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Pop Music Blogs

31 May 2020

Pop Music Blogs

Rock Music Blogs

31 May 2020

Rock Music Blogs
  • Ex-MEGADETH Guitarist MARTY FRIEDMAN Collaborates With APOLO 7 On 'Eres Tú' Cover: Official Music Video Released
    Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman has collaborated with the Colombian rock band APOLO 7 on a cover version of "Eres Tú", a popular Spanish-language song written in 1973 by Juan Carlos Calderón and performed by the Spanish band MOCEDADES. The official music video for the track can be seen below. Friedman announced his collaboration with APOLO 7 in a video message posted to his social media on May 23. He said: "I just have a very, very happy announcement. I did a song that I've always wanted to do. It's in Spanish. It's a famous song called 'Eres Tú', and I've always wanted to do this song. I just wanted to play something from my heart to all of my Spanish-speaking friends and fans all around the world. You've been such an important and such a wonderful part of my life for so long, and [I] just really wanted to put it all together in a song. And I finally got a chance to do it with my friends in Colombia called APOLO 7. They did a great arrangement of the song, and they sang so fantastically on it and played so great. Check it out. You'll dig it." As previously reported, Marty's long-awaited documentary, titled "Spacefox", will tentatively arrive in 2021. The film, which is being directed by Jeremy Frindel, the founder of Substratum Films, follows Friedman's reinvention from lead guitarist in MEGADETH to one of the most famous TV comedians in Japan. Earlier in the month, Friedman released a "Home Jams" version of his song "Self Pollution", which originally appeared on the 2017 album "Wall Of Sound". The new rendition of the song features Friedman, along with his longtime bandmates Kiyoshi (bass) and Jordan Ziff (guitar), plus Anup Sastry (drums). The split-screen video was filmed in Tokyo, Osaka, Phoenix and Baltimore, with each musician separated in his or her home. "Wall Of Sound" was released in August 2017 via Prosthetic Records. Produced by Friedman, engineered by Paul Fig (GHOST, RUSH, ALICE IN CHAINS) and mixed by Jens Bogren (KREATOR, OPETH, SEPULTURA), the disc "expands and destroys any conventional notions of instrumental music," according to a press release. Legendary QUEEN producer Mack came on board to handle the mixing on two tracks, "Streetlight" and "For A Friend", which Friedman proclaimed was "an honor for me, for sure."
  • HAMMERFALL TV – Guitarist OSCAR DRONJAK Discusses Infected Album
    Sweden’s HammerFall have returned with another episode of HammerFall TV, this time guitarist Oscar Dronjak discusses 2011’s Infected album with special guest James Michael. Michael provided keyboards on the album. In the previous episode, the Swedes took a deep dive into the band's ninth studio album, (r)Evolution, released in...
  • STYX's TODD SUCHERMAN Releases Music Video For 'The Damage' From Debut Solo Album
    STYX drummer Todd Sucherman has just released his debut solo album, "Last Flight Home", via Aqua Pulse Records. The official music video for the disc's latest single, "The Damage", can be seen below. CDs, high-resolution audio WAV downloads, and limited-edition signed and numbered 180-gram vinyl LPs are available now on all digital outlets as well as Todd's official web site. Recording sessions for "Last Flight Home", which was co-produced by Sucherman and J.K. Harrison, mainly took place between July 2019 and January 2020 at various locales in California and Texas, with Sucherman handling all lead vocal and principal drumming duties in addition to co-writing nine of the album's ten songs. Over the course of its very concise and well-sequenced 42 minutes, "Last Flight Home" soars mightily, from the universal longing of the title track to the grandiose, twisted orchestral circus vibe of "Ad Lib Everything" (buttressed by a majestic string section) to the heartfelt surrender of "It's Perfection" (featuring angelic background vocals from Todd's esteemed better half, Taylor Mills) to the edgier, self-inflicted carnage of "The Damage". In fact, "Last Flight Home" is further proof that Sucherman's inherent musical chops and respect for the pocket run deep and true, a fitting testament for a man who's made a career out of serving the needs of the song at hand above all else. As further evidence, Todd cites a few key drummers he admires as being highly influential for how he approached his playing on this album — namely, the likes of Ringo Starr, Phil Collins, Dave Mattacks (FAIRPORT CONVENTION) and Jerry Marotta (PETER GABRIEL). Listeners expecting a "Methods & Mechanics"-flavored drum clinic will be in for a bit of a surprise when they cue up "Last Flight Home" — albeit in a good way. "Fans of complicated, fast, and tricky drumming are probably going to be disappointed," Todd allows, "but I hope that fans of music will enjoy this record. I know that STYX music affords a lot of room for a lot of playing, but I always try to play musically anyway. Having the singer's perspective this time was interesting, because there were a couple of drum moments I had planned that I thought would be cool from a drummer's perspective. But when I went to play them, they were wrecking the song. I wound up editing my parts so the song could breathe and live better, rather than using it as a platform to show how clever I am." From Todd's vantage point, the true stars of "Last Flight Home" are indeed the songs themselves, not the musicians who played them. "I've always loved singers, lyrics, and melodies," he observes. "That's more important than any drum histrionics to me. What's drum stuff anyway if it's not paired with music and works in a musical context where you're choosing the right things to play on a song? For me, melody is the most powerful song element there is." To that end, the title track "Last Flight Home" is where Todd the singer/songwriter felt everything coalesced. "That's a standout moment for me, the experience of writing that song — and it's something that came together rather quickly," he admits. "When we started talking about lyric ideas, I thought about how hard it is for me to get home sometimes when I'm on the road. It seems like it should be easy to do, but it often turns into being some kind of fight or warfare. It's something you have to manage and navigate through just to be able to get home." From there, the songwriting dominos soon fell into place. "This was also the song that tied everything together," Todd continues, "and to me, as soon as we started working on it, it was clearly Track 1. If you're gonna lead an album off with something, that was the one to do it right. And it was right to be the album title too, because it encompasses my life experience of being a traveling musician. It all happened very naturally and organically, and that's the thing I'm really proud of the most." The immediate sense of relatability "Last Flight Home" evokes feels even more poignant during these uncertain times. "There's definitely a longing with a hopeful happy ending in that piece of music," Todd acknowledges. "I think we're all longing for something, whether it's a longing for our safety, a longing for this to be over, or a longing for our old reality. It's possible that people can attach their own meaning or gravitas to this particular song, just like they do with any good song." "Last Flight Home" is also the perfect showcase for Todd's nascent emotive singing style. "It gave me the confidence that, 'Yes, I can do this.' Now I had to be the one to emote and be the storyteller who connects with the lyrics, and then sing them in tune and sing in time, line by line," Todd observes. "And it's not an easy thing to do! You're just trying to detect what works, what can be better, and how it all connects to the star of the show — which is the song. And if my music can provide any sort of comfort at this time, then what greater thing to be able to do for others than to make them feel better, or hopeful, or able to eventually look back on a time where maybe this music got them through this unique and dark time in human history." Another thing Todd learned during the "Last Flight Home" sessions was how he wanted to bond with his listeners as a lead singer. "Anyone who can connect with a song — that's really something. My respect for all singers has risen exponentially after having gone through this process. Singing is like juggling a chainsaw, a bowling pin, an egg, and a hot potato in foil," he says with a wry chuckle before adding, "I guess there are a few people who are born with it, but, boy — it ain't easy, I can tell you that!" Todd's innate knack for creating memorable melodies stems from, to some degree, his admiration for artists who come from across The Pond. "I have to be totally honest — British rock has always been what I've gravitated toward," he reveals, "whether it's been THE WHO, THE BEATLES, LED ZEPPELIN, XTC, THE BLUE NILE or AQUALUNG. The reason a lot of British music is anthemic or epic is because those artists had to create their own sunshine, so to speak. Great music can come out of circumstances like those, and that hits me emotionally on the deepest level. My favorite records, like THE BEATLES' 'Revolver', are ones that have hills and valleys, and act like a book or a story that pulls it all together." Ultimately, "Last Flight Home" shows a number of sides of a budding artist now emerging in full bloom. "The whole experience has been so deep and so gratifying," Todd concludes. "It's hard for me to guess how my music will connect with people. But that's really the magic and mystery of music, isn't it, because any piece of music can mean a myriad of things to whole groups of different people. If this album means something to even a handful of people, then it's been my pleasure. If more people are apt to enjoy it, all the better." Sucherman took over drumming duties in STYX a year before the death of John Panozzo in 1996. STYX's latest album, 2017's "The Mission", was met with praise from fans. Its arrival ended a 14-year run without an LP of new original material from the veteran band. Photo credit: Ronn Dunnett
  • TEXAS MURDER CREW - Debut EP Everyone's Last Breath Due In August, First Single "Curse Of Humanity" Streaming Now
    The brutality of the Texas death metal scene is notorious throughout the worldwide metal underground, and now there’s a new contender for the title of sickest, heaviest band from the lone star state. Texas Murder Crew are about to detonate their debut offering, Everyone’s Last Breath, on August 7th via...
  • Ex-W.A.SP. Guitarist CHRIS HOLMES Pays Tribute To BOB KULICK: 'He Treated Me With The Utmost Respect'
    Former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes has paid tribute to legendary guitarist and record producer Bob Kulick, who played on two of the band's albums, "The Crimson Idol" (1992) and "Still Not Black Enough" (1995). Kulick died on Friday (May 29) at the age of 70. His passing was confirmed by his brother, former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick. A cause of death has not been revealed. In a statement issued earlier today, Holmes said: "Every time I was around Bob, he treated me with the utmost respect. I played on a record for him, and he paid me twice the money I was told I was gonna be paid. That was the kind of human being Bob was. Gone too soon. I love you. RIP Bob." Holmes joined W.A.S.P. in 1982 and remained with the group until 1990. In 1996, Holmes rejoined W.A.S.P. and stayed with the band until 2001. Holmes has not played with W.A.S.P. since. In 2018, Holmes released a four-song EP, "Under The Influence". The effort was recorded in Cannes, France, where Holmes has lived since 2014. Photo courtesy of Duke TV
    We just heard that Bob died and this really put sadness in Chris heart Chris words « everytime I was around Bob he... Posted by Cathy-Sarah Holmes onSaturday, May 30, 2020
  • JORDAN RUDESS Says 'It Looks Very Good' That LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Will Regroup
    DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess says that "it looks very good" that LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT will regroup in the not-too-distant future. LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT is the instrumental progressive rock/metal project featuring Rudess and fellow DREAM THEATER member John Petrucci (guitar), alongside ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and progressive rock icon Tony Levin (bass) of KING CRIMSON and PETER GABRIEL fame. The band has not performed live since 2008, when it embarked on a brief tour commemorating the tenth anniversary of its self-titled debut. Rudess addressed the prospect of a LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT reunion while filming a video message on Cameo, which lets users hire celebrities to record brief, personalized video messages about virtually any topic. Asked if he thinks LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT will ever get back together, Jordan said (see video below): "Well, the answer is we are looking at our schedules, we are organizing a time. With the [coronavirus] pandemic, it's been a little difficult to coordinate personal kind of gatherings, but it looks very good, my friend." In February 2019, Portnoy and Rudess reunited on stage during the Cruise To The Edge to perform "Instrumedley" from DREAM THEATER / LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT. They were joined by NEAL MORSE BAND guitarist Eric Gillette and HAKEN bassist Conner Green. Back in April 2015, Portnoy and Rudess both joined the British progressive metal band HAKEN on stage in New York City. Three months earlier, they were photographed having what appeared to be friendly banter at the 2015 NAMM show in Anaheim, California. More than two years ago, Portnoy posted a photo of him hanging out with Petrucci in a move that clearly represented a thawing of tensions between the two musicians who had been friends for more than three decades. In February 2019, Rudess discussed his Cruise To The Edge encounter with Portnoy during an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation", which is hosted by Eddie Trunk. The keyboardist said: "I think it's really nice. People whose music you love, you wanna see them getting along. So, even from my perspective, I see John and Mike together, and I'm, like, yeah, that makes sense. They were so close. They made so much music together." He continued: "I told Mike the other night. I said, 'The way I look at our relationship is that we've toured around the world together numerous times, we've written all this music together, we've been on tour buses everywhere. How many people in this lifetime that we're in can you be that close to and have that many experiences with?" Although Portnoy and his former bandmates in DREAM THEATER engaged in a public war of words following his exit from the group, Rudess said that he harbors no resentment toward his longtime friend. "When Portnoy left the band, there was tension — natural tension — because it was a big deal," Jordan told "Trunk Nation". "But what's really important to me is finding that… especially somebody who I care about, who I had so much life experience with. And he's a really great guy. There are so many wonderful things about him. So I wanna enjoy that. "People will say, 'Oh my God! DREAM THEATER is gonna have Portnoy back in the band.' That's not what it's about," Rudess added. "This is about people and people who spent a lot of time together being able to be close together and be friends." Rudess acknowledged that some of his other DREAM THEATER bandmates have "their own feelings" about maintaining a connection with their former drummer. "But Mike and I enjoyed hanging out and chatting about old times and all the stuff," he said. "So it was really cool." In November 2017, Mike told Loud that he left DREAM THEATER because he wanted to expand his musical horizons. "[I didn't] want to go to my grave and just be the drummer from DREAM THEATER," he said. "I knew there was way more to what I had to offer."
  • ASKING ALEXANDRIA's BEN BRUCE: 'We Have To End Racism'
    ASKING ALEXANDRIA guitarist Ben Bruce has spoken out about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and ensuing protests across the country. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on Monday (May 25) as Minneapolis police arrested him outside a convenience store on a report of a counterfeit bill being passed. The 46-year-old was seen on a bystander's video gasping for breath during an arrest in which an officer knelt on his neck for almost eight minutes. In the footage, Floyd is heard pleading with officers, "I cannot breathe... Don't kill me," while the officers ignore his pleas. He eventually stops talking and moving. Video of the killing sparked riots and outrage across the country. Earlier today, Bruce took to his Twitter to write: "I haven't said anything about what's going on in the states at the moment in regards to the riots etc...not due to a lack of caring....more so because the inexcusable, disgusting, racist behavior and actions that have plagued the nation have simply left me at a loss for words." The 31-year-old British-born musician, who currently resides in Arizona, continued: "People say to me 'you're not American so it doesn't concern you' but the fact is it's not just an American's a HUMAN problem. "We need to treat each other with love, respect and compassion. We are all equals. We all love, hurt, feel, breath the same... "I just can't understand how racism is still such a huge problem.... "It's not enough at this point to just not be racist....we have to beat this. We have to end racism. "It's a sad time in history....but it's a necessary time in history.... Maybe 2020 can be the year that they teach future generations about as the year that racism was beaten. "We are all in this together." As cable news networks carried images of fires and destructive protests in Minneapolis, President Donald Trump called the protesters "THUGS" and tweeted "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." He later sought to clarify what he meant, saying "the looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters.” He tweeted: "looting leads to shooting and that's why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night - or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot."

    — Ben Bruce (@benjaminbruce) May 30, 2020
  • EPICA's MARK JANSEN Blasts Dutch News Site For 'Sensation Seeking And Stirring The Pot' In The Age Of Coronavirus
    EPICA guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen has blasted a site for apparently posting pictures which made it look like it was overcrowded on the Dutch beaches. The Netherlands imposed restrictions more than two months ago, in mid-March, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Earlier today, Jansen shared an article from the Dutch news site in which the site apparently admitted that it had posted pictures a week earlier that gave the mistaken impression that people on several of the country's beaches were not following the social distancing guidelines set out by the Dutch government in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The 41-year-old Dutch-born musician, who currently resides in Italy, wrote in an accompanying message: "One of the big main stream media sites of The Netherlands admitting that they posted pictures which made it look like it was over crowded on the Dutch beaches. We all know you can take a picture from different angles and perspectives and make things look worse than they are just for the sake of sensation. Luckily some readers of the article didn't believe it and started looking for other pictures of the same beach and found out that it wasn't so bad. While other readers freaked out about it and got mad about the people going to the beach 'not giving a damn about social distancing'. "This kind of mainstream media sensation seeking and stirring the pot is in my opinion as bad as plain lies," he continued. "At least it has the same effect. Luckily more and more people read the news and don't accept everything automatically as truth anymore. We need to stay aware and on top of our game in order to get the facts" As of Saturday, the virus has infected more than 46,000 people in the country and killed more than 5,900, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The Netherlands has been slowly easing restrictions, with secondary schools, cafes and restaurants slated to reopen in June, according to Reuters.
    One of the big main stream media sites of The Netherlands admitting that they posted pictures which made it look like it... Posted by Mark Jansen onSaturday, May 30, 2020
  • Jersey - "Needs Padadhani"
  • My band, Zephyranthes, is streaming a live set on facebook

Classical Music Blogs

31 May 2020

Classical Music Blogs
  • African-American New York Philharmonic Clarinetist Shares Anguished "America the Beautiful" Musical Protest over the Death of George Floyd
    31 May 2020


    NEW YORK - Clarinetist Anthony McGill, the first ever African-American Principal player of the New York Philharmonic, has posted a powerful musicalprotest video in a demonstration against the death of George Floyd and historic racial injustice. The video has received over 50,000 views in less than two days and is now sparking a movement.

    In the 1½ minute video, Mr. McGill performs his own arrangement of America the Beautiful, with a melody that wavers between optimism and anguish and concludes with a final chord that doesn't resolve. At the end, Mr. McGill falls to both knees with his arms behind his back. He accompanied the video with a personal and passionate post (facebook link above, text version available here) encouraging people to #TakeTwoKnees in support of the struggle for justice and decency.

    Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee, flutist Demarre McGill, composer and flutist Allison Loggins-Hill, trombonist Weston Sprott, dancer Alicia Graf Mack, and trumpeter Billy Hunter are just some of the artists who have already posted videos in response.

  • Lara Downes performs "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" (3:11)
    31 May 2020
    Lara Downes

    Lara Downes writes:

    From my house to yours...
    I hope you’re safe and well, taking care of yourselves and each other. I miss you all.
    This has been a terrible week in a series of terrible weeks.I know we're all struggling amidst so much hurt and suffering. I'm just holding on to good and meaningful work, trying to help where I can, and to use this as a time to reflect, reimagine and rebuild.

    Today, NPR Music is sharing a Tiny Desk Concert that I filmed at home during quarantine, featuring some music from my new album Some Of These Days

    During this sad time, I admit to feeling sometimes helpless. But I won't be hopeless. This music - freedom songs and Spirituals  - testifies to our human capacity for hope, action, and survival against all odds. NPR's Ann Powers describes the album this way: â€œThis lyrical, evocative set un-starches the musical artifacts of African-American uplift. The pianist approaches spirituals, hymns and legacy pieces with a passion grounded in the knowledge that history is personal: each interpretation deeply reckons with what made her.”  (NPR's Top Albums of April)

    >From the album booklet, artwork by 7th grade student Emily Juarez from Watts, Los Angeles:

    I believe with all my heart that Emily and her generation will bring our world to a better place. This summer, with the support of the Sphinx Organization, and in partnership with University of California ArtsBridge, I'm expanding My Promise Project as a national online platform for young people to harness their potential and their creativity as they reimagine the future and prepare to emerge as its leaders.

    Free summer workshops begin June 22 for students age 12-18. Information / Signups HERE

    And next week, I'm launching a new series called THE BEDTIME SESSIONS. Every Friday, starting June 5, I'll be releasing a lullaby to soothe you into sleep and peaceful dreams. I know we’re all dealing with stress and trauma, and I hope that this eclectic collection of lovely, intimate pieces will help you rest. Sign up HERE to get a new streaming track every Friday. 
    I'm just thinking about gratitude and responsibility. I'm so grateful for my health, my family, the love that surrounds and supports me, and for the music that even now, in this time of isolation and division, keeps us connected. And I think that we all have a responsibility to love each other, to do our own version of service, to raise our voices for what's right, and above all to hold on to our hope. I do believe that together we shall overcome, that we can emerge from this darkness brighter and better, stronger and wiser, some of these days...
    I'm sending you all my love-

  • 6/1/20 The Dream Unfinished & Lincoln Center honor #EssentialWorkers of Color
    30 May 2020

    Will you Stay On It?
    Learn more about our mission at The Dream Unfinished.

    Presented by Lincoln Center, The Dream Unfinished will premiere a video performance of Stay On It by Julius Eastman (1940-1990), a composer whose music explored his identities as a gay man and as a Black-American. Stay On It is dedicated to blue-collar essential workers such as grocery employees, public transit operators, custodians, and other professions overwhelmingly occupied by people of color. This is the first classical music tribute to essential workers of color in the United States.

    Join us for the premiere on 6/1/20
    In collaboration with 
    Castle of Our Skins
    Challenge the Stats
    Kyle Marshall Choreography

    Lead support for Stay On It is provided by Lincoln Center. Additional funding for Stay On It is provided by Sigrid Rausing Trust and The Narrative, Arts and Culture program at Race Forward.
  • The Perseverance of André Watts: Putting physical disability on view in the highly competitive arena of classical music takes grit
    30 May 2020

    André Watts performing with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in 2012. Credit...Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images
    The New York Times
    Toward the end of 2019, the classical pianist André Watts was facing what seemed to be an insurmountable impediment. The last time he had encountered nerve damagein his left hand, back in 2004, an operation on a herniated disk led to rapid recovery. But this time the injury was not to the nerve sheath but to the nerve fiber, and after vertebra surgery, the prognosis was not good. Regeneration would take time; there was no guarantee that it would enable him to fully use his all-important left thumb. He canceled quite a few concerts, but would he have to relinquish his performance career altogether?
    • There was no need to concertize in order to boost his reputation. Half a century of performances and recordings had already earned him the National Medal of Arts as well as many other honorary prizes and degrees. Innumerable appearances with virtually every major orchestra here and overseas had brought raves by audiences and reviewers over his “personal magic” and the “opulence” of his sound.

    • André knew that his teaching would also survive the cancellation of performances. I use his first name because after he joined the music faculty at my school, we bonded as cancer patients and then celebrated when his prostate cancer went into remission in 2017. At the start of this year, I marveled at his ingenious plan to meet at least some of his upcoming commitments to appear onstage, despite the immobilized fingers of his left hand.

    While driving home from school one day, André heard on the radio Maurice Ravel’s “Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major,” which was commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein, an Austrian pianist who had lost his arm in World War I. Could the piece be tackled by the right hand, André wondered as he began working on a transcription? Would the conductors in Detroit and Atlanta, with whom he was scheduled to appear in March, be willing to swap the Ravel for what he had signed up to play, Beethoven’s “Fifth Piano Concerto”?
    André’s love of performing dates back to the age of 10, when he played his first concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra and guessed that being a concert pianist could become “a grown-up job,” although even then he realized that “‘wanting’ and ‘being’ were not the same thing.”
    And, of course, many of us remember seeing the 16-year-old André performing with Leonard Bernstein on his televised Young People’s Concerts.
    That he continued making beautiful music for decades explains why both Thomas Wilkins, a guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Robert Spano, the musical director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, immediately agreed to the proposed Ravel program. André began practicing, while I watched online videos of the piece, wondering how he could retain balance when reaching for notes in the lower range of the keyboard with his right hand. André’s esteemed teacher Leon Fleisher had explored left-hand compositions because of a dysfunctional right hand. But André would be using the traditionally stronger hand on a score composed for the weaker. No extensive right-hand repertoire exists. 
  • The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (76): She owns it
    30 May 2020

  • Classically Trained: Caroline Shaw
    30 May 2020

    Pictured: Caroline Shaw. Photo by Kris Connor/Contour by Getty Images

    By Marisa Mecke

    Discover something new today! This series explores the lives and contributions of classical artists with connections to the Carolinas. Intended as quick “brain breaks” for learners of all ages, these educational features can be divided into sections for daily reading or used as lesson plans for students at home.


    NAME: Caroline Shaw

    PROFESSION: Composer, violinist, vocalist, and producer


    Fun Fact:
    One section of Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize winning piece, Partita for 8 Voices, is inspired by Caroline’s memory of a view of the Albemarle Sound on the northeastern coast of North Carolina, where her grandmother lives.

        Musician from Birth

    Composer Caroline Shaw was born in Greenville, North Carolina. With her mother as her first teacher, Caroline began studying violin when she was only two years old. Her mother, a Suzuki instructor, instilled a passion for playing in Shaw at a young age, and her father, an avid pianist, also helped cultivate her love of music.

    By age ten, Caroline was beginning to gain an interest in chamber music and the nature of playing music in a group. Around this time, she began to write music of her own, most of which was written in the style of chamber music from composers like Mozart and Brahms. Caroline later received her Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Rice University in 2004, followed by a master’s degree in violin from Yale University in 2007. Today, she is an adjunct faculty member at New York University and is a creative associate at The Julliard School.

    Video: Attacca Quartet with Caroline Shaw: Lincoln Center Offstage    Fame and the Pulitzer Prize

    After graduating and moving to New York in 2008, Shaw joined the progressive a cappella ensemble Roomful of Teeth and began composing for them, including a piece entitled Partita for 8 Voices. The composition is experimental, featuring singing and speaking as well as throat singing, yodeling, and perhaps most uniquely, recitations of passages from artist Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawings combined with square dancing calls. The eclectic combination of styles and inspirations took two years of work to finish. While enrolled in a PhD program in composition at Princeton University, she submitted Partita for 8 Voices on a whim for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music – and to her surprise, she won.

    Video: Partita for 8 Voices by Roomful of Teeth         Collaborations

    At age 30, Caroline was the youngest musician to ever claim the Pulitzer Prize in her section. Her composition and vocal skills gained attention worldwide as she collaborated with Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire and The National after her Pulitzer win.

    After performing Partita for 8 Voices with Roomful of Teeth in Los Angeles, Kanye West approached her with an offer. Producers working with Kanye were looking for someone with a classical composition background to introduce a specific, orchestral sound into Kanye’s work, while Caroline’s projects had typically incorporated elements outside of traditional “classical” sounds. In interviews with outlets like NPR and the Guardian, Caroline recalls feeling conflicted about accepting West’s proposition; however, after diving deep into Kanye’s music, particularly the song “Say You Will,” she decided to join the remixing projects.

