Acoustic Nation en Women Shine at the 2015 She Rocks ASCAP Expo Showcase <!--paging_filter--><p>If being surrounded by talented songwriters of all genres sounds good to you, you might want to check out the <a href="">ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo</a>.</p> <p>Aimed at arming songwriters with tools for success, the Expo takes place in Hollywood from April 30 to May 2. </p> <p>A highlight of the event is the <a href="">She Rocks Showcase</a>, a free performance event taking place on Friday, May 1, from 9pm to 12am. It's open to the public with no Expo badge required.</p> <p>Featuring four outstanding female performers, the She Rocks Showcase is hosted by the Women's International Music Network and takes place at Tinhorn Flats, right across the street from the Expo.</p> <p>Performers include the fabulous Dia Frampton, who you might have seen on the first season of <em>The Voice</em>, plus Alyse Black, Elle Winston, and Kate Diaz. Coming from all over the country, these four talented ladies are sure bring a bit of their own magic to the event. </p> <p>Check each of them out below and then come on by!</p> <p><strong>Dia Frampton</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>With six number-one singles across Asia as a solo artist, Frampton has established herself as a prolific songwriter, collaborating with distinguished artists from around the world, including Lindsey Stirling, The Crystal Method, M83, and Singto Numchok. Currently, Frampton is working with her band ARCHIS, which pairs her with renowned film composer Joseph Trapanese, the musical mastermind behind Tron, Oblivion, and The Raid. In February, ARCHIS released a self-titled EP through Nettwerk Music Group. The band is now writing their debut album, to be released later this year. Find out more about Frampton at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><strong>Alyse Black</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Alyse Black started out belting Billie Holiday tunes a cappella on the streets of Pike Place Market in Seattle. Since then, she’s performed on Seattle’s NPR station, recorded a commercial for Target, moved to Austin, won Billboard’s Annual Songwriting Contest, had several songs placed in movies and TV shows, and toured the country playing over 600 clubs, theaters, festivals, television shows and radio stations. She recently won The Recording Conservatory of Austin’s Top Singer-Songwriter Contest and ran a successful Kickstarter to fund her long-awaited next album. Learn more at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><strong>Kate Diaz</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Kate Diaz is a songwriter/guitarist/singer who has released four acoustic albums and three singles, including award-winning songs and songs for various causes. Over the past five years, she has booked her own gigs and performed more than 150 solo acoustic shows at Chicago venues and national festivals, notably at Lollapalooza, Milwaukee Summerfest, Midpoint Music Festival, Taste of Chicago, and National Mall Earth Day Festival. Kate graduated high school at 17 and moved to Boston, where she continues songwriting and performing while going to college at Berklee and Harvard. Visit <a href=""></a> for more information.</p> <p><strong>Elle Winston</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Elle Winston (Brooklyn, NY) is a singer-songwriter who spent most of her life growing up in the southwest sun of Phoenix, Arizona before moving to Brooklyn. Her sound might best be described as a meeting of folk-legend James Taylor, the songstress Erykah Badu and the classical great Elly Ameling. Winston earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Herberger College of Music at Arizona State University. Learn more at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><strong>Click <a href="">here</a> to find out more about the ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo, and for the latest on the Women's International Music Network, click <a href="">here</a>.</strong></p> Acoustic Nation the WiMN Blogs Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:34:56 +0000 Laura B. Whitmore 24379 at Acoustic Nation with Dale Turner: The Deft Fingerpicking and Odd-Tuning Riffage of Stephen Stills <!--paging_filter--><p>Stephen Stills’ status as a rock legend stems just as much from his singing and songwriting contributions in Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills &amp; Nash (and Young) and his own solo work as it does from his innovative acoustic and electric guitar offerings. </p> <p>A hybrid stylist steeped in rock, blues, gospel, Latin, country and folk, Stills’ unique acoustic approach mixes a variety of fingerpicking techniques, a distinctive tone, and assorted odd tunings—one of which comprises only the notes E and B! He counts Joe Bonamassa, Ray LaMontagne and Kenny Wayne Shepherd (with whom Stills recently collaborated on the Rides’ <em>Can’t Get Enough</em>) as some of his many guitar celebrity fans. </p> <p>Let’s dig deep into this ax man’s bag of finger tricks.</p> <p>Buffalo Springfield’s roots trace back to Stills’ and songwriting guitarist Richie Furay’s early stints with the Au Go Go Singers (a nine-voice harmonizing group); a tour took them to Canada, where they met Neil Young. By 1966, the three converged in California, added bassist Bruce Palmer to the mix and quickly became the Whisky a Go Go’s “house band,” issuing Buffalo Springfield by year’s end. </p> <p>But it was Buffalo Springfield Again that contained breakout hits like “Rock &amp; Roll Woman,” Stills’ signature drop-D-tuned double-stop riff informing <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>. This song was the result of a jam at Byrds member David Crosby’s house, an interesting fact given that months later, tensions within the Byrds, Hollies (with Graham Nash) and Buffalo Springfield camps would lead to the formation of Crosby, Stills &amp; Nash.