Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Friday, August 28, 2009

Souad Massi

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bonnie Raitt

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eilen Jewell

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Giant Sand

Eilen Jewell

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jesse Sykes

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler OBE (born August 12, 1949, Glasgow, Scotland) is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and film score composer.

Knopfler was originally best-known as the lead guitarist and vocalist for the band Dire Straits, which he co-founded in 1977 with his brother David. Since the final Dire Straits album in 1991, Knopfler has continued to record and produce albums as a solo artist, under his own name. Knopfler has occasionally played in other groups, such as the "supergroup" The Notting Hillbillies. Additionally, he has performed as a guest on works by other artists, including Bob Dylan, Bryan Ferry, Eric Clapton, John Fogerty, Jools Holland, Steely Dan and Chet Atkins. He has produced albums for artists such as Tina Turner, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris. In addition, he has scored the music to several films, including Local Hero, The Princess Bride, Cal, Last Exit to Brooklyn and Wag the Dog.

He is one of the most respected fingerstyle guitarists of the modern rock era. Knopfler was ranked #27 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".[2]

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Brad Paisley

After high school, Brad Paisley began his studies at nearby West Liberty College. But his college advisor, Jim Watson -- noting what he'd done and what he still wanted to do -- kept urging him to move to Nashville and enroll in the Belmont University music business program. Initially, Paisley resisted, preferring instead to remain close to home with his "serious girlfriend" and his college and musical buddies. But when he came to Nashville to attend a friend's wedding, he stayed on long enough to check out Belmont. Excited by what he saw there, he decided to transfer.

At Belmont, Paisley met Frank Rogers, a fellow student who now serves as his producer; Kelley Lovelace, a frequent songwriting partner; and many of the musicians who would later work in his band and play on his first album. Paisley served his college internship at ASCAP, the performing rights association. There he met Chris DuBois, another of his co-writers. His friends at ASCAP were sufficiently impressed by the songs Paisley was writing and set up an appointment with the talent scouts at EMI Music Publishing. A week after graduation, Paisley signed a songwriting deal with the company.

Like many up-and-coming artists in Nashville, Paisley earned extra money by singing and playing on demos. One of these attracted the attention of Arista Nashville's A&R Department. After a series of meetings and phone calls -- during which each party proclaimed its affection and esteem for the other -- Paisley added his name to the Arista roster.

The newcomer made his mark in 1999 with the single "He Didn't Have to Be," co-written with friend Lovelace. The song, which detailed the story of Lovelace's real-life relationship with his stepson, gave Paisley his first No. 1 single and helped his debut album Who Needs Pictures go platinum (for sales of 1,000,000 copies).

In 2000, Paisley won the Country Music Association's Horizon Award and the Academy of Country Music's best new male vocalist trophy and received his first Grammy nomination in 2001 in the all-genre best new artist category. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut May 28, 1999, and after 40 some appearances, he was inducted into the Opry on Feb. 17, 2001.

In 2002, he released his follow-up album Part II. According to Paisley, Part II picks up right where Who Needs Pictures left off, literally. "The fiddle that fades out at the end of the first record leads you into the first song on Part II," he says. "I pictured someone putting them in the CD player and playing them back to back." The album garnered his third No. 1 hit with the hilarious "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)." The video included several celebrities in cameos, including his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, whom he married in 2003.

Paisley's third album, Mud on the Tires, arrived in 2003. It featured the hit "Celebrity," which poked fun at fame and reality television. The surprise hit, though, was a duet with Alison Krauss, "Whiskey Lullaby." The tale of double suicide due to alcoholism, the song won CMA honors for its writers Bill Anderson and Jon Randall, as well as for music video (directed by Rick Schroder) and musical event.

In 2005, he released Time Well Wasted, which included the hit "Alcohol," as well as another powerful collaboration, "When I Get Where I'm Going," with Dolly Parton on harmony vocals. The album also included "The World" and "She's Everything." In 2006, it won the CMA award for album of the year; "When I Get Where I'm Going" won for vocal event. Brad Paisley Christmas was also released in 2006.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Lee Rocker

Born Leon Drucker in Massapequa, Long Island in 1961, to world-renowned classical musician parents, Lee Rocker grew up with music all around him. His father, Stanley, is a Grammy-nominated clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic. His mother, Naomi, teaches music at Hofstra University. So coming to a career in music was an easy choice for Rocker, whose family listened to jazz, blues, and rock while he was growing up.

