Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday Night Live Vocalist CHRISTINE OHLMAN to make HANDY FEST Appearance


Rock n' soul will rule the night as Christine Ohlman, the flashy, gritty platinum-blonde "Beehive Queen," who is the longtime vocalist with NBC's Saturday Night Live Band, returns to the WC Handy Festival for the second year on Thursday, July 26 for an 8 pm dance concert (with opener at 7 pm) at the Marriott Conference Center in Florence to benefit the Muscle Shoals Music Association (MSMA). Ohlman will be joined by Alabama Music Hall Of Fame Achievers The Decoys in a show that will pay tribute to the music of The Shoals while spotlighting songs from her six CDs, including The Deep End, a passionate collection that garnered five end-of-year 2010 national Top Ten mentions (Rolling Stone editor emeritus Dave Marsh said,"There are so many 'wow' moments," and esteemed journalist Peter Guralnick weighed in with, "Tough, tender, thoughtful and sassy; R-E-A-L, as Sam Phillips was wont to say"). 

Ohlman, who has been called "The Number-One Secret Weapon in America's gal-singin' sweepstakes" by the All-Music Guide, will be joined onstage by The Decoys (Kelvin Holly-guitar; Scott Boyer-guitar/vocals; David Hood-bass; Mike Dillon-drums; NC Thurman-keys) in serving up a night of love-drenched stories with a Muscle Shoals twist in a style Dave Marsh has dubbed "Contemporary Rock  R n' B." 

Special guests will include legendary Sun Records drummer James "JM" Van Eaton.

Ohlman's shows are legendary for their powerful musicianship and raw emotion. She is a consummate singer who's gone heart to heart with the best: she counts Al Green, George Harrison, Mac Rebennack, Sting, Ian Hunter, Bonnie Bramlett, Ronnie Spector, Charlie Musslewhite, Irma Thomas, Chrissie Hynde and the late blues giants Hubert Sumlin and Eddie Kirkland as but a few of those she has collaborated with on Grammy-nominated recordings and live appearances like Bob Dylan's Madison Square Garden 30th Anniversary concert.

This queen of blue-eyed rock n' soul, who grew up loving equally the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff--whether played by Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, or Pop Staples--teased her blonde hair into a beehive in honor of Ronnie Spector and never looked back. The Deep End includes duets with Dion, Marshall Crenshaw and Ian Hunter (she appears on Hunter's new CD and joined him recently at Carnegie Hall) and guest turns by Big Al Anderson, Levon Helm, GE Smith, Catherine Russell, and others.  

Ohlman's credits include the theme song for NBC’s 30 Rock
the 2012 Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony; 2012 Carnegie Hall Tribute To The Rolling Stones; The Lincoln Center “American Songbook” series with Sting, Lou Reed and Van Dyke Parks;  two 2011 "evenings of duets" with Mac Rebennack;  the Central Park Summerstage Tribute To Janis Joplin (where she fronted both Big Brother & The Holding Company and the Kozmic Blues Band); appearances on Grammy nominees A Tribute To Howlin' Wolf (with Taj Mahal and Lucinda Williams) and Charlie Musselwhite’s One Night In America (with Marty Stuart); recent live shots with Americana stalwart Paul Thorn and New Orleans legends The Subdudes (she joins The ‘Dudes, BB King, Richard Thompson and others on the CD Get You A Healin’ to benefit the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, Ohlman's charity of choice); and headliner slots at the 2010 and 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest’s “Down On The Bayou" series with Irma Thomas and others. In addition, she is a  musicologist of note, who edited legendary Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham’s autobiography 2Stoned and is a cover-story-writing contributor to Elmore Magazine. 

Ohlman has stories from her long tenure at SNL. She witnessed both the Sinead O'Connor ripping-of-the-pope's-picure and Jessica Simpson "meltdown" incidents, and calls Jimmy Fallon's December 2011 hosting, where all of his 2003 cast members returned to join him, "a delight."  

