Saturday, March 19, 2011

Songwriters Showcase and Special Performance by Marc-Alan Barnette

The Cartersville Songwriter's Exchange hosted a songwriters showcase last night at Antonino's Restaurant featuring four talented local songwriters, Rick McKee, Denise Barker, Jules Bloeth and Randy Owens. The event took place in the room upstairs in Antonino's. It was a very comfortable place in which to enjoy music, with better acoustics and more comfortable chairs than the City Cellar where the Cartersville Songwriters had been meeting. The food was very good too, I really enjoyed the chicken Antonino that I split with Kathy.

The Evening began with the songwriters showcase. All four performers were on the stage at the same time, accompanying one another as each took a turn to play one of their original songs. Each performer had a chance to play three songs. There was a good crowd on hand of about fifty people, and the audience was appreciative of the great music and enthusiastic performances.

Afterwards, Marc Alan Barnette really put on a great show. Marc is a Nashville based singer/songwriter/teacher who has written songs such as Shelby Lynne's Blood in my Alchohol Level and Georgia Country artist, John Berry's Rescued Me. Marc will be conducting a songwerteres workshop today at 10:00 AM. The workshop includes segments on song creation, presentation, live performance, demos, networking, building the songwriter's community locally, and the business elements of publishing and record deals. For information on future workshops, contact JulesBloeth@Sonramp.com or denise.songwriter@yahoo.com.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Singer-Songwriter Shawn Haney's Passion for Performance

Last night I got a chance to see Shawn Haney perform at the Mellow Mushroom on Chastain Rd. Shawn is a prolific singer-song who frequently plays at various venues and open mics around metro-Atlanta. Shawn was the entertainment for a three hour block of time. He has an extensive repertoire of covers and original material, and Shawn pulls them off quite well. He has managed to keep his repertoire fresh by learning newer music like hits from Coldplay and Five for Fighting. For those of us who still like the classics, Shawn usually includes hits by iconic singer-songwriters and classic rock mainstays such as The Beatles, James Taylor, Neil Young and Steely Dan.

I really enjoy Shawn's own material as well. He writes and sings with an enthusiasm and optimism that is unique. Shawn's music is full of surprises. It is unique in its deviation from the typical formulaic sound that is far too easy for the songwriter to rely upon to quickly turn out new songs that lack originality and creative innovation. Shawn believes in having faith in your gifts and never giving up on your dreams. He hopes to have some songs sent to tv and film placements, and is working on making and completing a solo singer/songwriter record within the year.

To hear Shawn's music, check out his page on Reverbnation, http://www.reverbnation.com/show/4096237#!/shawnmhaney.

Friday, March 4, 2011

What Five Albums Would You Pick if You Were Stranded on Island?

Ok, this is a little bit of a lame post. But it is always fun and maybe has some relevance for those who want to write music that is timeless - what makes some songs or albums stay popular generation after generation? Some of the stuff you love immediately might quickly grow old - maybe the sound is too trendy like eighties synthesizers maybe the lyrics are too closely associated with a very narrow point of time.

For what it's worth here are the five I would pick - of course if you asked me a year from now my picks might be different.

Pick One - The Who, "Live at Leeds" - This album has such great intensity and flows so well. It also features a lot of classic songs. It is perhaps my favorite live album, pure rock and roll. If you were left all alone on a desert island, you might appreciate the sounds of a live concert.

Pick Two - Bob Marley, "Babylon by Bus" - It helps to have a variety of sounds, and if you were on some tropical island why not jam a little reggea? Many Bob Marley and the Wailers greatest hits are on this album, and the musicianship is superb. This album is very soulful, and would help ease the mind of a lonely soul.

Pick Three - The Beatles, "The White Album" - Because The White Album was so experimental with many of the less commercial sounding Beatles classics on it, there is a subtly to many of the songs that is refreshing. I have always loved "Glass Onion", "Happiness is a Warm Gun", "Julia" and "Helter Skelter". The sound collage of "Revolution Number 9" is full of audio that is ripe for open-ended interpretation.

Pick Four - The Rolling Stones, "Let it Bleed" - The Stones really capture the essence of rock and roll, period. There are so many great hits on this album that bear the test of time.

Pick Five - Dave Brubeck Quartet, "Time Out" - The interesting compositions on this album and odd time signatures as well as its laid back cool would definitely make the long hours alone less stressful. You could always sip coconut milk and listen to "Take Five" to get your chill on.

So there it is. There are many other close contenders, particularly Pink Floyd, Van Morrison and perhaps classical music like Beethoven sonatas. What would albums would you pick?

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