OurStage is now part of Amazing Media

Come back to see the improvements to OurStage over the next few months.

Visit
Amazingtunes-logo
to upload music …
Amazing-radio-logo
to listen to it.
Amazing-instore-logo
For instore music solutions
Tag: Emmylou Harris
amazing icon

Video Playback Error

The Adobe Flash Player is required to watch videos on this page

Tag: "Emmylou Harris"

home buzz rock pop urban country

Dawn And Hawkes Perform On ‘The Voice’

dawn and hawkeNot that long ago, Austin, TX musicians Dawn and Hawkes were finalists in our Intel Superstars competition. Garnering comparisons to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, this real-life couple turned folksy duo recently took to the The Voice to perform their cover of The Beatles‘ “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” Within seconds of their opening lines Adam Levine (Maroon 5) and Shakira had already expressed interest, with Levine saying that it was his “favorite performance [he's] ever seen on The Voice.” In the end, they chose Levine. You can watch it all unfold below. Continue reading ‘Dawn And Hawkes Perform On ‘The Voice’’

Your Country’s Right Here: Andrew Osenga Gets Spacey with Folk

Andrew Osenga has taken folk music where, arguably, no artist has gone before—space.

How else to explain the Nashville-based singer/songwriter/producer/musician Osenga’s “story” Leonard, The Lonely Astronaut, released on September 18. Perhaps the album’s theme was born of his love of science fiction and folk? Sure, rockers have explored this concept for years—David Bowie‘s 1973 album Aladdin Sane and Pink Floyd‘s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon come immediately to mind—but it’s fairly new territory for folk. Credit Osenga’s eclectic taste in music for the turn.

“I was into grunge and then Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, all the shows on the big stages,” he said of his early influences. “The music was heartfelt but they could hide the fact that they were heartfelt by putting on a big show. When I moved to Nashville I became friends with folk artists and really got into Paul Simon, Emmylou Harris…..And I’m a huge literary nerd, too, so that helped make this.” Continue reading ‘Your Country’s Right Here: Andrew Osenga Gets Spacey with Folk’

Exclusive Q and A: Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook Shares How “Tornado” Lifts the Band to New Heights

In the past two weeks, Little Big Town earned it’s first No. 1 hit for the single “Pontoon,” received a Single of the Year nomination from the County Music Association, and watched as its just-released album Tornado ttook the No. 1 spot on the Billboard country chart and No. 2 on the Top 200 chart with 112,758 albums sold in its first week.

It’s almost too easy to say the vocal quartet—known individually as Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook—is a prime example of the old adage “good things come to those who wait.” But consider that it has been 13 years since the band formed and it just hit No. 1. And even “Pontoon,” which was released in April, didn’t really soar until the song was performed in June at the CMT Awards.

In the middle of the swirl of excitement, Jimi Westbook took a bit of time out to talk about the band, its new music, and just where they will go from here. Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook Shares How “Tornado” Lifts the Band to New Heights’

Your Country’s Right Here: Ricky Skaggs Talks Bluegrass, Gospel, and Barry Gibb at the Grand Ole Opry

It’s difficult to imagine a more poignant moment than when Ricky Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder played a moving rendition of “You Can’t Shake Jesus,” at the recent FloydFest in southern Virginia.

Although the 15,000-plus fans that packed each of the four days of the festival heard from a top-flight roster of artists including Emmylou Harris, Brandi Carlile, the Punch Brothers, Jackson Browne, and others, it was Skaggs’ virtuoso playing and heartfelt vocals that enticed concertgoers to stand in the searing sun and cheer, even as FloydFest wound down. Although Skaggs also teamed up with Bruce Hornsby for some power-packed songs, it’s difficult to imagine anything more lovely than the set Skaggs and his band played before meeting and greeting fans.

“It’s the most unusual gospel record I’ve ever done,” Skaggs told the crowd about Mosaic, the album from which “You Can’t Shake Jesus” was taken. “It’s not bluegrass and it’s not country, but you’ll like it. It’s good.”

Anyone wanting to sum up Skaggs’ career and appeal could likely turn to that line for reference. After making a name for himself as a major country star, he moved to bluegrass and even dabbled in other formats with special interest in gospel and Christian-themed songs. The result included 24 singles on Billboard’s Top 20, including 12 at #1 and an array of awards and honors, including 14 GRAMMY Awards, eight CMA Awards (including Entertainer of the Year), eight ACM Awards, two Dove Awards and nine ICM (Inspirational Country Music) Awards.

