Broadcasting Open Tunings live from the Clothesline Festival at the Memorial Art Gallery on Saturday, Sept. 12, we had the opportunity to host Bernie Lehmann, one of the premiere makers of acoustic instruments. In addition to the extraordinary precision, skill, and art of making stringed instruments, he paints.
"Ted Nicolosi & Shared Genes", the shared genes is Ted's dad, Sam, took time to visit our studio Friday. Ted, a senior at McQuaid Jesuit, began playing guitar at 5, and was in coffee shops performing by age 9. He had the great, or daunting, rare opportunity to play a couple of his original songs for Tommy Emmanuel.
Margo & Michael Timmins Margo and Michael Timmins were kind to take an hour the day of their Rochester performance with the Cowboy Junkies to come on Open Tunings, talk and play some songs for our radio community.
Looking over what was left off, quite a few could have been easily selected, and almost were. Sometimes it's just what strikes you at that moment. Next entry I'll visit some of the recordings that nearly made it into the top ten, and deserve mention.
Even with the strong competition, I'll stick with my top five as being deserving of mention of best of 2008. They were the ones that had great staying power throughout the year, all for different reasons.
2008 was a rich year for songs. In my last-day-of-the-year retrospective radio show, there was barely time for a third of the music chosen. New groups, seasoned writers, quirky styles and twists of imagination. A select number of these songs were found on albums that were strong all the way through.
What else separated the top ten from the pack...
• Clarity and depth of emotion in the writing and performance of a song(s).
John DoanA few day after Mason Williams visited the studio, John Doan returned for a more intensive harp guitar session. John had accompanied Mason Williams in his studio visit, and on stage that night in performance.
Mason WilliamsOn Friday, July 18, Mason Williams visited us in the studio for a live session on Open Tunings. I had been somewhat aware of his contributions to the world of music, both with the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on television in the late 60's and his radio hit, "Classical Gas".
What I wasn't aware of is the range of his career, and deeper contributions to popular culture, and it's evolution.
Two separate conversations. Both on the same day. Each musician independently described their music as "blues based, but not blues".
Phil Marshall has helped shape Rochester's music since playing the perfect guitar foil for magical world of the Colorblind James Experience. Phil is intuitive and sensible, explosive and soft. His guitar can make any song, and songwriter, better understood.
Phil is a form of musical punctuation. Defining what is necessary.