    Video/Audio: Song of Wood by Richard Reed Parry        Music in Popular Media and Beyond

    With Kanye, Caroline co-produced the remix to “Say You Will” from the 2008 album 808’s & Heartbreak. She also sang and played violin in the song, injecting her own orchestral twist into the piece. The collaboration continued as she joined Kanye for his seventh album, The Life of Pablo – her voice is featured in the songs “Father Stretch My Hands Pt 2” and “Wolves” (which also features Frank Ocean). In popular culture, Caroline has appeared on TV shows including Amazon original Mozart in the Jungle (as herself conducting her compositions) and wrote the score for the 2018 film Madeline’s Madeline.

    Video: Kanye West – Say You Will ft. Caroline Shaw

    Caroline has had the opportunity to use her voice, instrumental talent, and composition skill across a variety of mediums and in collaboration with many other artists; her biography notes that she once “got to sing in three part harmony with Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds at the Kennedy Center, and that was pretty much the bees’ knees and elbows.” With regular university residencies and commissions scheduled for a numerous ensembles, Caroline always has something new on the horizon, combining her classical music background with a style all her own.



    1. Plan & Elevation: IV. The Orangery – Attaca Quartet
    2. Is a Rose: No. 1, The Edge (Live) – Attaca Quartet
    3. Wolves – Kanye West, The Life of Pablo [EXPLICIT]
    4. Plan & Elevation: III. The Herbaceous Border – Attaca Quartet
    5. Enr’acte – Attaca Quartet
    6. The Listeners: No. 8, Sail Through This to That (Live) – Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    7. Pt. 2 – Kanye West, The Life of Pablo [EXPLICIT]
    8. The Listeners: No. 6, That’s Us (Live) – Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    9. Partita for 8 Singers: No. 1 Allemande – Roomful of Teeth
    10. Partita for 8 Singers: No. 2 Sarabande – Roomful of Teeth
    11. Partita for 8 Singers: No. 3 Courante – Roomful of Teeth
    12. Partita for 8 Singers: No. 4 Passacaglia – Roomful of Teeth
            Additional Resources

    Video: Kanye West: Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2

    Artist Profile: Caroline Shaw by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

    Caroline Shaw Sings Her Own Song (NPR)

    Is Caroline Shaw really the future of music? (The Guardian)

    Caroline Shaw’s website

    The Pulitzer Prizes: Caroline Shaw

    Caroline Shaw is Firing on All Creative Cylinders (San Francisco Classical Voice)

  • London mourns principal viola
    30 May 2020

    The death has been reported of Rusen Gunes, long-serving principal viola of the London Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony orchestras, and a popular face on the South Bank stage.

    Rusen, originally from Ankara, was 80.

    He joined the LPO as principal in 1979 and the BBC in 1988, stepping down in 2000.

  • So Beethoven, what can you do for my new house?
    30 May 2020

    Welcome to the77th work in the Slipped Disc/Idagio Beethoven Edition

    The Consecration of the House, Overture opus 114


    In between the Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony – which is like saying between climbing Mount Everest and K2 – Beethoven dashed of an overture for the inauguration of the Theater in der Josefstadt in October 1822.

    He had immersed himself in Handel and Bach while writing his Mass and he was left with all sorts of ideas as to how the two early classical styles might be merged and adapted for contemporary use. He even toyed with an idea for composing a fugue on the notes B-A-C-H (B-flat). Unusually, he got blocked. So he went off for a walk in the autumnal woods near Baden with his nephew Karl and companion Anton Schindler, who reports: ‘Beethoven told us to go on in advance and join him at an appointed place. It was not long before he overtook us, remarking that he had written down two motifs for an overture…. He expressed himself also in the manner in which he purposed treating them – one in the free style and one in the strict and, indeed, in Handel’s. As well as his voice permitted he sang the two motifs and then asked us which we liked the better… The nephew decided in favour of both.’ 

    This is a rare, marvellous and (Schindler’s word) roseate insight into Beethoven’s in the best of moods, when he was willing to engage others in the actual process of composition. What emerged from the day out was a solemn, Bach-like opening, followed by a great Handelian fugue, both developed by Beethoven with a Rossinian lightness appropriate to a new theatre and a ceremonial flourish for the great occasion. Midway in the overture you can hear him dissolve and resolve a theme as he was bout to do ahead of the choral finale of the coming ninth symphony. For this reason, if no other, the overture demands to be heard.

    It had a further significance in the development music. Richard Wagner endowed it with almost sacramental dimensions, taking the word ‘Weihe’ (consecration) from the title and attaching it to his last opera, the Bühnenweihfestpiel also known as Parsifal. From the late 19th century on, it became  obligatory at the opening ceremony of any German concert hall or opera house.

    Beethoven regarded its first performance as a success, albeit in chaotic circumstances. The newly organised orchestra of the Josefstadt theatre did not receive it til the afternoon before the opening, and with innumerable mistakes in every part. The rehearsal which took place in the presence of an almost-filled parterre scarcely sufficed for the correction of the worst of the copyist’s errors. Among other novelties, we discover, Cherubini’s overture to Medea was played by a musical clock that was the star attraction of a neighbouring restaurant. Music in Vienna was not taken as seriously as we are sometimes given to understand.

    On the night of October 3, 1822 Beethoven conducted the overture while seated at a piano with his left ear to the stage, trying to absorbe the vibrations with what little hearing he had left. Eighteen months later, he repeated it as a curtain raiser to the world premiere of his ninth symphony.

    Among some three-dozen recordings, the oldest commands attention if only for its terrifying entries and utterly Germanic march. The conductor, at Abbey Road in 1938, was the 75 year-od Felix Weingartner who had known both Liszt and Brahms and was the last surviving contact with people who had met Beethoven himself. A player in the London Philharmonic Orchestra told me that if they lagged behind his beat Weingartner would stop them and say ‘you know, Doctor Brahms told me it went like this.’ You must hear this. It knocks all pretensions to ‘authentic’ performance into a fairground stall.

    Igor Markevitch, whom Diaghilev once hailed as ‘the next Stravinsky’, takes a Parisian orchestra on a cross-cultural fusion of German dignity and precision and pastel-coloured French elegance with brightly shining horns. Truly well worth hearing.

    Lorin Maazel was born to conduct this sort of thing, music full of incident and no underlying complexity. Antal Dorati does it even noisier. Claudio Abbado directs the Berlin Philharmonic with tremendous grace and awesome solemnity. But the best performance I have heard is Riccardo Muti’s in 1988, a reading that draws in the fripperies of Cherubini, the fun of Rossini and the theatricality of Handel into a short appetiser that is fundamentally Neapolitan and spicy – a ribald contra to the hevy German diet. Muti was midway in his music directorship of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the mutual understanding is audible in every hair-raising risk they take. A tremendous achievement.


  • BBC response to Slipped Disc orchestras report
    30 May 2020

    BBC Statement

    There is no truth to the suggestion the BBC is planning to merge their orchestras. The BBC orchestras and choirs are a key part of the BBC’s mission to inform educate and entertain, as well as being a key part of the musical ecology of this country. They will remain so as we emerge from the virus.

  • BBC Radio 4 - Soul Music, Series 28. Personal stories about Farewell to Stromness, by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
    30 May 2020

Country Music Blogs

31 May 2020

Country Music Blogs
  • HCM Daily News – May 30th, 2020

    Thomas Rhett

    Recent Country Music News Headlines

    Recommended Viewing – Recent Country Music Videos

    This Date in Country Music History

    • 2015 – Carly Pearce made her Grand Ole Opry debut
    • 2009 – Comedian Steve Martin, also an accomplished banjo player, made his Grand Ole Opry debut
    • 1995 – Tracy Byrd‘s popular line-dance song “Walking To Jerusalem” is released as a single
    • 1992 – After 23 years, Hee Haw signed off the air for the final time
    • 1992 – Billy Ray Cyrus scored a #1 hit with “Achy Breaky Heart”
    • 1981 – The Oak Ridge Boys hit #1 with their single “Elvira”
    • 1966 – Dolly Parton married her husband Carl Dean

    Today’s Birthdays (See All Country Artist Birthdays)

    • Wynonna

    Today’s New Albums (See All Album Release Dates)

    • None Today

    Today’s New Singles (See All Single Release Dates)

    • None Today

    Today’s Photo Flashback (See All Photos)

    • None Today


    This Week’s Events (See All Upcoming Events)

    Date/Time Event
    12:00 pm
    Caylee Hammack on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen – Food Network
    3:00 pm
    Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree Taping with Jeannie Seely and Tim Atwood
    6:00 pm
    Collin Raye – Kaysville, UT
    Barnes Park, Kaysville UT
    8:00 pm
    Chris Janson, Chris Young, and Brett Young on the Grand Ole Opry
    9:00 am
    Ashley McBryde – Good Morning America
    2:30 pm
    Brothers Osborne “The Family Reunion” Virtual Fan Club Party
  • Reminder: Voting Changes + New Retirement Changes
    Here are the changes I announced a couple weeks ago: Beginning with the Voting to Make the 6/28/20 Chart, the following changes will take place: The number of votes will determine the number of points a song earns. The points each vote earns a song will be equal to the Level it is on. For […]
  • 5/31 Results Recap: Retired Songs
    Disclaimer: If a song is listed in this post, it will no longer be on the chart or in the voting after the 5/31 Edition Chart. The main purpose of this post is to announce what songs met the requirements for retirement because of the voting from this week. To be retired from the voting […]

    Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter JILLIAN JACQUELINE spreads hope and resiliency with today’s release of “Wait for the Light,” a brand-new track fitting for the times, yet ringing with timelessness.

