TOLAN SHAW | Acoustic Spotlight

== NOVEMBER 2017 ==

Not many people have written a song that translated into marrying their wife, or attracted an invitation from superstars such as Jason Mraz to co-writing sessions, but Tolan Shaw is one of those people. Easily recognized as one of the best songwriters of his generation, Tolan is “that” guy. We confidently call out that he is within striking distance of world recognition, and completely worthy of the title. Apparently, he is a talented basketball player as well (we are still due for one-on-one verification). Taylor Guitars has even officially endorsed his skills and runs a weekly “Taylor Tuesday” social media campaign highlighting his clever looping and songwriting ability. With the smoothest vocals and slickest guitar licks you ever heard, Tolan is easily one of the most promising artists we have ever worked with. Full interview below:

== INTERVIEW ==

Prince or Michael Jackson?

Prince. Badass guitar player as well.

 

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Stevie.

 

Tupac or Biggie?

Biggie.

 

Paul McCartney or John Lennon?

John Lennon.

 

Sam Cooke or Marvin Gaye?

Sam Cooke. One of my all time favorites.

 

 

Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

Beatles. Hendrix. John Mayer

 

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

Portugal the Man’s “Feel it Still” – what a jam.

 

What style would YOU call your music?

Pop/Indie/Soul

 

How old were you when you started playing music and who got you going?

15 years old. My dad is also a guitar player and he showed me Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced,” and I knew I had to play electric guitar. And I became obsessed.

 

First song you ever wrote; what was it about? When is the last time you played it?!

First song I ever wrote was at 16 years old, to ask my NOW WIFE to be my girlfriend. Haha! It was 7 minutes long, my voice was cracking, and it had 3 bridges. It was all about how I “liked her more than a friend.” I recorded it to a CD and dropped it off on Sarah’s doorstep late one night. It took her 2 weeks to respond (worst 2 weeks of my life!). Luckily she said yes and we have been together ever since, 30+ songs later. They’ve gotten a little better since then…

 

What do you remember about your first public performance?

It was a high school battle of the bands. And I was really nervous but also somehow really confident. I think we got 3rd place. But I remember it was the BIGGEST show in the world, playing for half the school in the auditorium.

 

 

Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played:

One of the best was definitely opening for 2Cellos at the Escondido Performing Arts Center. I hadn’t heard of 2Cellos- they are an awesome virtuoso cello duo from Europe who play modern covers and originals. I got the call for the gig a week before, and it had already sold out- 1,500 seats. And it was the kind of show and venue where you can hear a pin drop. Everyone is there for the music and it is a listening room vibe but in a large theater with amazing acoustics. One of the best nights ever.

 

Tell us about one of the weirdest gigs you ever played:

One of the weirdest but in a good way was a show I played in Oaxaca, Mexico while on tour down there. Somehow I got a nice write up in the local newspaper, which promoted my show at this little club in the center of the city. I show up and it was packed, and people were singing along to some of my songs in English. That was a bizarre feeling in a foreign country where I’d never been to play shows.

 

What are a couple of your most proud achievements as a musician?

I think one of the proudest achievements is the moment I leapt and made music full time. I didn’t think I’d get to that point. AND a huge reason I was able to do that was from Acoustic Spot gigs 🙂 But besides that, I think: writing with some major hit writers- grammy winners, developing a great relationship with Taylor Guitars, and just being able to travel the world and play my music. Whether the shows are big or small, I’m so lucky to create and perform for a living!

 

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about?

Nina Francis, Sarah Rogo, Ian McCartor

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

Be in it for the music. Always. Don’t compare. And limit time on social media!

Watch Tolan Play Live

Listen to Tolan on ITunes

Listen to Tolan on Spotify

For All NEW Music Visit Tolan’s Website

 

K. EMELINE | Acoustic Spotlight

October 2017

“It doesn’t matter how good you are, you still need to show up, ON TIME.” – Aside from being a gifted natural talent, K. Emeline marks this quote from her high school choir director, as a motto to live by. It also explains one of the many reasons why we love working with her : ) The best part is, she really IS that good. From Tupac and Sublime to Alicia Keys and Allen Stone, clients can expect a diverse and dynamic song selection when K. Emeline is behind the mic. This month we invite you to learn about a newer musician on our roster who has quickly become one of the most requested in town. When aspiring musicians ask how to get a foothold in the industry – we just point at Kaitlyn and tell them to take notes.

Prince or Michael Jackson?

