Lake Street Dive at Levon Helm’s Barn

Lake Street Dive at Levon Helm’s Barn

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Lake Street Dive killing it by the pond behind Levon’s barn in Woodstock.

Tedeschi-Trucks, Taj and Jerry Douglas

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Backstage rehearsal of Leavin’ Trunk from the Beacon Theater last weekend.  It doesn’t get much better than this.  Like being a fly on the wall.

Darrell Scott, Candle for a Cowboy

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Darrell is one of the truly great singer songwriters.  He paints really beautiful three minute movies in your head with each tune.   He’s also a great cook, and knows where to find a good cup of coffee in Nashville.

Aoife O’Donovan, “Oh Mama”

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Well I’ll admit it.  She charms the heck out of me.  Her voice is like something from another time and place.  I first came across her in Goat Rodeo where she was the voice paired with some of the greatest players in the world.   Here she is with a guitar in a gondola.

The Band…They really were THE Band

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Other than the Beatles, I can’t think of a more influential group of musicians from my generation.  With Rick, Richard and Levon gone now, we can only capture the spirit of their music in the work of Amy Helm, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Jim Weider and others that centered their talents and hearts around Levon’s barn in Woodstock.   But it’s great to go back and see the real deal.  Here they are in their prime.  Wow, what great music, and great musicians.  They really did invent what we now call Americana.

Ruston Kelly-I think you’re going to hear a lot from him

3 years ago 1 0 1972

We ran across Ruston Kelly as the opening act for John Hiatt last night and he was terrific in every respect.  In what was normally a quiet older crowd in small town Eastern Pennsylvania, he had everyone involved, bantering back and forth, and laughing… and the music was outstanding.  Ruston is a really great young singer songwriter from Nashville.  I’m predicting he’s one you’ll still be listening to years from now.

Roger Ridley -you’ve heard him

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You don’t know Roger Ridley, but you probably know the Playing for Change videos that have been circulating around the world for many years.  He’s the voice that started it on “Stand by Me”.   They’ve gone back and video tapped him doing “Tears On My Pillow”, and what a voice.  I don’t know about you, but I’d buy a ticket to see him.

Thanks Roger and Playing for Change for making the world a little better place…even if it’s only for three minutes at a time.

Thile and Meyer beautiful video

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Geniuses.  They invent their own musical style and take their instruments to places no one has imagined.

Thile and Meyer Bass and Mandolin…

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Two amazing artists.  Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer are incomparable.  What do you call this music?  Jazz? Americana?  I don’t know, except that it’s exceptional.  Dream job? ….one of these guys ordering a cabinet for their instruments.

Music billboards on Sunset Strip

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The intersection of art and music is always an interesting place to be.  Robert Landau started photographing them back in 1969.  Some of these are beautiful.  They bring back a combination of memories of the music, the time, and make a statement about our culture.  Enjoy watching the interview.

Crosby and Nash. Flawless

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Recorded in 1970, this captures two of the greatest voices of a generation.  Performed flawlessly on Martin D45’s for a BBC video.


A 1933 OM45 played by a master

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Here’s a great little video from Schoenberg Guitars in Tiburon, CA.  It’s Julian Lange playing a 1933 Martin OM45.  There is nothing like the tone of the  pre-war Martins, and this is one of the very best.  I hope we have one of these in a Guitar Habitat™ somewhere.

If you haven’t been to Schoenberg Guitars, they are a wonderful little shop a ferry ride from San Francisco.  Definitely worth the trip.


Dakota Dave Hull talks about his guitars…

3 years ago 0 0 1946

Dakota Dave Hull is a pro touring guitarist, a veteran of years on the road. Lugging a half dozen heavy guitar cases, he stopped by Dan Erlewine’s shop and answered some questions, starting with “Why so many?!”

Maybe we need to build Dave a transportable Guitar Habitat™….


Carter Vintage gets more talent stopping by than anyone….

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So here’s Brendan MacFarlane from Scotland thats been wowing people with his voice since he was about 8… Now he’s 16 and recording albums in Nashville.  He stopped by Carter Vintage with Jake Clayton and played a tune.  Christie, sell this young man more guitars!  Once he gets a few more, he’ll need a Guitar Habitat™! 

Gang of Rhythm - Walk off the Earth (Official Video) from Walk off the Earth on Vimeo.

Their vibe reminds me of Talking Heads…

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Another video of Walk Off the Earth.   It struck me watching this, that they have a feel that reminds me of Talking Heads.  All we really need here is someone to come on camera in a grass suit.  Fun video.  Hard to watch them and not have a better day.


EC still brings the heat…

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I’ve been a fan since I was 14, and over the years Eric Clapton has morphed from 15 minute solos to songs that are more influenced by singer-songwriters, reggae, and Americana.  Some say he’s past his prime, and now he’s announced he won’t be touring any longer.  But he’s an elder statesman that changed the course of music as clearly as the Beatles, and influenced the tone of every guitar player that followed him.   Here’s a video from an early Crossroads performance.  Awesome solo on a great Bob Marley tune.  Mr. Clapton, thanks for a lifetime of great music that you played, and other artists that you got the rest of us to pay closer attention to.   And you very definitely still bring the heat.


James Brown “opening” for the Rolling Stones, 1964

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This is the James Brown performance at the T.A.M.I. awards in 1964.   A lot of big groups performed.  They decided to close the show with this new group from England, “The Rolling Stones”.   James is not one to “open” for anybody.   While James is doing this show (which brought the house down), Mick and Keith watched from back stage.  “Worst career move we ever made” was Keith’s comment. Can you imagine having to follow James Brown on stage?

Lake Street Dive and Mavis Staples… How cool is that?

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I’m a big fan of Lake Street Dive.  They are one of the best new groups in a long time.  At Newport, Mavis Staples got on stage and performed with them.  I saw that happen before… Mavis with Levon Helm on the Weight.  These kids are a group to watch.  Incredible talent.

Walk Off The Earth…

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Great video.  Just more proof of some really amazing young talent out there….though I do wonder what will happen to the guitar industry if you only need one guitar shared by five people…

Danny Flowers talks about songwriting…

3 years ago 2 1 1476

Danny is a great songwriter, and well known for his hit “Living on Tulsa Time” recorded by Eric Clapton.  He does a nice job of describing songwriting here.   He is sometimes a guest teacher at the Darrell Scott Songfood workshops. Just got one of his guitars from Carter Vintage, our distributor in Nashville.  Hope some of that great mojo translates to my song writing.