I had the privilege of sitting down with John Butler recently as he went through the fingering and technique for his new song “Spring to Come” off the upcoming album Flesh and Blood. Check it out and Play It Now!
Can there be anything more torturous than auditioning a capella? For years the team at American Idol seemed to think that watching contestants squirm without accompaniment was the way to go. Until now.
Last week we had the pleasure of showing up early to Andy McKee’s sold-out show at Yoshi’s in San Francisco for a little one-on-one with the man himself. In anticipation of his upcoming EP, Mythmaker, which releases January 28th, McKee performs an original tune called “The Reason,” which also happens to be the first video captured of him playing this song. The track has everything you’d expect from an epic Andy McKee composition: keen melody, effortless dynamics and gorgeous tone.
Here's a very cool acoustic version of "Kingmaker" performed live acoustically by Dave Mustaine, Chris Broderick and the gang in celebration of the release their 2013 Super Collider album. Check out the all-acoustic performance with Dave Ellefson on an acoustic bass and Shawn Drover on the cajon. Dig it!
Liam Betson is best known in rock circles nationwide for his two stints as a guitarist in New Jersey punk/indie rock band Titus Andronicus. In the interim between touring with them, he has made multiple full-length albums under the pseudonym Liam the Younger. Some, like 2007’s After the Graveyard, are coated in a beautiful, delicate layer of ambient noise, its lo-fi origins coming to the fore. Others, like 2010’s Revel Hidden Worlds, have a more punchy, but still organic production. The one constant, regardless of the production quality, is Betson’s smooth strumming and haunting, plaintive vocals and lyrics.
When I was studying music, one thing I remember my professors kept driving home was that you don't just stop when you see a "rest" in music notation. You play silence. Silence acts as a frame around the sounds you're producing and helps make those sounds feel more profound. Think about what a picture frame does for a photograph.
As the winners of the SongTown USA songwriting contest with their song, “Love is Like Rain," Robyn Collins and Jordan Reynolds prove their undeniable writing chemistry. Competing against hundreds of entries, Robyn and Jordan struck a chord with the team of judges, lead by hit Nashville songwriters Marty Dodson and Clay Mills. The reward of the contest? A co-writing session with these two master writers!
Here we talk to this songwriting team about their winning song, their journey and what's next.
One of Kansas’ first acoustic songs, the iconic and wistful “Dust in the Wind” peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of April 22, 1978, making it Kansas' only top ten Billboard Hot 100 charting single. Here songwriter Kerry Livgren shares the inspiration behind the song.
I was approached by three different people to do cover sets last year. I really wanted to do it, and had no idea how I was going to get through three hours of singing AND guitar playing by myself. One of those gigs was to play covers for ballroom dancers to practice to. (Talk about pressure to stay on rhythm.)