Tag Archives: guitars

Nashville Symphony with K.S. Rhoads at Live on the Green in Nashville, TN [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

Live On The Green is a free yearly concert series that takes place every fall in downtown Nashville.  Last Thursday was the first show and kick off event for a number of great concerts yet to come featuring some great local artists.  After attending this show from start to finish, I highly recommend that you check out music from an artist named K.S. Rhoads.  He was the headline act of the night and performed with the Grammy Award winning Nashville Symphony Orchestra… but that’s not all.

It’s not everyday that an artist get’s an opportunity to play a show with an entire orchestra, but it’s quite a fitting opportunity for Rhoads.  Kevin grew up in Fort Myers, FL, where at age 15 he began focusing intensely on music, learning many instruments including bass, piano, and harmonica.  He purchased a four-track recorder in ninth grade and started to record his own music.  He moved to Nashville in 2001 after attending school in Texas, but it wasn’t until 2007 when he began work on his first album.  His debut, critically acclaimed album Dead Language was released in 2007.  It received excellent reviews from publications like American Songwriter who said it was “an exhibition in style, grace and limitless possibilities…”  Being a composer and music-producer, he has since written string arrangements for artists like Trent Dabbs, Erin McCarley, Third Day and By The Tree.  In addition, Rhoads has had continued success as an American songwriter with songs on shows like CSI: Miami and World of Jenks on MTV.  From songwriting and performing to composing and producing, K.S. Rhoads has immersed himself in music and isn’t stopping anytime soon.  Check out this video of “Dark Hotel” from the album Dead Language by K.S. Rhoads.

After months of preparation, he took the stage last Thursday with his band and the 70-piece Grammy winning Nashville Symphony Orchestra in downtown Nashville to put on one of the greatest performances of his career.  Rhoads had been working on this performance since March 2011 and scored all of the music himself.  He began the set with a really cool new song called “Invisible Fortress” by looping beat box, vocal harmonies, and piano riffs.  After establishing this creative foundation for the song, he added his band and orchestra to produce a beautiful full sound.  They continued to perform songs from his new album, and even covered Paul Simon and Katy Perry with the full orchestra.  While the covers were truly entertaining, I really enjoyed his original songs.   My favorite song of the night was a powerful new song by Rhoads called “The Wilderness.”  The song’s presence resembled that of “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire, and it was awesome.  Rhoads said that his ultimate goal with this project was “for people to come hear it and really get how important and still current classical music is,” and how it relates to the music of today.  It’s a great goal, and Rhoads definitely accomplished it.

But wait, there’s more!  His big performance also marked the debut of a five song EP called Cannons containing three unreleased songs from his soon to be released second album called The Wilderness.  Click on the album cover below to snag a copy and/or visit his website for more music and information on K.S. Rhoads!

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play, Music Without Labels, LLC

Person L [MUSIC]

The frustration of being pigeonholed can tear a band apart.  It’s easy to forget musicians’ influences are drawn from all kinds of genres, and that their interests tend to spill well outside the group that puts them in the spotlight.  Day in, day out, they beat the pavement to a pulp to try and make (or keep) a name with the same handful of bandmates and songs, playing to crowds who expect – demand, actually – the sound they first fell in love with.

It’s no wonder so many bands splinter into side projects, solo albums and straight out meltdowns.

Person L’s Kenny Vasoli is one of these musicians.  He avoided the meltdown, but after his first band – The Starting Line – dissolved after their album, “Direction,” didn’t do well, he shed his radio-ready skin and exposed a more mature, unpredictable artist than the guy that wrote the pop-punk classic “Best of Me.”  Much like ex-Drive Thru Records label mate Ace Enders (who ended his own group, The Early November, around the same time) there was always a hint that Kenny’s musical mind was functioning on a different plane than his peers’.  Whether it was the surprisingly raw lyrics of “Bedroom Talk,” or the complex layers of “Island,” even The Starting Line’s singles veered away from “standard.”

Here, on his second full length as Person L, “The Positives,” Vasoli dabbles in lyrically light instrumental rock on the opening track “Hole in the Fence,” before pivoting into “Good Days” and “The Positives,” two cuts that take cues from midwestern 90’s emo.  The latter opens with a guitar triplet and noodly organ that sounds like someone chopped and screwed an America Football track.

All this leads to the track that stands as the beating heart of the whole endeavor; the one that burrows in the brain and kicks it straight in the pleasure center: “Goodness Gracious.”  This is the kind of reinvention that most frustrated pop artists can only dream about.  Sure, Vasoli released an album and three tracks worth of great music between the death of The Starting Line and this, but here is where he finds his new voice.  The track makes full use of the unique grit n’ howl in his throat and pairs it with an amazingly dirty riff that calls to mind the exciting, bluesy simplicity of a Hendrix line.  The guitars are gloriously distorted and fuzzy, so much so that they create their own feedback in the opening four count.  There’re horns, shouts, and even some sort of deadened cowbell around 1:25 that adds to the frenetic, danceable energy.

Take a listen:

He follows this up with the sock hop chord progression of “New Sensations,” that sounds like it has a Chuck Berry co-write, and from there the album trails back off into more experimental territory.  While enjoyable, nothing else comes close to the one-two punch of these tracks.

Whether Person L’s next release remains as scattered, or if it will it focus on the blues elements that prove most successful here remains to be seen, but it’s definitely something to listen for.

By: Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @ChriswithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

The Misa Digital Guitar – Demo Vid – Ri-fcking-diculous

There’s not much else to say…other than ew…and I want one!

http://www.misadigital.com/