Last week, I took a quick trip down to LA to attend the Fender Girl Rock Nation party and benefit for the Rock N’ Roll Camp for Girls of Los Angeles at the luxurious House of Rock in Santa Monica. When Fender throws an event, they know how to do it right! But this wasn’t just a party, it was part of their plan to change girls lives.
The first time I saw Trixie Whitley play live, she apologized for having a cold. It was at last year’s tour with Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub at the Fillmore, and man, she could have had the flu and still sounded amazing. Last night’s intimate showcase at Brick and Mortar in San Francisco just cemented how talented this petite firebrand is. Her solo performances introducing songs off her upcoming album, Fourth Corner, were full of her signature soul and angst.
Some have it tougher and more painful than most. And some take that pain and create something kick ass. When Danielia Cotton faced the death of her unborn twins, and her own mortality, she could have shut down. Instead she dug deep and came up with a collection of songs that screams survival. This woman ain’t goin’ down without a fight!
The first time I heard Jessie Murphy and We Are The Woods, I thought maybe they were a bit too sweet and pretty for Guitar World. But on further inspection, Murphy has proved me wrong. She can enrapture and wail! Part rocker, part quirkster, part folky, part songstress. Murphy’s parts make a very delightful whole.
Rosie Flores has been touring and performing for decades. Literally. And yet this veteran of rockabilly guitar has a seemingly endless supply of musical energy. Case in point: Not only has she just released her 11th album, Working Girl’s Guitar, she’s also touring in support of The Blanco Sessions, a posthumous Janis Martin album she produced and helped fund.
Brooklyn-based guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Sonia Montez failed her first time around at a crowd-funding attempt. Her Kickstarter campaign only funded 25 percent and she had to walk away with no money at all. “It was rushed. I was kind of pushed into it. And I had a bad feeling from the beginning,” she says. “It was heart breaking.”
When you sit down to listen to Kaki King’s new release, Glow, you’ll be struck by the pristine recording quality, the crystal-clear tone, the acoustic separation and the compositions that stem from masterful and moving arpeggiations. But it’s when you see King play live that you experience her true genius.
There’s been a lot of press lately about pro singers who have hurt their vocal chords, and lord knows, if you sing at all, you know you don’t want that to happen to you. Perhaps some vocal training for the masses is just the ticket to healthy, kick-ass vocal endurance.
OK, it was web TV, but it was still live, and I was guessing it would be pretty weird playing to a virtual audience. But in reality I had a great experience when I sat down for an interview and informal performance on the set of Lunch with Dan, a web TV show hosted every Wednesday by Dan Boul, owner of 65amps.
Equal parts badass guitar slinger and sweet songstress, Michelle Malone artfully balances her penchant for ripping it through the roof with masterful lyrical introspection and vocals that range from sublime to raucous. On Malone’s latest album, Day 2, which is set to release on October 5, every facet shines.