Acoustic Nation en Steve Gunn Announces 2015 Tour in Support of 'Way Out Weather' <!--paging_filter--><p>As 2014 comes to a close, praise for Steve Gunn's phenomenal album, <em>Way Out Weather</em>, released this past October on Paradise of Bachelors, continues to pour in. </p> <p>The album has received year-end best of 2014 recognition from many publications, including NPR Music, Pitchfork, Aquarium Drunkard, Magnet, and Mojo, who ranked the album #6 in their "50 Best Albums Of 2014."</p> <p>Today, Gunn is excited to announce his first run of tour dates in 2015. </p> <p>He'll be making stops at both AeroFest and Big Ears Festival, before heading back to Brooklyn for a hometown show at Baby's All Right on Wednesday, April 1st. Gunn (vocals, guitar) will be joined for this tour by Nathan Bowles (drums), and Jason Meagher (bass).</p> <p>STEVE GUNN TOUR DATES<br /> Fri. March 20 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa*<br /> Sat. March 21 - Mobile, AL @ AeroFest<br /> Sun. March 22 - Columbus, GA @ WC Bradley Museum*<br /> Mon. March 23 - Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree*<br /> Tue. March 24 - Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight<br /> Thu. March 26 - Nashville, TN @ The Stone Fox<br /> Fri. March 27 - Knoxville, TN @ Big Ears Festival<br /> Sat. March 28 - Louisville, KY @ The New Vintage*<br /> Sun. March 29 @ Columbus, OH @ Spacebar*<br /> Tue. March 31 - Philadelphia, PA @ Boot &amp; Saddle<br /> Wed. April 1 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right<br /> * w/ Ryley Walker</p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> <p>And check out this video!!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:17:09 +0000 Acoustic Nation Platinum Rush Video Blog #8 — Leann Womack & Geoff Himes <!--paging_filter--><p>Is life really like a three minute pop song?</p> <p>Leann Womack has something to say about that, as well as social media.</p> <p>And in case you were afraid to ask what "Americana" music is, I asked Geoff Himes, music critique from <em>The Washington Post</em>, and boy does he know his stuff!</p> <p>All this from the Americana Music Fest in Nashville!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Scot Sax knows his way around a solid pop song. The Philadelphia musician has been writing them for years, whether it was with his own bands Wanderlust and Feel, or as a purveyor of hits for singers like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. It was Sax, in fact, who co-wrote the country duo’s Grammy-winning smash “Like We Never Loved At All.” His catchy “I Am the Summertime,” penned while with the band Bachelor Number One, was featured in the blockbuster “American Pie.” And he’s netted countless TV credits, with song placements in shows like “Ghost Whisperer,” “NCIS,” “CSI: NY” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” He toured as a guitarist with Sharon Little throughout North America supporting Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand. His filmmaking debut, the documentary "Platinum Rush," is currently being entered into film festivals worldwide and will premiere in 2015. Sax lives in Nashville with his family. </em> </p> Acoustic Nation Geoff Hiimes Leann Womack songwriting Blogs Videos Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:41:18 +0000 Scot Sax Young South Korean Guitarist Sungha Jung Masterfully Covers "Billy Jean" <!--paging_filter--><p>Here young South Korean guitarist Sungha Jung digs into a finger style rendition of “Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson.</p> <p>Jung started playing at age 9, and as you can see, he’s progressed to prodigy level. </p> <p>His YouTube covers collectively have hundreds of millions of views. </p> <p>Jung was mentored by German guitarist Ulli Bögershausen, whose inspiration and instruction ushered him into pro-level performance.</p> <p>This performance took place when Jung was 14 and the song appears on his second album, <em>Irony</em>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="465" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Now 18, Jung has five albums under his belt and a signature Lakewood guitar.</p> <p>He says he’s currently taking drum lessons too!</p> <p>Jung doesn’t just excel on guitar. Check out this performance on harp ukulele of Kansas’ classic “Dust in the Wind.” Sweet!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation Kansas Michael Jackson Sungha Jung Blogs Videos Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:29:30 +0000 Acoustic Nation Jason Kertson Plays Andy McKee's "Drifting" on Two Guitars at Once — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>OK, there's absolutely nothing "new" about this February 2011 video, and we could've sworn we posted it at some point during the past three years—but it turns out we didn't!</p> <p>Time to fix that.</p> <p>It's a clip of a young guitarist named Jason Kertson playing Andy McKee's "Drifting"—quite beautifully—on two acoustic guitars at once. "Drifting" is from McKee's <em>Art of Motion</em> album.