MERICANA GAZETT E A Holiday Issue 2009 / December â&#x20AC;˘ January
Feature Story: LARRY GATLIN and the GATLIN BROTHERS Amber Skies Band of Heathens Chris Smither Flatrock Cafe Rosanne Cash Pam Tillis
AMERICANA GAZETTE Greetings: It has been one hell of a year! All in all, a very good one though. This magazine has given me the opportunity to get out and hear some great music and to meet many wonderfully talented people, both locally and nationally. I have made many new friendships which I cherish dearly. Our on line readers have increased by leaps and bounds and it truly has been fun writing the articles. Also while we are on the work topic, I have just completed my 28th year as Executive Secretary at the New Glarus Nursing Home. The campus is in the process of building a new 26 unit RCAC, with a completion date of late summer, early fall of 2010. It looks like 2010 will be another busy year! On a personal note, my mother experienced some health concerns this year. A fall in April landed her with a broken hip and surgery, then a short stint in a nursing home. She is home now recovering. Also my mother-in-law had a knee replaced which put her in a nursing home for a couple of weeks for rehab. She is doing quite well though. Andy and I celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary in October. (We had a fun filled evening of him teaching at UW Whitewater and then a lovely supper out at Culver’s afterwards.) Seriously, the 30 years have gone by fast and I would not have changed anything about it. (This will make Andy happy.) This summer we added an addition to our family, with our friends, Pat and Kim Cockroft giving us the gift that keeps on giving, an English Springer Spaniel we called Wylie. He has been, shall I say, a challenge at times. On a sadder note, upon our return from Nashville in September, our Golden Retriever, Bailey was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle with this dreadful disease by the end of the month. One thing I did miss this year was our annual Halloween get together with old friends. Let’s make sure we reconnect next year. I hope all of you have had a wonderful year and all of our staff at the Americana Gazette wants to wish all of our readers and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Keep on listening to music, creating art, and of course reading our magazine…………………. these are some good resolutions for 2010!!!!! Till next year, Joyce Ziehli Publisher
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Americana Gazette TABLE OF CONTENTS FEATURE STORY 16 Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers WHERE TO LOOK: 3
Litt DuBay’s Slant
Women In The Round - Pam Tillis
Band of Heathens
Americana Music Conference
10 Flatrock Cafe 11 Soul Shaker 12 A Pet Note 13 Aaron’s Anecdotes 14 Amber Skies 15 Jami Lampkins 16 Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers 18 3 for 1 19 Gene Autry 20 Chris Smither
compilation of East Nashville songwriters on their Red Beet records label entitled East Nashville Vol. 3 More Music From The Other Side (see review this edition). You can purchase the CD from the Red Beet Records web site. This is a fantastic CD to own and get you acquainted with the wonderful talent that resides in East Nashville.
Tony DiPofi will be working on a CD in early 2010 at Sugar River Studios. This CD will be original material and a few covers. It will feature the AG’s own Erin Blumer on vocals and it will be produced by Andrew Pulver and myself. This project will surely bring a smile to the faces and ears of Tony’s many fans.
Congratulations to Rick Tvedt for being named one of the top 10 people who most influenced Madison Music in the 2000’s by Isthmus Magazine. A well deserved honor for one of the nicest most hardworking folks I know. Rick started the MAMA’s,is a top flight songwriter and musician, published Local Sounds on the web, and was the publisher and owner of Rick’s Café where I got my start as a music writer. Hats off to you my friend a very very well deserved honor! Beth Kille is hosting a songwriter’s night at the Fat Cat Coffee Works on Rail Road Street in New Glarus on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. This month’s featured songwriter is Sean Michael Dargen. Songwriters of all levels are welcome as well as folks that just like to hear original music. The first hour is spent sharing songs and getting help with your tunes by Kille and her guests. The final hour is an intimate concert by the guest songwriter. The event is free. A five dollar donation is appreciated. These events will take place through February 2010. Make plans to come out and attend. Check the Americanagazette.net web site for upcoming shows. The Raindogs will be wood shedding in December to write some new songs for the upcoming year and hopefully a CD. Amber Skies will also be writing this winter for an upcoming CD in the spring of 2010. Beth Kille has just released an EP of very wonderful songs (see review in this issue). You can purchase the EP by contacting Beth at email@example.com or at any of her shows. Doug Sies is off to England to perform with Briana Hardyman on her winter tour from Thanksgiving until December 23rd. Doug along with Mark Gruenenfelder and Dewey Sies will return to England with Briana in July to play the Cambridge Folk Festival.
Sugar River Studios is undergoing a major remodeling project. There will be more recoding space added,a new control room, and a lounge area. This remodeling project will allow us to be more competitive and offer more services in 2010 and beyond. An upgrade of recording software and vintage equipment is also taking place. The new studio will be operational by mid January 2010. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 608558-8131 to set up a tour of the new facility or a quote on a recording project. By: Andy Ziehli
SONGWRITER’S NIGHT AT FAT CAT COFFEE WORKS Fat Cat Coffee Works, 606 Railroad Street in New Glarus, WI will be hosting a monthly songwriting workshop. A different professional songwriter will be present each month to give aspiring writers feedback on their tunes. The featured writer will also give a performance and talk about their experiences with writing. Writers of all skill levels are encouraged to attend, non-writers are welcome as well. Please bring 10-12 lyrics sheets if you wish to present a song. Schedule: All shows start at 7pm. The first hour will be spent on song critiques, then the featured writer will give a performance. There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door. Tuesday December 8th: Sean Michael Dargan (http://www.seanmichaeldargan.com/
Eric Brace and Mary Ann Warner have released the third
21 Rosanne Cash 22 Santa Came Early... 23 Country School 24 December Frost
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25 Robert’s Ramblings
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27 What Do I Do? 28 Andy’s Top 10
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stores and Guitar Center. So this Christmas and beyond shop locally when it comes to music gear. Well I end this little column with a recap of what I learned this past year and my New Years resolutions for all of you to see. Good luck in 2010. Hopefully it will be a better year economically, spiritually, and musically for all of us.
BlackWaterGin Texas Rock with Bite ((( BWG ))) BWG Entertainment 608-574-2916 www.myspace.com/blackwatergin
What I learned in 2009 by Litt Dubay. 1. Canadians have feelings too, and they carry a grudge for a long time. 2. Rascal Flatt’s is not a town in Arkansas. 3. It is possible to fit 10 lbs of junk in a 5 pound pair of shorts. 4. Not everyone likes me.
by Litt DuBay 5. Carrie Underwood is not the anti Christ
appy Holidays to all of you. As I write my last column of the year I have a few things that have come up that really are bugging the hell out of me. I mean REALLY bugging the hell out of me. First, what the hell is up with raising the beer tax? Is there nothing sacred left in Wisconsin? Come on raise the tax on imported bottled water or put up a toll gate at Beloit and start charging the folks coming in from Illinois for land use here. Leave the beer tax alone! Secondly what is going on with that Scoopy dude at Culvers? Man I have been keeping track of all the times this year I have been short changed in ice cream scoops in my waffle cones, not gotten my coleslaw in my takeout orders, received cold food, had to listen to college kids talk about their drinking escapades at the counter when they should be taking my order, not gotten as many sprinkles as the guy in front of me with the two cute kids, and opened my takeout order to find that my fish was not fully cooked. Come on Scoopy lets get some quality control going again. You were on the top of the fast food heap. Remember Dogs n Suds? Let’s get there again! If I don’t start getting my two manly scoops it’s you and me in a Texas Dog Collar Cage Match double (scoops) or nothing Scoopy! Thirdly the thing that has been bugging me is the fact that people are not supporting local music like they should. I know I know we’ve all heard ole Litt bitch about this before. So let’s make a resolution in 2010 to go out a couple of times a month instead of sitting on our collective asses and see live music. Do it for Hank! Q 106 changed their format to some weird combination of everything poppy country crap. Hey you guys switch to an all Americana format. Talk to Jonathon Little or contact the Americana Music Association in Nashville they would be glad to help you get started in this format. Dump the junk you are playing now. We don’t need more Taylor Swift or Lynryd Skynrd. We do need more Rodney Crowell, Old Crow Medicine Show, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, and that whole East Nashville crew. Hat’s off to Beth Kille on releasing her first solo CD this past month. Beth is probably the best songwriter in Southern Wisconsin. This is a self produced CD by Beth. She’s talented, smart, sexy, and just plain nice. Hat’s off to you girl! When you do your Christmas buying for the musicians in your family don’t buy on-line or at Guitar Center. Go to Good n Loud Music and get your gifts there. They are the last mom & pop music store left in Madison. The Liethen’s are great folks and their staff is very knowledgeable. They also have fantastic prices, just like the on-line
6. If your magazine goes out of business you become a bitter negative Nancy. 7. Free beer is real. Free love does cost you something. 8. When someone says pinch me I must be dreaming they don’t really mean pinch them. 9. Bladder control ads on TV become more interesting as you get older. 10.Most Women like old fat guys. 11.Goats are evil. 12. Two scoops means two scoops even if a waffle cone is bigger than a cake cone.
Litt Dubay’s 2010 New Years Resolutions 1. I will not diss, rag, or abuse any Poppy Country Music coming out of Nashville in the Americana Gazette. 2. I will not pick on Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Taylor Swift, or Rascal Flatts in my column in the Americana Gazette. 3. I will not follow resolutions 1 and 2. 4. I will not get angry at people who do not agree with me on my take of the music business. 5. I will not ask bike riders to cover up their junk in public even if it looks like they have stuffed their shorts. 6. I will only eat Glazer donuts on Fridays. 7. I will not make my fellow writers at the Americana Gazette cry or swear alliance to me in 2010. 8. I will be kind to the Ziehli’s even though they don’t pay me enough to do this job.
We are a regional advocacy, technical assistance and networking program for all types of creative entrepreneurs – including visual artists, composers, musicians, writers, actors, dancers, and choreographers. We connect artists and arts leaders throughout southwest Wisconsin. :H DGYRFDWH IRU WKH DUWV :H GHOLYHU ZRUNVKRSV DQG HGXFDWLRQDO offerings on entrepreneurial skill topics :H IRVWHU FRPPXQLFDWLRQ DPRQJ artists and arts groups via email updates containing information about grants, workshops, and opportunities. 2XU RQ OLQH GLUHFWRU\ RI DUWLVWV KHOSV creative entrepreneurs increase their visibility. $UWV%XLOG LV FRPSOHWHO\ IUHH WR MRLQ
Carol Spelic 608.342.1314 email@example.com
9. I will release a CD of original and cover songs that will light the way for Country Music in 2010. 10.I will not accept the Grammy for this release even though I am probably worthy of it. 11.I will attend a Beth Kille concert. Really I will Beth! 12.I resolve to quit dispensing knowledge on a continual basis at the Fat Cat in New Glarus. (When Monkey’s fly out my butt!) Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!! Litt Dubay w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
loved Dolly Parton, we would watch country music on television,mostly on Saturday afternoons back then.This was before videos and CMT. We watched Flatt Scruggs, country variety shows and they were great. AG: What type of influence did your Dad have on your musical career?
A CHAT WITH SINGER/ SONGWRITER – PAM TILLIS Recording artist Pam Tillis has been an ongoing presence in country music since her first single hit the charts in 1990. Some of Pam’s achievements include: three CMA awards, two Grammy awards, and an IBMA award. Tillis has had 14 Top Five hits, with 6 of them hitting #1 and has sold over 6 million records. She was one of the first women in Nashville to produce her own album. Hats off to you Pam!!! In 1994 the CMA awarded her the female country entertainer of the year. In 2000 Pam joined the Grand Ole Opry as well as signed with Sony Records. Sony released “It’s All Relative” which allowed Pam to pay tribute to her father, Mel Tillis. In 2006, Pam launched her own record label, Stellar Cat Records. Stellar Cat released“Rhinestoned”, Pam’s first studio album in 5 years. The Christmas Season of 2007 also brought a Pam Tillis release of her first holiday album. Pam’s album “Rhinestoned” kind of says it all, Tillis says,“No other word, real or invented for the occasion, sums up as well where Pam Tillis stands now.” Pam truly is a superstar, having written songs for some of the top singers in and beyond Nashville. She has lived the life of being in the top single charts time and time again, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, played intimately at the Bluebird Café, been in the lights of Broadway, been featured on the cover of glamour magazines and even done some cameos in movies. What a super woman indeed!!!!!! My conversation with Pam Tillis went a little like this. AG: Pam, tell me a little bit about your childhood, where you grew up, siblings, etc. w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
PT: It would be fair to say that Dad had an inspiration on me. It’s funny, I’ve always had a real independent spirit. I never wanted to copy Dad. Being a woman our voices don’t sound anything alike at all. I knew that I loved music. I grew up seeing his creative process. When I was little is when he was the most active with his songwriting. That made an impression on me. AG: When did you write your very first song?
An incredible woman ndeed! PT: Well, I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, somewhat of a normal upbringing. I’m the oldest of six, there’s five girls and a boy. AG: That poor boy.
PT: I was little. I had a Kindergarten teacher that said I showed up at class one day and said, “Would you like to hear my new song?”I don’t remember that 4 year old song, but I remember a song I wrote when I was 8 years old. No, I don’t remember that 4 year old song, but I’ll have to take her word for it. AG: What instruments do you play and who taught you how to play them? PT: Good question. I actually learned (Dad was really busy and not really the most patient teacher in the world) from a lady who was on television, PBS who taught acoustic guitar. I learned to play it off the television. Dad did buy me my first guitar and he was encouraging. I also started taking classical piano when I was about 10 years old. My husband is a great guitar player, but I can’t get him to show me anything. He will do it for a minute then he will loose interest. AG: Do y o u write by your self or prefer to cowrite?
PT: They say he’s very creative, and that’s a response to early trauma. (We laughed.) Actually my childhood was pretty normal. Daddy would go on the road. We didn’t travel very much. To tell you the truth, hardly ever. Mom held the fort down. At that time too, even kids in school weren’t that impressed, I wasn’t the only kid with a country music parent. Country music wasn’t as big then as it is now. People kind of took it for granted. I think it was a very normal upbringing.
PT: I prefer to cowrite. My ideas come from all over, books, movies, conversations – it’s more being in a receptive frame of mind because ideas are everywhere. AG: Tell me about launching your own record label, Stellar Cat Records. How did you get the
AG: What types of music did you listen to growing up? PT: Well, country. Some of it I liked. I liked the great stuff, liked music that was going to last. I remember seeingTammy Wynette when I was a little girl and thinking “WOW”. I
courage up to do this? PT: My husband’s the brave one. It is not uncommon these days to have your own imprint. There’s a lot of continued on page 29
Band of Heathens, One Very Cool Band T
he Band of Heathens new record One Foot in the Ether went to #1 this week October 31st, 2009 on the Americana Radio Chart.This is the first time in chart history for an independent band to hit number one twice on this chart! LA County Blues is my vote for song of the year on the Americana Charts. It was written and recorded by the Band of Heathens out of Austin,Texas. They have been compared to Little Feat and The Band in their song styling and performances. I see them as not copying those great bands but taking the foundation of that style of music and bridging it to fit today’s taste and style. A very, very good hybrid that is truly a new format in itself. This is one hard working band! They play 270 shows a year. The band began to form in 2006, when the three principal songwriters, Colin Brooks, Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist, were sharing the bill every Wednesday night at Austin's Momo's club. Originally, each performed his own set, but in a short time they started sharing the stage equally and collaborating on each other's songs. Largely improvised and unrehearsed, the shows quickly gained in popularity. They soon added drums and bass and the band took shape. I got to sit down with The Band OF Heathens (Ed Jurdi Guitar, Keys, Harmonica,Vocals; Gordy Quist Guitar, Harmonica,Vocals; Colin Brooks Guitar, Dobro, Lap steel,Vocals; Seth Whitney Bass, Vocals; and John Chipman Drums, Percussion at the Americana Music Conference in Nashville in September. It was an interesting hour I spent with them over Wisconsin Cheese Curds and Wild Hare Sausage. Two of the members of the BOH Ed Jurdi and Drummer John Chipman have Wisconsin ties. Jurdi’s wife is from
Port Washington, and Chipman’s brother used to live in Madison. The Heathens were funny and easy to talk with as you will see in the interview below. AG: I’m not going to ask you the standard questions on how you got together and how long you have been a band. BOH: We like you already! AG: You have such a great sound and groove to your music. Was that planned or did it develop from your songwriting and jamming together? BOH: It was pretty spontaneous. We never try to write in any direction or style. It just happens. When one of us brings a song in the other guy’s interpretation and playing style helps to bring the songs to life. As we switched to a quieter end of the room the discussion goes to yoga and palates. I tell them how I had planned to be in the Iron Man Competition last weekend but I had to drop out just before the competition began. Chipman informed us that he had tried to enter one but they wouldn’t let him smoke while he ran. As we gathered around the cheese curd, the BOH all commented on how this interview was off to a great start. AG: When you write your songs do you come in with a finished product or is it piecemeal with the whole band? w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
BOH: A little bit of both. It depends on the song. Sometimes it works better to come in with an idea or melody and let the others have a crack at coming up with their own parts. Everyone hears the song differently and that can change the way the writer hears it in their head. When the song comes out we just play it and see what happens. The song dictates what has to happen. AG: I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about you guys. I read an article in Maverick Magazine about you and checked you out on the Web and I was blown away. Were all of you in bands before, or were you solo artists? BOH: Don’t believe anything you read about us unless it made us sound good! AG: So what were your backgrounds? BOH: A little bit of everything. We all come from five different backgrounds. There are a few common threads like the music that we all listened to and all playing in rock bands at one time or another. It really is a varied background for the band. AG: Are you all from the Austin Area? BOH: None of us. We all gravitated there. That’s how we all met. AG: My old roommate moved there 30 years ago and has never left. He said it’s like Madison but only better. BOH: That’s right. That’s what happens. People move there and never leave. They call it the Velvet Coffin! For music it’s great. When you are a musician in Austin that’s all you do is play in other bands. You can make music and play every night. AG: You guys got a European tour coming up. What part of Europe are you going to be playing? BOH: We are playing all over. AG: Have you ever toured there before? BOH: This will be our fourth time in Europe. We like it there. It’s totally different than playing in the states. The fans are more dedicated to just one band like soccer teams. We are also working on mending diplomatic fences while we are there. AG: Somebody needs to do that! You should get the State Department to pay for your tours. BOH: That sounds good. Do you know anyone in the State Department who could help us out with that?
