(Part 1) A Night at Poor David’s with String Theory and Ireland Harber

Recently while visiting a friend in Texas I had the pleasure of seeing Emmet Cahill, String Theory and Ireland Harber perform live at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas. This is a two-part blog series because there was so much talent it was just too big for one post.

For this series I was fortunate enough gain use of pictures from that night taken by the incredible Amanda Grace of Gilded Isle Photography! All images used in this series are hers.

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After a lovely Q&A/meet and greet with Emmet Cahill before the opening act, we sat down to watch the amazement that is String Theory! This band is made up of University of North Texas graduate Jesse Ramirez on guitar, and North Texas School of Irish Music student Nathan Kennedy on fiddle.

What first caught my eye was their perfect rhythm and synchronization, as both  played so naturally like that was the only thing their arms were made for. These lads are Celtic instrumental at its finest! As I sat there listening I wished this could be the soundtrack to me horseback ridding through Irish moorland (I have artsy dreams, okay?).

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I was most impressed by Kennedy’s fiddling. During each song he added so much emotion and narrative with his well-seasoned playing, then to my amazement I learned that Kennedy was only thirteen years old! This lad has talent beyond his years. I am completely proud to say that Kennedy was just recently in Ireland competing in the world championships of Irish music, the Fleadh Cheoil! Kennedy is the first Texas youth fiddler to qualify and compete in this championship!

For those of you lucky enough to live in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex, stop by The Celt Irish Pub where String Theory frequent. These lads put on an incredible show!

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After Emmet Cahill did a few songs, Ireland Harber, another member of the North Texas School of Irish Music, came up on stage to sing. The whole room stilled as she told the beautifully mournful and truly Celtic ballad “The Last Rose of Summer” with a grace that many professional singers lack.

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At the end of her song, Cahill broke the room’s stillness with a proud “She’s ten” and proceeded to gush on her talent saying how it was, “The best performance of that song I’ve seen, and I’m not just saying that ’cause you’re here.” I have only seen this song performed that one time but I can most certainly say that it was breathtaking.

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For her last song Harber joined Cahill in “Go Lasse Go”. Her gorgeous harmonies alongside her sweet and truly Celtic voice, stole the hearts of all who listened. I was also extremely impressed by how relaxed Harber was onstage, even down to interacting with the audience. This lass will go places!

These people have been some of my favorite opening and guest artists, and I can’t wait until they have opening artists of their own.

Click here for part two of A Night at Poor David’s with Emmet Cahill

You can find:

String Theory on Facebook

Jesse Ramirez on Facebook and jesse-ramirez.com

Ireland Harber and Nathan Kennedy in their Irish Folk band Innisfall on Facebook.

North Texas School of Irish Music on Facebook and at schoolofirishmusic.org

Legit Photographer Amanda Grace on Facebook, Instagram @gildedisle and gildedisle.com

Dé Luain sásta– Gems of Genres

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Kitty, Daisy and Lewis: A Rockin’ Rhythm and Blues Trio

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis

Kentish Town trio Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have a vintage groove of Rhythm & Blues, Hawaiian, and Rock ‘n’ Roll that make you want to dance ’till the nights end. What started out as three siblings playing music in their front room has now turned into world-wide phenomenon, as KD&L have gained a fan base in America, most all of Europe, Australia, and even parts of Asia. But that’s no wonder considering their infectious sound of sleazy trumpet, muted slide guitar licks, grooving base vibes, and that enticing snare drum that convinces all to put on their dancing shoes.

Between the three of them Kitty, Daisy & Lewis play a variety of instruments including Guitar, Piano, Drums, Harmonica, Lap Steel, Ukulele, Banjo, Xylophone, Trombone, and Accordion. On top of that Lewis has an extensive collection of vintage recording equipment which he uses in their home studio. All of KD&L’s music is recorded analogue on 8-track tape machines; No computers or digital recording equipment is ever used, giving KD&L a rawer, more natural sound, almost like they’re playing right there in the room.

In addition to the three siblings Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are joined by parents Ingrid Weiss on Bass and Daddy Grazz on Acoustic Guitar, and legendary Jamaican Trumpet player Eddie “Tan Tan” Thornton.

KD&L are signed to BBC Radio DJ, Rob Da Bank’s record label Sunday Best. Sunday Best has signed artists such as Ben Ottewell, Skinny Lister, and even David Lynch.

KD&L The Third

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have recently released their third studio album “Kitty, Daisy & Lewis The Third”. Long-time fan Mick Jones (The Clash) has co-produced the new album.