</p> <p>Jason uses two guitars during the song, one for the bass notes and percussion and the other for the lead. He started posting videos at age 12. Now 16, he's posted several YouTube covers and writes and performs original music. Find out more at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation Andy McKee Jason Kertson News WTF Videos Videos News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:41:03 +0000 Damian Fanelli SHEL Share Stunning Silhouette Video for "Sleigh Ride" <!--paging_filter--><p>Here’s a lovely video from SHEL to help you get in the holiday mood.</p> <p>This Nashville via Fort Collins band of four sisters have created a stunning, homemade silhouette video of the classic holiday song "Sleigh Ride."</p> <p>Sarah Holbrook of SHEL shares, “Eva and I were inspired to try a silhouette puppet music video as soon as we finished track for Sleigh Ride. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a carton of eggnog and a few friends!”</p> <p>Watch the beautifully crafted, Tim Burton-esque video here:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>SHEL is the acronym of four classically trained sisters: Sarah on violin, Hannah on keyboards, Eva on mandolin, and Liza on drums, djembe and beatboxing. The band released their 2012 debut to great acclaim, and were embraced by CMT, MTV Buzzworthy, USA Today and many more.</p> <p>Recently, the band collaborated with Irish musician Gareth Dunlop a song called "Hold On" for the soundtrack to the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' <em>The Best of Me</em>. The track stands out as the only Americana song on the soundtrack–included among country music artists Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Kacey Musgraves, Kip Moore and others. </p> <p>On January 23, SHEL will perform as the opening act of the Women's International Music Network's She Rocks Awards in Anaheim, CA. Tickets available at</p> <p>US Tour Dates:</p> <p>1/17: Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater<br /> 1/23: Anaheim, CA - She Rocks Awards<br /> 1/30: Fort Collins, CO - Hodi's Half Note</p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation SHEL Blogs Videos Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:40:00 +0000 Acoustic Nation Will Dailey Wins Artist of the Year and Album of the Year at the Boston Music Awards <!--paging_filter--><p>Last night at the Boston Music Awards hometown hero Will Dailey was presented with two of the Awards’ highest honors, Artist of the Year, and Album of the Year for <em>National Throat</em>. </p> <p>These awards come at the tail end of a career defining year for Dailey, in which he created and released his best work to date. </p> <p>“I play my 128th and final show of 2014 this Wednesday night in Boston,” says Dailey. “To be from, living and making music in a city with such rich artistic diversity and talent is inspiring to me. The company you keep does matter and being in Boston has been a huge influence on my music and career. What I get from New England creatively I can't replicate in other longitudes and latitudes. If you can’t make a living creating art and thriving where your art is best fueled then what will happen to our art? What will happen to our National Throat? I am so grateful for all of the support, excitement, faith and most of all the hearts and ears of Boston. We are all in it together."</p> <p>“Any musician who can master the balance between commercialism and good taste the way Will Dailey has deserves all the success both professional and critical that is heaped upon him,” - <em>Americana UK</em></p> <p>Having willingly walked away from the largest record label in the world in 2013, Dailey set off to make <em>National Throat</em> independently. The album started as a Mission Statement on his website and with the help of fans, friends, patrons and a dedicated team, upon it’s release, <em>National Throat</em> debuted in the top 20 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. The first charting position of Dailey’s career. </p> <p>The <em>Boston Globe<em? says that ”Dailey has a natural charisma, particularly as a vocalist, and much of <em>National Throat</em?></em> gives him room to simply emote…. Dailey’s liberation looms large on his exceptional new album……This is Dailey at his most self-possessed, a clear and confident musician who doesn’t need a big label or a big budget to put across his charms.” </p> <p>Just last week <em>The Wall Street Journal</em> debuted the video for “Castle of Pretending,” a song that Dig Boston called “lush, sprawling psych-pop.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Dailey will play his last who of the year this Wednesday at Brighton Music Hall with Air Traffic Controller.</p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation News Will Dailey Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:13:58 +0000 Acoustic Nation Angel Romero Featuring The Aeolus Quartet — Show Review <!--paging_filter--><p>Classical guitarist Angel Romero and the Aeolus Quartet brought more than just classical music during their stop in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Dec. 12 — they brought an unforgettable evening of world-class talent accompanied with an unexpected dose of humor.</p> <p>The concert was held at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts as part of the venue’s <em>Discovery Series</em>, which takes audiences on an artistic journey around the globe, in this case, Spain.