News/Thoughts

Tag Archives: Americana Music

Israel Portnoy and the Healing Power of Music

On a hot day, about a month after a forest fire engulfed the village he lived in, along with all his worldly possessions, minus only one, Israel Portnoy picked up the last object he owned (a vintage 12-string he calls “Guilda”) and began an incredible healing journey. “Maybe I couldn’t bring myself to play her as I could sense some ...

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Jesse Wilde’s Ongoing Musical Odyssey

Sometimes music grabs people at a young age, and never lets go, pushing them along from one milestone to the next along the musical journey of a lifetime. That’s how it’s been for Aukland, New Zealand native, Jesse Wilde. After seeing the Elvis ’68 Comeback Special at age 11, Jesse requested a guitar from his mom. He took lessons from ...

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Gary Pratt: Life-Long Troubadour

Growing up in a western Pennsylvania coal mining town with no red lights, one store and six churches, for Gary Pratt, music was always a passion. He started a band at age 16 and has been singing ever since. He was a “serious” musician from the beginning, as well. That first band included older people, which meant they went places ...

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Hummingbird Melodies

Mackenzie O’Brian has a tattoo on her arm that reads “Hummingbird.” It was a nickname given to her as a young child because she was often found content, playing alone, and humming made-up melodies to herself. She remembers a desire to be a singer as early as the age of four, but often heard from peers and teachers, “no one ...

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Americana Down Under

It was an incapacitating car accident in his late teens that moved Perth, Western Australian artist Andy Michaels to pick up a guitar. The result was a fusion of eclectic tastes and melodic sounds featuring hints of folk, country, Americana and contemporary pop. His latest project, Incendiary Heart, a 14-track, pop leaning mixture, with nostalgic influences from the 70s and ...

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The River Ratz

The River Ratz, a four-piece Acoustic Americana Band hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, says they were born in Bluegrass, and bred in Rock ‘n Roll. With deep roots in Bluegrass music, they perform a wide variety of musical styles which includes not only bluegrass music, but also country, rock, Cajun, Irish, blues and folk. Husband and wife, Steve and Margie ...

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Elizabeth Cook Rocks Merlefest Stage

I first got dialed into Elizabeth Cook – literally – as a regular listener to the Outlaw Country radio station on Sirius XM radio (channel 62). Cook has been a daytime host of her own radio show, Apron Strings, for over 10 years. Her freeform approach and her candid commentary is a hit with many listeners. She often talks about ...

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6 String Travel Companion

Guitars As Traveling Companions This piece brings me to thinking about my life and its relationship with guitars. I am getting ready to sail a 53’ sailboat to Bermuda and am trying to decide which of my guitars to take with me. To go weeks without playing is unthinkable and makes me twitch. A guitar has got to be on ...

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Juliet; Dream Girl

Although born in North Carolina, Juliet Simmons Dinallo grew up in Maine, but came of age as a musician in Boston. She now resides east of Nashville, TN, where all her life experiences influence her songwriting, singing and performance style, giving everything she does a unique expression. She was introduced to the arts and music from the beginning of her ...

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Billy Droze Back To His Roots

Billy Droze was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, the 10th of 12 children, in 1986, but he grew up in Alabama, knowing the whole time that music was going to be his life, “as far back as I can remember,” he said. Billy said he got his start in gospel music before finding his way into a traveling bluegrass band with ...

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