Sunday, March 30, 2014

I need you most of the while

It's a bit unusual for me to go from buying a song on March 25th, to meeting the artist, to recording their song, but I've gone and done it.  I guess in hindsight, I had been contacted by Natalie a few months back when she sent me a note from her Concerts in Your Home page, and I must have like her because I subscribed to her email newsletter.  Then she sent a note saying she was coming to La Crosse to play the Root Note.  (A simply wonderful place in La Crosse)  It was mid-week but I got down there with my wife, and we both enjoyed it.  Luckily Lori was with me so she didn't need to worry I was meeting some artist that I fell in love with... Ha.. it's probably very possible for any warm blooded male to fall in love with Natalie.  Well less than one week later, guitar in hand I sat down to learn this song.  Again, when I learn it and force myself to record it, I find it sticks better.... and I work out all the parts that I have mistakes in before I get it right... This was probably the 6th take, and it always gets better.

Unlike many other artists that I network with, Natalie will likely see this.  She is a very connected new artist to all the new fangle social media, even has done a Google Hangout Concert!  Here's she is playing the song I recorded during the 60 minute concert.

My voice has never been called flattering, but covering another artist is supposed to be flattering, so here's my cover: (updated on Sunday with a little better production of the first video)

Now let's just say Natalie ROCKS compared to this old fart...

I did leave the first strip down take out there... why not, it's not my disk space.

Not sure if Charlie Midnight is this Charlie.  Natalie confirmed this is co-writer, what an interesting person.  I'll keep looking into him and the connection.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Introducing Simone Felice

Oh my I really like that I found this guy this morning.  I truly don't spend enough time reading or listening to indie music reviews, so thanks to the connections and the force of making me look for new artists in my 40 day journey.  I subscribed to his YouTube channel, and you should to: and be only number 119 and counting.

and Yes... I went back to iTunes and just kept buying until I said, "hell they are all great songs"

Introducing Mayday Radio

Thanks to Natalie Gelman singing a duet with him, now I'm a fan!  Join the small band of us, it won't be small for long

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's all about 40 days- Day 1-20

The bible Old and New chapters have these continuities, 3 days, 7 days and 40 days. Well as we as Christians are asked to reflect on our journey of faith and life over the next 40 days; I thought why not force me to find a new song (likely a new artist too) each day. I'll tweet it, and you can follow me at but I'll keep updating this post until we rejoice that we've passed money to Musicians.  Yes.. I can't cheat and use a song I own already... and if I miss a day, I'll make up for it.

Just a song.. well who knows... let's hope someone grabs me by the inner soul and shakes me to buy the whole CD, but it will be just allowed for one day.

1) Doomsday - The Old Souls, wonderful harmonica drew me to the song, and storyline goes on for 6 minutes and keeps you interested.  Interesting little group I came across because iTunes recommended it through past purchases.

2) Royal - Lorde, Because of a twitter post by Heather Burian, a fine young TV reporter in the area, I saw Bruce Springsteen cover the song.  Figured I should actually hear the song, (note to reader that this blog writer covers obscure mostly and didn't know the Grammy winning song), and of course I'm learning it Bruce style.  Future video, I'm sure. update yes there is a video.

3) I will remain - Matthew and the Atlas.  I follow a twitter account for For Folk's Sake and told them I would find an artist from their site for day three, and boy it was easy, the picture and write up had me in iTunes listening.  I love this new song has a vocal qualities many like from Mumford and Sons, but it has a more delicate mix.  I'm sure to be buying more of their music.  Funny iTunes calls it Pop music, if that's case Pop music has come back to stuff I can like.

4) Light over the Ridge - Pawn or Kings.  I really liked Matthew and the Atlas and did what I normally do with a new artist, check if they have a Noisetrade mix to discover more music and get on their mailing list.  They aren't there, but Pawn or Kings had a pretty unique live set.  They had me and went back to iTunes and bought the fourth new song.

5) Grey White December - I am Snow Angel.  I ended up blogging about this unique video that accompanies this song.  Funny wonder what came first the song or the name of the group; they fit each other so well.

6) Best day of my Life - American Authors.  What a fun song and yes maybe 2014 next big hit, but it's also pretty easy to play along with going back and forth between G & D. I'll have to ask the band if they want to cover it, and learn that cool banjo part that begins the song.

