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Show Calendar

April 2015
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Keep scrolling down the page for our blog/program guide.

Pics, bios, reviews, album art and more! Learn lots about all the folks on the show!


Getting Up To Rise- Shine Jar- “Getting Up To Rise”
Rise Up- Diane Birch- “Bible Belt”
Rise Up Singing- Trigger Hippy- “Trigger Hippy”
Wind Gonna Rise- Memphis Slim- “The Blue Memphis Suite”
The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt- Los Straitjackets- Los Straitjackets Play Favorites”
Rise To The Grind- Garrett LeBeau- “Rise To The Grind”
If The Good Lord’s Willing (And The Creeks Don’t Rise)- Hank Williams Jr.- “The Almeria Club Recordings”

Hot New Music:

Baby, Baby, Baby (Baby)- Steve Earle and the Dukes- “Terraplane”
Gonna Get It Wrong- Allison Moorer- “Down To Believing”
Roll It- Swamp Trash Band- “Swamp Trash USA”
Speechless- Bianca Caruso- “Bravado”
Never Give Up- Isaiah B Brunt- “Just The Way That It Goes”
South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way)- Asleep at the Wheel with George Strait- “Still The King”: Celebrating The Music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys”


Shine My Diamond Ring- Sean Rowe- “Madman”
Shine On Harvest Moon- Veronica and the Red Wine Serenaders- “The Mexican Dress”
Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy- Red Foley- “Country Music Hall Of Fame: Red Foley””
Come Rain Or Come Shine- Toni Lincoln- “Toni Lincoln”
Instant Karma (We All Shine On)- John Lennon feat. the Plastic Ono Band/ Yoko Ono- “Power To The People: The Hits”
The Sun’s Gonna Shine On You- Vince Gill- “Next Big Thing”
I Believe The South Is Gonna Rise Again- Tanya Tucker- “16 Biggest Hits”

** Keep scrolling down the page for our informative blog/program guide. Follow along as you listen! **

Getting Up To Rise- Shine Jar

shine jar- getting up to rise

After writing songs for many years Dick Heuvels (Vocals, rhythm guitar), decided the time had come to share some of them with the world. Luck and a little help from Craigslist delivered him a Scottish bass player (Iain Paton), a retired 70’s country drummer (Wayne Hoffman) and a Southern roots infused lead player (Chris Mohr). A shared appreciation of good music, “good” beer and good company quickly shaped the guys into a collective. Focussing on originals with a sprinkling of rare and obscure covers, the band set out to create an original sound. After a few tryout shows the band went into the studio in July of 2014 to record their first album under own production, resulting in the “Getting Up to Rise” cd.


With vocal assistance from a long-time co-worker (Krista Bram), a harmonica player (Mark Wiltse) and a slide guitar player (Steve Hornstein) Shine Jar’s sound reached a further level of maturity. Now, ready to break out and rock socks off, Shine Jar is on the road to further musical presence.

shine jar

Rise Up- Diane Birch

diane birch- bible belt

Diane Birch made her studio debut with 2009’s Bible Belt, a combination of singer/songwriter soul and soft ’70s-era pop in the vein of Carole King, Laura Nyro, and Elton John. Although born in Michigan, Birch traveled the globe as a child, bouncing between Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia, and Oregon with her preacher father. Her musical influences proved to be as diverse as her upbringing, and the Suzuki-trained pianist eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she began distilling her love for Motown, blues, and old-fashioned pop into a uniquely retro sound.

>> Read more…

-Andrew Leahey,




With its white suburban soul and pleasant, midtempo pop, Diane Birch’s debut sounds like a relic from the ‘70s singer/songwriter era. Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King are obvious touchstones here, and the twentysomething Birch (who wasn’t born until the mid-‘80s) approximates their vintage flair by aligning herself with the likes of R&B singer Betty Wright and producer Steve Greenberg, both of whom helped launch Joss Stone’s career several years prior. While Stone’s debut focused on the sheer power of her vocals, however, Bible Belt functions instead as a showcase for Birch’s songwriting. She pens every song here — a marked difference from Stone, who performed cover songs on her own debut — and sings them with understated grace, adding a touch of grit to the sustained high notes of “Fire Escape” and some coffeehouse sass to the sprightly “Valentino.” Few rookie songwriters play to their strengths this well, and that’s the charm of this record, which doesn’t blow your socks off as much as whet your appetite to fill your glass, recline your chair, and enjoy the record from start to finish.