Yikesssss. I love both, I can’t choose! Two artist I will NEVER get tired of.

 

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Stevie Wonder. I don’t think I’ve ever done a gig where I don’t do a Stevie Wonder song, it’s real. 

 

Tupac or Biggie?

Tupac. Aside from his music, if he was taller he’d be my dream guy. Just saying. 

 

Paul McCartney or John Lennon?

Paul McCartney.

Aretha Franklin or Etta James?

Man, literally two of my biggest idols. How could I compare these two queens? I’d have to say Aretha Franklin. I wouldn’t be the singer I am today without her. If I can be a 1/4 of how good Aretha is, I’d die peacefully.

 

Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

This is so hard, I’m greedy. I want to listen to whoever…forever! I’m cheating, giving you 5. I feel guilty even comparing.

Aretha Franklin , Prince, Stevie Wonder, Lauren Hill, Michael Jackson 

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

Currently: Po’ Folks – Nappy Roots / Previous: I Feel for You – Chaka Khan

 

What style would YOU call your music?

Funky R&B/Soul. I’m not ever sure how to answer this question, my music is based off of my mood. One day I may be feeling the R&B vibes, next day Rock, another day Reggae. I’m all over the place, but I feel most comfortable with R&B/Soul music. 

 

How old were you when you started playing music and who got you going?

There was no specific time when I was like, “I’m going to do music.” It was just instilled in my soul when I was born. Both of my parents are artists. Drawing, painting, writing, singing, playing instruments…you name it, they loved it and passed it on to me.
To answer your question, 1 day old.  

 

First song you ever wrote; what was it about? When is the last time you played it?!

My first song was probably something crazy, I don’t remember. I used to write songs and even sometimes raps with my sister and cousin when we’d be at the beach or just chillin by the bonfire, island style. The song was likely to either be about food, the beach or surfing- that was basically my childhood.

What do you remember about your first public performance?

My first public performance ever was actually a dance recital. I was really into dancing when I was young. A bunch of my family came to watch me and I literally just stood there on stage, frozen. I didn’t move an inch because I was so nervous. Stage presence didn’t come naturally for me, I used to choke up on stage all the time. High-school choir was when I got more comfortable performing on stage in front of a lot of people. Before that, I had a LOTof uncomfortable performances.

 

 

Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played:

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I performed on a stage in a pool at an all inclusive resort right on the beach, literally. This was my first time gigging internationally and using my passport. Paid gig, paid travel, and lifetime memories…pretty sweet deal. 

 

Tell us about one of the weirdest gigs you ever played:

I sang the national anthem for this “charity” fighting event and I kept bugging the planners to tell me when I sing so I can be in place and ready. They never told me when I was up OR what the game plan was so I was in the bathroom and I hear, “now introducing K. Emeline singing the national anthem!” I can’t tell you how fast I ran out of that bathroom on the second floor to rush to this stairway that had a spotlight waiting for me to walk down to the fighting rink. Everyone was watching, AWKWARD. They didn’t tell me that either. I got in the rink and didn’t think about how I shouldn’t of worn pointy stilettos, soooooo I sang the national anthem, repeated a verse and almost tripped on my way out. Oh ya, and this random guy told me he had a rainbow of cars as a pickup line. Interesting night! 

What are a couple of your most proud achievements as a musician?

I haven’t won any cool, fancy sounding awards…YET, but last year in August/September I quit my cocktail/bar-tending job and every other job I was working (since 16 it was two or more jobs), and went 100% full time with music and my business. Before, I was gigging pretty frequently on the side for a couple years, but I was never making full time income from it like now.

Another big achievement was just proving people wrong; growing up I was the rebellious little girl that 100% believed that I was going to be a singer/entertainer and I refused to live a life I wasn’t proud of or was miserable living. You couldn’t convince me otherwise if you tried.  I didn’t always get support and often I got the magical question, “what’s your plan b?” Um, nothing bro. Mind is made.

 

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about?

There’s a lot of talented musicians in San Diego I could shout out, that’s hard. I love all of it! But I’d shout out Nick Crook, Cedrice, and Stefan (my guitar player that I may be biased about but whatever). I wrote a song a few months back with Nick and I love his style and authenticity, Cedrice I met at the beginning of the year and I love her energy, knowledge and zen-ness (most likely not a word but you get me), and of course her voice. Stefan is a bada**. He has such an honest relationship with music and his original songs he’s played instrumentally at our gigs are amazing, he’s one to look out for. Now he sings too! 

