Get Rhythm

"Pistol Packin' Mama," today a Texas honky-tonk standard, was one of America's biggest hit records in 1943 and 1944. Not only the biggest country hit, one of the biggest, period.

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My review of the Nashville-based duo Striking Matches' debut album Nothing But The Silence, released yesterday on IRS Nashville.  On it, Sarah Zimmerman, singer, songwriter and slide guitarist and Justin Davis create original, stripped down music far different (and in my view superior to) acts like the Civil Wars. They also avoid both the gimmickry that plagues so much country and pop emerging from today's Nashville.  And as guitarists, both are formidable, and the pair don't mind doubling down on the instrumental end.

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SPOILER ALERT: Do not read unless you've seen the latest episode of Better Call Saul.

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When few if anyone cared, Sam Charters, born in Pittsburgh, laid the ground work for generations of serious research and scholarship about the blues before his death from bone cancer Wednesday at his home in Sweden at 85.

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Pittsburgh Rock Legends: A Big Improvement

Thursday, 19 March 2015 06:30 PM Written by

I can't think of a better choice of Pittsburgh Rock Legends than those announced today. 

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Luke Bryan's New Album Reviewed: PG Music Podcast

Thursday, 19 March 2015 06:32 AM Written by

This week's "Believe Your Ears" music podcast reviews Luke Bryan's Spring Break ... Checkin' Out, an album that simply adds five new songs to his 2014 six-song EP Like We Ain't Ever.  He claims it marks the end of his "spring break" phase.  His summer "Kick The Dust Up" Tour does two nights at First Niagara Pavilion on July 31 and August 1.  At least if there's a huge mess left by the crowds, the City of Pittsburgh won't be stuck with the job.

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'Better Call Saul' Songbook, Episode 7: 'Tune Down'

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 06:35 AM Written by

 

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read unless you've seen the latest episode of Better Call Saul.

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For Women's History Month, this week's "Believe Your Ears" Music Podcast looks at a select group (there are many others) of female jazz musicians, some of them orchestra leaders, whose pioneering efforts and superb music from the 30's to the 50's helped clear the way for such current jazz stars as Diana Krall, Geri Allen, Regina Carter, Eliane Elias, Western PA native Sheryl Bailey, Teri Lyne Carrington and contemporary jazz composer-bandleaders like Maria Schneider. The photo shows Pittsburgh native Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), composer, arranger and pianist extraordinaire, whose influence still resonates 34 years after her death.



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