BRAD PAISLEY

Your musical inspirations?
 
"My musical inspiration started with my grandfather (Papaw).  He gave
me my first guitar ............then it was my guitar mentor, Clarence
Goddard who is as good as Chet Atkins......and then the guys like
Merle Travis, Steve Wariner, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Jon Jorgeson and of course George Jones, George Strait and Alan Jackson."

Brad Paisley

Mud on the Tires 

“It’s the little imperfections, it’s the sudden change in plans…I live for little moments like that.”

 With those lines from “Little Moments,” Brad Paisley may offer the perfect summation of Mud on the Tires.  An unexpected turn, a change of direction, a surprise, even a laugh—all played out against a musical backdrop that’s laced through-and-through with Brad’s seamless guitar work and creative vision.

His touch is everywhere—he wrote or co-wrote nine of the album’s 16 tracks (17 if you count the “hidden” one at the end), infusing those songs with moments and scenes drawn from his own life, and once again sharing his wit and humor along the way. “My favorite line in the [title] song is, ‘It’s in the middle of nowhere…only one way to get there…gotta get a little mud on the tires.’”  And to bring Mud on the Tires to fruition, that’s exactly what Brad does.

For the album’s lead single, Brad found inspiration as close as his TV.  The result is “Celebrity,” a tongue-in-cheek take on pop culture and every American’s apparent desire for the 15 minutes of fame promised by Andy Warhol.  “It used to be people were famous for being incredible at things, and now, they’re just famous,” Brad notes.

“Celebrity in general is one of those things that’s easy to make fun of,” he adds.  “Extravagant lifestyles, huge cars, houses—they lose touch with who they really are, and we lose touch with who they really are.”  To illustrate his point, Brad created a video that became an immediate fan favorite, thanks in part to self-deprecating cameos by William Shatner, Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander, and Trista Rehn (The Bachelorette).

While reality TV may have provided the springboard, there’s a deeper inspiration behind “Celebrity,” with a line of thought that also fuels “The Best Thing That I Had Goin’.”  Sometimes the American Dream gets sidetracked, and the pursuit of financial reward takes precedent over other things that really matter.  With “Ain’t Nothin’ Like,” Brad offers a window into his own values.  “It’s a reflection of what I long for,” he admits with a laugh.

Snapshots of everyday life, and life lived with a smile.  There’s an abundance to be found here.  “Mud on the Tires” is filled with a spirit of free-wheeling, grab-your-girl-and-go exuberance.  “That’s Love” offers an entertaining take on the realities of a working relationship, while the ballad “Somebody Knows You Now” conveys the honesty of a relationship that failed. 

Then there’s “Little Moments.”  “My favorite saying is, ‘If you’re going to laugh about it later, you might as well start now.’”  And that’s exactly what Brad does, borrowing an incident or two from his own life, including the first time he heard his wife (actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley) curse, a drive they took that left them “lost but holdin’ hands.”  “I think the most fun about life in general and being with somebody is the things you go through together, the things you laugh about later.”

Smiles and laughter are important to Brad.  “That’s where I try to be a little different than some.  It’s really important to me that I entertain people.  And that comes down to being willing to go out on a limb…and be funny.”  So there he is, poking a little fun at notoriety again in “Famous People”; telling a joke from start to finish in the concert favorite, “The Cigar Song” (“It might be an urban legend, but I think it’s true.”); setting the stage for a cartoon from the Old West in “Spaghetti Western Swing,” an instrumental featuring a “narrative” by Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens and George Jones and a “dual” of sorts between Brad and veteran guitarist Redd Volkaert (from Merle Haggard’s band).

But Mud on the Tires isn’t all fun and games.  Even when he is having fun, as evidenced while picking an electric guitar in “Make a Mistake” or jamming with his band on the next track, the instrumental counterpart, “Make a Mistake with Me,” it’s clear that this is the work of a serious musician.  You can see the grin on Brad’s face that sets the stage for the jam…watch it broaden as each musician is showcased in a solo…and see it open into a smile when the melody winds its way down a path somewhere between a jazz club and a Texas honky-tonk.