Her 2011 WC Handy appearance at Swampers and a show-stopping duet with Bonnie Bramlett during a Decoys' appearance at Crocodile Ed's earned her a return spot at this year's festival. "Love Make You Do Stupid Things" from The Deep End is often heard on WQLT, Q-107, and Ohlman will join Jimmy Oliver on his morning radio show on Wednesday, June 25.  

She promises an incendiary evening at the Marriott. "I'm a lifelong fan of the music and musicians of Muscle Shoals," said Ohlman recently. "It speaks to me deeply. To be asked to perform in a benefit dance concert for MSMA is an honor, and I am so grateful for the many new friends I've made."  Of Ohlman's stage persona, one critic wrote, "From the mile-high beehive hairdo to the textbook rock n' roll radio lungs, Christine Ohlman reminds you of what used to be great about rock before it began to think too much. Watching her wind between roots rock and blues and never lose control of the wheel was a thrilling, reassuring sight."  "I've come here tonight to set your souls on fire," The Beehive Queen has been known to tell an audience. And on July 26, she will.

The Marriott Conference Center is located at 800 Cox Creek Pkwy S., Florence.  Tickets are $10.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Your Guitar and Personal Tone by Mike Dubose

I might have missed the mark with the title. This is actually a guide to getting a sound and trouble shooting. I am anything but a professional writer.

Guitar tone as any guitarist will tell you is paramount. A good sound starts from the fingers, through the pick-up to the guitar and out. If you don't start there, you're spinning your wheels and will end up with a transparent (fuzzy) sound without body and response. Your fingers are your tone generators. Not the amps or pedals. Those are tools to augment your expression. That's what guitar lessons teach you Any guitar teacher should not teach you a song without teaching you, and guiding you in technique.

You should also learn a thing or two about trouble shooting. Beginners, at some time in the future you will be able to trouble shoot on the fly which is very important. Trouble shooting is when you go down the line to find the problem with your rig. The same goes for finding your sound. When establishing your sound you start with your technique, through the pick-up on down to the amp. With trouble shooting on stage, you should start with the amp and go down the line back to you, which makes sense. Since you have established your rig set up. As you are trying to fix what was working, you back track.

Knowledge in this area saves time and controls moods. You are in control in these situations. Then, if and when you reach the big stage and you need to use a stage tech, you will have a template in which to explain what it is you require from the person you hire. There is nothing more frustrating than hiring someone, that has no idea what it is you need or want. It happened to me on my first big time sideman gig. Imagine working for someone that doesn't have a clue. Plus a band leader who expects you to read his mind. Communication starts with a plan.

You might spend the rest of your life in the study of the elusive art of tone. Whose tone is good? Someday maybe I will be able to dial in someone else's tone and tell you for sure what the deal is. I know I am dreaming. It's all subjective!

Good luck and sound good, where ever your muse takes you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Types Of Acoustic Guitars by Paul West

Acoustic guitars play a big part in the music revolution. Although there are electric guitars, many musicians often love the acoustic guitar because of the natural tone. If you want to purchase one of these musical instruments in the near future, it will be a great idea to do some research to discover precisely what you wish. Did you realize that there are various styles of acoustic guitars? The acoustic guitars are classified based on the quantities of guitar strings, kinds of guitar strings, shape and many others.

Flamenco and Classical - These types of musical instruments have a nice body size and form that is certainly exceptional. The flamencos are a bit more lighter and smaller in construction. It has nylon strings that deliver a tone that may be more like a bell. For these, you don't need picks since they are intended to be played with your fingers. These kind of instruments are very good for beginners since the nylon strings are not going to hurt the fingertips just like those steel guitar strings do. 

Dreadnought and Jumbo - The Dreadnought and Jumbo has large body shapes. Country and bluegrass music artists appreciate these kind of guitars. The jumbo one is larger than the dreadnought and has a good deal of volume as well as bass. 

Folk Guitars - Folk instruments are the famous acoustics because they are easily found. The metal string creates a sound unique from those nylon types. 