Rocker began taking classical cello lessons at age eight and initially hated them. As his ears widened into rock ‘n’ roll, he picked up the electric bass, and quickly mastered the instrument. During grade school, his close friends included Jimmy McDonnell (later to become Slim Jim Phantom) and Brian Setzer. The three jammed together often, playing a wide variety of rock ‘n’ roll, before discovering classic blues musicians like Muddy Waters and rockabilly giants like Carl Perkins. Rocker picked up the acoustic bass to emulate the sounds he heard on those records, and the band began playing more and more roots music. By 1979, this trio, now known as The Stray Cats, began to single-handedly revive rockabilly music in the U.S. and, eventually, around the world.

Adding a contemporary punk attitude to traditional slap-bass, twangy guitar and drums, The Stray Cats headlined famous New York haunts like CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City, drawing overflow crowds every time they played. They moved to London in 1980 and became an even bigger success, even attracting The Rolling Stones to their shows. The fever-pitch excitement caused a major bidding war between record labels. The group’s first American album, 1982’s Built For Speed, became a huge hit, and held the #2 spot on the Billboard chart for 26 weeks, right behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Non-stop touring took its toll on the band. By 1984 the group was exhausted and decided to call it quits, at least for a while. But the furious touring of the early 1980s turned Rocker into one of the best showmen working in any genre. According to the Orange County Weekly, “there has never been a rock ‘n’ roll bass player more fun to watch in concert than Lee Rocker.”

In 1985 Rocker and Phantom hooked up with ex-David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick to form Phantom, Rocker & Slick. They had a minor hit with "Men Without Shame." The Stray Cats reformed in 1986, but didn’t stay together very long. Rocker, though, kept on rocking, as he befriended and collaborated with his hero Carl Perkins as well as with Dave Edmunds, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Jeff Beck and Willie Nelson.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Hotrod Hillbillies

The Hotrod Hillbillies is a Texas Trio from Austin. They perform a great mix of original music some would describe as Alt-Country, Cowpunk, Rockabilly and Punk. It's always a good Texas Time with these boys, as they sing about everything from Fast Cars, Fast Women, Whiskey, and Texas.

They have toured all over North America performing in the club circuit and at many Hotrod and Bike Shows, festivals, and continue to perform with a variety of bands from Punk to Honky Tonk. Sharing the stage with likes of Dale Watson, Hank Williams III, Reverend Horton Heat, Devil Doll and Mad Sin, just to name a few.

Their first CD"Let's Alcoholass" released in 2001, is a fun filled disc that will have you thirsty for a beer or a cocktail, with songs like "Whiskey & Wine" and "Drinking Friends". Other songs like "She's My Chevy" and "B.I.T.C.H." will want you to drive fast and far from any Ex-Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Husband or wife.

The boys stay true to their Texas ways and sound with the second and newest 2005 release "Under The Texas Sky" . It’s a Forty-Five Minute CD which features original revved up tunes such as “Git Gone”, “Redneck Girl” and “She’s the Devil”. Country tunes that humor like “Blue Balls” and “Pissed and Depressed”. Best of all, songs to sing along by like “Got to Go”, the theme and title track “Under The Texas Sky”, and a punk rock favorite, originally by The Misfits, but done up honky tonk like, “Skulls”.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

16 Horsepower

16 Horsepower was an alternative/traditional musical group based in Denver, Colorado. Their music was usually serious in tone with distinct Christian religious lyrics dealing with conflict and redemption. They consisted of David Eugene Edwards, Jean-Yves Tola, and Pascal Humbert (the latter two formerly of the band Passion Fodder). After releasing four studio albums and touring extensively, the band broke up in 2005, citing "mostly political and spiritual" differences. Since summer 2007, David Eugene Edwards and Pascal Humbert are performing 16 Horsepower songs like "American Wheeze" or "Harm´s Way" with the band Woven Hand.

David Eugene Edwards and Pascal Humbert formed 16 Horsepower 1992 in Los Angeles, California, where they had met building movie sets for Roger Corman’s Hollywood Studios. Friend, co-worker and trained jazz drummer Jean-Yves Tola joined shortly after. The trio performed once as Horsepower before they parted ways with Humbert as Edwards re-located back to Denver, Colorado, soon followed by Tola.

