Putnam is a third-generation banjo player with a husky honey voice and some of the most charming songs being written today. His new album We Could Be Beekeepers is full of acoustic playfulness and sweetly rhyming heartache.
Here's a video of Putnam on banjo performing "Hummingbird Song" for a live radio performance.
"Hummingbird Song" Live on WMPG, Portland, Maine, March 2008
Because you'll rarely hear a sweeter, fresher more natural voice. Because wherever there's a campfire or song circle, you'll find Chris and her (much in demand) fiddle. Because October Valentine is a mesmerizing mix of melody and poetry.
Here's a video of Chris doing a simple solo performance of her song "Risk My Heart" at last year's Northeast Regional Folk Alliance conference.
Because she is the darling of Acoustic Pie listeners who repeatedly vote her into the Top 20 Song lists. Because she breaks the rules but still sounds timeless. Because her new album Chocolate Paper Suites is a mesmerizing mix of melody and poetry.
Here's a video of Krista playing one of my favorite songs "More than I Dare Say". If you're drawn to this simple version, you'll love the gorgeous arrangement on her album The Silver Woods : Wintersongs.
"More than I Dare Say" A PBS performance
Because this smoky-voiced waif-like beauty plays guitar with the big boys. Because her sad delicate songs will take you to a shadowed spot beside a rippling stream. Because her new album How I Learned to See in the Dark is yet another jewel in her treasure box of albums.
This is a video of Chris playing "California" in Brooklyn.
"California" At Southpaw in Brooklyn
Because he breathes a cool panache into the folky storyteller genre. Because his singing feels like your best friend sitting on the couch beside you. Because his new album Open Hand is as wonderfully engaging as anything he's done!
This is a video of David singing "Eye of the Hurricane" at a small show in his hometown of Asheville, N.C.
"Eye of the Hurricane" at the Grey Eagle, Asheville, N.C., Mar. 1, 2009.
Because he is a California boy with a voice like Carolina honey. Because his new album Live Your Song is a showcase of San Diego star talent and workmanship. Because Live Your Song is a beautiful collection of eight originals and two local covers in pure acoustic arrangements and now available at CD Baby.
Because he has it all ~ the voice, the songwriting, the style. Because he could have had anything he wanted on his new album Seeing Things. Because it's a paragon of pared-down acoustic beauty. Because it's really only all about the songs.
And here's a video of Jakob singing "Evil is Alive and Well" live on Woodsongs.
"Evil is Alive and Well" on Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour
Because her voice is as smooth, dark and indolent as European chocolate. Because her chameleon piano arrangements effortlessly take on any role from the second voice line to an orchestral accompaniment to an insurgent percussion section. Because her new albumCover Their Eyes is a glamorous effort channeled from an inky corner of an Old World bistro in a black-and-white movie.
And here's a lovely video of Krista and her partner David Weber performing a song from her last album Mudshow:
"Dancing in a Minefield" from Mudshow
Venue: WTIU for PBS (2006)
Because she is a lyrical puppet master able to evoke any emotion from heartbreak to righteous indignation to joy. Because her voice carries her gorgeous melodies with arresting power and subtlety. Because she dares to be herself, and a highly sarcastic self at that, in a business that prefers fluff and pretense. Because she is coming to San Diego in March and is the Acoustic Pie Pick of the Month.
This video is classic Cheryl. Dressed for a television appearance in a baggy t-shirt and faded jeans, she leans back her head, closes her eyes and bedevils you with her sultry, heavenly voice and the magic of this stunning song of homesickness.
An "American Music Shop" appearance, date unknown
I first saw Cheryl on some daytime talk show back in the early 1980's. She came onstage, probably in her usual t-shirt and jeans, and thunderstruck me with a beautifully simple performance of her song "Addicted". I was addicted. I bought my first Cheryl Wheeler CD that week and I've never stopped loving her voice and her songwriting.
Did anyone see her at a now defunct little San Diego coffeehouse venue in the mid-80's? My best recollection is that it may have been called New World Coffee. I'd love to hear from anyone else who was there. What an amazing show.
But I've found every one of Cheryl's shows amazing. I would guess that this is maybe only the third time that she has played in San Diego since I fell in love with her music. And I am so happy that she will be playing here in San Diego at a favorite venue, the beautiful church setting of Acoustic Music San Diego.
In case you didn't see it, Cheryl is also the Featured Artist on the Acoustic Pie home page this month and there's another great video posted there as well!