7) Little Blue Bird - Grace Pettis.  Grace is not a stranger to me, and when I heard we're close to bringing her to the Great River Folk Fest, I thought I should get more music of hers in the library.   This sound is a wonderful song for singers trying to make a living.

8) Evelyn - Andrew Duhon, Super intrigued when I found an iTunes compilation Bands under the Radar, Americana for Hipsters.  I bounced around a few artists and the description in American Songwriter got me to look deeper, "Andrew Duhon’s self-released new album The Moorings earned a Grammy nomination for Best Production, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a brilliant sounding record, sparkling with fresh folk-rock arrangements and gorgeous melodies that linger long after the album’s finished spinning."  I am pretty sure I'll be buying more of him in the future.

9) Never Meant to Love you - Cory Chisel.  Looking into this fine new artist raised in Minnesota by a preacher who sheltered him from pop music and gave him a great influx of Hymns and Johnny Cash. We're going to see him this summer with Todd Snider at the Big Top in Bayfield so I thought I should get some of his music.

10) Fireside Chat - Garnet Rogers. Of course when you go see someone live, buy his CD, and during this 40 day journey a song from it has to make the list.  Now I'm tempted not to tell Garnet about this selection because he is not keen on this new format of selecting songs from CDs.  About the song I picked to feature, it's Garnet's song that has been affectionally called, "Welcome to Hell" , it's a great politically charged recap of the last few years. The whole CD is wonderfully acoustic, with a couple covers, and song written for Bill Morrissey. Since he's not keen on the iTunes format the CD is available only at his website :

11) Canadee-I-O - Nic Jones.  Garnet played this song, and for some reason I did not have it in my iTunes music library.  Must have had it once before... such a good song from and absolutely wonderful guitar player.  As far as the linked site says, he's no longer touring, but maybe buying his song will still influence you,

12) Give me back my hometown - Eric Church, A 40 day venture allows for influence thru suggestion. Since I don't listen to the radio much, I could have not told you that Eric is the new outlaw country on the block since 2011.  A friend, Kelly Gardner, who is raising money for Gman, had posted she loves to drive listening to Eric.  Well I'm a sucker for hometown ballads, thus Eric made the list.

13) Tales of the American West- Maxwell Hughes.  So today found me without a plan, and Maxwell Hughes started following me on Twitter, so give him a chance.  He does live in the same city as SHEL does, Fort Collins; and a former guitarist for the Lumineers.  He records wonderful instrumental music, and while I play a lot of that myself, I rarely buy it.  Today's selection is nice use of bass lines runs thus I was attracted to it.

14) Honey, Stay Awhile - The Rosewood Thieves.  Tonight I trusted the first page of iTunes and Genius to take me to a 2007 cd by a band that I'm not sure exists anymore.  What a sultry ballad... I might go back and buy more, but I'll have to research more.  For now I'll just enjoy.

15) 18 years old - The Friel Sisters.  As luck would have it, I was listening to the mix of the 14 songs above it and said, needs more women.  I said the next woman band in my facebook timeline will get most favored attention.  What a wonderful chance I had... some reason I had like this women and never bought anything of theirs yet.  Great harmonies and musicianship; prefect yet for my list did not include truly an Irish song yet.

16) Body of Work - The Mynabirds.  Love the world sound that this song from the indie pop group led by Laura Burhenn.  The song comes from 2012 released record that was received with universal acclaim.  No wonder I didn't hear about it until today.

17) Bravedancing - Rachael Sage.  The other day Noisetrade sent me an email with a free Songwriting tips, in it were five writers.  I thought I would take on some of their songs in my project.  First up Rachael, beautiful... a little more pop than I normally listen to, but it's a finely crafted song.  Looking forward to learning a few things.

18) Little White Truck - Kate Lynne Logan.  When you're in the car and let random play go, you here songs you've had for a while but haven't listened to enough.  I had to stop several times and look who the artist was, and once was for Kate's song River & Rain.  What a wonderful song, I knew I needed to buy some more.  Little White Truck is a fun "Back of a pickup truck" song... sure to put a smile on your face and bounce in your step.

19) Moving - John Fullbright.  We have been discussing John being our Saturday night closer at the Great River Folk Fest, and while I've caught a few glimpses of videos, I have never bought or seriously listened a lot to John.  I'm confident in the recommendation, and I kind of figured that I wanted it to be a pleasant surprise.  Thought I'd make him a selection and start getting hooked.