</p> <p>Romero took command of the stage with tremendous charisma and a surprisingly relaxed look for a classical music concert — blue jeans and a striped, long-sleeve button-up shirt. </p> <p>“All these wrinkles are designer’s,” Romero said as the audience laughed along with him. He experienced a mishap during airline travel and wasn’t able to get his luggage on time, but was undeterred. As a matter of fact, his casual appearance and attitude made for an even more enjoyable and relaxed environment, making the concert feel more like an intimate gathering at someone’s home.</p> <p>“The best thing about it is that no matter what you wear the music still sounds the same. I could come out in my robe,” he said laughing. “I’m a symphony director and have conducted in Berlin and Chicago, and it upsets me when people think, ‘Oh, I’m going to play Bach, I have to be serious.’”</p> <p>The program consisted of Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Major, RV 93; Luigi Boccherini’s Quintet No. 9 in C Major G. 453 (La Ritirata di Madrid); an intermission; Erwin Schulhoff’s Five Pieces for String Quartet; and more. Hearing this music performed with such ebullience was like listening to the soundtrack of your favorite movie.</p> <p>Dynamics between Romero and the Aeolus Quartet — some of the finest young string quartets performing today — were nothing short of exquisite. Violinists Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violist Gregory Luce and cellist Alan Richardson had so much passion and excitement it was hard for them to sit still on their chair. Romero plays with such grace and elegance it’s almost as though he’s dancing tango with his guitar. They are all in love with their craft, and it’s very evident. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/the%20quartet%20dresses%20down.jpg" width="620" height="419" alt="the quartet dresses down.jpg" /></p> <p>It’s worth noting that after the intermission, the members of the Aeolus Quartet came on stage dressed down in casual attire to make their Peer feel comfortable, which in turn made the audience grin. “When you can learn from the best, do it,” said Luce of Romero. At that point, however, Romero managed to get his hands on a black suit. </p> <p>All in all, this was an electrifying night with some of the finest musicians of our time. If Romero or the Aeolus Quartet stop by your area, be sure to check them out for a riveting night of classical music with a refreshing twist. </p> <p>For more information, visit <a href=:"></a> and <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation Blogs Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:52:10 +0000 Pauline France The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band Announce 'So Delicious' Tour <!--paging_filter--><p>The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band will begin the North American leg of their new tour on February 25 in Chicago, Ill. </p> <p>The <em>So Delicious</em> tour will reach 50 U.S. markets including the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival before hitting international territories in May and then again next fall. </p> <p>The tour is preceded by a week of in-store appearances at independent record stores around the country. </p> <p>The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band bridges genres and eras with an intensity and effortlessness few contemporary artists possess. Their new album <em>So Delicious</em> elevates the trio’s work to a new level. </p> <p>Produced by Rev. Peyton, <em>So Delicious</em>, due out February 17, 2015, offers the band’s most diverse collection of songs yet, buoyed by the Rev.’s supercharged six-string virtuosity — a unique style of fingerpicking inspired by his Delta blues heroes, but taken to new, original heights. </p> <p>The fifth full-length original album by the group — which includes Breezy Peyton on washboard and supporting vocals and Ben Bussell on drums and supporting vocals — is their debut on Shanachie/Yazoo Records, a label known for the historic reissues of blues and other forms of old-time American music that are the bedrock inspiration for the Rev.’s sound and approach.</p> <p>The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band has always been strong on authenticity, blending blues, ragtime, folk, country and other traditional styles with the sleek modern energy of do-it-yourself, homespun, punk-fueled rock. The tunes are plucked from the Big Damn Band’s lives, their community or from the canonical songbook that fed the Rev. Peyton’s formative creative identity. It’s a mix that’s allowed the band to win fans from all corners of the Americana and rock worlds, and bring a new generation to blues and other roots music. </p> <p><em>So Delicious</em> is a perfect Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band album, with songs that speak from the heart and capture the trio — whose sound has been honed over 250 annual road dates during the last eight years — playing at their peak. That constant touring lead the band to be awarded “Best Band of the Warped Tour” and to the stages of famed festivals such as Austin City Limits, Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, WOMAD, Telluride, Cambridge Folk, All Good, King Biscuit, Juke Joint and DelFest, among many other prestigious gigs. </p> <p>The band’s last record, <em>Between the Ditches</em>, which debuted at number one on the iTunes blues chart and landed on Billboard’s pop albums chart in 2012, continued the momentum, bringing the Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band to an even larger, demographic-leaping audience thanks to the powerhouse songs “Devils Look Like Angels” and “Something for Nothing,” which were video and radio hits.