Archive for the Guitar Player Category

ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2011

Posted in Croatian Music, Guitar Player, Indie Music with tags , , , on December 11, 2011 by damngoodtunes

Dario Plevnik
Artist of The Year

When we first heard about Croatian musician and composer Dario Plevnik back in 2009 we were taken by his beautiful melodies as we are still today. But there would come to be much more to the story of Dario that would not appear here in our publication until now.

It would be difficult for most of us to understand, let alone to tell about the part of the world where Dario and his music comes from. Many of us are too young to even remember the Bosnian war and most of us have never seen a war happen in our homeland as Dario Plevnik has seen and even felt the pain of imprisonment with members of his family and of his town.

What shapes us as human beings? What makes us who we are as artists and musicians? What is it about our surroundings and environment that gives us “soul” that others feel when we play an instrument? There are a multitude of answers to these questions but for Dario it was all of this and more. This man has great pride in Croatia and there is nowhere else he’d rather be than there in the home that he built with his own hands and with his beautiful wife, Darija. She, their daughter, his family, friends, his home and his country are what inspires him to play music and to write from his heart about what he feels and what he thinks. To have come from a war-torn country and to see it blossom back into the Eden that it is today is a miracle and an epic of survival. For a writer of music or a teller of tales, there is something compelling about the events of the world and of mankind’s evolution through war and peace and his continuous search for spiritual perfection. Dario Plevnik has managed to blend and forge all of that history of the past and to merge it with the glory of the present – into some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard.

This writer has had the privilege of knowing thousands of musicians and artists in my lifetime, and a great number of them have come from this publication. Usually time is premium and there is only so much we can do and so many to serve that we do not have the luxury of flying all over the world and having the pleasure of meeting these artists in person who live in countries outside the USA. With Dario Plevnik I knew form the start there was an amazing journey about to unfold, and that would be that he and his wife would become important friends, more like family to me. We have sent so many e-mails back and forth over the past couple years that we know much about each other. And, thank goodness for the internet and Skype, we have been able to visit face-to-face! I have been on a virtual tour of Dario’s home, the home that he rebuilt a few years ago with the help of his wife and closest friends and family. It is a lovely home with large exposed wooden beams, chandeliers that he made himself and many other masterful touches. His studio at home is his domain – the place where he spends many long hours creating, recording and editing. Dario has become a great producer and engineer besides being an incredible musician and I am sure that many people would pay great sums of money to sit with Dario and have him produce their music. Right now though, Dario’s own compositions are being noticed all over the world and it is only a matter of time before his hard work will pay off in a big way.

We have never had an Artist Of The year before and the criteria was not limited to having a CD ready to go and being retail ready. This person must possess humility and grace and is someone who cares about the planet, it’s people and his family. In other words, we were seeking someone who would be a good neighbor and friend, yet someone who has it in his heart to share his art with anyone who will listen and not just so he can be paid to perform. Someone who is driven to the degree that there is nothing else he would rather do than to make music. This is not a hobbyist, this is a true professional artist. And for Dario Plevnik, the music does not come because there is a deadline to meet. He does not work at a song factory. True inspiration comes to him perhaps divinely and he acts upon that inspiration and creates intricate and memorable melodies.

His latest album is called Croatian Waters and it will be released within a few weeks on the Reve Records label of Las Vegas Nevada. There have been some discussions for Dario to make a world tour, beginning in North America primarily on the college and University levels where people are starving to know more about the music, art and cultures of other lands. He would be happy to do so but has admitted that he loves his family so much and his country so dearly that he would not want to be away for too long, Who could blame him?

Dario’s songs evoke pictures in one’s mind of grassy fields, pure stream waters and gentle lakes, farms, blues skies and a happy and proud Croatia that has healed from it’s wounds and has chosen to live life to the fullest. The ten tracks on the album really took me on a journey I must say, because they were so easy on the ears and free of clutter. Recorded only with a classical guitar and drums, no Bass, keys or over-processing, the music pulls you in and within three seconds you feel that nothing is missing at all. In fact, the melody of each song finds its way to your mind, flowing directly into your heart. A wonderful artist with so much love in every note he plays. A true master, a sweet man and a keeper of the dream, Dario Plevnik is a one of a kind musician and a most deserving Artist of The Year!

Bruce Maier

Two Great New Bands

Posted in Blues Band, Compound Blues Band, Guitar Player, Guitars, Independent Music, Indie Music, Interviews, Reviews, Rock Band, The Paul Keller Band on July 27, 2010 by damngoodtunes

Today we feature two excellent new bands from the Pacific Northwest and both are excellent!
From South Surrey BC just outside of Vancouver comes the Compound Blues Band, a hot Blues-Rock group that’s been around for a long time and still approaches the music with passion- as it should be!
Next we have The Paul Keller Band from Napavine Washington. Paul’s excellent vocals and stage presence is complimented not only by his guitar playing but also by the great original songs he produces and performs live, every night.Paul’s CD is already out and you can find out more about the record and The Paul Keller Band right now.Go to damngoodtunes.com for the whole story today!
THE PAUL KELLER BAND