</p> <p> During this “band turmoil,” Stills, on April 26, 1968, took matters into his own hands and recorded a songwriter demo. Previously considered “lost,” these gems were commercially released in 2007 as <em>Just Roll Tape</em>, a guitar-and-vocal-only demo containing many future classics. Among these is the double-drop-D-tuned “Treetop Flyer,” akin to <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>, a nod to Stills’ Chet Atkins influence. Ray LaMontagne has continuously cited this track (first officially released on 1991’s <em>Stills Alone</em>) as the inspiration for his musical career path.</p> <p> In 1969, Crosby, Stills &amp; Nash released their self-titled debut, showcasing their unique three-part vocal harmonies and layered acoustic guitars—the polar opposite of the era’s blues-based “loud guitar” rock, as popularized by bands like Cream, Led Zeppelin and the Doors. CSN contains many of Stills’ best-known songs, among them “Helplessly Hoping,” a standard-tuned gem propelled by fingerpicking similar to what you see in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>. </p> <p>CSN also introduced the world to “Bruce Palmer modal tuning” (low to high: E E E E B E), which Stills learned from the former Buffalo Springfield bassist and used in “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” as well as <em>Déjà vu</em> (CSN’s follow-up album with Neil Young) cuts like “4+20,” “Carry On” and “Word Game” from Stills’ 1971 solo album, <em>Stephen Stills 2.</em> </p> <p>Detune your A string to match the low open E, raise the D string one whole step to E, then detune the G string to match the open fourth string; this creates unison E notes on the bottom two and middle two strings. <strong>FIGURES 4-5</strong> show a mix of moves in this tuning, inspired by the aforementioned Stills songs.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true"></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-21%20at%204.48.52%20PM.png" width="620" height="721" alt="Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 4.48.52 PM.png" /></p> <p><em>Musician’s Institute instructor and author/transcriber Dale Turner played all the instruments/voices on his latest CD, <em>Mannerisms Magnified</em>. Visit <a href=""></a> for more information.</em></p> Acoustic Nation Dale Turner June 2015 Stephen Stills Lessons Blogs News Lessons Magazine Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:13:20 +0000 Dale Turner 24352 at Video: Five Great Electric Guitarists Perform on Acoustic <!--paging_filter--><p>There’s a particular excitement felt at concerts when you notice the guitarist slip his electric guitar off his shoulder, reach for an acoustic guitar, sit down and play an old hit or rarity. </p> <p>The complexity of a song broken down into simple chords and strums can totally transform the tone into a special performance, reminiscent of traveling back in time to the demo session of its formation. </p> <p>Becoming an electric guitar superstar is often defined by a signature styles; it's easy to recognize a player based on the style, sound and tone they create with their equally famous guitars. Beautiful acoustic performances by these heroes are often overlooked by the general public, because they are not in-your-face jams. </p> <p>Here are five great live videos of shredders stripped down to the basics, showing their skills on an acoustic axe.</p> <p><strong>Buckethead</strong></p> <p>This performance of “What Kind Of Nation” comes from an extensive but largely unknown musical collaboration between Buckethead and actor Viggo Mortensen. Listen halfway through for the masked guitar hero playing a familiar Ozzy Osbourne tune. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>John 5 </strong></p> <p>Fittingly named, “Noche Acosador” takes a break from John 5’s signature industrial metal sound to a brilliant display of flamenco-influenced acoustic instrumental.</p> <p> <iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Zakk Wylde </strong></p> <p>Wylde revisits his first venture as a frontman from his southern-rock-rooted <em>Pride &amp; Glory</em> album in this soul-filled performance. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Slash, Tom Morello and Jerry Cantrell</strong></p> <p>Three of alternative rock’s greatest guitarists mellow out with some Pink Floyd at Tom Morello’s Justice Tour to raise money and awareness for homeless advocacy groups.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Metallica </strong></p> <p>Neil Young’s annual charity concert for the Bridge School is a great showcase of acoustic performances and has taken place every year since 1986. Check out this awesome acoustic rendition of the <em>Master of Puppets</em> classic, “Disposable Heroes.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> acoustic guitar Acoustic Nation Buckethead Jerry Cantrell John 5 Metallica Slash Tom Morello Zakk Wylde Blogs Videos Fri, 24 Apr 2015 02:02:23 +0000 Melanie Gottshall 19845 at Breedlove Launches Custom Sound Studio Website <!--paging_filter--><p>Breedlove Guitars of Bend, Oregon is proud to offer musicians, artists and collectors a truly magical musical opportunity. </p> <p>With the <a href="">Breedlove Custom Sound Studio</a>, anyone can design their dream instrument and have it built by Breedlove’s master luthiers and craftspeople. </p> <p>Inspired by Kim Breedlove, this program allows players to express themselves and their music through custom heirloom instruments with distinctively crafted sound.