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On May 18, 2018, Jason and Pharis Romero will be releasing a brand new album featuring their delicious harmonies, outstanding arrangements, and wonderfully played tunes. I am super pumped for this album for two reasons: one, I just discovered these two in the last year, and two, I think the music they create together is brilliant. The way these two harmonize is addicting, and the way they support what they sing with their instruments is superlative. Their new album (out May 18) is entitled Sweet Old Religion. I have heard the title track from it, and that alone has sufficiently fueled my desire for the entire thing. Currently, you can preorder the album in both CD and Vinyl format from their website. I would urge you to hop on this one, it will surely please any acoustic music lover.
I ordered a set of Eargasm Earplugs. The packaging is clean and well thought out, the instructions are easy to follow, the comfort is off the charts, and they work so incredibly well. These ear plugs filter the sound instead of muffling it. What this means to you as a music appreciator and player is that you can listen to music, rehearse, go to shows all while listening at a comfortable level. The benefit here is two-fold: one, you preserve your hearing and keep your ears healthy. Two, you can listen, play, and participate for longer because your ears don’t fatigue. I tried these out while playing drums (something I usually wear foam earplugs for) and I was amazed at the fact I was able to hear with clarity just at a reduced and comfortable volume. I dare profess these as a necessity for any guitar geek participating in loud or even semi-loud rehearsals and even more so for the live concert attending guitar geek. Oh and another two things I love about these: They are pretty discrete in your ears (unlike the pictures on their website), and they have a convenient carrying case included which is perfect for storage and quick access.
I have never heard someone play old-time banjo in such a way that so much emotion comes across. That’s just the playing though; his singing is raw and fits the old-time banjo so well. Chris Coole is an old-time banjo player from Toronto, and he picked up the instrument at age 17. His education in old-time banjo was delivered by the streets of Toronto… literally, he would busk and play tunes over and over again to work on variations and refine his tone. He is now one of the main players in the old-time banjo scene. The first time I heard his playing I was enthralled. The clarity with which he presents the melody seems uncanny. His playing carves a clear-cut path for his own singing, and his ability to read and interact with the song is apparent by hearing him play solo or with just one other musician. He has a high level of technical proficiency matched with grace and ease. Chris really is a standout musician and his catalog of albums is proof that he is a bit of a musical shapeshifter. From his solo album “Old Dog” to his “Farewell to Trion” album with Ivan Rosenberg; it is evident that Chris is an acoustic musician that should certainly be on your playlist.
This week Matt gives us a peek into his own collection, one guitar in particular. Not only does Matt tell us why he loves this guitar so much, he shows us. Matt delights us in a beautiful tune played on a guitar that is just as gorgeous as the tune he plays. It is an awesome day when you can not only learn about a very amazing instrument but also hear the owner pour their whole musical being into it… That is exactly what happens in this #AskMatt segment.
Dunlop’s Primetone picks are at your service for that nicely broken in pick feeling. From $5 – $12 depending on thickness and quantity, these picks are the real deal. They felt incredibly comfy in my hand, and even had a raised, grippy type surface on them… and the tone… oh my the tone… These picks produce a very solid and articulate note. The notes produced by these wonderfully sculpted plectra retain body and thickness. I really took a quick liking to these picks because they felt broken in already and they produced a tone that was familiar to me… like incredibly familiar. Upon further research, these picks are composed of Ultex, pretty much one of my top 3 pick materials. I was so excited to hear that these were Ultex. I pretty much found a pick that right out of the package produced a tone that I loved without the break-in period. One quick thing though, if you are a guitar player that likes a pick with a more crisp edge these may not be for you because the bevel is pretty significant so keep that in mind while checking these out.