Archive for January, 2012

Good-Bye Etta James 1938-2012

Posted in Female Vocalist, Gold Record, Hall Of Fame, Platinum Hits, Talent, Tribute with tags , on January 29, 2012 by damngoodtunes

Etta James sang some of the finest blues we will ever know. This legendary music icon who gave us a lifetime of extraordinary music passed away last week at the age of 73 after a battle with leukemia. Her legacy includes a long list of chart topping pop, rock, soul, and jazz in addition to the blues. She did it all. Her signature was that unmistakable style and sound that could pull the life right out of every note she sang. And she sang to us for literally decades with a singing career that spanned more than 55 years. Her music wowed my parents generation in the 1960s  just as it does today for my own children who always have her music on their I-Pod play lists. Her sound simply transcends time.

A long list of awards recognizes the achievements for her many years of hard work. The Blues Foundation of Memphis, TN, supporting blues music and its heritage, have nominated James for a Blues Music Award nearly every year since their beginning in 1980. And she has received some form of their Blues Female Artist of the Year award 14 times since 1989 and she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001. Her sound was recognizable even as she crossed music’s genre of styles for which she also holds 6 Grammys and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 as well as the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2001. The list of awards goes on and on.

Her recorded music will help sooth our soul as her sound lives on. But Etta James, we will miss you terribly.

Kris Edem


Food & Tunes – new section of the webzine!

Posted in cuisine, food and music, Port Townsend, restaurants with tags , , , on January 17, 2012 by damngoodtunes


There is a nostalgic if not magical place called Port Townsend that is situated on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State where it’s deep water port and abundance of resources and natural beauty abound. The somewhat eight-thousand resident population swells at times from the tourists and part-time Seattle visitors who come to this place to enjoy the quaint shops filled with hard to find imported toys from Europe, antiques, records, books and so much more. But it is not the peaceful walks down Water street or the gazing into the Puget Sound, viewing and touring historical homes and buildings that are the main attractions, for it is the Art and Music which is the lifeblood of this community although also known for live theatre and events such as the Brewfest, Rhody Festival and the Shrimpfest among others. Music is a vital part of the livelihood of Port Townsend and in particular one venue The Upstage stand out above the rest for it’s constant contribution to the local music scene with live entertainment several nights a week including Blues, Jazz and Classical and an open mic Mondays. The Upstage boasts a beautiful grand piano on its center view stage with visibility form virtually any seat in the house. The wooden dance floor, excellent acoustics, ambient lighting and wall art provide an warm environment for concerts, bands and entertainers. Known for many years as a Blues and Jazz establishment, The Upstage has welcomed nationally known touring acts, greater Puget Sound area Blues artists and local talent which, by the way, there is a lot of! And let’s not forget the food….And this writer will let you know that I had what I believe was the very best Pizza I have ever had in my life and that’s a tall statement because I use to work in pizza places in my earlier days and am a pretty fair cook. But this, a Mediterranean Chicken Pizza was absolutely delicious with it’s paper-thin crackery crust and I believe Asiago cheese …oh man, I’m salivating! They serve many other wonderful things on the menu like Cajun, Balkan, Russian, & Indian cuisine so there is no limit to how one might satisfy the palate while listening to some of the best live music within three-hundred miles! And lets not forget to mention the great brews, fine wines and total hospitality from owner Mark Cole and his entire friendly staff who will make your experience at The Upstage and Port Townsend a total ” magical ” memory! That just about covers it ! Now here’s  how to find The Upstage:

923 Washington Street

Port Townsend Washington


Phone: 360.385.2216

If you like this review you may find it in it’s entirety with additional photos:

Learn The Basics with Linda Harborth

Posted in Indie Music, Life, Management, songwriter with tags , , on January 5, 2012 by damngoodtunes

Linda harborth - Contributing Journalist

Just like anything else in life – learn the basics. Practice what you learn. This is your foundation. Learn song structure. Join organizations like NSAI and local groups. Reach out and find a mentor or two. Learn to network. Take songwriting courses and buy foundation books. You need a library of inspiration to fall back on from time to time. I also like biography books about musicians. There are hidden gems in them. Find your groove….be it an emotion, a fabulous song or a thought in your head. Write it down before it flies away. Have a working file of all of these. Find a time every day to sit down and write. There will be times when nothing happens – so be it. It’s the effort made everyday. Write, write, write. Then put it away – let it simmer – then re-look with fresh eyes. Some of my work has taken years before it was ready to be recorded. Don’t rush – let the work tell you when it’s ready. Build a catalog of your work. Be part of the world. Become a people watcher. Try new things. Listen to the radio. Find out why you love certain songs and hate others. Use that song as your inspiration – to figure out how you can change the lyrics/music to be yours. Listen more and talk less. Listen to what others suggest – give it a try – but if it’s not working for you, listen to your inner you. Learn what makes “you” tick. Spend time alone. Always have a recorder or pen and paper with you. Don’t ever think you know everything about this craft. It’s a life time adventure. Writing is my therapy. It’s a love/hate relationship. This is probably the hardest field to choose. You will have many more negative comments or worse yet – no comments than successes. Learn to live with it and go on. There are some really flaky people in this field. Take time to decompress, eat right, get enough sleep and don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time. Time to think, understand and sometimes just “be”. You are a work in progress. Find your balance, Complacency or stress will both kill your spirit. Strive for excellence but accept your failures. Learn from your failures. I need to have a goal. It helps me stay focused. There’s a saying, “You don’t learn from your successes. You learn from your failures.” Find out what you love and are good at and hire/find the best of the rest. Above all, remember the golden rule – treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself.

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