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November 2008
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January 2009

Abi Tapia "The beauty in the ruin"


Abi Tapia chased the music around the country, playing legendary listening rooms like Club Passim, The Bitter End, The Bluebird Café and Eddie's Attic, while other nights she sang her heart out in crowded living rooms, libraries, or under a gazebo on a sprawling Texas ranch. Her songwriter's sensibility allows her to appreciate the details and subtle differences of each place she visits and offers potential adventure and inspiration. That inspiration led to 12 new songs and Abi Tapia once again called on Chris Gage to produce. 

2008's The Beauty in the Ruin explores sadness and frustration, which after 8 years of the starving artist's life Abi had plenty of, but there is a common thread of hope, redemption and joy in all of these supposedly sad songs. It is full of sing-able hooks and straddles country, folk and rock with ease, incorporating fiddle and pedal steel as well as some crunchy electric guitars and big drums. Abi and Chris got along so well that Gage and his wife and partner Christine Albert (together known as the Americana duo Albert and Gage) collaborated with Abi to release The Beauty in the Ruin on their label, MoonHouse Records. Happily, Abi is packing up and heading out across the country with her wanderlusty music in hand. 

With a new album to promote, a strong community of friends and fellow artists in Austin, the energy of and support of her partnership with MoonHouse Records and the ability to find the bright side in any situation, how could Abi not be smiling? But she won't stop moving, because there could always be something even better just over the horizon. 

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt - Hemifran 

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Fayssoux "Early"


Fayssoux's debut album "Early" is a stunning work of grace and beauty, featuring a combination of originals, works of old friends (like Rodney Crowell and Paul Craft), traditional folk, old-time gospel, country rock and love ballads. Fayssoux's voice was an integral element of some of country music's finest recordings. As Fayssoux Starling, she sang duet and harmony vocals on Emmylou Harris' "Green Rolling Hills", "Spanish is a Loving Tongue," "Bluebird Wine", "Too Far Gone" and more. 

After years out of the recording business, Fayssoux (now McLean) was rediscovered by music journalist, author and singer-songwriter Peter Cooper, who convinced her to return to performing and who produced this record. In a fun turn of events on this CD, Emmylou Harris now sings harmonies for Fayssoux. Other guests include Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, David Ball and the legendary Lloyd Green on pedal steel and Dobro. 

Thanks to Peter Holmstedt - Hemifran

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Richard Page's back with a new song, a new site and great news...


Last time I've been talked about Richard Page (Pages, Mr Mister, 3rd Matenee), he was performing live with Peter Wolf's all star band "Powerhaus" in Ojay. Since his solo record "Shelter me", Richard 's been concentrated on writing songs for others. Over the years, many people have told him that they 'd like to hear more and now it's the time to listen to a brand new song co-written with Walter Afanasieff "I always cry at Christmas" and produced by his wife Linda. That song is just amazingly beautiful!

An other great news is that Richard has now his official site and plans to share his music through it in the future.  He says "My intention is to post some of my new songs here and on iTunes on a regular basis. This seems like the perfect way for me to release songs that I want to share with you all at a pace I feel comfortable with. (and maybe offset some of the horrible sounding bootleg demos that have been making their way around the internet)" and adds "My wish is that in some small way, the music I post here will be of benefit to all who listen".

Zac Brown Band's third album "The foundation"


Playing upwards of 200 dates a year, more than 3,000 shows in their career and selling more than 30,000 CDs independently, Zac Brown Band has only begun its ascent. The band's aggressive touring has helped it develop a fanatical grassroots following by winning over believers one person at a time. Driven by awe-inspiring musicianship, skillful songwriting and a dynamic live show that inspires word-of-mouth buzz, Zac Brown Band is already embraced by audiences who sing along with every word. 

"It's kind of crazy how we can go to a place where no one's heard of us before and by the time we leave people are singing the songs," bandleader Zac Brown says. "We've got a great following." It's not an easily pigeonholed crowd either; loyal country music fans, jam lovers and seemingly everyone in between are enjoying the shows. The Zac Brown Band has already landed support slots with artists such as Sugarland, ZZ Top, Travis Tritt, Etta James, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, Willie Nelson and BB King

Zac Brown gigged as a solo artist for several years with jaw-dropping flat-picking skills and an extensive catalog of originals, as well as an encyclopedic knowledge of popular songs. He formed the current incarnation of the Zac Brown Band four years ago. Members of the band include bassist John Hopkins, fiddler Jimmy De Martini and more recent additions of guitarist/organist Coy Bowles and drummer Chris Fryar. 