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

I would advise my younger self to be ahead of the game and eliminate distractions. I’d tell myself to never lose sight of the bigger picture and meet my short term goals that compound over time. Hey younger K, you can do it and be yourself. If people love it, cool. If not, oh well.

 

Want to Catch K. Emeline Live >> K. Emeline’s Calendar

For New Music Visit K. Emeline’s Website

 

NATE WELDEN | Acoustic Spotlight

September 2017

nate w 2

Imagine James Taylor 30 years younger, as a surfer and tennis pro; His name would be Nathan Welden, and he would be from San Diego. The first time we met Nate was at a showcase of 20 musicians and it was his voice that stayed in our head for days after the event. You just cannot teach what he was born with. Aside from being an amazing (and humble) talent, Nate is a loving father & husband who always manages to share a smile along with a kind word. When he is not traveling the world with his beautiful wife and daughter, we manage to coordinate a few performances with him each month at venues around town. Respected by his peers, Nathan Welden is easily recognized as a staple of the San Diego music community. This month, we are honored to introduce you to a modern gentleman who deserves it all.

Paul McCartney or John Lennon?

John Lennon 

Garth Brooks or George Strait?

Garth Brooks 

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Steve Wonder

Amos Lee or Ryan Adams? 

Amos Lee

Cat Stevens or Jim Croce?

Jim Croce

Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

James Taylor, Amos Lee, Ray Lamontagne

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

Zac Brown Band

What style would YOU call your music?

Americana

How old were you when you started playing music and who got you going?

I got my first guitar when I was 18 years old. I grew up around music. Our good family friend Pat Curo, was a singer and guitar player. He always played music for friends and family, and it created such a nice atmosphere in their home.

First song you ever wrote; what was it about? When is the last time you played it?!

The first song I wrote was “Living on Love.” It’s a song about playing music for a living. I wrote it after one of my first paid gigs in my early 20’s. It was the first time in my life that I realized that I could get paid to do what I loved, which was playing guitar and singing. I just sang it last weekend at a gig; it has followed me throughout the years.

nate w 1

What do you remember about your first public performance?


During my first performance at the “Purple Cafe” in Pacific Beach, I sang “Country Roads.” I was 20 years old, my hands shook uncontrollably, and I was sweating profusely.

Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played

One of my best gigs was sharing the stage with David Wilcox, for a concert in San Diego. David Wilcox has been a songwriting idol of mine throughout my entire career.

Tell us about one of the weirdest gigs you ever played

I’ve had several odd gigs. The most awkward gig was at a private event. The client asked if I would play in the living room (without amplification), on the couch, with the door shut. All of the guests were at dinner in the dining room.

What are a couple of your most proud achievements as a musician?

My proudest achievements as a musician were when I was invited to play at a James Taylor tribute concert. Berkley Hart put on a wonderful concert with many artists that I hold to the highest esteem. I was also featured on KSON on Mother’s Day several years ago. I wrote a song called “The Dad I Never Had.” It was the first time I sang an original song on live radio. Another moment in my life that I’ll never forget was when I played a song that I wrote for my wife called “Courtney’s Song,”. I Sang it to my beautiful wife, Courtney, as she walked down the aisle on our wedding day.

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about? (We will give them a shout out).

My all time favorite local musicians are Berkley Hart, Lee Coulter, Jasmine Commerce, and Rheanna Downey.

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?


Here’s my advice to young musicians: if you love playing music, just do it. Don’t let others discredit your career path as a musician. Become confident with yourself and your craft. Don’t be too prideful to accept less than ideal gigs. There are endless opportunities as a musician, you just need to put time in, in front of the mic. 

Want to catch Nathan live >> Nathan’s Calendar

Check out Nathan on Spotify

WHITNEY SHAY | Acoustic Spotlight

August 2017

whitney shay 2

Blues, Soul, Swing, Jazz… Yep, she does it all! Between international tours and winning 2017’s “Best Blues Artist” at the San Diego Music Awards, Whitney Shay has us planning months ahead to coordinate with her packed schedule. There is no question that she is a consummate professional who brings so much more to the stage than just an amazingly powerful and unique voice – Apparently, that is what happens when your career starts off at the age of 3! Her knowledge and appreciation of music is as undeniable as the genuine soul that comes with each of her performances. Whitney is recognized in the San Diego community as one of the best in town and has a loyal following of peers who admire and respect both her music and the person she is. She shows up (early) to every gig with a smile, always quick with a laugh, and completely owns whatever stage she sets foot on. If you enjoy live music and have not heard Whitney Shay… sounds like you need to plan for an evening out. This month, we invite you to learn a little about someone we love a lot!

