspiring lives, helping others to do the same.

In the spirit of The Roadshow, we can all give indie artists in our community a leg up – go see a show, buy a cd, maybe even a t-shirt, throw out a post and a hashtag. It all helps.  It’s all encouraging. And that support breeds more beauty, more art, and more creation.  And. That. Matters.

So, with that, here are just a few of the artists who played this year. Take a listen to the clips below, check out their websites…

Kathleen Sieck:

K Phillips: featuring David Immurgluck of the Counting Crows.

The sultry and rock sounds of Brandy Zdan:

Kirby Brown – releasing the first of a series of 3 eps this week (October 28th, 2016):

Adam Duritz & Rob Thomas gave a late night secret show…here’s just a little bite from it:

To all of The Outlaw Roadshow, thank you for all that you are doing!

Click here for more stories about Passion People.

The Beverly Hillbillies And The Outlaw Roadshow

kathleen9Work and creativity can flow out of even the most random, disordered and transient of situations. Bobby and I are living proof of this statement.

Being self-employed, we keep ourselves nice and busy with our publishing company, CatBeach Music. I generally work from home, with an occasional work day spent in a coffee shop with a view, a co-working space in the city, or alongside Bobby at the studio. My workspace at home, along with all of our furniture and appliances, have been emptied into the garage for the last 5 weeks.  And the studio has also been in a bit of disarray while making upgrades to it.

Needless to say, working, as well as basic living, has been challenging the past couple of months. (First world problems…trust me, I know.) Anyway, we packed up our car with our two labradoodles, some gear, and whatever clothes we could fit – like a scene right out of The Beverly Hillbillies – and we drove up to the Santa Ynez valley. We happily left our empty, dusty construction zone of a house in LA, and moved in to a clean, quiet and fully furnished retreat in wine country. I spent the first few days setting up shop and creating a comfortable studio-workspace and we somehow found a new and different rhythm.

While we were there, Bobby got a call to write an earthy, melancholy ballad for a very specific scene in a TV show.  He decided to call up a friend of ours, who lives in the valley, to co-write for this assignment.
We met Kathleen Sieck, an Americana singer-songwriter, a few years earlier at a festival that she was playing. Since then we’ve seen her play a number of shows, along with her band – The Paradise Road – at Standing Sun Live and other venues up north. If we have to do that thing, where we compare her to another artist, we’d say she is a cross between Allison Krauss and Rosanne Cash with a little modern Nikki Lane thrown in.

kathleen5Over the course of 3 days, Bobby and Kathleen wrote a couple of tunes for the TV assignment and tracked live performances of 2 of Kathleen’s original songs. We recorded her songs in preparation for her appearance at the upcoming Outlaw Roadshow in New York City (October 20-22 at The Bowery Electric).  We’re super excited that we were able to work together – and can’t wait to see what is next for Kathleen.

Looking back, considering that we felt like we were in a state of total chaos, it’s amazing that we had the space and mental capacity to actually create and produce.  I’m not sure how it even happened, except by sheer determination and motivation. Sometimes that is when the best stuff happens I guess.

Oh…and stand by…I’ll post the tunes when they’ve been released into the world!