The same musicians who surround Brad night after night on stages coast-to-coast bring that same dynamic energy and precision to Mud on the Tires.  “It’s important to me—these guys are my sound.”  And Brad himself plays guitar (in some cases, more than one) on every track.  “This album is a little different than the other records, even in that sense.  Musically, we took a lot of chances on it.”  Brad’s instruments here range from acoustic, electric, baritone and 12-string guitar to bass and mandolin.

And then there’s his voice.  Brad will tell you he simply sings to bridge the gap between guitar solos, but that’s hardly the case.  “Is It Raining at Your House” finds Brad covering a song that was originally a Top 10 hit for Vern Gosdin, a veteran singer known in Nashville as “The Voice.”  Noting that a lot of younger fans to country music may never have gotten to hear Gosdin’s 1990 favorite, it seemed natural to introduce a great song to a new generation of listeners who just might be inspired to discover more of Gosdin’s music.  “So,” Brad reasoned, “everybody wins.”

The album takes a somber turn with “Whiskey Lullaby.”  Penned by Bill Anderson and Jon Randall, it’s a stark but powerful tale.  “This song has a lot of things going against it…the word ‘whiskey’ in the title…[and] it deals with suicide,” Brad admits.  “But it’s no darker than ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today.’  I think they penned a masterpiece,” he continues, and “that opening line – ‘She put him out like the burning end of a midnight cigarette.’”  Though not written as a duet, Brad realized the song’s impact would only be enhanced by a woman’s voice, and the voice he sought out was the wonderful Alison Krauss.  “She is my favorite female vocalist,” Brad says.  “She’s a gift.”

As on his first two albums, Brad closes the disc with an inspirational selection.  His honky-tonk take on “Farther Along” carries the song out of the hymnal and into the present, offering a parting piece of simple optimism:  a belief that one day, “farther along,” we’ll have a better understanding of so many things in life.  Vince Gill, who also lends his voice to “Hold Me in Your Arms,” provides backing vocals on the gospel track.

“Tradition.”  Yes.  You were probably starting to wonder when it was going to crop up.  It’s a word that’s frequently been associated with Brad.  And why not?  He has a reverence for country music history, and its influence pervaded his early years.  Is Mud on the Tires “traditional”?  Sure…but it’s “tradition” that comes in the form of guitar work that takes a sizable share of inspiration from Eric Clapton and Les Paul.  Or music that comes with a wink and a smile, taking a cue from such Grammy-winning artists as Alan

Jackson and the late Roger Miller, also a Tony Award winner. Speaking of Brad, Jackson praises, “He’s got a good combination there that’s hard to come by.  A musician that plays and writes and is a good singer—that’s why he’s earned a lot of respect out there.”

That respect has come in many forms.  Since making his debut in 1999 and being awarded the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 2000, he’s been showered with a total of 13 nominations and two more trophies by the organization—the 2001 Vocal Event award and the 2002 Music Video trophy.  There have been Grammy nods (including one as Best New Artist), an Academy of Country Music award, and Brad’s most-treasured honor of all, his 2001 induction to the Grand Ole Opry.  There’s been a solid string of Top 10 songs and Number One hits, including “I’m Gonna Miss Her” (The Fishin’ Song), which remains one of the most-played songs on country radio more than a year after topping the charts and still draws huge cheers when the first note is struck in concert.  There have been invitations to tour with some of country’s best—Brooks & Dunn, George Strait and Alan Jackson—and Brad’s own headlining role in CMT’s inaugural Most Wanted Live tour.  And there’s the respect shown by his fans, who come to see him in person and have made his first two albums - 2001’s Part II and his 1999 debut, Who Needs Pictures - back-to-back platinum sellers.