    Written and recorded in just a week, the soulful piano ballad stands witness to the human spirit – recognizing the COVID-19 pandemic and yet acknowledging that good still exists. We will get through this hand in hand as we “wait for the light,” Jacqueline sings, her effervescent vocal crackling with optimism and joined by a heavenly choir. premiered the powerful song and adjoining lyric video on Thursday (May 28), remarking that it “focuses on the beautiful things” which are still around us. And in an effort to inject some more beauty into a tragic reality, five dollars from every “Wait for the Light” autographed limited-edition poster sold online in Jacqueline’s web store will be donated to the Nashville Food Project.

    “During the last three months, most of my plans for the near future had to be put on pause and rearranged, and I felt that shift happening for an incalculable amount of people around the world,” shares Jacqueline. “So many were losing jobs, so many were losing loved ones, and so many others were losing hope. I was reminded that it is a vital choice as human beings as to whether we lean in or look away when someone else is hurting. And at the same time, I felt myself suddenly seeing life in a very different way, a more detailed, poignant, fragile way. So, when I sat down to write this song three and a half weeks ago with my husband, Bryan Brown, and brother-in-law, Tofer Brown, I wanted to bring myself back to the basics, to the most simple things that we can always rely on, like the fact that beauty keeps creating itself around us even when fear and uncertainty seem so overwhelming. I wanted to highlight that it all comes back to us, choosing to see every moment, whether it’s with a stranger or a neighbor, as a potential for connection and healing and faith in the dark. We wrote and recorded this song in a week, and I like to think of it as an urgent love letter to the world. My hope is that its message transcends age, geography, race, gender, class, or any other construct that can make us think we are any different from any other human we pass on the street. When we’re in the midst of darkness, sometimes we just need someone to walk beside us while we wait for the light.”


    “Wait for the Light” was co-written by Jacqueline with her husband, Bryan Brown, and brother-in-law, Tofer Brown – who also produced her attention-grabbing breakout EPs, SIDE A and SIDE B. The current climate may have halted progress on her upcoming recording project, but could not quell her creativity, inspiring her to write, record, mix and master the uplifting new track on the spot. Both Brown brothers teamed up to handle the song’s production.

    Jacqueline’s SIDE A and SIDE B EPs arrived in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and since then she’s continued to reach milestones. After being named to multiple “Artists to Watch” lists, the Pennsylvania native hit the road with the likes of Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town and Kip Moore – marking a string of sold-out shows in the U.K. – and in 2019 embarked on her first-ever headlining tour.

  • She Said Yes: Home Free’s Adam Chance Pops the Question

    All-vocal Country entertainersHOME FREE are premiering one of their most special videos to date with their version of Jason Isbell’s iconic tune, “Cover Me Up.” Premiering exclusively with PEOPLE today, the brand-new clip features the group’s renowned harmonies, with Adam Chance (baritone), taking the lead in more ways than one. As the video […]

    The post She Said Yes: Home Free’s Adam Chance Pops the Question appeared first on Country Music Tattle Tale - Your country music news source.

  • Lockeland Announces Upbeat Single, “Made For Morning”

    Lockeland (Michael Boris, Kyndon Oakes and Mark Vikingstad) the on the rise Country music trio with impeccable harmonies have announced the release of “Made For Mornings,” an upbeat tune with passion and emotion that promises to get stuck in your head. The new music, written by Renn Anderson, Kyndon Oakes, Mark Vikingstad and Michael Boris Premiered during a live performance on The Boot and can be viewed here and featured in a worldwide premiere in Maverick Magazine. The new tune was delivered to radio today via MPE and will be promoted by the Grass Roots team. The song is available for streaming and downloads on all major digital music platforms here.

    “… I used to be
    A late night
    Party type
    Sippin’ on the highlife
    Get in at 5AM
    Sleepin’ ‘til it’s night again and
    You you you showed up without warning, yeah
    You you got me thinking I was
    Made For Mornings …”

    “The inspiration for our new single, came out of a place where mornings start for many people, Starbucks. The “Made For Mornings” title was on a poster advertising a breakfast sandwich, to which we saw that and said, “that’s a song,” shared Lockeland. “The three of us along with Renn Anderson, sat down and began to write the story of a night life partier, who without warning, stumbles upon a love that is deep and genuine. The shallowness of his party lifestyle fades away as he finds a sense of renewal in the warmth of a coffee cup with her, instead of cocktails at the bar. We hope that our fans feel the passion, emotion and energy of this song just as much as we do.”

    As a trio, the individual talents of Lockeland compliment each other instinctively resulting in a well polished, three-part harmony sound. Since the launch of the trio’s debut single, “Til The Cows Come Home” which landed in the top 40 on MusicRow’s Country Breakout Chart, Lockeland was selected as a regular full band stage act on the world famous Wildhorse Saloon stage in Nashville, appeared on the CMA Spotlight Stage (CMA Fest 2019) and opened for Big & Rich on two separate occasions in 2019. The group embarked on an international tour (canvassing England and Scotland) where the trio provided direct support for CAM at Millport Country Festival and shared the stage at the Long Road Festival with Kip Moore, Josh Turner, LANCO and more.

    Photo Credit: Dallas Dickerson

    Stay current with everything Lockeland on their website: and follow and connect on social media Facebook and Instagram. Watch their videos on YouTube.

    Music is available on all digital platforms Apple Music/Itunes, Spotify, Google Play and Amazon Music.

  • Ahead of “Co-Starring” album release on July 10th, Ray Wylie Hubbard shares new track with The Cadillac Three “Fast Left Hand”

    Multi-facetedunderground icon Ray Wylie Hubbard today releases an electric collaboration with â€œFast Left Hand” featuring The Cadillac Three. Illuminating the burning fire an artist holds inside, the rockers squeal on the latest glimpse into Hubbard’s star-studded forthcoming album. Hear how the song came about here then stream/purchase –

    CO-STARRING is available for pre-order now ahead of the July 10 release via Big Machine Records and features 10 diverse collaborations. Other advance tracks are already amplifying the project, including â€œBad Trick” featuring Ringo Starr, Don Was, Joe Walsh and Chris Robinson and â€œOutlaw Blood” with Ashley McBrydeWatch Hubbard share details on making the album now.

    “Each record is built on the steps of the last one, and I’m just trying to get better,” Hubbard says. “To have all these cats we’ve toured with and played with, I’m very, very proud of it. Young and old, established, new, Rock & Roll, Folk, Country, to even know these people is awesome, but to make music like this with them? Well, it really impresses me.”

    Artwork Courtesy of Big Machine Records

    CO-STARRING Tracklist:

    1. “Bad Trick” ft. Ringo Starr, Don Was, Joe Walsh, Chris Robinson| Ray Wylie Hubbard, Judy Hubbard
    2. “Rock Gods” ft. Aaron Lee Tasjan|Ray Wylie Hubbard
    3. “Fast Left Hand “ft. The Cadillac Three|Ray Wylie Hubbard
    4. “Mississippi John Hurt” ft. Pam Tillis|Ray Wylie Hubbard
    5. “Drink Till I See Double” ft. Paula Nelson and Elizabeth Cook|Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ronnie Dunn
    6. “R.O.C.K.” ft. Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown|Ray Wylie Hubbard, Tyler Bryant, Caleb Crosby
    7. “Outlaw Blood” ft. Ashley McBryde|Ray Wylie Hubbard
    8. “Rattlesnake Shakin’ Woman” ft. Larkin Poe|Ray Wylie Hubbard
    9. “Hummingbird” ft. Peter Rowan|Ray Wylie Hubbard
    10. “The Messenger“ ft. Ronnie Dunn and Pam Tillis|Ray Wylie Hubbard

    As much a renegade poet as a roadhouse saint, Hubbard wrote and produced each song. Earthy, real, funky, unabashed, Ray Wylie Hubbard’s records have been swapped and played on the road by everyone from Blackberry Smoke and Georgia Satellites to Black Stone Cherry. “Snake Farm” alone could be the red-blooded touring male’s reality-based point of connection. The Austin Music and Eric Church-inducted Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Famer was born in Soper, Oklahoma, went to high school with cosmic cowboy Michael Martin Murphey and spent his summers playing folk music in Red River, New Mexico. It all added to an iconoclastic, hell-bent for truths and textures in writing about the way outlaws live. For the latest information, visit and follow Ray Wylie on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.