OK, so, it's tough to find online song samples for Cheryl's work! To this date, the gal still doesn't maintain a website or a MySpace page! Talk about independent! But try the following:
And it's not just because he wrote "Wichita Lineman" (one of the most achingly tender songs of all time), "Galveston" (so sad and so beautiful), and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" that Jimmy Webb is the Acoustic Pie Pick of the Month. He is also an astonishingly accomplished piano man and a great singer, too.
Go see for yourself! We're incredibly lucky to have him playing here in San Diego in the beautiful church setting of AcousticMusicSanDiego.com.
**Heads up! This show will sell out!**
**UPDATE! SOLD-OUT SHOW!**
Visit these sites below for lots of song samples from Jimmy Webb!
Because three smart songwriters and three strong lead vocalists adds up to pure acoustic magic. Because the harmonies, their signature 3-part sound in intertwining canons or as a vocalistic string section, can make your heart stop. Because their new albumJoyful Sign ties the Acoustic Pie record for most songs in the rotation at one time with five tracks added!
Tune in to Acoustic Pie Radio to catch all of my favorite Girlyman songs in the rotation !
~Kelley Martin, Acoustic Pie
Acoustic Pie Picks of the Month!
Three Holiday Shows!
Patty & John are some of the county's best house concert hosts ~ their energy and love of the music just add to the great space and fine acoustics they provide for their favorite artists. And some of Eve's acoustic shows here have ranked among my favorite shows of the year.
This is not a holiday show so much as a celebration of one of my favorite holiday themes ~ peace. Proceeds from this show will benefit the Peace Alliance organization in their campaign to establish a U. S. Dept. of Peace. Some of San Diego's best songwriters will be on hand to perform their songs of peace. Joe Rathburn, our host, emphasizes that this is not a political event and the atmosphere is, well, very peaceful.
Randi is one of San Diego's most professional performers. And what a talent ~ wonderful songwriting, beautiful voice, piano chops, and a funny and touching stage persona to round it off. You would never go wrong attending any event that she produces. But her holiday shows are especially wonderful!
Lisa Sanders will be one of the Very Special Guests that Randi shares the stage with on Dec. 16, but be assured that other San Diego luminaries will be joining them. A not-to-be missed event!
You can check out Randi's music at either the CD Baby or MySpace link below!
TallGuy Kidd was my very first concert in the virtual computer world of Second Life (SL). It was an unusually lucky teleport landing for someone who loves contemporary acoustic songwriting.
He has a gorgeous, natural, butter-melting voice and oh-so-engaging stage personality. TallGuy (Real Life musician Dale Marsh) is also the first SL musician to have his work included in the daily rotation on Acoustic Pie Radio!
Clayton bills themselves as UK's hottest country band and I was certainly impressed when I stumbled onto their show in the virtual Dublin of Second Life. Talented and stylish, professional and entertaining, they gave a stellar performance for the virtually sold-out virtual crowd.
At this show, Clayton's front lady and real life Dubliner Lindsay Armaou chatted with their regular SL fans from all over the globe. Like most SL musicians, they take a lot of pride in their personal connection with their fan base and their fans keep coming back for more!
Acoustic Pie Pick of the Month! **Update: The show was a sell-out and a wonderful evening all around. It was lovely seeing so many friends in the crowd!**
San Diego contemporary folk veterans Berkley Hart will celebrate their 10-year anniversary at Acoustic Music San Diego on August 4. It was my first Berkley Hart house concert back in June 2001 that reminded me how exciting live music can be in the right setting. And it turns out that Berkley Hart is pretty darn exciting in any setting. This promises to be special.
In the six years I've been running Acoustic Pie, I've written more about this acoustic songwriting duo than any other artist, local or otherwise. Take a look at this band review from 2004 which I still stand by: Berkley Hart Acoustic Pie Review And then, please come out on August 4 and see what I'm taking about!
I've already reserved half a pew at this beautiful church venue! I'll hope to see you there!
Visit these sites below for song samples and all you ever wanted to know about Berkley Hart!
There's not a strummer in the bunch. This feature showcases those lady singer/songwriters who play unusual instruments or play their instruments unusually well. These triple-threat artists do it all ~ sing, write, and play.
All of the song samples featured below can be heard in their entirety on Acoustic Pie Radio, devoted to acoustic singer/songwriters 24/7!
