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Alice Wallace - Country's Next Star

Alice Wallace front page photo“Poor Cleopatra,” the second song on Orange County, California singer, songwriter and guitarist Alice Wallace’s third and best album yet, Memories, Music & Pride sends a strong signal that the affable young woman who grew up in Florida has definitely arrived on the Country music scene. Not since artists like the Judds, Reba and Janie Fricke arrived on the scene decades ago has a female Country artist appeared with such impeccable vocals that remain true to the classic Country sound and who also possesses tremendous gifts as a songwriter. Did we happen to mention that she is also an incredible yodeler? We will have more about that later.

Alice Wallace is signed to California Country Records a new record label founded by two superb singers and songwriters and multiple music award winners Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit, who comprise two-thirds of CALICO the band. Memories, Music & Pride was co-produced by Proffit and Steve Berns (who also mixed the album), with Eric Craig acting as the Executive Producer. Alice Wallace has a wealth of talented and experienced people behind her who are also very savvy about the business side of music and this should enable her to realize her full potential as one of the best Country music artists to come our way in this millennium.

As for the song “Poor Cleopatra,” Wallace saysRead More

 Ulrika Ölund - Singer, Songwriter

Ulrika Olund Photo OneUlrika Ölund’s current album Paper Planes and Skylines is appropriately titled as it provides a snapshot of the Swedish Country music singer, songwriter and musician’s life and career. If you are expecting to hear a Swedish accent on these songs or some Swedish concoction of what Country music sounds like from a Nordic country you are going to be disappointed, because Ulrika Ölund sounds like she would be comfortable in Nashville, Tennessee. Guess what? She is and she has spent a lot of time in Nashville and she cut her teeth in the music industry as an intern at Curb Music Publishing. Ölund describes her music as Pop with a twist of Country, but we believe that North American audiences will hear her music as Country with a twist of Pop.   

If you enjoy the music of Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum you are probably going to enjoy the music of Ulrika Ölund. Her song “Those Were The Days,” is an excellent feel good song that will put a smile on your face. It is up-tempo, with great vocals and solid instrumentals. It would be difficult to imagine concertgoers staying seated during this song, because the music encourages you to stand up and to sing the chorus back to Ölund as she performs. Like most good Country songwriters Ulrika Ölund draws from personal experience and “Those Were the Days,” talks about her time growing up in Undrom, Västernorrland in northern Sweden, five and one-half hours drive north of Stockholm. The lyrics draw great word pictures and it is easy to imagine the scene unfolding. There are plenty of great songs on this album, but we would buy theRead More 

Joy Burnworth

Joy Burnworth Photo Front PageAnderson is the name of a city in Indiana and it also happens to be the name of a very good musical duo of the same name. The duo comprised of Joy Burnworth and Howie Anderson draws its name from both Howie Anderson’s last name and the fact that Joy Burnworth grew up in Anderson, Indiana. The American duo boasts a ton of experience and talent, as Burnworth has worked with producers David Foster, Gerry Gallagher (Led Zeppelin, ACDC) and Matt Hyde (Jonny Lang, No Doubt). She has performed at both the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards and Burnworth has opened for artists such as Buffalo Springfield, Pat Benatar and Juice Newton. Joy Burnworth is also the first call sub for Jefferson Starship. Howie Anderson is the lead guitarist for The Strawberry  Alarm Clock and he has worked with Spencer Davis, actor Ben Vereen, Robbie Krieger of the The Doors, Peter & Gordon, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ed King, Jerry Corbetta (Sugarloaf) and drummer Buddy Miles to name but a few.

Joy Burnworth sat down with us recently and talked about her own career, the duo Anderson and where it all started for her.  

