"Crystal and Jade Castle have been a great resource for me in connecting with other professionals. Whenever Other Vision needs to look for talent, I give Crystal a call. Through Jade Castle, she's already helped connect me with so many other great film professionals in the Greenville area." - Collins Abbott White - Other Vision Studios
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Dubbed as Hell Raisin' Country, Early Ray is certainly catching fire and heating up stages all around the Carolinas and the Southeast!
This young magnetic, good-looking country singer-songwriter delivers his powerful songs with a rock edge, but with the core of a country purist.
I love the intro to his bio, which reads: I've never liked bios much as they are typically filled with cream puff quotes about how artsy, powerful or amazing an artist's music is. Instead, I'm going tell you a little about myself...
Country music lovers, and country music artists, down here in the South... we don't separate the artist from his music. We liken it back to Hank Williams Sr. and George Jones, Loretta and Dolly. Music and Life Experience co-exist, co-mingle, and are so inextricably intertwined that they are one in the same.
Good goin' Ray! You ARE it!
Classically trained musicians, PJ Brunson on piano and Laurie Neal on violin, masterfully perform classical masterpieces, traditional Celtic treasured and their own inspired original pieces with a new age feel.
Their latest CD, Still Waters, is a mixture of the duos own new age compositions and traditional classics, seasoned with a slightly modern flavor. Rife with originality and laden with the talent of these two performers, this album is one that you will want to hear again and again. I passionately recommend it!
If you are a musician, (like me) you got 'em! It's the promises we make to no one but ourselves this time of year... usually involving being a little more dedicated to our instrument(s), honing our talents, and so many of us, (me included,) promising ourselves that we will Practice! Practice! Practice! Hey! How else are we gonna get to Carnegie Hall, right?
Of course, ALL OF THE ABOVE is on my list of musical resolutions this year! (Just like last year and the year before, and... well. You know as well as I do!)
I DO resolve to be a better musician this year! And I DO resolve to practice more! But... in 2012, I have added another layer to my musical resolutions.
Music is by far my first love. From my earliest memories, I have always dreamt of living my life filled with music, making it my career and my life's ambition. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to fulfill that dream, at least in part, most days of my life.
We sing the song every New Year's Eve, right? But... what the heck are we singing about anyway?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of Auld Lang Syne?
Give me your hand, my trusty friend,
And I will give you mine,
Let's drink a cup of kindness now
For Auld Lang Syne.
For Auld Lang Syne, my love,
For Auld Lang Syne,
Let's drink a cup of kindness now
For Auld Lang Syne!
Admittedly, I sang this number for years with a total misconception of message these traditional lyrics seek to implore. Craving to know the meaning of these mysterious words, I did a little research and I discovered the real meaning behind the song and why it has been so popular hundreds of years!
As we ring out the old year and ring in the new, it is our long-honored custom to see the upcoming New Year as another chance for a fresh, clean start in our lives. It a time to relinquish our old habits, forgive wounds and insults of the past, make pledges to ourselves and others to begin anew, to make this year better than the last and forget things of the past. After all, it's a NEW YEAR!
But, what about the words to this old ballad? What wisdom do they convey?
I was quite pleasantly surprised when a friend gave me one of the most refreshing Christmas CD's I've heard in a long time! Winter Carols by Blackmore's Night. As soon as I heard the first cut from the album, I was hooked.
I knew that this collection of age-old Christmas Carols, arranged and performed with a Celtic flavor, (one carol even has Gaelic verses,) was right up my alley! Not only the Christmas traditionalist, but also the music traditionalist in me, revels in the sweet medieval sounds of these hauntingly beautiful old songs. In listening to these ancient carols, we get a sense of the time-honored traditions of the holiday and our souls connect with the people of Christmases e're gone.
Taylor Guitar (Public Domain Image by YDHM via Wikipedia)
Still pondering what might be the ideal gift for the musician or music lover on your list? As the days count down, we sometimes find ourselves at a loss for ideas.
Being a performing musician myself, as well as being married to a bass player/guitarist who also tunes pianos as a primary job, I've become somewhat of a pro at finding great gifts for the musical type.
Check out some of these instruments and accessories that are bound to strike a note in perfect harmony with your favorite musicians, from stocking stuffers to the biggies that Santa himself will be singing along with!
First, a couple of biggies:
- Among the guitarists I know, the sought-after make this year is Taylor. http://www.taylorguitars.com/
These rich-sounding, quality guitars come in many models, both acoustic and electric, and are known for rare burl woods and unusual, artsy inlays. Priced from around $600 for the lowest end acoustic, (the 3/4 scale mini-acoustics can be found for as low as $300,) to about $6,000 for specialty models, (such as the 'Running Horses" inlaid fret board, the pricing is considered mid-range in the guitar world.