Continue reading ‘Your Country’s Right Here: Ricky Skaggs Talks Bluegrass, Gospel, and Barry Gibb at the Grand Ole Opry’

Your Country’s Right Here: Amber Rubarth Wows at FloydFest

The headliners at this year’s FloydFest—including Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Ricky Skaggs, Brandi Carlile, and the Drive-By Truckers—were  as amazing as you’d expect from internationally known and much-lauded musicians. But the real treat at the 11th Annual FloydFest, a four-day world music festival in Floyd, Virg., was arguably the array of up-and-coming artists certain to burst into prominence not too far into the future.

Amber Rubarth was clearly at the front of that line. Perhaps that’s not surprising when you consider she’s a fixture on New York’s indie scene and has won such accolades as the Grand Prize in NPR’s Mountain Stage New Song Contest. Her recent album A Common Case of Disappearing, which features duets with Jason Reeves and Jason Mraz, debuted at No. 13 on iTunes. Watching her spin her musical web of alt-country, folk tunes on various stages at FloydFest, one couldn’t help but be struck by her poise and warmth, which translated into her music.

“I was really shy growing up,” said Amberth when discussing her set. “Music gave me the outlet to be able to get out my feelings and get out things I wanted to say that were more personal, even if I couldn’t say it in a conversation. It’s really powerful for me. It’s a way of healing, releasing, really.”

Those feelings translated to the audience, too, when Rubarth joined the Ivy League Hillbillies set that had nine up-and-coming musicians on stage and when she played her own sets—including a brand new song “The Maiden and the Ram,” that got the audience dancing.

Continue reading ‘Your Country’s Right Here: Amber Rubarth Wows at FloydFest’

Your Country’s Right Here: Madi Diaz Shows off ‘Plastic Moon’

Madi Diaz sure doesn’t act like a musical prodigy when you chat with her about her music. Aren’t those who attend the famed School of Rock in Philadelphia and Boston’s Berklee College of Music supposed to be a bit, uh, pretentious? That sure doesn’t fit the personality of this polished and pleasant twenty-something woman with an infectious laugh whose self-depracating humor reflects some of the bubbly, uptempo songs on her brand-new album release Plastic Moon.

The only problem with the songs on the album—full of all kinds of bang-on-the-dashboard beats and thoughtful lyrics—is that they are so compelling that stalwarts of every format wants to claim it as their own. No matter. Let the pop and rock and alt-country folks battle it out—Diaz is really all about getting the music to the listeners no matter how they find her.

“It’s pop I think, and indie I think. And then [a business associate] mentioned CMT and I said ‘Sure that’s great. We’ll take it!’”said Diaz with a laugh. “It’s like the first time I’m sure people heard Led Zeppelin or Frank Zappa—and of course I’m not comparing myself to them—–but I am sure people didn’t know where they fit [in terms of musical format] either!”

And it’s clear that she cut her musical teeth on an array of songs that she just loved, no matter the format.

“When I was a teenager,” Madi Diaz recalled, “my dad and I would hang out in the living room and learn songs by bands like the Eagles and Alice in Chains. We’d pick parts to harmonize and sing our way through them, over and over. My dad would get so excited when he figured out something by Yes or the Mamas and the Papas, then he’d let me pick my favorite Silverchair song or whatever I was obsessing over at the moment and we’d learn it together, too. It was the best.”

She was well schooled to embrace it, too. At what one might call her father’s insistence, Diaz began to study piano at age five. Although she grew up amidst the Amish of Lancaster, PA, her parents kept feeding her a steady diet of music that ranged from Metallica to Sheryl Crow and The Beatles. It was that background, combined with her formal studies, that guided her toward her musical passion (songwriting) and her musical partner Kyle Ryan, a fellow Berklee student from Lincoln, NE.

“When I started writing for myself, I realized  that I was gravitating toward painfully yearning David Rawlings, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris [music],” she said. “I really thought Americana was where I wanted to be. It still is in some ways. It resonates with a rawness that I love.”

But for now, Diaz’s musical journey is tied up in the indie rock pop sounds of Paper Moon, and that’s just where she wants to be at least for now.

“It’s funny, especially the way things are right now. You never know where or what it is going to take you, where it catches,” said Diaz. “Sometimes you stumble to find the pace. The entire process has literally been that. Moving to Nashville, writing with a million people and then [Kyle and I] writing by ourselves, and then all the rushing, stumbling and then really finding your gait.”

Don’t miss Diaz’s new album and be sure to check out her upcoming video, especially filmed for Valentine’s Day (and featuring her brother’s metal band! Really!). Find out all about it and more on her Web site.

Watch Diaz’s video for “Let’s Go” below:

Sound And Vision: Strange Bedfellows — The Best of Music’s Unlikely Collaborations

“I get high with a little help from my friends,” Ringo Starr sang on the Beatles‘ 1967 classic. These days, so do many of music’s top stars. Two’s company, and so is three and sometimes four. The more the merrier, the higher and higher they get.