Out of the heart of Asheville, NC, the heart of folk music, comes this young and arresting banjo player. A bluesy voice and contemporary arrangements turn the unlikely banjo into a mood-setting accomplice for a lovers' tryst.
Laurie is not one for showing off her fiddle playing. In this song, a classic favorite of mine, her flatpicking guitarist is the showcased artist but Laurie contributes a lovely traditional bluegrass violin break towards the end of the clip. Very classy.
Because "American Pie" rocked my 12-year-old world. Because beauties like "Empty Chairs" and "Castles in the Air" still do. Because he's still touring and delighting audiences all the way from Des Moines to Dublin. Because the "Pie" in Acoustic Pie is a tribute to his place in the development of the singer/songwriter genre.
This video appears to be an early '70s concert and I was enchanted by the fresh, clear voice seemingly recorded in the raw without audio enhancement. So, so charming!
Because the synthesis of his smoky vocals and melting finger-stylings kindle a campfire in your heart. Because his performances are stirring, funny, uplifting and real. Because he's bringing his whole band to San Diego on June 26 and is also the Acoustic Pie Pick of the Month San Diego show!
Dougie MacLean is one of Scotland's most gifted and most successful contemporary singer/songwriters. My first Dougie MacLean concert was his well-nigh sold-out solo show at the Sherwood Auditorium last year. Wow. It was so moving that my friends and I all had our hankies out by the end of the first song. There's just something about that voice. And this year he's putting his faith in San Diego's acoustic fans and returning with his band. It will be a rare treat.
His music works as a definition of what is best in the contemporary folk genre: The composition and arrangement are uniquely his own while the tone and ambiance are evocatively reminiscent of a more traditional music, in his case, the ancient Scottish culture.
I'm currently listening to his gorgeous 2003 album With Strings but I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite CD. All of his albums are meticulously produced and a pleasure to listen to. As I've collected and listened to his recorded work over the past year, I've fallen in love with his warm voice, beautiful arrangements, and sweet melodies.
Here are a few quotes from the experts:
"... a Scottish phenomenon, with his exquisite guitar style, expressive voice and honest performance, his songs conjure up remarkably vivid imagery" -- Performing Songwriter
"Strong yet subtle, hauntingly evocative yet contemporary in feel, this music demands listening to over and over again." -- Time Out
"A Musical Hero." -- Wall Street Journal
A not-to-be- missed event! I'll hope to see you there!
Dougie is also the Featured Artist this month!
Visit these sites below for song samples and more info about Dougie!
Because I love songwriting duo's ~ the harmonies, the variety, the chemistry ~ and Storyhill is one of the best. Because their new CD Storyhill spent so much time in my CD player that I memorized all of the lyrics to "Give up the Ghost" (and it's been awhile since that's happened). Because Billboard Magazine says "Their sound recalls the harmonious interplay of Simon and Garfunkel and the acoustic juice of the Indigo Girls"... and I agree!
Even this homemade video, despite the poor lighting and the talking of the crowd, manages to capture the excitement of these two exceptional performers singing one of my favorite songs. (Video sharing courtesy of YouTube.com.)
"Give Up the Ghost"
Video from the Bombs Away Cafe
Corvallis, Oregon (date unknown)
Only a few weeks ago, Sara Petite was wowing the sold-out crowd at the Belly Up Tavern when she opened for Todd Snider. Now this talented San Diegan will be playing at one of my very favorite venues in the world ~ the house concert series hosted by Chris and Tiffany Clarke in Kensington (Find my review here). This will be a real treat.
Sara Petite's music is as genuine as it is intelligent and engaging. I love her voice. It's warmly familiar but difficult to pin down why. Her tone is throatier than Dolly Parton, more resonant than Iris Dement, and smoother and more melodious than June Carter (to list a few singers that reviewers have compared her to). So familiar yet so very much her own sound.
Her acoustic work is an Americana hybrid of folk-country originals in bluegrass arrangements. This house concert will feature a solo set with our host Chris Clarke joining in on the mandolin and a second set with Sara's acoustic band The Tiger Mountain Boys. A rare unplugged performance!
For an introduction to this charming and charismatic songwriter, take a peek at Sara's cover interview in last week's Union-Tribune Street magazine.