Ryman it is immediate to you what you are doing, and where you are standing. ACL it’s kind of a delayed reaction. AG: When you play ACL because it’s a TV show do they let you finish a song if you make a mistake or do they stop you and start you over? BOH: They don’t want you to stop playing. They want you to finish the song. They tell you that you can do it over at the end. They are pretty easy going. They let you do what you want to do. They just set the cameras up and let you play. AG: I really enjoyed the guitar interplay last night at your show at the Mercy Lounge. How do you work out the parts with three guitar players? Do you work at that or is it something that just happened? BOH: The work comes in trying not to overplay or play anything at all. Letting there be space is the hardest thing to do. The only thing we work really hard at besides writing songs are the vocals. The instrumentation just seems to come naturally for each song. In the beginning it was the vocals that really sparked us to keep going. The guitar playing just came naturally.
BOH: It took a long time to get Seth and John to be subservient to us.This is the first time for all of us that we have been in a band where you have three lead vocalists and three lead guitar players. It’s a challenge to play less, but to play bigger. There is a difference in playing bigger without playing more. Fewer notes but with more character to the notes. That gives these guys the chance to play what needs to be played and not have to think about what and where they have to fill. We also neutered them very early in the bands beginning! AG: You have recorded two live albums and now the new studio album One foot in the Ether. LA County Blues is a fantastic song. One of the five best written songs I have ever heard. I’m not bull shitten you! I called my buddies and said you have to hear this song.
AG: I told Roy Elkins from Broadjam about you guys and took him to your show last night and he was blown away by your show.
AG: Austin City Limits how cool was that?
AG: Yea he was blown away by your show.
BOH: It was the coolest! That’s about as cool as it gets!
AG: Anything you want to say that you have never been asked in an interview?
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We end the interview talking about Chicago people owning all the lake front property in Wisconsin, Robert Earl Keen, cheese, and the wonderful people who live in Wisconsin. The BOH let us snap a couple of pictures and then they proceeded to share their cheese curds with everyone in the bar! So major club owners and festival planners book the Band of Heathens! They want to play in Madison and Wisconsin. Check them out at www.bandofheathens.com, my space.com/thebandofhethens, and on you tube.com. Story and photos by: Andy Ziehli
AG: There are also a lot of drummers who want to sit at the front of the stage and have everyone else in the band look at their backs too.
BOH: Thanks! He rally liked us?
BOH: The folks at Austin City Limits are amazing. From the sound to the lights it is a first class operation. There is always someone there to help you or get what ever you need. It’s different than the Ryman in a way. Both are very historical. Seeing the show on playback is when it really hits you what you have just done. You know you have always seen those shows on television and when you get there and are part of it was just so cool. At the
BOH: Thank you and let us know what we can do for you.
BOH: Seth was a lead bass player but we took his pedals away!
BOH: We need an ADA grant for sure! An endowment would be great too!
AG: Being on that stage has got to be as cool as being on the Ryman stage.
AG: Thanks so much for your time and a great interview. Let us know what we can do to help you out.
AG: Your rhythm section is really locked in to each other. They play well in the pocket. That’s the secret in getting the“groove”going. That’s what makes songs stand out in a lot of cases. In Wisconsin there are a ton of “lead” bass players.
BOH: It’s a fun song to play live! AG: No but I do know how to get you an ARC loan from the SBA to help with your touring. I write grants and teach entrepreneurship so I could help you out.
try down there!
BOH: Boxers or briefs? When are we getting to Madison? AG: I’ll get on somebody’s ass when I get back and get you booked into town. BOH: We just played Milwaukee this past summer at Summerfest. AG: Milwaukee does not consider the rest of Wisconsin part of the state. They are kind of like their own coun-
Blending Southern influence, Country and Rock ‘n Roll, BlackWaterGin creates a sound uniquely their own. Based out of Wisconsin and founded in 2008, BlackWaterGin has wasted little time establishing itself as a serious up and coming band in Country Music. With an ever increasing fan base, averaging close to 100 shows per year, BlackWaterGin has played everything from small venues, festivals, major clubs, to opening for national acts in the two years together. Members hail from the South and the Midwest, all veterans of the festival and club scenes, bringing with them their unique life stories and experiences. The melding influences of Cash, Merle, Hank Williams Jr., Eric Church, Cross Canadian Ragweed and many more add to the excitement BlackWaterGin brings to the stage, spanning generations together as one. With BlackWaterGin, what you get is unique, loud Southern Country laced with Rock ‘n Roll.
BWG Entertainment 608-574-2916 www.blackwatergin.com 7
The Americana Music Conference Nashville
Andy and I attended the Americana Music Conference in Nashville,TN. This was an amazing 4 day conference with many intellectual individuals sharing information on panels, and great musical talent to be heard all over town. On Tuesday night when we arrived, we stopped by our friend’s houses to deliver some Wisconsin cheese and some local wines and New Glarus Brewery products. While at Peter Cooper’s house, and while I was playing with Russell and Loretta, (Peter and Charlotte’s miniature dachshunds), Peter mentioned that they were playing later on for a TV taping down at 12th and Porter. So Andy and I ventured down to this bar and saw some of the most amazing talent ever. Besides Peter and Eric performing,there were performances by Jim Lauderdale, J.D. Souther, Suzy Bogguss, and Betty Lavette. As Andy and I sat in awe listening to this music,Suzy Bogguss and her mother came by our table. I introduced us and Suzy was delighted to meet the person whom had put her on the front cover of our last issue. Suzy and I visited a little, then she gave Andy a hug – It was a dream come true for him,as he has always loved Suzy’s music and thought she is a very pretty woman. I didn’t know how I was going to top this after that hug and kiss – thanks a lot Suzy!!!! While we were sitting at the table, a slender woman asked if she could sit with us. We introduced ourselves, and she introduced herself as Betty Lavette. Immediately my husband recognized the name and they were in conversation. Man,when she got up to sing that last song, does she have a set of lungs on her! I have never heard anyone sing like that before. Wednesday found us out to the Pancake Pantry for breakfast with Randy Blevins, then off delivering more goodies from Wisconsin to Tom T. Hall and Ms. Dixie, Cowboy Jack, Kieran Kane and others. The convention started Wednesday evening with some wonderful music from some Australian artists at Third and Lindsey, then we were off to the Mercy Lounge to hear the Band of Heathens, a great band out of Austin,Texas (check out
the interview on them in this issue), then a surprise appearance from John Fogerty. (John was in town for the AMA awards Thursday night.) We still had to venture over to the Station Inn where we listened to an hour of acoustic music and stories from Marty Stuart. When we headed back to our hotel, I realized I had only about 5 hours sleep in the last two days, but my head was spinning so I still couldn’t sleep. Andy and I attended many sessions at the convention on Thursday, passing around our magazine, trying to make connections and finally meeting a bunch of people I had only been in contact with via email till now, like Cary Baker from Los Angeles, who has been a great help and inspiration to me. We sat in a session with my friend Jason Ringenberg, AKA Farmer Jason and Jason from Jason and the Scorchers. I had the opportunity to visit with him a little after the session. What a sweet and talented man! Next we were off to the Listening Lounge to have an intimate sitting with Roseanne Cash, live on radio. Roseanne discussed her new CD“The List”which came out on October 6th and how it came about. This was so interesting and she sang a couple of songs from the CD. I could have sat in this room and listened to her all day. I had the honor and privilege to meet with her afterwards. I gave her a bottle of Primrose Wine and she graciously agreed to give me an interview in the near future. I can hardly wait. Thursday night found Andy and me sitting in the 8th row mid section from the stage at the Ryman Auditorium for the AMA Awards. Jim Lauderdale was host, and what an impressive job he did. Andy and I were able to witness the artists receiving their awards, as well as performances from Asleep at the Wheel,Buddy Miller,Nanci Griffith, Band of Heathens, and the list goes on. John Fogerty received a Lifetime Achievement Award as well as did a performance for the crowd. Andy and I sat a couple rows behind Emmylou Harris, and watched her graciously leave her seat to get on stage to present an award. I had to pinch myself a couple of times as I could-
n’t believe I was actually here. During the convention we sat through some other listening lounges, being able to hear and meet some of the most talented song writers in Nashville, including Jim Lauderdale,Sara Watkins,and of course our great friends, Peter Cooper and Eric Brace. Eric Brace and Mary Ann Werner put on a showcase sponsored by their company, Red Beet Music with some incredible music from East Nashville. Andy and I heard Tom Mason, Phil Lee, and got to visit with our new found friends from Belleville Bastille Days performance, Paul Griffith,Tim Carroll and Jim Gray. As Andy and I strolled through the Hotel (Renaissance Hotel) we kept bumping into ladies with red backpacks on that said,“SLUMBER PARTIES”. Andy asked one of these ladies exactly what Slumber Parties were and what was going on here at the Hotel. Apparently Slumber Parties are for romance enhancing and how to put some sizzle back in your love life. These ladies, around 1,000 of them were in Nashville for the annual training conference. (Apparently Andy and I looked like we may have needed some help in this area,as they were always handing us their business cards and even left some on our hotel door.) What can I say after 30 years of marriage – I took a couple of the cards!!! By Friday, we were so exhausted, but we attended some sessions, found a time for a nap and laid pretty low that night. Saturday we enjoyed some fine cuisine at the Hotel, ran into Jim Lauderdale at the omelet stand, and had a nice chat with him.Then we were in route to Fats Kaplan and Kristy Rose’s house to make one last delivery and then we headed North. This was a wonderful trip, great convention, great friends, great food, and great music. We already have our calendars marked for next year. Story and photos by: Joyce Ziehli w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
CD Review Beth Kille ♪♪♪♪♪ This Beautiful Beast Style: Indie/Americana Beth Kille is a fantastic song writer. One of the best to come out of Madison. Her songs are honest, soulful heartfelt mini movies for your listening pleasure. I have known Kille since the beginning of her songwriting career. During these past years I have seen her become a songwriter’s songwriter. The one person in the group that everyone wishes they could write songs like. Her live performances with Clear Blue Betty were awestricking both visually and audibly. The girl can write songs. In 2008 Kille moved to Texas as her husband and percussionist Tony Kille was awarded a medical fellowship for a year in Houston. Kille free to follow her musical heart spent the year learning how to be a solo performer and co-writing with folks from all over the US. This time away from a band model helped to shape the “new” Kille as a more passionate/soulful writer and her first release as a soloist shows. This Beautiful Beast is a sample of the fine songwriting talent that is Beth Kille. Kille also engineered and produced the EP with tremendous results. This is a fantastic EP!!! It shows the growth and maturity of an artist. Not many people create such material in such a beautiful way as Kille does on This Beautiful Beast. It is extremely well recorded, has six strong songs that could be top 40 Country or Pop radio hits, and gives you the listener a chance to hear an artist that lets you in their world without all the glitz and special effects that dominate today’s radio fare. Co-writing with Kille on the CD were Connie Mims from Houston/Nashville, and Dan Saunders from Lincoln Nebraska who also played on this EP. Helping Kille capture these wonderful songs were her husband Tony on percussion, and Julia McConahay on Violin. Kille played all the guitar and keyboard parts except on track 5 in which Suanders played the keyboards. My favorite song on this EP was track three; I can’t love you anymore which was co-written with Mims. Hey Nashville you better take a listen here! This song has major hit written all over it. The last track is an interesting song sung a cappella by Kille which makes it appear and sound like poetry verses songwriting. It is a very special treat. The other four tracks are great songs too. Each different and more interesting both sonically and lyrically than the preceding song. There is not a bad song on this EP! This Beautiful Beast is an opportunity for you to hear a wonderful talented songwriter in a much stripped down fashion, playing songs from the heart. If you liked Rosanne Cash’s 10 song Demo CD you will love This Beautiful Beast. Hat’s off to Beth Kille for reaching for the stars and landing there. Making it can mean many different things in the entertainment business from headlining stadiums,to making millions of dollars,or it can mean creating a work of art that will stand the test of time. This Beautiful Beast is the latter. The first two will be along shortly. Review by:Andy Ziehli
Chris Smither ♪♪♪♪ Time Stands Still Signature Sound Records Style: Americana/Blues/Folk Chris Smither has been making music for a while touring the country playing to the masses. This is my first exposure to him and I have to say it has been a very pleasurable experience to listen to his songs. They are a mix of acoustic blues and folk. He is a very very good guitar player and his style changes with each song. His voice is a cross between Neil young and Leon Redbone. Time Stands Still is a very good CD. Well recorded and produced. The songs are bare bones recordings with percussion being foot tapping and shuffling and very sparse drums. There is some wonderful slide guitar work provided by David Goodrich who also produced the CD. My favorite cuts were the opening track Don’t call me stranger, I told you so, Miner’s Blues (written by Frank Hutchinson), and Mark Knopfler’s Madame Geneva’s.
