Showing posts from November, 2018

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT 11/25/18

Twenty consecutive years on the road.  Think about that. The smart phones that light up  arenas each show weren't even close to being invented when TSO first stepped on the stage.  I'm what TSO West guitarist Al Pitrelli referred to as a "repeat offender" in a recent press call along with TSO East drummer Jeff Plate.  As a Savatage fan since first hearing Hall of the Mountain King in 1987, I was thrilled when TSO released their first Christmas record, Christmas Eve & Other Stories , in 1996.   The followed with a second Christmas record, 1997's The Christmas Attic , and a TV special, 1999's The Ghosts of Christmas Eve , before playing those first shows, including a stop at the Beacon Theater in NYC where I first saw them. Over the course of the next two decades, TSO grew from playing small theaters in a few states to branching off into East and West bands so the entire country could be covered, to selling out arenas.  Most days each band plays two pa

A Conversation with Jay McDowell of Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum

On a recent trip to Nashville I stumbled across a pretty amazing place that I never knew existed, the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum.  After spending a few hours studying the incredible exhibits and wandering through the unique layout of the museum I was lucky enough to chat with Multimedia Curator Jay McDowell.  When our brief talk ended I knew I dig  bit deeper into the museum and its collections with Jay and share that conversation with everyone. Please enjoy the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Jay McDowell below: On the origins of the Musicians Hall of Fame - The origins of the Museum started as Nashville-centric...Now the Museum is not just the musicians but the producers, the engineers, the songwriters...It's not just Nashville, it's certainly not just country. 2:00  On the impact of seeing legendary instruments - You can put up a picture of a guitar but when you stand next to it and can look at it in 3-D and can walk around it you pick up on the

A Conversation with singer/songwriter Liz Longley

As the center of the music world continues its shift to Nashville, the level of talent continues to rise.  Liz Longley worked her way to Nashville after graduating from Berklee College of Music and has recorded five records.  Liz has toured and worked with some of the top names in the industry and seen her songs featured in multiple television shows. Liz's  new single, a cover of the Four Tops classic, I Can't Help Myself , Is released on November 16..  Please enjoy my Conversation with Liz Longley below: On choosing to cover I Can't Help Myself - This spoke to me because I feel like everyone knows this song...I was highlighting the angst in the lyrics. 1:15 On upcoming new music - Just a single for now. I am writing a new record, I've been writing it for a little over two years. 2:35 On her approach to covering songs - I sit with my piano or guitar and play through it and try to serve the lyrics, like I do when I'm writing my own songs. What is

A Conversation with Steve Fossen, ex Heart bassist

Certain bands transcend the era they recorded in and become a permanent part of our musical landscape.  Heart is certainly one of those bands.  Songs like Magic Man and Barracuda are iconic and still staples of rock radio around the world.  Bassist Steve Fossen was an original member of Heart and responsible for the bass lines on everything from 1975's debut Dreamboat Annie through 1982's Private Audition . I had the opportunity to spend some time with Steve and discuss his entire career. Please enjoy the Misplaced Straws Conversation with Steve Fossen below: On the involvement of former Heart members in his current project Heart by Heart: Of course we'd love to play with Howard Leese.  When we first got this band together we invited Roger Fisher...but he declined. 5:20 On the 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction: Ann & Nancy made the decision...they invited us to play on Crazy on You.  They invited their current play Barracuda. In my op