20) Most the While - Natalie Gelman Ok so I'm a sucker for pretty lady and a guitar... of course I stay a while longer when they have killer passion in their voice.  You can read more why Natalie made the list in this other post.  Suffice to say, that this song does go down easy.

Hey... 20 songs in one blog is enough... I'll start another one tomorrow.

Introducing Natalie Gelman

Being a subscribed host in Concerts in Your Home  puts me in a delicate situation where I say no to too many good artists.  My series, Bluff View Concerts, really only books four a year and I don't have too many open spots if I don't know your music.  Natalie Gelman sent me a note when I already had a booking with Drew Nelson, so I had to pass considering her.  So glad she landed a gig at the Root Note, and I'm trying to get over and see her March 26th.  This song will be number 20 in my 40 day music journey.

Monday, March 24, 2014

John Fullbright - Moving.

This will be day 19 song... I wanted to hear more from John Fullbright because he might play at the Great River Folk Fest.  I like how he wraps real life problems and then just says "Heck we're moving"... too real.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Music Criticism

Since this is essentially a music blog, I was interested in reading the article, Ted Gioia is wrong about 21st Century Music Criticism. I tend to agree with the author, we've democratized music and we don't need stinking critics telling us that we have the music wrong.  I am a huge supporter in the fact you can find merit in almost any piece; but I rarely want to talk about the styles or pieces that I don't like.  I guess when you are paid to be critical, you must, and why not dig into the technical parts.  Hey I don't get paid for this, so enjoy just what I want to say.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Introducing the Mynabirds

I was browsing through my YouTube suggestions and KEXP 90.3 Seattle has a great channel, and while I didn't care for the new one in my timeline, I was intrigued to listen to their Pickathon playlist; and quickly fell in love with the groove that the Mynabirds brought to the videos, like this... destined to be number 16, now which song.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Honey Stay awhile, introducing The Rosewood Thieves

Ha, I'm afraid they might be defunct, but they made the Genius suggestion and I thought they sounded wonderful.  This song was number fourteen in the 40day challenge.

Introducing Maxwell Hughes.

Maxwell Hughes was my new song and new artist to the blog, and I found I can't any more labels to my 40 day journey, so in fairness... I'll make sure I post a separate post like this with a link back to it... tricky?  Maybe maybe not so... this is a great song too, I couldn't find one of the song I bought, but NOW I want this one more.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Welcome to Hell

Just saw Garnet Rogers last night in LaCrosse at the Root Note, and while I had heard this song before... I did not know that he calls the song "Fireside Chat" that shows up in the last verse... He likes to say there is something to offend everyone in the song, though it tends to be very Progressive and I find myself very humored by it.  I noted the the song evolved since the first time I heard it, and one the studio version.  And of course it turned into song number TEN in my #40day Journey.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Why are you so.

Remember just yesterday I told you would hear more about Stephanie Hunt?  Then today this was my highlighted video to watch.  How does YouTube know?  Ha.. I'm not going to worry about it.  It actually is the second video put out with the Fuel our Fire project.  The song is actually more hip hop than my tastes, but it's wonderfully emotional.

If you want to hear more about Phoebe's project, maybe watch the streaming Concert Window from SXSW.


Why Are You So? is the second single on the album, Precious Human Life, which is the first album recorded by the Amala Foundation's One Village Music Project. Music and Lyrics by: Breez Smith, Stephanie Hunt, Emily Cauley, Annika Mukherjee, & Joe House.

The One Village Music Project is comprised of 18 young musicians, including refugee, immigrant and at-risk youth, who create a unique blend of alternative, folk, hip hop and world music. Youth who participate in the One Village Music Project first came together as a community of inspired musicians during our Global Youth Peace Summit.

Last August, the One Village Music Project partnered with Fuel Our Fire which was created by musician Phoebe Hunt to offer young musicians from all over the world an opportunity to showcase their talents and collaborate in a professional environment.