A lot of people seem to be at ArtWalk for, oh, I don't know... the art, maybe? So that leaves six stages of top-notch San Diego musicians performing for the musically in-the-know. And it's free, too! Some years, chairs aren't provided at all of the stages so I always carry a little folding festival stool with me (I ought to get a commission on those). I also always park my car at the Old Town Trolley stop and take the trolley in to Little Italy.
Be sure and check out the ArtWalk online schedule as there are many more great acts playing than I'm able to list below. And things change! But here is a brief schedule with just a few of the highlights and links to the musicians' websites:
Because she sprinkles literary references ~ from T. S. Eliot to the New Testament, from Woody Guthrie to Greek mythology ~ like a Renaissance poet. Because she has a voice like sugared lemon slices. Because her wondrous new album The Brightness was released this month by Ani DiFranco's highly exclusive Righteous Babe Records. Because, and I quote Acoustic Guitar magazine, she is "...a songwriter of startling clarity and depth, equally skilled at turning a melody or lyrical phrase into what you didn't know you needed until you heard it."
I love this video of Anais singing "1984" from her 2004 album Hymns for the Exiled.
The video is courtesy of YouTube.com.
Video of a Tin Pan Alley Caravan show
Guilford College, Greensboro, NC (date unknown)
Love is always just within my grasp
Like a UFO it's gone so fast.
Was it real or just in my mind,
I ask the psychic on the telephone line.
Fast cars dream of winning a race.
Like a cloud that gets stuck in one place,
I'm drifting with the autumn leaves
In a park where I pray for peace.
Fresh, poetic lyrics but it's the minor to major chord changes and the sparse string interlude that really break your heart in this beauty of a song.
Take it from me it is no use
Washing your hands so often they are clean and cracked.
You never get your old skin back,
Once you have loved like that
You're a river of tangled string,
You are unraveling...
A truly modern heart-break song chronicling the neuroses and compulsions of a contemporary break-up with the help of a shoelace metaphor.
I feel like the king when the queen loses faith
And the crowd rushes in to tear down the gate
While the whole palace slept, and I never rang the bell.
Maybe that's poetic justice, but it's pretty hard to tell.
A sweeping, romantic melody line carrying grand, romantic language all awash in hindsight and regret.
Anjulie's broken heart will make a lonely, lonely sound
For my life, I can't see why she waits for you to come around.
I would love to believe she might have done the same for me
But then she's not my Anjulie.
I'd like to think that we were lovers but it was never meant to be
The girl is not my Anjulie.
So you can lose your wide-eyed wonder, boy, she won't remember me
The girl is not my Anjulie.
Not a love-lost song but rather a love-never-found ballad in a beautiful and simple guitar & vocal arrangement.
Because he is San Diego's very own troubadour-in-residence. Because he is the prince of thrift store chic. Because this guy really knows how to make a beautiful record. Because his newest album Daydreaming at Nightis no exception ~ a dreamy collection of violin-drenched, melody-driven melancholia.
Click the PLAY ALL SONGS feature at CD Baby to hear samples of the songs and buy a copy of the new album. Then tune in to Acoustic Pie Radio to catch a slew of Gregory's songs, old and new, currently in the rotation !
Kelley Martin, Acoustic Pie
Featured Artist : Chris Pureka
Photo by Eva Moss
Because she is a waif-like beauty who can play guitar with the big boys. Because her smoky vocals remind you of Stevie Nicks and her close-knit melodies of Patty Griffin. Because her songwriting manages to blend rootsy acoustic with contemporary sensuality. Because her new album Dryland is gorgeous and should be in every contemporary folk collection.
"Come Back Home"
Video from The Highline Ballroom New York City ( 2007)
Because he comes from a little island I never even heard of (the Faroe Islands). Because US names like Glen Phillips open for him in Europe while US audiences don't yet know how to pronounce his name ("tighter" is pretty close). Because his new album Stay Under the Stars is beautiful, original, moody and intelligent. Because I never really liked "Great Balls of Fire" until I heard Teitur's arrangement.
Janis Ian was only 15 years old when she wrote "Society's Child", the song that catapulted her into international recognition and wide-spread controversy. "At Seventeen" ~ her most successful song commercially ~ followed just a few years later and garnered Janis the first of several Grammy Awards amidst nine nominations.
I know that Janis is a generous performer and often plays these favorite hits at her shows. But these great old songs aren't the reason I'm recommending her Nov. 11 show at Acoustic Music San Diego. I'm going to hear her newest work from her just-released CD Folk is the New Black. In these new songs, you can still detect the idealistic social conscience of the 15-year-old but with the persuasive conviction of a grown-up. The album works as a singer/songwriter's template for an all-original, contemporary folk collection combining sophisticated songwriting with simple acoustic arrangements. Really lovely!