 Mud on the Tires plays like one of Brad’s concerts.  Up-tempo, feel-good songs set the tone up front…ballads are mixed in—some romantic, some stark…he serves up an instrumental to showcase the band…cuts loose toward the end...and offers a closer that’s a step apart from the rest.  And through it all, Brad shines with prowess on guitar, with heart and humor in his voice, and with wit and sentiment in his writing.

 “Whether it’s ‘Little Moments’ or ‘Mud on the Tires’ or ‘That’s Love’ or even ‘Celebrity’—there’s mud on these songs.  There’s grit.  Nothing’s rosy, completely.  Nothing’s perfect.”  As Brad Paisley has discovered, everyday life is filled with imperfection.  Imperfection is what makes life real, and reality provides the best inspiration for true country music.  And Brad lives for—and captures—“little moments” like those.
www.bradpaisley.com
Brad Paisley merchandise

JESCA HOOP

How has music inspired you?

Music is the color in my life.
It is my emotional body.
The writing of a song is what calls me to search and explore.
Singing for others is one of the most joyous things I can do.
This answer could be extremely long as music for us all serves just about
every purpose under the sun.
www.jescahoop.com

RAY LYNCH

What is your musical philosophy?
 
Ray:  "My "musical philosophy" is not really an important factor in my music.  I don't begin with some sort of conceptual description of reality and then try tro create music which conforms to that picture.  The reason that I take the trouble to compose music in the first place (and it does involve a lot of effort) is because "philosophy", as I understand it, doesn't get to what I most value.  What I value is an open heart and I've never been able to think my way into such a condition.  Music and (other forms of art) can assist in opening doors which are normally shut because of the dominance of our survival mechanisms.  Mind filters out so much of our humanity.  Great art if we participate fully in it, gives us permission to feel and creates a space in which we can feel at a depth not ordinarily allowed. 

It is the communication of deep and profound feeling, at once sensual and transcendent, that lies at the heart of Ray Lynch's musical sensibility. His compositions proceed with elegance and balance, structured in the classical sense rather than improvised. And yet he's highly non traditional in other ways; for example, Ray freely experiments with unconventional sounds, which he combines with his unique mix of superbly recorded acoustic and electronic instruments.

Like any fiercely authentic artist, Ray defies categorization. A classically trained guitarist and lutenist specializing in early and Renaissance music, Ray Lynch was one of the first serious musicians to embrace the use of new musical technologies, pioneering their application in combination with a full range of acoustic instruments, to create melodic, highly emotional musical recordings.

Ray is a meticulous craftsman who polishes and refines each musical phrase, every voicing and every nuance, separately recording and thoughtfully comparing alternate phrasings and structures, and always insisting on the highest standards of quality. He spends long hours in the studio perfecting each piece of music he creates. For example, The True Spirit of Mom & Dad on No Blue Thing required eight months to complete -- more than 1200 hours in the studio!

Ray is committed to his music with uncompromising depth, honesty, and excellence. Some musicians never listen to their own recordings, but Ray is not satisfied with a recording unless it pleases him so thoroughly that he can listen to it for pleasure, again and again. Although much contemporary music is played in the background, Ray's music reveals many of its most delightful dimensions when it is listened to actively and played loud.

No Blue Thing
1990 Billboard award:
Instrumental Album of the Year

1990 Billboard award:
Instrumental Artist of the Year

1989 Billboard award:
Instrumental Artist of the Year
www.raylynch.com
Ray Lynch store

MARI IIJIMA

* How has music inspired you?
 
Music and I inspire each other.
I process inspirations and create songs.
While I'm creating, I feel alive, I feel infinite.
Music gives me spirit.
We have a strong bond.

* Your musical inspirations?

I get inspired by people, everyday matters,
pain, joy . . . . .   and love.
Love is the greatest inspiration of all.


* Any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?

When I listen to music,
I don't think about if it's meaningful or not.
I like it, so I listen to them, and make myself smile.

