Yes folks the Spotlight single from the 10th February for one month is Whether Blues as chosen by Val Starr.
When asked why this particular song Val contested “Because the US is so divided and so many people missing the main reason to be…i choose Whether Blues because we all just need to put aside our differences and just get along”
Any one think of a better reason to choose a Spotlight Single then post below.
Whether you’re right, or whether you’re wrong
It don’t mean a thing til’ we get along
Whether you’re weak, or whether you’re strong
We all need each other, to help us belong
Whether you’re pro, or whether you’re con
It won’t mean a thing after everything’s said and done
Whether you’re black or whether you’re white
we’re all just one people in God’s given light
Whether you’re left or whether you’re right
It doesn’t matter if we only fight
Whether you’re rich or whether you’re poor
It don’t mean a thing when you’re knockin on heaven’s door
Whether It’s mine or whether or it’s yours
It’s not what we have, it’s what it’s used for
Whether it’s false or whether it’s true
You make it better, when you say what you do
Whether you’re Arab or whether you’re Jew
It won’t mean a thing when your days on this earth are through
When negotiating the deal for the spotlight single with Val who is a pretty sharp cookie! I decided against my better judgement to do a short interview with the ever busy Ms. Starr.
First of a bit of flattery.
“Some of these questions are from readers and listeners of TMEFM Radio who are all really impressed with I always turn the blues on.”
“That is beyond awesome.”
Well that went well I will continue with the questions.
“When not working what music do you listen to? and how? spotify etc,cd/vinyl,ipod?”
“I listen to all types of music from blues to classic rock and classic r&b, from adult alternative to new age . I listen to my own radio network GotRadio.com on my computer while working or on my mobile device via the free GotRadio app (apologize for the plug! LOL)”
I decide not to mention we are advert free radio and approach this interview very carefully or it could end up like one of the adverts during Superbowl, phrase the questions with care Richard or else.
“Have you ever reached a point in your career where you felt disappointed/disillusioned . if so how did you get over it?”
“There are always times when a musician feels tired and disillusioned. Usually when you have a less than satisfactory performance, whether it be lack of attendance or just a bad night. Many years ago I went to a huge concert at the LA Coliseum. About 30,000 fans came to see the Rolling Stones. The opening act was a skinny, scrappy little black dude who came out in his skivvies. He gave it his all but the crowd booed him and threw stuff at him. This spunky little performer was Prince, who went on to insurmountable, well deserved fame. I gain strength from that moment in time, knowing that if Prince could bounce back from such a devastating performance, I could handle just about anything.”
Where is she?
WOW this cookie is old enough to have gone to THAT concert she doesn’t look it.I will not to say that with all the Political Correctness and Sexual Abuse cases on HUFF POST, we are a profit free radio and cannot afford a court case.Lets see how the wind blows Richard.
“Is there a place for Political Correctness in songwriting or should a song really tell how you feel, or how do you stand on P.C.”
“I believe songs tell a story. The story could be about personal things like love, relationships, etc, or they could be about more universal topics. I think all interesting stories deserve to be told or sung, regardless of whether they are “PC” or not.”
Right thats good open minded carry on.
“How do you feel about the Internet in the music business? Streaming,piracy,digital sales.”
“Oh don’t get me started. I’ve been to Washington DC twice, lobbying for Internet Radio rights. The royalties are way out of line for small to medium sized webcasters. Internet Radio is not unlike traditional radio, except that the delivery mechanism is different. Indie webcasters are the lifeline to continue to uphold the diversity of music worldwide. If the major labels had their way, they’d put us all out of business and then there would literally be just a handful of stations that would be exposing their music. And trust me, they wouldn’t be blues or folk stations. Indie artists, internet radio need to band together to ensure a healthy music eco-system for the future. Music lovers should know the true story. When major artists and record labels are crying foul, it is not because of internet radio. It is their own fault for not embracing the digital music business model long ago. Now they just want to blame us when the fact of the matter is, they don’t know how to sell music anymore.”
Now that’s my kind of gal, you tell ’em and tell ’em good but I think I had better change the direction of the questions, at least she didnt mentionGotRadio.com .
