Greetings

Michael BarylaHey, you’ve found my music blog! Unless you already know me, you’re probably here because you’ve gotten my name at a jam or open mic somewhere in North Carolina.  Thanks for your interest, and I hope you enjoyed whatever it was I was playing that night.

 

Jesse Cook at the Carolina Theatre on Thursday, April 10

jessecook300Jesse Cook, one of my favorite guitarists, returns to North Carolina on April 10 with The Blue Guitar Tour in support of his eighth studio album.  Jesse will be performing at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.

I’ve seen Jesse on two previous occasions and am hoping to catch his show in Durham.  Jesse inspired me to try different musical styles on my classical guitar and is one of the reasons you’ll see me playing a nylon-string guitar around town.

Jesse Cook blends exotic Spanish rumba flamenco with elements of jazz and flawless technique to create a contemporary sound that has earned a Juno Award in the Best Instrumental Album, Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s Player’s Choice Award and his own PBS television special.

Speaking about the new album Cook said, “I wanted to make a record that was more personal. Something intimate with more space to it than my previous work, the kind of music that I would want to listen to after midnight.  I guess you could call it my grown-up album.”

Based in Toronto, Jesse Cook has been recording and performing music internationally for over seventeen years.  He is a JUNO Award-winning artist and three-time recipient of the Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for “Guitarist of the Year”.  His previous release, The Rumba Foundation, debuted at #1 on iTunes Canada and the DVD for the release premiered on PBS.

Some tickets are still available.

 

Sarah Baumgarden – Acoustic Sweetness at Isaac Hunter’s Sunday, March 30

7253_10151596228587363_796840407_nGifted singer Sarah Baumgarden will be performing at Isaac Hunter’s in downtown Raleigh, NC on Sunday March 30 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

Sarah performs an acoustic blend of old and new favorites: pop, indy, folk, and some rock classics; all re-styled with acoustic flare, from the Beatles to Britney,

The word on the street is that Isaac Hunter’s  will be closing at the end of the month, so this will be your last chance to catch Sarah at that venue.  If the weather holds out, Sarah will be performing outside on the patio.  There is no cover charge.

Isaac Hunter’s is located at 112 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC,  near the state capitol building.

 

 

Sultans of String at The ArtsCenter Friday, April 4th

9602455834_3b97ac0cf8b8784fToronto-based band Sultans of String, known for its incorporation of musical styles from all over the world into complex and danceable rhythms, will perform in The ArtsCenter’s West End Theatre in Carrboro, NC on Friday, April 4th at 8:00pm.

Known for dizzying roots music jams, poly-rhythms and revved up riffs, Sultans of String can take you down the Silk Road, the gypsy-jazz coffeehouses of Eastern Europe, bring you back to American east coast, and send on a stroll through bustling Havana. In short, their sound can’t be pinned. Acoustic mastery resonates throughout their records and their live show, deepened by world rhythms that inspire whole audiences to get up and dance.

Tickets for this show are $12 General advance, $8 Friends/Student advance, and $16 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets (less than 100 available), visit www.artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro.

For more information, visit www.sultansofstring.com.

Drew Nelson at The ArtsCenter Thursday, April 10th

8962474242_398de8036e09f137Michigan-born Navy veteran Drew Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles. On Thursday, April 10th at 8:00pm, he will perform live at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC.

Art Menius, Executive Director at The ArtsCenter, writes, “Peers are already in awe of Drew Nelson and it is high time folks around here discovered this stunning young songwriter, singer, and guitarist. I met the Red House recording artist on a perfect spring day in 2012 in Black Mountain, singing a Woody Guthrie song for a group of folk veterans who all stopped what they were doing to listen to Drew. Later that day he gave me his album. Soon he was on my list of exciting artists to watch. Some dates in eastern NC provided the opportunity to give Drew Nelson his ArtsCenter debut. Come here the latest in a proud tradition of extraordinary American vocalists and songwriters who sing the body electric.”


Tickets are $12 General advance, $8 Friends/Student advance, and $16 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro.

For more information, visit www.drewnelson.net.

Seldom Scene at The ArtsCenter Friday, April 11th

8699668808_fbb1f33241b0f5b6What does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For the Seldom Scene, it’s taken not only talented musicians, a signature sound, and a solid repertoire, but also a sheer sense of fun. On Friday, April 11th at 8:00pm, the Seldom Scene will perform live at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC as a part of their LONG TIME….SELDOM SCENE tour.

Art Menius, Executive Director at The ArtsCenter, writes, “After 42 years, The Seldom Scene are enjoying a glorious new period of musical relevancy and excitement. The band that defined bluegrass music of the 1970s with John Starling as lead vocalist has matured into its 21st Century form with Dudley Connell front and center. It has been a long trip, but no longer strange – today’s Seldom Scene is simply a terrific band that extends a great tradition. To me its seems just the other day that I sat on stage at the Kennedy Center in 1986 as Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and many others joined the Scene for their 15thanniversary. I was working on a career profile published the next year and online here. Late in 1996 I emceed a Seldom Scene concert at the Carolina Theater in Durham when the then new lineup with Dudley joining founder and powerhouse tenor John Duffey was starting really to gel. Duffey was more relaxed, happy, and conversational than I had ever seen him. Two weeks later he was dead. The Seldom Scene is a Washington institution I truly love. It gives me deep personal satisfaction to be able to share my friends and a wonderful band right now with our audience.”