12-Strings Acoustic Guitars - The Twelve-Strings acoustic guitars tend to be a bit more difficult to play. They provide a fantastic resonance and full tone. The disadvantage to using this musical instrument would be the fact that it can be difficult to find a spare package of guitar strings and they are considered of high repairs and maintenance. 

Acoustic Bass Guitars - Like the name suggests, these would be acoustic guitars which have the bass guitar strings placed on them. It is hard to hear this guitar, therefore it really need to have a guitar pickup attached to it. Frequently, these kind of acoustic guitars are used in jazz music and soft rock music. 

See, we told you there exists several type of acoustic guitar. In fact, you can even find a bit more acoustics than this! The one you end up picking will certainly depend on the kind of music you want to play, so, make sure you do your research before you go out and get an acoustic guitar. Additionally, before buying it, you may want to verify it over properly and also try it to see how it sounds.

Want additional information? For further details regarding  acoustic guitars, check out - Jumbo Acoustic Guitar homepage.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Muscle Shoals Music Association Newsletter

The Muscle Shoals Music Association Newsletter
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Welcome to the
MSMA Newsletter!

Thanks to your support, the MSMA is adding new members all the time!  There is much work to be done promoting Shoals area music and we should all join together in that effort.

Big props to Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit for leading the nominations for The Americana Music Awards!  He is nominated in 4 categories.  His latest album, "Here We Rest", was recorded right here in the Shoals.

The MSMA and The Marriott will be co-sponsoring a W.C. Handy event on Thursday, July 26th at The Marriott Convention Center.  The event will feature Christine Ohlman ("The Beehive Queen" from the Saturday Night Live Band) and The Decoys.  We will have all the details for this show in our July Newsletter.  Mark your calendars now!  You don't want to miss this one!  

photo of The Grateful Dead

Donna Jean Godchaux's Long, Strange Trip

By Jimmy Nutt

Donna Jean Thatcher Godchaux MacKay has many names and has lived many lives, it seems.

Every time I go to David and Donna MacKay’s house in Florence, Al., I stand in the hallway and stare at a picture of Donna, Jeannie Greene and …………..ELVIS!  Both of the girls have big smiles on their faces as Elvis puts his arms around them for the shot.  The picture was taken during sessions for “From Elvis in Memphis” back in 1969.

She was known then as Donna Thatcher.  In addition to singing with Elvis, she also appears on albums from Percy Sledge, Cher, Boz Scaggs & Johnny Jenkins.

Fast forward to 1972, San Francisco, Ca.  Donna Thatcher becomes Donna Jean Godchaux and is a member of The Grateful Dead along with her husband Keith Godchaux.  She tours and records with The Dead for nine years (which is like touring for 18 years with any other band!).

After Keith’s tragic death in a car accident, Donna meets David MacKay, who was a Bay Area musician at the time.  David and Donna marry and end up back in Florence, Al. where it all started for young Donna Thatcher.

Donna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 as a member of The Grateful Dead.  She is one of four Shoals area natives to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Spooner Oldham, Percy Sledge and Sam Phillips are the other members of that elite club.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is spotlighting the Grateful Dead with an exhibit that runs from April 12, 2012, until December, 2012.  The exhibit is called Grateful Dead:  The Long, Strange Trip.

“The Grateful Dead is a band that is identified with a remarkable era in American history, and, inasmuch as they embody that era, their work is timeless,” says Jim Henke, Vice President of Exhibits and Curatorial Affairs. “They’ve inspired many performers and bands, but none has exhibited their musical depth and cultural resonance. In a 30-year career, this group wrote their own rules and created a community unlike any band before or since.”

Donna Jean will be speaking at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on July 7th, 2012, as part of the Hall of Fame’s Educational Program.   The program is for students of all ages and the general public.  The interviews are filmed for the new library and archives which just opened this year.  There will be a question and answer portion of the interview for the audience.