“What song by another artist (written or performed) set the standard of greatness for you? How has that song influenced your work?”
“There are so many incredible songs out there. I think there are 3 (if I may be so bold), ballads sung by female artists that I have always loved and touch my soul, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt and a beautiful standard (I like both Barbra Streisand’s version but Bonnie does this great as well) “Since I Fell For You”, and Of course “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. They influence me because that make me “feel” and relate. I try to create songs for people that make them feel and relate.
Gotta mention too one of my all time favs, Gary Moore’s “Still Got The Blues” The guitar brings me to tears.”
Got good taste as well as being tasty. Why are my thoughts appearing in bold print? A new WordPress App? Stop thinking of the interview scene in Basic instincts! get back to the real world boy.
“If you could do a three-song set for a global audience, what songs would you choose?”
“Haha – see above! “
Come on Richard you are losing it, concentrate.
“With whom would you like to collaborate on an album?”
“I would love love love to collaborate with Bonnie Raitt. I want more slide guitar on my next cd, and she is a master at slide guitar. And if we could do a duet. Wow! She is my idol.”
“What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood
“I have a song I wrote called “Chardonnay” (I happen to like wine! LOL). It’s a lively swing number and the ladies love it. At shows, when we performed it, it became a tradition to call up my girlfriends in the audience to sing it with me. We’ve had dozens of women come up on stage at various shows. We call them the Chardonettes!”
Wow Californian ladies come in all shapes and sizes now I know where they go when filming Baywatch. Damn I cannot edit out these thoughts in bold I need a sip of water.
“How do you handle mistakes during a performance?”
“The biggest fear for a singer is forgetting the words. But with the blues, you are telling a story so if I space out, I have learned to instantly make up words and continue the story. Kind of like how rappers make up their raps.”
So she is not perfect perfect, good.
“Which European countries/cities would you like to play in? and of course why?”
“Spain (because you are there!) and I hear it is beautiful. I’d like to play in the Netherlands because we’ve gotten some good airplay there, as well as the UK. I’m ½ British and I have a lot of family in the UK that i’ve never met.”
No Richard she did not flutter her eyes when she said that, concentrate. Half British that explains a lot.
“How often and for how long do you practice?”
“Well for singing, I sing everyday, all the time. I sing in the supermarket while shopping, much to the amusement of other shoppers. Words and phrases always trigger songs in my head and I’ll bust out a song. My kids get a real kick out if it. For guitar, I try to pick up my guitar everyday. I’ve been trying to learn more lead playing. I never played lead because I always sang, and lead playing is a lead instrument, not unlike vocals. But i’m working on it!”
Now she wants to do everything, watch out boys or it will soon be a one gal band.
“Would you ever write a song praising God, you know any god or even with a religious content.”
“I’m a very spiritual person, but I’m also a believer that religion and God are very personal things. I do have one song, called Misery Train that is my first gospel based song that i’ve written. I love the feel that Gospel music portrays, but I wouldn’t presume to preach to anyone.”
You’ve raised my spirits Val and blood pressure too.
“For me, I grew up listening to and playing classic rock. But even by the time I started writing and playing in rock bands in L.A. in the 80’s, critics used to compare me to bands like Fleetwood Mac, and by the 80’s that was already passe. Growing up with classic rock, which is largely blues based, i’ve always loved the passion and the amazing lead solos that the genre provided. You can’t write a new classic rock song, because that time in space has already passed, but I found I could write new blues songs, that contained some of the elements of classic rock, and it was fresh and new and exciting. I also grew up loving musicals, so I enjoy the stories I can tell with the blues. I think people of my generation really relate to the blues. The challenge now is introducing the blues to a young audience and keeping the genre alive. That’s why programs like BITS (Blues In The School) are so important. “
We will let that plug pass to as its a great idea but no way she was playing rock in the 80’s unless she is a “Shirley Temple” No I will not think of Val dressed as a school girl a la Japanese! STOP IT MIND.Think of something different for gods sake boy.
“How do you find time to do everything you do? I mean you are a business woman, singer/songwriter,live performer,recording artist.You are a very young grandmother so there is a family, you have a husband to look after with all his washing and ironing,cooking to do,cleaning, I mean there are not enough hours in the day!”