</p> <p>Crafting your Breedlove Custom Sound Studio instrument is an experience like no other. It begins with an extensive menu of rare and exotic tonewoods, state-of-the-art electronics, custom options, finish styles, inlay patterns, custom artwork and hardware. We’ll help you select just the right pieces to create a highly customized musical instrument that’s perfectly you.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The Breedlove Custom Sound Studio website is the first stop on your journey. There we’ll teach you how to listen to understand exactly what tonal qualities you’re after. You’ll learn the common language we use to describe guitars, their components and the sounds they produce. We’ll explain body shapes to ensure your new instrument fits you perfectly. You can also see examples of Custom Sound Studio instruments we’ve already built.</p> <p>The Breedlove Wood Library offers an extraordinary assortment of exotic tonewoods. The Breedlove team travels the globe in search of the finest and most sustainable tonewoods available. Breedlove luthiers pair back and side tonewoods with carefully selected soundboards to craft specific sound perfectly suited to your playing style and musical preferences.</p> <p>Breedlove craftsmen and luthiers are available to guide you through every step of the process, but you can also select an authorized Breedlove Distinctive Dealer to help you design your one-of-kind instrument. When your vision meets our expertise, passion, and materials, you get something magical, something alchemical. You get an experience and an instrument that, until now, you only dreamed of.</p> <p>Grammy award-winning guitarist Ed Gerhard discusses the Custom Sound Studio process:<br /> <iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Breedlove Artist Ed Gerhard has created a “guitar voice” of his own that is recognized and praised worldwide. Known for his gorgeous tone and compositional depth, Gerhard can move a listener with a single note. Scott Alarik of the Boston Globe said it best when he wrote “Gerhard does not write instrumentals. He writes songs only a guitar can sing.” He was recently in Bend, OR, designing a new custom instrument and we recorded the short video above about the Custom Sound Studio process.</p> <p>Explore the Breedlove Custom Sound Studio here: <a href=""></a>.</p> Acoustic Nation Breedlove News Gear Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:09:06 +0000 Acoustic Nation 24369 at Don McLean Revisits His Tasty Classic, “American Pie” <!--paging_filter--><p>While Don McLean was recording “American Pie,” the eight-minute-plus song that brought him stardom in late 1971, his label, Media Arts Records, went under. Understandably, the situation put a damper on any great expectations McLean had for the song.</p> <p>“I wasn’t thinking of releasing or editing it,” he says today. “My expectations were that I would be looking for a record company.”</p> <p>Fortunately, United Artists wound up purchasing Media Arts Records, and McLean was able to finish “American Pie.” United Artists execs had confidence in the song’s hit potential, but badly misjudged the public’s attention span, and appetite, for “Pie.” </p> <p>“The original audience did not hear the slow piano part at the beginning of the song,” says McLean. “The record company created two single versions--a truncated version of the song that they gave to radio, and the single available in stores with parts one and two. But the album American Pie came out, and people started flooding the radio stations with requests for the entire song, not the thing with just choruses and a few verses. So they threw that in the dustbin and started playing the track from the album.”</p> <p>McLean, who used a 1969 or ‘70 Martin D-28 on the acoustic guitar and piano-driven track, strums basic chords throughout. But playing “American Pie” properly is more difficult than it sounds. </p> <p>“If you sit down with it, you’ll see that there’s a chord change about every second,” notes McLean. Recording it was not easy, but he and his accompanying musicians, including Paul Griffin on piano and David Spinozza on electric guitar, achieved a spontaneous vibe that made the body of the song rock. </p> <p>“We recorded live, as a band, doing about 20 takes, and then I overdubbed the vocals,” says McLean. For the final chorus, everyone in the studio joined in. “There were seven or eight people--secretaries, whoever was around--and we recorded it two or three times.”</p> <p>After all these years, and all the exposure, does McLean every tire of playing “American Pie?” </p> <p>“I love singing the song--because audiences love to hear it. It’s still fun to sing,” McLean, who performed the song with Garth Brooks to conclude Brooks’ 1997 televised Central Park concert, also takes satisfaction in continuing popularity and ubiquity. </p> <p>“Lately, you have the Weird Al Yankovich parody of ‘Star Wars: The Saga Begins,’ which is ‘American Pie.’ You have the movie, ‘American Pie,’ which took the title. The damn thing’s all over the place,” he notes. “It’s bigger than ever, and it’s exciting to see all this stuff happen,” he says reflectively, and then blurts out, with a laugh, “It was a good idea. Even then, I knew.”</p> <p>See McLean perform "American Pie" live. It's worth all 8:30 minutes!<br /> <iframe width="620" height="465" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscr</p> </iframe></p> acoustic guitar Acoustic Nation acoustic nation Don McLean News songwriting Blogs Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:20:14 +0000 Jim Coen 19312 at Butch Walker Releases Acoustic Cover of Tove Lo's "Talking Body" <!