-Andrew Leahey,

diane birch

Rise Up Singing- Trigger Hippy

trigger hippy- album cover-2

Trigger Hippy covers a lot of ground on its self-titled debut album.


Cruise through the 11 tracks from this well-credentialed Nashville quintet and you’ll hear propulsive rock, gritty blues, heart-searing soul, sinewy grooves, sublime vocal harmonies and a rich, earthy sensibility steeped in Americana roots. What to call it? Drummer and co-founder Steve Gorman favors “a rock band that can jam.”


These musicians can certainly do that. Gorman, of course, also co-founded The Black Crowes more than 25 years ago; and is considered one of the best rock drummers of his generation, playing not only with the Crowes, but also with Jimmy Page, and Stereophonics, among others. Singer Joan Osborne has released seven albums since her triple-platinum 1995 debut Relish and its Top 5 hit “One of Us;” she’s also collaborated with The Dead, Phil Lesh & Friends, and Motown’s Funk Brothers, with a featured role in the film Standing In The Shadows of Motown. Singer-guitarist-keyboardist Jackie Greene, who performed with The Black Crowes during the band’s 2013 tour, has seven solo albums to his credit and has logged time in Phil Lesh & Friends, among others. Tom Bukovac is a first-call Nashville cat who won five consecutive MusicRow Session Guitarist of the Year awards, while bassist Nick Govrik performed in his former band Highwater and played more recently with singer Mike Farris.


“Sure, you can see this as a ‘player’s band,’ but it really is a band, in the true sense of that word,” explains Gorman. “We don’t see this simply as a project. It’s vital that Trigger Hippy be a real communal effort that feels good to all of us.”


Osborne adds, “Steve is not a person who thinks small. He kind of said, ‘Well, who would I get if I could get everybody I wanted?’ and went for it. We all have very complementary strengths.”


Those strengths are on full display throughout the debut album, Trigger Hippy, released by Rounder Records.

>> Read more…

trigger hippy

Wind Gonna Rise- Memphis Slim

memphis slim- blue memphis suite

An amazingly prolific artist who brought a brisk air of urban sophistication to his frequently stunning presentation, John “Peter” Chatman — better known as Memphis Slim — assuredly ranks with the greatest blues pianists of all time. He was smart enough to take Big Bill Broonzy’s early advice about developing a style to call his own to heart, instead of imitating that of his idol, Roosevelt Sykes. Soon enough, other 88s pounders were copying Slim rather than the other way around; his thundering ivories attack set him apart from most of his contemporaries, while his deeply burnished voice possessed a commanding authority.


As befits his stage name, John “Peter” Chatman was born and raised in Memphis; a great place to commit to a career as a bluesman. Sometime in the late ’30s, he resettled in Chicago and began recording as a leader in 1939 for OKeh, then switched over to Bluebird the next year. Around the same time, Slim joined forces with Broonzy, then the dominant force on the local blues scene. After serving as Broonzy’s invaluable accompanist for a few years, Slim emerged as his own man in 1944.

>> Read more…

-Bill Dahl,

memphis slim- show 212

The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt- Los Straitjackets

los straitjackets- play favorites

Mixing the familiar sounds of Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, and the Ventures, Los Straitjackets create their own version of energetic surf guitar twang, complete with Mexican wrestling masks. Los Straitjackets began in the summer of 1988. Eddie Angel (guitar), L.J. “Jimmy” Lester (drums), and Danny Amis (guitar) formed an instrumental trio called the Straitjackets, which played local Nashville shows throughout the summer. After a six-year hiatus, the Straitjackets reunited, added E. Scott Esbeck on bass, and changed their name to Los Straitjackets. In November 1994, the band signed with Upstart Records. They released their first single, “Gatecrasher” b/w “Lonely Apache,” on Sympathy for the Record Industry in February 1995. In March 1995, the band’s first album, The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound of los Straitjackets, was released on Upstart.

>> Read more…

-Tracy Frey,

los straitjackets- show 212

Rise To The Grind- Garrett LeBeau

garrett lebeau- rise to the grind

Garrett Lebeau was born and raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation near Lander Wyoming and is an enrolled member of the Shoshone tribe. Speaking to both his playing and formative years, he has this to say…


“Growing up we listened to very little music. There was mostly just the 80’s top 40 so, we didn’t listen much to the radio. there was so much wide open space, I think that is in the music somehow. I didn’t really start playing much until I was out of school and then it was a very slow process where I taught myself  notes and chords.
The Blues spoke to me, the raw unadorned honesty is what still motivates me musically.. It spans all styles. When I say soul, I mean “SOUL” you know when music has it.I am not speaking of some narrow definition for a style of music. I speak of music with spirit about life… the trials and tribulations of the working man. Folk music is kin in spirit as is most music that I love. My goal is to connect with other like minded human beings, to keep the tradition of soul music alive. Where you write, play and sing from your own self – Just like the early blues musicians.. Feeling has no genre”.


“Rise to the Grind” is Garrett Lebeau’s debut album on Jimmy Lefave’s Music Road Records.

garrett lebeau

If The Good Lord’s Willing (And The Creeks Don’t Rise)- Hank Williams Jr.

hank williams jr.- the almeria club recordings

The offspring of famous musicians often have a hard time creating a career for themselves, yet Hank Williams, Jr. is one of the few to develop a career that is not only successful, but markedly different from his legendary father. Originally, Hank Jr. simply copied and played his father’s music, but as he grew older, he began to carve out his own niche and it was one that owed as much to country-rock as it did to honky tonk. In the late ’70s, he retooled his image to appeal both to outlaw country fans and rowdy Southern rockers, and his makeover worked, resulting in a string of Top Ten singles — including the number one hits “Texas Women,” “Dixie on My Mind,” “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down),” “Honky Tonkin’,” and “Born to Boogie” — that ran into the late ’80s.


Hank Jr. never was above capitalizing on his father’s name, yet his tributes and name-dropping often seemed affectionate, not crass. Also, Bocephus — as his father nicknamed him when he was a child — was a passionate cheerleader for patriotic American values; he even wrote a pro-Gulf War song during 1991. All of these actions helped make him an American superstar during the ’80s, becoming one of the most recognizable popular culture figures of the era. As new country took over the airwaves in the ’90s, Williams slowly disappeared from the charts and his concerts stopped selling as well as they did ten years earlier, yet he retained a devoted core audience throughout the decade.


The son of Hank and Audrey Williams, Hank Jr. was born in Shreveport, LA, in 1949. Less than four years later, his father died, leaving behind a huge legacy. When Hank Jr. was eight years old, Audrey decided to push her son into the spotlight, positioning him as the rightful heir to his father’s legacy. Dressed in a white Nudie suit, he would sing Hank Sr.’s biggest hits on package tours, and by the time he was 11, he had made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

>> Read more…

-Stephen Thomas Erlewine,

hank williams jr.- show 212-2

Baby, Baby, Baby (Baby)- Steve Earle and the Dukes

steve earle and the dukes- terraplane

In the strictest sense, Steve Earle isn’t a country artist; he’s a roots rocker. Earle emerged in the mid-’80s, after Bruce Springsteen had popularized populist rock & roll and Dwight Yoakam had kick-started the neo-traditionalist movement in country music. At first, Earle appeared to be more indebted to the rock side than country, as he played a stripped-down, neo-rockabilly style that occasionally verged on outlaw country. However, his unwillingness to conform to the rules of Nashville or rock & roll meant that he never broke through into either genre’s mainstream. Instead, he cultivated a dedicated cult following, drawing from both the country and rock audiences. Toward the early ’90s, his career was thrown off track by personal problems and substance abuse, but he re-emerged stronger and healthier several years later, producing two of his most critically acclaimed albums ever.


Born in Fort Monroe, Virginia, but raised near San Antonio, Texas, Earle received his first guitar at the age of 11 and, by the time he was 13, had become proficient enough to win a school-sponsored talent contest. Despite his talent for music, he proved to be a wild child, often getting in trouble with local authorities. Furthermore, his rebellious, long-haired appearance and anti-Vietnam War stance was scorned by local country fans. After completing the eighth grade, Earle dropped out of school and, at the age of 16, left home with his uncle Nick Fain to begin traveling across the state. Eventually, he settled in Houston at the age of 18, where he married his first wife, Sandie, and began working odd jobs. While in Houston, he met singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt, who would become Earle’s foremost role model and inspiration. A year later, Earle moved to Nashville.

>> Read more…

-Stephen Thomas Erlewine,

steve earle- show 212-2- photo by ted barron

Photo by: Ted Barron

Gonna Get It Wrong- Allison Moorer

allison moorer- down to believing

Midway through the title track to Allison Moorer’s newest album, Down to Believing (to be released March 17 on E1), comes a moment that reminds one of the care and subtlety with which she goes about her work. She sings, “Hell, life’s too short to wake up every day without someone,” her voice caressing fresh words of goodbye at waltz speed. The barest pause, the song and her entire life pivoting around the guitar as she finishes: “who likes all your scratches and scars.”


Not settling, nor a come-on. Solitude still standing, then.


A small moment on a big, bold record.


Down to Believing is Moorer’s ninth album since 1998’s Alabama Song (including the live Show), plus nominations for an Academy Award and a Grammy. Taken as a body of work those nine records contain some of the bravest, most directly confessional work of any songwriter.


Go back and listen.


Though in polite conversation she now refers to herself as a singer-songwriter, Allison Moorer masqueraded for most of those years as a country singer, aided and abetted by her Alabama accent, an extraordinarily supple voice, and the music she grew up with.

>> Read more…




On her eighth studio album, Allison Moorer reunites with producer Kenny Greenberg. He helmed her first two MCA albums, 1998’s Alabama Song and 2000’s The Hardest Part. They spent two years recording Down to Believing at various Nashville studios. Life-changing circumstances — living in New York, being the mother of a young son with autism, going through a divorce, the availability of musicians — dictated the pace. Despite all this, Down to Believing is the most focused and candid recording in her catalog. Its 13 songs (12 originals and a gorgeous cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”) consciously reflect the crucible of recent experience, without hiding behind characters. While these songs are vulnerable, they never flinch.

>> Read more…

- Thom Jurek,

allison moorer

Roll It- Swamp Trash Band

swamp trash band- swamp trash usa

Swamp Trash Band are musicians from varied musical backgrounds – rock, blues, folk, funk, country, gospel – who came together with the common desire to devote their time to writing, performing and recording personal interpretations and observations of the world that they live in and the roads they’ve traveled.


Politically charged, socially involved and just high-on-life lyrics sung with dynamic vocals, accompanied by the haunting cries of a slide guitar, boisterous leads and a rhythm section that just won’t quit, is a general description of the Swamp Trash sound.


Swamp Trash refers to themselves as makers of Neo-Retro-Rock – music reminiscent of a genre from the late 60’s and early ‘70s, being written today by musicians who could have played it then.





Swamp Trash is Robert “Shadow” Powers on Lead Vocals and Guitar, Steve Brennan on Drums and Percussion, Phil “Dirt” Harding on Bass and vocals, and Mark Wright on Keyboards, Vocals and Harmonica. We are all military veterans, have raised families, traveled in valleys and over mountain tops and share life-long passions for writing and performing music. As songwriters and musicians Swamp Trash processes bits of individual recollections, inspirations, expressions and influence and compresses them into a song.


Swamp Trash USA is our first compilation of original songs written over a 2 year period, produced and recorded in Fredericksburg, Virginia at Wally Cleaver’s Recordings. Nine of the tracks include former guitarist Ken Phillips with Cornet being played by Zachary Smith on Tired of the Color Blue. Five of the earliest recordings were distributed on a limited basis as The Five Pack in hand-made cases made from recycled PBR cases.

swamp trash band-2

Speechless- Bianca Caruso

bianca caruso- bravado

Bianca Caruso is a singer-songwriter, comedienne and performer born in Hollywood, CA and raised in the country of Maine and Austin, TX.  She is apart of the Americana soul duo Freddy & Francine as well as the musical comedy duo Zabruso.   She teaches voice lessons in her spare time and loves a good road trip to a funky desert town. 

>> Read more…



Bianca Caruso cut her teeth in Austin, Texas, tracked down the best of what was there, packed it up and brought it to Los Angeles. An old soul with a timeless sound, Caruso made a name for herself as a founding member and the driving force behind the critically acclaimed alt-country ensemble Freddy and Francine, whose infectious melodies and heartfelt lyrics quickly became regular installations at LA’s Hotel Cafe, McCabe’s Guitar Shop, and throughout southern California. Her freelance career includes touring nationally backing up ‘Wicked’ star Idina Menzel, performing in The Met Theater’s hit revival of ‘HAiR’ with Original Broadway Producer Michael Butler, and collaborations with a growing list of LA’s up-and-coming talent. After three releases in as many years, featured rotation on LA’s KCRW, and cultivating a madly loyal audience for Freddy and Francine, Caruso now steps into the limelight alone with a new batch of songs and a sound too big, it turns out, even for Texas.

bianca caruso

Never Give Up- Isaiah B Brunt


For decades Isaiah has been a top Aussie production guy and studio owner who’s worked with Julio Iglesias and his orchestra, the Goo Goo Dolls and rehearsed American Idol’s Randy Jackson and his band for their Australian touring. Not only has Isaiah been behind the board for globally upper echelon bands, he’s been a go-to sideman for bands touring down under like the time he hit the road in Sydney aiding Keanu Reeves band Dog Star.


All the while he was working with synthetic and packaged music, Isaiah always knew where his heart lay. The same place it was when he first heard his father strum the Ukulele, blow harmonica and unleash the lap steel.

>> Read more…

isaiah b brunt

South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way)- Asleep at the Wheel with George Strait

asleep at the wheel- still the king

Technically, it’s been 16 years since Asleep at the Wheel last saluted Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys — with 1999’s Ride with Bob, recorded for the short-lived DreamWorks Records — but it’s never like Ray Benson’s ensemble ever strayed far from Western Swing. Their first album in 1973 was chock-full of Wills standards and their last, 2010’s It’s a Good Day, showcased former Texas Playboy Leon Rausch, so Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys is squarely in the group’s comfort zone. Fortunately, Asleep at the Wheel never sound too comfortable on this generous 22-track tribute. Part of that is down to the decision of Benson and company to construct Still the King as an outright party, inviting old and new friends to sit in and sing both classics and nuggets from the deep Wills songbook.

>> Read more…

- Stephen Thomas Erlewine,




Asleep at the Wheel have never shied away from acknowledging where their musical influence comes from. “Still the King” is the group’s third tribute to the music of Bob Wills. While past attempts have been worthy acknowledgements of the influence of the Texas swing legend’s music, this time around, Ray Benson and crew work alongside an unbelievable line-up of guest artists. The guest list is not only a testament to the legacy of Wills and his Texas Playboys, but also Asleep at the Wheel themselves, who have by this point become widely recognized as the definitive Western Swing group.


While Wills music and AATW’s tight musicianship are at the core, the guests make this a must listen. Although Western Swing had its brief heyday many decades ago, “Still the King” makes one wonder why it faded away as the polished countrypolitan sound took over. The jazz influence adds a fun element.


Wills’ music is renowned in Texas, but his influence is not constricted by borders or even genre.

>> Read more…

-Dustin Blumhagen.

george strait- show 212

Shine My Diamond Ring- Sean Rowe

sean rowe- madman

Singer and songwriter Sean Rowe’s rather astonishing singing voice evokes the sound of the ages. His big rumbling baritone bears traces of John Lee Hooker, Greg Brown, Wilson Pickett, and others, though it is utterly unaffected. Rowe hails from Troy, New York. In his teens he discovered the blues of Muddy Waters and Hooker as well as the soul music of Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles. He began playing guitar and learning songs by virtually every artist he admired — and then some. By the time he began playing the local bar scene at 18, he had amassed enough original and cover material to perform four one-hour sets per night.


Also during his teen years, Rowe encountered the book The Tracker by naturalist Tom Brown, and it deeply influenced his thinking. He was already drawn to the woods and spent a great deal of time investigating the landscape around his home, but his passion for the wild grew; it influenced not only his thinking, but his songwriting. He attended Brown’s Wilderness Survival School, and began to write more of his own material. He left the local bar scene at 25 a seasoned warrior, and self-released his debut, 27, in 2003.

>> Read more…

-Thom Jurek,



On his previous work, the booming baritone of singer/songwriter Sean Rowe had naturally made a home for itself on the darker side of the alt-folk world, imbuing his songs with a brooding rumble that set him miles apart from any of his contemporaries. On his fourth album, Madman, Rowe decides to let a little sunshine in, brightening up his sound with elements of joyful pop that cast the singer in a whole new light. While the album still has the requisite nods to Tom Waits with the ramshackle syncopation of “Looking for the Master,” and Leonard Cohen on the gently rapturous “It Won’t Be Long,” the most interesting moments come when Rowe decides to let his fun side out.

>> Read more…

-Gregory Heaney,

sean rowe- show 212

Shine On Harvest Moon- Veronica and the Red Wine Serenaders

veronica and the red wine serenaders- the mexican dress-2

The Red Wine Serenaders is a musical project born in Italy in 2009, featuring a talented combo of musicians focusing on Americana Roots genre.


Their repertoire consists of a mix of blues, ragtime, country blues, swing, Vaudeville and jug band music played using strictly acoustic instruments such ukulele, washboard, kazoo, resophonic guitars, mandolin and doublebass. Over the years and after hundreds shows, the RWS has become an established reality in the European music scene as part of the blues, ragtime, folk and country blues panorama.

>> Read more…

veronica and the red wine serenaders

Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy- Red Foley

red foley- country music hall of fame

Red Foley was one of the biggest stars in country during the post-war era, a silky-voiced singer who sold some 25 million records between 1944 and 1965 and whose popularity went far in making country music a viable mainstream commodity. Born Clyde Julian Foley on June 17, 1910, in Blue Lick, KY, he began playing guitar and harmonica at a young age, and by the time he was 17 had taken first prize in a statewide talent competition. While attending college in 1930, he was spotted by a talent scout from Chicago’s WLS radio and was tapped to sing with producer John Lair’s Cumberland Ridge Runners, the house band on the program National Barn Dance.


After seven years with the Ridge Runners, Lair created a new show, Renfro Valley Barn Dance, especially to showcase Foley’s talents. The singer remained with the program until late 1939, performing everything from ballads to boogie to blues. At the same time, he became the first country artist to host his own network radio program, Avalon Time (co-hosted by comedian Red Skelton), and performed extensively in theaters and clubs and at fairs. After exiting the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, Foley returned for another seven-year stint at the National Barn Dance show. In 1941, the same year he made his film debut with Tex Ritter in the Western The Pioneers, he signed a lifetime contract with Decca Records.

>> Read more…

-Jason Ankeny,

red foley- chattanoogie shoe shine boy

Come Rain Or Come Shine- Toni Lincoln

toni lincoln- album cover

When vocalist Toni Lincoln was 5 years old, she liked to dress up in her grandmother’s vintage dresses and sing to her dolls which she neatly arranged on her bed as an audience for her impromptu concerts.  Little did she know that it would be more than 5 decades later that she would do her first real live singing appearance at a little subterranean Portland jazz club.


In the audience that night at the Blue Monk was drummer Ron Steen who has been a catalyst and mentor for many major music careers for Northwest artists.


Ron signed Toni up for several gigs in the Portland area and a singing career was born that night.  Influenced by such greats as Nancy Wilson, Dionne Warwick, and Sarah Vaughan. Toni has wowed audiences with her command of the Great American Songbook and her joyful sweet synthesis of the styles of those above mentioned masterful mentors.  And what she adds to the mix is her very own matchless sense of style and beauty.

>> Read more…

toni lincoln

Instant Karma (We All Shine On)- John Lennon feat. the Plastic Ono Band/ Yoko Ono

john lennon- power to the people the hits

Out of all the Beatles, John Lennon had the most interesting — and frustrating — solo career. Lennon was capable of inspired, brutally honest confessional songwriting and melodic songcraft; he also had an undying love of straight-ahead rock & roll. But the extremes, both in his music and his life, were what made him fascinating. Where Paul McCartney was content to be a rock star, Lennon dabbled in everything from revolutionary politics to the television talk-show circuit during the early ’70s. After releasing a pair of acclaimed albums, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, in the early ’70s, Lennon sunk into an infamous “lost weekend” where his musical output was decidedly uneven and his public behavior was often embarrassing. Halfway through the decade, he sobered up and retired from performing to become a house-husband and father. In 1980, he launched a comeback with his wife Yoko Ono, releasing the duet album Double Fantasy that fall. Just as his career was on an upswing, Lennon was tragically assassinated outside of his New York apartment building in December of 1980. He left behind an enormous legacy, not only as a musician, but as a writer, actor and activist.


Considering the magnitude of his achievements with the Beatles, Lennon’s solo career is relatively overlooked. Even during the height of Beatlemania, Lennon began exploring outside of the group.

>> Read more…

-Stephen Thomas Erlewine,

john lennon and yoko ono

The Sun’s Gonna Shine On You- Vince Gill

vince gill- next big thing

“Vince Gill is quite simply a living prism refracting all that is good in country music. He uses the crystal planes of his songwriting, his playing, and his singing to give us a musical rainbow that embraces all men and spans all seasons.” – Kyle Young/Country Music Foundation on Vince’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame


Vincent Grant Gill was born April 12, 1957 in Norman, Okla. His father encouraged him to learn to play guitar and banjo, which he did along with bass, mandolin, dobro and fiddle. While in high school, he performed in the bluegrass band Mountain Smoke, which built a strong local following and opened a concert for Pure Prairie League.


After graduating high school in 1975, Gill moved to Louisville, Ky. to be part of the band Bluegrass Alliance. After a brief time in Ricky Skaggs’s Boone Creek band, Gill moved to Los Angeles and joined Sundance, a bluegrass group fronted by fiddler Byron Berline. In 1979, he joined Pure Prairie League as lead singer and recorded three albums with the band, the first of which yielded the Top Ten pop hit “Let Me Love You Tonight” in 1980. Departing the group in 1981, Gill joined Rodney Crowell’s backing band the Cherry Bombs, where he met and worked with Tony Brown and Emory Gordy Jr., both of whom would later produce many of his future solo albums.

>> Read more…



Vince Gill’s studio offering following his paean to his new bride, Let’s Make Sure We Kiss When We Say Goodbye, is one of his strongest recordings in a decade. Perhaps it’s the freedom from the usual Nashville production bullsh*t — Gill produced the album himself. His cast of players and singers is a veritable list of stars, including Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, the Doobie Brothers’ Michael McDonald, life partner Amy Grant, Kim Keyes, Andrea Zonn, and Leslie Satcher. Famed producer and engineer Justin Niebank is at the mixing desk, and Gill’s regular band propels a mixed bag of pop, boogie, swing, and neo-trad country tunes — and odd for a Nash Vegas album, there are 17 of them, not ten or 12.

>> Read more…

-Thom Jurek,

vince gill- show 212-2

I Believe The South Is Gonna Rise Again- Tanya Tucker

tanya tucker- 16 biggest hits- show 212

Tanya Tucker had her first country hit in 1972, when she was just 13 years old. Over the succeeding decades, Tucker became one of the few child performers to mature into adulthood without losing her audience, and during the course of her career, she notched a remarkable streak of Top Ten and Top 40 hits.


Tucker was born in Seminole, TX, and much of her childhood was spent moving throughout the Southwest as her father pursued construction jobs. At the age of six she began taking saxophone lessons; two years later she decided she wanted to sing, and made an auspicious debut with Mel Tillis, who was so impressed by her talents that he invited her on-stage to perform. In 1969 Tucker and her family moved to Las Vegas, where she regularly performed. Eventually, she recorded a demo tape that gained the attention of songwriter Dolores Fuller, who sent it to producer Billy Sherrill. At the time, Sherrill was the head of A&R at CBS Records, and he was so impressed with the demo tape that he signed the teenaged vocalist to Columbia Records. Sherrill initially planned to have Tucker record “The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA,” but she passed on the tune, choosing “Delta Dawn” — a song she heard Bette Midler sing on The Tonight Show — instead. Released in the spring of 1972, the song became an instant hit, peaking at number six on the country charts and scraping the bottom of the pop charts.


At first, Columbia Records tried to downplay Tucker’s age, but soon word leaked out and she became a sensation…

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-Sandra Brennan,

tanya tucker- photo by alan messer

Photo by: Alan Messer

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