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Author: "Sam C."

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Liner Notes: Allen Thompson – “Forgive Me”

I wrote this song when I was living in Richmond, Virginia. The band at that time was a pretty standard four-piece bluegrass group – guitar, fiddle, bass, and banjo. Only one of us really knew how to play bluegrass, however, making us a pretty non-standard bluegrass group.

Our bluegrasser-in-residence was banjo player Ambrose Waddell. Ambrose is one of those guys who has been around bluegrass all his life, has learned from the hottest pickers around, and can pretty much play circles around everyone he knows. I knew I needed to introduce some fast-paced bluegrass tunes into the repertoire in order to keep Ambrose engaged. Otherwise, he was going to get bored real fast. Since I didn’t know and couldn’t play any bluegrass or old-time chord progressions, I knew the song was going to have to be a blues. “Forgive Me” was intended to be Ambrose Waddell’s jam vehicle.

Lyrically, the song is about a son’s relationship with his mother. My family was going through a tragedy at the time the bulk of the songs for 26 Years were written, so a lot of the songs on the record are about this type of thing. The funny thing is, this song really fills its roll as our good time jam song, regardless of the lyrical content. The audience enjoyment doesn’t come in spite of the lyrics, though. Most of the dancers and twirlers I see are also singing along. I guess Mary Poppins was right about the sugar and the medicine and the delight and all that other stuff.

Liner Notes: The Paper Sons – “Blackout”

One of the stalwarts of the OurStage Rock Channels is San Francisco’s The Paper Sons. Since 2007, this Bay Area four-piece has been churning out solid recordings such as their Fine Line EP and their digital-only release Underground. Fresh off the heels of their latest release on minus HEAD Records, In the Throes…, is their track “Blackout” which has been getting quite a few plays in the Alternative Charts thanks to its progressive melodies and a hard rock edge. The band’s singer gave us the inside scoop on the new track:
Continue reading ‘Liner Notes: The Paper Sons – “Blackout”’

Folk Artists: Compete in April to Win a Year’s Supply of Strings from Ernie Ball

Ernie Ball is back on OurStage to give one deserving act a year’s supply of the world’s best guitar strings. This time around they’re unplugged as they focus on the chart-topping talent in our folk family of music channels. Enter your best original music into the Acoustic, Folk, Singer-Songwriter Male or Singer-Songwriter Female Channels for your chance to win $500 worth of Ernie Ball goodies. Submit your songs before April 22nd to compete.

For more information visit

Don’t forget to read “Folkin’ Around” for the latest scoop on OurStage folk artists.

Liner Notes: Jeneen Terrana – “Bloody Valentine”

One of OurStage’s shining newcomers is a songstress from Long Island City, Queens by the name of Jeneen Terrana. The fans of our Pop and Indie Pop Music Channels have certainly taken notice of Jeneen’s unique vocal style, akin to both K.D. Lang and Patty Griffin, as well as her seamless mix of alternative rock with blues.  Since 2002, she’s been actively involved in the emerging LIC music scene with frequent live local performances. Jeneen’s work with local promotor Silbin Sandova, who happened to have penned a few songs for Shane MacGowan from The Pogues, took her on a successful two-week tour of the UK and Ireland which included an appearance on BBC Radio. Jeneen’s “Bloody Valentine” caught the ear of the OurStage community so we asked Janeen to write “Liner Notes” to tell us more about her track about “a scorned lover who is being reeled in again by her old flame.”
Continue reading ‘Liner Notes: Jeneen Terrana – “Bloody Valentine”’

Bon Jovi to Find Openers for The Circle Tour on OurStage

Last November, Bon Jovi released their latest album The Circle to millions of fans across the globe. Now the band is on the road to support their latest release. Bon Jovi is ready to see a million more faces and rock them all, but they want 10 up-and-coming acts to share the spotlight.

How often do you get the opportunity to open for one of the biggest rock bands on the planet? OurStage rock, pop and country artists are encouraged to enter their best original songs into one of the “Bon Jovi’s Wanted: A Superband Tonight!” Music Channels before April 22nd for the chance to open at one of 10 selected tour stops in the US and Canada.

