This year has been tough. Polarizing social media, horror stories on the news and an election season that feels like it may never end. Need a pick-me-up? NYC singer/songwriter Mikey Wax's "Helium" shines a light out into the world. Check out the lyric video below.
Pour a glass of wine (if you're 21 and reading this. If not, grape juice will do.). Close your eyes. Put on John Paul White's first record post-Civil Wars, Beulah, and swim in its beauty. The album opens up with the title track, as if to serve a reminder of what made us all fall in love with John Paul White as one-half of the Civil Wars. And it just gets better from there.
The Florence, Alabama native has the kind of distinctive strong voice that steadies the listener, and with lyrics like "That's ok / I never loved you anyway / At least not unconditionally / Like subjects love the once and future queen," he tugs on heartstrings throughout the record.
"Hate the Way You Love Me" and "Make You Cry" are two standout tracks right now, but the more I listen to the record, my favorites change up. The lyrics are hardly surface, with multiple layers to peel back, slowly and sometimes tragically, with exploration of heartache and heartbreak.
This album is a must-listen if you love acoustic singer/songwriter vibes and a beautiful journey.
Korby Lenker has long been one of my favorite singer/songwriters from Nashville, but most recently, he's become one of my favorite book authors as well. His book Medium Hero may be prose, but it is also pure poetry, painting exquisite pictures with every chapter. Admittedly, I haven't been able to put it down since I started, and it's quickly become my favorite read of this year.
Tonight, fans get a rare opportunity to experience both the singer and author side of Korby as he returns to Hotel Cafe for the sixth time, a spot he values greatly in Hollywood. "Thank god a venue like this exists in Los Angeles," Korby says. "You feel like you're home, you know?"
Korby will be playing songs off his record entitled Thousand Springs, set to be released early fall, and reading excerpts from Medium Hero, tying both of his talents together. The songs are so new, Korby's actually recording some of them prior to the show today.
"We're going to go surfing in the morning. Surf then record some new tracks," Korby says.
Doors open at 6, Korby plays at 7. Get your advance tickets here for $10.
Last night in a small, albeit very famous, club in Hollywood, Tony Lucca took a wall-to-wall crowd to church. Hotel Cafe is known for being a launching pad for dozens of incredible artists: Katy Perry, Adele, John Mayer, Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles and Damien Rice, to name a few. And in that vein, Tony Lucca lived up to the high standard that has become tradition at this magical venue.
Even as a writer, I struggle with articulating just exactly what makes his show so goosebump-worthy. It’s simply a feeling…the same kind of feeling you get when you listen to your favorite record when you need it the most. Tony’s songwriting is honest, emotional and relatable. And the way he delivers those songs makes you feel honored to even witness it. His bluesy voice hugs the lyrics in such a way that everyone around me kept repeating four letter words in awe.
And not only can he write and sing, he can play like hell. Ripping on his electric guitar, the set was sometimes pure rock ’n’ roll. At others, it was pure singer/songwriter, like when he picked up his acoustic guitar for a couple of songs.
Some of the highlights included popular “Pretty Things,” which inspired a singalong from the crowd, and a song off his newest EP Sessions, Vol.2: Muscle Shoals (out Aug. 5) called “Longing.” But honestly, every song was a highlight, because it’s not very often you get to witness musicianship at this level, particularly in a club this intimate.
Catch Tony on his fall tour and thank me later.
TONY LUCCA TOUR 2016
AUG 20 SAT Musicians Corner Nashville, TNFREE SHOW
SEP 11 SUN Seven Steps Up Spring Lake, MI
SEP 25 SUN Eddie's Attic Decatur, GA
SEP 26 MON Work | Release Norfolk, VA
SEP 27 TUE Jammin Java Vienna, VA
SEP 28 WED World Cafe Live-Upstairs Philadelphia, PA
SEP 30 FRI Highline Ballroom New York, NY
OCT 2 SUN Ross Farm Basking Ridge, NJTICKETS
OCT 3 MON Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA
OCT 4 TUE Rumba Cafe Columbus, OH
OCT 7 FRI City Winery Chicago, IL
OCT 8 SAT Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN
OCT 9 SUN Cedar Valley House ConcertsCedar Falls, IA
OCT 20 THU House Show Lafayette, CO
NOV 4 FRI THE KESSLER THEATERDallas, TX
NOV 5 SAT Stubb's Jr. Austin, TX
NOV 6 SUN House of Blues: Bronze PeacockHouston, TX
NOV 9 WED The Soiled Dove Underground Denver, CO
NOV 11 FRI The Bartlett Spokane, WA
NOV 12 SAT Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
NOV 13 SUN The Triple Door Seattle, WA
NOV 16 WED The Chapel San Francisco, CA
NOV 17 THU SOhO Restaurant and Music ClubSanta Barbara, CA
NOV 19 SAT Troubadour West Hollywood, CA
NOV 20 SUN Coach House San Juan Capistrano, CA
Nashville singer/songwriter Callie Hopper caught our attention from the first beat on her newest record, Out of the Shadows. Callie's soulful voice and vulnerable lyrics show a maturity far beyond her young twenty years.
It's no wonder radio stations across the country are starting to pay attention, including Nashville's own 105.7 The River, who named her YouTube's Day Artist of the Week for her cover of Ed Sheeran's "Lego House."
Listen to one of our favorites "So Much" below and check out the whole album right here.