I don’t know about you, but I am always intrigued to discover how things are made. And when we’re talking about guitars, well, let’s just say I’m into it times a thousand. It’s not just the steps it takes to create each gorgeous guitar. It’s the people who work on them. The skilled craftsmen and women who touch each and every neck and body and inlay and fret and …well you get the idea. My recent trip to the Taylor Guitars factory in El Cajon, CA is a case in point.
Last year multi-platinum band the Goo Goo Dolls released Magnetic, their 10th studio album. The collection of masterfully written songs debuted in the top ten, charting strongly with singles like the red-hot “Come to Me.” This year the band decided to mix things up with an acoustic tour titled The Otis Midnight Sessions. Instead of pairing things down, this tour found them on stage with a wide range of fabulous acoustic musicians.
With springtime coming just around the corner (for some of you anyway), what better instrument than the ukulele for strumming on the porch on a balmy day? Luckily, the folks at Fender agree, and have partnered with us to offer one of their brand new ukes – the Ukulele Hau’oli to be exact – for one lucky winner.
This is it! You’re inspired to write a song! In a frenzy of creativity, you work out a fabulous verse and an equally fabulous chorus! And then it happens….nothing. You run completely out of steam and don’t know why. You start telling yourself, “Maybe a song that’s only 1 minute and 23 seconds is long enough? It’s “minimalistic” music, right?” Welcome to SECOND VERSE HELL!
I think a lot about why I write. Is it all a big vanity project? Am I capable of having a new, independent thought? Is anyone? Does anyone really care about this? Will what I write make a dent in the social consciousness? Will I actually be able to touch someone’s life? Would my efforts be better spent rolling up my sleeves and serving lunch at a soup kitchen? I think a lot about that one.
Rodrigo y Gabriela's new record 9 Dead Alive is now streaming in its entirety. Take a listen here.9 Dead Alive (ATO) will be released on April 29, and it is the band's first record of new material in five years. It is available for pre-order now.
Warning, you might feel a chill! Here singer/songwriter So Brown invites us into an intimate setting with her video for the track "Riversong." Shot all in one take during a Day of the Dead dinner, the video for "Riversong" wonderfully enhances the song's haunting and melancholy croon.
Here’s a Video Find like none we’ve ever posted. It’s German piano quartet Salut Salon delivering a highly entertaining live performance of "Wettstreit Zu Viert.” The Salut Salon quartet – made up of Angelika Bachmann (violin), Iris Siegfried (violin and vocals), Anne-Monika von Twardowski (piano) and Sonja Lena Schmid (cello) – combine virtuosic chops with a comedy and charm to create a completely unconventional chamber music experience.
While she was in our studio, singer/songwriter and playwright Jonatha Brooke delighted us with a couple of live acoustic performances. Here she performs "The Wind" and "Scars" both from her play and album My Mother Has Four Noses.