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Now <em>So Delicious</em> offers a feast of new music from the Rev. and his accomplices.</p> <p>“I can’t wait to get out on the road and bring this record to the fans. We have made a record we are so proud of, but there is nothing that compares to the interaction and community of our live show,” he says. </p> <p>In-store Dates:<br /> Sun., Feb. 15 BLOOMINGTON, IN Landlocked Music<br /> Tue., Feb. 17 INDIANAPOLIS, IN Indy CD &amp; Vinyl<br /> Thu., Feb. 19 TOLEDO, OH Culture Clash Records<br /> Fri., Feb. 20 CINCINATTI, OH Shake It Records<br /> Sat., Feb. 21 NASHVILLE, TN Grimeys<br /> Sun., Feb. 22 ST. LOUIS MO Vintage Vinyl</p> <p>Tour Dates:<br /> Wed., Feb. 25 CHICAGO, IL Reggie’s Rock Club<br /> Thu., Feb. 26 FLINT, MI Machine Shop<br /> Fri., Feb. 27 FERNDALE, MI Magic Bag+<br /> Sat., Feb. 28 DAYTON, OH Oddbody’s<br /> Sun., March 1 TOLEDO, OH Frankie’s Toledo<br /> Wed., March 4 SPRINGFIELD, IL Donnie’s Homespun<br /> Thu., March 5 MADISON, WI – Frequency+<br /> Fri., March 6 ST. PAUL, MN Turf Club<br /> Sat., March 7 DES MOINES, IA Gas Lamp<br /> Tue., March 10 JACKSONVILLE FL Jack Rabbit<br /> Thu., March 11 ORLANDO, FL Will’s Pub<br /> Fri., March 13 DELRAY BEACH, FL Vintage Tap<br /> Sat., March 14 BRADENTON, FL Ace’s<br /> Sun., March 15 TAMPA, FL State Theater<br /> Tue.-Fri., March 17-20 AUSTIN, TX SXSW<br /> Sat., March 21 DALLAS, TX Gas Monkey<br /> Tue., March 24 ALBUQUERQUE, NM Low Spirits<br /> Wed., March 25 FLAGSTAFF, AZ Orpheum<br /> Thu., March 26 PHOENIX, AZ Crescent<br /> Fri., March 27 SAN DIEGO, CA Merrow<br /> Sat., March 28 LOS ANGELES, CA The Mint<br /> Sun., March 29 LAS VEGAS, NV Beauty Bar<br /> Wed., April 1 SALT LAKE CITY, UT Urban Lounge<br /> Fri., April 3 DENVER, CO Bluebird Theater<br /> Sat., April 4 FORT COLLINS, CO Hodi’s<br /> Sun., April 5 LINCOLN, NE Bourbon Theater<br /> Tue., April 7 KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads<br /> Wed., April 8 ST. LOUIS, MO Plush<br /> Thu., April 9 FAYETTEVILLE, AR George’s Majestic Lounge<br /> Sat., April 11 CLARKSDALE, MS Juke Joint Festival<br /> Sat., April 18 INDIANAPOLIS, IN Butler Arts Fest<br /> Wed., April 22 COLUMBUS, OH Woodlands Tavern<br /> Thu., April 23 CLEVELAND, OH Grog Shop<br /> Tue., April 28 LEXINGTON KY Cosmic Charlie’s<br /> Wed., April 29 ASHEVILLE, NC Grey Eagle<br /> Thu., April 30 ATLANTA, GA The Earl<br /> Fri., May 1 CHAPEL HILL, NC Local 506<br /> Sat., May 2 WASHINGTON DC The Hamilton<br /> Tue., May 5 ANNAPOLIS, MD Ram’s Head Live<br /> Wed., May 6 HARRISBURG PA Appalachian Brewing Co<br /> Thu., May 7 NEW YORK, NY Mercury Lounge<br /> Fri., May 8 BOSTON, MA Thunder Road</p> <p>Stay connected to the Big Damn Band at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation News Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:39:31 +0000 Acoustic Nation Acoustic Nation's Ten Top Releases of 2014 <!--paging_filter--><p>What do you like? Something rockin’? Sweet or introspective? Masterful or mournful?</p> <p>Whatever your preference, 2014 delivered.</p> <p>We’ve listened to a huge amount of music throughout the year, and picking favorites is hard.</p> <p>But we owe it to you to steer you toward some that stuck with us.</p> <p>Wanna hear some good stuff…read, and listen, on!</p> <p><strong>John Butler Trio - <em>Flesh and Blood</em></strong></p> <p>I’m not gonna lie. I am strongly biased when it comes to John Butler. His 2014 release <em>Flesh and Blood</em> maybe just be the perfect album.</p> <p>Masterfully written, and even more amazingly performed, <em>Flesh and Blood</em> showcases the unlimited potential of this fun-loving guitarist, singer and songwriter. </p> <p><em>Flesh &amp; Blood</em> is the John Butler Trio's sixth studio album, and you should listen. Really.</p> <p>I had the pleasure of interviewing Butler and of seeing him play live. Not only did he and the trio blow me away, they were just so incredibly in the moment, and willing to stick their necks out to go in new directions. </p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Beck - <em>Morning Phase</em></strong></p> <p>12 years ago Beck released his breakup opus with <em>Sea Change</em>. </p> <p>A set of heartrending songs written after ending a relationship up with his longtime girlfriend, the album is viewed as a classic in the Beck repertoire, and I wouldn’t be the first to call it the breakup album of the 00’s. </p> <p>This year, Beck gave us <em>Morning Phase</em>, the 2014 companion piece to <em>Sea Change</em>. Like its predecessor, <em>Morning Phase</em> hits hard emotionally, mixing dusty acoustic guitars with moody orchestral arrangements (contributed by Beck’s father, David Campbell). </p> <p>Having a bad day? It’s the perfect record to soak in at full volume while sinking into your couch. 