Many songs from John Mayer's Heavier Things, Room for Squares.
My upcoming album, Wonderful People.
My latest track, Unspeakable.
(All my albums are precious to me :)

Third Eye Blind/ Third Eye Blind, Blue
Songs from N* E* R* D*/ Fly or Die
The Beatles

I love beautiful melodies and words.

* Has music helped you thru a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

When you're in traumatic situations, you aren't really aware of that.
'Cause you have nothing to compare to, you think that everyone's having the same kind of difficulties.
In that, music helps you to escape from pain.
When you are out of that situation. music helps you to heal.
Creating music and experiencing other's music truly helped me go through my life.
Music is gift from God. 

Mari Iijima Biography
Her debut album "Rose" was produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Last Emperor) who was
a member of the legendary Japanese techno pop group "Yellow Magic Orchestra" 

Mari  played "Lynn Minmay" ( She is a super singer in space )  for the Japanese animation series "Macross" .
 "Macross The Movie -Do You Remember Love-" was one of the biggest box office hits that year, and the theme song "Do You Remember Love"  which Mari sang reached gold.

Mari moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to follow her dreams.
In 1999, she released her first English album "No Limit"
She was nominated for the Los Angeles Music Awards'
Best Pop Artist category in 2000.

Around the same time, Mari got a burning curiosity for acting.
She guest starred on several TV shows including "Pacific Blue" and "Spyder Games" , and also appeared in  TV commercials including "Ford "and " Verizon ".

In 2001, she wrote the score (string quartet) for the silent movie "Lorna Doone" which premiered on the Turner Classic Movie Channel in May.

In the Summer of 2003, Mari has released her 18th original album "Silent Love" All songs written, arranged, programmed and performed by Mari.

She starred in an independent film " Green Tea-r",
and has also written and performed the movie theme song "Petal" .

Currently Mari is working on her upcoming album with members of John Mayer band.

New Album "Gems" will be released on June 15, 2004
Mari Iijima
Gems at CD Baby

DAMHNAIT DOYLE

Musicians that play and write from the heart and the gut inspire me to not only create my own music, but get through the day.. I map my life with the music that I love. I am someone who gets hooked on a particular cd and listens repeatedly for months...I can listen to CD's by Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Pete Yorn, The Cardigans, Sheryl Crow and Kathleen Edwards and by instantly transported to a certain time in my life when their music was my talisman. If my music was able to do that to just one person, I would consider myself successful

Damhnait Doyle Bio:

2003 saw damhnait independently release and receive six ECMA nominations for her third cd (dav-net) .03 saw

. . damhnait’s onstage charisma translates dramatically on this sophisticated, acoustic, roots/rock recording , with riveting vocals and mature, powerful writing. The full live sound was clearly captured by the record’s producer (and co-writer), Gordie Sampson, who showcased damhnait’s confident delivery and compelling creativity.

and support it with extensive touring including Bluebird North 2003, numerous Tom Cochrane tours and a trip to Kabul with Rick Mercer to perform for the troops.

damhnait’s high energy style and low-fi approach are perfectly blended in her live shows as she takes command of the house with humour, honesty and powerhouse performances. She has developed naturally on-stage and on-camera, through the release of her Juno-nominated “Shadows Wake Me” in 1997 and “Tattooed” in 2000. damhnait’s second recording piqued the curiously of a large, mixed international audience and was the recipient of four awards during the 2001 ECMA – Artist, Single, Song and Video.

She also became a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition and teamed up with friends and fellow singer-songwriters Kim Stockwood and Tara MacLean to form Shaye.

In the fall of 2003 Shaye released the bridge. First single “Happy Baby” instantly shot to the top of the A/C charts where it remains in 2004. The video went Top 20 at Much More Music and received an ECMA 2004 Nomination. Next single “On and On” is due out in February, spring and summer tour dates are being booked now.

damhnait doyle
. . . dynamic and innovative . . . emotional and intelligent . . .
Damhnait Doyle

www.shayemusic.com/ Link to the band Shaye: Damhnait Doyle, Tara MacLean, and Kim Stockwood.

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