Live Music Fans,
This week, we are happy to be involved in four excellent opportuities to put more live music in your lives. It starts on a sleepy Thursday NIght with a fantastic quartet in the area to play a gig with the Infamous Stringdusters, Trampled by Turtles and Railroad Earth in Steamboat. Cool lineup up North and we were lucky to have two of those headliners in our little room. Yes, there really is a river called The Whyless and they are a great band to book for a weeknight; or any night for that matter. Then, on Friday Night our Streak continues in fine fashion with the return of an amazing high school rock band who play way beyond their years.
Then, on Saturday, we are helping present a fantastic guitar player in the True Nature Kiva. And, while the impressive Christie Lenee is in town for a show, why not offer a special guitar workshop with her in the shop, right?
So, here comes another week with lots of musical options booked just for your entertainment pleasure. Come on out for some gorgeous live music. Always a good thing for your complexion and much more. Cheap and effective medicine, for sure. Try it out every chance you get. That’s my plan.
See you at the shows!!
THURSDAY NIGHT – FEBRUARY 21ST – THE RIVER WHYLESS – 8:30PM – www.riverwhyless.com
This talented quartet got together back in 2012 and have not looked back yet in their sweet home in Asheville, North Carolina. They should sound wonderful in the little old byob music room. This is a good one! Check out their website videos and know that they will sound way better in the room so come on out. Here’s some words on the great touring band coming to town for a rare show. Catch it while you can! They may not be back in the room when they get too “big” for it; just like the Stringdusters and Turtles.
“Daniel Shearin, Ryan O’Keefe, Halli Anderson, and Alex McWalters met as students at Appalachian State University. Each moved to Asheville, North Carolina, after graduation. McWalters said that they considered moving to Austin, Nashville, New York, or L.A., but chose Asheville. O’Keefe, Anderson and McWalters were already performing in a band when Shearin joined them in 2012.[2 “]
River Whyless released their first full-length album titled A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door in 2012. They followed that by releasing a self-titled EP in 2015. In 2016, River Whyless released their second full-length album titled We All The Light via Roll Call Records. We All the Light, combines bluegrass-harmonies with fiddle and guitar to create a distinctive sound.” The band changes their environment to get different perspectives while songwriting. They have written music in a woodshed in Maine, a living room studio in Oregon belonging to Justin Ringle of the band Horse Feathers, and a variety of other settings outside of Asheville.
On October 19, 2017, their song “Life Crisis” was used as the episode end-credits music for the FX seriocomedy Better Things.
We’ve been a band for about 10 years. During that time I can honestly say that I have never really doubted our ability to take our dream and turn it into a reality. Sure, there were periods where we were down. Moments of frustration, and in those moments of grappling, the only option was to work to pull ourselves up and to fix whatever problem was hamstringing our slow inevitable march towards success. I never thought about what was after music. Or even that there was an after music. For me, there was never a “plan B”. I think as an artist or entrepreneur you can’t have a backup plan. It somehow confuses and dilutes your primary goal. That’s what makes it so damn risky. Anyway, we were driving home from a tough supporting tour, we were broke, which wasn’t uncommon. Halli had just moved to Oregon and we’d dropped her at a Motel 6 to spend the night before her morning flight. Watching her check into the motel as we pulled away felt like an ending. It was as if I removed a pair of tunnel vision goggles and could see the world and my life for the first time since we started this band. I felt incredibly small, fragile, irresponsible, foolish, at a loss for what to do next and very alone. The reality of what we had been trying to do for a decade came crashing down in an almost laughable way. We didn’t talk about it and I don’t know if anyone felt the same way but, at that moment, I changed. I could talk about this for hours. The funny thing is that a month later we had the most successful tour we’ve ever had. Without those tours and my wife’s steady support and understanding, I don’t know what would happen. Writing songs is pretty easy, making a career out of it is the hard part.
In the process of making Kindness, A Rebel — in part because it all happened so fast and frenetically — I feel I achieved a certain level of self-acceptance. Maybe this had something to do with changes in my personal life. Entering an MFA program for Fiction has helped assuage some of my creative anxiety at the same time it’s been tremendously humbling. Whatever it was, I felt Kindness, A Rebel was a letting go, an embrace of our weaknesses and a celebration of our strengths. We all have weaknesses, and it was something of a revelation to me to realize that they can be interesting, that imperfection is as compelling as the talent that surrounds it.