--paging_filter--><p>Butch Walker has shared a stripped back version of Tove Lo's "Talking Body" created with piano and acoustic guitar. </p> <p>Walker's cover reveals the bones of the song, converting the synth-pop anthem into something more intimate. </p> <p>Butch said of the song, "I've been a sucker for all things Swedish since I was a teenager, so of course I decided to do a cover of 'Talking Body' by Tove Lo."</p> <p>LISTEN: Butch Walker's Cover of Tove Lo's "Talking Body"</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Walker will also headline a full North American tour that starts on April 27 in Pittsburgh, PA and runs through mid-June including stops at Daryl's House Club in Pawling, NY, The New York Society for Ethical Culture on May 5, and three sold out dates in Los Angeles at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Walker will be touring with Dallas die-hard Jonathan Tyler as well as the gorgeous harmonies of The Dove &amp; The Wolf. A full list of dates is below.</p> <p>Butch Walker released his highly anticipated seventh full-length album <em>Afraid Of Ghosts</em> via Dangerbird Records last month to a massive response. The album debuted at #1 on the Top New Artist chart as well as in the Billboard Top 200 and #30 in overall digital albums. </p> <p><em>Afraid of Ghosts</em> was met with critical acclaim upon release: Esquire praised its "bright, acoustic driven tunes," Relix called it "a deeply personal, affectingly lovely album," and Billboard pointed out that it was "tender and lovingly constructed."</p> <p>TOUR DATES<br /> 04/27: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small's Theatre*<br /> 04/28: Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts*<br /> 04/29: Pawling, NY @ Daryl's House*<br /> 05/01: Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street*<br /> 05/02: Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Ballroom*<br /> 05/04: Boston, MA @ The Wilbur Theatre*<br /> 05/05: New York, NY @ Concert Hall, NYSEC*<br /> 05/07: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club*<br /> 05/08: Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theatre*<br /> 05/10: Durham, NC @ Carolina Theatre*<br /> 05/11: Columbia, SC @ Music Farm*<br /> 05/12: Charleston, SC @ Music Farm*<br /> 05/15: Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Symphony Hall*<br /> 05/17: Nashville, TN @ War Memorial Auditorium*<br /> 05/19: Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew's Hall*<br /> 05/20: Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues*<br /> 05/22: Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center*<br /> 05/23: Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre*<br /> 05/24: Chicago, IL @ The Vic Theatre*<br /> 05/26: Toronto, ON @ Mod Club Theatre*<br /> 05/27: Columbus, OH @ Park Street Saloon*<br /> 05/29: Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe @ Old National Center*<br /> 05/30: Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's*<br /> 06/02: Columbia, MO @ Rose Music Hall*<br /> 06/03: St. Louis, MO @ The Duck Room @ Blueberry Hill*<br /> 06/04: Tulsa, OK @ Cain's Ballroom*<br /> 06/06: Austin, TX @ Stubbs*<br /> 06/07: Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theatre*<br /> 06/10: Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre*<br /> 06/12: Scottsdale, AZ @ Livewire*<br /> 06/14: San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall*<br /> 06/16: Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge*<br /> 06/17: Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge*<br /> 06/19: Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge*<br /> 07/02: London, UK @ Borderline<br /> 07/03: Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute<br /> 07/10: Edinburgh, UK @ Electric Circus</p> <p>* = w/ Jonathan Tyler &amp; The Dove &amp; The Wolf</p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation Butch Walker News Thu, 23 Apr 2015 02:35:27 +0000 Acoustic Nation 24364 at Vanessa Carlton Shares New Acoustic Song "Young Heart" <!--paging_filter--><p>Nashville based, Vanessa Carlton shares her wistful new song titled “Young Heart."</p> <p>“Young Heart” was recorded as part of the sessions for Carlton’s upcoming album,<em> Liberman</em>, due for release this fall. The track is also currently available via digital retailers and streaming sites today including iTunes.</p> <p>“I wanted the album to feel like a dream and this video for ‘Young Heart’ fully embraces that concept and leaves me feeling like I'm dozing in between worlds in the middle of spring,” says Carlton. “It transports.”</p> <p>The song, recorded at Adam Landry’s Playground Sound in Nashville, was produced by Landry and both he and Carlton’s husband, John McCAuley (Deer Tick), perform on the track.</p> <p>When talking about the recording process, Carlton says, “We did the song in about a day. John &amp; Adam just started picking up stuff and playing. It was one of those sessions where everything just flowed.”</p> <p>Check it out:<br /> <iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Carlton also announced that she has signed with Dine Alone Records (City and Colour, Twin Forks and BRONCHO) joining the independent label's roster of like-minded artists. "Young Heart” marks the first new music release for Carlton on her new label and illustrates what we can expect to hear in the future on her upcoming album out later this year.</p> <p>Vanessa will be playing two east coast shows this April- see below.</p> <p>Please visit <a href=""></a> for more.