Hey, 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.
The 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.
When 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.
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 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.
“The best thing to happen to the singer-songwriter genre in a while.”—The Washington Post
Joe Pug is a dynamic singer-songwriter and a rising star on the national music scene. On Saturday, February 8th at 8:00pm, this former UNC-Chapel Hill Student turned recording artist will perform live at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.
Art Menius, Executive Director at The ArtsCenter, says of the upcoming performance, “I had been hearing great things about Joe Pug, but it took ArtsCenter Operations Director Brad Porter to get me really to pay attention. You can’t miss with a Chicago-Austin singer-songwriter, I reckon, but like John Fullbright, Pug is a literate, visionary voice creating folk music for the 21st Century. Folk music constantly changes and Joe is part of that evolutionary process. Pug is a young artist that people my age need to hear and embrace for his art spans all ages. In his songs, music, and marketing, he has brought together folk tradition and modern mechanisms. As a performing artist, Pug puts it all on the line for his audiences. Area audiences already know his music, so we are proud to bring Joe Pug to The ArtsCenter.”
Tickets for this 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 Street in Carrboro.
This is a great instructional video from guitarist Vahagni. Even if you don’t play flamenco music, the picado technique is valuable for any fingerstyle guitarist. And if you are not a fingerstyle guitarist, the video is worth watching just to see how flamenco guitarists play astonishing speed bursts.
The final frame of the video mentions “Fingerstyle 360.” I’d not previously heard of that web site. It appears to be a resurrection of Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine. I believe Vahagni writes an occasional column in the digital edition.
In the video, Libby Scrader performs “War on Science.” Be sure to listen to the interview after the performance for the back story on the song, including the interesting tidbit that U2 is Libbie’s biggest influence.
You can find out more about Libbie’s albums and tour dates on her web site.
Hot Club of Cowtown, a trio from Austin, Texas, bring their Western swing and early jazz revival to The ArtsCenter on Saturday, January 11th at 8:00pm.
Check out the video below and on the band’s site. If one of your New Year resolutions is to have more fun in 2014, start with this show.
“The hottest western swing ensemble on earth comes from Austin, Texas with heart and soul and but three instruments. Truth: 80 years into the evolution of the music Bob Wills and Milton Brown started, small groups rule inspired by the trio known as the Hot Club of Cowtown. Elana James fiddle and vocals soar above the amazing bass and guitar work of Jake Ervin and Whit Smith. Already inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame, the reunification of The Hot Club of Cowtown touched off celebrations wherever people love the best dance music ever to come from the Texas Plains. This will be a night you will never want to end!”
Tickets are $25 General Advance, $21 Friends Advance, and $29 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 Street in Carrboro.