“Hahaha. Great question and so true (except I hate to iron). I have been fortunate to be able to work out of my house for some time now. I get up early and hit the ground running. (no commute time – I just work). I’ve always been pretty much a self-starter and have the entrepreneurial spirit. I have my own little demo station with my Mac and Garage Band app right next to my work station, so If an idea for a song hits me, I just swivel my chair and start demoing.. It’s awesome!”
You are awesome.sigh. Come on Richard get this interview over and go and have a cold shower.
“OK so you are a Californian what does that mean to you?”
“Sunshine, tolerance, great music, beaches, mountains and beautiful people”
She’s gone. Heartbeat slow down please. Remember you are married to a diamond, think of Maria. Its working! I feel normal again.
No more interviews with the female artists for me. Not until I can get rid of this App that keeps adding my thoughts in bold.
Does copyright cover thoughts?
Thank you Val for wonderful honest answers and I hope the Californian half understands the English sense of humor.
Thank you John for putting up with me taking Val’s time which could have been spent watching a movie together.
Blues based Americana music with spiritual lyrics, soulful vocals and blazing guitar.
One of the pleasures of running a radio is the monthly package of cd’s from Blind Raccoon and last month was a treasure house.
Steve Antry has given the radio producers an album that is a delight to add to playlists, an eclectic mix that blends in so easily,ballads,blues rock,blues and gospel soul.
Devil Don’t Care the title track is there to please blues lovers.
Always With Me is a lovely americana type ballad.
How Far Down easily fits into any Southern rock playlist and is a showcase for Antrys voice.
Fishin’ is definitely not blues but a delightful folk song about father and son.
Prince Of Peace is a cover of a Leon Russell song and Steve puts his stamp on it very well.
Borrowed Angels country gospel? whatever its a cracker.
Devil Gone Fishin’ Blues with a gospel message.
Sending Me Angels slows the pace down but not the quality.
Get Up Delta blues and gives Shaun Murphy a great opportunity to show off with the backing vocals.
Jimmy Duncan’s Special Angel rounds off the album with Steves take on the famous rock song.
The musicians are terrific Greg Morrow on drums; Michael Rhodes on bass; Rob McNelley, Pat Buchanan, and Brent Mason on electric guitar; Dan Dugmore and Danny Rader on acoustic guitar; Dugmore also plays lap steel guitar; David Smith and Mike Rojas on piano, B3, and keys; Buchanan on harp; and Eric Darkken and Peter Carson on percussion.
OK the spiritual side of the album could put some listeners off but believe me it shouldn’t, if the Devil Don’t Care why should anyone else.
One of the surprises of the year so far,well done Mr. Antry, see you at #1 very soon.
Genre: Blues: Electric Blues
Release Date: 2017
“From the scorching guitar solo, as one is caught between the forces of good and evil, to the impeccable vocals of Steve Antry throughout this album; if one is not moved, then start searching for the answer why. The fond memories of a kid, to living in a far-from-perfect world, Antry reminds me of why God created man in the first place.” – Billy Austin Martin, Tulsa Blues Society.
