Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Our Founding Fathers

My bandmates and best friends Panda and Falco have a new project, The Founding Fathers.  I don't really know how to describe the music... programmed beats, electric guitars...  They've made some live tracks available on their website, it's really really good stuff, worth the stream while you're getting into what else you're getting into on the internets today.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Music Update

Rediscovering the e-bass at The Festy IV

Motivation and inspiration hit hard sometimes.  The last few weeks have added so much fuel to the fire that it can barely be contained.  I'm charging ahead with my solo project with a planned release date sometime in January, Sunliner's decided to cut a 45 or a single (two sides) this week or the next and the final session for the upcoming Stringdusters album less than three weeks away (and I've been charged with the task of writing another song for that session).

Post Festy, pre Holiday Tour was intended to be downtime but it's quickly become as busy as any other time of the year.  It's not only recording, Sarah and I are doing a few duo shows in Asheville, Roanoke and Ashland and I'm playing with her on her mini-tour in support of the re-release of her epic album Covered (see earlier blog post for more on that) in Boston and New York City.  Solo shows take a back seat this fall but January is going to be busy around the record release.  More on that later.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Albums of the Year

This year is not over yet (thank God) but Blue Ridge Outdoors prompted me to share my favorite albums of the year and the process got me thinking about all the great music I've uncovered in 2013.  Two in particular have been hitting me hard in the last few months, thought I'd share.  Hope you like badass pop.

LEAGUES:  You Belong Here

I’ve been a big fan of Thad Cockrell’s since my wife and I landed a brilliant Holiday record of his a few years ago.  He was living in Nashville at the time (as was my wife and I) and they shared some of the same social circles.  I hadn’t heard Thad in a few years before Sarah played me the Leagues debut album but his voice immediately brought me the same sense of joy I had when I first “discovered” his music several years before.  I’m a sucker for badass pop/rock music and this record is as good as it gets.  


This record was released in 2011 but I only just uncovered it when my lovely wife, Sarah, coupled it together with the latest Silver Seas record, Alaska, (2013) for a cross-country journey I took late summer.  The Silver Seas are my favorite band, simply put, and Tashian one of my favorite songwriters.  I can sing every line of every song of every record.  I didn’t read the writing on the disc, just put it in and immediately fell in love with what I thought was the latest offering from the Seas, but when track 10 rolled around and the chorus of Alaska hit, at first I thought “oh, how creative, the title track last” but then the track ended and another began and I realized my error.  I had been listening to Arthur.  Hook after hook, shameless pop and devastating bridges (I once laughed for at least 20 minutes straight at a cocktail party as Tashian riffed on a joke about opening a business on Music Row called Bridges Inc. where all the songwriters co-writing on the row, struggling with the bridge would drop by to get their bridges written for them)... Arthur’s the best thing I’ve heard all year.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Festy part IV

The calm after the storm.  Neither rain nor wind nor conditions more akin to Scotland than Virginia could keep the Dust down at The Festy's 4th edition.  Despite a steady but soft rain compliments of a tropical storm that simply refused to push north, The Festy easily and handily achieved the designation of "best Festy yet."

Friday Marco Benevento blew my mind.  I think his bass player was David Dreiwitz.

Saturday Sunliner debuted and surprised ourselves with the rock potential of a power trio.

Saturday night, the John Scofield Uber Jam had me so fired up I had to walk away lest I burn every ounce of energy I had.  Scofield sat in with the 'Dusters later that night, first backed on his own tune, Kelpers, then trading solos with Chris Pandolfi on Fire.  Sunday I kicked back and enjoyed the music and the sights.  Already making plans for next year, The Festy part V.  Hope to see you all there.


Photo's by Brian Band and Pati Bobek except Sunliner photo, no idea where that came from.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

We Don't Negotiate With Terrorists

Terrorists.  That's what they are.  The individuals responsible for the obstruction of the Affordable Health Care Act and this government shutdown or federal lockout are terrorizing America.  As Elizabeth Warren put it, they couldn't accomplish what they wanted through Democracy, that is to say through elections and the courts, so they're holding the country hostage.  They're terrorists and we don't negotiate with terrorists.  We tell them to go fuck themselves and then we put them under arrest. I suggest we do the same to Mitch McConnell and his toxic cronies. This is not a breakdown of our government, this is a situation where we have a vocal minority taking radical measures to further their backwards ideology.

Satirist and conscience of the nation, Jon Stewarts take:


 From one of our greatest leaders, Elizabeth Warren: