Persistence Pays: Ryan Bizarri Gets His First Cut


Hundreds of new songwriter wannabes pull into Nashville every month. Then they either put down roots and spend the next few years trying to get better and figure out how the system works, or they pack up and head home when they run out of money to tell their families and friends how horribly political […]

Continue Reading

Lyric Of The Week: Mickey Newbury, “An American Trilogy”


When Mickey Newbury’s name comes up, you, even as a songwriter or a fan of songs, may say, “Who?” Because even though he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1980, he wasn’t all that well-known. Newbury’s albums from the late 1960s and early 1970s didn’t sell much, but they established him […]

Continue Reading

Lyric Of The Week: Guy Clark, “L.A. Freeway”

guy clark

There are all kinds of songs about people trying to get to Los Angeles for one reason or another – stardom, the beach, whatever. But one now-iconic songwriter started his career by writing a song about trying to get out of the place. In addition to albums recorded under his own name, Grammy winner Guy […]

Continue Reading

Lyric Of The Week: Big Mama Thornton, “Hound Dog”


 “Hound Dog” is most widely known as the song that catapulted a young Memphis truck driver named Elvis Presley to mega-stardom. But blues singer Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton’s version of the song – the first version recorded by anyone, cut in 1952 – sold somewhere between 750,000 and 2,000,000 copies, depending on who you […]

Continue Reading

Lyric Of The Week: Garth Brooks, “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)”


When he burst onto the Nashville music scene in 1989, Garth Brooks not only changed the direction of country music, but of American entertainment overall. He played sold-out shows and moved unheard-of numbers of country CDs for a few years, then became someone else for a minute (Chris Gaines), then retired, then came back for […]

Continue Reading

Review: Martin GPC-Aura GT Acoustic-Electric Guitar


For many acoustic lead players, a cutaway is a must. So while Martin’s GPC-Aura GT Acoustic-Electric is a good guitar for a singer-songwriter, its cutaway also makes it a nice option for that lead player looking for a quality acoustic-electric. My favorite thing about the GPC-Aura GT I played was the fingerboard, which I had […]

Continue Reading

Review: Fender American Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar


(Street: $1,249 and up, depending on color)  Fender Telecasters are part of a rich tradition of American music, guitars that have made history by changing – if not helping create – the sound of every genre of modern music. Country players like the Hag, blues giants like Muddy Waters, rockers like Keith Richards, even jazz […]

Continue Reading

Book Review: Nashville Songwriter


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, […]

Continue Reading

Lyric Of The Week: Beck, “Loser”


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 […]

Continue Reading

Various Artists: The Buddy Holly Country Tribute, Remember Me


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 […]

Continue Reading

The Roys: The View


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, […]

Continue Reading

Joe Bonamassa Readies Different Shades of Blue with Nashville Cats


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 […]

Continue Reading