On the charts, that is.

In the Top 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 for the week ending December 10, seventeen songs were collaborations between separate recording entities. Four of them featured Drake, and three apiece featured Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, who both appeared on tracks with Drake and with each other. But will.i.am featuring Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger—and debuting at No. 36 with “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever),” which the threesome performed on the November 20 American Music Awards—was probably the one that nobody saw coming.

Old-school Rolling Stones fans must be cringing at the idea of Jagger going anywhere near Lopez and will.i.am so soon after Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera went to No. 1 by invoking his hallowed name on “Moves Like Jagger.” But for a sixty-something legend like him, hit records—even if in name only, a la Duck Sauce‘s GRAMMY-nominated “Barbra Streisand—are a near-impossible dream unless they’re in tandem with other, often younger, stars.

Continue reading ‘Sound And Vision: Strange Bedfellows — The Best of Music’s Unlikely Collaborations’

The EditoriaList: Top Ten Fictional Music Movies

The EditoriaList is the devious brainchild of one Scott Janovitz, who will use this space to summarize, in convenient list form, the best and worst of whatever occurs to him. Anything related to music, anyway. Janovitz claims to be a Boston-based writer, music producer and award-winning singer and songwriter, but according to the research we can piece together is more likely a petty thief. He is highly opinionated but will begrudgingly listen to those who disagree with him in order to explain to them why they are wrong.

Top Ten Fictional Music Movies:

10. Light of Day (1987)

Who in 1987 wasn’t waiting for the Michael J. Fox – Joan Jett big screen pairing? The only question was what the vehicle would be. A rom-com? Sci-fi thriller? A Tango & Cash–esque buddy cop action-comedy? A Back to the Future sequel where Marty meets The Runaways in 1977? To everyone’s surprise, what we got was an unexpectedly gritty family drama, centering on the relationship between brother and sister Joe and Patty (Fox and Jett), who perform together in a struggling E Street-esque bar band called The Barbusters. I have just told you the worst part of the movie. The Barbusters. This blow is softened by the appearance of the great Michael McKean as a band member—one of McKean’s THREE appearances on this list.

Paul Schrader, writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, wrote and directed this film and in fact commissioned a song by Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen came back with “Born In The U.S.A.” but decided to keep that one for himself. Too bad, it could have been a hit. The Barbusters do a decent job with his alternate effort, the title song “Light of Day.” And, hey, look, Michael J. Fox can sing. This begs the question—what the hell, Robert Zemeckis? The idea it’s Fox’ voice singing “Johnny B. Goode” in Back to the Future is the least credible part of a movie about a time traveling DeLorean that runs on plutonium.

9. 8 Mile (2002)

Everyone said Eminem was basically playing himself in this film about an aspiring rapper from Detroit with a fucked-up mom and few prospects aside from an innate and unique lyrical flow. But it’s a mistake to go into this thinking it’s the Eminem Story. Em and director Curtis Hanson wisely keep Em’s character B-Rabbit sullen and low-key. The rapper is not a great actor, but he plays this one just right, with visibly crippling insecurity and remarkably restrained rage. The cleverness of the impromptu rhymes staged on street corners and at club battles are just short of believable, but (spoiler alert) at the end, when B-Rabbit destroys all comers with Eminem’s signature delivery, disbelief is easily suspended. Eminem won an Oscar for the great lead song “Lose Yourself.”

Continue reading ‘The EditoriaList: Top Ten Fictional Music Movies’

Your Country’s Right Here: Lindi Ortega’s ‘Little Red Boots’ Jump On Roots Charts

For Lindi Ortega, the Little Red Boots tell it all.

Not only is this the title of Ortega’s debut album, released June 7 on Last Gang Records, but the term is a reminder of this phase of her career. The former Interscope artist, whose well-known for her work with The Killers’ Brandon Flowers and the UK band Keane, took a look at her art not long ago and realized her heart belongs to country.

“It was a metamorphosis,” Ortega said of the direction in which her songwriting traveled. “I was writing songs and they had [the flavor of] Nora Jones and k.d. lang, that vibe. And my favorite record [of late] is Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. I love that warm, old school vibe and tried to capture that essence in this recording.”

The Toronto resident’s commitment to the sound was underscored on a trip to Nashville when she found real-life little red boots. Since her manager purchased them for her, they’vebeen her constant companion as she has recorded her new album and toured.

“I slipped them on and I could literally hear a chorus of angels,” she said. “It happened to be my birthday at the time, too. I’ve had them now for about two years and the soles are coming off but I’m keeping them always.”