Prince or Michael Jackson?

Hmm…that’s a tough one since they both had such prolific careers, but I think I’ll have to go with Prince!  I participated in a couple different Prince Tribute shows the last year and it really got me digging into some of his lesser known material and then I really fell in love. Not only was the man an incredible performer/singer/songwriter but he could play a mean guitar!

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Yikes, a tough one again!  As much as I love the legendary Stevie Wonder, it’s Ray Charles for me all day every day.  That man just hits right to my core whenever I hear his voice.  His version of “You Don’t Know Me” is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Tupac or Biggie?

I feel like I don’t know enough of either of their music, but I’ll give Tupac the slight edge since I remember singing “California Love” when I was growing up.

Paul McCartney or John Lennon?

I wasn’t really raised on the music of the Beatles so I feel like many diehard Beatles fans might fight me on this, but John Lennon for me simply because of “Imagine” and his advocacy.

Etta James or Billie Holiday?

Etta James is my all time favorite singer.  I feel like a lot of people don’t look beyond “At Last”, but trust me, if you start digging the woman sang every style and had an incredible career/story!  I love her because everything she sang was 110% Etta.  You never doubted her conviction.  She could sing almost any style and make it her own- whether it’s a low down dirty blues, a heartfelt jazz standard, or some hard hitting high energy R&B.  My favorite thing I’ve ever heard about her was someone describing the “honesty of Etta James” and that has really stuck with me ever since.  I strive to be as honest and real as she was with my singing (and in my life).

Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

Ok I can’t narrow it down to 3 so I’ll give you 5 haha. I would say Donny Hathaway, Etta James, Eva Cassidy, Ray Charles, and Sam Cooke.

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

A great soul singer my friend hipped me to named Howard Tate.  I can’t get enough of him lately.

What style would YOU call your music?

I like to say I love to sing “soulful music”. That’s an easy way for me to group all the styles I do: rhythm and blues, blues, jazz, swing, soul, and gospel.

How old were you when you started playing music and who got you going?

I started singing almost when I started talking, I did my first theatrical production at age 3.  I did musical theatre growing up and majored in Theatre in college.  I started gigging singing jazz and swing at swing dances in 2010 and the rest is history.

First song you ever wrote; What was it about? When is the last time you played it?!

I remember writing a few way back in High School, but I have no idea what they were about.  Probably my idea of what heartbreak was at the time haha.

whitney shay

What do you remember about your first public performance?

I think my first foray into the gigging musician life was singing at a underground Speakeasy party at a warehouse in Barrio Logan.  I remember being so excited and nervous about it.  Now I’ve done so many gigs and feel like I’ve become pretty seasoned so it seems almost like I’m looking back at a different person.

Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played:

The first show I ever did in Brazil; I played at the Mississippi Delta Blues Festival November 2015.  I came out onto the stage in front of thousands of people in a country where I didn’t speak the language and the people warmly embraced me and really loved everything I did.  That to me was a game changing moment I’ll cherish for a long time.

Tell us about one of the weirdest gigs you ever played:

I got hired to jump out of a birthday cake and sing “Happy Birthday” once.  In reality I stepped out of a wooden “cake”, but you get the idea.  Either that or the string of jazz corporate gigs I did at Asian Grocery Stores- singing next to the frozen food section while people shopped was pretty funny.  The never boring life of a professional musician.

What are a couple of your most proud achievements as a musician?

Winning the San Diego Music Award this year for “Best Blues Artist” and having a lot of my peers coming up to me congratulating me saying “you deserve it” and “you worked your butt off.”  Earning that respect from other musicians I look up to and admire really meant a lot to me.  Also touring in South America; I’ve been four times now and every time I’m amazed at how receptive audiences in other countries are to American music.

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about?