    ACM AwardsGroup of the Year nominees MIDLAND strip down some their most popular songs with GUITARS, COUCHES, ETC., ETC. EP. Available everywhere today via Big Machine Records, the five-track project is a clever nod to one of their influences — Dwight Yoakam’s debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. The EP features Midland’s nearly top 30 current single â€œCheatin’ Songs” alongside their previous chart toppers 2X PLATINUM-certified â€œDrinkin’ Problem” and  GOLD certified â€œBurn Out.” Listen Now:

    “The title is a bit tongue in cheek with reference to a seminal album that largely influenced this band cut against the strange reality that we’ve all found ourselves living these last few months… It was medicinal to pick these songs back up and re-interpret them in a new way both recording wise and in the arrangements & colorings.  We hope you enjoy these new iterations as much as we did making em,” explains lead singer Mark Wystrach.

     GUITARS, COUCHES, ETC., ETC. Track List

    1. “Fourteen Gears (Acoustic)”– Jess Carson, Mark Wystrach, David Garza
    2. “Cheatin’ Songs (Acoustic)” â€“ Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, Mark Wystrach, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne 
    3. “Fast Hearts And Slow Towns (Acoustic)” â€“ Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, Marv Green, Jon Nite
    4. “Burn Out (Acoustic)” –Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, Mark Wystrach, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
    5. “Drinkin’ Problem (Acoustic)”–Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, Mark Wystrach, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne

     The GRAMMY®-nominated trio also present never-before-seen footage from their one-night-only event at the revived North Hollywood venue Palomino. Check out the trio’s performance of “Cheatin’ Songs” from the iconic hotspot.

    LET IT ROLL, Midland’s No. 1 Billboard Top Country Album debut and second critically lauded project, was recorded in four different cities over the course of their relentless touring schedule. Built on classic Country’s unapologetic embrace of grown-up themes, Midland’s latest offering is filled with plenty of drinking songs, cheating songs and seduction songs. NPR noted the trio “Evolves Its Vintage Sound” while Esquire proclaimed their music, “as well-worn as the barstool its protagonist refuses to abandon—think warm, Dwight Yoakam-esque country and swirling, Laurel Canyon folk” and The Austin American Statesman praised, “the melodic twang of 1970s country-rock… reaching high above honky-tonk bounds.”

    Midland has grown from bar band to an in-demand headliner, spending the past three years on the road selling out headline tours from coast to coast as well as getting to support some of Country music’s biggest stars like George Strait, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and Little Big Town. Visit for additional information.

  • New amped up version of their original track, released by The Cadillac Three out now as they bring “The Jam (+ Fuzz)”

    The Cadillac Three have today released ‘The Jam(+ Fuzz)’, an amped up version of the original track (LISTEN HERE), which was featured on their recent album, COUNTRY FUZZ, out now via Big Machine Records.

    During lockdown, the band also put their spin on Post Malone’s hit ‘Circles’, releasing a stripped-down version of the song and music video. The band members each filmed theirown parts on iPhones with lead singer and guitarist Jaren Johnston then producing and piecing the final video together, but this time, from home rather than their tour bus.

    Leaving a lasting impression on fans across the globe with their instinctive sonic tendencies, The Cadillac Three prove they are Nashville’s most versatile band. Made up of singer-guitarist Jaren Johnston, drummer Neil Mason, and lap-steel player Kelby Ray, the trio have been performing together for over a decade, adding to their following of both Country and Rock loyalists.

    Funnelling Southern-to-the-core sensibilities into their own catalogue, TC3 boasts chart-topping tracks and album cuts for Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert and Steven Tyler, to name a few.

    The band received a 2019 CMA International Award nomination for International Artist Achievement and both collectively and individually, Johnston, Mason, and Ray have been nominated for GRAMMY and ACM Awards. Known for their wildly exciting live show, TC3 have toured the U.S. and Europe both on their own and with A-listers Eric Church, Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan, veterans Travis Tritt and Charlie Daniels, plus iconic rockers Metallica and Slayer.

    On this week’s episode of Country Fuzz Radio, TC3 chats with Texas icon Ray Wylie Hubbard about their past touring and new collaboration — ‘Fast Left Hand‘ will be featured on Hubbard’s CO-STARRING album out July 10. Select with select shows will be available on TC3’s YouTube following airings. Visit for more of their latest happenings.

  • Nashville Revises Rules for Reopening, Will Now Allow Full Band Shows IMMEDIATELY

    In the words of Garth Brooks: I like that.

    Nashville had previously announced the rules for phase 2 of reopening the city, with live music allowed but limited to two musicians on stage at a time. But the city revised those rules on Friday, announcing that there is now NO LIMIT on the number of musicians allowed on stage at one time. That’s right: Full band shows are BACK in Nashville!

    The guidelines state that musicians still must have enough room to maintain social distance, which would naturally limit the number of people that bands can fit on a stage at one time. All performers must pass COVID-19 screening questions and have their temperature taken before taking the stage. Performers also have to bring all of their own equipment, and the stage has to be sanitized between acts. The music has to be “kept at a volume that allows venue staff to speak to and serve customers from a six-foot distance” (yeah, ok).

    While bars are technically still closed during this phase, they’re allowed to reopen if they serve food.

    Most bars at least offer some kind of food that would allow them to reopen – and those that didn’t before are finding some creative ways to meet the requirement so that they can open their doors. (Shoutout to Legends for their new menu of Lunchables and Uncrustables).

    Nashville: “Bars can open if they serve food.”


    — Aaron (@a_ryan88) May 24, 2020

    It’s great to see Nashville moving along with the reopening plan at a faster pace than most expected, and also for adjusting the rules as needed. These new regulations make a lot more sense than not allowing any musicians, or limiting it to an arbitrary number. Plus, it’s just weird sitting in a honky tonk with no live music playing.

    So for the time being, it looks like Nashville is taking another step towards getting back to normal – and I’m sure we’ll see the bachelorette parties back out in force before long too.

Indie Music Blogs

31 May 2020

Indie Music Blogs
  • Jeff Paige – “Be Free” – a sublime experience that only grows with repeated listening
    31 May 2020

    A mind-bending blur of rock, soul, funk, and blues, the single “Be Free” – and multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Jeff Paige – forces a narrow-minded industry to look outside its rigid, genre-ruled box. It’s what he does best: crowd-pleasing, impacting-vibes rock that you can’t fault. This song that really has his songwriting muscles charged up, as he spins a bittersweet romantic tale about finding the right person, who for some reason just can’t see you standing right in front of them. “At the end of the day, it’s about setting the bird free,” says Jeff. “Letting it see who you really are and understanding and trusting for doing that. It will eventually come back to you, if it is meant to be.  You just have to let it go, first.”

    The beauty of Jeff Paige – originally from Boston but residing in Atlanta – and his songwriting, is that he chooses to harness his emotions into creating something positive. After all, haven’t we all been completely exhausted by hate and division?

    It is truly spinning out-of-control, but thankfully, Paige somehow compounds his whirlwind of contrasting emotion into an uplifting four minutes of music. Jeff Paige’s rainbow of sounds has a warm and clean luster; he sounds like a fully grown musician, songwriter, and arranger. In fact, it would be difficult to find anything wrong with the production of “Be Free”, it sounds that good!

    Jeff Paige sounds sincere, meaningful, original and full of life despite what seems like a simple set of sentiments. In fact “Be Free” has plenty of awesome musical moments. The chorus is absolutely infectious, finding Paige dipping into a pool of sweet harmonies.

    While it’s fresh, the song also has a vintage quality. In addition to being soulful, the groove has a distinct, percussive and bass-driven nature. “Be Free” is proof that Jeff Paige creates music and a style of his own wishes. A great thing, as doesn’t follow any current trends as many other singers do. And he doesn’t have to, considering what he has accomplished here.

    All kinds of organic instruments collide together without leaning too much on computer programs and audio workstations, which these days is hard to find on other releases. Jeff Paige is keeping it real, as he’s definitively tapped into the old-school musical divinities.

    With so much cloned and listless pop music in the air, it’s just good to have someone around who knows how to rock out with a soulful and funky vibe. Paige is clearly at the top of his game. His vocals are effortlessly delivered, as is the musical backdrop behind him. With a firm grip on the driving tempo and using his voice to maximum impact, the jangling guitar grooves make sure the track’s momentum sticks.

    The things I pay most attention to in music are melody, arrangement, and content. However Jeff Paige could have recorded this song with just an acoustic guitar and I’d still be writing this review because of how good the songwriting is.

    Moreover his use of complimentary musical instruments adds to the quality of the songwriting, providing a sublime experience that only grows with repeated listening. “Be Free” deserves the right kind of attention. I believe that when someone does something with quality and meaning, it’s important for us to give them props.


  • How to Promote Your Music on Instagram
    30 May 2020
    8 Tips for Killing the Instagram Game

    (If you’re on a time crunch, here’s a TL;DR.)