For the past two years I’ve been splitting my time between Astoria, OR, Asheville, NC, and life on the road. I’ve managed to create a different version of myself for each of these places– multiple personalities, if you will, resulting in the deterioration of my core identity. It’s strange (and sad) to say, but the only place that I felt completely “me” was in the making of Kindness, A Rebel. There’s something about creating music in the studio that allows one to forget the pomp and circumstance and be more present, more instinctual. Our songs were recorded quickly and viscerally, without the normal level of scrutinization, which I am most guilty of! I was more comfortable in the vast solitude of west Texas, with space and time to be imaginative and let my nervous system breathe. I meditated in the sun, and ate pecans off the ground. I played with five different farm cats, drank the best tequila, and at night, saw the Milky Way. I didn’t feel the death grip of social dread (“Another Shitty Party”) or fight the urge to jump on my cell-phone (“All of My Friends”). Making Kindess was a giant massage for my soul, and though I’ll have to readapt to the sporadic touring and traveling back and forth across the country, I have music and my bandmates to remind me of where I belong.
2017 was a year of change for me, full of milestones and undeniable reminders of the passing of time. To begin with, as we all know, the presidency changed hands. Regardless of who was taking his place, I felt the close of the Obama presidency in a deep way, a serious wake-up call to how quickly time is passing and how something you’ve intwined in your own growth and every-day life can simply run its course and be gone. Then in the following months, I got engaged, bought a house, began building a recording studio, became an uncle and most significantly, lost my father to a sudden and unexplained illness. He was an immeasurable source of love, guidance, friendship and support in my life, so this rocked me incredibly hard and shaped/colored the rest of the year (to date). I must add that my bandmates and manager were monumental in helping me through this experience.
Meanwhile, Halli had moved to Oregon, so RW was going through its own changes as well, beginning to work in a more structured fashion with definite “on” times and “off” times. This defined how we wrote this record — in concise, limited sessions of full-immersion, a departure from how we wrote records in the past, with much more time and reflection, drafting some songs several times over before arriving at an agreeable final version. Though I knew this new approach would require a certain amount of artistic concessions, I had always wanted to make a record this way so I was excited that we were taking that route. Of course, as we hurdled through the process, that proved to be true. We indeed had to make plenty of concessions. But having found a profound peace and beauty in the process of letting go throughout the year, and recognizing the growth that can rise in the place of what is gone, this felt natural and right.”
FRIDAY NIGHT – FEBRUARY 22ND – SLEEPY JUSTICE RETURNS! – 8:30PM – www.facebook.com/SleepyJusticeCarbondale
Since the very start, we have felt our little room served as a place where local musicians could play what they wanted for an appreciative local crowd. We created a space for local musicians to hone their songs and skills in front of their friends, family and a few strangers who wandered into the scene. We felt it was important to have a room where musicians could play their original and cover songs in a supportive and loving environment surrounded by my guitars. Can’t beat the sound, that’s for sure. Every few years over the last 20, a special band of very young players appears on the scene like a musical comet streaking across the valley. Sleepy Justice plays classic rock songs from when I was there age and they do it with youthful enthusiasm and great skill. You may have caught their act in Sopris Park and other venues in the past couple years so you know these kids can rock. Check them out before they graduate from high school and local music scene.
“Sleepy Justice is a 5 piece Alternative Rock Band from Carbondale Colorado. The group started jamming out as young kids and eventually began to play gigs as a cover band. Sleepy Justice has since branched into an original sound with hints of Jazz, Blues, Rock and much more. Huge amounts of inspiration can be drawn from artists like Gary Clark Jr., Frank Ocean, and John Mayer, among many others. The release of two song EP, Another Night, is just the beginning of many more songs to come in the future.”
SATURDAY NIGHT – FEBRUARY 23RD – CHRISTIE LENEE AT THE KIVA – 7PM – www.truenaturehealingarts.com for tickets – $25
I have loved seeing how True Nature has tramsformed the old concrete yard that my old landlord, HP, owned back a couple decades. They have turned it from a construction zone into a Zen oasis in the middle of town. Just down the block from the Village Smithy, Eaden and Deva Shantay, have created a paradise of a downtown garden with a sweet place to enjoy smoothies, tea and food along with workshops for personal growth. The grounds also feature the only Kiva in the area where they have special events.
After touring the unique Kiva space, I was inspired to book an act that would fit the round room. That’s just when Christie Lenee came across my booking eyes for the shop. I think she just might be the perfect act to fulfill my initial inspiration for the special space. Christee is a fantastic guitarist who was familiar with True Nature’s mission and totally into it. So, we are pleased to be working with True Nature for the first time and look forward to hearing the beautiful live music room in the Kiva. Should be sweet!