</p> <p>Upcoming Tour Dates<br /> Apr 23 Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head on Stage<br /> Apr 25 Beacon, NY @ The Towne Crier Cafe</p> Acoustic Nation News Thu, 23 Apr 2015 02:09:50 +0000 Acoustic Nation 24363 at How to Navigate Your First Time Performing at a Festival <!--paging_filter--><p>Last year I accomplished my dream of playing festivals. I’ve already done four in the last year. Somehow I instinctively knew how to manage my first one. Whatever I suggest here is what worked for me as a current solo artist. Some things will work for everyone, some won't. But here are 11 ideas you can try out!</p> <p>1. Align yourself with like-minded artists and organizations. It ain’t easy to get chosen for a festival. So find organizations or music support groups for your genre that may have an in. If you don’t qualify the first time you submit, then try again and also consider going as a spectator if you can afford it. </p> <p>2. Pick a festival that is NOT huge unless you have a giant buzz and are going to headline a big showcase. The smaller the festival the more chances you have to meet people. Make sure the festival is a legit one. Don’t fall for a “pay to play” showcase. </p> <p>3. Once you’ve been selected shout out to all your musician friends and find out who is going out there. Its great to know you’ve got acquaintances there and perhaps you can share hotel rooms, travel, or contacts.</p> <p>4. Make an AMAZING flyer. I mean.. STAND OUT and then LOOK LIKE THAT for the entire conference. You have no idea how many people will recognize and speak to someone that has something unique. It will at least get them interested in what you sound like. This works for me. Maybe not for everyone, but for me. Put the flyers EVERYWHERE!!!! Bathroom stalls, bushes, I mean everywhere. Make ‘em nice enough that someone might want to collect one. </p> <p>5. When you arrive at the festival, immediately go check out the venue. If you are not on a main stage and aren’t a headline act, you’ve got A LOT of work to do. Starting with those wonderful flyers. Get a poster up in the venue and leave flyers. </p> <p>6. Go to as many panels as possible. See who is around. Ask questions you may have and hand out your flyers.</p> <p>7. Go to the parties. Talk to people about ANYTHING. Not just your music. Be a human being. Just be you. DO NOT BE DESPERATE!!! In ain’t pretty. It just doesn’t work. Bring your cards and flyers.</p> <p>8. Get some sleep. You’ll need it for your show</p> <p>9. Find a place to PRACTICE. </p> <p>10. The day of your show, if you see some people that you bonded with at the conference, remind them your show is that night. Don’t assume they remember. There are too many bands networking, so you have to remind people. Ask them to please come and give you feedback if you’re comfortable with that.</p> <p>11- Enjoy your performance, try to relax. Thank all the people that took the time to see YOU out of 100 + bands playing and follow up with them when you get home. Maybe next year you’ll get a bigger spot in the showcase. You’ve got to pay your festival dues. </p> <p><em>Dorit is a rock singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and Middle Eastern Dancer. She has performed internationally on concert stages, TV, film, and theatre, and has inspired many students to find to their own expression through music and dance. Dorit’s current goal is to self produce her album and complete an acoustic guitar she hand built as a teenager at the Bronx High School of Science. Her influences include Led Zeppelin, Middle Eastern music, Latin music and old school hip hop -- anything with great rhythm. <a href="> Find out more about Dorit here>></a> </em></p> acoustic guitar Acoustic Nation festival News singer songwriter Blogs Thu, 23 Apr 2015 00:03:10 +0000 Dorit 19392 at Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard Premiere "It's All Going to Pot" — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Here’s Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard layin’ it down on "It's All Going to Pot.” </p> <p>The song appears on the collaborative album by this pair, <em>Django and Jimmie,/em> scheduled for release on June 2. </em></p> <p><em>Django and Jimmie</em> premieres 14 brand-new studio recordings including: "Django and Jimmie," a dual tribute to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers, country music's mythic "Singing Brakeman"; the reflective and meditative "Live This Long"; "Missing Ol' Johnny Cash," an homage to country music's original Man in Black featuring guest vocals from Bobby Bare; a sublime interpretation of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"; and the future outlaw country classic "Unfair Weather Friend," written by rising songsmiths Marla Cannon-Goodman (Buddy Cannon's daughter) and Ward Davis.</p> <p>Check out “It’s all Going to Pot” here:<br /> <iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Preorder the album now at <a href="">iTunes</a> or <a href="">Amazon</a>.</p> <p>Visit the official Willie Nelson website: <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation Merle Haggard Willie Nelson Blogs Videos Wed, 22 Apr 2015 14:04:45 +0000 Acoustic Nation 24355 at Megan Slankard’s “Next To You (A Nuclear Love Song)” — Exclusive Premiere <!--paging_filter--><p>Here’s a quirky, fun song from San Francisco alt/rock artist Megan Slankard.</p> <p>“Next To You (A Nuclear Love Song)” appears on Slankard’s upcoming release <em>Running on Machinery</em>, due out May 19, 2015. </p> <p>Produced by Alex Wong (Vienna Teng, Delta Rae), it is an edgy, spirited rock record with a “healthy mix of stories about the end of the world, bank robberies, prison escapes, failed relationships and other adventures,” muses Megan.