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.
In this video series, Acoustic Natino editor Laura B. Whitmore discusses the new Expression System 2 pickup design with Taylor Guitars' David Hosler. As the successor to Taylor’s Expression System 1 which was introduced in 2003, the ES2 is a brand new innovation that faithfully conveys the voice of Taylor instruments. For decades, piezo-electric transducers have been positioned under the saddle of a guitar, based on the long-held belief that the string and top vibration cause the saddle to “bounce” up and down.
After playing live together since 2008, Sasha Dobson, Norah Jones and Catherine Popper have at last taken their collaboration into the studio. No Fools, No Fun – their debut album – will be released on July 15 by Blue Note Records.
For anyone unfamiliar with the late Michael Hedges and his groundbreaking, innovative guitar techniques, "Aerial Boundaries" was considered to be one of the most skilled six string acoustic guitar performances of all time. Now imagine this performed with a beautifully handcrafted Lowden twelve string that releases graceful tones and harmonies from the likes of which you've never heard, and then, maybe then, you'll get a glimmer of the rare precision and potent originality that is Jason Kessler.
Currently building a devoted fanbase in the US, alternative rocker Jesse Clegg is a full-fledged star in his home country of South Africa. As the son of iconic Afro-pop musician Johnny Clegg, he was primed to live the life of a career musician, and has already toured much of the world. After the widespread acclaim of his first album, 2008’s When I Wake Up, his music caught the attention of three-time Grammy-winning producer David Bottrill (Muse, Tool, Placebo).
As Steve Gunn's first eponymous album with a full band, Time Off harnesses a core trio format to launch his compositions into new, luminous strata. Here, Gunn the guitarist (and sometime Kurt Vile sideman) deploys a discursive, deconstructed blues style, at once transcendent and methodical, that has become his signature. The sound is steeped in traditions both vernacular and avant-garde. Gunn has announced dates with Kurt Vile, which can be viewed below.
John & Jacob, a dynamic new band of songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and performers from Birmingham, Alabama, are thrilled to announce the release of their self titled debut album out August 12. With songs like “Ride With Me” and “Guilty Face,” this debut is a collection rooted in the sounds of back-porch pickers and the harmonies of gospel singers. In support of their new album, John & Jacob will hit the road with long time fan Kacey Musgraves on June 27. This past weekend, the band captivated music fans at the Hangout Music Festival, and will bring their much-talked-about live show to this year's Bonnaroo and Firefly Music Festivals.
If there’s one new album you should listen to this year, LP’s Forever For Now is it. I’m not just saying that because several of its amazingly well-written, hooky songs are forever stuck in head. It’s so much more. The gorgeous production with just enough quirky bits left into the polished perfection. The fabulous musicianship, including most especially the dazzlingly talented LP herself. We’re talking powerful vocals, super solid ukulele riffs, plus whistling, yodelly do-dos, big drums, hand claps and about a million other things.
Billy Joe Shaver’s finest songs prowl (“Hard To Be an Outlaw”) and punch (“Music City USA”) with welterweight fury. Evidence: The legendary outlaw’s seamless Long in the Tooth. Shaver’s first studio album in six years showcases a singular songwriter in absolutely peak form as he unearths his trademark truths around every corner (“Last Call for Alcohol,” “The Git Go”). “This is the best album I’ve ever done,” he says. “It’s just dangerously good. I expect it to change things and turn things around the way Honky Tonk Heroes did.”
Beth Orton's Central Reservation album will be re-issued by 3 Loop Music as a 2CD expanded edition to be distributed in the US by MVD Entertainment Group. Released in 1999, the album received a Mercury Music Prize nomination and helped Orton earn a BRIT Award in 2000 for Best British Female. The follow up to her acclaimed debut Trailer Park, Central Reservation featured the hit singles "Stolen Car" and "Central Reservation" and spent 56 weeks in the album charts, selling over 500,000 copies.
Classic Albums is a DVD series telling the stories behind some of rock’s most historic records. Below, watch an excerpt from their feature on Black Sabbath’s Paranoid LP. As the second studio album from Sabbath, the album contains some of the band’s most beloved tracks, including “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and “Paranoid.”