12 albums in, and Beck’s output is as creative and honest as ever. </p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>The Belle Brigade - <em>Just Because</em></strong></p> <p>I was first introduced to The Belle Brigade through the track “Losers,” which if you haven’t heard, is a true anthem among anthems. </p> <p>A Simon &amp; Garfunkel-tinged folk/pop release, the band’s self-titled album was great, but their 2014 offering <em>Just Because</em> shows the breadth of this brother/sister duo’s ability to pen great pop songs and present them in sonically fascinating ways. </p> <p>A standout on <em>Just Because</em> is “Likely To Use Something,” a track that <em>should</em> be raking in the licensing dough for this band (I can imagine hearing it on pretty much any TV drama or movie these days). </p> <p>Simply put, <em>Just Because</em> is the sound of a band with intention. Every detail—from a chord change, to a distorted bass line, to a random percussion sound—is placed with the utmost thought and care. </p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Richard Thompson - <em>Acoustic Classics</em></strong></p> <p>Richard Thompson’s studio-recorded <em>Acoustic Classics</em> offers a wholesome compilation of newly recorded songs, which were carefully selected from Thompson’s 40-year repertoire to reflect the intimate nature of his live shows.</p> <p>The album features 14 tracks (all but one written by Thompson), with lilting guitar,<br /> a soothing sense of nostalgia, and songwriting that tugs at the heartstrings – all in true Thompson fashion.</p> <p><em>Acoustic Classics</em> is laden with gems, but tracks that stand out include “When the Spell Is Broken,” “Beeswing,” and “I Want to See The Bright Lights Tonight.” Plus, how cool is that album cover?</p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Rodrigo y Gabriela - <em>9 Dead Alive</em></strong></p> <p>Rodrigo y Gabriela’s <em>9 Dead Alive</em> is a well-thought-out masterpiece with nine tracks that each pay homage to a figure in history who has died, but whose legacy lives on in the 21st century (hence the name <em>9 Dead Alive</em>). </p> <p>That concept alone is fantastic, and when you listen to the music it only gets better. </p> <p>Packed with a punch, the album celebrates the lives of people like Spanish guitarist Antonio de Torres Jurado with track “The Soundmaker;” Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky with “The Russian Messenger;” and even animals and nature with “Torito.” </p> <p>This album is the perfect convergence of history and music, and certainly deserves a spot in your playlist – especially if you like rock-focused nylon string guitar.</p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Ed Sheeran - <em>X</em></strong></p> <p>Armed with tender vocals and his trusty Martin Guitar, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran offers nothing but raw talent in his second studio album <em>X</em> (read as multiply).</p> <p>Throughout the 12 tracks, Sheeran takes listeners through a wide range of styles including heartfelt ballads like “Photograph” and “One;” groovy hip-hop in “Sing” and “The Man;” and straight-out pop in “I’m a Mess” and “Tenerife Sea.” </p> <p>It’s truly like a box of chocolates because each song brings a pleasant an unexpected surprise and shift in styles.</p> <p>In <em>X</em>, not only does Sheeran display extreme dexterity on the guitar, but also a refreshing talent as a singer-songwriter - which goes to show he’s extraordinarily versatile and a veritable bad-ass worthy of all the recognition he can get.</p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>LP - <em>Forever For Now</em></strong></p> <p>Okay, so <em>Forever For Now</em> is not technically fully acoustic but since LP’s main instrument is ukulele, I say it counts.</p> <p>The petite LP is so full of talent and power, so smartly artistic, that you can’t help but be inspired.</p> <p>Her melodic direction is unique. And truthfully her monster range makes it hard to sing along, but so what! Plus, she throws in a tuneful whistle riff throughout. What can this woman not do?!</p> <p>Favorite cuts include “Night Like This,” “Into The Wild,” and the grand “Tokyo Sunrise.”</p> <p>Can’t wait to see where this artist goes next…</p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Alex Skolnick - <em>Planetary Coalition</em></strong></p> <p>You might have heard of Skolnick from his escapades with the metal band Testament and later with his jazz trio.</p> <p>Now Skolnick has gone in a new and exciting direction with his acoustic-focused project, Planetary Coalition. The collective’s first release, simply named <em>Planetary Coalition</em>, includes an impressive array of 27 musicians from around the world.</p> <p>Multi-cultural and incredibly musical, Skolnick has somehow brought together a variety of musical influences, interesting instrumentation and intricate rhythms for a wholly enjoyable experience.</p> <p>If you have a chance to see the Coalition live, grab it!