Tickets for this show are $27 General advance, $23 Friends/Student advance, and $31 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro.

For more information, visit www.seldomscene.com.

Brother Sun at The ArtsCenter Sunday, April 13th

Brother_Sun.5372.extralarge.2dbf46dAfter two years of nationwide touring and performances marked by outstanding songwriting, ethereal harmonies, off-the-cuff humor, and standing ovations, Brother Sun has released Some Part of the Truth: an album that goes a large step further in revealing the scope of their collective musicianship. On Sunday, April 13th at 7:00pm, Brother Sun will perform live at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC.

National touring artists Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway and Pat Wictor have made their mark as veteran singer-songwriters, but Brother Sun is no songwriter’s round.  The trio’s harmonies, as much as their lyrics, tell what they are about: warm as a campfire, stirring as a gospel church, rousing as a call to arms.  Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions.

From three major points on the map – Chicago, Boston, and New York – Joe, Greg, and Pat have truly blended themselves into Brother Sun, a unique celebration of the amazing power of singing together. As they will tell you, Brother Sun is not resident in any one of them – it exists between them and audiences feel this intimacy immediately. Their combined musical skills make for an unforgettable experience – three rich voices blending on a well-crafted foundation of guitar, slide guitar, bouzouki and piano. Catch Brother Sun at The ArtsCenter on April 13th!

Tickets for this show are $18 General advance, $14 Friends/Student advance, and $22 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro.

The Paul McKenna Band at The ArtsCenter Thursday, March 13th

Paul_McKenna_Band_PromoThe New York Times called The Paul McKenna Band “The best folk band out of Scotland in the last twenty years.” On Thursday, March 13th at 8:00pm, the acclaimed band will perform live at The ArtsCenter.

Since being awarded the title of “Best Up and Coming Artist of 2009″ at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, The Paul McKenna Band have gone from strength to strength touring extensively throughout USA, Canada and Europe.Combining their love for Folk and Traditional music, as well as original songs and tunes; The Paul McKenna Band from Scotland has been captivating audiences with live performances of their new album, titled ‘Stem the Tide’, out now on Greentrax Records.

With a contemporary approach to songs, although not straying too far from their roots, their arrangements are both fresh and innovative. The exciting sound of The Paul McKenna Band is created through outstanding Vocals, driving Guitar and Bouzouki, intense fiddle playing, a warm pairing of flute and whistles and dynamic bodhrán and percussion.

Tickets for the show are $16 General advance, $12 Friends/Student advance, and $20 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro.

For more information, visit www.paulmckennaband.com.

 

 

The Stray Birds at The ArtsCenter Sunday, March 16th

stray_birdsf5b334When The Stray Birds take the stage, the spotlight falls on three voices raised in harmony above the raw resonance of wood and strings. It is a sound drawn from the richness of American folk music traditions, spun with a stirring subtlety and grace. On Sunday, March 16th at 7:00pm, the trio returns to The ArtsCenter for another stunning live show.

Executive Director at The ArtsCenter, Art Menius, says of the upcoming show, “Happy day to have the Stray Birds back to The ArtsCenter. I discovered this trio at the SERFA Conference in Montreal in May 2012. Their musical career was on an upward trajectory at that point. They have played Folk Alliance, IBMA, and, last May, The ArtsCenter. The Stray Birds blend original songs with a palpable traditional sensibility, powerfully straddling the line between old and new. Those sorts of intersections are where the best art happens, and this trio exhausts the geometrical possibilities. Young people in a trad string band and two bluegrass musicians with an old-time fiddler and banjo player to cite two obvious examples. Using just this very basic string band and their voices, The Stray Birds craft musical moods with genuine depth that complement memorable lyrics. The Stray Birds need to be experienced in an intimate venue like The Earl & Rhoda Wynn Theater at The ArtsCenter. Take advantage of the opportunity while we are still big enough to host them.”

Here is “I’ll Be Your San Antone Rose” from their new Echo Sessions EP.

Tickets for this performance will be $12 General advance, $8 Friends/Student advance, and $16 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro.

For more information, visit http://thestraybirds.com.

 

 

Practice tip

I’ve not posted in a few days because I’ve been busy. This reminds me of a simple practice tip that I find to be very effective, especially when I’m busy:

Practice in frequent short bursts.

That’s it. Simple, right?

To make progress in learning an new instrument or a new song, it’s not necessary to set aside a few hours that you might not have. Instead, just pick up your guitar or uke or tuba whenever you have a few free minutes. I’d like to bore you with a lot of psychological mumbo-jumbo and cite seven or eight research papers on the subject. But right now, I don’t have the time. For me. it works. It might work for you too. Give it a try.

Lucy Kaplansky at The ArtsCenter Saturday, February 22nd

Lucy KaplanskyLucy Kaplansky is a folk icon whose heartfelt lyrics have sustained her long career, amassing a national following. On Saturday, February 22nd at 8:00pm, she will perform live at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC.

This musician, songwriter, mother and Ph.D. started out singing in Chicago bars. Then, barely out of high school, Lucy Kaplansky took off for NYC. There she found a fertile community of songwriters and performers — Suzanne Vega, John Gorka, and others–where she fit right in. Her new record, “Reunion” was released on September 25th on Red House Records and And Red Horse (Lucy, Eliza Gilkyson and John Gorka) are making plans to record a new CD as well!

Tickets for this show are $17 General advance, $13 Friends/Student advance, and $21 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main Street in Carrboro.