I hate “the best.” It rankles me when people say it – always has. Superlatives (and even extreme comparatives – like “genius”) always make me pause. Only genuine experts in a subject should be able to reach that level of judgment, and even then it will be skewed by the data available, or their upbringing, or their path of study. And then the Dunning Kruger effect suggests that the more of an expert you are in a field, the more you realize that your answer is not absolute. Now we find ourselves in an era where bloviating about the “best wall” and the “best steaks” has empowered a racist administration who are rapidly turning the clock back to 1789.
Continue reading “6 Great Albums You May Not Have Listened To (But Probably Should)”
While preparing for my Carousel Lounge Show tomorrow (August 26, 2017) I needed to cut many songs from my set-list, and well, I don’t want to cut anymore, so I have decided to cut my banter. Here you will find my extensively crafted and artistic rendering of well-told stories to accompany my song performances. Perhaps if you are in the audience, you can follow along and consider this banter augmentation for your reality. In fact, I plan on casting my 7:00 set on my Instagram, so if you’re at home or wherever you can watch me and follow along.
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When I was working through my First Song First Side First Album: Who Did It Best? I remembered how much I love My Aim Is True by Elvis Costello. 30 some odd years since my original obsession with the album and I still know every lyric and every guitar lick by heart. So it seems like a natural choice for a Listen Along.
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Now I love the Blues and Blues Guitar – I just posted 9 Texas Blues Guitarists, and What You Can Learn From Them – but there is a lot more to love about Texas guitar than just the blues (and there’s more blues in Texas than I covered in that post). We’ve got shredders playing country and shredders playing rock and shredders playing old-timey – Austin even had a legit classical guitar society.
Continue reading “Texas Guitar: It’s Not Just Blues, You Know? Pt 2 Rock and Progressive”
My buddy Terry (who occasionally listens to every album he owns in alphabetical order) engages in exercises like this, so I thought I would give it a shot: out of all of the outstanding debut albums, what band leaped out of the gate with the best First Song First Side First Album.
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If you play guitar, it’s probable that you’re seeking the one true chord, The Greatest Guitar Chord of All Time, using musical laws that have been in place since before the American Revolution.
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Shelfies. I thought maybe I’d take this Friday to talk about something besides music, and as I looked around me I realized I have an awful lot of books. Around New Years Day I decided that rather than selfies, I would take shelfies – pictures of my bookshelves – this year. So we’ll take a look at a few of those #shelfies and see what we can learn about the real me. But first, just listen to that bass playing.
Continue reading “Shelfies: Reading The Real Zirque Bois d’Arc”
Someone once told me that Eric Clapton said, “acoustic guitar will teach you everything about the electric guitar; electric guitar will teach you nothing about the acoustic guitar.” Whoever said it, I believe they were mostly right. So today I nominate acoustic guitar wizard Django Reinhardt as the Greatest Guitar Player of All Time.
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Back in the 90s when I owned Austin Homebrew Supply, one of my favorite customers, Dan Martaus, worked on Austin City Limits, and as a result, I would get occasional inside scoops on upcoming tapings. One of those fantastic opportunities was to see a Son Volt taping, which I went to with my buddy Chip Tait. Son Volt was great – I think the other act taping that night was maybe Kenny Wayne Shepard? Chip was a huge Uncle Tupelo fan, and I was warming up to the genre pretty well. Fun time, free Shiner Bock, and we likely went to Lovejoys after.
Continue reading “Turn of the Century Acoustic Americana: Gillian Welch, Mountain Man, and Beyond”
Hey – the day has arrived! The Fence Cutters album, Extended Play, is now available on all major streaming services like Spotify – worldwide – and downloads and physical CDs are for sale through CD Baby.
Our sophomore record started off with another long weekend at The Library, Allan Gill’s studio in East Austin, with Jeremiah Ball at the controls. If memory serves, we recorded about 30 songs there, then, re-recorded some and mixed everything over at Barbara Kay’s studio in Tarrytown. The three biggest changes are
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