For more information, please visit­ne-village-music-project.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Introducing Stephanie Hunt

Now my blog readers have heard I have re-kindled my love and appreciation of Phoebe Hunt, but I had her sister as an intrigue.  She sings great harmonies, but doesn't tour with her... a quick google search landed me on this page, and what surprise... the writer picked her number one, and lower on the list was Natalie Portman, who I also love.  I will continue to research her, but until future posts:

Per the writer: Greg Lockwe

1. Stephanie Hunt - I realize that most folks don’t know who Stephanie Hunt is … yet. You probably will soon enough. As of yet, her three notable roles have been on the minor side, save for her breakout role in a film called Love & Tambourines, a micro-budget cinéma vérité feature that did quite well at the Austin City Film Festival in 2009. Not only was Steph the lead in the movie, but she’s credited as a co-writer, alongside director Jeremy Cohen, a fellow Austinite who has filmed a number of student projects with our gal. After L&T, Steph went on to play Devin Boland, a thoughtful lesbian rock n’ roll chick, in the great “Friday Night Lights.” Next up was a stint on “Californication,” as well as one episode of “Greek.” So, yes, basically everything Steph has done up to this point has been good. Also, at some point, Stephanie was in a band called The Ghost Songs that we at the Ze Cat offices thought was very good. She’s done other music-related work here and there, though nothing too substantial (we suspect something might be in the works). Cute, cool, talented. The next Zooey Deschanel? Nah, something different. Probably stranger. Probably cooler. Maybe even cuter. Anyhow, below you’ll find an intimate little project Cohen and Hunt did together a little over a year ago; the last minute or so, in particular, is worthwhile. And, if you’re really intrigued, you can watch Love & Tambourines for free via YouTube HERE. (Note: it’s a different kind of flick, so hang in there.)

2014 next big hit.

Show in the beginning of my journey of 40 days of new music, I read the USA Today today, yes the real physical paper, and found this article  Patrick Ryan gave evidence of four potentials.... well true to my nature I picked the obscure one, Best Day of my Life by American Authors that only had 5.7 million Youtube views.

I gave it one more and you should too... it'll make number six as soon I update this blog and go buy it. What Patrick wrote:

Why it could be the song of 2014: With its upbeat melody and winsome charm,Best Day of My Life is well on its way to finding the top 20 success of other folk-rock hits such as The Lumineers' Ho Hey and Of Monsters and Men's Little Talks. Although it was released last March, the song may be propelled by its appearance in TV commercials for Lowe's and Hyundai, and American Authors' just-released debut album, Oh, What a Life. "We're approaching summer — definitely a good time for a feel-good record with a good message," says Yahoo Music senior editor Billy Johnson Jr. While it's taken some time to gain momentum, "there's still more life to the song. It has all the right qualities to (hit No. 1)."

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Simple Twist of Fate 2

You choose... a cover evolves.. just like Bob.

Without glasses means it's not being read and the story teller comes out a little better...


When I first learned in November 2013... a little slower and with glasses because it wasn't in my soul yet.

This Angel misses Grey White December.

Yes as i finished shoveling the ice out of the garage for hopefully the last time this year, I came in and started thinking about the next new song.  Somehow yesterday I bumped into I am Snow Angel and fell in love with this cool video.  My 40 song project is supposed to take me out of my normal channels, and I can tell you I rarely buy something that iTunes classifies as electronic.  My luck is that I haven't seen many pictures of the lead singer, purposely I don't need to fall in love again and buy all her music.  Just at least this one... it will be number five tomorrow.

By the way.. I do also love cold winter nights.. wrapped in a bottle of red with a warm fire stirring.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Great cause, and good people

I know this woman through a great winery in Trempealeau called The Elmaro Vineyard.  She's got a big heart, as evidenced by this great fundraiser and her commitment to Gman.  Not too surprising she's going to school to teach... got to love teachers who want to raise  your children right... Wish you luck you two! Now Watch and Go Donate, every Dollar helps.

Garrett Williamson and his friend, Kelly Gardner are fundraising for a Race Chair. Kelly plans to push Garrett in 5K run/walks throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. The duo is hoping to inspire others by breaking down the stereotypes of limitations tied to muscular dystrophy. 

