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 went to see a band play the other day. I had no expectations…just a fun night out. But hoo-yeah, this band kicked ass around the corner and back. It was the sister-lead Larkin Poe, a band that combines rock, blues, Americana, folk and a few other elements for a rollicking set of originals. Sad, sassy, sweet. Their stories were fun and full of life.
Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, multiple GRAMMY Award winner Sharon Isbin has been hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time.” Here we talk about her new documentary, upcoming projects and much more.
Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra released their hard hitting and well-received fourth studio album COPE earlier this year. While the sounds heard on COPE are unapologetically heavy, the band discovered that the material seemed to work just as well (or even better) when stripped to their essence. "We were noticing that all the beautiful, slow stuff was working with all the really loud and fast stuff," said lead vocalist, Andy Hull. "The seed was planted to go back and create a full circle of an album."
Our first video blog features Sam Wilson of the band Sons Of Bill. I found the band by chance loading their gear into a truck while I was driving by. This is what this blog series (and upcoming movie) is all about: finding out the stories and the people behind the guitars and the songs.
Hailing from El Paso, The Dirty River Boys are quintessentially Texas: A bit rough around the edges but full of heart. Today the band releases their gnarly self-titled album, which is produced by Grammy-nominated Chris "Frenchie" Smith. Inspired by 200,000 miles of cross-country touring and living between two culturally different worlds in the border town of El Paso, the album was recorded at Sonic Ranch, a spot that's appropriately bordered by the Rio Grande and Old Mexico.
Led by the irresistibly catchy, danceable track “Stolen Dance” – which has already hit #1 in 15 countries and amassed over 50 million views on YouTube – German duo Milky Chance are now poised for greatness in the states as well. Made up of guitarist/vocalist Clemens Rehbein and DJ Philipp Dausch, the duo weaves elegant electronic production with acoustic guitars, along with lilting, lush vocals. It’s a unique sound that is unequivocally their own.
You’ve seen Jonathan Jackson. He’s that guy that seemed like kind of a jerk in season one but turned out to be a good guy in season two. What am I talking about? He appears as Avery Barkley on the hit TV series Nashville. But the cool thing about Jackson, and pretty much all of the talent on that show, is that they are all really and truly amazing musicians as well as great actors.
We recently caught up with Chicago’s Moonrise Nation for an exclusive interview. Comprised of seventeen-year-old Arden Bee (vocals/piano), her older sister Eva (cello/bass), and Emma McCall (guitar/percussion), the trio blends keen musicianship and delicate harmonies into their own brand of folk-pop.