    1. Create an authentic brand
    2. Have a compelling header
    3. Do at least one weekly live performance
    4. Always have a backlog of content
    5. Use Stories often and well
    6. Collaborate with artists who are similar to you
    7. Use hashtags
    8. Pay to promote your best work

    These days, it’s never been easier to make your own music; Garageband is free, microphones are cheap, and vocal tuning, gridlines, and stock plugins cover a multitude of sins. It seems like everybody and their best friend’s estranged aunt has released music at some point, and even though it’s not always very good, you’d better believe it’s on all the major streaming platforms.

    Right alongside the growth of music creation, music promotion outlets have never been more accessible. Ever since the internet gave life to countless music blogs (you’re on one right now!), playlists, and radio stations, it’s never been more crucial for artists to build and maintain an online presence. And while all social media platforms are important, one has clearly asserted itself as the most vital for artists to take advantage of: Instagram.

    Thanks to living in Nashville, my Instagram feed is crammed with musicians trying to stand out. But, if I’m being honest, between the paid-advertisement acoustic covers of “Fix You” and the bios that say “_____ is now available on all streaming platforms,” not a lot of them do. More often than not, artists’ attempts at self-promotion completely miss the mark, and between you and me, the ones who seem to be trying the hardest can often come across as a little bit annoying.

    But you and I both know your music is different. For one thing, you’re actually pretty good at your instrument, and your voice is somewhere between Adele, Jason Derulo, Ariana Grande, and Zac Brown. You also write songs that make people think, or dance, or cry, and when people who hear your music say, “What was that?” they mean it in the best way. And don’t even get me started on how dope your hair is.

    The problem is, it’s bound to take more than your wealth of raw musical talent and good looks to promote your music on Instagram. It’s going to take strategy, planning, and creativity. It’s definitely going to take time, and might even take a little bit of money. But if you do it right, you are guaranteed to build a meaningful brand, an engaged fanbase, and an independent career that thrives in the age of labels not being cool anymore. And you’ll do it all while still being your authentic non-annoying self, falling right into the green zone.

    Here are the top eight ways to promote your music on Instagram.

    1. Create an authentic brand

    Whether you’re a country singer, a jazz pianist, a pop writer, a rapper, an EDM producer, or a church choir member, you are most likely aware of the aesthetic that goes with your genre. As much as you want to stand out, you don’t want to confuse anybody, either. Probably don’t use grunge-inspired filters unless you’re a rock guitarist. Maybe go easy on the intense, busy fonts if you’re an acoustic singer-songwriter. And please, please don’t just assume that typing in all lowercase letters is right for you.

    The best Instagram content (like the best music) is honest, true-to-life, and relatable. If you’re funny, post funny pictures with funny captions. If you’re quirky and have an artsy photoshoot with your friends every other day, don’t be afraid to own it. You’re trying to promote your music on your own Instagram, so be yourself, not who you think you should be. Authenticity is always, always better.

    2. Have a compelling header

    This includes your profile picture, bio, and website. It’s the first thing people see, and should make people want to see more of you.

    Profile pictures give you little room to work with, but that just gives you all the more reason to get creative with them. A few key things include keeping yourself at the center, keeping the background solid enough that you stand out, and using your most on-brand photo. If you’re a band or a musician, think about using a logo or a headshot of some sort, because squeezing other people or instruments in such a small space can be difficult to do well.

    Your bio is your first chance to say something about yourself to people visiting your profile. You don’t have many characters to work with, so it’s probably best to be short and sweet. If you have an original one-liner that always gets a laugh, now’s your chance to use it. Or, if you’re going for a more professional aesthetic, just tell people what you do and where you do it. Bios are also pretty much the only place on Instagram where it’s not weird to use emojis, but be tasteful, and don’t overdo it.

    Your website is self-explanatory. Here’s a small guide to Instagram link etiquette.

    3. Do at least one weekly live performance

    Video content is the number one way to showcase what you do uniquely well that puts you a cut above everybody else, so unless your cover of Coldplay is played on a didgeridoo or a flugelhorn, think about switching it out for an original song, or a cover not many people have done before. And if you’re a musician – especially an acoustic guitar player – the more live you can get your performance to look and sound (easy on the reverb if you’re mixing the audio separately), the more it will showcase who you are. Trust me on this one.

    This is your chance to show people what you can do. Whether it’s posting a video of yourself playing one of your favorite songs, or sharing an intimate songwriting workshop on IGTV (Instagram’s section for videos over one minute long), or going on Instagram Live to show people how you produce your music, it’s important to have video content that proves how good you really are. And you and I both know you’re really, really good.

    4. Always have a backlog of content

    This cannot be stressed enough: always be prepared for at least your next two weeks of posting. To promote your music on Instagram, things like fresh photoshoots, release hype graphics, and in-studio or on-stage pictures aren’t too hard to stock up if you take your artistry seriously. Of course you will want to leave room for spontaneity (after all, you’re pretty funny, and your life is interesting enough to warrant a few random updates each week), but when things are slow or if you’re building up to a release, it’s always best to be prepared.

    Be strategic with your backlog, too; if you’re like me, you won’t always remember to post every day, so schedule your posts out beforehand (platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer make it super easy). Also, while I’m at it, here are the best times to post each day, just to make sure your hot content goes up at a hot time.

    5. Use Stories often and well

    Posting on your normal feed too much is unfortunately pretty annoying; if you want to be constantly updating your fans, try posting on your Story instead. There’s not really any etiquette for Stories, so you can make them as long or as short as you want. It’s also far and away the best place on Instagram to talk, make jokes, or create a daily series without it getting too irritating for your fans. Generally, the people who watch your Stories already love everything you do, so give them looks at everything from cooking, to bonfires, to new music. You’re not just a musician; you’re a real person, and a pretty cool one.

    Another feature of Instagram Stories is the music sticker; if you release music with companies that distribute to Facebook and Instagram (Distrokid and CD Baby, for example), then the world will be able to attach your music to Stories, including lyrics, cover art, and the full, unobstructed audio. It’s a massive advantage that not a lot of indie musicians use yet, so if you want to promote your music on Instagram, hop on the train before it becomes cool.

    6. Collaborate with artists who are similar to you

    Do you have friends who are trying to make music for a living, too? Of course you do. Instagram is the perfect place to make their fanbase your fanbase, and vice versa. If you’re a drummer, collab with a bassist. If you’re a singer, collab with a producer. If you’re a flugelhorn player, you’re on your own.

    In all seriousness, we’re in this together. If you have more than just your face in a post, people are more likely to engage with it, and it’s a good way to show that you’re a social butterfly who surrounds yourself with talented people. And the more collabs you do, the more people will want to collaborate with you, and soon you’ll be all the way up the collaboration ladder.

    7. Use hashtags

    I hate doing it, you hate doing it, and everybody’s best friend’s estranged aunt hates doing it. But if you want to promote your music on Instagram, it has to be done.

    Hashtags are still one of the best free ways to get your content to a wider audience, and as painful as it will be to see a block of ugly text and symbols beneath your heartfelt, carefully written caption, indie artists need to do it. There is a slight way around having it look unbearably ugly, though; if you publish a post with a caption, you can add the hashtags as a separate comment, and it will 1) Look a little bit better, and 2) Still work as well as if you had put them in the caption. Try popular hashtags that relate to what you do, but also try some more obscure ones that only have a few thousand hits. There’s a better chance of seeing your post at the top of #arkansasindieartists than at the top of #music.

    Another trick you can use is to create your own unique hashtag, use it for everything you post, and tell your fans to use it when they post about you. That way, you’ll garner a mass of content in one location that is exclusive to you, and it’s easier to track when people post about your music.

    8. Pay to promote your best work

    Nobody wants to pay for promotion, and it isn’t always necessary. But if you keep finding that your content isn’t reaching as many people as you (realistically) would like, then by all means, give it a go.

    Instagram has an incredibly accurate advertising algorithm (which borders on creepy most of the time), and it’s yours to use if you have a little extra cash in the marketing budget. But if you spend money, make sure you’re spending it on the content that you are most proud of, or is most unique to you. Once again, your acoustic cover of everybody’s favorite sad song “Fix You” is incredible without a doubt, but let’s be honest: you have better things to spend money promoting. Original music, release hype graphics, and unique, double-take-worthy content are pretty much the only things you should bother boosting. And once you’ve boosted a few things, check the analytics to see which ones performed the best. Then try that kind again.

    In the end, it isn’t easy to promote your music on Instagram, and it can be soul-sucking. But there’s good news; you’re up to the task. Take these tips and run with them. Make them your own, find out what works for you, and be as authentic as you can. I promise that you’re only a few more posts away from that coveted blue checkmark. And then it’s all fame and fortune.

    The post How to Promote Your Music on Instagram appeared first on Two Story Melody.

