The Appeal of Acoustic Music

For some strange reason, there’s been more demand for acoustic music in the past few years. The reason I know this is because, after my shows, I CONSTANTLY get people asking me if I would ever consider doing acoustic shows, or that they would love to see me tour with just acoustic guitars. Not that people don’t like the electric shows, but a lot of those same people have told me that if I did electric, they would like to see a full band with me. I’ve explained that it’s very difficult and very expensive for me to do this. I don’t have enough time to plan out a full tour that would make enough money to pay a band, myself, and get enough money to cover expenses. I’m not a star. This is tough. That’s just the way it is. BUT, I’ve seen people that I know go out and tour with a solo acoustic show, and they’re able to keep from having the expenses of keeping a full band on the road, but they also get great responses! One aspect of it that gets such a great reaction is the intimacy of an acoustic show. There’s something different about that. It’s easier to cover mistakes on an acoustic guitar than an electric. The acoustic guitar is more giving. Therefore, if somebody requests a song, you can at least ACT like you know it. It seems that request shows work much better with acoustic guitars. I don’t know why. That’s just how it goes. Electric songs sound cool if they’re arranged well on acoustic, and love songs are hard to beat on an acoustic. Garth Brooks has sold out shows in Vegas for the past few years as a one man acoustic show. Now, a lot of this is because it’s the only place people could regularly see him, but the intimacy of the show, and the spontaneity appeals to everyone! It feels like you’re closer to the artist, not just because it’s a small theater. I can understand it, but it’s still puzzling. I’m not complaining, because it’s led to me completing an acoustic album, and booking acoustic shows that have gotten great responses! I’m not about to stop, when the appeal of acoustic music keeps growing!

 

Some Guy Named Robb – One of the best acoustic artists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIoyRhx2WjM

Garth Brooks’ One Man Acoustic Show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPKRkJpjJ2w

 

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Kanye West is a Creative Genius?

For those of you who didn’t see the Kanye West interview with Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kanye called himself a “Creative Genius” in the middle of the interview. Jimmy was trying to let Kanye clear up some of the rumors about him. One of the rumors was that Kanye is full of himself, and thinks much too highly of his material. The very next thing out of Kanye’s mouth was the “Creative Genius” line. Poor Jimmy just sat there, finally realizing that he was wasting his time, and that most of the Kanye rumors are just plain true! So, Kanye’s “Yeezus” album has given birth to a “Hit Single” called “Bound 2”, which features Charlie Wilson on vocals. I first heard this song when Kanye premiered the music video for it on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The singing that Charlie Wilson does is phenomenal! The rest of the song…ehh…not so much. I may not be an audio genius, but even I knew that “Bound 2” was mixed TERRIBLY! The background music was WAY too thin, and the editing of the music was below amateur hobby level. As an added bonus, Kanye put very bad lyrics on top of that. I won’t quote them, because like always, they’re about having sex with Kim Kardashian, only this time, in the kitchen sink…yeeah…and if that were enough, and you know it really should be, the video is CHEESY AS EVER! WHOO! WHAT A DEAL! Creative genius? I think not!

 

Kanye West’s Bound 2 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBAtAM7vtgc

Seth Rogen and James Franco doing a BETTER version of Bound 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRckgn36lzY

 

 

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Garth Brooks comes back to sell out again!

Yup…you read it right. Garth Brooks is back! But this time, it’s for a different purpose. Before, he would make entrances into humanity just for the purposes of making money. NOW, he’s making an entrance into humanity to make money FASTER! It’s already been rumored that he’ll be touring next year. That I don’t doubt. But, the BIG headline in Garth Land is that he’s got a new box set coming out called “Blame It All On My Roots”. This box set contains eight discs. First, four CD’s of brand new recordings of some of Garth’s favorite cover songs. Next, a DVD of Garth’s final show at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. Finally, somewhat randomly thrown in, is the two-disc Ultimate Hits, along with a DVD of his music videos, both of which have been previously released. You might ask…why would he throw Ultimate Hits and the music videos DVD in there? Your first though, and Garth’s first response I’m sure, is “Well…it’s for the fans.” WRONG! As I discovered after doing some research, Garth is trying to pass the record sales of The Beatles. So, when he puts out box sets, like he’s done 3 times before this, you would think that each box set counts for one unit…well, you would be wrong again. EACH DISC, yes, EACH DISC, in EACH BOX SET counts for ONE UNIT. This means that for every box set he sells, he sells 8 records. This is done to artificially inflate his record sales, to help him reach his goal of being the top selling artist of all time. Now, unless there’s a massive uprising of fans who boycott this box set, and figure out what he’s doing, he will reach his goal. His fans have been waiting for new Garth Brooks music for YEARS, so they won’t pass this up! I’ll admit, I’ve been a Garth Brooks fan since I was 5 years old. Now, I’ve wised up since. I’m still a fan, but I don’t buy all of the box sets and “special editions”, or the 10 different versions of Double Live, where the only difference between each version was a different album cover. Since each “version” of Double Live was considered a different release, they were counted as such, also inflating his record sales, because brainwashed fans will HAVE TO buy every cover! Now, will I buy the new box set this week? Yup. But, I will look for a used copy first. There has to be somebody out there that’s obtained a copy ahead of the release date. I would rather not contribute to a low-down, dirty, evil scheme to try to take bragging rights away from one of the most influential bands of all time, The Beatles. It’s wrong. Garth CLAIMS to be a fan of The Beatles. Some fan he is. So, Garth Brooks fans, rejoice! He’s back to use you again! In the words of Bob Dylan, “He’s only a pawn in their game.” And I’m afraid that after we, the pawns, make THIS move, Garth will be able to proudly sit back and say to Paul McCartney “KING ME!”

