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items tagged with River Roots Live

Moeller’s Moves: Daytrotter’s Founder Brings His Savvy and Connections to River Roots Live, the Ballpark (Maybe), a New Venue (Probably), and ...
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2015-08-20 11:42:28

Sean Moeller

In June, Codfish Hollow Barn in Maquoketa hosted a show with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. The concert didn’t have Sean Moeller’s or Daytrotter’s name on it, but the link was clear enough.

“I made that show happen,” Moeller said earlier this month.

Moeller founded in 2006 as a source for exclusive live-in-the-studio recordings, and the vast majority of its thousands of sessions over the past nine years have been recorded in the Quad Cities. But even though concerts are not Daytrotter’s product, they are an increasingly common and visible fringe benefit for the Quad Cities, and the Oberst performance illustrates the reciprocal relationship between the internationally known Web site and local shows.

Moeller said he’d been trying to get Oberst in for a session since Daytrotter began – but it only happened because of Codfish Hollow.

“I got a Daytrotter session out of Conor Oberst,” Moeller said. “That’s why I did it. ... I’m not going to not do that. ... I’m going to help make that happen so that I can get something for Daytrotter from Conor Oberst.”

Over the past decade, much of the impact Daytrotter has had on the Quad Cities has been easily discerned – although it’s infrequently been explicit, and often it’s indirect. Rozz-Tox’s lineup is littered with Daytrotter bands. Codfish Hollow concerts typically feature some of Moeller’s favorite bands.

More and more, however, Moeller is putting his name on his work. For nearly a year, he’s booked and hosted Moeller Mondays shows at Rozz-Tox. Last year he began shows at Davenport’s Renwick Mansion under the same banner, and this year he started doing concerts at the Village Theatre in Davenport.

“It’s a promoter thing,” he explained about the decision to create a Moeller brand. “It’s like a [prestigious] record label. People do believe in certain promoters. ...

“I think I tried to stay behind the name Daytrotter for the longest time. I’d go to places and I’d just be introduced as Daytrotter. ‘This is Daytrotter.’”

Of course, the Web site is more than just Moeller. He has a business partner and several engineers, and he said the work of illustrator Johnnie Cluney is essential to the identity. And because Daytrotter is a media company and not a concert organizer and promoter, the name doesn’t naturally fit with shows that Moeller books or otherwise helps with.

So he said he wondered: “Why the hell am I not building up my own name a little bit? ... I’m just trying to be a facilitator. I’m putting my name out there because why shouldn’t I? There has to be something I put it under. I want to be associated with the good things that I’m bringing to town, not for an ego situation. There has to be somebody to validate something that’s coming to town. ... You still need somebody to put a stamp on it.”

Daytrotter itself plans to get back into the business of one-time local shows with the opening (likely this fall) of its new recording studio and live-music venue in downtown Davenport – although that’s no guarantee given the history of the renovation project.

So Moeller’s behind-the-scenes work continues. He booked artists for the September 6 East Fest at Davenport’s BREW in the Village.

He and Quad Cities River Bandits Managing Partner Dave Heller are planning to present concerts at Modern Woodmen Park, possibly starting this fall.

And Moeller said he booked three of the four headliners for this year’s River Roots Live festival: rising country star Kacey Musgraves, legendary R&B singer Mavis Staples, and the indie-pop outfit Hellogoodbye. “If you look at this year’s lineup, there’s a lot of my fingerprints all over it,” he said.

That’s not modest, but the man has no reason to be. For all that he’s done with Daytrotter, Sean Moeller has also reshaped the local music scene when it comes to touring artists.

Read More About Moeller’S Moves: Daytrotter’S Founder Brings His Savvy And Connections To River Roots Live, The Ballpark (Maybe), A New Venue (Probably), And ......

Natural Flexibility: Los Lonely Boys, August 16 at River Roots Live
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2014-08-07 11:57:51

Los Lonely Boys. Photo by Gabriella McSwann.

For the fact that Los Lonely Boys are around to headline this year’s River Roots Live festival, some people might thank God – and the trio of brothers Garza certainly does that. But bassist/singer JoJo also thanked his brother Henry’s pliability.

“I think it would’ve killed anybody else,” JoJo said of Henry’s horrific fall from a stage in February 2013. “I would have been dead. ... From the moment he fell in the hole, I thought it was completely over. ...

“We give a lot of thanks for Henry’s natural ability to be very flexible as part of the reason why he didn’t just crunch in half there.”

But Henry’s recovery has been slow. “Quite honestly,” JoJo said in a phone interview last week, “he’s not 100 percent still, and a lot of people don’t know that. ...

Read More About Natural Flexibility: Los Lonely Boys, August 16 At River Roots Live...

Photos from River Roots Live, August 16 and 17 in LeClaire Park
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-08-22 15:34:08

Photos from River Roots Live, held August 16 and 17 in Davenport’s LeClaire Park.

For more work by Matt Erickson, visit For more from Roberta Osmers on the Quad Cities music scene, visit

Vintage Trouble

Photo by Matt Erickson,

Read More About Photos From River Roots Live, August 16 And 17 In LeClaire Park...

Looking at the Greater Whole: The Wallflowers Headline River Roots Live, August 17 at 9:30 p.m.
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-08-07 17:53:08

On paper, the Wallflowers’ 2012 album Glad All Over has the whiff of trying to recapture past glories.

It was the band’s first album of new material in seven years, a hiatus that included a rote best-of compilation, a couple tours, and two solo albums by frontman/songwriter Jakob Dylan.

But talking to Dylan last week – and, more importantly, listening to the album – it’s clear that the band and its leader aren’t crassly trying to capitalize on fondness for the quadruple-platinum Bringing Down the Horse (and its chart-topping single, “One Headlight”) from 1996. As the All Music Guide correctly summarized, with Glad All Over the Wallflowers “now feel the freedom to mess around, and they’ve come up with one of their loosest, liveliest records that not-so-coincidentally is one of their best.”

So the long absence of the Wallflowers – headlining River Roots Live on August 17 – can be explained by Dylan wanting the band to survive and thrive. He obviously views it as his band – less in the sense of belonging to him than being his primary musical outlet.

Read More About Looking At The Greater Whole: The Wallflowers Headline River Roots Live, August 17 At 9:30 P.M....

Out of the Lurch: Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas – River Roots Live, August 17 at 11 p.m.
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-08-07 17:44:55

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas

Jessica Hernandez had a good story to tell about being signed by the venerable jazz label Blue Note Records. She canceled a meeting with the company’s president in New York, and instead had him fly to Detroit to hear her in a loft space she created above her family’s bakery.

She got a record deal.

That was a few years ago, and recently her tale turned more typical. Warner Music Group acquired the label from Universal (a deal that was finalized in July), and Hernandez – who had been working on her debut album – found herself in the classic music-industry lurch.

Read More About Out Of The Lurch: Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas – River Roots Live, August 17 At 11 P.M....

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