Bon Jovi will select winners from the Top 20 finalists in each of the tour stop channels to perform at one of the coveted opening slots. For more information on rules and entering visit

The legendary band is also looking for the fans with the best ears. Help Bon Jovi decide the openers by judging the channels and helping the best talent rise to the top. The fans who best predicts the final rankings in the “Bon Jovi Wanted: A Superband Tonight!” Music Channels will be rewarded with tickets to see the band live on The Circle Tour.

Get the latest on Bon Jovi’s The Circle Tour at

VH1 Save the Music and Foreigner Launch High School Video Competition on OurStage

Calling all high school choir buffs! This spring, VH1 Save the Music Foundation and rock legends Foreigner are giving school vocal groups across America the chance to earn funding for their music programs. Get your glee club or choir to record a video performance of Foreigner’s “In Pieces” or their classic hit “I Want to Know What Love Is” to win $1,000! Enter your video into Foreigner’s “Can’t Slow Down the Music” Video Competition on OurStage where music lovers all over the world will get to judge your group’s performance. Foreigner and representatives from VH1 Save the Music Foundation will pick the winning groups from the Top 5 finalists in each regional channel.

In addition, the winners for each city region will get the chance to be part of Foreigner’s summer “United in Rock” tour this summer, co-headlined with Styx and special guest, Kansas. The winning vocal groups will be invited to perform Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” live on stage with the band on stage in front of thousands of fans at local tour stops!

To see if your school qualifies and find out how to enter by visiting

Judge the Best New Music to the Top of the March Charts

March is winding down and it’s time to help your favorite OurStage artists get to the top of the charts. Got an ear for finding talent? We want you to play A&R by judging this month’s promotional channels. Your votes could help the best emerging acts win career-making opportunities! There’s plenty of great new music to be discovered just by judging:

Beat Kangz Independent Artist Challenge

Continue reading ‘Judge the Best New Music to the Top of the March Charts’ A Short Convo With… Diggy

VIBE is back on OurStage to find the best new acts in hip hop and R&B. With over 800 artists competing for a shot at sharing the spotlight with some of the biggest names in urban music on, the VIBE editorial staff is going to need your help picking the cream of the crop. This month the winning artist in the “Your Music on” Channel will win a critique from Sha Money XL (G-Unit Records) and Hi-Tek (Talib Kweli, Common, 50 Cent) along with a feature on Judge now to determine who will make the cut. If you need a break from all that judging, check out VIBE‘s interview with the young, rising hip hop star Diggy Simmons.

Continue reading ‘ A Short Convo With… Diggy’

Win Tickets to See Train: Judge the “Save Me, San Francisco” Songwriting Challenge

The GRAMMY Award-winning band Train is giving you the chance to win tickets to see them perform live just for judging the best new music here on OurStage. To celebrate their current tour and the release of their new album Save Me, San Francisco, the band is looking to mentor OurStage’s most talented pop or singer-songwriter act. With over 900 artists competing in the channel, Train needs your help picking a winner! Think your ears got what it takes? Judge now in the Save Me, San Francisco Songwriting Challenge Channel for your chance to win tickets. Take a look and see which artists are currently hot contenders:

Liner Notes: Absofacto – “Safari”

Jonathan Visger is known around OurStage as the lead singer of the Indie Pop Channel heavyweights Mason Proper. His side project, called Absofacto, explores more self-examining song subjects while offering a slightly darker sound than the typical Mason Proper fare. With a funky bassline and surf-influenced guitars, Absofacto’s “Safari” is becoming a fan favorite. In this edition of “Liner Notes,” Visger explains how his tendency to be a wallflower inspired the track:

Jonathan Visger

Jonathan Visger

“Safari” was one of these songs I had around for a long time that just would keep nagging at me to finish it, despite my best efforts not to. It’s stylistically not my normal thing, but the melodies just interlock in a really nice way and eventually it won the fight and I polished it off. For me, it’s about people watching in sort of a party-type situation. Honestly, I have a hard time relaxing and feeling engaged in large groups of people, so I usually end up kind of wallflowering with an equally introverted companion, if there is one available.

The song has a romantic tinge to the choruses, but in the end it would seem I turn into an antagonist and sort of blatantly insult the person I’m with and drag them out on the dance floor and insist they cut loose. It’s actually very hypocritical of me… but also something I would probably actually do. I’m sure I already have, and just repressed the memory so I won’t remember that I’m a jerk. I mean, only sometimes though.


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