Currently, Donna tours with the Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson.  The band consists of Donna (vocals), Jeff Mattson (vocals, guitar), David MacKay (bass), Freeman White (keys) & Joe Chirco (drums).

The Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson will be recording at The NuttHouse Recording Studio this month.  Pete Lavezzoli will be joining the band on drums for these sessions.


David's Diary 

Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section Bassist David Hood has kept all of his work diaries from the mid-sixties to the present. Because they contain information that spotlights the rich history of Muscle Shoals Music, he will share one segment of his diary in this column each month.

By David Hood
Thirty-eight years ago this month (June 3, 1974), Atlantic Records Executive Vice President Jerry Wexler and superstar singer/songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson started production on what would become a true classic record at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. The album is "Prone to Lean" and the artist is Muscle Shoals' own Legendary Leaning Man, Donnie Fritts.
This album included songs by Donnie and co-writers Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Tony Joe White, Eddie Hinton, Troy Seals and Kris Kristofferson. The musicians were an all-star lineup that featured Pete Carr, Jimmy Johnson, Tony Joe White and Eddie Hinton on guitars; Roger Hawkins and Sammy Creason on drums; David Hood and Jerry Masters on bass; Barry Beckett, Mike Utley and Spooner Oldham on organ, keyboards and vibes; and Mickey Raphael on harp. Joining Donnie for the background vocals were Rita Coolidge, Billy Swan, Dan Penn, Kristofferson, John Prine, Spooner Oldham, Eddie Hinton, and Jerry Wexler. This album has become a cult favorite and a true collector's item.     

What else??

Canadian artist Bobby Wills recently filmed a video here in the Shoals.  The song is called "Show Some Respect."  It was written by Bobby Wills, Walt Aldridge & Mike Pyle.  The video has scenes from Downtown Sheffield, UNA and Muscle Shoals.
Check it out at:

Max Russell continues his Shoals Songwriters Showcase every Thursday from 6 til 10 at Frank's Italian Restaurant (500 N Montgomery Ave., Sheffield, Al).  There are 2 featured artists each week hosted by Max Russell.

MSMA 2012 Board
of Directors

Jimmy Nutt - President  
Rodney Hall - Vice President
Larry Bowser - Sec/Treasurer  
David Hood - Past President

Wiley Barnard
Dick Cooper  
Nick Martin
Suzanne Bolton  
Terry Pace
photo of Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

Big Deal

Jason Isbell leads the nominations
for the Americana Music Honors and
    -Artist of the Year
    -Album of the Year (Here We Rest)
    -Song of the Year (Alabama Pines)
    -Duo/Group of the Year
    (Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit)
James LeBlanc gets a cut on Gary Allan's forthcoming album.
"Hungover Heart" is the song title.
It was co-written with Matt Warren.

Big River Broadcasting wins at Radio Ink's second annual Digital Awards
Best Radio Station Website (Markets 101+)
WXFL-FM/Florence, AL

photo of Belle Adair

In The Studio 

Billy Zane
Spooner Oldham and Mark Narmore
Holli Mosley
James LeBlanc 

Angela Hacker
Melody Aires with George Gee
Stephen Padilla
Michael Richardson

@G-Legacy Recording Studio and Productions
Meka B
Cookie Mane

Kevin Richardson
Dillon Hodges
Kristen Hemphill

@The NuttHouse
Bobby Denton
The Fiddleworms
Pat Huggins
Wildwood Ruminators
Jeremiah Grube & Will McFarlane

@RNRDSS (Loretto, Tn)
Johnny Sandy
Hope Stamps
Sam John Passarella
The Sharp Family
The Leoma Singers
A Pair of Aces, Curtis Hall
Chad Bradford & the Damn Band rehearsals
Jeff Quillen Band 

@Studio 144 - Jay Burgess/John Springer
The Nova's
Belle Adair 

Canadian artist Chad Edmonds
Songwriter demos for Bud McGuire, Mike McGuire, Rusty Moody, Marty Lewis, Curtis Wright, Ronnie Vines, Randy Bruce.  Jingles for KMOO Radio, Mineola, TX….WBCD Radio, Jasper, IN….WKDZ Radio, Hopkinsville, KY….KLWB Radio, LaFayette, LA.