East Nashville Vol. 3 ♪♪♪♪♪ More Music From The Other Side Red Beet Records Style:Americana/Indie Rock This is the third compilation of music from East Nashville’s Red Beet Records and it’s a good one! Eric Brace and Maryann Werner have assembled a fine collection of their friends and neighbors who just happen to be some of the top artists in Americana Music today for your listening pleasure. Some of these cuts are on the artists own releases and others are just for this CD. Brace & Werner are a formable team. Red Beet Records is an up and coming Indie label that was created just to release this kind of music. The CD kicks of with one of my new favorite artists although he has been kicking the streets of Nashville for awhile, Phil Lee. Lee is the only artist that appears twice on this CD. He also has the last cut. Neon Tombstone is from Lee’s latest release So long it’s been good to know you. It is a wonderful tune by an incredible writer. You’ve got to go to Amazon.com and check out his other releases. Next Kieran Kane supplies a great song from his new CD Somewhere Beyond the Roses which was my number two pick for CD releases in 2009. East Nashville’s luminaries Elizabeth Cook, Duane Jarvis, Chuck Mead,Anne McCue,Tim Carroll,Audrey Auld, and the great Kevin Gordon appear on this CD. This is a who’s who in Americana Music East Nashville style. My four favorite songs on this CD are Brace’s Tranquilly Base about the first moon landing, Tom Mason Chana Pozo’s Shoes an incredible song about Dizzy Gillespie’s Cuban percussionist,Reputation by Jon Byrd, and one of my all time favorite songs Peter Cooper’s Gospel Song. The bridge in this song really hits home for me“boy you had the where with all,you just ain’t got the follow through.” Lloyd Green lays down the background steel which is a super treat. This CD along with volume’s One and Two are filled with unbelievable talented artists who deserve to see the light of day on radio. Brace and Werner deserve all the kudos here in bringing this and the other collections to life. You can purchase them from the Red Beet Records website redbeetrecords.com. You can also buy the other releases and should! These CD’s are a must for everyone’s collection. After listening to this CD you’ll know why East Nashville has such an allure to musicians like myself and the great folks that live there. Thanks Eric and Maryann, you hit one out of the park here! Reviewed by: Andy Ziehli
This is a great opening to Smither’s work. It is a dark CD at some points. This is the kind of CD that you would put in when you want to listen to music that is earthy and real, not the kind you would listen to if you were in a partying mood. I guess I would say that it has a taste of Appalachian balladry in its content. Give Time Stands Still a chance and I’m sure you’ll find that you will become a fan of Chris Smither like I did. Reviewed by:Andy Ziehli w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
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Live at the Flatrock Café Nashville T
he weekend of November 14th Andrew Pulver, Rob Kosmeder, and myself were in Nashville to look at some recording equipment. We had spent Friday and Saturday checking out gear. Our friends Eric Brace and Peter Cooper told us that they were playing at a new venue in town that Saturday night called the Flatrock Café. So we decided to check it out and take in some great Americana Music. My friend Randy Blevins from Nashville also joined us for an evening of great food and entertainment. Now an Eric Brace and Peter Cooper show is always an excellent treat, and that evening’s show was no different. It was superb! The Flatrock is a great fantastic listening room to enjoy music. Brace & Cooper’s song styling mixed with the filled to capacity crowd made the evening a blast! First let me tell you about the Flatrock Café. It is located at 2624 Nolensville Pike (southern for road) in Nashville. It is a little out of the way for the average tourist crowd, but well worth searching out. It is a “very cool” establishment that was built as a business venture and combination community enhancement project dedicated to bettering the community of Woodbine which is the neighborhood it is located in. This was their second evening of music and first evening for serving beer, which always makes for a good show. Yazoo Beer is the only beer served. A fine Southern brew (brewed in Nashville) with a little bit of a kick I’m told. All their milk products come from Hatchers Family Dairy. The staff of the Flatrock was very friendly and accommodating to all who attended. The coffee served (I had Ronnie’s Blend) was very flavorful. All manner of espresso drinks are available too. The Flatrock also serves food which includes breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, soup, desserts, pianinis, buffalo wings that were delicious, and pork sliders which were also delicious. The house sound system sounded great. This is a fine establishment with great potential to become one of Nashville’s premiere Americana singer songwriter venues. The Flatrock also has a dog friendly deck, so all you dog walkers can take advantage of this new
amenity, and enjoy a cup of coffee along with your four legged buddy.You can check out the Flatrock Café at flatrockcafe.net. Their full menu and show schedule is posted there. Now for the music. Brace and Cooper are fantastic showman. Tonight was an added treat because Lucas Kane was sitting in on Percussion. Kane who plays in Kane,Welch, and Kaplin (one of my favorite groups) added his distinctive touch to the Brace & Cooper songs. Early on these renowned performers had this crowd in the palm of their hands. The very first song that they played which by the way is one of my favorites, Herb Pederson’s Wait a minute got the crowds attention and kept it for the whole evening. No small talk from the tables because all eyes and ears were focused on the fantastic songs and stories coming from the stage. Their voices meld together perfectly. Throughout the evening they played some of their songs from solo albums, songs from their You don’t have to like them both album, a new yet unreleased album, along with covers of some of their favorite writers. Brace’s Tranquility Base about the first moon landing had everyone’s attention. Cooper played the first song I ever heard him sing Sheboygan, which had the crowd singing along to the chorus “Here I am drunk in Sheboygan once again, once again” They ended their two set show with the Cooper and Todd Snider song The Last Laugh with the whole café breaking into song with them. It was a wonderful night, in a wonderful venue with wonderful people. It made the trip worth while. So next time you are in Nashville check out the Flatrock Café. It’s worth the search to find it many times over!
Story by: Andy Ziehli Photos supplied
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Musician to Musician
Registration for the
7th Annual Madison Area Music Awards is now open
Registration for the Madison Area Music Awards 2010 is now open at www.themamas.org. The 7th Annual Madison Area Music Awards will be held May 8th at the Capitol Theater in the Overture Center. All musicians who make music in the greater Madison area are encouraged to enter. Last year, over 50 awards were given to artists in Album, Song, Live Performance and Instrumentalist categories. This year the MAMAs have added a Hard Rock/Punk genre to the award roll. The finalists and winners are determined by peer and fan voting.
dam Zierten: Soul Shaker is a combining of forces from two former Madison bands,Trinity James and the Big Bad, and Reason for Leaving.After a two year run as backing band “Big Bad” for Americana singer/songwriter, Trinity James, Jason Peterson, Brent King and Scott Autmann stayed together and switched sounds to a more driven blues rock flavor.Working and writing together for a year and half, they patiently waited for the right singer to complete the new group. Enter Reason for Leaving front man,Adam Zierten on Harmonica and vocals and the band quickly found a pocket of bluesy rock n’roll that continues to follow from our fingers and mouths exponentially. AW:What makes you need to step on a stage and not just play in your basement? AZ:You can’t hold lighting in a bottle and you can’t keep hyperbolic rock music like ours in the garage/basement. We all come from a place of confidence in our individual talents and when those talents were put together,we knew we had something that would get people as hyped as we are and it’s our responsibility to lay it on em’.We’re just lighting the fuse at the practice space and waiting to follow the spark to the next venue and watch it explode.
of the first things I was taught about writing lyrics was “dust off a cliché,”so a lot my lyrics start chorus first and extrapolate on the theme from there. Hence the song titles like High Horse, Sour Grapes and Giled Cage are pretty common. AW:What does Soul Shaker travel in from gig to gig? AZ:We’ve got a handful of cars that we match up different ways depending on whether we bring P.A. equipment. We’re still to new of a band to purchase a van or trailer. AW: What advice would you give a 16 year old or a 60 year old if they wanted to start a band? AZ:Whatever the age it’s never too early or late to find your musical inspiration. I started singing in the shower or at work and with a decent chunk of gusto followed by a honing of my talents; I’ve successfully played in bands for over 15 years now. It’s more about gut feeling than technical prowess, if you can manage to not over scrutinize yourself, you’ll continue to grow and flourish as a band.
Broadjam.com, an international music website, will sponsor all Album entries submitted to the MAMAs. In addition, Good 'n Loud Music, a local music instrument retailer, will sponsor all Instrumentalist and Youth award registrations. Eligible artists will receive one free entry in these categories. All other registration fees are $10 per entrant per category. The annual $5 membership in the MAMAs is required to submit and vote. Below are the key dates: October 5, 2009 – Open registration January 15, 2010 – Registration ends February 1, 2010 – First voting round begins March 18, 2010 – First voting round ends March 28, 2010 – Final round of voting starts April 28, 2010 – Final voting ends May 8, 2010 – 7th Annual Madison Area Music Awards – Overture Center, Capitol Theater Past winners of MAMAs include a virtual who's who in the Madison music scene. To qualify artists need to live in or play more than half of their gigs in Dane County. For more information or for interviews, contact: Rick Tvedt Roy Elkins firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 608-250-2565 608-271-3633 MAMAs MISSION STATEMENT MAMAs, Inc. is organized and operates exclusively for charitable or educational purposes, as defined in Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
AW: Which one of the band members would win the "band arm wrestling contest?"
The mission of the MAMAs is to support the preservation and expansion of all forms of music education in the Madison area, and to encourage and promote the artistic advancement of our emerging musical youth.
AW: What was the song that "did it" for you, that made you need to play music?
AZ: Brent the drummer or Jason if he’s drunker then Brent.
MAMAs VISION STATEMENT
AZ: For me as a singer it was She Talks to Angels by the Black Crowes.This was the first song I tried to sing live at about 16 years old. Now, almost twenty years later here I am singing in a blues rock band very similar to the Crowes.
AW:What’s the most common song Soul Shaker gets requests for live?
AW:How do you go about writing new material and how do you come up with lyrics, melodies? Do you come up with the music first then lyrics or vice versa? AZ: Jason Peterson is the catalyst man, writing a guitar riff or two and throwing it out to the band. From there we all layer in a rough framework of general parts for that idea. After that I’m the arrangement guy. I feel out how the vocals are flowing and tweak the individual parts to match what’s best for the melody and lyrics.One w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
AZ: It’s probably a tie between High Horse which has been played as a single on Triple M (in Madison,WI) or Thin Line which is a more sultry number that the ladies seem to dig. AW:What are the future plans for Soul Shaker? AZ: Finishing up material for a full studio album which we’ll record shortly after the New Year followed shortly by world domination! Written by: Aaron Williams
In furtherance of our charitable purpose, MAMA, Inc. has created and presents the annual Madison Area Music Awards ceremony, with the purpose of (1) raising public awareness of the need to preserve and support the existence of music education in our public schools and other community institutions, (2) encourage and promote the advancement of musicians and others in the Madison area by recognizing their musical achievements as well as the achievements of outstanding music students and music educators, and (3) provide promotional support for the Madison music economy as a whole. MAMA, Inc. seeks to establish three other annual events to further carry out its charitable mission and to keep the awareness of the need for music education in the public eye year-round. MAMA, Inc. also seeks to carry out the following: • Provide opportunities for professional, semi-professional and student musicians who are interested in pursuing careers in music to learn about the music industry • Provide forums for young musicians and others in the Madison area to participate in live performances • Become advocates for music education by working cooperatively through the Madison School Board and with others • Establish a school instrument repair program • Create, support and fund music education events presented in the schools in the form of assemblies • Create an endowment fund to provide music education scholarships
A PET NOTE
The interesting thing about all of this is that I am just an ordinary dog. I mind -- sort of. I don’t have obnoxious habits like jumping up, barking at loud sounds, or pulling wildly. I also don’t have extraordinary sixth senses about when people are very sick. But I am friendly. I swish my tail back and forth through the entire 2 hours that I visit each week. Most of all, I have been taught and I have learned to be VERY patient. My folks discovered this years ago when it was a holiday and they decided to dress me up with a headband decoration. It was a huge success. A lady who doesn’t like to touch dogs passed me in the hallway that day. Seeing me with Valentine hearts waving above my head, she said,“You know, I don’t like dogs very much, but that one sure makes me smile.”
BONNIE - the working dog!
reetings. My name is Bonnie. I am a coon hound-black lab mix, but more than that, I am a nursing home volunteer. Every week for the last 5 years, I have visited a very special place, the New Glarus Home in (you guessed it) New Glarus, WI. My mom and dad walk me down 3 wings of the Home.We visit residents, family members, and staff, maybe talking to 50 people on each weekly visit. How did this get started? It all began with lots of training when I was 7 months old. I was smart enough right from the start, but my parents didn’t get it and had to keep repeating the dog obedience classes.Then they took classes on their own from the Delta Society, a national organization that provides training to owners and certifies the temperament of dogs like me that do dog visits. Now, more than 250 visits later, I am an old pro! Guess what residents do in order to see me? They change their shower times to different nights, they stay in their rooms and don’t go to bingo, they make my folks promise to come into their dark rooms to wake them up so they can see me, they hang up on relatives calling long distance (when I walk through the door), and they write me cards when they get discharged and go home. Some even dream out loud about me (calling my name in their sleep). I am a lucky dog to have a family so large and devoted as this. My dog visits lead to many wonderful quotes and magic moments. Here are just a few of the great one-liners from residents:“I love you and will never forget you as long as I live.”“When I see you, I feel good all over.”“A visit from you is better than any medicine.” “As soon as you leave, we start looking forward to when you will be coming back.”
Since then, I wear something different every week. Flower leis are an easy colorful accessory, as are multicolored Mardi gras beads. But the costumes that the residents love best are the headbands. My folks buy them at human party stores.They are made for people, so my mom adds a tiny piece of elastic at the bottom to help hold them on my head (I am a 55-lb dog, by the way). Someone once asked my mom if we had more than one dog. She answered that she only has one because she does not have closet space for any more!
My nursing home costumes fill a closet. I have a nurse’s cap,Annie Oakley braids and a bandanna, rabbit ears, a red-white-and-blue hat, shamrocks,bunny ears, a turkey with a Packer cheese hat on its head, a wedding veil, an Hawaiian shirt and straw skirt, princess hat, angel halo, deer horns, and many more.These things sure do make folks smile. I also know a small number of simple, crowd-pleasing tricks.The one used every week is“Leave it.”A biscuit is placed on a resident’s knee,and I am told to“leave it.”Then I have to wait (and wait) until I hear the magic word.All the residents know that word, even those who can’t talk so good. It is“OK.”When they say the word, I reach over and take the biscuit. Many residents keep their own package of dog treats for me in their rooms. For a dog who loves yummy treats, it does not get any better than this. The neat part of all of this is that it is so easy to do.The visits are fun for me because I get to visit so many people who call my name, pet me, and make me feel special. For my folks, it is a highlight of their weeks. My mom is a writer, and my dad is an electrician; they have never had a chance to do “something from the heart” before. For the residents at the nursing home, my visits give them something to look forward to, enjoy when I am there, and savor after I have left. Everyone gets a lot of mileage out of my visits, which are only minutes per person every week.Where else can a dog make this much of a difference in the lives of so many? P.S. I forgot to tell you what music I like.The music I listen to most often is the howls of packs of coyotes in the hills of Iowa where my folks have a cabin.When the coyotes get to calling, I throw my head back, and I send out a big loud howl. It echoes in the hills.The coyotes usually keep calling, and I keep howling back. It is a musical harmony of wild dogs and domestic dogs, each singing to the moon and each other. Story and photo by: Susi Nehls
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A s m ’ n o u r s a in A
s e t g Anecdo
“What’s your draw” or “We are a destination venue.” A
s bands we’ve all heard this before many times over when booking.As an indie band leader myself I’ve had to deal with booking a lot in the past.We all start out booking our own bands before we can afford or trust an agency. I believe booking is an important tool in a bands growing maturity. It teaches us a lot about the industry and how cut throat it can be, even at the local level. First off, the sound your band is putting out needs to be desirable to fans, secondly a band needs a killer demo and press kit.And lastly, someone in the band needs to have determination and thick skin because it’s going to get rough when booking. In regards to this article I’m considering a band has all these features. I won’t pretend to know what a talent buyer or venue owner goes through when considering a band for a booking, but I’ve come to realize those two questions above always posed to bands should be asked of the venue as well. On a recent tour to a very well established venue in the South we were asked those questions. I’m all about being honest when speaking with a venue for the first time. It’s always better to be honest and tell a club,“We can only draw 20 people.” It’s not going to benefit anyone if you lie and no one shows up.You may get the gig this time but you’ll never get into that club again and you wasted a night playing to nobody. Which is why I answered,“I’m not sure of our draw but I would guess 50 people to be safe.”That’s a decent draw and most clubs understand you’re first time to a city is always the hardest, after all no one has heard of us.With that being said the club enjoyed our CD and press kit and we got the gig.As the months went by I continued to create press and badgered all our MySpace friends in the area reminding them of our upcoming show.As a band with a full touring schedule I can only afford so much time to spend on each date, I did my time and promoted it heavily.The date came and we ended up drawing 56 people that we knew were our fans because of a discount mentioned with our promoting.The complete attendance for the night was 58 people.Yes, 58 people. Our promoting brought in the whole crowd for the night. I was curious because of this fact and in talking with the soundman I got a sense of what the club does to promote and it’s nothing more then hanging fliers and putting up posters within the club and that’s a shame. It’s time that venues start to take a serious look at how promoting is done.And if a club say’s up front that it’s a “destination venue,” that’s code for no one comes to our club and don’t book there. Bands have long been deemed the lazy ones in this relationship and believe me, there are lazy bands out there but the same can be said of venues. It’s a cop out if all a venue does is post fliers within the club and sends out a few fliers on the street.There is so much competition for your entertainment dollar these days that venues and bands alike can’t afford to be lazy. From huge home theater systems to casinos, we are all after your hard earned dollar. Bands have adapted greatly in the past ten years to the changing playing field while many venues have stalled and expect bands to make up the complete draw for any given night. Simply sticking with the advertising of yesterday isn’t going to cut it anymore; I challenge venues to take a look at how the successful bands and venues are succeeding and copy them.You must create a brand and “feeling” people get while experiencing your club and make people want to come to you just like any band has to. If live music is going to succeed we all need to do our part in making that happen. We all have a deep love for live music and we all want to see it grow, but it’s time we ask venues the same questions that are posed to bands “what’s your draw” and expect venues to take part of the responsibility in making sure live music lives on. Get out and see some live music! Written by: Aaron Williams w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
Communities United Music Festival Helping those in need through music Benefit for Iowa County Programs: Food Pantry, We-Care, Adopt a Family and Santa Cop and all Iowa County Fire Depts.! Dec 12, 2009 • 3 Bands • 3 Venues • Dodgeville, WI
Jeffrey’s – FreeFall 4:30 – 7:30 Red Room – Six Nights Alone 7:30 – 10:30 Time Out - BlackWaterGin 10:30 – 1:30 Raffle Drawing Dec 13 @ Dino’s 3PM Entertainment to follow *** Need Not Be Present To Win *** Prize Winners Pick-up Southwest Cap Raffle Prizes valued over 3000 dollars! Grand Harbor Resort & Water Park (Dubuque) Don Q Inn (Dodgeville) Golf Packages Deer Valley (Barneveld) & Dodge Point (Mineral Point) Many other various Items (see list posted at venues ) Thanksgiving Weekend Watch For Raffle Tickets, Wrist Bands Food Collection Barrels at various locations Jeffrey’s – Dodgeville Time Out – Dodgeville Red Room – Dodgeville Milts – Ridgeway Trader’s – Arena Mineral Springs – Mineral Point Tony’s – Mineral Point Ricki’s – Mineral Point For additional information or donations call Michelle Friederich@ SW-Cap 608-930-2326 ext 213 Or Beth @ 608-574-2916.