</p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>David Gray - <em>Mutineers</em></strong></p> <p>Somehow David Gray’s <em>Mutineers</em> made it into the iTunes library on my iPhone. When I plug into my car charger, his “As The Crow Flies” kicks off due to its alphabetical advantage. Masterfully written, this album is packed chock-full of original ideas interpreted in memorable ways.</p> <p>Gray seems to be comfortable reinventing himself and <em>Mutineers</em> is a worthy fruit of his disruptive methods. Smart and singable, what more could you want?</p> <p>From the ebullient single “Back in the World Again,” to the esoteric and gritty “Gulls” and far beyond, this well-rounded album is a worthy listen.</p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Better Than Ezra - <em>All Together Now</em></strong></p> <p>The single, “Crazy Lucky” off of Better Than Ezra’s release <em>All Together Now</em> was one of my favorite songs of the year and maybe of all time! Intelligently written, catchy as hell, and expertly executed. </p> <p><em>All Together Now</em> is the band’s eighth studio album that was produced by Grammy nominated mixer/producer Tony Hoffer (Fitz and the Tantrums, M83, Beck, Silversun Pickups). </p> <p>Themed around chance, the album spins out from the serendipity-marveling “Crazy Lucky” into reflective, if relatable, fare such as the vibratory, folk-inflected “Insane,” the falsetto-kissed “One Heart Beating,” and the more sprawling “The Great Unknown.”</p> <p>This video was constructed from fan submissions relating to their craziest and luckiest moments. Super cool all around.</p> <p>More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation Alex Skolnick Beck David Gray Ed Sheeran Flesh & Blood John Butler Trio LP Richard Thompson Rodrigo y Gabriela The Belle Brigade Blogs Videos Tue, 16 Dec 2014 03:43:30 +0000 Laura B. Whitmore, Tom Gilbert, Pauline France Louise Goffin to Release 'Appleonfire' EP Influenced by Iconic Father Gerry Goffin <!--paging_filter--><p>“For years I’ve been hearing the phrase, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’” says Louise Goffin. </p> <p>Essentially bound by DNA to be a singer/songwriter, Louise is the first-born daughter of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, two of the most successful songwriters in American history (with more than 50 hit songs to their credit), so she was pretty much destined to hear the “apple/tree” comment from the instant she began playing piano at age six. </p> <p>Hence the “apple” portion of the name of her new EP, <em>Appleonfire</em> (Majority Of One Records, February 3, 2015). </p> <p>“The choice of the word ‘fire’ is in reference to passing the torch, the creative fire, so to speak,” Louise notes, “which for me is an existential need to create in order to feel meaning in this world, and the drive and purpose that comes with honoring that need.”</p> <p>With Appleonfire Louise invites the world to hear touchstones of her father’s lyrical inspiration, as she includes four songs for which he wrote the lyrics, including one song that she wrote with him, and two that she co-wrote with others. </p> <p>“His instrument was a spiral notebook” says Louise of her dad, “and he played it masterfully with his brilliant mind and an ordinary pen.” Like father, like daughter, that inspiration is evident in the way Louise continues Gerry’s penchant for approaching lyrics as collaborative healing, a musical bridge from father to daughter that was built when she was still quite young. </p> <p>“I was in the studio with him when I was around eight,” she reminisces. “I have a recording of him on the talkback mic and me playing songs of mine and Beatles songs. He was exacting, always trying to up the level and speed of success, even with me as a little girl.”</p> <p>Coming mere months after her sixth CD, the widely heralded <em>Songs From The Mine</em>, Louise’s new EP will certainly surprise her longtime fans who know that, like most musicians these days, she typically goes years between releases. </p> <p><em>Appleonfire</em>, in fact, got its genesis following Gerry Goffin’s June 19, 2014, passing—even before <em>Songs From The Mine</em> was released. “Two days after his passing, I performed a song he wrote called ‘It’s Not The Spotlight.’ Singing his lyrics made me feel like he was still with me. When I saw Barry Goldberg, who wrote ‘It’s Not The Spotlight’ with Gerry, I told him I had just played it live,” Louise recounts. “His response was, ‘We should cut it.’ A few weeks later this EP began in a Santa Monica studio as a celebration to Gerry’s spirit.</p> <p>Appleonfire EP is ripe with six mid-tempo songs that harken back to the deep, ’70s California-rock well of her youth, including four with lyrics by Gerry Goffin himself. Four songs are produced by Louise and Barry Goldberg, “It’s Not The Spotlight;” the Goffin/King nugget “Take A Giant Step” rounded out by two new Louise tunes, “Higher Than Low” and “Everything You Need," both co- written at Steelbridge Songfest last June, the week before Gerry’s passing. </p> <p>Louise produced two additional songs for the EP, a long-lost Goffin/King tune called “If I’m Late;” and “I’m Not Rich But I’m Not Poor,” a heretofore unrecorded gem written by father and daughter. A guest list of musicians appearing on the record are Jim Keltner, Bob Glaub, Val McCallum, Barry Goldberg, Wally Ingram, Stevie Blacke, Billy Harvey, Butch Norton, Johnny Lee Schell, Joseph Arthur and Jakob Dylan. Jackson Browne generously contributed a day of studio time which, serendipitously, was available the one day the tracking band musicians’ schedules aligned.