Tag - guitar

More “Joy of Making Music” Melissa Greener

Melissa_Greener-P2130647I’ve known Melissa Greener since she first arrived in Nashville (from native Detroit) about five years ago.  We have traveled in familiar circles all that time, but I think I have actually heard/seen her perform just once, when she sat in for a few songs amid somebody else’s set… somewhere.  The details are fuzzy, all I remember is she played a “fan fret” acoustic guitar – an instrumental choice indicative of a woman of some distinction, even if I can’t remember now what exactly she played on that exotic instrument.

Well I sure remember her material now.

Last Friday, Melissa performed a set at the Douglas Corner Cafe in Nashville – which she mentioned from the stage was her first full show here in the entire time she’s called Nashville home.

It was worth the wait.  Boy, was it worth the wait.

For this show, Melissa assembled a full band (sorry, I don’t know the name of all the players – will update when that info comes across my transom). The stage was filled with keyboard, bass, drums, lead guitar and two harmony vocalists.  And despite all that personnel, this was the blessed (i.e. rare) show where the quantity of sound did not drown out the lyric content.

Melissa Greener proved to be an incredibly compelling performer.  Start with deft, intricate guitar figures played on both acoustic and electric guitars (no fan frets); add rich, thoughtful lyric imagery (that you could actually hear!) sung with a solid, soaring alto and joined byroof-raising harmonies from Kira Small and Vicki Carrico, and you’ve got the makings of one of the most outstanding shows I’ve seen in Nashville in quite a while.

The house was full, no doubt a testament to the many friends that Melissa has made over the five years she’s been among us.

But what was really impressive was the response when the show was over: these jaded Nashville audiences rarely rise at the end of a club show by a local; but this night, as Melissa Greener wrapped up her final tune, the audience was on its feet.

Or as one observer from the audience commented after the show, “we knew that she was good… but we didn’t know that she was that good!”

Melissa pours her heart and soul into every note and word.  Hopefully these photos catch some of that spirit.

Listen to the opening track from Melissa’s  2013 CD “Transistor Corazon” while the slide show plays.  When it’s over, click the Spotify link below to listen to the entire album.  And when it’s over, don’t be surprised if you feeling like playing it again (as I am doing as I finish this post…)

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More “Joy Of Making Music” Thomm Jutz & Craig Market

Nothing is more
beautiful than a guitar,
except, possibly, two.

— Frédéric Chopin

Last Wednesday night offered a stark contrast to the night before.

Where Tuesday night’s performance by the New Dylans at the Belcourt Theater was nearly an hour of screeching instrumentation and unintelligible lyrics, the following night at the Station in was a perfect example of how beautifully crafted songs played with exquisite instruments can produce a totally satisfying experience.

Thomm Jutz and Craig Market actually wrote together for the first time while Thomm was producing The 1861 Project. They co-wrote two songs for Volume 2, including “The Old Songs:”

Thomm and Craig kept writing after that, and over the past couple of years assembled a collection of co-writes that they’ve now released in a collection called “Nowhere To Hide.”

I was called in to shoot some promo stills late last year.  The slide show above features a few of those shots and some from the CD Release Party at the Station Inn.

On stage, Thomm played a 1948 Martin D-18, and Craig played a 1937 D-18.  It’s hard to describe how beautiful those two guitars sounded together.  That quote from Chopin will have to suffice.

Or just listen to the CD and hear for yourself:

Need some photos from one of your live shows?  Visit The Joy Of Making Music.com
T&C

This Guitar Kills Fashion

Hopefully readers recognize the irony.  If not, look here.

I went down to Lower Broadway in Nashville last Saturday afternoon to rub shoulders with the tour-eye.  I was actually on a particular mission (which was aborted after about an hour of futility) and wasn’t really planning to do any “street photography” but as soon as I saw this guy on a corner, I tossed some dollars in his guitar case (not enough, sorry), and started this shooting.  And then this couple came by. Make sure you read her t-shirt for another dose of irony.
@folkslinger @WoodyGuthrie @EllisPaulSongs @FolkAllianceWoody would be proud

@NashvilleTN @InstaNashville @NashvilleABC

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©2014 paul@cohesionarts.com aka @driver49

Here’s A Surprise: Amazing Young Talent Descends on #Nashville!

at The Basement in Nashville February 5, 2013First, imagine it’s 1940-whatever and you’re hearing Chet Atkins when he first showed up in Nashville.