“I write all of the lyrics and it all starts with me.  I start with the lyrics and I usually have some type of a melody, but sometimes I will not have a melody and Howie will start playing things to give me ideas. I take the lyric and the partial melody and I go to his house and we hash it out. We figure out if it is going to be in 3/4 or in 4/4 and figure out the tempos and all of that.  He comes up with the harmony and helps me to take the melody in a different route based on what he is playing,” says Burnworth. Read More

Mary McGuire Is Love Struck

Mary McGuire 2015 front pageWe caught up with American singer, songwriter and musician Mary McGuire recently, after she had performed the night before at the largest art competition in the world, Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan, an event that attracts people from all over the world. McGuire took time out from her busy schedule to talk to Riveting Riffs Magazine about her new album Love Struck

As for how long this album has been in the works, Mary McGuire says, “Oh gosh, a year and one-half. It was complicated to record an album in Detroit when I lived on Mackinac Island. I would find time that I could get off and I would come down state and coral all of the musicians, so I would get a session in at Pearl Sound. I was determined to make Love Struck at Pearl Sound, because Chuck Alkazian is a great producer. He has great ears and he knows how to make everything sound incredible. I trust him completely as a musician, because he is a great drummer and piano player. We were doing a little Blood Sisters (A band collaboration) pre-production test, because we were going to make an album and as it turned out we didn’t have the time or the finances to do it, so Barbara (Payton) said why don’t you just make your album? I said that’s a great idea.  That is how that got started. I started to get everybody that I could, to play on the album. I went in and I recorded fourteen acoustic songs, just my guitar and me and songs that we could choose from to make the album. We settled on seven. Read More

Kimmie Rhodes & Cowgirl Boudoir

Kimmie Rhodes 2015 front page photoCowgirl Boudoir an album released in March of this year by Kimmie Rhodes on Sunbird Records is a family affair, as her daughter Jolie Goodnight appears on background vocals and one of her two sons Gabriel Rhodes produced the album. There were songwriting collaborations with friends Johnny Goudie, Colin Linden and Gary Nicholson, while others were written either solely by Kimmie Rhodes or in collaboration with Gabriel Rhodes.  The songs once again demonstrate Rhodes’ prowess as a songwriter and why over the years iconic artists such as Emmylou Harris, Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, Wyonna Judd, Waylon Jennings and several others have recorded the songs that she has written.  

Cowgirl Boudoir is a musical experiment we decided that we would have.  I have been working as an associate producer on a documentary that is going to be presented by the Country Music Hall of Fame and (I am working) with a producer named Eric Geadelmann. It covers the period of time from the late sixties until the mid-eighties. This is when all the different influences started to come in and a lot of people came back to Country music, with The Byrds and Dylan and all of that. When I did my show Radio Dreams I listened to a lot of different music. I was revisiting a lot of music. For (many) years I was writing a lot and focusing on that and I wasn’t really listening that much to what other music was out there.  Then I did the Covers record and I also started working on this documentary. I really revisited a lot of the music from that era Read More

New Merle Jagger Album Soon

Mark Christian front page BTake a little bit of Merle Travis, a touch of Buck Owens, mix in a Rock guitarist who played on a Berlin (“You Take My Breath Away”) record and received an invitation to join the band, was a session player for Moon Martin, The Monkees, Robert Palmer and The Village People (also served as a songwriter) and you have a pretty highly regarded and eclectic guitarist. Los Angeles guitarist Mark Christian who is also a well-respected producer and sound engineer now has people whispering his name respectfully in Country Music circles as his band Merle Jagger causes ears to perk up with their original songs “Hillbilly No. 9,” and “Ranch Party,” as well as their cover of Earl Scruggs’ “Randy Lynn Rag.”

Mark Christian explains how the band’s name was determined, “The Merle of Merle Jagger is actually Merle Travis. Merle Travis was in behind the calculated science of my band name.  Merle Travis was the first Country guitar hero. He wrote “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette,” and he wrote “Sixteen Tons.” He was the Bruce Springsteen of the 40s. He played a Bigsby tremolo (guitar). He was playing with a thumb pick and he would pick the guitar like a banjo. He played all of the bass lines and the guitar lines together at the same time.

Chet Atkins admitted he got everything from Merle Travis. He basically stole his style. He applied it to what he was doing and then everybody else followed. Pretty much the whole Read More

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