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.
Hey guys! As always, I’m revamping my gear and constantly working at getting super fast setup/ breakdown times. Tonight, I was able to setup comfortably in about 10 minutes. (Such a relief!) After a quick tune, I went straight into David Gray’s, “Babylon”, for a sound check. This room was almost silent when I started setting up. In this video, you can really hear how live music brings a room alive.
“Babylon” is definitely in the top of my favorite songs and was fortunate to catch a recording of my version. Video is never the best from a cell phone but the audio turned out fairly well so I wanted to post it up and share with you. If you liked my cover, sign up to follow the blog on the right or go subscribe to my youtube channel. And of course, do the Instagram thing, too!
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.
We all know that things get crazy sometimes and don’t get me wrong, I feel like this, too. There are always those moments when you want to be in someone else’s shoes. You might want to live a different life or even a different lifestyle. There isn’t anything wrong with change or seeking something new and exciting. The problem develops when we lose touch with our own reality as we drown in social media. I’m not knocking social media by any means but let’s face it, everyone is always trying to be one up on the other person. It’s a competition, survival of the fittest, the coolest pic, the best meme, etc.. You follow? This is all good as well. In fact, this can serve as an inspiration to drive you to create better content and live a better and a more fulfilling life. It’s the envy that I’m getting at. Jealousy can really break down an individual in many situations. Like many of you, I have been there, done that, and bought that t-shirt. Hell, I might have even unwillingly bought 3 of those shirts… haha
If there is one thing I have learned, you have to keep your head up. Be proud of who you are. Do you. Be yourself. I guarantee there is no one else in this entire world that is or will ever be exactly like you. I wanted to share this jam from my man, Allen Stone. Just the title, “Love where you’re at” says it all. If you can’t love yourself and love where you’re at, I think you’re doing it all wrong. The grass is always going to be greener where you water it.
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.
Old school for me is late 80’s and early 90’s. I was an early 80’s baby that grew up in one of the weirdest times, I feel, our country has ever seen. Growing up in the 80’s with an older brother, also a musician, gave me the opportunity to be exposed to a lot of different music. Rock music in these days consisted of big hair and lots of makeup. The big crazy hair and makeup wasn’t really my thing but I definitely rocked the tapered stonewash jeans and wore some pretty funky shirts back in the day. Oh, nostalgia! However, when the 90’s came rolling around with wide-leg baggy jeans, worn-out t-shirts, grunge music blasting from strung out, loud and rebellious rockers, I knew something good was going come from this era.
This week I wanted to share a few of my favorite bands in the 90’s. Not only were these bands cranking out good tunes, they had a huge influence in my life as a person, musician, and a songwriter. Unfortunately, many of these talented artists are no longer with us but their music will live on forever. That’s one of the great things about music. It never dies! Speaking of which, I’ll get to it.
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.
Here is another short clip from the video I got the other night out at Tin Lizzy’s. Im still impressed with the audio from the new Sony HDR-mv1. I have several new ideas/ songs in the making and might do some acoustic versions as I work on them digitally. So if you are interested in seeing those and what else is in store for 2017, hit the follow button, give me a like on Facebook, and hit subscribe on the YouTube channel. I’ll also be posting some video of other bands I’ve been filming around the Atlanta area on YouTube and they’ll be uploaded on my videography page and also putting a separate blog out on my photography page. Thanks for watching!
I was playing around with the new Sony HDR-MV1 at my gig the other night and cranked out a few cool covers I enjoy doing often. Although I do enjoy ‘time in a bottle,’ this is prob my favorite by Jim Croce. Thanks for listening!