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Get In The Circle!

I walked into my first writers night on my very first trip to Nashville fifteen years ago. There were four people on stage in a line, and everyone was playing and singing together. I don't know whether they already knew each others' material or not, but I loved the energy and the way everyone's participation lifted the song. But over the ensuing years I've been struck by how rarely I've see that happen again. In fairness, the last thing any of us want is for someone to try to play along who can't “hang”...
 
Jimi Hendrix performing at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England (February 18, 1969). Photo Credit: Graham F. Page / EMP Museum / Authentic Hendrix, LLC

Jimi Hendrix - Hear My Train A Comin' Offers Revealing Look at the Legendary Guitarist

No guitarist in the history of rock has been as influential and groundbreaking as the late Jimi Hendrix. From his contemporaries (The Beatles, Ten Years After) to his musical descendants (Lenny Kravitz, Gary Clark Jr.), Hendrix' reach continues to touch new audiences. Now, more than four decades after his death at the age of 27, the pioneering musician's short but prolific life is celebrated via...
 
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Worship Leader and Pastor William McDowell Approaches Life by "Withholding Nothing"

If you scan the Christian music horizon, you’ll find a wealth of artistry created in praise of God and represented by music styles as diverse as the Church itself. But there are some sounds that defy categorization, some songs that go beyond what our vocabulary can express. And it is the desire to welcome and nurture these heaven-inspired sounds and songs that drives worship leader and songwriter...
 
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YouTube’s Music Video Subscription Is Real: 5 Things To Expect

It might seem crazy for YouTube to launch a music subscription somewhat along the lines of MOG, Rdio, Rhapsody, and Spotify, because you can already play just about any song in the world on YouTube, for free, in seconds — even music from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and other artists who refuse to put their music on music subscriptions. But that’s precisely what Google plans to do before...
 
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Concert Review: Toni Staples In Nashville

There’s this little extra something about Nashville’s most memorable female country artists that distinguishes them from everyone in music. There’s a certain something in their voice that’s powerfully genuine, sometimes as sweet as southern tea. They’re precise and confident. They smile at people like they mean it, and usually I’ve noticed, they’re small petite women. Even in a field hugely dominated by men you remember them all by their first names — Patsy, Dottie, Tammy, Wanda...
 
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How Important Is Your Live Show To Your Career?

Tom Jackson believes that the most successful artists are those who are amazing live performers. A few weeks ago, Stevie and I attended a two day bootcamp with live music producer Jackson and his team to see how we could improve our own performance. I was not disappointed. photo (41)In his many years of experience working with everyone from big name artists like Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, or Jars of Clay to up-and-coming indie artists like the Canadian country duo The...
 
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7 Essential Elements for your Band’s Digital Press Kit

When creating your website, you have to think about the different kinds of people that will be visiting it. These can be your current fans, potential new fans, as well asmedia/bloggers, bookers and other industry people. For that latter group, they’re likely looking for different information than your fans are, and you have to be sure to make it easy for them to find it. This can best be done by adding a Digital Press Kit section to your website. Here are the 7 essential elements to include in your ...
 
Behind-the-curtain

5 Secrets of the Successful Indie Artist

Gone are the days when being an indie artist meant boldly throwing off the corporate structure and shaking your fist at “The Man.” While there is a certain freedom obtained in independence, being an independent artist is no longer the anomaly – even for larger acts. Going independent is the new reality for many successful music artists across the globe. What does being an indie artist mean, exactly? For one thing, a new game requires a new set of skills. Those who got into this gig ...
 
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Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes in Atlanta

Christmas has always been a special time for me; family, good cheer, presents and, of course, the real reason for the season - the birth of Jesus. On Thursday night, Christmas was celebrated with dance and music as the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes took to the stage for their Christmas Spectacular show at the Cobb Energy Centre in Atlanta, GA. Opening the show, local broadcast veteran John Pruett read "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" to his grandchildren, all gathered at ...
 
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Slash’s Best Instrumentals

Slash is a Gibson Les Paul man through-and-through. He has a trademark sound that’s easy to recognize, and he is a role model for many up and coming guitarists. His latest project is the horror movieNothing Left To Fear, which is the first release from his production company Slasher Films. With it comes a soundtrack which contains a couple of Slash originals including “Welcome to Stull,” which is an instrumental. This got me thinking about the other instrumentals that Slash has ...
 
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Gibson Legend Leslie West Returns with a Powerhouse New Album

“I like to joke that the older I get the better I used to be,” six-string legend Leslie West observes. “But after giving up drugs and smoking, my voice can hit notes that I never could reach before and my guitar playing is still like a brick house. I’m thankful for that.” The proof is all over West’s brand new album Still Climbing. At nearly 68-years-old he’s packed some of the most soulful and searing vocal perform...
 
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Concert Review: Sarah Brightman in Anaheim, CA

While it might be plausible to hear material by alternative outfits Elbow ("One Day Like This"), Sigur Rós ("Glósóli") and Cocteau Twins ("Eperdu") covered by artists at Coachella or another renowned music festival, it’s less expected to hear such songs performed by operatic pop star Sarah Brightman. Yet she delivered all of them superbly during the first half of her tour-ending appearance in Anaheim, California on Nov. 2, 2013. Not only did the enduring English soprano revisit those art...
 
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An Independent Musician Needs to Make CDs

You may not know this, but Disc Makers has been in the music business since 1946. For any of you with the math and history skills to figure it out, we weren’t making CDs back in the early days. Disc Makers actually started out as the Ballen Record Company, a recording studio and record label in Philadelphia, PA. Founder Ivin Ballen built his own pressing plant to make shellac 78s for his label because there were no plants to contract his releases. Ivin built his entire factory and studio from ...
 
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New Artist Spotlight: Cassadee Pope

You’ve got to hand it to Blake Shelton: He knows how to pick winners. When he recruited Cassadee Pope for Team Blake on 2012’s “The Voice,” he found an artist with that rarest of assets: outstanding chops tempered by interpretive sensitivity. On her debut album for Republic Nashville, Frame By Frame, produced by Dann Huff and, on selected tracks, Nathan Chapman, Max Martin and Shellback, Pope does hit the occasional spectacular high note, but these only emphasize...
 
Sheryl Crow performs at LP Field in Downtown Nashville on Friday, June 7 during the 2013 CMA Music Festival.

Concert Review: Sheryl Crow at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh

With the Pittsburgh Steelers sitting at 2-5, their home venue was in need of some excitement. Heinz Field’s Great Hall finally got it when Sheryl Crow headlined the benefit “Girls With Guitars” show. While Danielle Bradberry, Sara Evans, Kellie Pickler and local favorite Sara Marince were billed as co-headliners, they proved to be a quartet of openers for the far more seasoned Crow. Indeed, Bradberry, Pickler and Marince are platinum blonde carbon copies with virtually interchangeable...
 
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