If you would like to be included in this column, submit your information to before the 7th of each month.

Christine Ohlman

"I've come here tonight to set your souls on fire," she'll tells an audience. And she will.

This queen of blue-eyed rock n' soul, who grew up loving equally the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff, whether played by Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, or Pop Staples, teased her blonde hair into a beehive in honor of Ronnie Spector and never looked back, picking up a guitar and forging a career as a songwriter in the process. She’s the current, long-time vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band, whose latest CD, 2010’s The Deep End, was honored on five national Top Ten lists and features special guests/duet partners Ian Hunter, Dion DiMucci, and Marshall Crenshaw, plus Levon Helm, GE Smith, Andy York, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, Catherine Russell, Big Al Anderson, and others.

Christine will be appearing with The Decoys during the WC Handy Festival on July 26th at the Marriott Conference Center.


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Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Creation of "Amazing Grace"

[John Newton] (Mezzotint by Leney after
Russell, n.d.). Prints and Photographs
 Reading Room, Library of Congress.
(For those of you that have never read this article, I highly recommend taking the time to see how the Lord works in mysterious ways.)
Arguably the best-known Christian hymn is "Amazing Grace." Its text, a poem penned in 1772 by John Newton, describes the joy and peace of a soul uplifted from despair to salvation through the gift of grace. Newton's words are also a vivid autobiographical commentary on how he was spared from both physical and spiritual ruin. It relates the happy ending of the tale of a defiant man who manages again and again to escape danger, disease, abuse, and death, only to revert to "struggles between sin and conscience." [ 1 ]
Newton was born in 1725 in Wapping, a London suburb that thrived on shipping and sea trade. His father, a merchant ship captain, was often away on sea voyages that typically lasted two to three years. During one of these absences, Newton's mother succumbed to tuberculosis, leaving him in the temporary care of her friends, the Catlett family in Kent. His father remarried and Newton was placed in boarding school. He stayed in close contact with the Catletts, however, primarily because of their daughter, Mary, whom he eventually wed. Mary was the cornerstone of Newton's existence. No matter what befell him, his goal always was to return to her.
In spite of the powerful message of "Amazing Grace," Newton's religious beliefs initially lacked conviction. Raised far afield of the prevailing Anglican traditions, Newton's youth was marked by religious confusion and, as he later confirmed, a lack of moral self-control and discipline. His father was educated as a Catholic by Jesuits in Spain and his mother was a so-called Nonconformist Christian who rejected the liturgy-based worship of the Church of England.
Nevertheless, Newton's life, rife with the "dangers, toils and snares" at which his text hints, repeatedly brought him face-to-face with the notion that he had been miraculously spared. On one occasion, he was thrown from a horse, narrowly missing impalement on a row of sharp stakes. Another time, he arrived too late to board a tender that was carrying his companions to tour a warship; as he watched from the shore, the vessel overturned, drowning all its passengers. Years later, on a hunting expedition in Africa on a moonless night, he and his companions got lost in a swamp. Just when they had resigned themselves to death, the moon appeared and they were able to return to safety. Such near-death were commonplace in Newton's life.
Yet no matter how many times he was rescued, Newton relapsed into his old habits, continuing to defy his religious destiny and attempting to dissuade others from their beliefs. Of all of the sins to which he later confessed, his habit of chipping away at the faith of others remained heaviest on his heart.
In 1744 Newton was press-ganged--taken by force into service in the Royal Navy. He was disgraced, relieved of his post, and traded for another man from a passing merchant ship, a slave vessel.
Beginning his career in slave trading, Newton soon became tempted by its profits. Merchants believed that trafficking in human trade was justified since slavery was permitted in the Bible as long as slaves were treated with dignity and kindness. [ 2 ] That Newton engaged in the slave trade in such a manner was demonstrated by the willingness of slaves to secretly carry his letters to port to send to Mary.
Despite a promising start with a slaver off the coast of Sierra Leone, Newton once again found himself in tough straits. Felled by malaria, he was at the mercy of the slaver's native mistress, whose abuse reduced him to the condition of the "wretch" he later described in "Amazing Grace." He recovered, however, but was soon to face another trial during which he was strengthened and inspired by Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ.
Newton was aboard ship one night when a violent storm broke out. Moments after he left the deck, the crewman who had taken his place was swept overboard. Although he manned the vessel for the remainder of the tempest, he later commented that, throughout the tumult, he realized his helplessness and concluded that only the grace of God could save him. Prodded by what he had read in Kempis, Newton took the first--albeit small--step toward accepting religion. In the words of his hymn, this incident marked "the hour I first believed."
Upon his safe return home in the late 1740s, Newton immediately wrote to the Catlett family to plead his case for Mary's hand, although he could offer her no financial security. When Mary herself replied that she would consider his suit, he returned to slaving to better his fortunes, this time on a ship full of slaves bound across the Atlantic to Charleston, South Carolina.
Newton wed Mary Cartlett in 1750. A changed man, he accepted the helm of a ship bound for Africa. This time, he encouraged the sailors under his charge to prayer rather than taunt them for their beliefs. He also began to ensure that every member of his crew treated their human cargo with gentleness and concern. However, it would be another 40 years until Newton openly challenged the trafficking of slaves.
Some three years after his marriage, Newton suffered a stroke that prevented him from returning to sea; in time, he interpreted this as another step in his spiritual voyage. He assumed a post in the Customs Office in the port of Liverpool and began to explore Christianity more fully. As Newton attempted to experience all the various expressions of Christianity, it became clear that he was being called to the ministry.
Since Newton lacked a university degree, he could not be ordained through normal channels. However, the landlord of the parish at Olney was so impressed with the letters Newton had written about his conversion that he offered the church to Newton; he was ordained in June 1764.
In Olney, the new curate met the poet William Cowper, also a newly-born Christian. Their friendship led to a spiritual collaboration that completed the inspiration for "Amazing Grace," the poem Newton most likely penned around Christmas of 1772. Some 60 years later in America, the text was set to the hymn tune, "New Britain," to which it has been sung ever since.