</p> <p>This song sounds sweet enough, but its apocalyptic view is slightly disturbing. The delicate ukulele arpeggiations and strings offset Slankard’s lovely voice, right up to the abrupt ending!</p> <p>"This is a love story at the end of the world. And the only thing there is time to do in the moments that are left before it all turns off and falls away into nothing, is to hold the hand of the person standing beside you and squeeze as everything goes dark,” she shares.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true"></iframe></p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation Blogs Wed, 22 Apr 2015 03:17:23 +0000 Acoustic Nation 24354 at An Interview With Lisa Loeb — Presented by Breedlove <!--paging_filter--><p>Lisa Loeb's career spans decades. </p> <p>Twenty years ago she became a household name with her single "Stay (I Missed You)" from the ​<em>Reality Bites</em>​ soundtrack. </p> <p>Since then she's been on a roll with with tours, designing her own eyewear line, kids albums and more. </p> <p>She recently just finished performing in her own stage production, <em>​Camp Kappawanna​</em> with the Atlantic Theatre in New York.</p> <p>Here the folks at Breedlove sat down with the talented Loeb, and lucky us, we get to listen in. Check it out... </p> <p><strong><em>Breedlove: You have had an amazingly diverse set of experiences in your career. How do you come up with what new thing you want to do next?</em></strong></p> <p>Lisa Loeb: I always like to make music, so I write songs all the time. I follow the things I am passionate about. I pick the interesting projects or events that are offered to me and create things that interest me as well. There’s always something to do, a new idea to follow.<br /> ​<br /> <strong><em>Your eyewear is amazing – how involved are you with the design process?</em></strong></p> <p> I work with a very experienced eyewear designer in California. We look at materials, shapes, and new concepts together. She’s the real pro, so she takes the lead, but it’s my brand and aesthetic, and so we try to follow that as well as being on trend with colors and shapes. </p> <p><strong><em> How many sets of glasses do you own?</em></strong></p> <p>Too many to count. I mainly wear one pair of glasses and one pair of sunglasses though. </p> <p><strong><em>What came first – Camp Lisa Foundation or the children’s albums?</em></strong></p> <p>The kids’ albums came first. First <em>Catch the Moon</em> and then <em>Camp Lisa</em>. I wanted to share the summer camp experience with as many kids as I could and I thought a TV show inspired by my <em>Camp Lisa</em> album would be a great way to do it. Then, after thinking about it more, I realized that the best way to share the experience would be to actually send kids to camp. I started the Camp Lisa Foundation to send kids to camp through the sales of my album and my own “Wake Up” blend of coffee beans, distributed by CoffeeFool, an on-line coffee bean company. We work closely with S.C.O.P.E., an organization that sends kids to wonderful camps, mostly on the east coast. </p> <p><strong><em> Overnight camp must have made a big impact for you? It also inspired <em>Camp Kappawanna</em> which is just finishing up a run at Atlantic Theater.</em></strong></p> <p>Yes - overnight camp is where I really had a great time! I played guitar in front of people for the first time, made up words to old songs, made up skits, tried new things that were a bit daunting at first, but later proved to be a tremendous confidence-builder. Camp is a place where the pressure is on to just be yourself and learn to get along in a group and be a good leader too. My summer camp experience was loosely the inspiration for Camp Kappawanna. </p> <p><strong><em> How did you come to pick up the acoustic guitar?</em></strong></p> <p>My best friends and I were obsessed with the band, The Police, when we were young teens. My friend Margaret learned about them first and so her favorite member was Sting. Adrienne followed with Stewart Copeland, the drummer, as her favorite, and I ended up with Andy Summers as my favorite. I was on the outs with my many years of piano and theory lessons and it was time for a change, so I chose guitar! My friend Alma Doll taught me a lot of things at summer camp too, like how to play “Stairway to Heaven."</p> <p><strong><em> What is it about the Breedlove Oregon Concert that speaks to you?</em></strong></p> <p>I love the size of the guitar, the clarity, and the bass that rounds out the sound. </p> <p><strong><em>What advice would you have for other females that are embarking on their musical careers in today’s environment?</em></strong></p> <p>I would say that you need to maintain a do-it-yourself attitude, find great collaborators in music and business, as it really takes a team, and also be prepared to find the areas of the music business where you can make a living. Also, if you want to have a family, you should keep that in mind as you carve out your career. Don’t plan on lots of touring if you don’t want to leave young children behind, and if you’re looking for a serious relationship, make sure to prioritize that as you make decisions about where your career might take you. (That’s good advise for men or women.)</p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a>. </p> Acoustic Nation Lisa Loeb Interviews Blogs Tue, 21 Apr 2015 22:12:13 +0000 Acoustic Nation 24353 at Listen to Kurt Cobain’s Unreleased Cover of The Beatles’ “And I Love Her” <!--paging_filter--><p>A previously unheard recording of Kurt Cobain covering The Beatles’ “And I Love Her” acoustically has appeared online. The rough-sounding (but nonetheless magical!) recording was found during the making of the new documentary, <em>Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck</em>. You can listen to Cobain’s cover of the Fab Four below, and also watch a trailer for upcoming film. Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain served as executive producer for the film, which airs on HBO May 4. Find out more at <a href=""></a>. <iframe src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe> <iframe src="" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation Kurt Cobain News Blogs Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:11:20 +0000 Acoustic Nation 24337 at Amplifying Your Acoustic: The Oxymoron and the Paradox <!--paging_filter--><p>The first thing you have to realize when amplifying an acoustic guitar is that in doing so you’ve gone interactive, which sounds very nice except that it happens to work against you in this situation. What do I mean by “interactive?” Just that your acoustic guitar interacts with its sonic environment, and when that environment gets loud, acoustic guitars get weird.</p> <p>The acoustic nature of a hollow-bodied guitar means that it puts out sound from its top and soundhole and also receives sound from the air, so you can think of the guitar top and air chamber as simultaneously acting as a loudspeaker and a microphone. </p> <p>Not only is the frequency response of the acoustic guitar not “flat” in the way we like high-fidelity loudspeakers and studio microphones to be, but it changes with volume, particularly in the amplified sound field to which the guitar is subject. </p> <p>While a particular guitar plugged in may sound wonderful in a small, well-damped club, where you don’t need much SPL (sound pressure level), get it on a big stage and try to crank it, and it just goes straight to hell.</p> <p>So, what does a poor boy playing in a rock and roll band have to do when he wants that faux unplugged experience? Answering that question is the raison d’etre of this column. Yes, we’re going for the Zen of plugged-in-unplugged here. </p> <p>Because the fact is that once you plug in an acoustic guitar, your amplification gear is as much a part of the instrument as its body, bridge and pickup. Furthermore, the gear that is the actual source of your sound often matters more than the guitar and/or the pickup system. </p> <p>Today we’re going to take a look at the loudspeakers. You’ve usually got three basic systems going here: the PA main speakers, your monitor speaker(s) and perhaps an “acoustic” amplifier. To produce an amplified sound that will approximate that of an acoustic guitar, you need wide-range speakers with very low distortion--just the opposite of what most electric guitarists would choose. </p> <p>These speakers must be more like studio monitors in that you’ll need fairly flat response, from about 50Hz on up to as high as 15 or 20kHz. This requires using at least a two-way system with woofer and tweeter, or maybe a three-way system with an additional dedicated mid-range driver. </p> <p>These are now standard for PA mains and monitor cabinets, and multi-driver speaker systems have really become the norm for dedicated acoustic amps. These acoustic amps are in many ways like mini PA systems in and of themselves, with two or even more channels, instruments and mic inputs, effects loops, tuner outputs and XLR direct outputs for connection to a PA. </p> <p>Your “acoustic amp” speakers need to be capable of handling a wide dynamic range…much wider, in fact, than typical electric guitar speakers handling a greatly compressed signal.</p> <p>Wide dynamic range requires power, much more power for the kind of reserve headroom acoustic guitars need. I often go by a rule of thumb that may initially sound outrageous: if you play in a band with a medium-loud electric lead player and truly wish to be heard, your amp should have at least ten times the power of his. Yes, if the lead guitarist has a 50-Watt Marshall and you want your acoustic to sound loud and tuneful and blend well, you should have about 500 Watts at your disposal. That may be pushing the point, but not by much. </p> <p>The reason for this is that with electric guitars, the distortion inherent in the amp and speakers becomes a part and parcel of the sound. It’s that tickling of the amp’s overload characteristics that make even a “clean” electric guitar sound… electric. Part of the amp sound is distortion and part is comprehension of the dynamic range, and those are two characteristics you generally do not want in your amplified acoustic guitar tone. </p> <p>So, headroom and wide range speakers are what you need when amplifying your acoustic. These will bring you much closer to the characteristics of PA speakers and monitors than to that 50-watt Marshall you love cranking your Strat though. In the next few columns we’ll delve into some different approaches to loudspeakers, dedicated acoustic amplifiers and other components that can help get that Taylor or Martin of yours up front in a mix, even with a rock and roll band roaring behind you. </p> acoustic guitar Acoustic Nation acoustic nation amplifier Blogs Tue, 21 Apr 2015 14:15:10 +0000 Rick Turner 19314 at Ten Great Resources for Singer-Songwriters <!--paging_filter--><p>The life of a musician can be tough, and as an artist, I'm always looking for new ways to keep the juices flowing. Here are my favorite sources of support and inspiration for your journey as a singer-songwriter. </p> <p><strong>1. <em>The War of Art: Break Through The Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles</em> by Steven Pressfield</strong><br /> An engaging guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art ignites the soul. Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us creative types faces, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.</p> <p><strong>2. <em>The Artist’s Way</em> by Julia Cameron</strong><br /> <em>The Artist’s Way</em> is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living – and loving - the artist’s life.</p> <p><strong>3. ASCAP Expo </strong><br /> The ASCAP Expo is an annual music conference open to ALL songwriters, regardless of PRO affiliation (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC or other). It’s a fantastic place to network with fellow writers and music business pros, as well as get inspired by performances by incredible artists – both established and up-and-coming.</p> <p><strong>4. <em>The Craft of Lyric Writing</em> by Sheila Davis</strong><br /> This must-have classic for lyricists uses successful songs to illustrate songwriting forms and discusses theme, repetition, wordplay, rhyme, rhythm, and how to avoid common songwriting mistakes. </p> <p><strong>5. A Great Vocal Coach</strong><br /> Finding your singing voice can be a difficult and emotional process (or was that just me?!). Studying with the right teacher can help increase your confidence, expand your vocal skills and perform songs you never thought possible. Ask your favorite singer friends for recommendations to their teachers, and don’t be shy about shopping around until you find the right teacher for you.</p> <p><strong>6. Songwriting Organizations </strong><br /> Connect with songwriting organizations, either in your town, or online. Attend their sponsored events and network with other singer-songwriters. Some good places to start: <a href="">West Coast Songwriters<a/>, <a href="">The Songwriting School of Los Angeles</a>, <a href="">Nashville Songwriters Association International<a/>, and more.</a/></a></a/></a></p> <p><strong>7. Your Own Personal Mentor </strong><br /> Whether it’s a teacher, manager, fellow singer-songwriter you admire, or a music industry professional you can trust, try to connect with someone further along than you are for guidance, and keep your mind open to what you hear.</p> <p><strong>8. <em>Networking Strategies for the New Music Business</em> by Dan Kimpel</strong><br /> Dan Kimpel, who wrote the classic <em>Networking In The Music Business<em/>, expands on his first book to help you develop the people skills necessary to achieve success. Engaging and filled with practical advice and real-world rock-star examples, this is a detailed guide to creating a career game plan.</em/></em></p> <p><strong>9. <em>Songwriters On Songwriting: Revised and Expanded</em> by Paul Zollo</strong><br /> In these pages, sixty-two of the greatest songwriters of our time go straight to the source of the magic of songwriting by offering their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on their art. Representing almost every genre of popular music, these writers give the reader rare insight into their musical lives and songwriting process.</p> <p><strong>10. A Fuzzy Animal</strong><br /> Seriously!! Whether cat, dog, hamster, or ferret, a fuzzy (or even non-fuzzy!) pet can be a wonderful source of support as your dependable, loving companion in this crazy life of an artist. </p> <p><em> <a href="">Ali Handal</a>, along with her husband and cats Pumpkin &amp; Shen, lives in Los Angeles, where she writes, records, and performs her original music. Her songs have appeared in countless television shows &amp; feature films (e.g., Sex in the City, Dawson’s Creek, iCarly, Victorious), as well as recorded by artists as far away as South Africa. Ali wrote the Hal Leonard guitar method book “Guitar For Girls” and is currently writing songs for her fourth studio album. </em></p> Acoustic Nation acoustic nation guitar singer songwriter Blogs Tue, 21 Apr 2015 01:06:06 +0000 Ali Handal 24327 at Kings of the Brushwood Thicket's “Do You Believe” — Exclusive Song Premiere <!--paging_filter--><p>Today we’re happy to premiere a brand new track from Queens, New York’s Kings of the Brushwood Thicket. </p> <p>The project is the brainchild of Bruce Erik Brauer, former guitarist of the NYC rock outfit Dog Society. </p> <p>It was the recent and sudden loss of both Brauer’s father and uncle that provided the spark for the acoustic work that soon flew under the Kings of the Brushwood Thicket banner.</p> <p>With “Do You Believe,” a lightly strummed acoustic guitar matched with his worn vocal style speaks of loss and sadness – but also a resilience. Here’s the track’s inspiration, straight from Brauer:</p> <p><em>I met a ‘girlfriend’ when I was in kindergarten in Jamaica Queens, NY and we were great friends ‘till she moved away at 13. My birthday was June 2 and hers was June 4, so we promised each other that no matter where we would be in our lives, we would call each other for our birthdays. We kept our promise over the years through college, marriages and cross country moves.</em></p> <p><em>Last year I didn't get my call and I thought she forgot because we all get so busy. I searched for her on Twitter and Facebook and all over the internet.</em></p> <p><em>I found her obituary.</em></p> <p><em>Writing "Do You Believe" was a way to honor my lifelong friend who passed away; a simple instrumental approach and a one-take raw vocal to keep it personal.</em></p> <p>Pretty impactful stuff. Take a listen below, and look out for Kings of the Brushwood Thicket’s debut album, <em>The Lies You Leave Behind</em>, out May 5. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe></p> <p>Connect with KOTBT on Twitter <a href="">here</a>.</p> Acoustic Nation Blogs Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:48:55 +0000 Acoustic Nation 24333 at