Amber Skies “Incredibly Good Music” A
mber Skies is a great band out of Southern Wisconsin. They play “Incredibly Good Music” which includes Americana, Indie, Rock, Celtic, Cajun, and Country music. This is a“big”band of eight members, so small clubs just don’t work well logistically for them to play at. The Incredibly Good Music refers to the type of music that they create. Presently they play all covers, but are working some originals in the mix for 2010. “People always ask us what kind if music we play”comments Rob Kosmeder“so we tell them Incredibly Good Music”. Amber Skies rose out of the ashes of the Jug Prairie Band. Sara Rupnow lead vocals and mandolin; Rob Kosmeder,Vocals, Guitar, and Harmonica; John Fahey Bass guitar and vocals; Bob King Acoustic guitar, vocals, harmonica and keys; along with Andy Ziehli Lead Guitar, Mandolin, and keys decided to go in a different direction and formed a new band. Steph Rupnow vocals and keys;Matt Sarbacker Drums and vocals;and Andrew Pulver guitar joined forces with the ex Jug Prairie band members to create a new exciting band called Amber Skies. Keeping the best songs from Jug Prairie and adding new songs by old favorites like Fleetwood Mac, Steve Earl,The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt, Amber Skies is getting quite a name for themselves in the local clubs and bars they have played in. The vocalization of Sara and Steph Rupnow (sisters) and the harmonies they create are high points of the Amber Skies Shows. Both are vocal music teachers.The triple guitar work of Kosmeder, Pulver, and Ziehli create multiple layers and sonic textures turning old classics into reinvigorated top-notch foot tappers. Fahey a mainstay in the Country music scene in Southern Wisconsin for over 30 years adds the bottom end and his superior vocal style to the mix. Bob King’s vocals both as lead and a harmony singer bring a warmth and exciting element to Amber Skies sound. His multi-instrumental capabilities are an added treat to any show. Drummer Matt Sarbacker is a fantastic drummer and vocalist in his own right. His ability to switch from straight Country to Blues, Cajun, Celtic, and Rock & Roll beats brings a new and added strength to the band. The ability to play everything from Americana, Country, Blues, Celtic, Cajun, Reggae, and Rock & Roll in one evening’s show means that there is something for everyone at an Amber Skies show.
Amber Skies takes pride in their shows and works hard to put on the best show possible for their fans. The variety of music that they play and their ability to “rework” old favorites into new updated sound textures makes each show a cornucopia of listening pleasure. Their three and four part harmonies are reminiscent of great vocal bands like the Eagles, CSN&Y, Fleetwood Mac, and Heart. The full instrumentation that eight members can provide does not go to waste here. A full thick wall of sound accompanies their song list and performance capabilities. No duplication, over playing, or added fill in Amber Skies material, just a perfect blend of instrumentation, percussion, and vocals. Plans for the future include working in some original songs by King, Kosmeder, and Ziehli. Each writer brings a fresh approach to their songs. King & Ziehli have collaborated in the past and bring a vast catalog work to the band. Kosmeder writes in the Indie Rock and Folk styling which brings an exciting edge to the band. Local song writer Beth Kille has been tapped to and is providing the band with three of her songs that will be worked in for 2010. The original songs by the three writers are in the Americana/Indie rock vein. An EP is also planned to be released early spring of 2010. The band hopes to play some bigger stages in 2010, taking their brand of ‘Incredibly Good Music” on the road during the summer months. You can check out Amber Skies on their My Space Page myspace.com/amberskiesbandwi. If you are looking to book an exciting and entertaining band for your club, bar, or party get a hold of Amber Skies. You won’t be sorry. Story and photos by: Joyce Ziehli
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cd review... continued from page 9
The Band of Heathens One Foot In The Ether BOH Records
Style: Rock/Americana As far as fantastic CD’s released in 2009 this CD tops my list! I don’t think any CD released this year can match the musicianship, songwriting, energy, or pure listening pleasure One Foot in the Ether has brought me! These guys rock, roll, funk, and just plain get down in their music making. As of October 31, 2009 this was the number one CD on the Americana Charts, and rightfully so.
New Vocalist and Musician Jami Lampkins M
ADISON – Jami Lampkins debuted with the Madison band The Dang-Its at two upcoming performances: the Roxbury Tavern in Sauk City on November 29, and the Brink Lounge in Madison on December 4.A banjo player, guitarist, and vocalist, Lampkins moved to Madison in 2008 from Nashville, where she placed eleventh in USA Network’s“Nashville Star”talent search series, leaving her just shy of the top ten chosen to compete. The Dang-Its play a unique mix of Honky-Tonk, Western Swing, and Americana music and are multiple winners of both The Isthmus and Madison Magazine readers’ choice polls. Lampkins is upbeat about the new partnership.“It’s a Nashville-quality band with paying gigs.This is heaven!” says Lampkins, tongue only partly in-cheek.“The DangIts' energy is contagious and I'm so excited to be a part of that!” Guitarist and band leader Tom Waselchuk formedThe Dang-Its in 1998 with pedal steel player Rick Nass.They were later joined by drummer Mark Luhring and bassist Pete Olig.The band has three independent CD releases: Daddy’s Cadillac (2009), Our Way (2006), and Don’t Mean Maybe (2000). Lampkins grew up in Las Vegas. She started playing stand-up bass in her family’s group,The Lampkins Family Band, at age twelve. She later moved to Nashville, w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
lending her talents to several bands and finding a friend and mentor in the great country artist and producer Gail Davies,known for such hits as Blue Heartache,and I’ll Be There.Two years ago,Lampkins realized a life-long dream of performing on the Grand Ole Opry stage, backing Davies on harmony vocals and banjo. Sheila Voss fronted The Dang-Its with Waselchuk for the last three years, but resigned at the end of the summer for personal reasons. Voss was beloved by band mates and fans, causing Waselchuk to worry about filling her cowboy boots.But Lampkins,who had taken guitar lessons from Waselchuk and filled in for Voss on a couple of occasions, was available and eager to join The Dang-Its. Says Waselchuk,“I can hardly believe our good luck and the fortunate timing.The call to Jami was the only one we made. She’s a major talent. She’s motivated and fearless. Right now she’s working hard to learn the band’s repertoire, but I suspect that in a few months the guys and I will be scrambling to keep up with her.”
The Band of Heathens has been compared to Little Feat,The Band, Black Crowes, and the Allman Brothers. I say that’s some pretty heavy company to be compared to, but The Band of Heathens is more than a clone of those great bands it is five very talented individuals who studied the masters and created a sound that is fresh and timely, not a rehash of the past. The CD kicks off with my favorite song LA County Blues. It is everything a great song should be. It moves you, keeps your attention, and has a great hook. Once you hear it you will never forget it. There are a couple of gospel tinged tunes Shine a light, Golden Calf, and Right Here With Me. The fifth song What’s This World is an incredible Americana tune. It too has a great hook. The mandolin is very cool. Not out front in your face just a very nice accompaniment to the song. You’re Gonna Miss Me is a funky foot stompin tune as is Somebody Tell The Truth. Both will make it hard for you to stay in your seat when you hear them. The final song on the CD Hey Rider is an interesting song. It has a haunting melody and very cool acoustic guitar work in it. The organ and piano fill very nicely. It kind of reminds me of a cross between The Dead and Heartsfield in the song structure and harmonies. Writers, Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist, and Colin Brooks wrote all the songs. The only outside musician on the CD is Trevor Nealon who played Piano, Hammond Organ, and Wurlitzer Piano. Seth Whitney the BOH bassist did a fantastic job playing bass on all the cuts. BOH Drummer John Chipman did an excellent job providing all the drums and percussion for this CD. Jurdi, Quist,and Brooks,played the guitars,dobro,lap steel,and added some keyboards. It is released on the BOH label.
If you’d like more information about The Dang-Its, please call Tom at (608) 271-7827, or email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are looking for a great Christmas gift or a wonderful CD to add to your collection this is it! Again this is one hell of a CD, and you won’t be sorry you bought it. Hat’s off to BOH for putting out the best CD for 2009!
Photo: Jami Lampkins and Tom Waselchuk
Review by:Andy Ziehli
continued on page 29
arry Gatlin, known by Johnny Cash as the “Pilgrim” and the Gatlin Brothers just released a new CD on CURB Records, entitled, Pilgrimage. This CD was made to celebrate their love and respect for the “Man In Black”. This all came about one night when Larry was having dinner with his son, Joshua Cash Gatlin (named after Johnny Cash). Larry and his son were discussing changes in the music business, the way songs are written now, how they are produced, etc. and Larry looked over at his son and said,
“The Music business will never be the same…after all, Johnny Cash is dead and his house burned down.” Upon hearing his own words, Larry flipped his placemat over and started writing. The single, Johnny Cash is Dead and His House Burned Down is getting the attention of many people, but there is an incredible story to be told about a lifelong friendship. I have this CD in my car and I think I have it almost worn out!!! w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
Now most of you folks (around my age) probably remember Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers for their four #1 hits:
All the Gold In California Houston (Means Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m One Day Closer to You) I Just Wish You Were Someone I Loved Broken Lady Larry Gatlin has a total of 33 top 40 hits, was top male vocalist of the year in 1979 by the Academy of Country Music, won a Grammy award for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Broken Ladyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in 1977 for Best Country Song, and wrote a memoir called All the Gold In California that was published in 1998, and toured in 1999 and entertained troops of the 1st CAV division in Bosnia. Gatlin and his Brothers opened a 2,000 seat theater in Myrtle Beach and in 1995 played himself in the TV movie about Dottie Westâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life, Big Dreams & Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story. Larry and his brothers are also a part of the Grand Ole Opry family. After 17 years, Larry Gatlin is back in the music news, and between a few rounds of golf and playing with his two granddaughters, Parker and Campbell, I was able to talk with him and get a little bit of info for all you Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers fans!!! AG: You were born in Texas, where your Dad was an oil driller. Tell me a little about your childhood, and how did you and your brothers, Rudy & Steve get involved in the music industry? LG: Well, we just been singing all of our lives. We started singing in church when we were little boys, sang on a little TV show in Abilene, Texas. We just always loved singing together. I was 6 years old, Steve was 4 and Rudy was 2. So our earliest memories or recollections are being on stage together. Some people ask if we get nervous, and I say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good Lord no, I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been nervous since the 4th gradeâ&#x20AC;?. We make music for the people, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what we know how to do. AG: How did you get to Nashville? LG: Well, I was a waiter at Steak and Ale Restaurant and I was going to law school. A friend of mine told me that â&#x20AC;&#x153;The imperialsâ&#x20AC;?, the great gospel group who used to sing in Elvisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s backup group, needed a baritone singer. One of the guys had decided to leave the group and I had known all the other members of the group all my life. So I called them to see if I could try out for the group. They said we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really need anybody right now, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just doing oohâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and ahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, You Aintâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Nothing But a Hound Dog. So I went off to work that night as a waiter and when I was at work, they called me at the Steak and Ale and said they changed their mind. So I went out there. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t actually work the Elvis show, but I hung out for a week and met him. I learned the Jimmy Dean Show and did that with them. After they closed with Elvis, they opened with Jimmy Dean the next day in Vegas. I worked with them for awhile. There was another guy they really wanted for the job, when he flunked his draft physical and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to go to Vietnam, they hired him and sent me home. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the bad news, but the good news is I had met Dottie West while I was there. I had wrote a couple of songs while I was there and she thought they were good. She said send me some songs and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see if I can help you. I went home to Houston, wrote 8 songs, sent them to her. She
sent me a plane ticket. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how I got to Nashville. AG: When and where did you first meet Johnny Cash? LG: I was a janitor, once I got to Nashville. You know things just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen immediately. People think you drive in there and become a star, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the way it works. AG: So you went from a waiter to a janitor? LG: Well I went from a waiter to a janitor, kind of a parallel career move, not really, maybe going down. (We laughed.) I was at a TV station, WLAC in Nashville and John and his group were doing the American Oil commercials back 35 years ago. I was a janitor and at lunch I started hanging out with his group. One of the guys at the station told the group, hey our janitor is a songwriter. One of Johnnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s band members said, well sing us a song. I grabbed a guitar and sang them some of my stuff. They loved it. So they told John about me. A little bit later I was singing a song at church and June came to the church and she wrote my name down on the back of a blank check so she wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget and could tell John about me. Later he came to church and heard me sing. John said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Come on boy, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s write some songs for this movie Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m making.â&#x20AC;? We became life long friends; he was like the big brother that I never really had.
& ' ( ) *
AG: Why did Johnny Cash call you the Pilgrim? LG: Well, he wrote my first liner notes on our first album. John had a nickname for just about everybody. He didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t call me Larry 5 times in our whole relationship. It was always, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pilgrim come over here. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sing and play a little guitar music.â&#x20AC;? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what he called me forever. AG: Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talk about your new CD and the songs you wrote. LG: The title, Pilgrimage is a nod to my first album, The Pilgrim which was released in 1974. Johnny Cash wrote the liner notes for The Pilgrim, while his son, John Carter Cash, did the same for Pilgrimage. The younger Cash produced updated versions of two songs from The Pilgrim that his father specifically praised in his notes, Penny Annie and Sweet Becky Walker. Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge sang harmony on the original Sweet Becky Walker , and my daughter Kristin (named in honor of Kristofferson) provides harmony for the new recorded version.
Johnny Cash is Dead and His House Burned Down is kind of a trip down memory lane. After I wrote this, one night I bolted straight up in bed and realized I had inadvertently stolen one of Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s melodies. The melody was to I Taught the Weeping Willow How to Cry, Cry, Cry. I called John Carter and told him what happened and I called Lou Robbin, Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long time manager and publisher, and said I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do it on purpose â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it just happened. With your blessing and John Carterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blessing, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to give John half credit as writer of the song, and you half publishing and we will all do it together. Because as I wrote the song it was as if the old boy was singing in my ear. Everybody signed off on that, blessed it. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what that deal was. I took another idea that Roger Miller gave me. If I Ever See Utah Again, Roger sang 2 lines of the song to me thirty years ago and twenty continued on page 30
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songwriters touring today along with local favorites. Plenty of parking available, toe tapping music, and a room full of good people to get to know.
3 for 1
Story by: Andy Ziehli
Nestled right off the Main Street in Ft.Atkinson WI is one of the coolest little folk music/café’s you could ever find. The club is owned by Bill Camplin and Kitty Welch, who began it in 1985. Bill is a singer-songwriter, and as a performer has created a listening space in which he and others love to play. The Carpe has a great staff that helps out and keeps the place running and in tip top shape. The club started to attract people on the singersongwriter circuit, and has gained a national reputation among songwriters as a decent venue with wonderful attentive audiences. The Carpe does not have a policy restricting any kind of music; most of the performances are by singer-songwriters, though. Occasionally there is a bluegrass band, or a jazz combo, a play, and a poetry performance at the Carpe. Their food is excellent and a bit spicy in nature. The atmosphere in the Carpe is pure mid-western folk/americana. The decorations that adorned the bar area are unique and one of a kind folk art. They serve a variety of tap beers and mixed drinks. Their website is very interesting as well as the descriptions they set forth about themselves. The club seats approximately 60 people in the performance area. It is very intimate which makes it a great place to listen too, see, and experience some of the best singer songwriters in the region. It is worth the drive from Madison, Milwaukee, and anywhere else within 100 miles to see a show at the Café Carpe. Past performances included Peter & Lou Barryman, Greg Brown, Slaid Cleves,Mike Dowling, Fred Eaglesmith, John Gorka, Malcome Holcombe, Phil Lee one of my favorites), and Bill Miller. A full list of performers is on their website at www.cafecarpe.com. Next time you are looking for something “different” to do or see get on the web and check out the Café Carpe’s schedule and visit this unique diamond in the rough. Come early to enjoy their wonderful menu. Kick back, have a couple of beers and hear the best folk/sing
Local Sounds is an independent music organization of industry professionals and musicians who are passionate about the evolution of the local music scene in Madison Wisconsin. Their focus and determination define the core values and drive the mission of Local Sounds, which is to support, encourage, develop and enhance the local music community. In addition to all of the great new projects that Local Sounds has rolled out recently at the 2009 Madison Area Music Awards, there are several others that have been in existence for the past year or two but haven’t really lived up to their true potential yet which includes a Local Sounds Museum which would include but not be limited to music historical preservation and complete music database project of local music being produced and created in Southern Wisconsin. Local Sounds is the brainchild of local music and literary hero Rick Tvedt. In fact Rick was just named one of the top ten people in Madison who influenced the direction of Madison Music in the 2000’s by way of Isthmus Magazine,and rightfully so. Tvedt who founded the MAMA’s, was the owner/publisher of Rick’s Café (probably the best music publication ever created in Madison), a member of the eighties pop–group the AND and one hell of a guitar player and songwriter with the Sled Dogs and as a solo artist, who is fast becoming a musical legend himself. With the help of Matt Jacoby manning the Website, and writers like Kiki Schueler, Brett Newski, and Sue Masino Local Sounds Magazine is becoming a very popular web source to follow Madison Music. The on-line magazine features CD reviews, blunt force trauma, feature stories and live show reviews.The addition of Local Sounds TV on the Website allows you to check out your favorite local bands and interviews. It’s great to have Tvedt back and writing about local music again. Local Sounds is a wonderful on-line multimedia publication. It is cutting edge entertainment and a must see if you love the music created in Madison.
