Larry Wiater - Texaco Country Showdown Gearing Up for Another Year

For more than three decades the name "Country Showdown" has been synonymous with country music's most important talent contest. Beginning at the local level and graduating to state, regional, and finally a national competition each year, the Country Showdown has carried the name of a variety of major sponsors. Initially known as the Wrangler Country Showdown, the contest has been named for ...

Flying high with Vintage Trouble courtesy of 'Live at 35'

I've interviewed and covered countless music events over the years, but my opportunity to go on a unique and exciting "Live at 35" adventure with the band Vintage Trouble on Friday, May 24 certainly ranks as one of the most memorable and exciting. Check out this video which chronicles my adventure and also provides you a chance to hear from members of the Los Angeles-based rock 'n' soul band, which offered up one of the standout performances I caught at Coachella Weekend 2 last month.

Jo Dee Messina Talks My Time, Our Music

The Beatles once sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Jo Dee Messina is looking for just that for her new album. After an amicable split from Curb, Messina has taken to Kickstarter to raise funds for “My Time, Our Music.” Backers can pledge funds at various levels ranging from $5 to $10,000 plus. Each tier brings rewards ranging from autographed merchandise to playing onstage at a show or having Messina come to your home to cook dinner. A goal of $100,000 must be reached by ...
Tower of Power photographed on 12/02/11 in El Cajon (San Diego) and on 12/03/11 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

Tower of Power Still Hip After 45 Years

More than four decades ago, tenor sax player Emilio Castillo and baritone sax player Doc Kupka founded Tower of Power in the San Francisco Bay area, and an American musical institution was born. With hot horn arrangements and a rock-solid rhythm section, Tower of Power hasn't changed with the times; they still come out blazing night after night with a heavy dose of soul-infused rockin' funk that can be imitated but not equaled. Famous for such hits as "You're Still a Young Man" (written by Castillo and...

Ron Levy: Life with Flying V Giant Albert King

Blues ‘n’ groove keyboard MVP and producer Ron Levy has spent more than 40 years on the road and in the studio, leading his own bands — including his exploratory, long-running outfit Wild Kingdom — and working with a cavalcade of influential artists. That extraordinarily long list includes B.B. King, the band Roomful of Blues, Muddy Waters and Magic Sam disciple Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, and funk-jazz saxist Karl Denson among others. All of that and more is chronicled in Levy’s first book, Tales Of...

There's A New Girl In Town....And Her Name Is Kalisa Ewing!

This Friday, May 31, will be one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments for newcomer Kalisa Ewing, who will me making her debut on the stage of the world famous Grand Ole Opry. “I am so excited about it,” she tells MNN. “It was one of those things that when Pete Fisher asked me if I would like to play the Opry, the next day I woke up and thought ‘Did that really just happen?” It’s a dream come true. I can’t wait.” How did this part of the...

Nick Autry: From North Carolina to Working with Industry Giants

Nick Autry is known to some in Nashville as a singer/songwriter/recording artist who, in addition to being a solo act, has fronted local and North Carolina bands like Hollywood Cowboy (he actually is a distant relative of Gene Autry's), the Jaggs and others. But for his day job, Autry serves as general manager of Black River Sound Stage, one of Music Row's most important recording studios. Overseeing the operation of the studio from booking to even engineering, Autry routinely works with some of the ...

Resurrected Prog-Rockers Flash Rock Again

After the Beatles, the Stones and the Who launched the assault on America known as the British Invasion, other British musicians who had been influenced by jazz and classical music as well as the blues and rock 'n' roll began to spread their creative wings, creating what the press coined "progressive rock." Bands like Yes, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and others took advantage of the creative floodgates having been opened and began to create pieces that would sometimes take up...

Bloodstock Festival's Adam Gregory: “We’ll Be Having a Bit of an Exhibition This Year

Bloodstock Open Air festival is a well established annual part of heavy metal history, taking place every August at Catton Hall, Derbyshire, England, over three days and three stages. The biggest names in metal have graced the stages over the years and this coming year is no exception. The headlining acts are KING DIAMOND, LAMB OF GOD and SLAYER, but there are so many more metal bands appearing: ACCEPT, AVANTASIA, ANTHRAX, SABATON, EXODUS, DEVILDRIVER...

BRMC’s Robert Levon Been Talks Music, Loss and Bass

2013 is already a landmark year for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Robert Levon Been. The co-singer/bassist/guitarist has reunited his late father’s band, The Call, and BRMC have just released a fine new album, Specter at the Feast. The Call were the acclaimed ‘80s band led by Robert’s father, Michael Been. And Michael was also key to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Michael was their live sound engineer right up to his sudden death in 2010. Robert took...

Tommy Womack, Nashville's Eclectic Troubadour

Singer / songwriter / guitarist Tommy Womack has been kicking around Nashville for the better part of three decades, as a member of Government Cheese, of the Bis-quits (which were briefly signed to John Prine's Oh Boy label), and of DADDY, with guitarist Will Kimbrough and other hot Nashville players. He also played bass for a while with Todd Snider, and travels as a solo acoustic act that plays songwriter festivals and pubs of the world. And he also plays electric shows with his current band, the Rush to Judgment.
Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, Richard Sterban

The Oak Ridge Boys - 40 Years and The Power of Positive Music (Photos and Interview)

For forty years, legendary Country/Gospel group The Oak Ridge Boys have been entertaining audiences around the world with songs like "American Made," "Thank God for Kids," and, of course, the mega-hit "Elvira." Although the group officially started in the 1940's as The Oak Ridge Quartet, the configuration of Duane Allen (lead), Joe Bonsall (tenor), William Lee Golden (baritone) and Richard...

Reinventing the Album Experience With Groovebug CEO Jeremiah Seraphine

Groovebug, according to its website, is the first personalized music magazine designed for the iPad. It helps users discover new music and connect with their favorite artists. The app scans the user’s library and transforms related, yet disparate content from the cloud into a fluid interactive magazine experience. Kickshuffle spoke to Jeremiah Seraphine, CEO and co-founder of Groovebug, about reinventing the album-listening experience, the tech scene at Northwestern, and why most mobile music sites...
Beth Hart

Beth Hart in Photos And An Interview With The Sulty Blues Performer

L.A.-based rock/blues performer and songwriter Beth Hart recently made a stop in Atlanta while out on her tour supporting her new album, Bang Bang Boom boom. While in town at Smith's Olde Bar, Beth sat down with me and talked about a wide variety of subjects including her latest projects, performing with Jeff Beck in honor of Buddy Guy at the Kennedy Center Honors, her two dogs and much more. Beth has had the honor of working with a number of guitar gods including Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa, Buddy Guy and Slash, among others. She's built a huge following both here in the U.S. and...
Lajon Witherspoon

Sevendust's Lajon Witherspoon Gives Back

Sevendust is a hard-rocking American band, often saddled with a “nu-metal” label. But the veteran rockers from Atlanta don’t necessarily stick to the script, often incorporating soul (even rap) into their heavy repertoire. Earlier this month, the band scored their first-ever #1 on the Billboard charts with their ninth album, Black Out The Sun. We were fortunate enough to catch up with lead singer Lajon Witherspoon, who spoke with us mid-tour from Worcester, Massachusetts.
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