VH1′s You Oughta Know franchise is known for introducing you to artists on the cusp of hitting it big. We’re joining Whole Foods Market to highlight the untapped talent among their team, and giving you the opportunity catapult one lucky musician to stardom.
Youngblood Hawke brought the jubilant sounds of “We Come Running” to this morning’s episode of Big Morning Buzz Live. Scaled back a bit for the acoustic set–with no threat of approaching sharks, unlike the accompanying music video–the song is the lead single off their self-titled EP, and something you may have heard in an American Idol promo or two this winter. A stripped down version without the contributions from the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir (who recorded the studio version with the band) transforms the punching chorus into a more haunting refrain, backed by delicate percussion.
Scheduled in between sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall, their stop by VH1 Headquarters was also a celebratory trip, as the L.A.-based band will be a featured VH1 You Oughta Know artists in the coming months. Stay tuned!
This month we will shine the You Oughta Know spotlight on Allen Stone, an emergent soul singer-songwriter from Washington state who has forgone sleep in an effort to earn your attention. Or at least so he sings in “Sleep,” and given his recent grind — complete with stops at Leno and VH1 Big Morning Buzz Live, as well as that new music video he cut — we’re inclined to believe him.
This morning Stone dropped by The Ellen Show for a mid-morning howling of his aforementioned hustlers anthem. In her introduction, Ellen accurately likened him to Stevie Wonder and to Amy Winehouse, and we might add that he showed up in a Whitney Houston tee that looked rather well loved, which may explain some of his gospel tendencies. There weren’t any stars up in the early hour, but that didn’t seem to stop him from aiming high with his performance. And as always, he nailed it.
The most-cute moment came at the end of what we can only assume was a rousing set (the only sort Delta Rae know how to play, as far as we’re concerned). Elizabeth Hopkins and Brittany Hölljes hopped into the crowd and pulled Ian Höllje‘s girlfriend of seven-years onto the stage, Ian serenaded her with a verse before getting down on one knee — and this is where she, the band and the entire audience really lost it — to propose. Obvs she said yes, and then there was a lot of grinning, some more singing and a very happy couple caught kissing:
Evidently, January’s You Oughta Know spotlight artist Allen Stone has already made himself right at home in VH1 headquarters! You see, today mtvU has premiered the new on-the-road video for his “Sleep” and it begins with footage of the funky troubadour cruising, guitar in hand and his trademark fedora atop his head, up a set of escalators that looked awfully familiar to us because we take them to work everyday. Very cool, because — Allen, feel free to drop by and play us a little diddy or whatever whenever, you know?
Really, though, this is a nice example of a video that’s perfectly set to a song and its star. Stone is a star hard at work on the come-up, and “Sleep” is more or less a song about his kindhearted hustle; or, as he puts it: “trying to change the world with his guitar/ And I know it’s a long shot, but it’s working so far/ So I spend my nights shooting at the stars.” The video gives us a glimpse at what all this “shooting at the stars” business is about, cutting together actual footage of him on the road, in dressing rooms, performing, signing autographs and — oh hey! — hanging out at VH1/MTV headquarters. Catch a quick glimpse of him dosed off in the van at around the :50 mark, but otherwise you’ll see that he really means it when he says he “never gets sleep.”
Their month may be passed, but we just can’t quit VH1 You Oughta Know artist Delta Rae and this last clip from their You Oughta Know Live session has just been freed from the vault and is way to good not to share. After a rousing run of their own tracks — “Morning Comes,”“Bottom Of The River,” and “If I Loved You,” – they broke out this cover of Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain,” so stormy and impassioned that the original sounds almost like a lullaby by comparison.
A bit of sad news and a hopeful promise to begin your morning: You Oughta Know standouts, VH1 Unpluggedveterans, Grammy winning and just generally beloved Americana duo, The Civil Wars, announced last night in a note posted to their Facebook page that they have called off the remainder of their tour. The duo cited “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition” as the reason for the change of plans, but were sure to assure that whatever hiccup they’re suffering right now will not be their end: “Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013,” they write, giving us reason to believe that things are civil still. They plan on reimbursing tickets, and have generously promised to “do their best” to cover any non-refundable service charges or travel reservations fans have already made.
Below, their note. And then a video of the duo performing “Barton Hollow” Unplugged — some sugar to down the sad news.
Like President Obama, who invited them to open for him at his Democratic National Convention, we dig North Carolina’s Delta Rae. We love that they are a family — Ian Hölljes (vocals and guitar), Eric Hölljes (vocals, guitar, piano and keys) and Brittany Hölljes (vocals) being actual siblings, and Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals), Mike McKee (percussion) and Grant Emerson (bass guitar) being close enough — and the way the incorporate sounds from across all genres — folk, blues, rock — into their sound. Most of all we love watching them perform, feet stomping and sounds flying as all six come together as one great big band.
That’s exactly what they did last night on Conan, where they broke-in their new trash can while performing a drawn out and dramatic rendition of “Bottom of the River,” the new single off of their album Carry The Fire. Leaving most of their instruments aside for this one, they stomped out the song instead, singing a capella and adding the violent clanking of chains in the aforementioned trash can when necessary. “Bottom of the River” is dramatic as is, but performed like they did last night it is straight chilling. Check it out above, and keep an eye on these gals and guys — we’ll have plenty more to say when we celebrate them as our You Oughta Know artist in October!
VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown‘s Jim Shearer will do anything to get the exclusive story. That includes following our You Oughta Know artist, Walk The Moon, into the men’s restroom to talk about pancakes. Luckily, his bravery doesn’t stop there. We have a playlist of Jim asking the good, great and wonky questions to various musical acts. VH1 Storytellers alum Jason Mraz told Jim his choice for two of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time were. Despite the impossible task, Mraz said, “I’m gonna go with ‘Rapper’s Delight’ ’cause I think that inspired a generation.” “And I’m also a fan of, and this is my generation, Young MC, Stone Cold Rhymin’ was the album…and I can’t think of the name of the song.” Guess we’ll never know what that second song was, but Mraz is certain it wasn’t “Bust A Move.” Read more…