Man, we have so much talent here in San Diego!  I feel like I don’t have enough room to list all the people I love and respect.  Two of the ones I wanted to mention you’ve already featured here on your spotlights: Jonny Tarr and Rebecca Jade.  Jonny is insanely talented; the guy sings so well, plays guitar, sax, keys, and beat boxes!  It’s almost unfair how good he is at everything.  Rebecca Jade is an absolute doll and so very talented- diverse and soulful.  I just love seeing the great things happening for her because she has worked hard and deserves all of her success.  Also shout-outs to some of my other favorites (if I wasn’t working all the time I would go hear these people): Robin Henkel (I’m lucky and get to play with him all the time), Nathan James (an incredible musician who I credit with really getting me invested in the blues), Mariela Contreras (fantastic Latin and all around singer), Billy Watson (such a fun performer), Leonard Patton (the man can sing anything and KILL IT), Israel Maldonado (amazing talent- sings in 3 languages and kills on guitar), Allison Adams Tucker (lovely voice, also sings in 5 languages), Rhea Makiaris (one of my favorite singers in town- she rarely performs though so catch her solo when you can), Zzymzzy Quartet (great gypsy jazz and traditional swing music), and Archie Thompson (my longtime producer- he plays every almost instrument AND sings).  That’s just scratching the surface for me.

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

Show up on time, do your “homework”, be a nice person, and always be grateful.  Those things will take you way further than being an egomaniac who’s insanely talented, but doesn’t play well with others.  Music is not about just you- it’s about the conversation you are having with the other parties involved and your audience.  Never forget that!

 

Want to catch Whitney Live >> Whitney’s Calendar

Check out Whitney on Spotify

DAVID SHYDE | Acoustic Spotlight

July 2017

david shyde

​The ladies can’t resist a smooth singing Brazilian who shreds on guitar and has an accent! Bossa Nova, Blues, Rock, Jazz, whatever – David Shyde has been the Ace up our sleeve since 2011. We really aren’t kidding about the ladies part; they literally love him. And his guitar skills are also no joke; this guy shreds with style. From the smallest of bookings to our largest corporate events, David always has a smile and kind words for everyone he speaks with regardless if they are the Client or part of the catering company. He immigrated to the US without even knowing the language to pursue his music passion in 2006. Since then he has become a shining example to all who respect and admire the American Dream. This month, we invite you to learn more about a person we have genuinely grown to love and appreciate through all of the years working together. Oh yah, he also has a 5 year old son that is the spitting image of him and already picking up the guitar… watch out! We share a video of his son jamming out at the end of the interview > Check it out!

 

Prince or Michael Jackson?

Both. 

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Another hard question. Both. 

Tupac or Biggie? 

Tupac. 

Paul McCartney or John Lennon?

John Lennon –  “Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not if you put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don’t expect Carter or Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself.”

ACDC or Led Zepplin? 

Both! Led Zeppelin, one of the reasons I started playing the electric guitar. Listing to my dads LP song Rock and Roll. Angus and the guitar tone, two huge influences on my guitar playing. 

Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

Very hard question. Mark Knopfler, Joao Gilberto, Cidadão Quem …I have way more…Eric Claton, BB King, Djavan, Lulu Santos, Buddy Guy, Joe Satriani, Nuno Bittencourt, Tom Jobim, Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmore, Eduardo Ardanuy , Mr.Big , Paul Gilbert, Metallica, Bach. 

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

My 5 year old boy playing in the living room. 

What style would YOU call your music?

The groove is BRAZILIAN , my vocals are POP and my guitar is BLUES/ROCK. You tell me! =)

How old were you when you started playing music and who got you going?

I was 11 years old. I was inspired by my uncle Eduardo. He contributed very much to my musician life, not only inspiring me, but he exposed me to a lot of good music. My dad has great taste in music too. Grew up listing to Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, David Lee Roth, Pink Floyd, Buddy Guy and some of my dad’s old LPs. 

First song you ever wrote; what was it about? 

I used to write a lot of Instrumental music. Singing is a new thing for me. Some of the music was about my heart breaking experiences and my dreams. 

david shyde

What do you remember about your first public performance?

It was at a sweet sixteen birthday party, we played Metallica the whole night, ​they were the only songs we knew how to play as a band. Our first song was ​“Seek and Destroy”. Funny night!  

One of the best gigs you ever played:

I have more than one. The one that is the most memorable of them was in Brazil with Cidadão Quem. I had the chance to play with them as a guest on a tv show. After that we became friends. I mentioned to Duca Leindecker ( guitar player and singer of CQ ) months later that I had a band and I wanted to record a single. We ended up recording at his studio, Submarino Amarelo. If I’m not wrong we were the first band to record there. Duca produced, recorded and sang backing vocals. Man, for me it was a dream because I was and currently am a huge fan of his band and music. At the time they were going out on tour and I asked him just joking around: Hey Duca, can we open for you guys ? He said: How about I call you guys in the middle of the show and you guys play 3 songs with our instruments? “ Gosh, Yes! it was a magical moment for me. The place was full and I’m using Duca’s Fender Strat and he is next to ​me singing. Duca Leindecker thank you! 

