Live music always seems to enhance the atmosphere or environment an individual is in and current scientific research suggests it can even create a much more memorable experience. Whether I’m playing cover songs or my original sets, being able to express myself through writing, recording, and performing live music produces a powerful euphoric feeling I couldn’t possibly live without. If I had to say there was one significant thing that separates me from others in my field, I feel it would have to be my guitar playing. With over 30 years of experience in the field, I have discovered and welcomed a very intricate finger-picking style that probably sticks out the most.
I typically perform a variety of genres spanning many decades of great hits. For general bookings, I put together sets pulling from a growing 400+ pool of songs that work great for any event. However, I have found easy listening sets to be the most successful.
I heard this tune the other day browsing for some new stuff on Spotify and man, I dug up a good one! I must warn you, though, this one is an emotionally powerful, beautifully written and composed piece of work by Jason Isbell and his band. Once it began, I thought, “Ooo, I like the guitar” and “the vocals are smooth, too!”. I almost didn’t want to hear what I was hearing but I couldn’t stop it. After I finished listening to it, I couldn’t even really think straight. My mind raced as I searched for all the meaningful and even neglected memories that had been tucked away between the gyri and sulci of my cerebral cortex. I felt myself somehow emotionally gripping onto these as if I were already losing them. I felt frozen as the next song played. An overwhelming sadness had consumed me. It wasn’t even the sadness of the loss as much as it was the inevitable fact of simply facing reality. The reality that one day I’ll no longer be here and losing the ones that I travel through this journey with. Then, I played it again.
How does it make you feel?? I was trying to wait and post up a ‘weekly favs’ blog but this one was too good to wait.
So, I finally managed to get an Instagram page up for just my music stuff. I’m not sure what 2018 has in store for me just yet but I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one. In the wise words of Joe Dirt, “Life’s a garden, dig it!” Well, I have my garden prepared and lots of goodies planted. With that in mind, I’m hoping to get the chance to share some new stuff and some of my older jams with you guys as I get them recorded or edit clips from live performances.
If this sounds like something you’d like to keep up with, sign up to follow my blog here where I’ll be trying to post weekly with upcoming dates around Atlanta, videos, original music, etc while also sharing a bit more about me and growing up as a musician. If you just want the music and short video clips, then check out the live cover of Clapton’s version of “Nobody knows you” below and follow my Ig. Don’t be afraid to follow both! haha.. Seriously though, if you like this stuff or anything on my page, would like to hear me cover something, or just want to say hi, drop a comment.
Recently, I had the chance to listen to some of Chris Stapleton’s stuff on Spotify and ‘Traveler’ really got me. All my life I have been moving from one place to another just long enough to get my feet wet, then on the next. It is quite a liberating feeling but sometimes you meet people along the way that really grab your heart and it’s tough to let them go. I tip my hat to ya Chris. Well Done! Hope you guys enjoy this live version performed with his wife. Feel free to grab the studio version single as well.
I came across this cool acoustic version of Chris Lane’s ‘Fix’ a few weeks ago. I’m a sucker for stripped-down acoustic stuff by the way. If I can find good ones, I’m definitely going to share them. I think we have all been there when you meet someone new, sparks fly, and you simply just can’t get enough of them. When you don’t see them much, you need your fix! I think this song nails it.
This next one is the real deal. I know a lot of songs that try to hint around and draw circles around hidden meanings. Not this one! And that’s exactly what I love about it. It’s short, sweet and straight to the point. Hell, it might even you blush a little but I feel it for sure. ~ EricChurch – Like a wrecking ball ~
Ryan Adams is definitely one my favorite artists out there. I love how he nails this acoustic version of his studio hit, ‘Come pick me up’, here at this singer-songwriter night. The dynamic of his harmonica playing almost sends shivers down my spine. I love it! (Explicit Lyrics)
I was debating on putting John Mayer on here but since I am a huge fan, I think I’ll leave a blog post just for him and 5 of his songs that I like the most. Make sure to sign up for my blog over on the right and I’ll send it directly to your email if you want to catch that one and many others. Anyhow, Here’s one of my favorite Keith Urban jams. It’s such a feel-good summer song that makes me think about a new fling. John Mayer just happens to be on this live version I found and very accommodating I must say.
I picked up my old Kay archtop the other day during the tropical storm power outage and this tune suddenly came to me in all its entirety. I love it when that happens! And of course, I had to record it! I had originally planned to add percussion and some keys but once I heard it back with only an acoustic guitar, I was sold on it. I am usually super picky about getting recordings out but I’ve decided I just really want to share more of what I create and worry less about technicality. So, here it is to share with you. You can grab a high-quality wav of the song for only $1 if interested but also more than welcome to stream as many times as you like and share it for free! Thanks for listening!
This old blues standard is always a fun song for me. I love the picking style during the unplugged spin that Eric Clapton did nearly two decades ago now. Its hard to believe its been 20 years. And I just had a birthday last week so I feel especially old now! Seriously though, I love entire whole ‘Unplugged’ album. That album was a turning point for me as a musician. I remember learning ‘Tears in heaven,’ then performing it while singing it at my elementary school. I ended up winning the 4H tournament. I think I was in 6th grade or something. After that, I became so obsessed with that style of picking and sort of created my own version of it and infused it with a blues and folk. This is my version of Clapton’s version.
The lyrics are great, too! Mostly because I can actually memorize them. I never knew it was such an old song until I heard on some old blues stuff one day. Apparently, it was written way back in 1923 by a guy named, Jimmy cox. Jimmy wrote the song from the perspective of a millionaire during the prohibition era and the ebbs and flows with that kind of lifestyle. After the United States depleted nearly everything to survive the post-effects of World War I, the country went into a recession, and food rations suddenly went into effect. From the lyrics, Jimmy’s fictional character must have lost more than a higher food ration. The lyrics always inspired me because in times of need, you learn who your friends are and in most cases ‘nobody knows you.’ I think we have all felt the feelings of being alone and desperate. I added a link here, ‘Nobody knows you’ lyrics, if you want to follow along with the lyrics. I’m sure I change a few words here and there but the meaning stays the same. Also if you haven’t had the chance hear it, I highly recommend checking out Eric Clapton’s ‘Unplugged’ album. This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I’m not trying to compare or anything, but I couldn’t leave out the inspiration that brought me where I am now musically. Anyhow, I hope you guys enjoy. It had a great response on Instagram, so I thought I would blog it. So, go follow the Ig and you’ll get to see more cool stuff that I do with photography as well. You can also follow my photography blog as well, JLW Photography.