Book Review: Nashville Songwriter

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Nashville Songwriter By Jake Brown (BenBella Books) Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars It’s always been hard for a songwriter of any genre to get a cut. And it’s tougher than ever today, unless a writer has outrageously good connections and/or a song that absolutely floors not only an artist, but his or her producer, […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Beck, “Loser”

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In the early 1990s Beck Hansen and co-writer Carl Stephenson spent a few hours recording a song called “Loser,” which fledgling label Bong Load Custom Records pressed 500 copies of. It surprisingly made some noise on FM radio in L.A., and Beck was signed to Geffen imprint DGC, which re-released “Loser” in 1994 and included […]

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Various Artists: The Buddy Holly Country Tribute, Remember Me

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Various Artists The Buddy Holly Country Tribute: Remember Me (Nashville America Records) 3.5 out of 5 stars More than half a century has passed since Buddy Holly’s plane went down in Iowa, and his once-pervasive rock ‘n’ roll influence has dwindled somewhat in the new century. But a group of old-school Nashville country stars has […]

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The Roys: The View

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The Roys The View (Rural Rhythm Records) 3.5 out of 5 stars Canadian brother and sister bluegrass duo The Roys have been steadily chipping away for years, recording and traveling relentlessly and winning consecutive Inspirational Country Music (ICM) Bluegrass Artist of the Year and Duo of the Year awards. On their new album The View, […]

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Joe Bonamassa Readies Different Shades of Blue with Nashville Cats

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For nearly two decades, Joe Bonamassa has been one of the top blues guitarist/vocalists of Generation Y, but also a favorite of preceding generations that just love a guitar hero. Openly acknowledging the influence of such 1960s British blues icons as Rory Gallagher and Paul Kossoff, Bonamassa has occasionally strayed from his roots, most notably […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”

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Some songwriters write for an entire lifetime and never see much success, or never have their work publicly acknowledged, good as it may be. And then there are writers who seem to just be in the right place at the right time, who haven’t put all that much elbow grease into it but still hit […]

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Lyric Of The Week: The Righteous Brothers, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”

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It was 50 years ago that Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector pitched a song to Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, who had had some minor success as the first “blue-eyed soul” duo, the Righteous Brothers. The song was a piece about a faltering relationship called “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” and the duo […]

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Review: Martin 000-18E Retro Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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A new addition to Martin’s Retro series this year, the 000-18E Retro is the first short-scale (24.9 inches from nut to saddle) guitar in the line. It’s also a sweet-sounding guitar even when not using the revolutionary Fishman technology that makes the Retro series one of the great guitar innovations of this century so far. […]

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Nashville is Truly a (Vintage) Guitar Town

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Since Nashville is home to thousands of songwriters and guitar players, it makes sense that Music City would also be the location of some well-known vintage guitar dealers. And while not all of us can afford a collectible vintage Gibson or Martin or other historic model, they sure are fun to try out in the […]

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Kenny Rogers, “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”

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The most timeless songs usually deal with some aspect of the human condition, with things that have existed for as long as people have. Songs about love, loss, pleasure, pain, and even the ravages of war are favorite subjects of songs that we hear on the radio every day. One song that is still being […]

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Tess Henley Wins Guitar Center’s Singer-Songwriter 3 National Artist Discovery Program

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Some people automatically visualize artists like James Taylor or Taylor Swift when they hear the term “singer-songwriter,” somebody with an acoustic guitar who can command an audience’s attention with original music. But the winner of this year’s 3rd annual “Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter Artist Discovery Program competition is not primarily a guitarist, but a keyboardist/vocalist whose […]

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