* This UP
CLOSE feature is dedicated to the vegetarian community around the world! (Of
which I am a part!) *
Few artists can hold a candle to the blazing flame of Paul McCartney! An all-time megastar with an amazing career of almost forty-five years, the longest ever string of hit songs written by one songwriter, fabulous never-aging good looks, a fan base that has not diminished over the years, but grown, a knightly title from the Queen and a 2011 concert tour, McCartney has certainly made his mark on the world.
Bruno Mars (Image by Brothers Le via Wikipedia)
- Rolling in the Deep - Adele
- Holocene - Bon Iver
- Grenade - Bruno Mars
- The Cave - Mumford & Sons
- Firework - Katy Perry
- 21 - Adele
- Wasting Light - Foo Fighters
- Born This Way - Lady Gaga
- Doo-Wops & Hooligans - Bruno Mars
- Loud - Rihanna
- All of the Lights - Jeff Bhasker, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie)
- The Cave - Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters (Mumford & Sons)
- Grenade - Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
- Holocene - Justin Vernon, songwriter (Bon Iver)
- Rollin In The Deep - Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters (Adele)
Image by Dallas Bittle via Wikipedia
Q: Who has extraordinary musical talent, extraordinary good looks, extraordinary stage-presence as well as world renown, an extraordinary talent for turning classics into ultra-modern, an extraordinarily diverse fan-base, AND just came out with a Christmas album?
A: YES! Michael Buble!
(Okay.... Big swoon!)
Michael Buble... he's the one with the silky voice, the one that hushes all women's conversations the moment one of his songs comes over the radio, the one who sells out every venue he books worldwide, the one who has the very best, youngest and hottest musicians around, both in studio and in his music videos... he's he one! (Move OVER, Frank Sinatra!)
Ozzy Osbourne (Public Domain Image via Wikipedia)
In honor of HALLOWEEN, an UP CLOSE tribute to the man who possibly started it all!
Ozzy Osbourne is as popular today as he ever was, (maybe even more). A heavy metal icon who is adored by school children AND their grandparents, with a musical career that has spanned more than 40 years! Not too many artists can boast such a broad and diverse fan base, particularly considering the Ozzy persona of 'crazy-bad-boy'. Or maybe that's a part of the appeal!
Born John Michael Osbourne, (Ozzy picked up the nickname in school,) rose to fame as the lead singer and front man for the English heavy metal band, BLACK SABBATH, whose debut album was released in 1970. The band's sound was radically different, and helped spawn the heavy metal genre, and Osbourne was later dubbed "The Godfather of Heavy Metal". (Thanks Ozzy!!)
To date, Ozzy has sold over 100 million albums worldwide as a solo artist and as a member of Black Sabbath. Early on, for Black Sabbath, albums, Paranoid and Master of Reality, enjoyed fabulous success worldwide.
Osbourne left Black Sabbath in 1978 for three months to pursue interest in a solo project he called Blizzard of Ozz, but returned just months later. Then, Ozzy was fired from Black Sabbath 1979. Ozzy himself reports that the causes were mainly due to 'all the drugs', not just his own partaking, but everyone in the band.
"Earl Owensby has received numerous honors for his success and achievements. Honors granted Mr. Owensby include NC Hall Of Fame, #15 of the top 100 people in NC in 100 years, Award UNCC North Carolina, and numerous others. Many schools and Universities refer to Earl Owensby when teaching the movie industry, specifically, classes at Duke University, Gardner Webb University, as well as a section in the North Carolina History Books."
The Boss Micro BR BR-80 is a great little multi-track studio built into a form factor that fits in your pocket. It comes bundled with Cakewalk's Sonar X1 LE for editing your tracks once you've transferred them to your computer. Can be used as a field recorder with either it's internal mics or by using it's guitar and line inputs..
- Three modes: MTR (multi-track recorder), eBand, and Live Rec
- Records directly to SD/SDHC memory card (up to 32 GB)
- High-quality stereo condenser microphone built in for instant audio capture
- 64 V-Tracks and eight simultaneous playback tracks
- eBand function for phrase training and play-along tracks
- Huge library of built-in backing and rhythm patterns
- World-class COSM® amps and effects onboard
- Use as a USB audio interface with built-in effects
- SONAR X1 LE software included
Image by Wikipediavia
Ricky Nelson (Public Domain Image via Wikipedia)