Featuring Bay Area, Coachella Valley and Central Valley Artists, Bringing Backroads Music from the Fringes to the Masses
Santa Ynez, CA – Thursday, April 20, 2017 – Every year, thousands of North American artists release new music vying for the spotlight, trying to break through the noise to get heard and build their fanbase. Through streaming services, the internet, and YouTube, artists are getting more and more savvy in ways to go viral. But then you have incredible artistic gems that lie just beyond the fray, living under-the-radar lives on America’s backroads. These are the musicians not seeking the limelight, though through the work of Jim Pugh – founder of the non-profit record label Little Village Foundation – they’re discovered and catapulted into the national music scene.
A renowned artist himself, Jim Pugh has a sole musical goal to bring otherwise unheard of musicians from their local communities out to the world. In looking at the label’s 2015 and 2016 releases and the critical praise they’ve garnered, it’s proving to be an undeniably successful venture.
Pugh’s career as a keyboardist for the likes of B.B. King, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray and Van Morrison, has garnered him multiple GRAMMY® Awards, and platinum and gold records. No longer a full-time sideman, Pugh has a new dedication satiating his musical muse: tell the untold stories of American roots musicians who’ve gone undetected and might never be revealed to the masses.
Based out of Santa Barbara County, Pugh scours all corners of the country searching for obscure artists to sign and record. Little Village Foundation’s latest round of five full-length studio recordings are set for release on July 14, 2017. Pugh focuses on artists he’s discovered throughout his travels to the Central Valley of California, the side streets of the San Francisco Bay Area, and out to the Coachella Valley. What Pugh has uncovered is audible gold that might not have been revealed if it weren’t for his undying persistence.
A 17-year-old high school student from Delano, California, Xóchitl Morales releases her debut album, Descansos. A spoken-word tour-de-force, Descansos is an expository album sharing her life story as a Mexican-American young woman living in the Central Valley. The album features her encounters with pesticide poisoning, immigration, injustices within the farming community, and defining the American dream. Desert legend Sean Wheeler diverges from his hardcore punk sensibility to produce an Americana tinged solo debut album, Sand In My Blood, alongside Billy Pitman (Jimmie Vaughan).
Vallejo, CA’s own gospel sensations The Sons Of The Soul Revivers release an inspired album, LIVE! Rancho Nicasio, showcasing the band at its best in a Marin County roadhouse famed for presenting the best Bay Area roots music. Memphis style blues guitarist/vocalist Chris Cain’s eponymous 12th album is evidence that the San Jose, CA blues scene is flourishing with world-renowned talent. Veteran singer-songwriter Maurice Tani presents his “Supercalifornographic” Americana music on his seventh studio album, The Lovers Card, for Little Village Foundation. For more detailed information regarding these artists, please click on their pages in New Releases.