Garth’s official site: http://www.garthbrooks.com
A good fan site: http://mlef11.wix.com/garthbrooks

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Alright…maybe I’m wrong

The other day, in frustration I will admit, I made a post about how real Country music was a thing of the past, due to the fact that there was nobody left to carry the flag. Then, later, I got in the car and started listening to my favorites like Shooter Jennings and Jamey Johnson. That’s when I realized that I had just made a terrible mistake on my post. Shooter and Jamey are the two guys that have enough of a mainstream following to carry the flag of real Country music. Jamey still plays decent sized venues, and sells a good amount of records. Shooter has started his own record label, where he’s already released albums of his, Waylon’s, and Jessi’s, which of course are real Country albums. Shooter also gives independent artists a place to get noticed, if they play music that has tradition in it. Also, Shooter can take real Country to the mainstream radio waves, with his Sirius Satellite radio show on Outlaw Country, called Electric Rodeo, named after his second album. On this show, he plays the best of old and new Country, along with Rock and Blues music. This is how the flag is being carried, and due to the great underground following that people like Shooter have, it’s obviously working! Waylon and Willie started with an underground following, before becoming huge in mainstream music. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the flag’s been carried all this time by people like Shooter and Jamey, and I just never thought of that. They do it on their own terms, while respecting tradition, which is what it’s all about! It’s guys like that that will keep the flag of real Country music from falling. It might be quicker, or it might take longer than it has before. Only time will tell, but I for one am looking forward to it. They say it takes a big man to admit his mistakes. I admit I was wrong in this, but it’s mostly because I’m excited for the future of real Country music! Hold on world! Here we come again!

 

Jamey Johnson’s website: http://www.jameyjohnson.com

Shooter Jennings’s website: http://www.shooterjennings.com

Are The Good Times Really Over?

Okay…so that’s a Merle Haggard song title. That’s exactly my point, though. All of the greats are passing away, and nobody’s even close to being ready to fill their shoes. Granted, when a legend dies, nobody will EVER replace them, but there should always be somebody following in their footsteps, to an extent, enough to carry the flag of real Country Music to another generation. When Hank Williams and Left Frizzell died, we had people like George Jones, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash ready to carry the flag. Well, with the passing of George Jones earlier this year, we realized that Willie and Merle were the only two we had left. Ray Price has been in bad health for awhile, and hasn’t been able to tour much. So, you would think that, as a result, there would be somebody ready to carry the flag in mainstream Country, right? Well, you would be wrong if you assumed this! Nobody’s even playing Country music in mainstream Country anymore. It’s all Rock and Pop. Jason Aldean carrying the flag after George Jones?! Blake Shelton (piece of trash, I might add) carrying the flag after Waylon? Taylor Swift carrying the flag for ANYTHING?! Pardon my French, but HELL NO! These kids don’t have any idea what real Country is, although you would think they do, as much as they name drop names of legendary Country artists in the songs about dirt roads that they buy from music row songwriters. OOPS…did I just let a cat out of the bag that they don’t actually write their own material? Sorry! I didn’t mean to let everyone down! I know it’s hard to believe! These kids are just SO talented that you would think they write all their own stu…okay…I can’t even be sarcastic about it. Sure, we have people like Hank 3 and Dale Watson, but will you hear them on your mainstream Country station? No. So, therefore, who can carry on the flag in mainstream Country? Well, nobody’s qualified, so that’s it then. The good times must really be over. Enjoy it while you can, folks, and not to make you feel bad, but remember, you did this. You bought the records. You tuned into the stations. You went to the concerts. Don’t start crying when you realize you’ve wasted your money on processed garbage. Too late. Well, it was fun while it lasted. R.I.P. Real Country in Mainstream Music…we’ll miss ya! (The photo below is one I took inside one of the dressing rooms at The Grand Ole Opry. Couldn’t resist documenting the history. Somebody told me that nobody’s allowed to go in the dressing rooms, and they would kick you out. The tour guide was long gone, so I took their advice, and went inside to take a picture.)