“With Mick on board, it was the first time we have worked with a producer,” says Lewis, “Just having someone else in the room meant we could start bouncing ideas off other people and that was great.”

Take a listen to their hit single “Baby Bye Bye”, which has gained high acclaim as BBC Radio 1’s Record of the Week.

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are some of the most talented young artists I can think of. Their music brings all the good of the past, and makes it fit the 21 century.

You can order “Kitty, Daisy and Lewis The Third” here on Amazon and ITunes as well as their other awesome music. You can find KD&L on Facebook, Twitter, and at kittydaisyandlewis.com

Keep on Rockin’

Gems of Genres

I Am Still Alive

Why hello my readers, do you still remember me? Much apologies for the lack of writing over the past months, but Thanksgiving, Christmas, friends visiting, New Years, and a move have kept me busy since we last chatted. Well, I am still alive. I have not fallen off a cliff, or anything tragic like that, I just have a life. Haha!

Good news though, things have settled down for me and I shall soon begin posting! Hooray! Perhaps by next week I shall have a post up!

Keep a look out for future artist features on: Rebecca Harkin, The O’s, The Subways, Kitty Daisy and Lewis, and so many more.

To quench your musical thirst for the time being, here is a song that I have been absolutely obsessed with from JD McPherson’s much anticipated second album “Let The Good Times Roll”. The albums release date is February, 10, 2015. You can pre-order Let The Good Times Roll here.

JD McPherson: Bossy

You can find JD McPherson on Facebook, Twitter, and at jdmcpherson.com

Thank you all for your support. Best wishes and a MerryThankfulNew Holiday thing, and any other red letter days I’ve missed.

Keep on Rockin’,

Gems of Genres

Grant Lee-Phillips: A Folksy Troubadour with many Stories

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Singer-songwriter, Grant Lee Phillips has a way of telling stories you want to hear. His genre is Folk, edging towards Country, along with many Ballads. His sound is comparable to Van Morrison, Neil Young, The Head and Heart, and even an early Bob Dylan.

Phillips’ music puts you in a whirlwind of amazement. His smooth and smoky croon suddenly changes to a harmonizing falsetto, as the fiddle howls in tune with the twelve-string guitar’s rhythmic canter; The banjo twangs a plucky melody, while his story unfolds.

Even though Phillips has so much talent in his songwriting, the fact that he is a multi-instrumentalist, (Capable of playing guitar, bass, mandolin, synthesizer, and harmonica, for a short list), only adds to his envious skill.

Take a listen:

Mona Lisa” “Buried Treasure

One thing I love about his most recent album “Walking in the Green Corn” (2012), is glphow well incorporated his Muscogee heritage is. Many of the songs are based off Native legends and history, and how those stories continue to influence, and be of use in today’s life.

Take his song “The Straighten Outer” for example,

“…Hammer of the straighten outer, working overtime. And all the world’s a rattle snake; Waiting to unwind. And all the world needs setting straight, In his crooked mind…” Is a perfect example of how this world has problems needing to be faced and dealt with.

Or “Buffalo Hearts“, and its evocative image of the Trail of Tears, “…Remember the ones. Traveled so far. All that was lost on that walk…”

  “After becoming a father, I wanted to be able to answer all those questions I know I’ll be asked one day, when my daughter takes an interest in where we come from,” says Phillips about his heritage.

GrantLeePhillipsPhillips’ is such an amazing musician, he should play in film…In fact he has. Grant has been on soundtracks for various TV shows, including “Bones”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How I Met Your Mother”. He even was given a role in the hit comedy “Gilmore Girls” as the town Troubadour, and much of his music was used for the soundtrack as well.

Phillips tells stories that have meaning, and depth. The message you gain from his music simply is, move on from the bad things of the past, not forgetting but always learning from, and make what you can of life. Make it good.

I’ll leave you guys with this song, “Walking in the Green Corn“.

You can find Grant Lee Phillips on Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and at grantleephillips.com You can purchase his albums, including “Walking in the Green Corn”, here.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and have a musical week. 😀

Happy Monday!

 

Let’s Get Stevie Ray Vaughan in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

Ladies and Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan is qualified to be inducted the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. This year the Hall is letting fans vote for their favorite artist via online election. You can vote here.

Now out of all the candidates Vaughan is at the top of my list, because he’s too awesome not to be in the world-renown Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Vaughan’s style is a grooving mix of Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll, drawing inspiration from artists such as Albert King, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, and Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell. His music is passionate and soul-stirring. It makes you anticipate each note, each chord, each stellar lick; making you eager to hear more, (It may also make you un-unashamedly play air guitar).