Back in Denver, the band once again became a trio as Edwards old acquaintance Keven Soll, a luthier and accomplished double bass player, joined the band. Frustrated by misconceptions about the name Horsepower being related to heroin and inspired by a traditional American folk song about 16 horses pulling the coffin of a beloved to the graveyard, the name was changed to 16 Horsepower. The band spent the following years rehearsing and gaining a reputation for their intense live performances while touring extensively across North America and eventually they released a seven-inch single, "Shametown", in 1994. By this time they had gained the attention of A&M Records, and recording of "Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes" began in 1995. For various reasons A&M decided to postpone the release of the album, and so the band returned to the studio and recorded their selftitled debut EP which was released the same year.

The debut full-length studio album "Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes" was eventually released in 1996, garnering praise from the international music press. At this time Pascal Humbert had re-located to Denver and joined the band as a second guitarist, although his primary instrument is the bass. Following differences about the musical direction, Soll was asked to leave and was replaced by Rob Redick. Redick did not last long because of what the band has referred to as "kind of a mutual unhappiness", and Humbert took over the bass duties. Jeffrey-Paul Norlander joined on second guitar shortly before recording began on the second album, "Low Estate", with John Parish as producer. Edwards and Norlander had previously been in several bands together, most notably The Denver Gentlemen. /

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Gary Nichols

Gary Nichols may be country music's new "guitar slinger," but don't mistake him for a "tenderfoot" or a "greenhorn." The hotshot instrumentalist, singing wonder and songwriting champ fits the classic definition of a "guitar slinger," but he's no novice. This is a role he was born to play. Although still in his 20s, Gary Nichols has been rocking the clubs of Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee for nearly a decade. And that's just his most recent musical history. This is a guy who was given a ukulele at age 11 months, who was warbling tunes at age 3, who won his first talent contest at age 5, who got his first paying music job and joined his first band at age 6, who played in honky-tonks at age 7, who was touring regionally at age 13, who performed in Nashville at age 17 and who had his first recording session at age 19.

Gary Nichols began playing guitar seriously when he was 6 years old. By the time he was 9, he was also proficient on bass and drums. He started playing piano in church at age 12, and somewhere along the way, he picked up mandolin and trumpet. Oh, and he's a world-class singer to boot.

One listen to the thrilling rocker "Riverbed" or the sky-high power ballad "I Can't Love You Anymore" is enough to inform you that you are in the presence of vocal greatness. The ear-catching, alcohol-recovery song "Stay Strong," the swampy groove and survivor lyric of "No Mississippi" and the autobiographical rocker "Going Fast" demonstrate Gary Nichols' additional prowess as a songwriter.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Eilen Jewell

Eilen Jewell
’s love of music began on a 1500-mile family road trip from Anchorage, Alaska to her hometown of Boise, Idaho. Bundling his wife, daughter, week-old son, and husky dog into the family Volvo, Eilen’s father (a tree farmer from a long line of Idahoans) put on a tape of Beethoven’s piano sonatas and seven year-old Eilen was so fascinated, she begged her parents to let her take piano lessons when they got back to Boise. And the 26 year-old has been plunging headlong into anything and everything musical ever since. At 14, she dug her parents’ old records out of storage, a discovery which led her to pick up her first guitar. Her favorites from those dusty old boxes were Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home and a Sun Records Howling Wolf album. These discoveries eventually led the quiet teenager to the music of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday who, along with Dylan and Howling Wolf, remain her biggest influences today.

Five years later, at only 19, Eilen began performing at farmer’s markets and local bars in Santa Fe, New Mexico (as a college student at St. John’s), before moving to Los Angeles, where she became a fixture in the Venice Beach street-performance circuit. After her time there had run its course, Eilen journeyed across the country to New England in January, 2003. She settled briefly in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts and got her start at the legendary Club Helsinki, first performing at the club’s open mic, but quickly graduating to opening sets for esteemed artists such as Geoff Muldaur. Before leaving the Berkshires, Eilen recorded her first demo, One of Those Days, a solo effort containing sparse arrangements of originals and covers such as the old blues standard “Nobody’s Business,” (made popular by artists like Mississippi John Hurt, Bessie Smith, and Big Bill Broonzy). It showcased not only Eilen’s quietly adept guitar picking and lush, relaxed voice, but a beyond-her-years understanding of (and ability to write in) old country blues form and style—a style that fits her as appropriately and comfortably as a worn old glove.

Eilen began to attend old-time music jams near Boston, where she met drummer Jason Beek and harmonica player PJ Eastman. Seeing that Boston had a lot to offer musically, Eilen moved there in late Fall of 2003 and was quickly welcomed into the famous and still vibrant community of folk and roots musicians. Performing with bands as well as solo, she cut her teeth first at venues like Club Passim, Plough and Stars and Johnny D’s. Eilen learned some of her first lessons about the music business from veteran bass player and band-mate Paul Strother (Rounder Records’ Chicken Chokers). PJ Eastman provided powerful blues harmonica for Eilen while Strother and Beek laid down her rhythm section. During this time she released a live demo to sell at shows and nearly recorded a full album. However, the master for that album, as well as the entire studio where it was recorded, perished in a fire.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Kings of Convenience

Kings of Convenience are an indie folk-pop duo from Bergen, Norway. Consisting of Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe, the musical group is known for their delicate tunes, calming voices, and intricately subtle guitar melodies. Both Øye and Bøe sing in their tracks, and both of them compose.

Erlend and Eirik were both born in 1975 (Erlend on November 21 and Eirik on October 25), and have known each other since the age of eleven. At sixteen, they played together in the band Skog ("forest") with two other friends, releasing one EP Tom Tids Tale, before breaking up and later forming the Kings duo. The twosome were signed to the American label Kindercore after appearing in European festivals during the summer of 1999. After a spell living in London in 2001, they released their debut album Quiet Is the New Loud. The album was produced by Coldplay producer Ken Nelson. The album was very successful and even lent its name to a small movement of musicians in the pop underground (including acoustic contemporaries such as Turin Brakes) which took Belle & Sebastian and Simon and Garfunkel as their inspiration and focused on more subtle melodies and messages. Versus, an album of remixes of tracks from Quiet Is the New Loud, came out shortly after. After this breakthrough year, not much was heard from the band.

Øye spent the next few years living in Berlin and doing solo material, releasing music under the DJ Kicks series as well as a solo album titled Unrest. He also has a side project named The Whitest Boy Alive It was not until 2004 that the Kings' follow-up Riot on an Empty Street was released. The video made for I'd Rather Dance With You, the second single from Riot on an Empty Street, topped MTV's European list as the best music video of 2004. The album also featured contributions by Leslie Feist. It's been a quiet period for the band, leading to speculation they had stopped working together.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

David Olney

David Olney is a singer-songwriter. But in his case, perhaps the term should be capitalized. And maybe underlined and printed in bold type as well. To wit, the late Townes Van Zandt, a songwriting icon himself, rated Olney as "one of the best songwriters I've ever heard," listing him as one of his favorite music writers alongside Mozart, Lightnin' Hopkins and Bob Dylan.
Olney's songs have been recorded by the two singers best known for showcasing the work of the finest contemporary songwriters - Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt - and have earned him the sort of rare praise that is generally reserved for the work of geniuses. For as Dave Ferman of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram raves, "David Olney is as good as it gets. Period."

For confirmation of such heady praise, one only need to turn to The Wheel, Olney's new release on Loud House Records and his 11th studio album. Like many Olney records, it has a thematic thread subtly weaving through the work, this time one of circularity and motion, as he explores a broad palette of modes, moods and characters that crackle with the immediacy and emotional depth of reality transformed into music. With a musical and lyrical touch that ranges from the shattering surprise of a sucker punch to the piquant delicacy of a kiss, Olney forges the lowdown with high art within the craft of the popular song, creating virtual literature you can hum along with. Both on his own and in collaboration with folk and pop legend Janis Ian, Oscar nominee Gwil Owen and respected literary figure Bland Simpson, David Olney proves the transformational power of the well-written song.

The Wheel brims with the literate vividness that has inspired critics to compare Olney alternately to an author, painter, playwright and screenwriter. "His songs are rich with complex characters, unpredictable plot twists, and grand tragedies; they dramatize the brutality of evil and the quiet dignity of goodness," wrote Michael McCall in the Nashville Scene. Similarly, Jim Ridley noted in New Country how "David Olney has a distinctly American voice. There's a swagger, a generosity and a wise-guy wit in his writing that we associate with our national character, an appreciation for the underdog and the outlaw."

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