 

Dale Watson’s website: http://www.dalewatson.com

Hank 3’s website: http://www.hank3.com

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The Rarest of Things In Life…A Second Chance

Very few artists, through history, have been given a second chance at fame and fortune, but it seems that the ones who get second chances end up doing some of the most meaningful work of their career, for the most part. Jimmy Buffett has been given a second chance by modern radio, in a way, because of duets he’s done with Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band in the past few years. There are some exceptions, as always. Certainly groups like Bon Jovi, which through the power of Jon Bon Jovi, have been transformed into a weak, wussy Pop radio-friendly band, and have completely abandoned their roots, and even abandoned their only pure talent, Richie Sambora! But, aside from the few that have chosen to sell out in their chance to make things right, some have decided to do what they’ve always wanted to do, and are only concerned with what the fans think. They don’t care about critics or agents or record labels. They’re just thankful that they get another shot. One band really comes to mind: The Eagles.

 

Obviously, The Eagles are one of the biggest bands in music history, and are still selling out concerts today, but they also had to apply for a second chance from their fans. After a decade of solo careers, they decided to reunite, and the fans approved their application for a second chance! This was mostly because, rather than just milking their hits for 10 years worth of touring, they made a live album for MTV, in which they introduced new material. Granted, this wasn’t their strongest material, but it was very good, and at least it was an attempt at something new. Afterwards, they continued to tour the world, selling out stadiums through the late 90’s. Then, after Don Felder was fired, they came back with a great guitar player by the name of Steuart Smith, and once again had new material. On their Farewell 1 concert DVD, one can find a few new songs, that were not only very strong, but ended up on their more recent work. Hole In The World was released as a single, No More Cloudy Days was on the Long Road Out Of Eden album, and One Day At A Time was on Joe Walsh’s most recent studio album, Analog Man. So, what else have they done to properly take advantage of this second chance? Well, for starters, they put out a documentary, where they held nothing back. Everyone’s viewpoint was expressed, and all the secrets were out on the table. After the release of the documentary, earlier this year, they began a tour, which is currently going on, and as another way to show their fans that they appreciate the second chance, they have brought Bernie Leadon back to the band. Joe’s still there, but now Bernie is, too, so fans can see both of the most iconic players from the band’s history. We’ll see what their next move will be.

The Eagles’ Official Website: http://www.eaglesband.com
Bernie Leadon joining The Eagles on their most recent tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF_q8nNnECM
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Is The Downloading Phase Finally Over?

I’ve noticed lately that more and more people that I know are actually buying music. These are also the same people that, for the past few years, would just illegally download a song for free when they wanted it, rather than buying it to support the artist. Why is that? Personally, I believe it’s because my generation, which is probably the generation at fault, aside from their parents, is finally realizing not only the negatives legally, but also the bad effects it has on the artists. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean the downloading phase is over, but I believe it’s a good start! I played a show with Some Guy Named Robb and Dale Kellison a couple of weeks ago in Clarksville, and when Robb went on, he had a case with CD’s in it, and he just put it out on a table in front of the stage, and told the audience how much they were, and to just put the money in the case. Now, of course, it’s a little harder to get away with stealing, when the artist is looking right at you, but people certainly could have, if they wanted to. I was amazed at how well that worked! I haven’t seen an artist do that before. Most of the time, artists wait until the show is over, then they go out and sell their CD’s, but so many times, especially when the venues stay open late, not everybody stays until the end, so if they wanted a CD, they don’t have a chance. But, with Robb’s way, they can get one whenever they want. Another thing that Robb does that I find to be great is that, on his website, there’s a button on the merchandise page where people who illegally downloaded songs from him can choose to go through PayPal and pay him for the songs, if they wish. And to think that, for years, record companies and music lawyers have been thinking about how to stop illegal downloading, when it was as simple as forgiving and letting people make it up to the artist, by paying for the songs they stole. People are more likely to pay for stolen songs if they’re forgiven and given an option, instead of being violently or legally forced by big name music executives. It looks like this may be the way to go, after all! I sure hope so, because it would be nice to see artists making what they deserve from their music.

 

Some Guy Named Robb’s website: http://www.sgnrobb.com

This is part of a video series that Robb did to help artists figure out how to make money: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnQhbqSm6FQ

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