"Singer? You ought to hear that girl play guitar; she gives me a run for my money!"
Click on a song title below to hear sample clips of three of my favorite songs from Janis' new album Folk is the New Black.
Because she's just releasedFolk is the New Black, a powerhouse collection of all-original songs. Because the album is a working template for a great acoustic singer/songwriter collection and beautifully illuminates the contemporary folk genre. Because she has the imagination to keep the instrumentation simple. Because she still has the idealistic social conscience of the 15-year-old with the persuasive conviction of a grown-up. Because Folk is the New Black is just about the coolest album title I've heard all year.
It was quite a treat to have an artist of Kris' talent and charisma cap off her tour with a performance here in San Diego. Her new album Strange Conversation (use the "Play All Songs" button at CD Baby to hear clips ) is a wonderful tribute to classic poetry with two songs just added to the daily rotation on Acoustic Pie Radio .
Tracy is known primarily as the foremost interpreter of the late Dave Carter's melodic, mood-setting, and poetic songs. To this role she brings a beautiful voice, wry stage presence, and lovely, expressive violin playing as well as her multi-instrumentalist duo partner Jim Henry. But Tracy is also a talented, blossoming songwriter herself and, if you're lucky, she may just break out one or two of her own originals at the wonderful old church that houses the Acoustic Music San Diego concert series.
Her last album Flower of Avalon, was the #1 played album on folk radio in 2005 (several tracks are in daily rotation on Acoustic Pie Radio). Here are a few quotes to give you an idea of how highly regarded Tracy is in the contemporary folk world:
"One of the finest pure musicians anywhere in folkdom." -The Boston Globe
"A brilliant artist and unique individual. Her voice is distinctive, as is her mastery over the instruments she plays ." -Joan Baez
" Her pure voice conveys the simple truths of these songs; her gifts as a musician are like that of a painter who is a master of chiaroscuro, offering light and shadow at every turn.... I was honored and humbled by the invitation to sing on this record ." - Mary Chapin Carpenter
Dougie MacLean is one of Scotland's most gifted and most successful contemporary singer/songwriters and it's been almost a decade since his last (well-nigh sold-out) visit to San Diego. His music works as a definition of what is best in the contemporary folk genre: The composition and arrangement are uniquely his own while the tone and ambiance are evocatively reminiscent of a more traditional music - in his case, the ancient Scottish culture.
I've been listening to Dougie's albums all month now and have fallen in love with his warm voice, beautiful arrangements, and sweet melodies. He'll be performing at Sherwood Auditorium - a wonderful venue to showcase this music. All in all, a not-to-be-missed event!
"... a Scottish phenomenon, with his exquisite guitar style, expressive voice and honest performance, his songs conjure up remarkably vivid imagery" --Performing Songwriter
"Strong yet subtle, hauntingly evocative yet contemporary in feel, this music demands listening to over and over again." --Time Out
When Carlos Olmeda re-released his 1995 acoustic gem Learning to Walk this year, I rediscovered the powerful track "Trinkets and Blood" which had been inspired by indignation at the poaching of elephants for ivory "trinkets". It reminded me how music can take an important ideological statement and transform it into an emotional and heart-wrenching appeal. I decided to feature some environmental songs on Acoustic Pie and was subsequently surprised at how little seems to be written on the subject today. Below you'll find song samples and lyrics to some of my favorite songs in the struggle to "save the planet".