The Former Slaver against Slavery

Even though many of England's great shipping cities prospered from the slave trade, social critics began to speak out against the practice by the mid-18th century. By the 1780s, the powerful voice of William Wilberforce (pictured to the right) was added to this chorus.
Wilberforce, a Member of Parliament, was the nephew of one of Newton's London friends. Inspired by the former slave trader, and paralleling Newton's own conversion, Wilberforce began to question his role in life. Although Newton, then a lowly Olney curate, was convinced that Wilberforce was just another wealthy politician, he persuaded him to crusade for change and use his station in life and his powerful friends (including Prime Minister Pitt) to seek reform. One of the chief topics for such advocacy was abolition. In fact, Wilberforce wrote in his journal on October 28, 1787, that one of the two goals that had been set before him was "the suppression of the Slave Trade."
Newton joined in the fight for the abolition of slavery by publishing the essay "Thoughts upon the African Slave Trade." Because Christians still felt that slavery was justified in the Bible, Newton and Wilberforce wisely avoided building their protests on a religious platform. Instead, they condemned the practice as an inhumane treatment of their fellow men and women. Newton, speaking strongly from his own experiences, also proposed that the captors were in turn brutalized by their callous treatment of others and cited offences including torture, rape, and murder. Newton's friend, the poet William Cowper, joined their fight by writing pro-abolition poems and ballads.
In 1789 Wilberforce introduced a "Bill for the Abolition of Slavery" in Parliament. The bill faced opposition in both Houses, but the forces against enactment became weaker each time it came up for a vote. The bill finally was passed by the House of Commons in 1804 and by the House of Lords in 1807 after which King George III declared it law.
There is no direct link between "Amazing Grace" and the abolition of slavery in Britain. Nonetheless, the hymn was written by a man who was moved to speak out against something from which he had once profited. In an essay Newton said: "I hope it will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me . . . that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders." Thus, it seems fitting that his hymn has become for so many--including those fighting for Civil Rights--an anthem against all forms of social injustice.

