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Posts Tagged ‘Folk Music’

Summer’s here and it’s time for singing in a horse barn! And dancing in the street too, but I just had to drop a quick note about the Groom. Some doctors play golf in their free time, some fly planes or collect trains. And then there is that rare one, that cerebral brainiac that can also play a guitar like nobody’s business, and write his own lyrics too, and sing…oh, and did I mention he can sing! It’s our Groom. J&M  0975

He’s been in a band since high school, and indeed created a band during his residency at Vanderbilt. With a few other talented, young doctors they were known as The Bourbon Family, and they played roots Americana music all over the state. They’ve played at weddings, bars, and private parties. They even produced a record! https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-bourbon-family/id445461482 And more importantly, almost every night, he would play and sing to his new baby girl.

Then the doctor/musicians finished their residencies and went off to pursue fellowships all over the country. The band broke up and you might have thought the music died. Except the Groom didn’t move, he was still playing his guitar and singing to his family in the Music City where he continued to be a Chief Resident and continue his education in Public Health. Until one night at a Full Moon Pickin Party in Nashville, this happened – here is his Facebook post:

So, at last week’s Full Moon Picking Party, a bunch of recording engineers from Dark Horse Institute (of Faith Hill, Tim McGraw…Megadeath) set up a makeshift recording studio in one of the horse stalls. They grabbed people walking by and recorded videos of them playing. Whoever’s YouTube video gets the most ‘Likes’ wins $15,000 worth for free recording time at Dark Horse…which for me would mean an official reunion for The Bourbon Family.
I don’t think I have ever asked Facebook for anything before (partly because I lost my password for about a year and had to reset it for this post)…but this would be pretty cool. Please consider using the mouse on your personal computer to place a ‘Like’ on the YouTube video attached by hyperlink.

And here is the YouTube link! Please consider “Liking” this post on your computer, the link won’t work on your cell phone

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We lost a legend today, banjo pickin folk singer Pete Seeger died at the age of 94. We grew up on his songs: “Where Have All the Flowers Gone;” and “To Everything Turn Turn Turn, there is a season;” and “If I had a Hammer.” I remember hearing the Byrds play “Turn Turn Turn” live at MIT in Boston in 1967. Before the Beatles invaded, Seeger had been singing about the plight of Everyman and because he was a Communist, he suffered the economic consequences of poverty first hand. His band, the Weavers, was banned from the airwaves of the 1950s.

“Pete Seeger towered over the folk scene like a mighty redwood for 75 years. He travelled with Woody Guthrie in the 1940s, stood up to Joe McCarthy in the 50s, marched with Dr Martin Luther King in the 60s. His songs will be sung wherever people struggle for their rights. We shall overcome.” Billy Brag via Twitter.

Seeger’s legacy is a lesson to modern musicians. You don’t have to just reflect history, you can change it if you stay the course. UnknownDid you watch the Grammys? I turned it off, and not just because Downton Abbey was about to start, though that was a perfectly good reason. You know I love Mrs Carter (aka Beyonce), but her Flashdance chair opening left me wanting to channel surf. First of all they bleeped half the lyrics, and then the production took over. I love that she’s a feminist, that she dropped her own album on the world, without benefit of a major label, but only a star with Beyonce’s following can afford to produce a record, only a star who is worth 850 Million with her rapper husband JayZ.

It seems that now behind every hit song, including “Roar” and “Wrecking Ball” is a magical mogul named Doctor Luke. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/10/14/131014fa_fact_seabrook  Sometimes I cringe knowing that a catchy pop tune is just a template that some con artist dreamed up. At least Beyonce and JayZ collaborated with a group to come up with “Drunk in Love.” And awarding the Best New Song of the Year to a young singer, Lorde for “Royals” — Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters – was a step in the right direction.

Since the Rocker’s been in the business, I got  a close and personal look at how the music industry has changed. I understand why Prince is suing 22 people for 22 Million for pirating his music http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25927363 The only way for young musicians today to make a living is to hit the road, to sell merchandise and build a fan base, Because they get just pennies on the dollar of every download, and most people are listening to Spotify and Pandora for free. Album CD sales are lagging, technology is pushing the change, but a ray of hope can still appear.

New Jersey artist Nicole Atkins has decided to fight back. I wrote about her before, when she was dating a member of the Rocker’s band and driving cross country in a van. Called a female Roy Orbison, when she appeared on David Letterman last year, he actually walked up to her and shook her hand, “That was great, that was beautiful, wasn’t it boys,” something he rarely does with an artist. Her voice is as smooth as sea glass and her moods as gritty as Jersey sand. She went ahead with the help of a crowdfunding site, Pledge Music, to produce her new album, “Slow Phaser.”  It’s scheduled to be released next month and you can pre-order on iTunes here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/slow-phaser/id778534906

President Clinton called Pete Seeger an “inconvenient artist.” IMHO, we need more of them!

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Last night I finished a fun and compelling book, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple. Happened to pick it up in my favorite old-timey Nashville bookstore, Parnassus. http://www.parnassusbooks.net

It’s about a runaway mom, Bernadette; and her pre-teen daughter, Bee who is trying to find her. But really it’s about so much more. You will laugh at the description of Seattle, the mud slide and the penguins. Oh, it’s about Antarctica too.

And if you’re lucky, you will see a little bit of yourself in the heroine.

And here’s a little Sunday morning pick-me-up I’d like to dedicate to the new dad, the Groom and to the new uncle, the Rocker too. Because they like this kind of guitar pickin…

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