LYRIC OF THE WEEK: Otis Redding, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay”

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It wasn’t written as a protest song, but it almost sounds like it could have been one during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. It became an anthem of sorts for people of all colors all over the world, both the truly downtrodden and those of us who just feel like we are. I’m […]

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Music Business Miracle: From Lyric Contest Victory to Billboard No. 1

Lance Kelsea

Having a single on national radio as a writer or an artist, much less being able to claim a No. 1 song on the Billboard country charts, is an incredibly difficult feat, even for someone who’s established in the industry. So when four writers (one also being a new artist) who’ve never been anywhere near […]

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Greens And Blues: The Long Arm of Irish Music

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This article appears in the July/August “British” issue, available now on newsstands.  It’s Saturday night in Nashville, and locals and tourists alike are flocking to live music venues to hear bands and singer-songwriters. But not everyone is partying at the downtown honky-tonks or lining up at the Ryman Auditorium to see some legendary act. This […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald”

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Gordon Lightfoot has been around for longer than most folks realize, with hit records in his native Canada in the 1960s and a number one as a country songwriter with Marty Robbins in 1965. He eventually found success as an artist in America with such great tunes as “If You Could Read My Mind” and […]

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Paul Weller: A Lucky Man

Paul Weller, photo by Julien Broad

This article appears in our July/August 2015 “British Issue,” now available on newsstands.  Few British artists have been as influential and popular post-Beatles in the U.K. as Paul Weller. Starting in his mid-teens, Weller was the main force behind The Jam, a band that fused punk energy with more musicality than groups like The Sex […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Marc Cohn, “Walking In Memphis”

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Even successful songs can sometimes sound like they were phoned in. But then there are those songs that the writer has an obvious heartfelt, even spiritual, connection to. Marc Cohn’s 1991 hit “Walking In Memphis” has a lyric so genuine that the listener knows it’s either based on something that really happened, or the writer […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Stephen Stills, “Treetop Flyer”

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Stephen Stills is a great electric guitar soloist, a formidable multi-instrumentalist, and an instantly-recognizable singer who was lucky enough to run into a couple of guys named Crosby and Nash back in the ‘60s. But those in the know are also aware of what an outstanding writer and acoustic guitarist he is as well. “Treetop […]

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Jelly Roll Morton: Don’t Deny His Name

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This article appears in our May/June 2015 “Blues Issue,” available now on newsstands.  When it comes to the top names in blues originators, Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe – better known as Jelly Roll Morton – isn’t always the first one who comes to mind. He’s regarded as a pioneer of jazz piano in New Orleans, a […]

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LYRIC OF THE WEEK: Louis Armstrong, “What A Wonderful World”

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  It was a number one hit in the U.K. in the 1960s. Then it was a top 20 hit in Italy in the 1970s. Finally, in the 1980s, it charted in the United States, where it had gone nearly unnoticed for two decades. Now, 48 years after it was recorded, Louis Armstrong’s “What a […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Clifton Chenier, “I’m Coming Home”

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Okay, so we missed Mother’s Day by a few weeks. But like Christmas, IMO, it’s probably something that should be observed every day anyway. So in honor of that – and in honor of a genuinely heartfelt song written and sung by a guy who obviously missed his home and his mom – let’s take […]

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Muddy Waters: Can’t Be Satisfied

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This article appears in the May/June 2015 “Blues Issue,” now available on newsstands.  “Well the blues had a baby and they named him rock and roll.” So sang Muddy Waters on his 1977 album Hard Again. Produced by the late blues guitar icon Johnny Winter, this album was recorded after authentic blues acts took a […]

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