Perhaps it’s not surprising that Ortega’s music sounds like a mix of sounds from Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. Those and other traditional country performers made the music that Ortega was raised on.

“My mom was huge into country and that is what got me into country,” says Ortega who has “Bird on a Wire,” from a Leonard Cohen song, tattooed on her wrist. “I love Johnny [Cash], Willie [Nelson], and of course a lot of country people covered Leonard Cohen.”

Frequent trips to Nashville is just what Ortega needed to let the country flow into her own songs.

“I found awesome people there, friends who came to visit me in Toronto,” she said. “It was cool to hear how my music and styling fit in with the Nashville way of writing. My brand of country comes from the old school and it’s really, really cool to mesh it with new country ideas.”

“You know, it’s hard to refer to touring as a job because I love it so much.”

Clearly the love is there for roots fans, too, who put the new album at No. 10 on the roots chart, behind recent releases by Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and other major artists.

“The next part of my story is to tour,” said Ortega. “I’d love to be heavily touring across the United States and working on a new record. It’d also be amazing to do some collaborations. This is all just icing on the cake.”

Find out more about Lindi, her album and her upcoming concerts on her Web site.

Your Country’s Right Here: Lucinda Williams Is “Blessed”

Lucinda Williams was backstage at the Los Angeles Convention Center last fall when something happened that likely changed her life.

She was killing a bit of time while preparing to sing “Comes a Time” with Emmylou Harris and Patty Griffin at the tribute to Neil Young as MusiCaresPerson of the Year when she met legendary producer Don Was.

“We were hanging out back stage and Don came over,” said Williams noting that though she and Was had each followed the other’s work through the years, they had never formally met. “Tom [Overby, her manager and husband] was watching and noticed Don and I had a chemistry.”

Talk about timing. Williams had just written the songs for the follow up to her 2008 album Little Honey and was just starting to think about recording. Call it fate or karma or whatever, but it seemed natural that when she and Overby later began to discuss the new record, Overby suggested Was be invited to co-produce.

“We love Don’s past production work,” said Williams. “Part of it, too, was getting that extra set of ears. Also, we didn’t want to make the same album twice.”

Not that anyone would think duplicating Little Honey would be a misstep. The album was widely hailed by critics, especially for the love songs to Overby who Williams wed in 2009 during a concert (and after the ceremony, she went back and played an encore!).

With those album goals in mind, Williams and Overby sent Was the songs and then went to dinner with him where they extended the invitation for him to co-produce. Was readily agreed.

What no one knew at the time was that the Was, Williams, Overby teaming was a true aligning of artistic stars. Not only did the Was Overby production work well but the players Williams and Was handpicked for the album brought an undeniable freshness to the sound.

Keyboard player Rami Jaffee and guitarist Val McCallum were tapped by Was to join Butch Norton on drums, David Sutton on bass and Greg Leisz on guitar including pedal steel. As if that team wasn’t powerful enough, Elvis Costello—who also played and sang with Lucinda on her song “Jailhouse Tears”—was brought in to add some no-holds-barred guitar work.

But the heart of the album is, of course, Williams superb songwriting. Once again, she has done what many feared would be the impossible—reinvent herself. The brilliant multiple GRAMMY Award winning singer/songwriter—who has penned an array of classic songs including “Passionate Kisses” and “Change the Locks”—was well known for her songs about unrequited love and broken hearts such as “He Never Got Enough Love” and “Steal Your Love”  when she made Little Honey. That album shifted her direction when it let the world in on the secret that she and Overby had found love.

Now she’s shifted gears again and made an album that has won critical praise after critical praise while tackling subjects far away from her unrequited love comfort zone of writing. Although the songs about broken hearts are easy to write, she said she was more than ready to cast a wider net creatively thanks to her rock-solid relationship with Overby.

“Tom is the big difference. I have a security I never had before,” she said. “It’s hard to talk about the process as a writer. Especially now with this album more than ever I’m being asked how I came up with the songs. So much of it was almost a stream of consciousness thing. I can’t detail that—it just flowed.”

It’s also taken fans along for the ride. A quick look at Williams’ Web site, Facebook page and other social media outlets shows that many fans are talking about the song— and word—”Blessed”. They detail what the word means to them in their lives. A full-length documentary made up of many of those stories is in the works and HBO is interested in the project, said Williams.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Williams of how her song has impacted so many and turned into a way for others to express themselves. “Times are tough right now. People need this.”

Lucinda Williams will be on tour to support Blessed. For a complete list of concert dates, more information about the album, and to tell your story of how you’re “Blessed,” check her Web site.

 


Exclusive Interviews
Featured Artists
OurStage Updates
News
Features
Reviews and Playlists
Editors Pick

 

 




 

iAnEAqqqq