  • Sharvesh Battles Voices on his New Single
    30 May 2020

    Sharvesh is a new voice out of Berlin’s booming Hip-Hop scene. A native of India, he studied in Germany and turned a lifelong love of music into the launch of a career onto the global trap scene. He debuted last year with the single “Lost.” That song and it’s follow-up “Dime” have racked up tens of thousands of spins on Spotify.

    The rapper lists artists like Lil Peep and Joji as influences. Sharvesh has studied music since his childhood in India. When he arrived in Berlin for University an early interest in EDM eventually led him to create melodic emo rap.

    “Voices” is the brand new single from Sharvesh, released worldwide on May 29, 2020. The track is a melodic rap tune over a mellow Trap beat. He sings trance-like auto-tune vocals as a hypnotic and psychedelic backing track sets a trippy mood. It is a dark vibe, but the infectious melody pulls the listener in as Sharvesh picks apart the competing voices in his own mind. The artist explains that he, “puts all of his anger and frustration into his music. It’s a form of release.”

    On the new single he uses overlapping vocal harmonies, guitars and synths to paint the backdrop for his stream of consciousness lyrics. Lyrically, “Voices” contemplates themes of paranoia, confusion and the artist’s internal struggle to find happiness. By the time the song reaches the bridge the singer chants a quiet mantra, “I need peace.” It is a very real emotional moment, and one that is universally relatable.

    “Voices” is available on all major streaming services. Check it out on the Deep Indie Beat playlist and follow the links below to connect with Sharvesh. Stay in the loop on all of his current and future releases.


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    Hear Sharvesh on the Deep Indie Beat playlist

    The post Sharvesh Battles Voices on his New Single appeared first on The Static Dive.

  • Chloe Gilligan – ‘Still With You’ [Alternative R&B] 🇺🇸
    30 May 2020

    Chloe Gilligan introduces her unique brand of Alternative R&B in ‘Still With You’.

    Opening with hypnotic synths, arresting harmonies glide over an ethereal soundscape, bittersweet yet optimistic.

    Exploring a fantasy of time coming to a halt, to better enjoy a snapshot of perfection with her romantic interest, Gilligan has a deeply moving vocal, vibrant and understated in its style and delivery.

    Evoking images of pastel sunsets and limitless love, the track is a transcendent slice of life, a celebration of our best emotions and moments, wrapped into a catchy R&B atmosphere.



    The post Chloe Gilligan – ‘Still With You’ [Alternative R&B] 🇺🇸 appeared first on Pastel Wasteland.

  • PH8L – “Since 1985” – a bombardment of sensory detail!
    30 May 2020

    PH8L is a Hip-Hop artist from Chicagoland, and 1/4 of the group PHOR RE4L. A student of the game since its golden hour, PH8L (pronounced fatal) has released his debut EP “Since 1985”. “The recording was inspired by big life changes and moving back home to Chicagoland,” explains the artist. “It felt like this album had been building up in me since 1985.” Entering the next step of his musical career, PH8L proves to be one of the most genuine acts in contemporary rap. This recognition is due in part to his remarkable ability to weave creative wordplay into personal and profound storytelling. Like the best of his fellow Chicagoan creatives, PH8L consistently delivers a balance in his art that is both entertaining and rich with insight. This EP, offers authenticated proof of the artist’s emotional depth and talent.

    PH8L’s lyrics make for a bombardment of sensory detail. When PH8L speaks, it feels like he’s giving a part of himself (and a variety of emotions) to the listener. He starts doing that right from the opening track, “Who Am I”, as he kicks things off with the affirmation: “I was raised just to raise hell.” The song’s instrumental has a dark nature, with the lyricism establishing an urgent edge to the material. PH8L provides a realistic and sincere depiction of his determination.

    “Since 1985” is a work that displays what makes PH8L an important voice in today’s rap scene. Whether it’s through his lyrics about personal experiences or narratives about his surroundings, PH8L is an artist that writes authentic stories with intimate depth.

    “Rest Less” is an honest addition to PH8L’s catalog, the type that should keep listeners excited for the next installment in his story, which comes quickly with the hard hitting “B A G-O-D!” A track that displays a clever and focused use of verbiage, as well as a relentless flow from.

    The album is confessional to its core with a narrative that spans PH8L’s entire mindset. “Sucker Free” gives us further insight into the rapper’s modus operandi. Packing a punch in every bar, PH8L shows us how he stays ahead of the pettiness in the game.

    Each track on this EP sets the tone for the rest of the recording: they’re candid, complex, and challenging, harkening back to the grooves of old-school hip-hop, while still offering a modern twist that is entirely PH8L’s own.

    The rapper’s impressive lyricism and polyrhythmic lines are perfectly matched with thumping drum loops on “Brainwashed” ft. Decoy Dungeons. It presents a fine-tuned balancing act where its potency does not sacrifice its groove.

    As a rapper, PH8L is sharp, clear and authoritative, pronouncing every syllable crisply enough that you never have to strain to understand him. Rather than chasing hits, he’s put his gifts, which are considerable, toward building something affecting, something that really gets across his feelings and thoughts.

    All throughout “Since 1985”, it clear that PH8L really does have stories to tell, and the urgency in the way he tells them helps make the closing track, “Low Eyed Vibe” into something special. PH8L is a talented and expressive emcee, and on this track he is even more incisive and potent.

    As a first time listener to PH8L on “Since 1985”, I was thoroughly impressed. His flow is effortless and captivating. The ambition is there, and so is the music. This EP has done everything it can be expected to do.



  • Ever use a Glory Hole?
    30 May 2020
  • Tyrants drop new track "Mouthful"
    30 May 2020
    Coming right out of the 'Black Country' - Birmingham to you an I - the quartet that is Tyrants are back with a heavy new track "Mouthful", which is their second ever track. This thick new cut follows on from their debut single, "Aprons & Catnip", which dropped earlier on in 2020. Having formed back in 2018 they had a name change and since then have been tearing it up!

    With shows already been played at the O2 Institute in Birmingham and plays on their local BBC Introducing station, this is just the beginning for the lads.

    The new cut sounds like the band are starting to refine their sound with more of a meatier sound verses their debut effort. "Mouthful" has lots of fuzz on the guitar, heavy hooks in the basslines and crashing drum fills. The vocals remind us of Royal Blood in parts and their influences Slaves, IDLES and the aforementioned Royal Blood, ensuring that their tracks are always going to be filled with a wall of guitars!

    Speaking about the new single, guitarist Harry says "... "Mouthful" will stick with you; its catchy grooves, riffs and chorus will have you put the song on repeat" - and we'd agree!

    With a high energy introduction to Tyrants already we feel like they're going to be dropping absolute bangers left right and centre after this. With a fantastic debut effort and an even better follow-up single it really feels like we are going to be hearing a lot more from this Birmingham act in the future. So head on down below and check it out, oh, don't forget to follow them on the socials too.

  • MOVRNINGSTAR – “Baptism” [Electronic] 🇬🇧
    30 May 2020

    MOVRNINGSTAR’s “Baptism” opens with simple but really beautiful synth keys, before gaining a mellow, yet potent dark ambiance.

    The beat is subtle but still runs deep. There’s a richness to this track which is almost magical – it feels like there’s a lot more going on here than you’d expect from such a relatively simple mix. Going into this I was expecting witch house. But there’s something wholly unique and compelling about everything you’ll hear.

    Its accompanying video is a warped version of classic horror from cinema’s golden age. The juxtaposition between this and the music magnifies the effect considerably.

    I have to say that I love the symbol MOVRNINGSTAR represents themselves with. As someone with a (passing) familiarity with Chaos Magick, seeing their symbol flash up on screen does put a spin on things. And that’s before we even get to someone basing their stage name on Lucifer.

    It’s all so appropriate because MOVRNINGSTAR’s work is simultaneously magical, dark, and angelic.

    You can find MOVRNINGSTAR here:






    The post MOVRNINGSTAR – “Baptism” [Electronic] 🇬🇧 appeared first on Pastel Wasteland.

  • Introducing: CARDS x SITA – Underwater Landscape
    30 May 2020

    Sita Steele is a singer-songwriter, native to New York and currently based in Nashville. She just released a collaboration with CARDS called Underwater Landscape. The song sounds so good. I like the fresh driving groove. Besides, the hooks are solid. Furthermore, I am also a fan of the smooth vocals and catchy elements. Lyrically, the two are talented. They write amazing things.


    The post Introducing: CARDS x SITA – Underwater Landscape appeared first on Lefuturewave.

  • Introducing: Skyler Cocco – Work. (feat. Armen Paul)
    30 May 2020

    Skyler Cocco is a singer-songwriter, music producer and multi-instrumentalist based in New York. She recently released her new single Work. (feat. Armen Paul). The song sounds so good. I like the acoustic guitar riffs. Besides, the vocals are outstanding. Furthermore, I am also a fan of the modern percussion and solid chorus. Lyrically, the two deliver. Their writing skills are on point.


    The post Introducing: Skyler Cocco – Work. (feat. Armen Paul) appeared first on Lefuturewave.

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