Introducing Birdtalker!

The Summer of 2016 was an incredibly fun and productive season.  My passion project Birdtalker officially released our EP ‘Just This’ with the leading single ‘Heavy’ reaching 2.5 Million plays on spotify in just a few months!  While I continue to tour Internationally with both Tanya Tucker and Tunnel Six, I very much look forward to what the future has in store for Birdtalker!  Please have a listen using the links below:

Spotify

ITunes

Here is a live acoustic version of Heavy:

Awesome Acoustic Solo by Bryan Sutton – Carter Beckworth’s Everyone I’ve Ever Met

About a year ago I was lucky to be an assistant during Carter’s tracking sessions here in Nashville. In true “A List” style, the guitar player, Bryan Sutton, slammed this acoustic solo on the first take! I’ve since always thought about it and decided to lift it note for note. Check out Carter Beckworth’s album Humble Heart on itunes, produced by my friend Fred Mollin and mixed by Dave Salley.

A Tribute to a Canadian Icon

Everybody loves Neil Young.  Whether we have some distant memory of his song at a high school dance (ok realistically it was mostly Nelly at ours but still the thought is nice) or we have studied his every record and watched his segment on The Last Waltz a few thousand times, he will remain in our collective conscious as a prolific lyricist with an angelically unique voice.  In tribute to his overall greatness I put together a short solo guitar arrangement of his song Harvest Moon.  Enjoy!

The View From Above

Very early this morning I began my journey towards Canada to embark on Tunnel Six’s 4th Canadian/US tour!  We’ll be starting this year off in Winnipeg and Brandon Manitoba with a few gigs and a clinic, then onward to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Seattle and Portland just to name a few.  This year will be an exciting one for us as we push the release of our second full length album “Alive”.  Similar to last year I will be posting updates on tunnel six’s website every few days so please follow us there over the next few weeks!

Here is a link where you can purchase our new album!

http://tunnelsix.bandcamp.com/album/alive

And lastly a little snapshot from out my window of the airplane right as I crossed the border into the great Canadian tundra!

 

Twenty Thirteen

While I may have been MIA from my website blogging duties in the last month or so, luckily that hasn’t been the case in the making’s of the music’s here in Nashville (I imagine a lame Cosby accent to go with that last part).  But first in news:

Tunnel Six is very happy to announce that our support from the Canada Council of the Arts has come through for us again!  We will be touring accross the west coast of Canada and the US this spring.  We are thrilled as a group and are looking forward to push our second album containing all ‘Live’ material from the previous tour.  In fact the final mixes are just coming in now.   As well, we are discussing the possibilty of doing a residency this summer to potentially begin work on a 3rd record.  So jazz lives on in my life at least for another year.

As for Nashville, 2013 is shaping up to be an exciting time.  Ive been playing a slew of gigs with one of the cities newest artist Gavin Shea.   We managed to play both 12 & Porter and Mercy Lounge last weekend to a well received crowd.  Our sound is loud and proud and has no mercy for the still.  You can hear Gavin’s epically awesome EP recorded by a local producer Chris Gill here.Lastly, the writing continues with my southern friends Jaysen Gold and Hillary Green.  Here is a song we’ve recently gone done inspired by the images of a late night in Alabama’s infamous summer heat , a battery powered radio and a good ole fashion porch swing.   Luke Bryan eat your heart out…. or buy our song!

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Just A Kiss

I’m happy to hear that the mixes for Kevin Myles Wilson’s new EP have come in!  They sound great!  My favorite of the batch is one called “Just A Kiss”.  For this song I got to record lap steel, banjo and electric guitar but most prominently featured is Kevin’s voice.  While my stuff was layed down out of my apartment here in Nashville, the rest was recorded and mixed up in Toronto by Davey James.

Click the player below to listen:

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Last weekend I had a blast playing lead guitar with Jer Gregg’s cover band “TimberDog” at the Red Rooster.  Something I have noticed since arriving in Nashville is that they sure have a soft spot for 70’s classic rock and 90’s alternative.  This is a good thing for a working guitar player since the guitar is almost always a featured instrument.  The popularity of this music is not surprising for a city that is known as the guitar capital of the world!

Sunday morning was a little more country.  I played Dobro with my co-writing partner Jaysen Gold at the famous Blue Bird Cafe in hopes to be selected for one of their future song writing nights.  The Blue Bird has been known for years as the hot spot for hit songwriters to workshop their material before pitching it tomajor artists and publishing houses.  As well it is highly featured in the storyline and filmed on location in the ABC network TV show: Nashville.

Happy Holidays Y’all… (ehem)… Everyone!

Starstruck with a Gig

Nashville is full of many recording studios, some say up to 200 active and thriving!  I got     the chance to assist on a really great tracking session over at Starstruck Studios with fellow “Canuck” Fred Mollin as producer and Dave Salley as Engineer.  Durring the two day session I got to see some of the best “A list” players lay down their parts.  The guitar players were awesome and had the gear to support just about any sound you can imagine.  Fred himself owns about a billion guitars (actual number may vary) with some notables including a 12 string Taylor, a 12 String electric Rickenbacker, a few classic Gretschs,  and even a 7 String Martin with a double coursed middle G for a a little extra chime in its strum.

 On top of that I’ve been busy rehearsing for a gig this Friday night at 12 & Porter.  I’ll be playing just about every instrument I own as the Acoustic/Utility player for Madison Cain.   So if you’re looking for something to do this Friday night, we go on around 10pm.

Banjos & Whiskey

This week has been a busy one!  After assisting on two tracking sessions over at Fireside I’ve been spending my time recording, guitar, banjo and lap steel at home for my friend Kevin Myles Wilson’s new EP.  Kevin’s a friend and artist I started working with a little over a year or so back in Toronto.   Back then Kevin was looking for a band to back him up so my pre-existing, silly, alt-country group Cletus figured we may as well go ahead and jump in.

Last week, I was lucky enough to have Kevin and his friend Gabor join me down here in Nashville for a few days.  Amidst partying across town we also toured the Jack Daniel’s distillery and picked up a bottle or two.  I find whiskey always goes well with a little banjo!

Arrived in Nashville!

So I have made it to Nashville Tennessee to explore my creative options in the mid-south. After about ten years of performing, writing and studying in Toronto, I decided it was time to try something new. To see what it’s like to change the scenery and start out fresh!
So far my experience in Nashville has been on the lucky side of things. After connecting with a well known Canadian producer here in town I got my foot in the door as an intern at a studio on Music Row called Fireside Studios. At the studio I have been helping out with the larger tracking sessions and even got to help on a video shoot! Here is a look at the studio as well as a classic Gretsch guitar all decked out for a Christmas video shoot!

As a performer, I have picked up a few lessons from a local slide guitar legend named Tom Britt. He is best known for performing with Vince Gill. Upon starting my lessons with him there is a lot I have learned about the “Nashville” sound, something I will be writing more detail about in my next post!

Stay tuned!