SONG OF THE WEEK: "Yours and Mine" by Bettye Lavette & Charles Walker w/ The Dyanmites

Until just a few years ago, Bettye Lavette was a shamefully overlooked soul singer. Her comeback LP on Anti records produced by Patterson Hood and a jaw dropping performance of The Who's "Love Reign" in 2008 changed that. On "Yours and Mine" she teams up with Charles "Wigg" Walker and his Nashville-based backing band, The Dynamites. It's a classic soul duet that burns with desire and passion. It shouldn't surprise anyone that both singers knock this one out of the park. As usual Dynamites mastermind and guitarist Bill Elder (a.k.a. Leo Black) delivers on the production front. This track is comfortably modern and straight-forward--it sounds like a great band playing in a great room. Dig it:

I'll be heading to Schubas tonight to catch The Dynamites feat Charles Walker along with upstart Atlanta soul group Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics and our good friend DJRC. They're gonna burn it down!


I can't get Major Lazer out of my head recently. A collaboration between Diplo and Switch, Major Lazer is about the most fun I've had from the gentrification of dance hall reggae. This track is particularly interesting. A remix of Cajmere's Chicago-house hit "Coffee Pot", it flips the popping sample into some hip-rocking syncopation. The beat is awfully similar to Beyonce's "Run the World" which Switch produced, using the track "Pon de Floor" from Major Lazer's LP. Also, dat video.



TRN returns to Metro with Escort!

We are super excited to announce that we are opening for seventeen-member disco orchestra Escort at the Metro on November 9, 2012. Our last show at Metro was with Fitz & The Tantrums and fellow Chicagoans JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound in February 2011 and it was one for the books. Escort is one of our favorite bands of the moment. Don't just take our word for it: Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the New York Times, and Spin all have great things to say about 'em too. Tickets are $15, but you can snag discounted early bird tickets for just $8.99 for a limited time. And here's an added bonus: our good friend J. Kriv (he released the "Call Girl" Remixes on his label Deep & Disco in June) plays bass with Escort! Here's an Escort tune "Makeover."

Check out Escort covering "Bad Girl" at this year's Montreal Jazz Fest.


  What song do you choose for the first post back after a little break? How about something tongue-in-cheek with a groove to it? I have a hard time not listening to this song on repeat some days. If we'd heard it back when Brendan was letting us abuse his Buick LeSabre, I can only imagine how many times I would have heard (and said), "back in the damn Buick".




Ooooh, a van jam. An especially tasty van jam at that. Several of us were introduced to The Stepkids when they opened for Dennis Coffey at Lincoln Hall last year. They'd just gotten signed to Stones Throw Records and they put on a hell of a show, including a digital video artist projecting straight onto the band and stage.


Call Girl Remixes are Out!

When we recorded Gets Over You in LA last summer, Sergio Rios was probably the first person to bring up the idea of remixing a tune. "Call Girl," our first stab at disco, was an obvious choice. I reached to Jason Kriv, ex-Tortured Soul bassist and label head of Deep&Disco, and he agreed to put out some remixes on his label. We're super excited to announce Call Girl Remixes (Part 1), available today via a Traxsource exclusive. JKriv and Scott Wozniak did remixes. Check out all the mixes on Traxsource here. Or dig JKriv's aptly titled Booty Call mix!


TRN Hits the Airwaves

We've been running a radio campaign since Gets Over You dropped in early April. It's been a big success thanks to Dave Sanford and the folks over at SanfordCo & Distiller Promo. We rose to #102 on the CMJ charts and hung around in the top 200 for 7 straight weeks. Here's a list of the CMJ Top 200 Stations that charted the record and have supported us: Bagel Radio (San Francisco, CA) Capital Public Radio (Sacramento, CA) CFMU (Hamilton, ON) CHIRP Radio (Chicago, IL) CHMR (St. Johns, NF) KBBI (Homer, AK) KBCS (Bellevue, WA) KCSS (Turlock, CA) KDHX (St. Louis, MO) KEUL (Girdwood, AK) KFSR (Fresno, CA) KNDS (Fargo, ND) KOPN (Columbia, MO) KRZA (Alamosa, CO) KSJS (San Jose, CA) KTCU (Fort Worth, TX) KUCI (Irvine, CA) KVNF (Paonia, CO) KWLC (Decorah, IA) OHIO.FM (Columbus, OH) SCAD Radio (Savannah, GA) WBWC (Berea, OH) WCBN (Ann Arbor, MI) WCNI (New London, CT) WCUR (West Chester, PA) WGLS (Glassboro, NJ) WIDR (Kalamazoo, MI) WJCU (University Heights, OH) WLFR (Galloway, NJ) WMCO (New Concord, OH) WMXM (Lake Forest, IL) WNCW (Spindale, NC) WONY (Oneonta, NY) WRSU (New Brunswick, NJ) WRUV (Burlington, VT) WSFX (Nanticoke, PA) WSIN (New Haven, CT) WUDR (Dayton, OH) WUMD (North Dartmouth, MA) WVIA (Pittston, PA) WXAV (Chicago, IL)

We also want to thank WYMS (Milwaukee, WI) and WYCE (Grand Rapids, MI) for spinning the record as well.

- Brendan


It seems like Ms. Badu has had a rough week dealing with the fallout from Wayne Coyne's new video. Being ever the epitome cool, she's seemed to maintain well all throughout. Her grace and composure be as they may, let's not forget how good she sounds.




VIDEO DEBUT: "He Used To Be"

Yesterday our first music video was debuted on's 17 Dots blog, and they had some nice things to say about the band. We're thrilled to have this out there, so sit back and enjoy "He Used To Be."