Paradyme Productions is a full-service audio production facility and recording studio based in Madison,Wisconsin. The studio offers services from production to mixing and mastering for projects of all sizes.They have provided years of reliable and affordable service to hundreds of regional, national, and international clients. The knowledgeable and experienced engineers and producers at Paradyme can help you with any of your audio needs. Their staff can guide you through every step of production,from conception/pre-production and arrangements to mixing, mastering, editing and sequencing. Paradyme can also help with duplication and replication of your final product. Jake Johnson is the owner of Paradyme and has eighteen years of experience in the audio recording industry, including thirteen years operating and managing Paradyme Productions. His primary skills are song writing, engineering, producing and mastering. Johnson also has experience in copyright filing and legal matters, label promotions and band management. As the company has grown he has honed his project management skills and the ability to work on a wide variety of projects. Johnson is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the Grammy's), and attends the awards annually. He is a member of the advisory board for MMI (Madison Media Institute) and has spoken at various schools and elsewhere throughout the community on issues relating to the music industry. In addition to producing hundreds of CD's and demos for artists locally and internationally, Jake has done work for the Jimi Hendrix Foundation,The Shoa Project (Steven Spielberg), MTV,Viacom, EMI,The Dave Matthews Band, Metallica, Crucial Conflict, Steve Vai, and Stevie Wonder. Locally Paradyme’s client list reads like a who’s who in Southern Wisconsin Music. Past clients include Clear Blue Betty, Jessi Lynn, Gladstone, Cajun Strangers, Gerry Lehr, and many other prominent acts. Johnson and Paradyme can provide all the technical and inspirational help a new act or established act needs to create a fantastic recording. Johnson’s easy going demeanor and his technical prowhis makes him the go to guy in Madison and Southern Wisconsin if you want a cutting edge recording.
Story by: Andy Ziehli You can contact Paradyme at Paradyme Productions, 636 W. Washington Ave. Suite 1A, Madison, WI 53703. Phone: (608) 270-9559 or at Info & Booking: email@example.com Written by: Andy Ziehli w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
I Met Gene Autry M
ost anyone who likes western movies from the 1930’s to the 1950’s will remember the name Gene Autry. He did everything. He was a real hero.Wearing his white hat and riding his horse Champion he flew across the screen saving a damsel in distress,fighting outlaws and cattle barons. He was always the hero. His theme song was Back In The Saddle Again. His sidekick was a man named Smiley Burnette. He made 93 movies and starred in 91 TV productions. For years he was considered the most popular western film star.His career lasted over 70 years in the entertainment field.The day I met him has long lived in my memory. It took place in a railway station during the 1940’s My father worked for the Northwestern Railroad for most of his life. He started working for them in October of 1936. He was just 9 months short of retiring when he died in 1973. Nothing as glamorous as an engineer or conductor. He worked in the freight office as a freight handler. His job was to make sure the freight got on the right train. There was a shortage of manpower then so after my dad finished with his day job he would fill in as a Red Cap, one who helped passengers with their luggage and see that they got a cab to take them to their destination. He would change into clean trousers, polished shoes, put on a necktie and don a red cap. Sometimes my mother and I would meet my father after work.We may have been shopping or to a movie.After this we would walk the six blocks from the downtown area to the train station to meet my dad. During the years of the Second World War the railroad stations were busy places. If people watching was the thing do that was the place to be. Every branch of the military service rode the trains.The railway station was always crowded with soldiers or sailors arriving or departing. It seemed people were always crying. w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
I always went out on the platform where the trains were waiting to depart or had just arrived. The luggage, as it was received was placed in a big red cart on wheels and hauled to whomever it belonged to. If the cart was empty my dad would give me a ride in the cart. On this particular day as I went outside he motioned for me to come where he was standing. He was talking to a man in uniform.When I approached the two of them I thought the man in uniform looked familiar. Then the soldier stuck out his hand and said to me.“Hello, I’m Gene Autry.” He was not how I imagined Gene Autry would look. I always saw him as the cowboy flying across the screen on his horse Champion, singing his songs. Now I was face to face with a soldier in uniform. He had been traveling on the train and just got off to stretch his legs. He struck up a conversation with my dad about the area. When my mother reached us she wanted his autograph. She searched her purse for a slip of paper so he could write his name.The only thing she could find was a copy of a graduation program from her brother’s graduation from a week before. On the margin of this paper Gene Autry wrote his name. It was kind of exciting meeting a movie star and I have remembered how it happened these many years later. I have also learned some things about Gene Autry. During World War II he served as a captain in the Army Air Force. He piloted a C-47 and flew dangerous missions over the Himalayas between Burma and China. He is also the only entertainer to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Besides the song Back in the Saddle Again he is famous for recording Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Here Comes Santa Claus (which he wrote.) Gene Autry died Oct. 2 1998. He was 91 years of age. Not too long ago I was in the company of my granddaughter. I was trying to tell her of the day I met Gene Autry. Her only response to this was WHO? Written by: Rosemary Ziehli
TIME STANDS STILL BUT CHRIS SMITHER CERTAINLY DOES NOT… F
our decades of music mastery and songwriting craft came together on Chris Smither's latest collection, Time Stands Still - a gripping mix of originals and potent covers.The new collection came out September 29th on Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert. Time Stands Still puts the exclamation point on a legendary career that shows no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, this blues and folk superstar continues to build creative momentum. His latest effort features a slew of tunes stripped down to their essence, shining the spotlight on Smither's understated power as a songwriter-one who taps into emotions at their most elemental and powerful core. It's a reminder why artists as diverse as Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and Diana Krall have mined Smither's catalog in the past. He's teamed with producer and guitarist David "Goody" Goodrich and drummer ZakTrojano to create a simple,yet emotionally powerful musical landscape upon which to paint his blues and folk-fueled narratives.As always, Smither's signature finger-picking style mixes with his whiskey-meets-honey vocals to deliver intensely honest meditations on life, love and loss. Smither's latest studio album was recorded in just three days and captures the vibrant urgency and immediacy of his live shows. It features eight original compositions as well as covers from Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, and 1920s country-blues songster Frank Hutchison. Equal parts existential inquisitor and day-to-day chronicler, Smither has an innate ability to imbibe songs dealing with contemporary issues with a timeless quality. Whether playfully dealing with parenthood on I Don't Know or acting the seducer on Don't Call Me Stranger, the brokenness of the blues is never far away. Every song is seeped in emotion, burnished with wisdom of hard-fought knowledge. Like the master craftsman he is, Smither always marries the right melody with thought-provoking, heart-and-soul rending lyrics. Nowhere is that more evident than on the soulful title track. Building on a toe-tapping beat, Smither's voice plaintively sings "I kissed her twice at the speed of light and time stood still," perfectly capturing and immortalizing one of the small moments that gives so much meaning in life. Like all great blues and folk masters, Smither doesn't wallow in the darkness. Rather he illuminates it, and the songs on Time Stands Still shine a light on the intricacies of the human condition. His insights and creativity are also finding new outlets. He recently contributed a short story for the new book, Amplified (Melville House), a collection of 16 stories by
some of today's most compelling performing songwriter. His story, Leroy Purcell kicks off the collection. Burgeoning literary powerhouse, distinctive guitarist, captivating storyteller and song poet-there's no end to Chris Smither's creative talents. He's got so much going on, don't be surprised if his latest collection of music makes Time Stands Still. The above information and photos have been supplied by: Dawn Delvo, Kissy Black & Elaine Erteschik • Lotos Nile Media Nashville, TN 37209 Kissy Black and Elaine Erteschik from Lotos Nile Media graciously set up a time for me to speak with Chris so that I could get a little more background on him to share with all you readers. So here is what I have to share with you on the life of Chris Smither. Joyce: Tell me a little bit about yourself and some background information. Where did you grow up, who were your musical inspirations? Chris: I grew up in New Orleans and I lived there until I was 22, almost 23 and basically started playing guitar around age 9 and got serious into it when I was 11. Seems like I got obsessive about it. Most of my major influences early on were blues guys. I left New Orleans in 1966 and moved to Massachusetts, New York, then Massachusetts because that’s where all the singer/songwriter stuff seemed to be happening. Bob Dylan, everybody else who was associated with Bob Dylan at the time. I’ve basically been playing ever since. Joyce:When did you write your first song? Chris: I was 17 years old. It was a good song called Braden River. Joyce: Did you record it? Chris: Oh yea! Joyce: Where do most of your song ideas come from? Chris: All sorts of things, the ideas basically come out of my head. Whey they come out of my head – I don’t know. It’s just observation, a term or a phrase. It’s like any other writer, you keep your eyes open and your ears open and you take notes. I never decide to write about something and then sit down to write, I just sit down to write and it turns out to be something. Joyce: Do you write by yourself? w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
Chris: I never co-write; I shouldn’t say I never co-write. I’ve co-written one song in my entire life. Joyce: Tell me about the instruments you play. Chris: I play guitar. I taught myself. My parents were musical to an extent. My Mom played a little piano. My father’s brother is a musician. He’s the guy that taught me my first 3 chords. I just love to sing. Joyce: Have you been a songwriter/performer all your life or did you have other fun jobs? Chris: For awhile when things were tough, I did some construction work. That’s the only other kind of job I’ve had. Joyce: It’s always good to have something to fall back on.
Chris: I don’t have any spare time. No, I’m raising a 5 year old girl and trying to put a new house together. We just moved. Trying to get that settled in. I take a lot of pictures. I’m a photographer as well as I read a lot of books. Oh yea, I sleep a lot! Joyce: What does the future hold for Chris Smither? Chris: I’d like to make another couple of records and write a book. Not sure, I’m thinking that I have a couple of more records in me though. Joyce: If you could perform with anyone, who would that be? Chris: Anyone? Anyone? Joyce: Yes, anyone. Chris: Mark Knopfler.
Chris: Falling – that’s the operative word. I’m lucky I never fell off a roof a couple of times. Joyce: Can you tell me anything about the songs on your new CD? Any exciting background stories? Chris: Not really. They are pretty self explanatory. I almost always perform solo, but I almost always record with other people. This is one of the smallest productions I have ever done. I did it with just a trio, just the 3 of us on the record. That came about because I put together the trio to play a festival in the Netherlands. And it sounded so good,and I had so much fun doing it,I told my producer,you know this is the way we should do the next record. He listened to the tape of the gigs we did, he was one of the trio, and said yea, let’s give it a shot. It worked out really rather well. I wrote most of the songs and we recorded it in just 3 days. Joyce: Do you have songs written already for the next CD? Chris: No, this one just came out. I don’t write for the next one until it’s due. Joyce: You have recorded 11 CD’s, and by looking at your website you are really booked up. Almost through the end of 2010. Do you ever have any spare time?
Joyce: Ok,Who would you like to meet? Anyone! Chris: Rush Limbaugh. I’d love to meet him to tell him what I think of him. (Didn’t think I should print the rest of this answer.) Joyce: Thanks Chris, and I will be watching for you in the area. I have really enjoyed listening to Chris’s CD, Time Stands Still. You can check out Chris on his website at www.http://smither.com . • • • • • • • • • •
Time Stands Still Leave the Light On Train Home Live As I'll Ever Be Drive You Home Again Small Revelations Up on the Lowdown Happier Blue Another Way to Find You It Ain't Easy
12/4/09 SYRACUSE, NY • May Memorial • 8pm, $15
12/5/09 PORTSMOUTH, RI • Common Fence Community Hall • 401.683.5085 • 8pm, $25 12/10/09 PIERMONT, NY • The Turning Point 845.359.1089 • 8pm, $30 12/11/09 BORDENTOWN, NJ • The Record Collector 609.324.0880 • 7:30pm, $20/25 12/12/09 CANTON, CT • Roaring Brook Nature Center 860.693.0263 • 7:30pm, $25
2010 1/9/10 SELLERSVILLE, PA • Sellersville Theatre 215.257.5808 • 8pm, $27.50/ $37.50 1/16/10 MIDDLEBURY, VT • After Dark Music Series 802.388.0216 • 7pm, $15-20 1/23/10 PORTLAND, ME • One Longfellow Square 207.239.1855 • 8pm, $22/25 1/30/10 ELMER, NJ • Appel Farm Arts & Music Center 800.394.8478 • $25 2/3/10 SOLDATNA, AK • Peninsula Grace Brethren Church • 7:30pm, $25 2/4/10 HOMER, AK • The Down East Saloon • $21/23 2/5/10 PALMER, AK • Vagabond Blues • $25 2/6/10 ANCHORAGE, AK • Snow Goose Theatre 7:30pm • $22.50 – $25 2/12/10 SAN DIEGO, CA • Acoustic Music San Diego 619.303.8176 • 7:30pm, $25 2/13/10 HOUSTON, TX • The Mucky Duck 713.528.5999 • Two Shows: 7pm & 9:30pm, $25 2/16/10 FORT SMITH, AR • Second Street Live 479.782.5483 • 7:30pm
Written by: Joyce Ziehli
ROSANNE CASH NEW ALBUM,
ALBUM FEATURES CASH’S CONTEMPORARY INTERPRETATIONS OF SONGS FROM A LIST OF ESSENTIAL COUNTRY SONGS PASSED ON TO HER BY HER LEGENDARY FATHER SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDE ELVIS COSTELLO, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, JEFF TWEEDY, RUFUS WAINWRIGHT Acclaimed singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash released her 12th studio album, entitled The List, on Manhattan Records on October 6th,2009. This stunning work features Cash’s contemporary interpretations of 12 classic songs culled from a list of essential country tunes that her legendary father Johnny gave her in 1973, and filtered through her own unique, sophisticated perspective. Known primarily for her stellar songwriting, Cash showcases her incredible voice on The List — her first-ever covers record.As a result, the album is Rosanne Cash like you’ve never heard her before as she embraces her heritage and sings for the pure love and beauty of these songs which have shaped who she is as an artist. The idea for The List came about while Cash was on tour promoting her 2006 studio album, the critically heralded, Grammy-nominated Black Cadillac — a reflective song cycle about the loss of her father,mother Vivian Liberto,and stepmother June Carter Cash. During the well-received multi-media event Black Cadillac: In Concert, Cash told audicontinued on page 30
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Santa Came Early... Again...This Year. (I must have been a very good boy)
ike all things in nature this article is the completion of a circle. To best understand the “AGAIN” part of the title please reference to the December ~ January 2009 issue of this fine publication. All back issues of the Gazette are available on line at www.americanagazette.net. You will find an article by yours truly entitled “Santa Came Early This Year” in that issue. That article explains the gift of the Holiday last year for me. See you after the show! This was my departing statement to Bob as the door to room 312 at the historic and beautiful Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee slammed shut. I had trouble deciding which shirt to wear as I brought three with me. I also had 3 LP’s and a CD along and needed to decide which to bring with me for the evening. I picked the green shirt with a silk-screened image of a 20 something year old Brian Wilson. Simple and understated I thought, a cool way show my affection for the man who’s music has meant more to me than any other artist. Under my arm was tucked the LP That Lucky Old Sun Brian’s newest effort trying to capture and convey the mood of Southern California and LA in the fifties and sixties. As I spun out the revolving door turning left and heading down the street the sun was setting and my mind was reeling. I was to meet my buddy Jeff by the back stage door as he had obtained amazing second row seats for the evening’s show. Jeff who is also a long time Brian Wilson / Beach Boys fan also has become good friends with many members of Brian’s current touring band. Because of this connection Jeff was able to secure two back stage passes for a party after the show. Jeff, being a seasoned pro at this sort of thing knew what to expect. I had no idea. Never in my life had I been offered the chance to mingle with the band after a concert. My mind was numb thinking I may somehow get to meet my musical hero. As Jeff and I chatted standing by the tour bus parked curbside outside the stage door, Jeff filled me in on some of his experiences with this sort of thing. He was gently trying to tell me that more than likely Brian would not be at the after show gathering as they usher him out to the bus right after the end of the show As the sound check began I could hear bits and pieces of the music I grew up on seeping out through the back stage door. As you can imagine when your hero is only separated by a concrete wall from you, your mind tends to begin to hope for something magical.
