Sunday, December 25, 2011

"The johnny's"

I have decided by my own accord, to recognize some musicians, bands and people in our scene. I have tons of praise for the jammers in our area. Here are my own categories and who I have chosen. No order or anything.

Coolest CD cover: This one goes to Artemia. I believe their singer Blaine is the one who painted it. It's very cool and original. They also win for coolest fliers too. Look at the one picture from them on Artemia's Spotlight Lick. Pure awesomeness.

Musician to look out for in 2012: This is a tie for me. Both people I have choose are brilliant at several instruments. One is Evan Miller. I met him a while ago. I heard him playing drums and was FLOORED. Heard him play bass, my jaw dropped. Heard him play guitar and was FLOORED again. I was so impressed I hooked him up with Rob Boggs to work with us at Quest Sound. The second person is Greg Warnier. The same goes for him as went for evan. Amazing drummer, bassist and guitar player. The kid has the chops and the passion. Expect great things from these two in 2012.

Band your going to have the most fun seeing: This band is False Flag. You will always have fun going to see them. They gave me the pleasure of sitting in with them once. They released a cool cd this year too.

Coolest "New" Band: She and She. If you have been in the scene you have known Brandy Dougless from her solo work. This is what she is doing now. Greg Warnier on drums, a Kate Anderson on bass and the biggest singing secret in Augusta, Drea Suarez. The band plays with a love for what they do, have great harmonies and have a great sound.

Best Sounding CD: Aretmia. Bar none Eric Rinker has the best ear for recording in our area. If you like their music or not there is NO DENYING how well that cd sounds. He has a gift. He would corner the market for a studio in our area if he wanted too. I have listened to a bunch of tracks coming from our area. There are some good things coming from other people, Eric just takes it to a new level.

Band Whos Time Has Come: Radar Cinema. I have watched these guys for years work their asses off to get a solid line up and sound. They achieved that in 2011. They released a killer and ambitious cd , Bird meets Worm, and really hit their stride this year. Congrats guys. Your hard work paid off.

Band who I am glad did a re-union: JJ Maj. Although I missed it due to being sick, they are a local band that did a re-union that actually should have did one. One of the best local bands ever.

Favorite Place to Play and Hear a Band: The Cork and Bull in Aiken SC. Check it out and you will see why. People pack the place out and LOVE live music.

Best promoter of local music or their own band: Michael "Dork" Dinkins. He promotes, promotes , promotes and does it without over hyping or annoying the hell out of you. He puts his money where his mouth is too. He will go to shows just as much as he asks you to go to his. his bands always kick ass too. he never makes a false promise about "how badass his show is gonna be" or load up your facebook with crap. He does promotion well and actually makes you want to come out to a show.

Best Writers of Augusta Music: Tie between Stoney Cannon and Brian "stak" Allen. Stoney knows the local scene better than anyone and just plain writes good. he keeps you interested in his piece, even if you dont know about local bands. Brian writes well too. His best writing quality to me is his honesty. Most local music writers write only good things about local bands ( i can see why, its a small town and everyone is friends or wants to be) but Brian is honest. If he tells you something it's because he is really thinking it. He doesnt go out of his way to write crap on someone just to fling it. Good or bad he tells you his opinion. I like that. Not everything is good.

Band i Like to See: Electric Voodoo. Riley williams is a great guitar player and his band plays some killer tunes. Big props to them. Go see them. Do it. I tell you, Do It NOW!

Most Original Sound: Sibling String. They are made up of guitar/vocals Jacob Beltz, Bass Deveron Roof, Guitar Mike Baidime, drums Dave Mercer and multi instrumentalist Henry Wynn. They play alot downtown and go see why. No other band plays the instruments that they do and make them cool. Killer band with some of the best players in our area.

These are what I think was the tops for 2011. At least at the moment I was writing this. There is SO MUCH good music in our area. These bands and people are just what tickled my fancy for the past year. I am excited to see what comes out in 2012. Cheers!

Happy Holidays!!!

Here is to another year of great musical happenings. There has been a ton of new students start with me this year and a ton of new readers to our little blog. We have more than doubled our reader ship from last year! The product reviews are, on occasion, getting picked up by the companies they are done on and used on their web sites. We have seen the addition of videos to go along with things this year and had a lot of very cool "Spotlight Licks" done by some very cool people. I would like to thank those people now: Al Moore, Artemia, L.I.E., Ken Gabriele,Michael Baideme, Dave Mercer and Bruce Pennigton. Thank you guys very much for the blazing licks, my students (and many others) have been playing the snot out of them. I had ALL of my students make great strides this year and are very proud of all of you! The student spotlights from 2011 are Christina Naomi, Carter Kight, Grace Dickins, Zeb Shepard, Brian Yonn, Oscar Ystenes, Shane Waldun and Chris Marks. I also had some students in the military that are proudly serving our country and had our lessons cut short due to deployment. Students like Shane Waldun, Rob Cornwell and Robert Wirth. I would like to say thank you to them and all the servicemen and woman i have worked with over the year. I also want to send a shout out to a longtime student named Danielle Parker who's family made the move to New Orleans last month. Keep rockin kid! Our website had some guest writers this year too that did a fine job. "The Bizz With the Buzz" by Stoney Cannon, "The Sound of Music" by Eric Rinker where incredible articles written by music lovers. We had Rockers like Brad Davis, Steven Adler and Chip 'Z Nuff be gracious enough to lend some time for interviews and inspiration. We have some more in store for 2012 too! I am looking forward to 2012. We are going to have some more great guest writers, new subjects to discuss, loads more licks and learnin' and lots more fun to be had. In 2012 I will have a little baby girl born and I am way excited to meet her. Thanks all for reading this year. Have a safe New Year and keep your eyes peeled for the new stuff coming!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Student Spotlight: Christina Naomi

This, the last Student Spotlight of 2011 goes to Miss Christina Naomi. She is a 13 year old Merriwether Middle School student. Christina got into guitar not too long ago when her Grandmother got her a guitar for Christmas. She got the guitar and figured "why not give it a try." Even though her Grandma got her the guitar, that doesn't mean she comes from a musical family. Christina says she can't think of anyone in her family who plays. That just makes it that much cooler that she is playing! A Day To Remember is Christina's favorite band. She cites how well the lyrics are written as one of the things that makes them her favorite band. If she could play guitar for any band in history it would be the Beatles just on the basic fact of how legendary they are. You can not argue with that! If she could play anywhere in the world it would be at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. She choose that because when it comes to playing at a venue nothing tops Madison Square Garden. I can agree with that too. Christina'a dream guitar would be either a Taylor or a Gibson acoustic. Where does she see herself musically in 5 years? Still jammin', being a better player than she is today and having a ton of fun! If Christina could create her "dream" concert line up it would include, in no certain order, A Day To Remember, All time Low, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift. Her favorite guitar player is Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low. After Christina finishes high school she hopes to go to school in New York City for fashion. Anything to do with fashion is her passion. She is kicking butt in school right now and is a STRAIGHT A student!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!! The thing she feels is the most important thing she has learned in lessons? She says learning all the chords in a bunch of different voicings. With that she says she can learn and play just about any song she wants. She doesn't really have anything she is embarrassed by on her Ipod. I can dig that. Christina has a great personality and is smart as a whip. She is kickin butt and takin names! Here is to you Christina.......Keep Rockin.....Keep Jammin.....and Keep Havin Fun!!!