1. Information for this essay was drawn in great part from Steve Turner's book "Amazing Grace: The Story of America's Most Beloved Song" (New York: HarperCollins, 2002). We are grateful to the author for allowing us to quote his book liberally. [back to text]
2. As Turner notes, the Quakers and Anabaptists were the only Christians to speak out against slavery (p. 50). 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Joey+Rory Release His and Hers, Produced by Gary Paczosa on July 31st and prepare to launch The Joey+Rory show on RFD-TV 
Click on the song titles to to preview "Josephine" & "When I'm Gone"
Nashville, Tenn. - May 29th, 2012.  In signing up for CMT’s competition show Can You Duet in 2008, Rory Feek wanted one thing: for the world to know his wife Joey, and the power of her voice. 

“My whole hope was: I'm going to get eliminated immediately, but they might hear her sing,” he says, now four years into a career as her Joey+Rory duo partner, and a decade into life as her proud husband.

The couple far surpassed his expectations, Joey+Rory taking third place and subsequently signing with Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records. Over two studio albums -- 2008’s The Life of A Song, from which single “Cheater Cheater” is culled, and 2010’s Album Number Two -- country fans have indeed come to know Joey’s crystalline belt. They’ve also come to know Joey+Rory as a couple, rooted in an 1870s Pottsville, Tenn., farmhouse, Rory writing songs and tinkering with old cars, Joey gardening or baking bread at Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse, the local restaurant she owns with sister-in-law Marcy. But with the new His and Hers, due out via Sugar Hill on July 31, listeners will get fully acquainted with both Joey and Rory as individually arresting lead singers, Joey taking the fore on half of the album’s tracks, Rory’s warm, approachable vocal helming the others.

“In all of our live shows, he’s always done half the singing and I do half,” Joey says. “So we just felt like that was the right direction to go with this album – let it really be more of what we are together, and fill it full of great songs.”

Along with spotlighting Joey’s graceful arcs and Rory’s homespun charm, the songs offer a thorough sonic and lyrical encapsulation of who Joey and Rory are as country artists and fans. That much is clear from opener “Josephine,” a strummy, five-plus-minute letter from a Civil War soldier, penned in heartrending detail by Rory. It stands well outside country radio’s current tendencies, but sits firmly among the country music tenets Joey and Rory individually, though similarly, came up on: strong storytelling, rustic tones, emotion-forward singing. 

Those tenets permeate His and Hers, from Grammy winner Gary Paczosa’s right-in-the-room production to its affecting narratives. Joey leads a mournful, lost-loved-one ballad (“When I’m Gone”) and the poignant "His & Hers"). Rory tenderly trembles through life and love lessons (“Teaching Me How to Love You”) and captures the playfulness he consistently shares  with his wife in life and onstage with the boyish “Someday When I Grow Up.” 

Rory wrote or co-wrote much of His and Hers (he’s earned well-documented songwriting success, logging multiple No. 1s, including Easton Corbin’s “Little More Country Than That).  Other songs came from well-known Nashville scribes (Kent Blazy and Leslie Satcher’s “Let’s Pretend We Never Met”), talented friends (Sandy Emory Lawrence’s “When I’m Gone”) or country legends (Tom T. Hall’s “Your Man Loves You Honey”). All bear Joey’s one overriding requirement: “It has to be genuine, it has to be honest, it has to be sincere.” 

Fans and newcomers will get to know the songs -- and Joey+Rory -- better come July, when the duo’s new weekly variety show, The Joey+Rory Show, launches on RFD-TV. Filmed entirely at their farm and in their community, its first 13 episodes will mix live performances of His and Hers tunes, recipes from their café, behind-the-scenes looks into their life together and intimate acoustic performances from the duo and a select group of singers and songwriters that inspire them.