And by golly, there was magic in the air that night! Jeff had gotten a call from his buddy Al. Al also a long time fan had attended Brian’s show the previous night and was promised two back stage passes for that event. Somehow the message did not get through and the passes were not waiting for him. Al e-mailed the band member who had made the arrangements and because of the slip up the band member offered Al four Meet and Greet passes with Brian 45 minutes before the Milwaukee show. Al had planned to bring his son and two friends from his church with him to the show and they were all going to have the chance to meet Brian with the all access passes that were promised. As the 7:00 hour approached Al called again to share that the friends were not going to be able to make the show in time for the meet and greet so would Jeff and I like to switch our back stage passes for the two all access passes and attend the meet and greet with Brian along with Al and his son. Yes, non-believers I DID hear sleigh bells in the air! Soon Al showed up with his son and upon returning from the ticket window handed Jeff and me our green all access passes with an M&G marked across the front. In my hand was perhaps the most amazing gift I had ever received. Within 10 minutes of Al’s arrival we were ushered into the side door of the Pabst Theater to be cleared to enter the meet and greet. We were allowed first crack at the merchandise table and a chance to visit with one another about the special event that was about to happen. I was standing near a door and a security guy said, “Okay, I’ll start with you” and taps me on the shoulder. He opened the door which revealed a staircase leading down into the basement. Now if you have ever seen any sort of rock and roll documentary where the band travels a long way from the dressing room to the stage, this was exactly like that. Down the concrete steps the four of us went myself, Jeff, Al and his son as they took folks down in small groups. At the bottom of the stairs was a long narrow hallway with bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The hall led to the boiler room and shouts of “Watch your head” were heard from Mr. Security. Ducking under the pipes we were continued on page 31
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COUNTRY SCHOOLS, part 2
he article I wrote last year about the Christmas programs in country schools brought me more feedback than any other thing I wrote all year long. Keeping that in mind, I will talk more about being a student and being a teacher in a country school (rural school to some people). School life began for me in a country school west of Columbus, Wisconsin. I remember we lived on a farm the farthest end from the school, so my walk there was a long one. It was rare that I got a ride, but I do know that on Valentine’s Day that first year of school I got a ride to school. I was assigned to bring a bowl of red Jell-O to the Valentine’s Day Party. It was a very icy day, and my dad put chains on the car, drove on the gravel shoulder of the road, and gave me and my Jell-O a ride to school. We made it fine with the Jello-O intact. I don’t remember much else about my time in that school. On March 1st we moved to a farm on highway 92 outside of Brooklyn, Wisconsin. I was then enrolled in the McLaughlin School. Today it is someone’s home. My teacher was Miss Ann Smith. Unfortunately she was often sick because of asthma. We had a string of substitutes that year and during my second grade year. I loved school. I loved the school work. I loved the recess time, and whenever the weather was bad, I loved those special games we played inside the school. I remember most of them to this day: wink-em, clap in clap out, authors, crazy eights, hearts, and chalk board games like hangman and 7 up. In the spring of my second grade year, Mrs. Helen Ginner did her practice teaching in our school. She became my favorite teacher of all time. At the end of the year, Miss Ann Smith announced she was not coming back in the fall, for she was moving to Arizona because of her asthma. Much to my delight Mrs. Ginner was hired to replace her. For the next four years Mrs. Ginner was my teacher. She was creative and stern and worked us hard on the basics. She also was would bring us special treats at various time during the year. She remained my favorite teacher throughout those years. A few years ago I attended her funeral in Oregon. I was saddened to find myself as the only former student in attendance. She was very happy when I became a teacher, and in the circle of things I was the teacher of many of her relatives including two of her grandchildren. I can still recite the names of the other classmates in those years in the McLaughlin School. There are many bright memories of those years, and one of them is the weekly iodine tablets we took. I loved them! Some kids hated them and slipped theirs to me. They were a chocolate f lavor, and we had to take them because Wisconsin soil has little iodine, and at that time our diets contained few foods rich in iodine. w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
My years as a student in a country school contain nothing but wonderful happy memories for me. I can still smell the burning leaves and grass after our annual spring raking. I can still taste those hot dogs grilled over the bonfire of those leaves and grass. I can smell the fresh spring air when we took our annual hike four or five miles away to a small creek—I was always one of the first students back to school because I was a fast walker and runner, and to this day I can feel the cold wind on my face as I walked to school and during our recess sledding times. Our teacher let us pour pails of water on our hill at the end of last recess, and, thus, we had a perfect sledding hill the next day. Ah, yes, those country school days were very special to many of us. Fast forward and I was now a teacher in a country school, the Attica School rural Albany. I taught there for five wonderful years. I was blessed with fantastic people that attended the school and parents and relatives and other district folk that supported my efforts in Attica. What did it mean to teach a rural school? You were your own janitor besides running the entire curriculum which consisted of arithmetic, writing, reading, science, social studies, language, music, art, health, manners, penmanship—you name it we taught it. Every grade had every one of those subjects. Classes were short in time, and we consolidated grades for some classes like science grades one and two, science grades three and four, etc. While the teacher ran the class the other students worked at their desks, and older kids helped younger ones if needed. Students sat quietly at their desk, they did not ask to leave the room or ask to move about, and when they finished their work, they read or colored. Recess was our phy ed time. I joined the students in playing with them during recess. We played regular tag, shadow tag, hide and go seek, prisoner’s base, red light green light, Red Rover, softball, tag football, and in winter we played in the snow. At Attica a student brought an old hood of a big car. We turned in on its top, pulled it up a hill, and we climbed in and rode down the hill using a pole to guide us. We repeated this over and over again in the time allowed for recess. I suppose today this would be too dangerous, and the fear of a law suit would prevent us from this fun. I bought a carom board, and we had carom continued on page 31
here is a time between the brown grayness of late fall and the white bleakness of snowy winter that creates a contrast of neither. It is a time when fog has penetrated the freezing night. It is a time in the civilized world where at night frost forms on your windshield despite the full blasting of the defrost system and travel is indeed perilous with the encompassing fog and the dampening cold on the road before you. In the natural world there is a reverse of the earlier frost that hugged the valleys while leaving the hillside as a brown tone photo. Now all hillside vegetation is white as an artic winter and the valleys a brown as the coat of a fall whitetail deer. The fog and frost have combined to give eeriness to distance and the perception of it.
Human structures seem out of place on such days. The frost glazing does not thicken as on those things of nature. There squared edges and mass again contrast the foggy mood. Even the old wood bird house stands out like an abandoned house on a vast prairie of nothingness. Even those birds that move from one area to another dotting between cover and food source are confused. The ruff grouse learned in the fist feeding of morning that this frost could be shake off on the first peck of investigation. It is not as critical as a late winter ice storm as the frost is gone by midday and the fat of fall harvest is still on the bone. Rand Atkinson 12-2-09
That stand of trees that had a background of a grassy brown hillside now becomes a misty silhouette standing alone in broken white against pure white gray. Every hillside shrub or blade of grass is covered with thick frost giving each a stark skeleton of pure white. On closer inspection each blade of grass on the hillside that before blended into those stems in front and back now stand as individuals with there own personality and description. Now each species differences are as plain as if you where looking through as magnifying glass at the details that separate them. Those that had their terminal seed heads browsed by deer or eaten by birds could easily be identified from the neighboring stem of who had not lost its now flocculent bounty. The detail in the past deadly frost of fall now gave individual plant meaning to its place in time and space. Crows are creatures that are never caught by surprise because of their keen eyesight and guarded nature; but add a fog frost and you are surely going to catch them in a scavenging haunt. Sky and land come together, the white frost trees, shrubs, and grasses blending their white coats into each. Black contrast of crows and their caw on the misty silence disturbs the eerie calm.
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he proud parents of this fledgling newspaper, Andy and Joyce, asked me to consider doing a column for each issue. They said I could cover whatever I wanted in that column, so after a few seconds of thought, I agreed. So this is my maiden voyage in a column covering whatever comes up in my life. I have had previous experience in column writing a sports column in the old BELLEVILLE RECORDER. Have you ever stayed at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee? All my life I have heard about it including stories of it being haunted. Apparently some big league baseball players won’t stay there because of the possibility of encountering a ghost while staying there. On a recent Saturday night it became apparent that I would be staying overnight in Milwaukee, so I went on line (as everyone does now) and found the site for the Pfister Hotel. I copied down the toll free phone number and was immediately connected to a very pleasant and helpful employee who got me a room and told me I qualified for a reduced rate. I never was sure what made me qualified, but I was more than willing to accept the reduced rate. The hotel is just as I had heard. It looks like a movie set of a hotel from those old movies featuring Betty Davis or Joan Crawford. The Pfister has a large lobby, art work all over the place with the wall paintings huge in size with large gilded frames, the floor is marble, the staff wears uniforms, there is a piano bar off the lobby and the sound of the music can be heard up the large stairwells, and on display are items from the 1893 opening of the hotel. And there is a large mural on the lobby ceiling. The staff was friendly and more than willing to help. That evening I sat in the lobby people watching. Do any of you have this fun hobby? There was a wedding reception right off the main desk. The bride and groom were much older than what you would expect, and I saw the bride holding her long white dress up over her high heels parade through the lobby at least three times. Young boys probably at their first wedding walked around with small camera snapping pictures of themselves and the hotel. They were all in dress pants, dress shirts, and wearing a tie. They were constantly touching the tie as if to see if it was still there or maybe they felt choked by it. In the grand ballroom upstairs on an unknown floor to me a gala for the Milwaukee Opera was in full force. I saw many extremely well dressed people travel past me to the nearby elevators. Men were in tuxedos and women were wearing formal dresses. Now I am no fashion expert but I was amazed on two things about the well dressed women: their hand clutched purse seemed to clash with their dresses and their shoes seemed to also clash with everything else they were wearing. Were they simply expressing their individuality and tossing perfect accessorizing out the window? After a time the people watching lost my interest and I returned to my room wondering if a ghost was sharing the room with me. I left the next day without any sign of a ghost. Maybe next time? I am a movie buff, but during the summer I only saw two movies in the theaters. Both will soon be out on DVDs. If you like a feel good movie and one of the most pleasant movies in years, then check out JULIA/JULIE. This film features two great love stories and one of the best acting jobs of the year: Meryl Streep as Julia Child. The other film I saw was TAKING WOODSTOCK. I was disappointed by this movie, but it is a fine movie to check out from the library (it’s free, you know). It is not about the music of Woodstock, but it is a true story of the behind the scenes events leading to the concert and how the locals were affected by the concert. There are no special effects in either movie, so if your idea of a good movie is full of special effects, avoid these two movies. If you had stood outside our walkout the other night, you would have heard the sounds of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. There is a recent new package of this pioneer full length Disney cartoon/movie. It contains a BLU RAY version. As a kid, I remember my Swiss relatives going to this movie just for one scene where the Dwarfs sing, dance, and YODEL. The music for this scene was done by a Milwaukee family of Swiss heritage. This family group often played in Monroe and New Glarus, and so those relatives flocked to the movie for just a brief few moments of“their music and yodeling”. What surprised me about the movie this time around was that the story is told in verse. I had not remembered that from before. It was a good return to one’s childhood on a cool fall night to fall under the enchantment of the Disney Company once again. And finally in these ramblings, I must comment on one of the best acting jobs I have had the pleasure to view in a live play. My final visit to the American Players Theatre this past season was to see LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT. Long time favorite actresses Sarah Day gave an amazing performance as the suffering wife/mother in this powerful play. If Oscars or Tonys were to be given out to area theater works, Ms Day would take home the best actresses award hands down.
JEFF COOK BRINGS “CHRISTMAS JOY “ TO THE MASSES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON With the Holiday Season just around the corner, Jeff Cook a two-time GRAMMY winner and multi-platinum selling founding member of Country Music powerhouse Alabama is pulling out all the stops with the upcoming release of his first ever solo Christmas album, Christmas Joy. As of Tuesday, November 3, the album was available for digital download via i-Tunes, Amazon.com, and Cook's website, www.jeffcook-agb.com. The ten track album will feature several tried-and-true classic Holiday hits including Run, Run Rudolph and Away In A Manger as well as original Alabama material rerecorded by Cook. Legendary Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers The Ventures join Cook, a Country Music Hall of Famer himself, on the project’s title cut, Christmas Joy. Cook also brings in his better half, Mrs. Lisa Cook, for lead vocals on several songs. “This is my first solo Christmas project and I have tried to select varied and not too overplayed Christmas songs" notes Cook. "Enjoy... Merry Christmas!” Christmas Joy Track Listing: 1. Christmas Joy 2. Rock & Roll Guitar 3. Away In A Manger 4. Run, Run, Rudolph 5. Reggae Santa 6. Homecoming Christmas 7. Please Come Home For Christmas 8.The Night Before Christmas 9. If We Make It Through December 10. My First Christmas In Heaven This would make a great addition to your Holiday music or as a gift!!! Information provided to the Americana Gazette by: Absolute Publicity Inc. Don Murry Grubbs, Publicist / President Nashville,TN 37212
Written by: Bob Hoffman
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NEED A Little Variety In Your MUSIC? here are some NEW CD RELEASES to check out! HOLLIS BROWN Hollis Brown, Queens, New York's hottest young band, released their self-titled debut album September 1st. A mix of gritty rock and bluesy pop, Hollis Brown is a clear reflection of a band that has become essential to the New York City music scene because of their infectious music and dynamic live shows. With a sound that is at times retro and at times modern, Hollis Brown is a throwback to artists like Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones, yet they maintain their current appeal with inspired songwriting and relevant lyrics. The band has attracted a devoted following in New York City and in 2008 was selected by Universal/Motown Records as a featured act in its "NYC Rocks" artist showcase. Combined with a recent featured track on the MTV reality show "College Life," appearances at numerous festivals, and sold out shows at high profile venues like The Knitting Factory and Sullivan Hall, Hollis Brown is gaining momentum with quite a buzz. www.hollisbrown.com/ CAROLINE HERRING Released on October 27, 2009 through Signature Sounds, Caroline Herring’s fourth album Golden Apples of the Sun is her most intimate and mature to date. Combining the haunting originals that Caroline Herring is known for with some surprising new takes on old standards, Herring has created an album that at once recalls the folk heyday of the 1960s and 70s while also sounding entirely fresh and new. Unusual for a songwriter as evocative as Herring, half of the material on Golden Apples of the Sun comes from other writers. Her artistry shines through, however, in her understated and surprising reinterpretations of songs, as well as in the choices of the songs she covers. With a confidence that reflects her musical maturity and originality, Herring performs a range of covers from pop (the Cyndi Lauper hit “True Colors”) to traditional blues (“See See Rider”) to the folk music that so strongly inspires her (Joni Mitchell’s “Cactus Tree”). The choices seem like strange bedfellows on paper, but filtered through Herring’s sensibility – stark, elegant, bittersweet – they settle in exquisitely alongside her original compositions, illuminating a new facet of her abilities as both a composer and interpreter. http://www.carolineherring.com/home.php Above info supplied by: Dawn Delvo Lotos Nile Nashville, TN SIX OF WAYLON JENNINGS' INFLUENTIAL RCA ALBUMS TO BE REISSUED ON THREE COLLECTORS' CHOICE CDs
WAYLON JENNINGS REISSUE Waylon Jennings is the recognized father of the Outlaw movement of country, a rebel against the Nashville establishment whose recordings blended honky-tonk, rock 'n' roll and folk in a way virtually nobody else was doing at the time. Collectors' Choice has chosen six of Jennings' many RCA long-players from 1966-'70 and will release them as three twofer CDs: Folk Country/Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan, Love of the Common People/Hangin' On and Waylon/Singer of Sad Songs.The CDs hit the streets on November 24, 2009. Grammy Award-winning annotator/historian Colin Escott wrote the liner notes. CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL - The Singles Collection (Fantasy) Creedence Clearwater Revival's golden era of hit singles (fall of 1968 through spring of 1972) rivals that of any band in rock 'n' roll history. The Southern-flavored quartet from El Cerrito, Calif., turned out 17 hits in a 44-month stretch, nine of them in the Top 10, five of them in the Top 5. On November 3, Fantasy Records released The Singles Collection, a two-CD, one-DVD box with a slip case, containing all of the band's U.S. singles -- 30 songs in all.Top 5 smashes like "Bad Moon Rising," "Green River," "Down on the Corner," "Travelin' Band," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Run Through the Jungle," "Up Around the Bend," "Long As I Can See the Light" and "Lookin' Out My Back Door" are joined by seldom-heard singles that never charted ("Porterville" and "Call It Pretending" on Fantasy's Scorpio subsidiary, and later singles "Tearin' Up the Country" and "45 Revolutions Per Minute [Parts 1 & 2]"). The 30 songs, (which are presented in their original single mixes, many of them in mono --- are making their CD debut), housed on two CDs, will be joined by a DVD containing four never-before-available, long-pre-MTV music videos B. J. THOMAS B.J.Thomas - four CD reissues (Collectors' Choice) - B.J.Thomas is best known for his huge pop hits like “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” But few realize that his support network during his years on Scepter Records (1966-’73) included legendary writers and producers — people like Huey P. Meaux in Houston, Chips Moman and the American Studios session team in Memphis, Buddy Buie and the future Atlanta Rhythm Section in Alabama and Burt Bacharach and Hal David in Los Angeles/New York.The result of this journey — eight albums on Florence Greenberg’s legendary Scepter label —was reissued on November 10 as four individual re-mastered CDs with liner notes by music journalist Michael Ragogna.The eight albums come formatted as four twofers: I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry/Tomorrow Never Comes, On My Way/Young and in Love, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head/Everybody’s Out of Town and Most of All/Billy Joe Thomas. Each twofer also crams on rare single b-sides and unissued masters to create four 26 song CDs. http://www.conqueroo.com/collectorschoicepr.html
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November 24, 2009 – Ray Charles – The Spirit of Christmas (Concord) - Concord Records caps a year in which it reissued many of Ray Charles’ classic albums (Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection, Modern Sounds in Country and Western, A Message From the People and The Genius Hits the Road) with the artist’s only Christmas album of his entire career, The Spirit of Christmas. Concord’s digitally remastered reissue marks the first time the album has been available in more than 12 years. Street date was October 6. Guests: Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter. http://www.conqueroo.com/raycharlespr.html
and producer Tom Wurth released the re-mixed and mastered project, IF THE ROAD RUNS OUT on September 8, 2009. The album comes from Echelon Records, a newly established independent label headed up President Mike Dinwiddie, who is also the Mayor of Spring Hill, Tennessee. Featuring cuts from his self-titled CD as originally released in 2006, the new musical composition includes two new tracks,“I Almost Died Today” and “Your Hometown,” co-produced by Wurth and T.W. Cargile. A “song man,”Tom Wurth is a storyteller who realizes the relationship between his songs and the connection to his listeners.
