Get Rhythm

Before Blake: Country's First Tobacco-Chewing Hit

Monday, 03 November 2014 06:39 AM Written by

Blake Shelton's 2013 hit single "Boys 'Round Here" with cameos from Pistol Annies (including wife Miranda Lambert) was a huge hit, not surprisingly.  One of its most memorable lines was one that went "chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco--spit."  The single, more of a good timey anthem than any attempt to hit a serious note, is typical of Shelton, who has managed to walk a much smarter line between endless stupid party songs and more serious songs, one reason I consider him among the smartest singers out there today beneath the good ol' boy persona and alligator boots.

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Halloween Songs X 4 (Jazz, Big Band, R&B, Country)

Friday, 31 October 2014 08:36 AM Written by

These four songs pretty much speak for themselves.

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Vintage Bluegrass Compilation Has A Pittsburgh Connection

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 01:45 PM Written by

This week's Believe Your Ears PG music podcast reviews The WDON Recordings 1963 by Red Allen, Frank Wakefield and the Kentuckians, 22 live recordings of the much-admired Washington D.C. Based bluegrass band from WDON radio in the D.C. suburb of Wheaton Maryland.

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Country Music Hall Of Fame Inducts Three (Updated)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 06:09 AM Written by

 The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted three new members, announced in March. Two are living, one deceased. Singer Ronnie Milsap, a hitmaker since the 1970's, the youngest member, bluegrass singer-guitarist Mac Wiseman and singer and the later master Nashville songsmith Hank Cochran were the others. Cochran died in 2010, but Wiseman and Milsap are still around. At age 89, Wiseman just released a new album.

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Jack Bruce, Bassman: 1943-2014

Saturday, 25 October 2014 09:10 PM Written by

Jack Bruce's death at 71 from liver disease was not totally unexpected, but his continued activity belied any problems. The legendary, groundbreaking bassist had been in uncertain health for some time. He made history with Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker as part of the blues-based trio Cream, one of the bands who became a foundation Metal music. But Bruce's contributions went far beyond, into blues and jazz fusion as well.

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This week's "Believe Your Ears" Music Podcast looks at a survey of the work of singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux: The Best of Madeleine Peyroux (Rounder).  Up front, I have a few comments on Pain Killer, the new release by the Nashville pop quartet Little Big Town.

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Sons of Anarchy: What Tune Was Bobby Singing?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 04:06 PM Written by


SPOILER ALERT: Stop here if you haven't seen this week's episode of Sons of Anarchy, titled "Greensleeves."

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Pittsburgh Jazz Legends 18: Johnny Costa

Monday, 20 October 2014 06:28 AM Written by

Only one Pittsburgh jazz pianist, not Erroll Garner, Earl Fatha Hines, Mary Lou Williams, Sonny Clark or Ahmad Jamal, had a technique compared to the great and dazzling virtuoso Art Tatum: Johnny Costa. That distinction came long before he became famous as musical director of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

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