Then imagine it’s 1980-something and you’re hearing Harry Connick, Jr. for the first time.

Now imagine that you’re hearing BOTH of these amazing talents early in their careers in the same venue, on the same night, and even playing a couple of tunes together.

That’s what it was like this evening as stellar young “Chet-style” guitarist Jonathan Brown and torch singer/keyboardist Andrew Walesch opened the “New Artists” night at The Basement in Nashville.

Here are some photos from tonight’s show. Sorry, no recorded music to go with it yet (yeah, I know, sorta defeats the purpose…)

A few notes on these photos: I borrowed a couple of high-end lenses to use on my Olympus OM-D for this shoot – the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 and the Panasonic 37-100 f/2.8. The latter is the equivalent of the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 that I have been using in situations like this (with a Nikon D300s) for the past two years. The difference is the OM-D/Panasonic f2.8 combination weighs in at a fraction of the Nikon assembly — which rig is convenient combination camera and anvil.

But I have to say, on first glance, that I’m not altogether thrilled with the results I got from this rig.

Going in, I was a bit concerned about the likely responsiveness of the OM-D in this situation, compared to the Nikon.  It took a little getting used to the different form factor, but once I did I was pleased to see that the shutter lag and auto-focus were not a problem.

Still, once I got the files loaded into Lightroom, I have to say they just don’t compare to the results I get from the Nikon rig.  Compared to what I get from the Nikon, these files were soft and noisy.  In club/concert settings I usually have to push the ISO to 3200; These days, between the advanced sensors and a little bit of noise reduction in Lightroom, that’s not an issue.  And while these images are entirely useable in the format you see them in here, I don’t think they would hold up if I tried to make decent sized prints of them.

I’m going to shoot another show Wednesday night; this time I’m going to bring the Nikon, too – so that I’ll be able to see exactly how the two setups compare.

Stay tuned…

Happy Birthday #Django Reinhardt

574px-Django_Reinhardt_(Gottlieb_07301)I have no idea why Quentin Tarantino used the “Django” for the title character of his new slave-revenge western.

But today is Django Rheinhart‘s birthday so let’s take a moment to honor one of the most innovative and memorable guitarists of the 20th century.

You can start with the Pearl Django-triggered station I listen to quite frequently on Pandora:Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 8.39.19 AM(Yeah, I know, I was just ragging on Pandora for its limited playlists yesterday, but this one is pretty good, especially if you’re not all too familiar with this type of music.  And I hope the link above works for you, Pandora is apparently pretty touchy about how sharing its links works. The link seems to be working in Safari, not so much in Firefox.)

I am suddenly recalling the first time I ever heard the name “Django Rheinhardt.”  It was in the fall of… oh, 1966 or ’67 would be a good guess.  My step-father was a Yalie, and every year he took us to the Yale-Princeton football game.  He also made us wear a jacket and tie to the game.  Things were different in those days…

Whatever year it was, that year I was driven to the game by the son of one of my step-father’s college roommates (from the class of 1930-something).  I remember the driver’s name was Raymond Londa,   and, despite being a lawyer and a Yalie himself, Raymond Londa was kinda cool: he drove us to New Haven in something that was rather novel for its day – a VW Camper.

VWCamperRaymond somehow knew that I’d just started playing guitar (I still have my first chord book, dated April, 1966).  And he asked me if I’d knew about Django Rheinhardt.  Nope, not a clue.  And since my taste at the time leaned more toward the Beatles and Jefferson Airplane, I don’t think I was all that interested.  Gypsy Jazz?  Not a clue.

All of which I’m recalling now because lately I’ve been hearing a lot of Django and Django-influenced music, and I wished I’d paid closer attention when I first heard the name.  I’m paying closer attention now, and will be listening to Django and his descendants as much as I can today.

Postscript: I’ve just been advised that the name “Django” has a long history of use in “spaghetti westerns.”

Now Playing on the Celestial Jukebox: from “The National Parks” — Al Petteway

AlPetteway You know that rolling, bending, percussive, open-tuned guitar solo that you keep hearing over and over again throughout the Ken Burns PBS series, “The National Parks”?

The track is called “Sligo Creek,” and it’s played by noted finger-style guitarist Al Petteway, who has recorded many of my very favorite acoustic instrumental albums with his wife, Amy White.

Click “play” on the player below to listen to the album “Caledon Wood” in its entirety, for free, via Lala.com.  Sligo Creek is the second track on the album.