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Pam Tillis - New Album

Pam Tillis photo for front pagePam Tillis’ eleventh album Looking for a Feeling, reminds you of being a child, back in the day and standing in the candy store with a quarter or fifty cents and looking at all the penny candy, so many yummy treasures to choose from. Fortunately with this album, Grammy Award and Country Music Award winning singer, songwriter and musician Pam Tillis lets us have all of these delicious songs on one album. Just like the candy store when all of the treats came in different colors and each with its own unique taste, Looking for a Feeling offers the same diversity of colors, shades, moods and vibes.  Pam Tillis joined us recently at Riveting Riffs Magazine to talk about her new album.

Looking for a Feeling, is as personal as anything that I have done, maybe ever. I am in a lot of ways a really private person, which kind of runs counter to what an artist is supposed to be. You know cut a vein and bleed on the page. I am very private and so it takes a lot for me to do that. I think in some ways I am understated with my feelings. In a lot of songs I am just trying to process the craziness that is life and the craziness that is our world and I am trying to put it into context. I (want) to understand it. There is an underpinning and in some ways it is a little bit philosophical. If you listen long enough you will hear it in there,” says Pam Tillis.

As for why she co-wrote the title song with Waylon Payne she says, “Because it said write me (she laughs lightly). You don’t always get a choice. Some days you pick up the guitar and you get out your laptop or your yellow legal pad and you might as well be digging a ditch. Some days you pick up the guitar and it talks and the words are just coming through you. That’s what happened that day. It was kind of a moody gray day.  Read More

Giulia Millanta - New Album Now!

Giulia Millanta Photo Front Page AThe album Tomorrow is a Bird by Giulia Millanta will be released on October 16 (2020) and for those of you who enjoy music that invites you to both sing along with it, as well as causes you to be reflective, you are going to love this record. As a songwriter Giullia Millanta, lyrically can easily be mentioned in the same breath as artists such as, Paula Cole and Shawn Colvin. Originally from Florence, Italy, the singer, songwriter, musician has made Austin, Texas her home for the past eight years. As a build up the album dropping this month there singles were release on consecutive months, “Sugar Home,” in July, the title track “Tomorrow is a Bird” (August) and Castle in the Clouds (September), and each has been greeted with an enthusiasitc response from listeners. You can order the album and her book Between the Strings here and receive signed copies of both.  

During our recent conversation, Giulia Millanta talked about her title track, “Tomorrow is a Bird,” “I wrote the song completely by accident (she laughs lightly). It is one of those songs that I really didn’t sit down to write. I was in Colordo housesitting for a friend of mine in February of 2019 and I was having breakfast. It was one of those blissful moments when you don’t think, you don’t intend to and you are not trying to, but it just happened. I took my guitar and I opened my notebook and I just started writing. I didn’t even know what I was writing about. It happens sometimes. I have had multiple conversations with other songwriters (and it happens to them). Afterwards, perhaps in a couple of days or even a couple of years later, I think oh that’s what it was! (more laughter)

Maybe it sounds weird, but that is what happened with the song. I was writing it and it Read More

Heidi Newfield -- New Album!

Heidi Newfield AMusic fans have been waiting a long time for another album from Heidi Newfield, the northern California (now living in Nashville) Country singer, songwriter and musician with the Bluesy feel or as she takes occasion on The Barfly Sessions to demonstrate the Blues artist with the Country twang. Just when fans were excited about her new album’s release last spring the COVID-19 virus dashed those plans, but she is forging ahead now with an August 28 th (2020) release.

She explains why, “The light is still on and those of us who are still here, are still looking for great music. Regardless of if I get to tour it or not, I feel it is my duty to put (The Barfly Sessions) out.

Putting a record out like this has been such a labor of love, with so much time and effort by a multitude of people, not just myself. To make a record like this and without having put music out for a while and then boom you go okay I am going to jump. I am going to put this thing out and then this happens.

I had to search my heart and ask am I prepared for what may or may not happen when you put a record out and you cannot tour around it? That is a whole new world for all of us when we are putting music out. It is like stepping off a cliff and you don’t know if you are going to fly or not. I pray that is the case. I hope that is the case. I hope it catches on and if it is a slow burn that is fantastic. If it catches on fire that is great too. The world of uncertainty that we live in right now is very difficult. We are calling it the year that never happened.”

