Thursday, October 11, 2012

Steel Guitar News October 11. 2012

Hello fellow players, Today’s newsletter comes from Bob Hempker. The idea of bands playing instrumentals has somewhat become a thing of the past. Club bands used to play a couple instrumentals every set. They would also have an instrumental they would play for a break song when they were getting ready to take a break. The old big band tune “Intermission Riff” comes to mind. I’ve played in several bands that used that for a break tune. “Hold It” was another tune that got used a lot for a break tune. Even back on the road with recording artists, the band would get featured for at least one instrumental during the show. None of this seems to be the case anymore. Even club bands I’ve played in during the last several years were all vocalist oriented. When the front person isn’t singing, the bass player, guitar player, keyboard player or whoever will be featured singing. It seems that nowadays, younger musicians concentrate on learning intros, fills, turn-arounds and endings and don’t get the benefit of being featured on instrumentals. Strictly instrumental groups like The Ventures, The Harmonicats and Santo & Johnny don’t seem to exist anymore. I’ve wondered why this is. Some possible theories are that the media has elevated vocalists and put them on a pedestal instead of the vocalist being a featured member of the band as they used to be. You never see groups on American Idol, The Voice or America’s Got Talent. It’s always all about the individual and the individual is a singer, not an instrumentalist. We’ll never see the next Chet Atkins or Buddy Emmons on American Idol. I just don’t see that happening. I can remember back when I was young working on instrumentals, composing them myself or working on instrumental arrangements of vocal songs. Back then, you had an outlet of getting to play at least one or two instrumentals on your normal gig. A guitar player and I used to work for hours at a time working out parts to use on instrumentals. Where are the bands behind recording artists in this day and age like Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys, Ernest Tubbs’ Texas Troubadours or Hank Thompson’s Brazos Valley Boys? These bands made the artist shine. You used to be able to listen to the Grand Ole Opry and hear the band playing in the background behind the announcer and you would know before the announcer even introduced the artist, who was coming onstage to perform because each artist’s band had it’s own signature sound. This is missing in today’s music. If you’re playing in a band with a steady gig, why not try incorporating some instrumentals into the mix? You may be surprised at how well that will go over. You should feature each player individually and give them 16 or 32 bars to show off what they can do, even in vocal songs. Where would we be today without Steel Guitar Rag? The Sugarfoot Rag? Or Sleepwalk? We have strayed from our foundation. And just as we’ve strayed, we can also find our way back. There’s something exciting about listening to a steel guitar, electric guitar, fiddles and such playing horn lines on a big band instrumental. This isn’t anything new. The Texas Playboys were doing it seventy years ago. Back then musicians were almost as famous as the singers and many people came to the shows just to hear them work their magic behind the singer and as featured soloists themselves. One thing I’ve noticed in recent times is lead instruments not playing the melody of the song when they are featured in a vocal song. The instrumental break often sounds like a completely different song. One of the best ways of really learning your instrument is to learn the melodies of the songs you’re going to play and play them. You can add little grace notes and little things in with it, but the listener should still be able to hear the melody of the song in what you’re playing. This has become a lost art. Even the best jazzers of the bebop era would usually go through the simple melody of the song first before improvising solos. The solos can get as abstract and far out as possible, but hearing that basic melody first planted the basic idea of the song in the listeners mind and thus allowed him to follow the improvisation. The improvisation, no matter how far out it got, had meaning and made sense because the listener was first introduced to the basic melody of the song. I was telling someone in the showroom earlier that I thought the way to take the instrument forward is for players to hone their skills to the point where the audience will perk up and play attention when they play. Dynamics play an important role in this. Playing a pretty section real soft, then going into a real kicking chorus and bearing down on it shows emotional changes that can bring an audience to its feet. Once you experience this for yourself, you’ll be inspired to raise your playing to the next level so that you can consistently do this. You can’t have the band at your disposal 24/7. So the best way to learn this is to get tracks CDs and play at home and pretend that you’re playing to a packed house at Billy Bob’s and you really want to wow them. If you think steel guitar is limited to dance halls and honky tonks, for those of you who are too young to remember, Tom Brumley played Carnegie Hall with Buck Owens back in the sixties. I’ve personally played Madison Square Garden several times, The London Palladium, Symphony Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, I’ve played at The Kennedy Center in Washington for President Nixon, I played President Carter’s inauguration, for President George H. Bush’s birthday party, I played a concert for the Queen of England and several other black tie affairs. So steel guitar can go anywhere. It’s not limited. Practice your scales and your arpeggios and your ear training exercises. Set down and write an instrumental once in awhile. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I still think that the best way to improve your playing is get tracks CDs and play along because sooner or later you’re going to have to play with other people and you need to at least get an idea of how to blend playing with other people. Bobbe’s Columbus Day sale on tracks is still on and for less than the cost of a lesson, you can have endless hours of practice with tracks. I wish I could have had tracks to play along with when I was young. I was lucky to have a mechanical metronome. Check out our monthly specials at http://www.steelguitar.net/monthlyspecials.html www.steelguitar.net sales@steelguitar.net www.youtube.com/bobbeseymour Steel Guitar Nashville 123 Mid Town Court Hendersonville, TN. 37075 (615) 822-5555 Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday Closed Saturday and Sunday

SAMMY KERSHAW SET TO RELEASE A SAMMY KLAUS CHRISTMAS

SAMMY KERSHAW SET TO RELEASE
A SAMMY KLAUS CHRISTMAS

 New Holiday Album, Available on October 22, Includes Timeless
Holiday Favorites for the Whole Family

Nashville, Tenn. (October 11, 2012) – On October 22, multi-platinum selling country music star Sammy Kershaw offers up a collection of fun holiday favorites with the release of A Sammy Klaus Christmas

The ten-track album is chock full of Kershaw's signature style and unmistakable vocals and includes classic sing-along holiday standards like “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” as well as traditionals like “Silent Night,” “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” and the bluesy “Santa Claus Is Back In Town.” 

