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Alice Wallace - Country's Next Star

Alice Wallace front page photo“Poor Cleopatra,” the second song on Orange County, California singer, songwriter and guitarist Alice Wallace’s third and best album yet, Memories, Music & Pride sends a strong signal that the affable young woman who grew up in Florida has definitely arrived on the Country music scene. Not since artists like the Judds, Reba and Janie Fricke arrived on the scene decades ago has a female Country artist appeared with such impeccable vocals that remain true to the classic Country sound and who also possesses tremendous gifts as a songwriter. Did we happen to mention that she is also an incredible yodeler? We will have more about that later.

Alice Wallace is signed to California Country Records a new record label founded by two superb singers and songwriters and multiple music award winners Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit, who comprise two-thirds of CALICO the band. Memories, Music & Pride was co-produced by Proffit and Steve Berns (who also mixed the album), with Eric Craig acting as the Executive Producer. Alice Wallace has a wealth of talented and experienced people behind her who are also very savvy about the business side of music and this should enable her to realize her full potential as one of the best Country music artists to come our way in this millennium.

As for the song “Poor Cleopatra,” Wallace saysRead More

Pegi Young Releases RAW

Pegi Young Photo Front PagePegi Young’s new album RAW featuring her band The Survivors opens with the plaintive song “Why,” a question one party or the other always seems to be left asking when a divorce takes place. RAW is Young’s musical chronicle of her journey through divorce from Neil Young. “Why,” a song written by Kelvin Holly, Spooner Oldham and Pegi Young asks the question “Why’d you have to ruin my life?” The song looks through the eyes of the one being left and she wants to know why he avoided the hard questions and she says he was not straight with her. The playing of Holly, Oldham and newcomer, bassist Shonna Tucker is perfectly balanced and serves as a fine accompaniment to Young’s vocals.

Guitarist Kelvin Holly has performed and / or recorded with Little Richard, Bobby Blue Bland and Gregg Allman to name a few. He also was a studio musician at Muscle Shoals. Keyboardist Spooner Oldham was also part of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm section and he has played on such iconic songs as Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman,” and Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally.” He co-wrote  “Cry Like a Baby,” for The Box Tops and “I’m Your Puppet,” recorded by James and Bobby Purify, a tune that rose to # 5 on the charts. Shonna Tucker played with the Drive By Truckers and appears on records by Booker T. Jones and Bettye LaVette.

As for the album RAW, Pegi Young says, “When (the album) was done and I was listening to it as I was driving down the road one day, I thought shoot this is like the soundtrack of the stages of grief. It was all over the map emotionally as I was for a good amount of time after things changed as dramatically as they did. Read More

Joy Burnworth

Joy Burnworth Photo Front PageAnderson is the name of a city in Indiana and it also happens to be the name of a very good musical duo of the same name. The duo comprised of Joy Burnworth and Howie Anderson draws its name from both Howie Anderson’s last name and the fact that Joy Burnworth grew up in Anderson, Indiana. The American duo boasts a ton of experience and talent, as Burnworth has worked with producers David Foster, Gerry Gallagher (Led Zeppelin, ACDC) and Matt Hyde (Jonny Lang, No Doubt). She has performed at both the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards and Burnworth has opened for artists such as Buffalo Springfield, Pat Benatar and Juice Newton. Joy Burnworth is also the first call sub for Jefferson Starship. Howie Anderson is the lead guitarist for The Strawberry  Alarm Clock and he has worked with Spencer Davis, actor Ben Vereen, Robbie Krieger of the The Doors, Peter & Gordon, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ed King, Jerry Corbetta (Sugarloaf) and drummer Buddy Miles to name but a few.

Joy Burnworth sat down with us recently and talked about her own career, the duo Anderson and where it all started for her.  