While one wall of the band's rehearsal space sports a whiteboard chock full of upcoming coast-to-coast tour dates, the other is graffitied with hundreds of song titles--sharing space on a wall that also includes a Bob Marley banner and a framed portrait of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. "Everything has to do with the song," Brown observes. "Every song is born and wants to go its own direction. When audiences hear a new song for the first time, if at the end of it they're going crazy and cheering, you know you've pulled it off." As important as the songs are, the band is equally serious about its ability to perform, holding the virtuosity of a bluegrass outfit like Alison Krauss & Union Station as the standard for musicianship. "Everybody in my band is able to burn his instrument down to the ground," Brown notes, matter-of-factly. "I'm blessed because the people I play with are just fantastic." 

The Foundation is the band's third album, and one could hardly hope for a better calling card for new fans. Brown's love for musical diversity is apparent from the first single and which is already showing early promise at radio, "Chicken Fried," an utterly authentic take on his Georgia-bred existence during which audiences routinely are pressed into service to sing the choruses; "Toes," which calls Jimmy Buffett to mind in its ode to beach life; and "Free," which has turned into an audience anthem during recent tour stops.


And music only scratches the surface of what Zac Brown is all about. The Dahlonega, Ga.-raised husband and father is a chef and former restaurant owner renowned for his homemade special sauces and savory Southern cooking.Additionally, he's developing a charitable foundation to run a children's camp (lending even more resonance to the album's title). Despite all the irons in the fire, Brown nonetheless calls his foundation and camp plans his "life's work." "Having the camp and giving back is important for me," he says. "I'm very blessed to have what I have, and I know a lot of that's on credit for what I do down the road. It's very important for me to keep that in mind. I want to leave something behind that does some good after I'm gone." But the Zac Brown Band is far from gone. And no one will be having a better time along the way. "We laugh all the time," he observes. "You're either sleeping or up laughing and having a good time. Or we're playing music. It's better than I could have dreamed of."There are probably a few thousand--or hundred thousand--shows between now and the end of the line. And Brown is confident more will want to join the party.

"Alive and living", One Night Rodeo's new single.


Known for their energetic stage shows and slick-sounding fast songs as well as their heartfelt ballads, One Night Rodeo is a band that not only is appealing to a more youthful demographic, but has gained fans of all ages from all parts of the U.S. 

The accomplished, credentialed band One Night Rodeo is the poster band for balancing a childlike creativity with a grown-up sensibility. Playing at well known venues all over their native state of Florida, Jack Tamburin, Cory Hildreth, Duane Allison, Mike Elrod , and Danielle Jorgensen clearly have a blast performing, trading off lead singing duties (with no weak link among the strong voices) and all of them brandishing riffs at one another, this group definitely puts on a commanding performance you wont want to miss. 

The Bradenton-Sarasota based band has been together over a nine year period with almost the same lineup — an impressive feat in the capricious music world. They've regularly played the famous Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville, and its cousin in Orlando. They've opened for Rascal Flatts four times, Keith Urban twice, and Montgomery Gentry among many other seasoned professionals they've had the pleasure to share the stage with. It would be a much shorter list to mention the artists that they haven't performed with than to try to list the ones that they have. 

Watch them play and their high-test bio won't surprise you — the band is excellent: tight, well rehearsed, versatile and energetic. They'll present the best of country music on the radio now, a smattering of classic favorites, and a handful of their own original tunes from one of their four self-written and self-produced records. 

Hildreth has a solid, fine singing voice along with the crowd pleasing stage personality that every front man desires while swapping the keys for mandolin and acoustic guitar. 
Allison's bass playing style has the relentless, in-your-face presence that defines every One Night Rodeo song they perform, and not surprisingly has a snap-to-attention voice that lends the powerful high-tenor to their songs, whether he's singing harmony or lead vocals. 

Tamburin, the founder of One Night Rodeo, plays dancing-fingered electric guitar with the charisma of any great guitarist to date, and takes lead singing duties with a commanding growl of a voice and has a long-haired rock-star attitude. He is the composer and lyricist of all their original material. Elrod, keeps a progressive rhythm on drums and is the driving force behind the music that makes the fans want to get out on the floor and dance. He also lends harmony vocals every now and then. 

Jorgensen, the most recent member of the group started with the band in 2005 at the tender age of 16, she has quickly matured into a versatile musician, trading the fiddle for both the acoustic guitar and electric guitar with flash and flair, bringing cheers and wild applause from the audience. They're seasoned pros, not only for their compelling sound but the way they read their audience, alternating fast-paced songs, line dance numbers and slow dances, while mixing in their top notch originals. Once you have seen them perform live you will definitely become a lifelong fan.


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