</p> <p>“I started off agreeing to record ‘It’s Not The Spotlight’ and then figured while I had this amazing band I’d also record two songs I’d recently written,” she explains. “And because earlier in the year I had sung a duet of a Goffin/ King song at MusiCares with Jakob Dylan, it made sense to invite him to sing on ‘Take A Giant Step.’ In one day we recorded those first four songs.</p> <p>“The father theme called out, so I recorded two additional songs after that first day: ‘I’m Not Rich But I’m Not Poor’ hung around quietly until I recently considered ‘what else shall I record on this EP?’ Gerry told me the title was a phrase his father used to say to him,” she says of the co-write with her dad, “which meant however humble your financial resources were, it wasn’t a reflection your quality of character.”</p> <p>“The other one (“If I’m Late”), was a gem I’d never heard before. Someone posted a demo of the song on YouTube the day Gerry passed away. Not only was it a find of an undiscovered song, but it had the added rarity that he was singing lead vocal and my mother was harmonizing with him on it. I recorded it and then took the master to Brooklyn to sing it with Joseph Arthur, who captured the energy my father had on it, while bringing a unique and appealing musicality of his own. I don’t know how that song slipped through the cracks all these years.”</p> <p>Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in LA’s Laurel Canyon during its music halcyon days, Louise Goffin released her first album at the age of 19. Along the way she’s released six well-received albums of her own; she produced a Grammy-nominated record for Carole King, “A Holiday Carole” and some who have recorded her songs include Paul Thorn, Shawn Colvin, Terry Reid, John Parish, Lindsay Lohan and Carole King herself. </p> <p>For many who grew up with The Gilmore Girls hit TV show, Louise’s voice can be heard with Carole’s on the duet in the opening theme “Where You Lead”. Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller and the cast of "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical”, recorded a seasonal song Louise wrote with Guy Chambers, “New Year’s Day” for Carols For A Cure, originally written for "A Holiday Carole." A multi-instrumentalist, Louise has also toured the world on electric guitar in Tears For Fears, and played banjo with Bryan Ferry.</p> <p>Louise’s own recording career long ago transcended the shadow of expectation that goes with being the daughter of elite members of the Songwriters and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame, proven here in the way that her own tunes appear triumphantly on Appleonfire alongside the ones her dad and mom penned. The poignant, subdued blues testimonial “Higher Than
 Low” (written with James Hall and the late Chris Aaron) and the elevating piano ballad “Everything You Need,” which Louise authored with Kim Manning and Susan Howe, would make any parent proud—even ones named Goffin and King.</p> <p>Find out more at<br /> <href=""></href=""></p> Acoustic Nation News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:18:38 +0000 Acoustic Nation Video Lesson: Play It Now! John Butler Teaches Us to Play “Spring To Come” <!--paging_filter--><p>I had the privilege of sitting down with John Butler recently as he went through the fingering and technique for his new song “Spring to Come” off the upcoming album <em>Flesh and Blood.</em></p> <p>John’s guitar is in an unusual tuning: C-G-D-G-B-D. This enables some interesting fingerpicking, and easily changing the bass from G to C changes the chordal coloring completely.</p> <p>The fingerpicking pattern John utilizes incorporates a “double thumbing” technique, with the thumb playing the lower G and D tuned strings and the second and third finger covering the rest. Here’s the pattern. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/fingerings.png" width="300" height="221" alt="fingerings.png" /></p> <p>John uses a double stop scale pattern up the neck for much of the song. He goes quite deliberately through the fingerings in the video, so watch it through. And here are the positions up the neck.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/spring%20to%20come%20shapes.jpg" width="723" height="194" alt="spring to come shapes.jpg" /></p> <p>Check out the instructional video here.<br /> <iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>And when you’re ready, play along with John as he performs “Spring To Come” live in the Acoustic Nation studio:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Find out what's next for John Butler at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation John Butler Trio Lesson Lessons Blogs Videos Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:02:10 +0000 Laura B. Whitmore Luke Wade and Talks About His Experience on 'The Voice' <!--paging_filter--><p>NBC’s <em>The Voice</em> brought a fresh approach to the singing competitions on TV. </p> <p>And now in season 7 they have brought a fresh voice in Luke Wade. </p> <p>From a small town in Texas, Luke has been developing his soulful sound since he was a child – even though he didn’t pick up an instrument until much later in life. </p> <p>While most of America has learned of Luke from his time on the Voice, you should keep getting to know him through his sophomore album <em>The River. </em> </p> <p>Here Luke takes time out of his hectic schedule to chat with use about it all!</p> <p><strong><em> What a crazy trip you’ve been on these past few months. If you could sum up your experience on <em>The Voice</em> in one word what would it be?</em></strong></p> <p>Transcendent </p> <p><strong><em> Do you have a favorite performance you’ve done so far? </em></strong></p> <p>“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.<br /> <iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong><em> What is the biggest takeaway from the show? </em></strong> </p> <p>Greatness isn't greatness in a vacuum. Surround yourself with the right people!</p> <p><strong><em>What did you learn most from coach Pharrell? </em></strong></p> <p>Don't overthink, over feel.</p> <p><strong><em> You launched an album <em>The River</em> this spring. Any chance we’ll get to hear an original on the show? </em></strong></p> <p>We will be singing originals on the finale!</p> <p><strong><em> How do you approach your songwriting? And is there a song that really stands out on the album for you? </em></strong></p> <p>I tend to collect thoughts and ideas then write songs as I need them. I feel like the ideas keep better that way. “Till The Fighting is Through” is definitely one of my best.</p> <p><strong><em> You recently played a Pursuit Concert on the show. How did you discover Breedlove? </em></strong></p> <p>I needed a new guitar because mine was stolen. I went to a guitar shop, played all the guitars and walked out with a Breedlove, and that's what I've been playing ever since.</p> <p><strong><em> Why is that the guitar of choice? </em></strong></p> <p>It's a very balanced sounding and versatile guitar. It performs live and records equally well and plays in tune consistently across the entire neck. </p> <p><strong><em> What’s next for Luke Wade? </em></strong></p> <p>A van, a road, a band, an adventure. </p> <p>To check out Luke’s album or for the most up to date tour information visit <a href=""> </a></p> Acoustic Nation The Voice Interviews Blogs Mon, 15 Dec 2014 05:22:02 +0000 Acoustic Nation Download The Martin Tuner <!--paging_filter--><p>The Martin Tuner is a free app from Martin Guitar for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. </p> <p>The app is an interactive tool perfect for guitar players of every skill. </p> <p>It includes a fully chromatic tuner and ear trainer to help you dial in your guitar whether you are a beginner or a pro. </p> <p>You will also have access to a number of “Dave Doll’s Pro Tips” episodes to learn everything from properly restringing your guitar to using a capo. </p> <p>Thinking of creating a Martin custom guitar? The Martin Custom Shop Builder is also available through the app. </p> <p><a href=" ">Download the Martin Tuner here.</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/martin%20tuner%20free%20app.png" width="432" height="432" alt="martin tuner free app.png" /></p> Acoustic Nation Martin Guitar Gear sponsor Mon, 15 Dec 2014 03:21:20 +0000 Acoustic Nation Guitar Republic's "Funky Sexy Republic" — Video Finds <!--paging_filter--><p>Here’s a kick ass performance by the acoustic guitar masters of Guitar Republic, “Funky Sexy Republic.”</p> <p>I can’t stop watching!</p> <p>Employing every technique you can think of—tapping, plucking, bowing, strumming, and more — this trio of Sergio Altamura, Stefano Barone and Pino Forastiere give it their all!</p> <p>Hailing from Italy, this trio continues to lend their unique talents to guitar exploration together and individually.</p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> <p>Prepare for some awesomeness here:<br /> <iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation Blogs Videos Fri, 12 Dec 2014 13:03:47 +0000 Laura B. Whitmore SHEL “Like Minded Fool” — Exclusive Live Video <!--paging_filter--><p>SHEL recently invited us to a studio in Nashville to capture them performing one of their infectious folk tunes. </p> <p>Below, the band plays “Like Minded Fool,” showcasing their hypnotic vocal arrangements and serious songwriting talent.</p> <p>Comprised of four sisters, SHEL is an acronym for their names; Sarah on violin, Hannah on keyboards, Eva on mandolin, and Liza on drums, djembe and beatboxing. </p> <p>Hailing from Fort Collins, CO, the sisters are classically trained musicians known for their impressive harmonized vocals, infections rhythms and captivating shows.</p> <p>Since the 2012 release of the band’s self-titled debut, they have toured across the US and Europe mesmerizing audiences with their ethereal vocal arrangements and energetic performances. </p> <p>In more recent news, SHEL’s “Hold On” with Gareth Dunlop is featured in Nicholas Sparks’ film, <em>The Best of Me</em>.</p> <p>Check out “Like Minded Fool” below and find out more at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation SHEL Blogs Videos Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:43:04 +0000 Acoustic Nation