This high-energy, banjo-driven work chronicles the story of Julia Butterfly Hill who spent two years living in a redwood tree in her efforts to save an ancient grove. The entire song and lyrics are available on the duo's website:
Cheryl's voice can always touch a heartstring but never more so than when singing about a subject which has so obviously inspired her. In this ballad, she sings that "laden with garbage from decades ago, the rivers can poison us." Listen to a song clip and read the full lyrics here:
Although a fervent advocate for wildlife and the environment, John Denver wrote surprisingly few activist-themed songs. But most of his works extol the beauty of and his own love of nature as when he writes of the joy and freedom represented by the ocean-faring "Calypso". Here are links to a sample clip and lyrics:
A wonderful songwriter and a wonderful singer, Richard Shindell is an East coaster, now living in Buenos Aires, who rarely makes it to San Diego. Some of you may know him from his work with Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky in the trio Cry, Cry, Cry. Why not come out and make him feel welcome at Lestat's, one of this town's best amplified venues? Some of his rave reviews follow:
"Shindell is a master builder of songs. Shindell has uncanny sense of the theater of a song, building his ballads sparely and subtly, set to sweeping graceful melodies." -The Boston Globe
"Disturbing, beautifully drawn portraits of frantic losers. A quiet grabber." -Entertainment Weekly
"A tour-de-force of brilliantly crafted songs, passionately delivered songs that consistently create three-dimensional visual and emotional images which move through the listener's mind's eye. His lyrics are carefully distilled essences of dramatic circumstances and personal dilemmas mated with melodic lines that allow the words to stretch and breathe. Shindell's rich voice is reminiscent of REM's Michael Stipe in the way he holds and emphasizes the ends of words, but you'll quickly realize you're in the presence of an original who can draw you in and punch your lights out with the turn of a phrase. - Stereo Review
Click on a song title below to hear sample clips of my three favorite songs from Richard's last album Vuelta.
Cane's Bar & Grill Tuesday, July 12, 2005
7-11 pm, $5
3105 Ocean Front Walk (Mission Beach)
Acoustic Alliance is a Cathryn Beeks's production. Once a month, the inimitable Ms. Beeks invariably brings together twelve wonderful songwriters for three sets of acoustic music and a very fun evening indeed. Four performers at a time share the stage playing their original works "in the round". If you love acoustic songwriting, this is also the best bargain of the month at the remarkable cover fee of only $5 (that's just 42 cents per artist or 14 cents per song) - quite the deal!
Special Show Alert! Two previous Acoustic Pie "Pick of the Month" artists will be joining forces at Dizzy's on Friday, June 17th at 8pm! Don't miss this fabulous evening of music with Carlos Olmeda and The Weepies. See the Past Announcements section for reviews and music clips of some of my favorite songs by these talented songwriters.
If you have a penchant for state-of-the-art songwriting then here's the show to indulge your fancy. You just won't find more finely crafted songs than in the Carlos Olmeda repertoire of original works. Carlos's songs are lyrically intriguing, melodically captivating and always beautifully arranged. And he sings like an angel and plays the guitar like a veritable fiend, too. Add to that the fact that Carlos will be re-releasing a favorite early acoustic album "Learning to Walk" and you have an evening not to be missed!
Click on a song title below to hear sample clips of Carlos's songs!
Boston is the undisputed heart of the contemporary singer/songwriter movement and no artist embodies this scene more than Ellis Paul, hailing from Maine yet 13 time winner of the Boston songwriter of the year award. This month, Boston comes to San Diego when Ellis Paul performs at Acoustic Music San Diego .
I never miss a contemporary songwriter show at this venue and the best talent in the genre plays on this stage. Ellis's appearance here last October was my hands-down favorite show of the series - ever. He unplugged his guitar, walked away from the mic, and sang for two hours in the aisles of the wooden pews in this beautiful old church. No contest - pure magic.
"a songwriter's songwriter ... no emerging songwriter in recent memory has been more highly touted and respected by songwriters." Boston Globe
Click on a song title below to hear sample clips of Ellis's songs.
KPRI 102.1 - San Diego's best (and independent) broadcast radio station. They feature acoustic rock, contemporary folk genres, original singer/songwriters, and some of the best of San Diego's local artists.
I wish I could remember what enlightened grown-up thought to give me Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme by the quintessential duo Simon & Garfunkel in the summer of the first grade. What I do remember is listening to that vinyl album over and over again, learning all of the words, and singing along with my best friend until we lost our voices. My love of vocal harmonies, acoustic arrangements, and classic songwriting must certainly date back to that early gift. The songwriting duo is still one of my favorite musical configurations. Here are a few duos currently featured on Acoustic Pie Radio. Click on the song titles to hear some lo-fi clips.
As always, thanks for checking in on The Pie!
This duo's music is as sweet and refreshing as a Coke float on a summer afternoon! You won't soon forget Deb's edgy, passionate voice on tracks like Unraveling or their dramatic songwriting style in songs such as Rocks and Water co-written by Deb and Steve.
You won't find a more original or exciting musical partnership than this contemporary folkgrass duo hailing from the Ozarks. Although known for their kinetic up-tempo work, they write some of the planet's most beautiful love songs such as Kelly's Desert Dream or Donna's Spinning.