Antry’s earliest jobs was working as a track laborer for the Frisco railroad in Tulsa. He was underage, but claimed to be 18 to get hired. This turned out to be his defining “Woody Guthrie moment”, as he describes it. While driving steel with much older gentlemen, with nicknames like ‘“Stokes” and “Bones” (who actually played the spoons), Antry became entranced by the music that was sung out in the country while repairing old railroad track. Everyone would sing along to the rhythm of the maul hitting a spike. That was Antry’s first unwitting exposure to the Blues, in its purest form. Now a singer songwriter, he remembers the circuitous path that got him to this moment. He grew up accomplished in sports, from wrestling and mixed martial arts to ice hockey, while getting his hands dirty doing just about anything manual. Then, as fate would have it, an unlikely mentor crossed his path. In high school, when work, wrestling and the outdoors were occupying most of his free time, a buddy said to him “the girls in the church choir are pretty cute, we should go.” While attending his first rehearsal his voice caught the attention of the church Music Director, who happened to also be the Dean of Music at the University of Tulsa and Director of the Tulsa Opera. The director took him under his wing and became his music mentor, giving Antry free vocal training every Saturday for years. “I received more inspiration and life lessons from him than any sports coach I ever had,” says Antry of his inspirational classical voice teacher from whom he learned music theory and correct projection and breath control, while developing his three-octave range. Antry was offered a music scholarship from Dr. Sowell, but fate led him to a degree in finance, and a career building businesses and supporting a family. But he always sang, purely for the love of it, at weddings, memorial services and in Gospel choirs, which always brought back those railroad track gang memories of Stokes and Bones and the crazy rhythm of the spoons. “The Southern Gospel choirs are where I learned that presentation is as important as content. There was a lot of movement while singing, which was half the fun,” says Antry of those years. He discovered the harmonica (and guitar) as an adult, but found he had a natural aptitude for the Blues Harp. He advanced his skills in short order by applying his vocal training to this new obsession; and now travels with a Seydel pouch of Hohner Special 20s everywhere he goes. He regrets never attempting to master the spoons like old Bones. Antry had the opportunity to fulfill his musical dreams and begin a second life with fire and gusto, when he partnered with Peter Carson in 2015 to produce his debut solo album, “Devil Don’t Care,” in Nashville, diving head long into the process of recording and writing his own music for the first time.
We’re excited to share the first taste from Nashville sing-songwriter Charlie Whitten’s new EP today! You can head over to Atwood Magazine to check out the wonderful track review they’ve done up.
— Charlie Whitten grew up during the last gasp of the 20th century, a time when grungy rock bands and teen idols ruled the airwaves. You can’t blame the guy for looking back a bit, for rustling through his Dad’s collection of vintage records and finding some better music to soundtrack his life. Years later, the Nashville-based songwriter is rolling those influences into his own sound, a mellow brand of folk-rock that tips its hat to Pink Floyd’s psychedelic swirl one minute and Simon and Garfunkel’s acoustic wistfulness the next.
Some would call him an old soul. Others would just say he’s got good taste.
“For me, the ‘60s and ‘70s were the golden age for songwriting,” he says. “That’s when songs seemed to be the real focus, and people reached outside the box. The chords and melodies used were unheard of.”
Dreaming, Whitten’s 2012 debut, channeled some of the trippier sounds that came out of those two decades, from Dark Side of the Moon to Big Star’s Sister Lovers. The album was lush. It was dreamy. Keyboards, horns, and percussion collided, creating a soft foundation for Whitten’s vocals and guitar leads. When it came time to write songs for 2014’s Hey Love, though, Whitten took the electric guitar out of the forefront and focused on a quieter, stripped-down sound. In other words: less David Gilmour, more Don McLean.
A concept album about searching for love, Hey Love begins and ends with different sections of the same song. Fashioned like bookends, the first half tells the story of a couple parting ways, each partner in search of something else. In the second, they reconcile, knowing that things might not be perfect… but at least they’re real. Whitten took a similar approach to the album itself, which was recorded during a series of live sessions with a four-piece band. Overdubs were eventually added, too, but Whitten put his foot down when it came to the use of a click track. He didn’t want that. He wanted the songs to sway, to sound natural, to sound like songs.
“Any Charlie Whitten album has to sound like a band album,” he explains, “and I didn’t want a band of session players. I wanted a group of friends, of creative thinkers who could play the songs with feeling. I think a music album should be very similar to a photo album: a series of ‘pictures’ with the people you know, things you’ve seen, and places you’ve been within a period of time.”
Maybe that’s why Hey Love sounds so comfortable, so familiar. The songs tackle big subjects, but they do so with small, laidback touches: a whistling solo here, a burst of organ there, and a whole lot of melody throughout.
‘The Long-Awaited Album’ due out 22nd September via Rounder/Decca Records
Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers will release “The Long-Awaited Album” on Rounder Records/Decca Records on 22nd September. “The Long-Awaited Album,” Martin’s newest collaboration with the Grammy-winning North Carolina-based band the Steep Canyon Rangers, is full of stories that mix humour and melancholy, whimsy and realism, rich characters and concrete details. And lots of banjos.
