Every day I get to write, and to play music, is a great day, for which I am very grateful. I am a recovering lawyer, and while that was a great gig for me for a while (and while I cast no aspersions whatsoever on the noble profession), as a songwriter I am able to connect with my feelings of joy and gratitude more directly. Here's a story of how stepping away from my usual songwriting routine lead to a flash of inspiration.
Check out this sick acoustic guitar assault by Kelly Zullo. It’s the song “When We Get There” from the upcoming January 2015 release. Here Zullo uses some speedy finger work and hard hitting right hand technique while she sings at the same time. It’s kinda like tapping you head and rubbing your belly on fast forward.
This November we’re giving you the chance to win the ultimate performer’s companion — the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Pedal. Open to residents of North America only. Combining sophisticated sound with simple operation, the VE-2 delivers a complete effects solution for all singers, particularly those that perform with guitar. This portable, battery-powered stompbox has everything you need to create polished, studio-quality sounds everywhere you sing, from concert stages and street performances to practicing and having fun at home.
"Traveler" should be added to the usual "singer/songwriter" monicker when it comes to Jesse Terry. And maybe add "hard-worker" while we're at it. I caught up with Jesse on the road, backstage at Steel City in Phoenixville, Pa. Jesse shares lessons learned both musically and career-wise.
Jimmy Herman is the multi-instrumentalist for Carrie Underwood. He is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman. Throughout his career he has found fun and unique ways to combine both passions. In this interview, Weber Mandolins shares some insight into this versatile artist's career and plans.
Be the worst person in the room if you’re the songwriter. It’s one rule I’ve tried to follow and succeeded with to some degree. In the case of recording, if I’m the worst person in the room, then my recording is going to be all the better for it.
Here’s the world premiere of “Stuck” from South African folk-pop duo Connecting Stars. The track kicks off with a catchy glockenspiel melody that's bound to stick in your head all day, while the the acoustic guitar sparkles at the center of the song, carrying the listener through. While “Stuck” sounds happy, a deeper listen to the lyrics reveals more – “Am I waiting for lightning to strike me again / Am I willing to trade love for the next best thing,” the duo sings.
The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN), an organization connecting women working in all facets of the music industry – and producers of the annual Show She Rocks Awards at the Winter NAMM show – announces a new event at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville, TN: the She Rocks Showcase in the Round. Taking place at the Music City Center in Nashville, TN on Saturday, July 19 at 11AM, the She Rocks Showcase in the Round will consist of three select female writers performing their music in the round.
Of all the dozens of albums released by Johnny Cash during his nearly half-century career, 1964's Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian was among the closest to the artist's heart. A concept album focusing on the mistreatment and marginalization of the Native American people throughout the history of the United States, its eight songs – among them "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a #3 hit single for Cash on the Billboard country chart – spoke in frank and poetic language of the hardships and intolerance they endured.
I had the pleasure of chatting with David Rosales with his musical partner, Olivia, at SXSW earlier this year. That’s why I jumped on the chance to premiere his new live video for his solo song, “Slice of Heaven.” Here Rosales lays out this laid back version of his sweetly optimistic, fun-loving song.
Not sure how many bouzouki players we have out there, but this video is worth your attention no matter what stringed instrument you play. Meet the “Bouzoukitara.” Where did it come from? Yossi Sassi – who plays the acoustic bouzouki (think Greek mandolin) and electric guitar – was looking for an efficient way to switch between both instruments.
“The idea was inspired by the chance meeting in 1957 that would change Paul, John, George, and Ringo's lives forever,” explains L.A. director Vincent Haycock. The proposal Haycock wrote for “Early Days” simply begins, “This film is a poetic homage to the legendary beginnings of Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s relationship.”
A lot of teachers will try to keep your business by giving you quick fixes or showing you songs and riffs before they show you how to hold the instrument so you can actually play. Many students come to me after they “hit a wall” – they feel like they aren't getting better, their hands or wrists hurt, their technique has stopped improving, or they don't know how to find their way around the fingerboard.
Soulful folk band Taylor & the Wild Now has officially announced the release of their debut, self-titled EP, which is set to drop on August 12. Reminiscent of artists such as Lake Street Dive, Wild Child, and Delta Rae, Taylor & the Wild Now have a fresh sound that's creative and rootsy. Taylor & the Wild Now was formed by Taylor Baker (guitar, vocals, banjo), who originally played as a solo act, occasionally collaborating with various musicians.
Emerson Hart, lead singer for the multi-platinum selling group Tonic, will continue his solo tour in support of his sophomore album Beauty In Disrepair in August. The Voice’s Tony Lucca will also perform on select dates. The tour begins in Phoenix on August 2 and continues up the West coast to Seattle.