A little bit country and a little bit rock 'n roll. When these songwriters joined forces, they quickly became one of San Diego's favorite acoustic partnerships. Vocal harmonies that will make you melt in a delightful variety of styles: I Ain't Nothin' (written by Jeff) and Big Bad Barbie Doll (by Calman).
An impromptu duo known to tour and record as such on occasion. This is a musical match made in heaven. Two powerhouse singer/songwriters collaborating for a sum greater than the parts with songs like Citizen of the World or generously covering other independent songwriters as in May I Suggest.
A couple as well as a musical collaboration, the Kennedys feature Maura's voice and Pete's inventive and eclectic virtuoso stylings on the electric guitar. The moving anti-war title track from their last CD is a favorite of mine: Stand
A duo as a touring entity, Terri is an Austin-based singer/songwriter and Lloyd is a fast-picking acoustic instrumentalist and producer. Together they perform Terri's country-flavored folk originals like The Ring and Long Time Coming.
Brooklyn native Kris Delmhorst will be sharing her provocative and eloquent songwriting vision in a performance at Acoustic Music San Diego this month.
Edgy, intelligent, literary lyrics sung in the voice of a fallen angel made Kris's appearance at this venue last May one of the year's highlights. Some quotes from reviewers:
"'Songs for a Hurricane' is a local masterpiece which deserves national recognition." Boston Globe
"She has a poetic nerve that often pays off. Delmhorst's persona in songs ranges from vulnerable to cool, from delicate to sassy. There is a free imagination at work here, a largeness of spirit and an artist's control." BostonHerald
Come hear why Kris has long been local impresario Carey Driscoll's "favorite female singer/songwriter".
Click on a song title below to hear sample clips of Kris's songs (lo-fi).
Although hailing from South Carolina, Jack Williams is at the epicenter of the contemporary folk singer/songwriter landscape. I've heard Jack say that he considers himself a guitarist first and foremost and he is recognized as one of the finest guitar players in this genre. But once you've heard him, I think you'll find that it's his warm, expressive voice and touching songwriting that you carry home with you.
Come hear Jack Williams at my favorite venue in town, Lizzie Wann's Meeting Grace House Concert series on December 9. If you have yet to participate in the house concert revolution taking place in San Diego, here's your chance to hear a powerful, nationally acclaimed songwriter in a totally unplugged acoustic show in a lovely and tiny, wood-rich living room.
Click on a song title below to hear some sample clips of Jack's songs.
What a treat! From Pasadena via Boston and New York, The Weepies are coming to San Diego! You'll find them performing their delightful pop-folk music box of original tunes at Acoustic Music San Diego on November 20.
The Weepies' songs are as sweet and refreshing as a Coke float on a summer afternoon. Steve and Deb will charm you with their beautiful vocal harmonies and charismatic stage presence. Come hear this thoroughly engaging duo!
Click on a song title below to hear clips of some of my favorite Weepies songs.
Texas-based songwriter Terri Hendrix will be performing her charming blend of sunny and poignant folk-country originals with the renowned Nashville producer & picker Lloyd Maines at Acoustic Music San Diego this month.
"a fresh enthusiasm ... a divine voice ... an electric stage presence." Chicago Sun Times
"tuneful, sharply observed roots songs that cheerfully defy easy stylistic pigeonholing" Billboard
Click on a song title below to hear sample clips of Terri's songs.
Thanks to everyone who came out to hear Still on the Hill at Acoustic Pie House Concerts on Sept. 30! Their performance was indisputably one of the best shows of the year on the San Diego acoustic music scene. And it was so fun to see so many of you out again at the Fallbrook show on Saturday - a packed house, a standing ovation, and even a couple of "hallelujah's" for the band. Another really wonderful evening and performance!
Now I've never heard Mr. Ronny Cox perform, but I was completely captivated by the beautiful songwriting tracks from his latest CD which he so generously shares on his web site (click here). Take a listen and I have a feeling I'll be seeing you on Saturday, April 24 at the AcousticMusicSanDiego show in Normal Heights!
Thanks to everybody who came out to see Still on the Hill, the high-energy, all acoustic folk-grass duo out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, at the house concert at my place in Del Mar on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2003. It was an exciting evening of music and one of the audience members was kind enough share some photos on the web. Also, you can read the press release here for more information about this truly wonderful band.