A few more words on Christie from her website following. This is a major league, accoumplished guitar player coming our way. Take advantage of this rare show in the Kiva; which happens to have an impressive state-of-the-art sound system. Can’t wait to feel the subwoofers installed in the ceiling. The Kiva may even sound better than our little room, right? Nah. Not enough hanging guitars .
“BREAKING NEWS: Christie is now featured in Guitar Player Magazine’s May 2018 FRETS section with a full center-fold article!The on-line version includes exclusive live video.
“2017 International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Christie LenÃ©e is a captivating performer with a devoted following among instrumental, folk-pop and rock band audiences. Combining guitar mastery, contemporary singer/songwriter and a passion for storytelling, she thrives onbringing people together through the language of music.
Christie’s unique guitar work and profound instrumental compositions are well described as‘Michael Hedges meets Joni Mitchell andDave Matthews.’ Among the vast community of fingerstyle and tapping guitarists, her niche is the integration of melodic pop lyricism with catchy hooks that excite both modern commercial listeners and classic purists. With a menu of percussive and sonic effects, and larger than life sounding instruments, her solo shows embody layers of orchestral elements with a wide array of dynamics and harmonic textures.
Christie’s pieces have been showcased at the NAMM Show in Anaheim and Nashville, live on National Television and Radio, and on stage with artists such as Tim Reynolds (guitarist for Dave Matthews Band), Andy McKee, Tommy Emmanuel, Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls, and Stanley Jordan to name a few. Her most recent album “STAY” was one of three finalists for “Best CDof 2016” (Indie Acoustic Project Awards), including the song “Love Who You Are” nominated for a 2016 Posi Award in the category “Songs for Personal Transformation.”Christie spent most of 2017 on tour in the US, Australia, and many countries around Asia. She’s now back in the studio recording new songs, intentionally crafted to weave her compositional guitar wizardry with folk-pop lyricism and ever exceeding vocal performances. The first three singles on deck, “Free World Citizen,” “Call My Heart Back Home” and “Dear Julia” also include musical contributions by the acclaimed bassist/musical prodigy Tal Wilkenfeld (Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea), and world-renowned drummer/percussionist Allison Miller (Ani Difranco, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Merchant).
“Christie LenÃ©e is a wonderful spirit making beautiful music on the guitar. She has epic compositions that take one on a journey through time.”
~ Tim Reynolds, Guitarist for Dave Matthews Band
“… One of the most shockingly moving interludes we’ve ever had. It was more than the fluid, neck-tapping virtuosity. She seemed to radiate joy.”
~ Craig Havighurst, Music City Roots, Nashville, TN
“The message in the music of Christie LenÃ©e is crystal-clear and unambiguous. And that message is a celebration of life, love and joy. The elation in her voice, the ever-present smile on her face, her warm and embracing lyrics, her wonderful between-songs anecdotes, and her brilliant guitar playing all point directly to that message.”
~ Scott Hopkins, MusicFest News
SATURDAY AFTERNOON – FEBRUARY 23RD – GUITAR WORKSHOP WITH CHRISTIE LENEE – 2 TO 4PM – $50
We have hosted some wonderful guitar workshops in the past and this was another good opportunity to take advange of Christie being in town. She has put on a wide variety of workshops and can tailor it to the level of the participants. So, check out her website and see if you would be interested in learning some new skills on your guitar. If something catches your interest send us an email stating if you would want to join her workshop and what you are looking to learn from her. Let us know. Here’s some more words from the website.
Acoustic Expressions: Creative Fingerstyle Guitar:
2017 International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Christie LenÃ©e views the guitar as an entire spectrum of musical possibilities. Rooted from the simplicity of seeing the guitar first as a tool for self expression, she says that one of the greatest skills to develop as a musician is to be able to “play what you hear” and speak music as a language. “To feel relaxed, fluid and connected to the instrument is like breathing… and THAT is when the magic happens.”
Christie will share creative insights about the guitar beginning at the art of listening and ear training, fundamentals of holding the instrument, how to play completely relaxed with minimal effort, and how to translate musical expressions through our hands. Other concepts include songwriting and composition approaches, right hand fingerpicking patterns with creative examples, chord progressions and harmonization, a modern approach to understanding music theory, improvisation, opening up the guitar neck and finding new chord voicings, open tunings, using harmonics and low drones, rhythmic guitar slapping, finger tapping and creating memorable guitar riffs.
