Guide to: 2016 Secret Stages Festival

July 21, 2016 0 comments

Photo by: Tamika Moore

Let’s finish this summer off with a “secret!”

August 5th-6th Birmingham, AL will be coming upon its 6th year of Secret Stages. We have personally attended and enjoyed this 2-day walking music festival in its previous years. With its affordability and excitement of “finding” emerging bands, Secret Stages is a win-win experience.

Why you should attend

  • The excitement of being able to watch emerging/talented artists in small venues before their “big break”
  • Each venue, bar and outdoor stage is within walking distance
  • There will be great food, delicious drinks and good company!
  • Affordability
    • SECRET TIER: Weekend Passes for $25 and VIP Passes for $60 Sold Out
      Day Passes for $20
      Weekend Passes for $35
      VIP Passes for $75
    • WHISTLEBLOWER TIER: Final pricing including day of show. Kicks in when “Rumor” tickets sell out
      Single Venue Passes for $15 (available at venues an hour before show time),
      Day Passes for $25,
      Weekend Passes for $40
      VIP Passes for $90

Just a few of the many genres of acts we recommend checking-out: Check out www.secretstages.net for more information regarding the schedule, bands performing and venues. 

Lando Chill (Hip Hop) – Tucson, Arizona:

Unpretentious, inspirational and incomparable. Lando Chill has a sound of his own and delivers heroism to hip hop.
Just watch, listen , and enjoy:

Music Videos:

Website: http://landobeenchill.com/#landochill
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lando.chill/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lando_chill
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lando_chill
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lando_chill/

Thayer Sarrano (psychedelic, dream-rock) –Athens, GA:

Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) + Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, Belly), and Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) = Thayer Sarrano. In brief, she perfects the 90’s dream-grunge.

Music Videos:

Website: http://www.thayersarrano.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thayersarrano
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thayersarrano
Bandcamp: http://thayersarrano.bandcamp.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thayersarrano/

Caddywhompus: (psych-punk, indie rock) -New Orleans:

This duo provides a musical explosion of structural elements that transition in exuberant shapes and colors. We are smitten with their charm. Frank Zappa would be proud.

Music Videos:

Website: http://www.caddywhompusband.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caddywhompusband

Elroy Love: (folk, alternative country, rock) – Macon, GA/ Murfreesboro, TN:

A smooth and unique collaboration of folk and alternative country tinged with a hint of rock and roll. These Georgia boys give us an alternative to your regular “chill-out” music.

Music Video:

Bandcamp: https://elroylove.bandcamp.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elroyloveband
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elroylove/

Skylar Gudasz (Indie rock, folk, jazz) –Durham, NC:

Skylar exposes her angelic voice in a distinctive folk-country, yet rock-n-roll form. Her music bestows joy & despair with a bit of sarcasm and relief. Enjoy!

Music Videos:

Website: http://www.skylargudasz.com
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/car-song-dream-lover-single/id952869533
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SkylarGudasz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SkylarGudasz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skylargudasz/

Sun Seeker (indie, folk, Alternative rock) –Nashville, TN:

Nashville’s, Sun Seeker brings a haunting familiarity of Elliot Smith with a vivid yet stimulating ambiance.

Music Videos:

Website: http://www.sunseekeramerica.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunseekeramerica/
Bandcamp: https://sunseeker.bandcamp.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunseekeramerica/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/thirdmanrecords/01-georgia-dust
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sunseekerusa

7) Ona (alternative, indie rock) -West Virginia:

With an album produced by Bud Carroll, former (phenomenal guitarist) of one of our all time favorites American Minor, you are NOT going to be disappointed by West Virginia’s Ona. Ona embodies an appetite for representing and bringing us back to the original “rock-n-roll”.

Music Videos:

Ona – Sleep, Rinse, Repeat from brainwrap on Vimeo.

Ona – World at War from brainwrap on Vimeo.