That instrument – so dexterously, even acrobatically picked and strummed – is just as crucial to relating these new tales as the lyrics themselves, each chord and riff revealing new depths to Martin’s narrators and to his musical talent. Produced by Peter Asher, the new album is a collection of 14 stunning new songs including the boisterous and humorous new track “Caroline,” the deeply romantic tune “All Night Long,” and the fantastical song “Santa Fe,” which showcases the lively dynamic between Martin and the Rangers.
Steve Martin’s musical career is an extension of the storytelling impulse that drove his work as a comedian, an actor, a screenwriter, a playwright, an essayist, and a novelist. The Grammy® Award winning musician found his love for the banjo at the age of 17 and originally used the instrument as part of his stand-up comedy routine. But in 2010, Martin released his first album, The Crow: New Songs for the 5-Strong Banjo, and since then, Martin has played many prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, Stagecoach, Bonnaroo, New Orleans’ Jazzfest and The Newport Folk Festival, Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Martin released his second full-length bluegrass album Rare Bird Alert in 2011. The album featured 13 Martin-penned tracks as well as special guest vocal appearances by Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chicks. Additionally, Martin co-wrote two of the CD’s songs with the Steep Canyon Rangers. That year, Martin also won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.
Martin also collaborated with Edie Brickell on the critically acclaimed album Love Has Come For You, which combines Martin’s five-string banjo work with Brickell’s vivid vocals. Martin and Brickell took home the Grammy® Award for “Best American Roots Song” for the album’s title track. Martin and Brickell’s second collaboration “So Familiar” earned widespread critical acclaim and also inspired the Broadway musical Bright Star, which was nominated for five Tony Awards.
The Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin will host their album release celebration on Saturday, set 30 2017 at The IBMA World of Bluegrass – in the state where it all began for them.
We’re thrilled to announce that Billy Strings’ new record is coming September 22nd and we have released the title track today! No Depression calls it “ferocious” and that is truly an apt descriptor. This record is the first material solely under Billy’s name and veers into some hardcore psychedelia without losing the virtuosic playing that Billy Strings is known for.
It’s at about five minutes and thirty seconds into the second track (“Meet Me At the Creek”) on the debut LP, Turmoil & Tinfoil, from Nashville bluegrass iconoclast Billy Strings that you start to see his intense vision for American roots music. It’s right after a jagged, spiraling solo from Billy’s mandolinist Drew Matulich, when Billy’s guitar starts aggressively stacking power chords and suddenly leaps into a screaming acoustic guitar solo that twists its way through a dark-Cthulhu bluegrass jam. This vision is echoed in the hallucinatory album art, and in “Spinning,” a spoken-word track that recounts a psychedelic-fueled dreamscape. Billy Strings plays hard and he lives hard, picking so fast and intensely that he’s known to break multiple strings per song, and basing the songs he writes on the hard lives he grew up around in the abandoned rural communities of America. At the same time, he’s one of the most beloved young bluegrass guitarists today within the bluegrass community, and his front porch in East Nashville is constantly filled up with Nashville’s best roots musicians just picking up a storm. That’s how he can balance blazingly-intense, mind-expanding musical explorations with straight-up traditional bluegrass: he doesn’t see them as being any different. They both have the same white-hot core: a realization that the best way to be taken seriously in music is to blow people’s minds.
The tricky part of making the new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, was translating Billy Strings’ incendiary live show into the studio. Many bands have fallen flat capturing the energy of live performances, and very few bands play live with the kind of ferocity that Billy generates, whether performing with icons like Del McCoury, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Hot Rize, or tearing down the roof at any myriad of roots festivals across the US, all of which earned him massive word-of-mouth buzz leading into this new full-length album. Returning to his home state of Michigan, Billy enlisted acoustic roots wizard Glenn Brown (Greensky Bluegrass) as producer, and centered the music around his new band, featuring Matulich on mandolin with banjo prodigy Billy Failing and much-loved Nashville bassist Brad Tucker. Rich with special guests, Turmoil & Tinfoil shows off Billy’s East Nashville community of picking friends, among them Miss Tess, Molly Tuttle, John Mailander, Shad Cobb and Peter Madcat Ruth. Of special note is a virtuosic duet between Billy and bluegrass guitarist Bryan Sutton on “Salty Sheep” that shows the speed, precision, and creative craftsmanship of bluegrass when it’s done right. Rounding out the album, Billy’s father Terry Barber joins him on a newly-written bluegrass song, “These Memories of You.” As Billy says, “I grew up pickin’ and singing with my Dad and I remember falling in love with not just a specific song, but just the way that real mountain bluegrass harmony sounds. The high vocal part soars above the lead and there’s really nothing better than singing with someone and having that harmony lock into place.”
