DISMANTLING PARADISE is the brilliant first solo effort from singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Max Johnston, former member of Uncle Tupelo, Freakwater, Wilco, and The Gourds. Johnston spent the past two decades backing up some of the finest and most celebrated musicians in the Americana/Alt-Country genre. In his first solo release, he and producer Eric Jarvis employ members of Big Star, The Gourds, and other heavyweights to back him. One of Johnston’s primary songwriting strengths remains his ability to weave deeply personal stories into gorgeous and appealing melodies. While DISMANTLING PARADISE is technically Max Johnston’s debut record, he draws on decades of experience to deliver something much more reflective, subtle, and beautiful than the norm. DISMANTLING PARADISE is an official High Plains Films/MVD Entertainment release.
Distribution - MVD Audio
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An organic off-shoot of legendary Austin, Texas roots-rockers THE GOURDS, THE HARD PANS feature Gourds frontman and songwriter Jimmy Smith, multi-instrumentalist Claude Bernard, longtime sound engineer, guitar-slinger Mark Creaney, and one of Austin’s most in-demand drummers, George Duron. With a home-grown, vintage feel, BUDGET CUTS is 12 tracks of garage rockers, freaky folkers, and slow burning anthems - a pure, raw collection of roots rock with that “to be continued” feel you get from your favorites. THE HARD PANS are the gritty, grubbier side of THE GOURDS’ indefinite “hiatus.” They have mapped out a musical journey to get them back on the road to catch up with the folks they left hanging. BUDGET CUTS is an official High Plains Films/MVD Entertainment release.
Distribution - MVD Audio
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In 2011-2012, High Plains Films was fortunate to connect with Austin, Texas roots-rock/alt-country legends, The Gourds, and document their music in a hybrid performance film/music documentary, ALL THE LABOR. The feature documentary that resulted from that effort premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. High Plains Films released an official soundtrack to the feature documentary, which is also The Gourds’ first career-spanning release and the band’s first live record, with 18 new and unreleased tracks culled from more than a dozen live performances recorded for the film.
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We connected with Ned Mudd in the mid-1990s during production of SOUTHBOUND. Since then we have collaborated on more than 30 documentaries. Our films would simply not be the same without Mudd’s input and original music.
“Mudd’s music is a unique combination of jazz, blues, techno and ambient guitar-based instrumentals.” Birmingham Weekly
“The music combines avant-garde jazz with spoken word, and experimental rock and roll. The jazz is played by top-notch musicians. The words are written with just the right language, making it understandable yet humanly poetic, and the experimental rock and roll is wild and raw, yet confined and skillful. These are the qualities in music that make it speak.” Missoulian
“‘The trick is to remain invisible, and act like you know what you’re doing. Fact is, that’s the definition of the American Dream.’ So says Ned Mudd in one song from his THIS IS NOWHERE soundtrack music. Over Midwestern truckstop blues, Mudd croaks out lyrics with a vocal manner reminiscent of Frank Zappa, or Robbie Robertson on a lazy day.” www.flickhead.com
Dobro and banjo player Ivan Rosenberg has released several CDs of mostly-original instrumentals and an instructional DVD. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine wrote, “It is only a matter of time until Ivan Rosenberg becomes universally recognized as one of the more prolific masters of the resonator guitar,” and Banjo Newsletter editor Donald Nitchie wrote that Ivan’s recent CD Clawhammer and Dobro was one of the best instrumental recordings of the year
Ivan currently plays select festivals and concerts with the alternative bluegrass band The Breakmen and with the old time/world music quartet Mighty Squirrel from Washington State. Ivan has also performed and/or recorded with many top musicians including Billy Cardine and Mary Lucey of The Biscuit Burners, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, Chad Manning, Hit & Run, Jake Schepps, Julie Elkins & David Thompson, Ben Winship, and Mike Grigoni.
Ivan’s original music has appeared in several film and television scores including Jerry Bruckheimer/Warner Brothers Films’ Kangaroo Jack, HBO’s Making Deadwood: The Show Behind the Show, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and the High Plains films, Libby, Montana, Brave New West, and Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison.
Aaron Parrett started writing songs in 1995 while living on Barber Street in Athens, Georgia, while he was enrolled in graduate school in Comparative Literature. The Sinners, his first CD, came out in 1996 to great critical acclaim. A year later he teamed up with Jason Anderson, Jon Mills, and John Neff to record a second showcase of his songs called The Judge and the Jury: The Legend of Jim Collins, released in 2000 on the Pizzle label. He and Jason recorded a second Judge and Jury album in 2002, Left of the Mason Dixon Line, which also featured fine pedal steel by John Neff (Drive-By Truckers). Parrett teaches literature at Great Falls University in Montana. Aaron has provided original music for the High Plains films Brave New West, Libby, Montana, Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison, The Naturalist, and more.