Tag Archives: amber rubarth

A week of A+ live music

First, I want to state that I have this lofty goal to eliminate my credit card dependency. However, my compulsion to support certain 'why-are-these-people-still-under-the-radar?' musicians @ established music venues makes it quite difficult.

Tuesday night when I saw Ari Hest play at the Hotel Cafe I knew the online ticket purchase was worth it– as are all my purchases, of course. The opener from Ireland, Declan O'Rourke, told the audience that this was his first time playing (or first tour playing?) in America. He had a great sound and one novelty song stands out. It's about an old black crow and it was highly entertaining because there was a fun song introduction and then part of the chorus was him cawing. Not counting that particular song, to me, live, his style was like an Irish version of Ari's so it shouldn't be too surprising if he gains a large following here fairly quickly.

"I can make you move against your will. Don’t it make you sad to lose control?" Broken Voices by Ari Hest

Ari was fantastic with his band, and played a bunch of songs from his early material and CD The Break In, plus newer songs from his project, 52, which included my favorite song, Broken Voices. At some point Amy Kuney came up to sing Cranberry Lake which she co-wrote and sang in a duet with Ari. That was great because I've been wanting to see her live for a while now too.

Ari's vocal ability is amazing. His tone ranges in his songs from baritone to falsetto with impressively flawless lung control. It bowls me over me every time I see him live.

I ran into @KristinJuel during the evening which is always refreshing. Sitting with her I discovered my new favorite bass player, Rob Calder, who has an interesting way of dancing to the beat while he plays.  Very entertaining to watch!

The only downer of the night is that there's a rule that non-flash photography is allowed in Hotel Cafe, but video recording is not. Kristin got busted for taking video with her digi cam at some point. That was too bad but at least they didn't confiscate her camera. She had also taken a bunch of still photos. Overall, it was a good night for live music.

"You're the song that I sing that I don't need to practice." from In the Creases by Amber Rubarth.
Tomorrow is Amber Rubarth's show @ The Mint– http://themintla.com is their site. I refuse to hyperlink to it because it has music that auto-plays and defaults to the loudest volume setting. Way to facilitate an obnoxious user experience.

I love Amber's lyrical ambition and like Ari, she is now based in NY so I try to see her whenever she's playing here. Can't wait to hear her new songs and old ones again that I like. A lot.

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You complete me: the quest to become a triple-threat musician

The New Complete Guitarist
Richard Chapman

As a singer-songwriter I've learned that there are three aspects, or skills, of the craft that need to be mastered before one can be truly good.

You should be able to use your voice well.
You should be able to write well.
You should be able to play your instrument(s) well.

Most performers I've seen live are good at one or two and at least passable with the third skill. Two out of three is not bad because it takes a good deal of work to get to that point. However, to be considered a triple threat we singer-songwriters should really develop and master all three skills to be our best. I took guitar lessons for one year– twelve years ago– and that's what I sound like when I play the guitar. So now I'm working to improve this skill.

Recently I read an interview (by Derek Sivers, CD Baby founder) with touring musician extraordinaire, Amber Rubarth. After reading about the hours of practice a day she puts into her music I was inspired to go on a search for a tutorial-style book to work on improving my guitar sound. After a couple hours at bookstores and then my local library I finally picked up this gem: The New Complete Guitarist by Richard Chapman.

I'm only about fifty pages into it but I love that it is very visual and packed with information about my instrument (an acoustic-electric cutaway). It also includes info about other types of guitars with historical tidbits. It's like the music book equivalent of the TV show Good Eats. Hey, I might even learn why the guitar neck's 12th fret has double dots. Does anyone really know about that?

Another thing you may not know is that this is February Album Writing Month. If you're interested in the challenge of writing fourteen songs in twenty-eight days let me know so I can add you to my watch list. If you want to follow my writing progress, here is my page: fawm.org/fawmers/madeline/

Happy music making!

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