“I write all of the lyrics and it all starts with me.  I start with the lyrics and I usually have some type of a melody, but sometimes I will not have a melody and Howie will start playing things to give me ideas. I take the lyric and the partial melody and I go to his house and we hash it out. We figure out if it is going to be in 3/4 or in 4/4 and figure out the tempos and all of that.  He comes up with the harmony and helps me to take the melody in a different route based on what he is playing,” says Burnworth. Read More

Mary McGuire Is Love Struck

Mary McGuire 2015 front pageWe caught up with American singer, songwriter and musician Mary McGuire recently, after she had performed the night before at the largest art competition in the world, Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan, an event that attracts people from all over the world. McGuire took time out from her busy schedule to talk to Riveting Riffs Magazine about her new album Love Struck

As for how long this album has been in the works, Mary McGuire says, “Oh gosh, a year and one-half. It was complicated to record an album in Detroit when I lived on Mackinac Island. I would find time that I could get off and I would come down state and coral all of the musicians, so I would get a session in at Pearl Sound. I was determined to make Love Struck at Pearl Sound, because Chuck Alkazian is a great producer. He has great ears and he knows how to make everything sound incredible. I trust him completely as a musician, because he is a great drummer and piano player. We were doing a little Blood Sisters (A band collaboration) pre-production test, because we were going to make an album and as it turned out we didn’t have the time or the finances to do it, so Barbara (Payton) said why don’t you just make your album? I said that’s a great idea.  That is how that got started. I started to get everybody that I could, to play on the album. I went in and I recorded fourteen acoustic songs, just my guitar and me and songs that we could choose from to make the album. We settled on seven. Read More

 Ulrika Ölund - Singer, Songwriter

AJ Lee front page photoFor those of you who are reading this and thinking that Bluegrass music is a forgotten genre, I challenge you to spend one-half hour talking to nineteen year old Bluegrass singer, songwriter and musician AJ Lee, because by the time the conversation is over, she will have you ready to try your luck at Bluegrass and she may even have convinced you to try and recruit others. Lee has already been the recipient of numerous music awards in California and if her new self-titled EP, featuring a collection of six songs is any indication; her future looks to be shining pretty brightly.

Lee’s vocals on the opening track Gillian Welch’s “Miss Ohio,” are reminiscent of Alison Krauss when she was the same age. The electric guitar solos are excellent and unfortunately we do not have a breakdown of album credits by individual song, so we cannot tell you if it is Jon Abrams or Paul Lacques on his Telecaster. Throughout the album AJ Lee accompanies herself on her 1954 accoutic Martin guitar and at times on her mandolin. This may surprise some readers, but we prefer Lee’s vocals over Welch’s when it comes to the song “Miss Ohio,” because we with think AJ Lee’s vocals are more subtle and prettier, whereas Welch’s have more of a bite to them. We suppose the argument could be made that the lyrics lend themselves to Welch’s more sardonic take, but we still prefer Lee’s interpretation of a young woman cruising with her “rag-top down,” and who is resisting her mother’s persistent efforts to get her married off.

The rest of the musicians who appear on this EP Read More

Katie Garibaldi - Rooted Clarity

Katie Garibaldi front pageCalifornia singer, songwriter and musician Katie Garibaldi is not a rocker, not a twanger and nor is she a jazzer. Her pretty and ethereal vocals and her relatable songs are self-described as being gentle Americana or orchestral Americana. Certainly the gentle Americana description is appropriate for the five songs from her new EP Rooted Clarity. Nathan Lowry’s beautiful violin and cellist Emily Nelson give a fuller sound to “Bird In A Cage,” and help to create a breathtaking beauty that compliments Garibaldi’s vocals.

“I have heard that a lot of artists sometimes think that louder is better and I don’t fit into that belief. I think the way my voice is naturally and pairing it with the string players and the orchestral sound is what comes with that description. The gentle and ethereal (description of my music) comes from my voice and how it is naturally soft.

Americana to me is music from the heart, it is storytelling and it is truth from your heart. It is all about showcasing the lyrics and the emotion behind the lyrics. It is always most important just to get the story across,” says Katie Garibaldi.  

The other common theme throughout the music of Katie Garibaldi is that of love. It is evidenced on several of her albums in songs such as the upbeat and fun, “Lock the Door, Lose the Key,” and “Always Kiss Me Goodnight,” both from the Follow Your Heart album, “Hey, Hey Darlin’,” “Love Without Chains,” “and “Falling For You,” (all from Next Ride Out), and her single “Baby We’re In Love.”Read More

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