Great time for musicians

Posted in Guitar Player, Guitars, Independent Music, Indie Music, Journalism with tags , , , on June 24, 2010 by damngoodtunes

Summertime is excellent for those of us who like to travel and also for performing outdoors at events in front of masses of people. I’m out here on the wets coast ( yes I said ” wets ” ) getting ready for some shows I’ve had planned for a while. We’re all happy to be playing anytime but there’s just something special about Summer that makes the guitar-pickin’ fingers work a little better me thinks! I invite your comments.
Bruce Maier/dgt

Visit Eric Normand’s website

Posted in Guitar Player, Guitars, Independent Music, Interviews, Journalism, News, recording, Reviews with tags , on June 15, 2010 by damngoodtunes

Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you know that our friend and Nashville Editor, Eric Normand has his own great website and Blog. This is great reading folks.

Guitarist, working musician, author and blogger.

Eric brings his insights and experiences from the past and the present together as only a true working musician could do. I personally love his music ideas and some of the tips like correct usage of ” Vibrato “. So check out EricNormand.com today!

Artist of the Month – Jessie Torrisi

Posted in Agents, Female Vocalist, Guitar Player, Guitars, Human Rights, Independent Music, Indie Music, Interviews, Journalism, Management, Peace, Promotions, Publicists, recording, Reviews, Uncategorized with tags on May 23, 2010 by damngoodtunes

Jessie Torrisi


Jessie Torrisi reached our attention late last year through our contacts at XO Publicity. She writes her own music, plays several instruments and is an exciting performing artist with her own band, The Please Please Me band of Austin Texas.
See here complete story today in DGT
JESSIE’S NEW CD IS NOW AVAILABLE

FIRE, FIRE!

I was always a Fender man

Posted in Giving Thanks, Guitar Player, Guitars, Independent Music, Memorial, Mentoring, Tribute with tags , , , on May 19, 2010 by damngoodtunes
Gary Edmonds - King of Cool

King Of Cool

When I was a child many of my days were spent at the Academy, learning how to dance, unlike the other boys my age who were all playing baseball and football. Music was then and is still my life but at about the age of fourteen my parents took me to a county Fair where I saw a live Rock band for the first time in my life. There they were – four of the tightest musicians I would ever come to know. They were called The Trends, led by a man named Clayton Watson. With Clayton playing drums and lead vocals, Denny on Bass, Carol on the Tenor Sax and Gary Edmonds on Guitar, these guys were an incredible group that could play everything and anything with soul and fire. My attention immediately was directed to the Guitarist in the band. He wore Spanish boots, a blazer and turtleneck shirt, was tanned and had great hair. Clutching a Fender electric guitar and playing big fat jazz chords, then ripping solos through a Fender amp and Fender Vibratone Leslie Speaker, with one leg slightly bent at the knee keeping time, this guy was the epitome of cool! I turned to my folks and said, “ that’s who I want to be! “

And so it was. That summer my dad taught my brother and I to play some chords on an old acoustic guitar he bought for us at a pawn shop and we soon discovered our new home away from home – Lohr Brothers Music Store where we, along with all the other kids into music would hang out. And there he was, Gary Edmonds the guitar teacher from planet Cool! That same dynamic lead man in The Trends was there every day and accessible to all who would gather around him. And even if you couldn’t afford or didn’t have the attention span required for one-on-one lessons with Gary, he would show you the latest guitar lick or his “ big fat Jazz chords “ just for the asking. Gary loved to teach and was good at it. Over the years he probably taught hundreds of students and some of those went on to be really great professional musicians. And he would occasionally play solo, just a minimum of gear, but always with his trusty Fender in his hands, Gary could sing the standards and current Pop and Country hits all night long.

I had many interactions over the years with Gary Edmonds and I can honestly say that every single memory I have of the man is a good one. He was witty and sharp, full of great musician jokes and of course, always willing to help out a musician in need.

Gary was a soldier in two wars – WW2 and the Korean War, ending his military career as a US Marine and very proud of what he’d done for his country. At one point he became aquatinted with my father who was also a veteran. They spent some good times talking about having been in the service and being proud of their country. Gary was like family in our house.

Mr. Edmonds was married for many years to a fine lady, Penny, who was always very supportive of his music. They had several daughters who all learned the music of their soul from their way-cool dad! I don’t know a lot of other personal things about Gary but I can tell you that in my whole musical career the one time that I actually got to work on a professional job with him was a highlight of my life. He played Bass Guitar on that occasion because arthritis was preventing him from making a tight grip around a Telecaster neck. Halfway through the gig though we were asked to play some Big Band era standards that were way over my technical head and Gary said “ OK Man , I’ll give it a try ! “ And the guy absolutely tore it up and set the place on fire! I will never forget that moment.

