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 a lot of talent and a little bit of luck, a new generation of acoustic guitar fingerstylists are blazing a new style of percussive, alternate-tuned shred. In the Eighties, radical fingerstylists like Michael Hedges and Preston Reed pioneered an acoustic guitar style based on an alternate-tuned, percussion-heavy, new age–tinged sound.
I’ve been a fan of Jonatha Brooke’s for quite some time. This singer songwriter seems to have a unique perspective and musical sensibility that I find so appealing. So when she announced she would be doing her one-woman show, “My Mother Has Four Noses,” at NYC’s Duke Theatre, I was stoked. Check out our on camera interview. And you’ve still got a few more days to catch “My Mother Has Four Noses” in NYC. Go here for tickets.
Think beautiful harmonies, well written lyrics, easy breezy feeling arrangements, and you’ve got David & Olivia pegged. David Rosales and Olivia May met up with each other by chance in 2011 and their musical chemistry has been sparking every since. With a lovely blend of melancholy blues and country sweetness, their debut EP, On the Sea fits perfectly with a summer night, a glass of wine in hand. You get the picture.
With his beat up ‘80s model Alvarez, Monte Montgomery has the ability to wail on his acoustic like any of today’s best electric guitar shredders. Hailing from Austin, TX, Montgomery has earned his place as one of the city’s best guitarists, winning seven consecutive Austin Music Awards. And while Monte’s acoustic playing is surely impressive, this talent is matched with an innate ability for songwriting, which is showcased on his latest LP, Tethered.
If you love great songwriting and top-notch musicianship, you owe it to yourself to check out Charlie Worsham’s debut album, Rubberband. I was turned on to Worsham by hit songwriter, Marty Dodson, who co-wrote the songs “Could It Be” and “Trouble Is” on the album. Dodson, who writes with hundreds of other writers and performers, chose this album as his favorite release of 2013. Who am I to argue with that kind of cred?
If you’re a fan of Hawthorne Heights, I’ll bet you’ll meander on over to check out frontman JT Woodruff’s latest solo release, Field Medicine. But if you’re not an HH fan, well that’s where the real fun begins. This collection of haunting, stark meanderings is so fabulously bleak and somewhat twisted, with touches of pure beauty.
For his eighth studio album Twelve Tales, A.J. Croce (son of legendary songwriter Jim Croce) took on a recording approach that was ambitious, if not downright challenging. Recorded with a multitude of legendary producers across a variety of American cities, the songs represent a patchwork of styles and influences, making Twelve Tails a sharply written and effortlessly performed blend of Americana and folk rock.
James Durbin was first launched into the national music scene as a contender on season 10 of American Idol. He was known for his rock edge on Idol, but after being eliminated from the show, Durbin explored this territory deeper with the harder sounds found on his debut album, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster. Recorded with heavy-hitter producer Howard Benson, the record is chock-full of gained-out guitars and pounding drums – there’s even a song featuring Mötley Crüe guitar god Mick Mars.