This is a special workshop designed for guitarists, songwriters and composers of all levels. While it will get into some fairly advanced techniques and allow advanced players to thrive, all musicians including beginners are welcome!
“I believe in music… the way I believe in miracles.” – Christie LenÃ©e
Songwriters often find themselves stuck in a creative rut playing the same old chords and patterns. How do you free yourself from traditional forms? How do you break out of the box? How can you expand your palette of musical ideas? For all those answers and mega doses of inspiration, dig deep into Christie LenÃ©e’s Creative Fingerstyle Guitar for Songwriters.
Combining guitar virtuosity, lyrical storytelling, and a passion for positivity, Christie LenÃ©e leaves her audiences feeling inspired. “She’s got unparalleled skill on the guitar, songs that go straight to the heart, plus an immediate and deep connection with the audience. She wowed everybody!”
2017 International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Christie LenÃ©e views the guitar as an entire spectrum of musical possibilities. Rooted from the simplicity of seeing the guitar first as a tool for self-expression, she says that one of the greatest skills to develop as a musician is to be able to “play what you hear” and speak music as a language. “To feel relaxed, fluid and connected to the instrument is like breathing… and THAT is when the magic happens.”
Christie’s masterful guitar work and profound instrumental compositions are well described as ‘Michael Hedges meets Joni Mitchell and Dave Matthews.’ She is also a passionate educator and we’re very excited to welcome Christie to the family with her first TrueFire course, Creative Fingerstyle Guitar for Songwriters.
Christie will share creative insights about the guitar beginning at fundamentals of holding the instrument, how to play completely relaxed with minimal effort, and how to translate musical expressions through our hands. Other concepts include songwriting and composition approaches, opening up the guitar neck, right-hand fingerpicking patterns with creative examples, open tunings and variations, using harmonics and low drones, creating memorable guitar riffs, and an intro to rhythmic guitar slapping and tapping.
”Throughout the course I’ll show you more than 20 creative fingerstyle approaches to spark songwriting ideas and excite your guitar playing. We’ll apply those concepts across seven performance studies that integrate melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic ideas. You can learn them note for note, from top to bottom, or just pull out a few pieces to inspire your own compositions.”
Christie organized the course in a series of studies. In the first and second study, she’ll show you a handful of melodic applications for harmonizing major scales with new grooves and patterns. In the third study, you’ll learn how to apply chromatic movement, low drones, and harmonics on a melodic ballad in drop-D. The next study, in the key of C, explores new concepts including open string pull-offs, slides, and upper position chord voicings.
The fifth and sixth studies focus on altering bass notes, coloring chords, adding harmonics and right-hand slaps with a funky groove. The seventh and final study introduces DADGAD tuning, right-hand percussion, left-hand finger tapping and upper voice melodies.
“One of the most inspiring things about the guitar is its endless potential for creating interesting sonic landscapes. Songwriters often find themselves stuck in a creative rut playing the same old chords and patterns. I’ve designed this course to help you break out of the box and expand your palette of musical ideas. Throughout the course, I’ll show you more than 20 creative fingerstyle approaches to spark songwriting ideas and excite your guitar playing. We’ll apply those concepts across seven performance studies that integrate melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic ideas. You can learn them note for note, from top to bottom, or just pull out a few pieces to inspire your own compositions.”
As you work through all of the studies, Christie shares 24 fresh and creative approaches for accompaniment and songwriting on guitar: Major Scale Exploration, Harmonize a Scale Melodically, Incorporate a Picking Pattern, Groove & Melody Interplay, Play with Picking Pattern, Forget What You Know, Play with Chromatic Movement, Drone Notes & Scale-Based Melodies, Harmonics for Melody Ideas, Rhythmic Percussive Slap, Embellish Progressions with Slides, Try Playing with Higher Voicings, Exploring Open String Colors, Percussive Picking, Change Bass Notes Mid Pattern, Try Relative Minor in a Progression, Re-voice Your Chords with Harmonics, Cascading Harmonics, Try an Open Tuning, Moving Bass Lines to Build Songs, Melody in the Top Voice, Adding Dynamic Textures in Middle Voice, Guitar Percussion & Tapping, and DADGAD tuning.
All of the performance studies come with standard notation, tablature, and a detailed breakdown. You can also loop or slow down any of the videos down so that you can work with the lessons at your own pace.
Grab your guitar, and let’s bust out of our ruts with Christie LenÃ©e!
Steve, Mary Margaret and Shannon