Garrett was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at age 5. {more of his story to come} Kelly moved to Trempealeau at 
the beginning of their 5th grade year. Garrett was quick to introduce himself and chat with Kelly. Instantly they became friends! The two spent lots of time together at school, both played clarinet in band, and they enjoyed seeing movies together. Every field trip, Kelly joined Garrett in his transportation if it was his van or a different bus. They always had the most fun! Middle school was filled with more movie watching and school dances. Their high school years were filled with the most activities! Kelly got her license and the world was theirs! Seeing movies at the theater and dinner nights, movie watching, football games, pep-band, and the most exciting part of their senior year was the music trip to Texas! Kelly rode with Gman, his dad, Dave and his mom, Vicky! Spending over a week together traveling from Wisconsin to Texas fostered a new understanding for Kelly as to what Garrett goes through from morning to night. Friendship has been constant for the past ten plus years and the two wouldn't be the same without each others' support and love!

Graduation came quicker than they could have imagined! Kelly was accepted to Winona State University for Special Education/Elementary Education. Garrett had his heart set on University of Wisconsin - Platteville. That summer was over faster than it started. Goodbyes were not quick or easy; they made plans for visits and FaceTime nights that made the distance easier to bear. The weekend Kelly planned to visit Platteville, Garrett decided to come back home and start school at Western Technical College in La Crosse. While the decision was a big one for Garrett, Kelly was supportive while she hid her excitement for him to be closer to home! Most recently Garrett was Kelly's date to a Mardi Gras Fundraising Gala in Winona! They had a great time dancing and dressing up!

As the years go by, their bond has and continues to grow stronger! She walks and he rolls. Hopefully soon, she'll push and he'll ride! Kelly will push Garrett in 5K run/walks throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. The duo is hoping to inspire others by breaking down the stereotypes of limitations tied to muscular dystrophy.

Please like and share our page to spread the word! Also, follow our journey on Wordpress!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Royals Cover of a cover

My bandmates love the fact that I'll amble on between songs about why and who we're covering, and when we cover a cover... oh that's more to the story... HA.

Here's hoping this one gets and stays in the set list for awhile, so I can tell the story that I saw this tweet from this TV Reporter, watched Bruce, and then fell in love with a song from Lorde that had already won a Grammy... yes, I won't be ashamed to tell that story.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bruce King Bee...

I think I could cover this... You think I'll have 500,000 views in 4 days?  NOT.

Sorry I had to look up this one, I hadn't never heard it before.

Stairway to Heaven by Kiana June Weber.

I love it when really talented people like, Kiana June Weber decide to to something impromptu like us novices.  She has been the Gaelic Storm's fiddle player since Jessie decided to retire and be a mom.  Subscribe and thank her, maybe she'll do more of this...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Down River music by Kevin House

Actually I pinched myself when Gabrielle Miller interacted to a tweet I sent her way a few weeks ago about this blog.

And I've been following her since.... Now I find out she's in an incredible interesting sounding independent film coming out of Canada called Down River. Per the site:

Down River is the emotionally stirring story of three young women teetering on the edge between creative breakthroughs and personal breakdowns, and their connection with the older woman they rely on for guidance, support and inspiration.

And of course I needed to watch some videos to quickly be convinced, here's a beautiful song with clips:

And then the trailer:

And the composer of the music Kevin House with the artist, Colleen Rennison who plays the musician:

Down River with Colleen and Kevin from dinsdale pirahna on Vimeo.

I need to learn about Kevin's music... I did reach out to him on FB

Nishike- One Village Music Project

Earlier in February during Phoebe Hunt's concert, she talked about her love for summer camps, and one she helps run, Fuel Our Fire   She then sang Nishike, a beautiful song that I believe is a Swahili means "Holding my Hand" and ties in wonderfully to the first verse.  It is on the CD named "One Village Music Project" and can be found on iTunes here.  At first I sampled three songs, Nishike, Yesu Ni Bwana, and Precious Human Life.  As writing this blog is both informative for you, it's a learning experience for me.  The words for it are from the Dalai Lama and of course a great mantra to start any morning.

Here's a great video, including a little more explanation from Phoebe.  What a talented young lady with a huge heart.

Take aways.... Of course you should Donate to their cause; and their website makes it easy. Click here please.

You should spend the $7.92 at iTunes to support the group and have them on your minds every time you listen to this wonderfully eclectic global sound.  Click here it's easy. I have a passion for some global music in my mix of life ever since Paul Simon's Graceland; and some of our global ELCA hymns are my favorite.  Try it, it's contagious.  BTW... I finished buying all the songs this morning.

Next up... watch for Phoebe Hunt coming through your town, support her music and you will find the community will keep growing.