Hard work went into this project, most notably by Cameron Yergler who shot and directed it, Seth Thompson who shot the live footage (at the Double Door in Chicago), Sherry Roeder who did Stef's makeup, Rachel Epperson who suited up the band, Dee Adams (of DeRobert & The Half Truths) with the killer guest vocals, Sergio Rios (of Orgone) who recorded and produced the track, Ridgely Jackson who helped with some locations, and of course our own Brendan O'Connell who wrote this song and Stefanie Berecz who conceptualized the video and made it happen. High fives all around!

We hope you enjoy it and pass it along to your peoples...

Song of the week: Kirk Franklin's "I Smile"

Anyone needing a dose of positivity is about to get steamrolled with it. And anyone rolling their eyes and thinking "ugh, never mind" definitely needs to watch this. The video just kills me - and if you want to skip the intro and get right to the song, it starts at the 1:50 mark.  I may never have a bad day again!    -CC



One of the earliest soul-jazz albums, Ray Charles and Milt Jackson's 1957 Soul Brothers/Soul Meeting is dripping with blues. Bags takes a break on this track so a young Ray Charles (he hadn't even recorded "Night Time Is the Right Time" yet) can step out and lead bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Connie Kay through a languid several choruses. Put this on the next time it tops 90° outside and you're looking to sweat it out on your porch, patio, or stoop.



TRN as heard on 90210

Looks like our song "Nobody" is now featured in season 1, episode 1 of 90210. Though the episode originally aired in 2008 with a different song (by someone named Adele...anyone? Anyone?), they've switched our song in there for the syndicated version. You can watch it on netflix ("Nobody" shows up at about the 39:00 mark) or watch it in our virtual living room, below.


Song of the week: DeRobert & The Half-Truths' "Beg Me"

We've got less than a week until our big Chicago Release Party at Lincoln Hall on May 12. Part of the reason we are so excited for the show is that we're bringing DeRobert & The Half-Truths up from Nashville. We've known Dee Adams (aka DeRobert) for several years. He's been paired up with The Half-Truths and GED Soul Records for a while and they've put out some amazing records. Here's one of my favorites, "Beg Me."

Live Session from KDHX

Saint Louis is one of the first cities TRN visited outside of Chicago and it has been a second home to us in many ways. A big reason for that is KDHX, the amazing community radio station in town. They've been amazing supporters of our band by spinning out records, spreading the word about shows, and having us in studio to perform. I love their space on Magnolia. I love even more that they are expanding to a new 4 story building with a concert venue and all. Every city should be so lucky to have such a champion for music.

Here's a live session that we knocked out yesterday. Big ups to Nico, Andy, Jon and everyone else for having us in!


Even without a sky full of swollen, low hanging clouds today would have been mellow after we arrived in Chicago just before dawn. I like to use my first day home from the road to put things back in order, drink a little coffee, and absorb some mellow music. Syreeta's "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" (from her second album Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta) very neatly sums up what I'm talking about. Wonder's gorgeous arranging and production allows Syreeta's voice to gently lead the song, supported by thoughtful and intricate keys and guitars. The pure tone and control of her voice is put on full display. There's a lesson in the effectiveness of simplicity on this one. And call me cheesy, but I'm kind of in love with the soft rain plip-plopping throughout the track.


-Jonny Hats

Lots of Love for Baltimore

It's been a whirlwind of a tour. We've had great shows, hit some new markets (DC & Baltimore), and forged some amazing friendships. One of the most unexpected moments on tour came Thursday in Baltimore. We didn't have any shows come through for Thursday so we did some last minute scrambling to land an in-studio at WTMD (thanks Dave Sanford/Distiller) and an in-store at Jojosouth Record Shop (thanks BT from JC Brooks). WTMD was pretty sweet. After a quick Starbucks run we were ready for a 3 song set and an extended interview with Eric. Scott Mullins also played the new record and paid us some real nice comments. It's great when people who hear tons of music all day, every day have good things to say.

We piled back in to the van to Jojosouth Record Shop in Hampden. With hours to kill before load in we weren't sure what to do in the hood. I texted Luke, the owner, for ideas and he told us to drop by early...for spinach lasagna. Those are two magic words to a band on the road.

We rolled up to an amazing spread of food and sparkling wine. JJ and Luke opened up their home and store to us with some downright jaw-dropping hospitality. We elected to cram the entire band into the tiny store to perform for a small but enthusiastic crowd. Here's a video of "Half As Much."

We can't express our gratitude enough to Luke and JJ as well as the folks at WTMD for making our first stop in Baltimore awesome. We will definitely be back in the fall.

Song of the week: Monophonics' "Bang Bang"

We missed our usual Sunday post for song of the week. Hey, we're on tour so things slip through the cracks. Our bad. This week it's "Bang Bang" by Monophonics, a killer band from San Francisco. These guys have been performing for years and are generating a lot of buzz with their upcoming release on Ubiquity Records. We heard about them from Sergio Rios when we were in LA. Check out this great cover of a Cher song.

Van time

Our only day off on this tour is today. We're spending our Earth Day in the van, heading back east to Williamsport PA and the lovely Bullfrog Brewery. We lucked out and got a van with a DVD player. So far it's been Arrested Development all the way. Soooo good. Johnny Hats also led a TRN-style group hug on top of Greg.

We're still riding high from an amazing show in Cincinnati last night at MOTR Pub. The crowd was on fire and we had one of our best shows in recent memory. What a great way to get this tour moving. On to Billtown!