Gary Edmonds, sometimes professionally referred to as “ Dad “ was our iconic hero in our little town where my friends and I grew up. He was always the coolest guy with those slick waves in his hair, the pack of smokes rolled up in his short-sleeved shirt which incidentally left the tattoos on his arms exposed. But the musician that he was transcended the normal levels of technical prowess that most of us could ever hope for in this life. He was simply the best.

The other day, as many of the musicians who loved and admired him were shuffling in, one by one to be at his bedside with family, Gary and I got talking about guitars. He said “ I had a nice Gretch once and it played real well, but I just couldn’t get used to it. I was always a Fender man.” When it was time for us to go and respectfully leave space for his loving family, I stood up and told him something I always wanted to say , that although many of us may have learned to copy his tricks and chops over the years, none of us would ever be cool. Not like him. As I turned for the door I said “ see ya later Daddy-O! “ Gary raised his arm and gave us a silent “thumbs up “. Three nights later with his wife and family at his side, Gary Edmonds began his journey in the afterlife.

One Cool Cat and 1 Nerd

Jerry McGinnis

Posted in Guitar Player, Indie Music, Memorial, recording, Reviews, Tribute with tags , , on April 12, 2010 by damngoodtunes

This evening I have returned home after a five-hour memorial jam session for some one who most of you have never heard of but someone you knew at one time, Jerry McGinnis. Don’t worry… this is not going to be some long drawn out sad  story to bum you out or make you cry. Hang in there for a minute.

Jerry was a fine guitarist and singer with a love for music which was  second only to his love and dedication to family. He grew up and lived, and died in a small town somewhere in the USA . The name of the place would mean nothing to most of you but you can make up your own name because you’ve been there. Jerry was a baby-boomer who had gravitated to music and the guitar at an early age.  He excelled at vocals and guitar- the Fender Stratocaster to be precise. A handsome young man and one of those guys who could wear long hair,  a full beard and he always  looked sharp! Jerry played in a lot of bands but most of the time in the early years he worked with his brother Ron, who also happened to wield a Fender Strat. They were one of the first groups to ever come out of our area that had that Allman Brothers thing going on with the dual lead guitars playing in precise perfect pitch harmonies and they not only blew the audiences away but also all the other bands and musicians who would drive long distances just to hear Jerry and Ron play those hot guitars and sing. At some point down the road, the brothers went different directions and both would earn the respect and many accolades of their peers and fans alike. I was fortunate to have worked in bands with each of the McGinnis Brothers at different times in my own professional career, first with Jerry over twenty-eight years ago and then with Ron a few years later. There was never a dull moment with either of the guys and the musicianship was always on a higher level than some of the other bands I’d played in, but back when I worked with Jerry McGinnis he was the guy who was always motivating the band to push the envelope, go outside of our comfort zones and learn some of the newest material being played on the radio.  He always brought something new and fresh to rehearsals and the stage and was a strong front man and leader.

Jerry playing with Backfire

There was something more about Jerry that everyone loved and that was his smile. He had such a great smile and  it was never hard to make him laugh and he loved to amuse others as well. When he was in ” the zone ” and playing that guitar I’d look over and see this little grin coming from him.  He truly loved to play and sing in a band. To him, there was nothing else quite like it in life.  About a year ago after a series of heart attacks which had come and gone over a period of years, Jerry had a serious one while performing on stage with the band he had been working in for a long time, Backfire. The EMT’s worked on him on the stage that night. Later his doctor would ground him from ever playing music on stage professionally again. His dream, passion and livelihood had come to an end and I can only imagine what it was like for him to be forced to give it up.

About ten days ago Jerry McGinnis fought and lost his last fight with a weakened heart and we lost a brother and a great friend. Today through the concerted efforts of the community, The Backfire Band, family and friends and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles,  Jerry was honored in an all-day jam session. Musicians from all over came to play tribute to their fallen Brother. I was so lucky to have had the chance to get up and play in remembrance of one of my friends who happens to be  one of my own personal guitar heroes.

In life as we meander down along that long lost highway of time and experiences  we have all enjoyed music – though  not all of us receive the calling to be a  professional musician and an entertainer, nor do most of us become great ball players or authors.  We’ve all known someone like Jerry who could play the guitar or throw a ball better than most  anyone else in our home town.  And, we’ve admired and sometimes even idolized these people although the major leagues and the major labels never heard of them. The fame thing really doesn’t matter does it ? It didn’t matter to Jerry and do you know why? Because when you’re a musician and it’s embedded into the core of your being, your essence and your soul – you play for the pure love and the joy of playing. And that my friends is true greatness.

Jerry McGinnis leaves behind a large close family, many friends and a community which will never forget him. The Eagles hall was filled with hundreds who would rather raise a glass of cheer to his memory than to sob in their emptiness alone. For a few moments we sat in silence as the band played along with a beautiful rendition of Jerry singing Bob Dylan’s immortal ” Knocking On Heaven’s Door “. His voice  clean, clear and sweet. His ever tasty guitar soothing like a beckoning to the Angels.  Jerry McGinnis didn’t have to knock for long – there were smiling faces eagerly awaiting his arrival on the other side.

bjm