Website: http://www.thebandona.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebandona
Bandcamp: http://thebandona.bandcamp.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thebandona
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebandona/

Via http://www.secretstages.net/about/ : “Secret Stages is a two-day walking music festival that takes place in downtown Birmingham, AL on the first weekend of August. For two nights a diverse group of music enthusiasts are treated to around 60 bands performing on the stages of neighborhood establishments. These acts were drawn from the nation, the region, and our own back yard, and all are up-and-coming or buzz-worthy acts on the cusp of making a big splash. All Secret Stages venues are within a two-block radius, so our patrons can come to the city center, park, and have walking access to dozens of bands, a variety of venues, and delectable restaurants.”


Dirty Lungs: ‘I Suck In Bed’

July 1, 2014 0 comments


It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from Birmingham, Alabama’s Dirty Lungs… but just seconds into the band’s newest track, ’I Suck In Bed,’ it was well worth the wait… This is the first single from Dirty Lungs’ self-titled LP that drops July 15th via Communicating Vessels Records.

The video for ‘I Suck In Bed’ premiered on MUZU.tv yesterday. Stream that sucker below and pick-up you copy of the record HERE on the 15th(no pre-order)… And if you’re near any of the locations/dates below, catch these fellas live. They put on a guaranteed damn good show!

Jul 11 – T Bones – Hattiesburg, MS
Jul 11 – Yellow Fiddle – Hattiesburg, MS
Jul 17 – Lampligter – Memphis, TN
Jul 18 – Maxines – Hot Springs, AR
Jul 19 Lamar Lounge Oxford, MS


\\GT//: ‘To The Sea’

October 3, 2013 0 comments

We love us some \\GT// from Birmingham, AL, but damn, with a name like \\GT//, it’s not always the easiest to stumble across their material on the web. Thanks to a shout from director Albert Kuhne, who has done a lot of camera work for Joshua Shoemaker (Banditos, Clear Plastic Masks), we finally discovered this gem! The video is for the track ‘To The Sea,’ which is from \\GT//’s debut EP ‘Heavy Dreams’ that dropped earlier this year.

We were lucky enough to catch the band this Summer at JJ’s Bohemia, and this video makes us ready to catch ’em live again! Check out ‘To The Sea’ below and while you’re at it, dig into the full ‘Heavy Dreams’ EP as well as \\GT//’s new 3-song EP ‘Get Tryin” which came out last month via limited edition hand printed cassette tape… Like tapes? GET IT HERE!


Clear Plastic Masks: ‘So Real’

February 12, 2013 0 comments

Photo by Emily B Hall

Clear Plastic Masks are one of our favorite live acts out there right now. Not only that, they’re some of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. We say all this with excitement as the band debuted the first single, ‘So Real,’ from their debut self-titled full-length record on SPIN.com last week! The track is one of many that were recorded at Bomb Shelter Studios in Nashville since they’ve moved there from Brooklyn last fall.

The boys will be traveling though the states the next couple months with some limited-edition copies of that LP, which are ONLY AVAILABLE via the hand-full of dates below. One date particular is here in Chattanooga at Rhythm & Brews with Banditos (Birmingham, AL) and Chattanooga’s own Eight Knives (get your tickets HERE) … Is it us or with a SPIN debut and a limited edition tour only LP, does someone smell a record deal?

Stream the studio track of ‘So Real’ HERE and catch a killer live version of the single shot by Joshua Shoemaker below… Also keep an ear out for some studio material from the Brittany Howard side project Thunderbitch, which we’re pretty sure should be seeing the light-of-day around the time this new LP drops later in Spring. We’ll keep you posted:

Clear Plastic Masks Limited LP Tour Dates:
February 15 – Miami, FL @ Armory Studios
February 16 – Tallahassee, FL @ Retro Fit Records
February 17 – Jacksonville, FL @ Burro Bar
February 18 – Charleston, SC @ The Sparrow
February 20 – Raleigh, NC @ Pour House Music Hall
February 23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool
February 26 – Boston, MA @ O’Brien’s
February 28 – Brooklyn, NY @ Goodbye Blue Monday
March 1 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Howlers
March 4 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement
March 6 – Chattanooga, TN @ Rhythm and Brews
March 7 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree Café
March 8 – Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
March 9 – New Orleans, LA @ All Ways Lounge
March 12 – Austin, TX @ SXSW Music Festival


TSR Premiere: The Great American Breakdown

February 1, 2013 0 comments

Joshua Shoemaker is not only one of the best up-and-coming film producers out there, capturing live music at its best… but the guy has a great ear for music as well. So when he came to us with 2 new videos for the Birmingham, Alabamabased band The Great American Breakdown, he had our full attention.

