Steve Clayton Blog

Blackbird Sing

We just endorsed the band Blackbird Sing and wanted to share a little bit about the band! Blackbird Sing began in 2010 as the brainchild of Robert Vito Salinas, former singer songwriter of the now defunct, but seminal, “Dieboy” of 1990’s pop-punk fame.  After 13 years Dieboy eventually called it quits in 2006 due to personal differences in the bands direction.  The self-imposed hiatus would almost see the exit of a talented musician, whom after years of being a fixture in the local music scene, was facing the reality of making a living setting in.  It was during these times that Vito continued to use songwriting as an artistic outlet and penned his most emotionally connected songs to date. Vito delved deep into a musical heritage that extended across multiple styles of music due to the influences of the musical tastes of his numerous uncles and cousins, who had introduced him to their favorite artists ranging from The Beatles to The Ramones. However, it was these soul-wrenching songs, written at such a transcendent moment that would sow the first seeds of what would grow into something larger. Vito began collaborating his vision with Andy Salazar also of Dieboy (lead guitar/piano/trumpet) and together the two began consolidating this reality-driven storytelling with experimental forays into blending folk music and country rock with grass-roots Americana.  As the band grew to include George Ransom on bass and the infamous Magallanez brothers, Daniel and James, on drums, percussions, guitar, and harmonica (along with a virtual cornucopia of various sound-making equipment), their sound began to coalesce into something entirely nonpareil. Vito and the Magallanez brothers are first cousins, and growing up so closely allowed them to bring a very close-knit, personal style that made the transition from their previous bands into Blackbird Sing seamless. “We definitely shared a very similar soundtrack growing up and come from a very diverse musical family.”  Heavily Influenced by a menagerie of artists like Cat Stevens, The Stray Cats, Dion and the Belmonts, Social Distortion, The Clash, and Chris Isaak, Blackbird Sing ambitiously set out to create a sound that Vito has described as, “Music that people who like country rock but don’t like rock could enjoy and that people who like rock but don’t like country rock could equally relish.”  And so, in 2010, Blackbird Sing the alt-folk Americana country rock band was born. In less than a year, Blackbird Sing’s seamless blend of modern musical genres combined with heartfelt lyrics that resonate with large swathes of the audience on an individual level catapulted them to the attention of music lovers and critics throughout Texas.  From their first stage performance in June of 2010 at a venue call Club Tonic, Blackbird Sing’s acclaim began skyrocketing, and people began to take notice. In 2010, Robert Vito won the prestigious Rammy award for top vocalist in the San Antonio Texas local music scene and the band as a whole was selected as runner up for best Country/Americana band in the same year. Taking no time to rest while on their meteoric rise to prominence, the band quickly cut a fantastic self-titled EP (to much critical exaltation) the same year.   This showcased the bands chemistry with each member playing an intricate role in the development of the “Texicana” sound.  With a style that echoed shades of current popular folk/country rock bands like Wilco and The Avett Brothers, it wasn’t very long before Blackbird Sing began to spread its influence throughout the region. The self-styled “Heirs of Bexar” (the county in which the city of San Antonio resides) used singles such as the lament-driven “Manxiety” and the esoteric “Hales” to elevate themselves above the masses of garage bands and artistic dilettantes in an industry starved for originality. Their efforts culminated in their being the only band from San Antonio selected to compete in the esteemed Shiner Rising Stars tournament, which brings together the best Texas has to offer in musical acts to vie for the ultimate title of Shiner’s 2011 Rising Star.  Travelling far outside of their sphere of influence and their hometown fans, Blackbird Sing won the contest and is now currently signed to Shiner Records which will be releasing their debut album in early 2012. Seldom has a band so seamlessly blended the swaggering bravado of punk, the emotively captivating lyrics of the grandest forms of folk, rural country music aesthetics, the experimentation of an indie band with nothing to lose, and good old fashioned Americana that can only be described as exclusively their own.  And yet, even though they’ve accomplished more in one year than most bands do in a lifetime, the boys remain humble and focused.  Already at work on their next musical masterpiece, they haven’t changed their focus.  If asked, Vito will tell it like he has countless times before “It’s not how you play. It’s what you play that really matters.”

For more about their band and to check out their music:

http://www.blackbirdsing.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blackbird-Sing/124142137620576

http://youtu.be/wvKp48sV-xA

 

New Endorsed Artists

We have just endorsed Trepid, Hero’s for Hire, and Night By Night. Trepid is a rock band that is bases in Louisiana. Brian and David have been using our guitar picks for 5 years. Trepid has shared the stage with The Event Horizon, Rockhouse, South of Heaven, Dorian’s Fall and national act Motley Crude (Uncrowned). Visit their site to listen to their music by clicking here.

Hero’s for Hire is a pop/punk/alternative band located in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These guys really have a great sense of humor and you can see that by reading their bio on their myspace (totally hilarious)! They have been using our white delrin standard picks for about 2 years now.

Night by Night is a classic rock band hailing from London, UK…I really like that they are a more modern type of classic rock (didn’t know that was possible :)). They are a band all ages can enjoy, I really loved their song “Can’t walk away” check it out at their myspace.

Shotgun Riot

Glasstone Records sent us press kit a few months back, we are in the process of endorsing several of their bands. shotgunYou should have seen the stack of contracts I had to sign, my hand was aching at the end of it! :).  When we get them all back I will take a picture with them all so you can see why, haha. We just got the first contracts back from Neil, Tom and Adam of Shotgun Riot. I think this is out first hardcore punk endorsee. They definently have a real gritty hardcore sound to them that any deep rock fan can appreciate. I normally don’t listen to the more hardcore stuff but you actually hear what these guys are saying so it is enjoyable and not so tough on the ears. Definently a band you would have to turn up to the max to get the full effect of. This band is located in London, UK. Check out their myspace to sample their music. Also, look out for more posts soon about Glasstone Records and new bands to be endorsed.