“We don't have a TV, partly because it’s hard to find good family programs to watch any more… so rather than just set at that place and complain about it, we're hoping to create some good programming everyone can enjoy,” Rory says. “Just like the records you make, you never know if this show will reach hundreds of people, or millions—either way, the journey together is extraordinary."

# # #

The Boxing Lesson at The Nick Birmingham June 23

The Boxing Lesson, a psychedelic progressive rock band from Austin, TX that will be performing at The Nick in Birmingham, AL on Saturday, June 23.   This is a band that does their own promotion and seem to be doing very well at it.  Here's a quote from a recent article in the Dallas Morning News: 

“We get to make all of our own decisions, creatively or otherwise, but it’s tougher because there’s no machine supporting us financially,” he said. “This band is totally indie which means that we do the management, PR, merch creation, booking, songwriting, packaging and releasing of all of our material. There’s a lot of power in that.”

Here is the PR info they sent out.

Currently a power trio with synthesizers performing the bass player's role, they create a mammoth layered sound that usually starts minimally and builds into grand orchestrations. The band's recent 7inch vinyl release called "Health is the New Drug" sports a new raw sound for 2012. Also have a new Daytrotter session that posted recently and sounds excellent.  The Boxing Lesson is heading out on a 20 date midwest/east-coast tour in June that leads up to NXNE in Toronto and the New Music Seminar in NYC. I've included all the info you need to preview this band's music. Thanks for your consideration, we are excited to come through Birmingham next month!

Paul Waclawsky

"Relying on MOOG for bottom end and tons of sonic noise, the songs blend Meddle-era Floyd guitar freak-outs with M83 propulsion, Spiritualized soul space jams with Texas rock ’n’ roll thunder." Creative Loafing Charlotte

NEW DAYTROTTER Session - May 3, 2012:!/concert/the-boxing-lesson/20055077-3737825

NEW RELEASE: "Health is the New Drug" 7-inch vinyl
Produced by Chris Frenchie Smith
(Toadies, The Darkness, Trail of Dead, Jet)
***DOWNLOAD digital 7inch (mp3s) via Soundcloud
Side A - Health is the New Drug
Side B - Better Daze

"Seriously, "Health is the New Drug" is the best song we've heard this year." - Houston Press

"This trio is kicking off the year sporting "Health Is The New Drug." It's the first track being released from the upcoming 2012 LP produced by Chris "Frenchie" Smith (Trail of Dead, Meat Puppets, Ume). The song features psychedelic guitar riffs, a wall of synthesizers, and a few words of wisdom (or caution). If you take a closer examination of the song title and lyrics, you could ask yourself if the lengths to which we try to do what's good for ourselves is actually just causing more harm. My health advice? Eat your fruits and veggies, go to a show and don't forget to wear your earplugs. -Side One Track One

2012 Tour Press Highlights

Entire Catalog/Bandcamp:

Dark Side of the Moog animated video:
Muerta Video:

"Well, the Boxing Lesson nails it on “Muerta.” Pink Floyd influences the music but there is more to their sound than a Floyd fixation. Elements of M83, the “Northern Soul”-period of The Verve, and the adventurousness of Ponytail all are present here. The effects-laden guitar weaves in and out of the soaring Moog parts, creating a sonic landscape that draws the listener in from the first sound. Muerta has to be in my Top 10 for the year. There is just nothing like it out there." Jim Sells (Vivogig)

Thursday, June 7, 2012




Details have been set for the memorial service honoring our friend Lou Pride. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012     

Westgate Funeral Home
618 Washington Street
WaukeganIl   60085

Viewing: 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M.
Wake: 5:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M.
Funeral: 6:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M.

A private burial will take place at National Cemetery on Thursday,
June 14, 2012.

If you would like to leave your thoughts about Lou, please visit thememorial blog on his website.

Rest in peace, Lou. We will miss you.