Let us introduce you to TGAB, a band who started several years ago to later split, but then reformed in 2011 refreshed and ready to take the South (and world) by storm. We haven’t had the chance to catch this 4-piece live yet, especially since they don’t venture much from their Alabama turf… but just as simple as watching 2 captivating videos, we are first in line!

Check out ‘The Peak’ and ‘Past Company, Accompanied’ below. Both tracks were performed live on January 4th, 2013 at The Bottletree in Birmingham. And follow the band HERE to keep track of when these guys are heading to a city near you. Enjoy:


Win Tickets to see Clear Plastic Masks & The Pollies this Thursday!

December 3, 2012 1 Comment

Clear Plastic Masks return to Chattanooga this Thursday, December 6th at The Honest Pint! And on-top of that, Muscle Shoals, AL’s The Pollies are making their Chattanooga debut. Plus add locals Eight Knives in the mix and you’ve got one heck of a can’t-miss show for a Thirsty Thursday evening… And one lucky reader will have a chance to score a pair of tickets for free!

Brooklyn’s Clear Plastic Masks have been living in Nashville the past month recording their new record at Bomb Shelter Studios (the same studio the new Alabama Shakes and Denney and the Jets material were recorded). The last time we had to chance to catch this 4-piece live was last July at Track 29 during our very first South Rail Presnets… And speaking of the A-Shakes, the Brooklyn boys have recently been working on new material with Alabama Shakes’ front-woman Brittany Howard along with Nashville’s Fly Golden Eagle in the new super group Thunderbitch. Learn more about them HERE.

The Pollies are touring this Fall/Winer in support of their new LP ‘Where The Lies Begin.’ If you haven’t checked it out yet, do it now. Worth every second of your time (full album stream below). And like we said, this will be their Chattanooga debut! Looking forward to catching these guys live!

Now, how would you like to see this show for free? This is all you need to do:


Just send an email to thesouthrail (at) gmail (dot) com, with the subject “December 6th” and your full name in the message… and that’s it, you’re entered! That simple. See full rules below.

Now, if you not familiar with the bands, get that way! Stream samples of all bands below and see you at the show. Doors at 8pm, show starts at 9pm sharp. $5 at the door get you in, unless of course, you’re one of the lucky winners — Facebook RSVP HERE:

Contest Rules: Contest ends Thursday, 12/6/12 at 12:00pm. One winner will be selected randomly and notified via email on Thursday afternoon (the day of the show). The winner’s name (+ guest) will be at the the door the night of the show. There are no actual tickets, just admission.


Through the Sparks: ‘Preacher Pink’

November 29, 2012 0 comments

We have really warmed up to Through the Sparks‘ new EP ‘Alamalibu’ this Fall, featuring 5 well crafted tracks that have been in high rotation in our MP3 stash… From that EP comes the single and official video for ‘Preacher Pink’, which was shot entirely using several iPhones. Pretty impressive effort and a killer track to boot.

Check out the official ‘Preacher Pink’ video below as well as several other key tracks from ‘Alamalibu.’ which is available in MP3 and CD formats now – Pick up/download your copy HERE via Skybucket Records:


Henry Dunkle: ‘River’

October 30, 2012 0 comments

We just started digging into the fine crafted tunes of Henry Dunkle, a Birmingham Alabama songwriter who has caught our attention with his official video for the single ‘River.’ The track and video have been released in preparation of Dunkle’s debut full-length album, which is being recorded in the studio now.

And if this single, along with Dunkle’s soothing yet haunting voice in his previous works are any indication, then we’re in-store of for something great! Dig into those tracks including his 2011 released EP below and check out the new video: