They say a band is like a family. There must be trust among the members. There must be an atmosphere of peace and gentleness that allows for quiet time to think, and be inspired, and to create. There can’t be… Continue reading
You know what drives me nuts? It’s pretty simple. It’s for me to be on stage and play a fiddle note that is not on good quality. Mind you, it can be one note in thousands — or it can be a bunch of poorly delivered notes because “it’s just one of those nights” or I arrived at a show without proper warm up and daily wood-shedding, or I’m just having a crappy night. And, after the show is over and I’m off stage… I WILL remember that ONE note. It will stick in my craw.
I’d like to think that this means I have embedded somewhere within my musical DNA one little *ferocity* chromosome.
When it comes to having ferocity in one’s personal musical genome, there are no others like Continue reading
“John Hartford talked about the process of driving a river boat is not to look right in front of you, but to look a mile down the river.” – Bryan Sutton
Busy musical artists oft times become tangled in their own lack of long-range strategy. The majority of us in the pack fear the act of turning down a booking or a favored-called-in by a colleague. Bryan Sutton understands the challenge. Continue reading
Do this each week and by the end of the month (simple math) you’ll have 4 really good, authentic bluegrass licks. Rinse and repeat on the following months. You’ll be a killer side artist or band leader by the end of the year. Continue reading
I've never used Kickstarter.
Only because I've not yet developed or designed a product or initiated a project so revolutionary or unique that it would change the lives of others in a positive and impactful way -- with no accessible funding support available should I do something so remarkable.
That's my policy for myself. I'm self-righteous about it - definitely to a fault. Yes, most definitely to a fault. Continue reading
This year, I promise not to fire my bandmate, Pete. Don’t laugh. Okay, laugh.
Every couple of years I terminate him. It’s because we are such good friends, know each other inside-out, and love each other like the closest of siblings – and when we travel too much together in close quarters, we get on each others’ nerves. Seriously, he won’t let me keep left-overs in the bus or hotel mini-fridge. Stuff like that.
In the 10 years that we’ve been bandmates, I’ve fired him 3 times. After a couple weeks of missing him, and at the gently prodding from the rest of the band, I rehire him.
He has become very patient with me on this. I sometimes wonder why he hasn’t taken it upon himself to fire me from the band. We are equals. Let’s hope he Continue reading
In mid-May of last year, I traveled to Franklin, Tennessee to interview the beautiful, talented and highly successful songwriter, Miss Dixie Hall.
or… Miss Dixie, if you’ve known her for your entire life – or if you have just met her. Permission granted.
Here in the deep south, women of a certain age and elegance are regularly addressed by the tender use of the salutation Miss followed by their first name. It doesn’t matter if she is married, or never been, or not now.
Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art.” – Ursula Le Guin Continue reading
The rumor is true. Jack White’s “Upholsterers” vinyl does exist - copies of which were recently found hidden inside couches. My take on all this? Jack and Brian were not great predictors of the "10 years later" entertainment climate. Instead Jack White and Brian Muldoon were authentic do-ers, confident that industry hi-jinx with its perceived advantageous partnerships is trumped by artistic craft. They didn't place their focus on who was being chosen or what others were doing or receiving Continue reading
Unless it is Gospel and giving praise to the Almighty – or the safe bet of celebrating our military veterans – then we just don’t seem to be keen on owning our truths through our music.
Is it cultural? Is it some sort of proper manners? Is it lack of interest? Is it fear of bullying or negative repercussions? Or… is it a show of assent? Continue reading
What's it take to have the right people playing in a band? We're not talking musical ability, instead that all important "off stage" time together? Frank Solivan shares his thoughts on that, as well as he gives us a peek into his pre-performance routine that is critical to pulling off a great show. Continue reading
There is a side that Robyn Taylor is slowly revealing through song. She has been through serious personal trials, and I mean difficult trials. And from those, she is creating an admirable professional life for herself by way of carving out a peaceful, artistic personal space in an overly “look at me” Nashville music scene. Continue reading
In the pursuit of creativity, a true artist relies on a counter-intuitive vision to see and develop opportunities that others miss. Yes… counter-intuitive. They travel to where others won’t, and they believe in who they Continue reading
I am honored to announce that the International Bluegrass Music Association has asked me to speak at its Media Licensing & Royalties panel at the upcoming World of Bluegrass conference September 30 – October 4, 2014… Continue reading
Take a member from the The Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, the Zac Brown Band, and let’s say… the David Grisman Quintet, as well as a few others who breathe rarefied musical air, and stick them in a recording studio for a couple weeks at the invitation of 5-String Banjo wizard Barry Waldrep and what we all receive is Continue reading