Billy Strings came to the tradition honestly, a fourth-generation musician who grew up playing this music with friends and understanding that bluegrass jamming was a means to build a community and to make connections. But at the same time, he’s come up in a modern world, in modern times, and doesn’t see the music as a relic. Instead, he’s infused it with the heavy metal and punk that he also grew up with, embellished the songs with deep references to psychedelic adventuring, and based everything he does on his undeniable virtuosity as one of the most fire-breathing guitarists in American roots music today.
Turmoil & Tinfoil Track List:
1. On The Line 2. Meet Me at the Creek 3. All of Tomorrow 4. While I’m Waiting Here 5. Living Like an Animal 6. Turmoil & Tinfoil 7. Salty Sheep 8. Spinning 9. Dealing Despair 10. Pyramid Country 11. Doin’ Things Right 12. These Memories of You 13. 107
Billy Strings & Whiskey Shivers – The “Whiskey Strings” Tour
Thursday September 14 – Durham, NC – WUNC Back Porch Friday, September 15th – Asheville, NC – Downtown After Five Sunday, September 17th – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry Tuesday, September 19th – Baltimore, MA – The 8×10 Wednesday, September 20th – Washington DC – Black Cat Thursday September 21st – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle Friday, September 22nd – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade Saturday, September 23rd – Lenox, MA – Lenox Apple Squeeze Sunday, September 24th – Boston, MA – Great Scott Monday, September 25th – Burlington, VA – Higher Ground Showcase Lounge Wednesday, September 27th – Buffalo, MY – Buffalo Iron Works Thursday, September 28th – Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern Friday, September 29th – Louisville, KY – Zanzabar Saturday, September 30th – Gatlinburg, TN – Sugarlands Mountain Fest Sunday, October 1st – Charleston, SC – The Pour House Tuesday, October 10th – Detroit, MI – Otus Supply Wednesday, October 11th – Indianapolis, Indiana – The HiFi Thursday, October 12th – Milwaukee, WI – Back Room at colectivo Friday, October 13th – Chicago, IL – Shubas Friday, October 14th – Chicago, IL – Shubas Sunday, October 15th – St. Paul, MN – Turf Wednesday, October 25th – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern Thursday, October 26th – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub Friday, October 27th – Eugene, OR – WOW Hall Saturday, October 28th – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall Tuesday, October 31st – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill Wednesday, November 1st – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo Friday, November 3rd – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar Saturday, November 4th – Phoenix, AZ – Last Exit Live Saturday, November 5th – Albuquerque, NM – The Dirty Bourbon
There’s a duality to the music of Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons; the same duality that lies at the heart of the blues. It’s the dichotomy between the weight of history that hangs over black America and the lightness of these old folk songs, which are meant to uplift and charm, to trick away danger, to fool authority, to squeeze a person out of harm’s way, but also to assert a subtle sense of worth and dignity. These songs brought black Americans through the darkest years of our country’s history, and they have an unsettling amount of currency in today’s world, where saying that the blues is black music or even saying that the life of a black person matters are both controversial statements.
The music that renowned Seattle roots duo Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are making on their new album, A Black & Tan Ball, is not just blues music. The better term is a new and important one: Black Americana. To make this music, they’ve recruited good friend and touring partner Phil Wiggins, an eclectic legend of American blues harmonica (who received an NEA National Heritage Fellowship this year). By pulling together the many threads of black American roots music, and demonstrating the underlying meanings behind the black experience in folk music, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are showing another side to Americana that can help expand the genre’s boundaries.