Take a listen:

Pride and Joy”  “Texas Flood

Vaughan grew up in Oak Cliff, Texas, a rather sketchy side of Dallas. He started music even though many did not support him. At a young age Vaughan got into alcohol and then drug use.

In 1979 he formed the band “Double Trouble”. The bandstevie and guitar consisted of  Vaughan, bassist Tommy Shannon, Chris Layton on drums, and Reese Wynans on keys. On September, 28, 1986, while on a European tour with his band, Vaughan fell sick with near-death dehydration, caused by his drug and alcohol use. He was put into medical care that night. One doctor told him that he wouldn’t live a month, after that he put himself in rehabilitation for four weeks, and achieved sobriety.

“Left to my own devices, I would have killed myself. But now I know that I want to stay alive and I want to stay as healthy as possible, and grow in that way,” said Vaughan about his addiction.

srvVaughan went on to play with artists such as, B.B. King, David Bowie, Jackson Browne, ZZ Top, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck, among many others. He released five albums, two of which, “Couldn’t Stand the Weather”(1984) and “Soul to Soul” (1985), made it onto the Billboard 200 list.

After twenty-five years of amazing music, Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash August, 27, 1990.

In the words of Reverend Barry Bailey, Vaughan’s AA sponsor, “We’re here to thank God for this man’s life. He was a genius, a superstar, a musician’s musician. He captured the hearts of thousands and thousands of people. I am thankful for the impact of this man’s influence on thousands of people in getting his own life together in the name of God.”

His music has, and is continuing to inspire numerous musicians. He was a great man and a great musician, and I think he deserves to be in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. So if you would please vote for Stevie. You do not need an email to vote, and can vote daily. The election ends December 9th so get ’em in while you can.

For more information on Stevie Ray Vaughan, you can go to his website or Facebook page. You can purchase his music at Amazon and ITunes.

Keep on Rockin’ and have happy Saturday!  ♪

JD McPherson: A Soulful and Energetic, 50’s Style, Americana Rocker.

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JD McPherson is a phenomenal musician. His style is a mix of a 50’s swing, with good bit of Oklahoma country, and a streak of Rockabilly. His Rhythm and Blues is that to be compared to the likes of Little Richard and Chuck Berry. While his Southern folksy flair reminds me of a mid-fifties Cochran Brothers. It is truly the essence of American Rock ‘n’ Roll.

When McPherson performs, his show is like that of none other. A clear toned guitar intro interrupts the murmur of the crowd as he begins his hit “Dimes for Nickels”. Immediately the room is filled with twirling skirts and jiving couples, as the catchy beat grasps hold of your hands and feet. Adrenaline consumes you, while both young and old bop to his anthems of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

McPherson sings with such power and soul, you can’t help but wonder if the Scottish man in front of you is lip-syncing and a black gospel singer is in the back belting out the lyrics for him. But no no, McPherson is just that good. His voice captivates the audience with a daring shout, as he rocks out electric chords on his blond Fender Stratocaster.

Although McPherson’s sound is influenced by “old school” music, it’s certainly not a time-machine record. Subtle streaks of Punk and Hip Hop weave into his style, making his music a modernized Rock ‘n’ Roll. (Without making it sound like a toddler finger painted with genres.) One of McPherson’s greatest talents is he doesn’t just have a sound, he molds it to what he wants.

McPherson has performed on numerous late night shows including: Conan, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and David Letterman to name a few. In 2012 Rolling Stone Magazine called McPherson an “artist to watch”. His album “Signs & Signifiers”, was awarded Best Rock/Hard Rock album by the Independent Music Awards.

His band consists of bassist Jimmy Sutton, drummer Jason Smay, Ray Jacildo on keys and synthesizer, and Sax/multi-instrumentalist, Doug Corcoran. These men are great musicians and even better people.

McPherson’s album “Signs & Signifiers” is truly amazing. His music is perfect at any given time, whether it’s being played at a swing hall or while you’re washing the dishes. His is the kind of music that’s appropriate enough to play around your brothers kid, but the great thing about McPherson is, you actually enjoy his songs. (No! No more wheels ’round the bus! Please!)

All in all, if you don’t already know who JD McPherson is, go check him out. If he is ever performing near you go and see him. The boys put on a show that will not disappoint.

McPherson’s new album “Let The Good Times Roll” will be released February, 10, 2015. Click here to pre-order the album, both in CD and LP Record. Currently the first 100 orders get a free “Let The Good Times Roll” patch.

 

You can find JD McPherson on Facebook, Twitter, and at http://jdmcpherson.com  You can purchase Signs and Signifiers on Amazon and ITunes.