We pointed out to Heidi Newfield there have been many Country music artists who embarked on their careers without ever having set foot on a ranch or a farm, but how her story really Read More

Rebecca Howell

Rebecca Howell PhotoWhen you hear singer Rebecca Howell talking about how Carrie Underwood has been her role model since she was a child and she is effusive about Kelly Clarkson who served as her coach on the televised music competition The Voice, you sense that you are speaking with a very well-grounded young woman. When you add to that incredible and powerful vocals, complimented by an engaging personality, you know you have a winning combination. Riveting Riffs Magazine sat down on the phone with Rebecca Howell, and from her home in Cochran, Georgia she talked about growing up in a musical family.

“I have quite a large family.  My immediate family (consists) of my parents, my older brother and me.  With my extended family both my mother and father have huge families and we are very close. Even with my third cousins I know who all of them are.  We get together every year and I have a huge support system. It is really great.

When my father was in college, he was the lead singer in a Rock band. He also plays the guitar. That is where I got my love for music. His whole family (she pauses momentarily) his mother, a lot of his siblings and many of his cousins, they all sing or play an instrument. Growing up I was always around other musicians or people who sing and at gatherings I would sit on the porch and sing at family gatherings. I have been around music since the beginning.

They are happy memories, especially now since there are so many people in my family who have passed. It is special to reflect upon those days when I got to sing with my grandmother, my aunts and uncles at family gatherings. It was really a great experience to sit there and enjoy it.  Read More

Gary Nicholson - Two New Albums

Gary Nicholson Photo Front PageIt is not often that an artist puts out two albums at the same time, but then when you go by two professional names Gary Nicholson and Whitey Johnson and the albums have entirely different themes then maybe it should not be surprising that is what Nicholson / Johnson did recently.

“I am still writing songs about what is still going on in our culture. I am going to make another record that speaks to this situation that we are in. I want to temper that with the Whitey Johnson music that offers some fun and humor and some rocking Blues music that can go along with the Folk music of the Great Divide (one of the new albums). I think the two things work well together and that is why I chose to put out the two records at the same time. Thankfully Blue Corn Music was agreeable to releasing both records,” says Nicholson referencing the other album More Days Like This released under his other moniker Whitey Johnson.

So, just before we get into the main part of our conversation we thought we would tell you how Gary Nicholson, singer, songwriter and guitarist also acquired the name Whitey Johnson.

“The Whitey Johnson persona started when I wrote a short story about Whitey Johnson who was a composite character from my youth. He was a guitar hero of mine. He was black, but he was albino, so his family called him Whitey and that short story appeared in a book called Guitar in a Tent. A lot of songwriters wrote short stories for this book. (Kris) Kristofferson and John Hiatt and others wrote stories. That is how the Whitey Johnson thingRead More

Eilen Jewell Releases Gypsy 

Eilen Jewell replacement Photo Front PageYou will travel a long way and you will meet a lot of singers, musicians and other people in life, before you will meet someone as nice as Eilen Jewell who took time out from writing more splendid songs and family life with husband Jason Beek and their five year old daughter Mavis to talk about her new album Gypsy. A decade had passed since Eilen Jewell had been our guest at Riveting Riffs Magazine, when she released her Sea of Tears album, and our conversation began with talking about the move from the northeast United States back to Boise, Idaho a few years ago. It was an important part of our conversation, because those Idaho roots provide the color and the fabric of Eilen Jewell’s music.

“I felt pretty homesick almost as soon as I left (Idaho). Part of me enjoyed feeling homesick and I wanted to keep it up and to keep it going, which is why I stayed away as long as I did.  I was gone for fifteen years and then I just felt like I had been homesick long enough and it was time to go home. I really have enjoyed being back here. Part of it is Jason Beek my husband and drummer and I, we were ready to buy a house. We felt we would never be able to afford that in the northeast.  Now we have this sweet little home and two years after we bought our house we had our little girl, Mavis. It has been really nice to raise her here in Idaho. I don’t think I could do the big city parenting thing. I see people with strollers on subways and I just cringe. I don’t think I could hack it. I am just a western girl by nature,” she says.

Seguing back to the album Gypsy, Eilen Jewell says, “(It has been four years) since my last album of original material. I released an album of Blues covers in 2017. It was calledRead More

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