The album also includes two versions of the classic Christmas tale, "Twas the Night Before Christmas."  Kershaw reads the traditional story on one track and flavors a second version with his rich Cajun heritage.

"I wanted to make a fun sing-along Christmas album that people of all generations would be happy to listen to and children would enjoy," notes Kershaw.  "I also wanted the songs to take older people back to the memories and sounds of Christmas when we were kids and I believe the guys and I were able to pull that off with this collection of great songs!"

A Sammy Klaus Christmas is available for pre-order now via i-Tunes as well as other major digital retailers.

About Sammy Kershaw
Since his debut on the music scene in the early ‘90s, Sammy Kershaw has remained one of the most consistent power hitters in country music with a chain of major hit records and sell out tours. His focus is reclaiming the roots of country music and recapturing the spirit that made it great. Often referred to as the heir apparent to the legendary George Jones, Kershaw's platinum albums have included such classics as “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” “I Can’t Reach Her Anymore,” “National Working Woman’s Holiday” and 
“Love of My Life.”  Kershaw is a multi-platinum selling artist whose history includes six gold and five platinum albums that have scanned in excess of five million records.

For additional information on Sammy Kershaw, visit www.sammykershaw.com.

A Sammy Klaus Christmas Track Listing:

1.  ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
2.  Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
3.  Jingle Bells
4.  That Spirit Of Christmas
5.  The Twelve Days Of Christmas
6.  Here Comes Santa Claus
7.  Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
8.  Silent Night
9.  Up On The Housetop
10.  Have A Holly Jolly Christmas
11.  Santa Claus Is Back In Town
12.  ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (Cajun Version)

Little Big Town – Tornado

Little Big Town – Tornado

http://www.littlebigtown.com/

1. Pavement Ends 2:32 2. Pontoon 3:32 3. Sober 3:15 4. Front Porch Thing 3:26 5. Your Side Of The Bed 3:42 6. Leavin' In Your Eyes 3:14 7. Tornado 3:44 8. On Fire Tonight 3:12 9. Can't Go Back 3:43 10. Self Made 4:08 11. Night Owl 3:45

Das fünfte Album der vierköpfigen Band Little Big Town, bestehend aus Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet und Jimi Westbrook, ist absolut brilliant und beinhaltet ihre Nummer-1-Single „Pontoon“. Veröffentlicht wurde Tornado im September 2012 und schaffte es in den US Country Charts auf Nummer 1 und in den gesamten US Charts auf Platz 2. Abwechslungsreich und intelligent setzen die vier ihre Stimmen ein, die ganz wunderbar zusammenpassen und harmonischer nicht sein könnten. Besonders auffällig ist das bei den langsameren und gefühlvolleren Liedern „Sober“, „Leavin' In Your Eyes“, „Can't Go Back“ und „Your Side Of The Bed“. Bei Letzterem ist außerdem die Kombination von männlichen und weiblichen Stimmen essentiell, weil es in diesem Lied um eine Beziehung zwischen Mann und Frau geht und beide Seiten mit den unterschiedlichen Stimmen beschrieben werden können. Bei „Front Porch Thing“ beginnen sie a Capella, das im ersten Moment an Gospel erinnert und man sofort Gänsehaut bekommt, wenn die vier kraftvollen Stimmen loslegen. Diese Kraft ist auch in „Pavement Ends“, „On Fire Tonight“ und „Self Made“ zu spüren. Obwohl „Pontoon“ und „Tornado“ vom Inhalt unterschiedlicher nicht sein könnten, haben sie beide einen Rhythmus, der einen nicht mehr loslässt. Trotzdem ist die unbeschwerte Stimmung bei „Pontoon“ im Gegensatz zur ernsten bei „Tornado“ immer präsent. Als letzten Song auf dem Album konnte Little Big Town keinen besseren wählen als „Night Owl”, ein wunderschöner Song, bei dem man einfach nicht anders kann als sich zurückzulehnen, die Augen zu schließen und anzufangen zu träumen. Insgesamt ein wirklich gelungenes Album, das zu allen Stimmungslagen einen passenden Song bietet und nie langweilig wird.

Aylin Landzettel

Autographed Photos by your favorite Country Star for Sale

Autographed photos by your favorite Country Star! 

Each photo only € 5 + shipping! 

Order 10 photos and save 10 % or all photos and save 50 %!

Contact information:
Country Music News International
Publisher / EditorChristian Lamitschka
An der Pfingstweide 28
61118 Bad Vilbel
Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 171 6903352
E-Mail: CountryMusicNewsInternational@googlemail.com
E-Mail: Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de









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