FREEDY JOHNSON Freedy Johnston - Rain On The City (Bar None) - Rain on the City is Freedy Johnston’s first album of new originals in eight years. Recorded in Nashville with producer Richard McLaurin, it’s one of the best song collections of Freedy’s career, featuring a diverse array of rockers, heartbreaking twang, even hints of blue-eyed soul and bossa nova.The album was released on Bar None on January 12, 2009. Producer McLaurin (Justin Townes Earle, Allison Moorer, Slaid Cleaves, Matthew Ryan) has framed Freedy’s voice with sympathetic arrangements, like the title track “Rain on the City,” whose slashing strings and keyboard washes sound like so much precipitation in an Edward Hopper cityscape. There is radio-friendly fare, such as the epic “Don’t Fall in Love With a Lonely Girl.” and the Buddy Holly-style rave-up “It’s Gonna Come Back to You.” There are also fine vocal performances accompanying the acoustic majesty of “Venus” and the country-rocker “Rio Grande,” where a full-throated Freedy confidently roars over some overdriven guitar pickin’. http://www.conqueroo.com/freedyjohnstonpr.html
Since the self-titled release,Wurth was involved in a lifethreatening automobile accident--the third major accident of his life--and the wreck strengthened his resolve to create organic songs that resonate with his listeners. After the accident, Tom exorcised the tragic event with the candid cut “I Almost Died Today,” which was co-written Bart Butler and Roy Holdren. The nearly true-to-life musical story is a reflective, heart-heavy narrative of a man given a second chance.
February 2010 - Marley's Ghost with Cowboy Jack Clement - Ghost Town (Sage Arts) March 2010 - Great American Taxi - Streets of Gold (Thirty Tigers)
IF THE ROAD RUNS OUT, produced by Bart Butler and John Ford Coley, features 4 co-writes along with songs penned by Coley, Rivers Rutherford, Shane Minor, George Teren and more.The 10-song CD is a map of life’s winding roads and hits home with cuts like “Good Ground,”“Bread On The Table,” and “It Ain’t What You’re Thinking,” songs that expound on the values he was taught growing up in Iowa. Wurth takes his listeners on a walk through loves lost, heartache and regret with “Is This Lonely” and “Every Time I Close My Eyes.”Through all of the ups and downs, Tom never loses hope and strives to live life to the fullest in “Make Time For Loving You” and “Leaving Lonely Behind.” Above info supplied by: Music City News Media & Marketing Kat Atwood Nashville, TN
Above info supplied by: Cary Baker conqueroo Studio City, CA 91604 ANNA GARROTT Garrott’s Single Success Ushers In Full-Length Release— ONLY TIME WILL TELL Nashville’s Blue Steel Records and its ingénue,Anna Garrott, are pleased to announce the October digital release of Garrott’s full-length album ONLY TIME WILL TELL. Released regionally as an independent project in 2008 (under the J&V imprint d/b/a Blue Steel Records), ONLY TIME WILL TELL translates Anna’s Southern charm, spunky disposition and strong voice. A twenty-something with loads of attitude polished in class, Anna Garrott speaks volumes in song.A cool-summer cocktail that goes down slow and easy, and is intoxicating by design, Anna Garrott is sugarplum sweet with a jalapeno kick! ONLY TIME WILL TELL is 100% proof. The 10-song collection (produced by Rick Holt) has a hint of southern rock shaken and stirred with a dose of traditional country. Tracks like “Trouble Is a Woman” and “Get The Hell Outta Dodge” ignite a flame and prove Anna is no dying ember. “Pink Roses” and “Silver Wings” offer the listener a glimpse of Anna’s softer side making transparent a vulnerability that only a pure-hearted woman can possess. For more information on Anna Garrott visit www.AnnaGarrott.com /or/ www.myspace.com/AnnaGarrott. TOM WURTH TOM WURTH RETURNS WITH NEWLY MASTERED ALBUM—IF THE ROAD RUNS OUT Near Death Accident Inspires “Wurth-y” New Single and Lease On Life
CADILLAC JOE MEMORIAL WINTERFEST LOOKING FOR A FUN EVENING FOR A GOOD CAUSE? The lineup for the "Cadillac Joe Memorial Winterfest" has been set. It will be at the Nigh Noon Saloon on Dec. 26th, 2009, music starts at 830PM. Beth Kille of Clear Blue Betty fame will get the music started followed by a Tribute to Cadillac Joe performed by Aaron Williams on Guitar, Z on Bass, Jimmy Voegeli on the Hammond and Michael Brenneis on the Drums. We'll also have many special guests that will join us throughout the set. To close the night out The Jimmy's will get your toes tapping! This is a great band with a full horn section and some of the coolest grooves you'll hear. All proceeds will go to cancer research in Cadillac Joe's name. We hope all of you can make it out.
What Do I Do?
Today I had three people within an hour ask me what I do. One of these people even knows me, quite well in fact. I returned the question with what do you mean what do I do? The two people who were not acquaintances said you seem like a very interesting person and very knowledgeable. We are just trying to figure out what you did for a living. This took me by surprise. What kind of image was I projecting to the general public? How were people seeing me? What did I look like through their lenses? It made me think.The perception someone has of you determines how they treat and interact with you. Was I putting out bad pheromones? Was I looking like a buffoon? Did I come across as Wylie Coyote Super Genius, or was I a combination of all three? My guess is that they just could not figure me out. What I do 24 hours a day is live and breathe music. Like my buddies I dream of that big stage or recording studio that I will never play on. That does not stop me from trying though. Music is the one gift that you can give to someone that will keep on giving that whole person’s life. It is the one gift that can be passed on to the next generation and you know that they too will pass it on. Music is life, plain and simple. It is a gift, a curse, and a reward all in one. It is the one thing in life you are never too young or too old to learn and enjoy. It is peace and passion at the same time. Music is me, and what I do is be me. So when people ask me what I do I tell them I’m a musician, writer, teacher, song writer, bus driver, consultant, friend, husband, comedian, smart ass, boss, and philosopher. In any order on any given day. I’m complicated and I’m a simple explanation. I’m eccentric, and I’m common, but mostly I’m just me. I’m Andy! I don’t have to be anything else but that (and being Andy is a full-time gig). So what I do is be Andy. Nothing more, nothing less. So in the words of the great Charlie Pride song “I was just born to be exactly what you see, today and every day, I'm just me.” Written by: Andy Ziehli
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Happy Holidays Andy’s Top 10 CD Releases for to all 2009 you Americana Gazette Readers;
1. The Band of Heathens, One Foot in the Ether. This rocks! You have to own it! Read the CD review this issue. Did I say it Rocks! It rolls too! Number one all the way. 2. Kieran Kane, Somewhere beyond the roses. This CD is excellent! If you like material that is just a little off center in timing, content, and instrumentation you will love this CD. The man just keeps getting better with age. 3. Eric Brace & Peter Cooper, You don’t have to like both of them. This is a wonderful CD made by two of Americana’s finest songwriters and entertainers. You can’t go wrong here. Great songs, great stories, great guys. Don’t let this one pass you by. Red Beat Records all the way!
his past year has been a blast for all of us here at the AG. We have gotten to know so many new friends, readers, and writers. Anne Sullivan and Jenna Knapp have joined us as writers and photographers. Aaron Williams has added a new column to his already outstanding writing for the AG. Bob Hoffman is writing two wonderful columns for us now, and Litt Dubay is still trying not to offend anyone. We had a wonderful time and experience at the Americana Music Association conference in Nashville this fall. We witnessed the return to Wisconsin of Beth Kille, saw Brianna Hardyman make a superiorly strong comeback to the stage after a life threatening health scare, and saw our friends Eric Brace and Peter Cooper climb the charts with their release of You don’t have to like them both CD. Rick Tvedt was honored as one of the 10 People who most inf luenced the direction of music in Madison in the 2000’s (and rightfully so), the Raindogs continued to be the most awesome Green County Band, Patrick Bodell opened his recording studio in Monroe, Blackwater Gin continued to heat up the stage with awe-inspiring shows, and Paul Griffith, Tim Carroll and Jim Gray proved that they are the hottest and most durable rhythm section in Americana Music today ( more on these great players in the next edition of the AG). Finally we saw the Bathtub Mothers, Amber Skies, and Kaia Fowler all play incredible shows at the Fat Cat for the party on the Patio this past summer. The upcoming year hopefully will bring new beginnings and a renewed sense of hope to all of you. The economy is still the dominate force that is bringing all of us to rethink how we will spend our leisure time. A very bright note in that category is the fact that on July 5, 2010 Wisconsin will become Smoke Free in all public places, which means more of you will hopefully becoming out to
see live music! I can’t wait! Supporting live music and buying CD’s of local musicians is great way to help super charge the local economy. The increase in people coming out to see live music will increase the venues that feature it ,and hopefully we can grow our local arts and music economy to the likes of Austin Texas were musicians can make a “good” living applying their art.
The Americana Gazette will have a few changes in 2010. We will be covering the whole State of Wisconsin in arts and music, adding additional pages to cover more national and international Americana acts and artists, featuring more articles on artists ala painters, sculptors, writers, etc., distributing the AG in larger quantities across Wisconsin, and launching Americana Gazette
Radio on the web. To help us accomplish this we are looking for more writers and photographers especially in the northern and central parts of Wisconsin. If you are interested in becoming a feature or freelance contributor to the AG please get a hold of me. Also if you have any artists that you would like to see covered in the AG let us know about them. We are always looking for CD’s and live shows to review from Wisconsin artists. Any clubs, coffee houses, bars, bookstores, etc that would like to distribute the AG please too contact us. I hope that all of you end this year on a positive note, and that 2010 is a better year for all of us. Think good thoughts, perform good deeds, and support your local artists and art communities. Have a fantastically wonderful fudge and holiday season! Andy Ziehli Senior Editor
4. The Bath Tub Mothers self titled CD. My personal favorite for a Wisconsin release. These guys are a hoot to watch and listen too. More music out of a three piece than most 5 -6 pieces bands. Teachers by day, musicians by weekend, these guys are the best. 5. Briana Hardyman, People Like Me. Briana’s voice is one of my favorite to listen to. She sings like an angel with the grittiness of a soul singer. The lady rocks! After a health scare earlier this summer Briana is back belting out the tunes and we are glad she is. This CD is worth tracking down. It’s that good! 6. Various Artists Keep Your Soul, A Tribute to Doug Sahm. I loved the Sir Douglas Quintet. Augie Meyer’s organ and Sir Doug’s vocals and songwriting always makes me smile. This CD will make you smile too. 7. John Doe and the Sadies, Country Club. This is a fantastic CD filled with great songs. Doe’s smoke tinged vocals and Sadies picking makes this one of my top picks for 2009. 8. Kristi Rose & Fats Kaplin, 7. Although not a full length CD this seven song EP is also worth searching for. Fantastic songs by one of the best singers this side of the Mississippi Kirstie Rose. Her husband Fats Kaplin is my favorite musician in the world. If it has strings he can play it and play it well. Hat’s off to the nicest performing couple in Americana Music. 9. Scott Miller, For Crying Out Loud. This CD does not have a bad song on it. It is the blue print if you want to make a great CD. It has everything! It’s one hell of a listen. 10.Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie & Tom T. Tom T. Hall and his lovely wife Miss Dixie put out the best bluegrass CD I have ever heard. Fantastic Songs, truly great stories, and the best pickers you’ll ever hear. One of the best I heard in 2009. If you love Bluegrass you have to own this CD. If you don’t love Bluegrass buy this CD and you will love it. A homerun all the way.
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reasons why it is a good idea.You can’t really, and I quote, unquote, compete with the majors but you can get your product out there. There’s the artistic freedom, creative control, got your own website, sell it from the road, you do your own thing. AG: Do you and your husband ever record together or do gigs together? PT: He is more of the producer/co-producer, more on the technical side. His Dad comes from a musical background. His Dad is a legendary fiddle player. Matt’s into the business side of things. It works better that way. Our strengths really compliment each other. AG: Is being a music artist your dream job? What other jobs have you had throughout your lifetime? PT: The grass always looks greener on the other side. Every once in awhile I’ll think, oh, I’d love to be a superstar interior designer, clothes designer or maybe an organic farmer. I love all that. Maybe I could write for the New York Times book review and I could read all the time. Really, I have a fabulous job! I have waitressed in the past and sold Avon for about two weeks. I even cleaned houses and have a deep appreciation for them as I still always clean up my hotel rooms before I leave them. I always think to myself, I’ve done this job. AG: What would be a Pam Tillis dream come true moment? Something you have always wanted to do? PT: There are tons of things. I have a long bucket list. Some friends of mine were organizing a cross-country train tour and concert series. That’s been done before a long, long time ago in the 60’s, but I think that would be a blast. I got to sing with one of the Beatles in the past. I sang with Ringo but I haven’t got to sing with Paul yet. That would be amazing. I’ve never been on Saturday Night Live either. AG: Any new CD’s in the works? PT: Yes and no. We are trying to do a new greatest hits package and some rerecorded versions. We have to finish that project. In the back of my head, I’m working on the project beyond that. I’m writing, I’m actually doing more writing then I’ve done in years. It’s just gonna take a little bit of time. After reading this interview, you can see what I mean. Pam Tillis is a very talented woman and has a great sense of humor as well. Pam Tillis is indeed worth checking out in concert. She has a beautiful voice, is a super nice person to talk with, and I’m honored to have had the chance to speak with her. Check out her website at: www.pamtillis.com. Pick up her latest CD, “Rhinestoned” and/or her Christmas CD. Here are a few of her upcoming gigs: December 11, Grand Ronde, OR December 19, Silver Springs, FL December 31, Box Elder, MT January 9, Rama, Ontario January 23, Orlando, FL February 18,Tuolumne, CA February 19, Brooks, CA February 20, Acoma, NM April 03, Kissimmee, FL April 24, Charlotte, NC April 30, Suffolk, VA May 8, Houston,TX
Amelia Curran ♪♪♪♪♪ War Brides Style: Americana Somewhere in the cracks of the tectonic plates that are folk music, bluegrass, old timey, etc, you will find Amelia Curran. You can’t put your finger on exactly what she is or where the next song is going to take you. I was given a copy of her 2006 release, War Brides and instantly I fell in love with the music. The opening track, Scattered and Small is an awesome opener. I was taken aback by the harmonies, and how much depth it gave the song. It is simply a beautiful song. Quickly I thought of her as a Regina Spektor with a guitar, but she’s no copy or imitator. The next song that caught my attention was the playful You Won’t Find Me. In this song lies one of my favorite lines from the album, “Now that sun comes up everyday just to show me how it’s done I think. I get things in my own way, and when the sun goes away I drink”. Every time I hear that line I laugh. Curran’s lyrics seem to make you nod in agreement, or just smile at the wit of her songs. The middle of the album is marked by the haunting Devils, and the country Everything I’ve Got to Give. I guess the slide guitar immediately makes me think country, but then the album switches track and offers us a seducing/Latin/tango/gypsy number called All the Ladies. Then in comes the accordion and you feel like you are in Paris as the music is swirling out of the shadows, then the next song pulls you in another direction. This album shows us a wide array of human emotions, all intertwined and relatable. Every one of these songs has something that will grab your attention. It’s a very captivating record. Curran leaves us with the lazy sounding The Sunday Song. War Brides is the kind of album that is an experience. It offers you highs and lows and in-betweens. This is a must have album, and Curran is an artist that you must keep your eye on. I also found out that Curran has recently released another record, Hunter Hunter. So, make sure to watch out for my review on that album. If my gut feeling is right,Amelia Curran won’t disappoint.
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Would you like to check out an exciting campaign running online? Bush launched Sam Bush Television with his thoughts on the title track Circles Around Me, a song co-written by Bush and Nashville-based performer and songwriter Jeff Black. Each episode features a track from the October 20, 2009 release Circles Around Me, and will follow a song by song format where Sam tells the story behind each song.The series will continue with eagerly awaited episodes of Bush discussing all Circles Around Me tracks, which include collaborations with bluegrass legends Del McCoury, Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas, and, thanks to the discovery of an old demo, New Grass Revival co-founder Courtney Johnson (posthumously) - as well as the vast contributions of his group of worldrenowned musicians, the Sam Bush Band. Episode two on Sam Bush Television is an insider's look into his CD release party that was held at The Sound Emporium and features interviews with Del McCoury, Jerry Douglas Garth Fundis and many more!
Review by: Rob Kosmeder
You can find the widget here: http://www.lotosnile2.com/sambush/widget.asp sambush.com/sbtv youtube.com/sambushmusic
Background information and photos provided by: Don Murry Grubbs,“Absolute Publicity” , Nashville,TN Story by: Joyce Ziehli
SAM BUSH TELEVISION HAS LAUNCHED ONLINE
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Above info supplied by: Dawn Delvo Lotos Nile Nashville,TN
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years down the road, I decided to include that. I told Mary, his widow what I had done, and gave them half publishing and Roger half credit for writing.
Black Gold is a co-write with Leslie Satcher and is a tribute to my father, an oil field worker. I owe a lot to Leslie Satcher as I try to jump start this career back in Nashville. I also wrote a song with John Randall Stewart. That’s how the album came about. AG: The song Say Nashville (Wadda Ya Say) is your fence mending peace offering to the town which you considered your home away from home. How has Nashville been upon your return, receptive? LG: The crowd has opened their arms to us. A lot of younger songwriters tell me they want to write songs with me. Nothing but encouragement. Mike Curb is the owner of the best record company in the world. He’s a great guy, he’s a music guy, and their whole company has opened their arms and are working really hard on my project. The Grand Ole Opry people welcomed us back, the town has welcomed us back! So I’m very grateful for that and we are going to go back and try to correct some of the mistakes we made last time. We should be 35 years wiser. AG: I listen to your CD all the time. I like to listen to it in the car when I am by myself so that I can really hear the words. I don’t like to listen when people are talking all around me. Your songs have such great stories. LG: In a way I wish that they would put all of my songs in an elevator. I mean I kind of wish they would, I’m not sure. On one hand it would make me a lot of money, but on the other hand, I don’t think I want to be background music for elevator conversations. It’s kind of a catch 22. I want people to listen to the words. I write music from my heart and my gut, and from whatever God given ability I have so that people will hear. That’s not to say that I won’t let them play them at a beer joint while everyone is dancing and cutting up. You are kind of dammed if you do, and damned if you don’t. I’m going to take it all together and just say it’s all good. AG: What venues will you be playing? Staying in the States or venturing out of country? LG: For ten years we did nothing on the road. The last 5 or 6 years we have kind of done it part time, piece mealed a bit, no real organization, just going out and singing every once in awhile. This has kind of gotten old, and too difficult. It’s too hard on men and equipment, to not have buses and everybody flying from the 4 corners of the Earth. Part of us live in New York, part in Nashville, some in Memphis, and I live in Austin, Rudy lives in Dallas, it’s just to difficult logistically to do it. When we decided to start over, we said hey, let’s go back, let’s do it right. It’s a lot easier to do it if you have a 10 day stretch and do 7 shows, than to do a 2 day stretch with 2 shows. It just really is. Maybe we will try to do about 100 dates a year. We will play wherever people will stack up green dead presidents. AG: Any more new CD’s in the works? LG: Not yet. I’m always writing songs. My intentions are that 2010 is it. We are going to play the rest of 2009, see how 2010 pans out.
See if people accept our music and we can go out and make a decent living that way. That would be great, if not, we’ll have to fold a tent and do something different again. AG: You could go back and be a waiter? LG: I may have to. There has not been a country music star bailout yet!! AG: What do you do to relax, besides golf? LG: I spend a lot of time with my grandchildren. This morning I took my 3rd grade granddaughter to school, then my 4 year old granddaughter off to the park to play. We did our exercises. I push her in the swing, and while she is swinging, I do my push ups and my wind sprints, stretches and we do yoga together. AG: Is this a typical Larry Gatlin day? LG: I just do what has to be done. I believe in getting up and getting the work done. When the work is done you can go play. AG: Do you have any other siblings besides Rudy and Steve? LG: We have a baby sister, LaDonna. She is a wonderful singer. You can Google her, LaDonna Gatlin, she’s a motivational speaker, does solo work and is absolutely fabulous. Check her out. AG: Well, I have kept you past our dedicated time. It was wonderful speaking with you and I wish you the best of luck in your revitalized career. I’m also looking forward to your next CD. LG: Thank you. It was a pleasure visiting with you. Now you have it. The latest scoop on the Gatlin boys. Larry, Steve and Rudy are a team. Larry wouldn’t be where he is at today without his siblings. Please check them out at: www.gatlinbrothers.musiccitynetworks.com or learn more about the latest CD at www.johnnycashisdadandhishouseburneddown.com . Duluth, GA • December 03, 2009 TBA • Larry Gatlin with The Gaither Homecoming Christmas Tour The Arena At Gwinnett Center Wilkesboro, NC • December 04, 2009 Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers John A. Walker Community Center Findlay, OH • December 05, 2009 • 8:00 PM Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Findlay Central Auditorium • ticket info coming soon Wabash, IN • December 10, 2009 • TBA Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers Honeywell Center • Call 1-800-626-6345 Fort Worth, TX • December 16, 2009 • 7:30 PM Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers • Bass Hall Hartford, WI • December 19, 2009 • 3:00 & 7:30 Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Schauer Arts Center Written by: Joyce Ziehli CD info and photos supplied by: Don Murry Grubbs, President Absolute Publicity Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org www.absolutepublicity.com
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ences how, when she was 18, her father became alarmed that his daughter appeared to lack a deep understanding of country music (having been obsessed with The Beatles and steeped in Southern California rock and pop music). Johnny gave her a list of the “100 Essential Country Songs” and told her that it was her education and she should learn them all. “The List was far-ranging and thorough,” Cash says. “It was assembled from my father’s intuitive understanding of each critical juncture in the evolution of country music.There were old Appalachian folk ballads, and the songs of Jimmie Rodgers and Woody Guthrie. The influence of gospel and Southern blues were crucial. Then he segued into rockabilly and the birth of modern country music by way of Hank Williams, and up to the present, which was then 1973. He also included a couple of his own songs. I endeavored to learn them all and it was an education,” she says.“I looked to that list as a standard of excellence, and to remind myself of the tradition from which I come.This album enables me to validate the connection to my heritage rather than run away from it, and to tie all the threads together: past and future, legacy and youth, tradition the timelessness.” Through her stylish interpretations, Cash manages to transcend genre on The List, proving that these songs deserve a permanent place in the American Songbook. Produced and arranged by Grammy-Award winner John Leventhal (Cash’s husband, who also contributes striking guitar work throughout), The List includes Cash’s covers of songs by The Carter Family (“Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow”), Hank Williams (“Take These Chains From My Heart”), Jimmie Rodgers (“Miss The Mississippi and You”), Hank Cochran/Patsy Cline (“She’s Got You”), Merle Haggard (“Silver Wings”), and Bob Dylan (“Girl From the North Country,” famously done by Dylan and Johnny Cash in 1969).The album also features a host of special guests whom Cash admires, including Bruce Springsteen (on “Sea of Heartbreak”), Elvis Costello (on “Heartaches by the Number”), Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy (on “Long Black Veil”), and Rufus Wainwright (on “Silver Wings”). The List is the first album Cash has made since she underwent surgery in 2007 for a benign brain condition, from which she has fully recovered. When it came time to record a new album, Cash was happy to step back from the heavy themes of Black Cadillac and do a covers record that showcased her voice. It also has enabled her to finally share with the world The List of songs her father passed down to her alone. “If my father had been a martial arts master, he might have passed a martial arts ‘secret’ on to me, his oldest child,” Cash says. “If he had been a surgeon, he might have taken me into his operating room and pointed out the arteries and organs. If he were a robber baron, he might have surveyed his empire and said, ‘Honey, some day this will all be yours!’. But he was a musician and a songwriter, and he gave me The List.” For more about Rosanne Cash and The List, please visit www.rosannecash.com. The track-listing for The List is as follows: 1.“Miss the Mississippi and You” 2.“Motherless Children” 3.“Sea of Heartbreak” (w/ Bruce Springsteen) 4.“Take These Chains From My Heart” 5.“I’m Movin' On” 6.“Heartaches by the Number” (w/ Elvis Costello) 7.“500 Miles” 8.“Long Black Veil” (w/ Jeff Tweedy) 9.“She’s Got You” 10.“Girl From the North Country” 11.“Silver Wings” (w/ Rufus Wainwright) 12.“Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow” Information from: Rosanne Cash Website w w w. a m e r i c a n a g a z e t t e . n e t
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let to another door and a short hallway. As we cleared that hallway I was instructed to “Wait here”. Sure thing I said. “Okay, c’mon in” was the next thing I heard and as I turned the corner there stood the great Brian Wilson. He is much taller in person than I imagined. He was wearing a light blue button down shirt a pair of khaki dress pants and sneakers and looked comfortable. His full head of hair is salt and pepper in color. I stood there in amazement for a moment then told Al and his son to be the first to meet him as Al was responsible for my being there in the first place. I offered Jeff the next round for the same reason. Selfishly this gave me a few more moments to observe and be in the same space as my hero.
Lyle Lovett ♪♪♪♪♪ Natural Forces Style: Americana/Country This is my first time ever hearing Lyle Lovett. I mean, sure, I’ve heard of him, but I had never heard his music before, so I was excited to listen to an artist for the first time. Lovett has been in the business since 1986, has won four Grammy Awards, including Best Country Album in 1996, and has even been in the movies. None of that matters. This was my first Lovett experience and I would have to say I may have to buy a few more of his albums. Lovett is usually thrown in the country genre, but he draws from folk, jazz and blues, which gives him his unique sound. For some reason I felt like people have tried to tell me that his music was very different, almost to the weird extreme, but I would have to disagree. The album starts out with the strong title track Natural Forces.“I’m subject to the natural forces, home is where my horse is” sings Lovett, reminding us already that we aren’t invincible. He lightens the mood immediately with the swinging Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel. The chorus put a big grin on my face, but I won’t spoil it for you. Empty Blue Shoes the next track that I really noticed and it is just a great song. It’s as simple as that. A touching ballad that defiantly sticks out among the rest. The following song was something different. Whooping Crane shows us strange, but somehow peaceful images, in the end sad. The jazzy Bohemia just shows us how far Lovett can stretch his musical arms. Cover songs of different areas of music and making them his own. About half of the record is made up of cover songs. They all fit perfectly with his own. A good song deserves to be played, and I’m glad he decided to do Townes Van Zandt’s Loretta. I enjoyed Steve Earle’s rugged and stomping version on his most recent record Townes, and Lovett’s version was right up there with it. Maybe a little sweeter than Earle’s version, but it’s just as strong. That’s how I would describe this whole album, sweet, but strong, or would it be strong, but sweet? Well, either way, great album.
Meeting ones hero can be a dicey thing. I had so much I wanted to say to Brian. All the moments in my life that had his music as its soundtrack. The things I wanted to share with Brian were tripping over themselves in my head. How was I ever going to let this great man know what he means to me? As I observed Brian in those few moments I witnessed the outward signs of the inward struggles that have been a part of Brian’s adult life. His hands shook at his sides. He said nothing to Al or Jeff as he signed their items and his eyes were filled with fear. His personal assistant was the gobetween guy as we approached Brian. My turn next. Approaching Brian I extended my hand asking if I may shake his. A very hesitant hand found mine, and I gently shook it. I asked if he would please sign my album and handed him my sharpie pen. I have a tattoo on my left fore arm that I was hoping to have him sign as well. My plan was to then have his signature tattooed the next day. After signing my LP I asked his assistant if Brian would be able to sign my arm. “No,” he said. That was it. No time to look in his eyes and tell him all the times his music has literally saved my life. No chance to ask the questions or get his insights into the important songs of his that were favorites of mine. My meeting of Brian Wilson had come and gone just about as fast as a rainbow after a summer storm. As Jeff and I found our seats which were right in front of Brian we talked about “the” moment. We spoke of Brian’s history of stunning song writing, some of which will remain the most inspired music of the 60’s. We spoke of the personal struggles Brian has faced and conquered. We both sat quietly in deep appreciation being able to not only see this amazing artist perform but also to have been offered the chance to meet the man. This was a Greatest Hits tour so we heard all the songs we loved. When the opening notes of my personal favorites met my ears the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I just soaked it in. The LP tucked under my arm had on it’s cover the signature of the man on the stage and in my memory is forever imprinted the experience of shaking his hand.
Review by: Rob Kosmeder The final notes of the evening faded and we were ushered backstage. I had the chance to meet a few of the band members and expressed my joy at being at the show. As I walked back to the hotel, it all started to sink in. As I closed the room door behind me Bob was waiting up for me knowing what the evening had held for me. (texting, it’s a beautiful thing!) I tried to share with him what I was feeling, but my words were just mush. I could tell by the look in
his eye that he understood and knew that it would take a while for me to process it all. As I think back I am filled with gratitude. Why me? I asked myself. Why was I the lucky one to be in the right place at just the right time? I do believe in the power of attraction. Call it what you will, when I really desire something in my life more often than not if I focus and then relax and pay attention, I will see a chance ahead to experience my desire. Life is good. Life is filled with wonderful moments that when strung together make for a pretty amazing experience.
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tournaments when the weather kept us inside. We missed only two days due to bad weather those five years I was the teacher in Attica. I know that on a few days my car bucked snow drifts on my short ride to Attica from my rural Dayton home. I got stuck once, and one of the school fathers brought his tractor and pulled me out. Besides the annual Christmas program, we took part every spring in Green County Conservation Days. For weeks before the big day, the entire student body had special conservation classes. The end of the unit meant a trip to Monroe for a day of fun activities and a parade. One year my school was selected to put on a radio program on WEKZ. We did our version of TO TELL THE TRUTH, a popular television game show. Of course, our version dealt with conservation. I was lucky to be one of the teachers on the countywide committee. I recall how well this group worked together and how efficient it was with time. The teacher had to make quarterly reports to the country superintendent of schools. This was done in person at the court house in Monroe. The country supervising teacher made visits to evaluate the teacher. These were all surprise visits meaning the teacher did not know when this supervisor would appear. I have a memory of one lady supervisor sitting at my desk while I was teaching first grade reading. Suddenly she screamed out, “I just caught my stocking on something under the desk.” Without batting an eye, I simply said, “Funny it never happened to me.” She laughed and my report card from her was full of good comments. It was this same supervisor that told me of a job in the Brooklyn Grade School, and she thought I should apply. I had not thought about anything but teaching in a country school. But the idea was f lattering, and so I applied and got the job. While at Brooklyn, there was a consolidation of Brooklyn and Oregon, and I moved from Brooklyn to the Oregon Junior High which later was called Oregon Middle School. The best way to describe the relationship of teacher to students in those country schools is to call them family. That feeling remains to this day, so at Christmas cards come to me from those former students, and it is not unusual to be in a store or restaurant, and one of those former scholars and I meet again and have a short “catching up” time. And, yes, we did carry in pails of water for the water cooler, and, yes, we did have outdoor toilets, but I was lucky to have a real fuel oil burning furnace that worked well and kept us warm all winter long. And, yes, the teacher’s duties did include keeping those toilets clean and carrying in the water each morning. Those were the good old days. Written by: Bob Hoffman
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