Weirdest gig you ever played:

At a grocery store.

What are a couple of your most proud achievements as a musician?

Moving to america in 2006 without knowing any English to become a full time musician. Getting approached by Doug Goldstein (Ex-Manager Guns N’ Roses ) to work with him – today a good friend of mine. Having the opportunity to work with talented and amazing musicians such as Steve Ferrone (Drummer for Eric Clapton, Tom Petty) and James East (Bass player for Sergio Mendes, Lionel Richie). Had the chance to perform with Ricky Lawson (Drummer for Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder) before he passed way. Such and amazing soul. I remember watching them on TV in Brazil when I was young. Working with you guys at​ Acoustic Spot Talent​ and having my name on your roster​ is a great achievement, could not ask for more.   

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about?

There are so many cool people making great music. Brian Pierini, one of the best saxophone players I have ever played with. Maria De La Paz, incredible singer / songwriter. Odessa Kane, amazing rapper and lyricist. Jonny Tarr and Ryan Hiller are two of the best looping musicians​ in town. I learn so much watching them performing. Raelee Nikole, I’ve never met her, but I’ve heard her songs online, beautiful voice. Whitney Shay wonderful B​lues and Jazz singer. 

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

Study and craft your skills. Play more than one instrument. Understand the Business side of music and be true to your art. Have no fear of trying new things, new sounds. Don’t be a “dick”, people like to work with cool people. Be a good team player. At some point you will need a team. Your manager, band mates, roadies, girlfriend… they all have a very important role in your career. If you are alone making music, reach out to others, share your talent and ask for feedback.  It’s not an​ easy career to pursue, but worth it if you feel it’s the right thing for you. You don’t want to be 65 years old talking about the good times you had in a band and how​ that was your dream, ​but find yourself​ with a $5000 Gibson in your living room wishing you could go back in time and give it a shot. Don’t be afraid of your fears, be afraid of the regrets. Find out who you are NOT, and you will find out how you ARE. Bet on your strengths. One life, one chance. Your call!

Want to catch David Live >> David’s Calendar

David’s Son Jamming on Guitar!

RYAN HILLER | Acoustic Spotlight

June 2017

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Charisma exceeded only by his incredible guitar skills. We have honestly never heard anyone like him – Funk, Rock, and Blues, with a New Orleans Soul.  Ryan Hiller is always entertaining and quick with the jokes. He has opened for Steve Miller Band, Chicago, The Black Eyed Peas, Chris Isaak, Brandie Carlile, Styx, Lyle Lovett, and Switchfoot. Ryan is a consummate professional who genuinely loves his craft – the guy has been playing since he was 5 and music has been his only income source ever since! RESPECT. This month, we are honored to introduce you to one of our longest standing musicians – his talent is obvious (along with his sense of humor).  He also has a brand new album that just released! Ryan Hiller everybody:

Prince or Michael Jackson?

Jeez. Starting me off with a trick question? If I absolutely had to pick, I’d say Prince was a better musician, because he mostly composed, arranged, and performed all of his songs. He also was a multi-instrumentalist and had dance moves on top of it all.  Michael Jackson could really dance and sing, and I loved all of the “Off the Wall” stuff. Prince’s album “The Rainbow Children” is one of my all time favorite albums.

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Hmmm. I wonder why you put them together?! I have incredible respect for both of them. This is another really tough one. Stevie Wonder has such an amazing voice, and is another multi-instrumentalist who composes, arranges, and performs his own material. He rips the shit out of the keys, drums, harmonica, and obviously vocals. 

Tupac or Biggie?

Well, Tupac was pretty ripped, and seemed to be a feisty kind of dude. On the other hand, Biggie lived up to his namesake, so probably had the upper hand if he landed a punch. Too bad they both cheated and used guns… 

Paul McCartney or John Lennon?

John Lennon. 

B.B. King or George Benson?

Two different schools of music here. B.B. King has way more hits on the blues charts, and Benson is more of a jazz artist. If we shifted to talk about virtuosity, then George Benson is one of the best musicians of all time. He has incredible bebop chops, a wide vocal range, and is very hard to emulate. 

Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

This is like asking what your favorite color is! I can’t pick. Sorry

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

I have a 15 month old girl… Goldie and Bear

What style would YOU call your music?

Hardcore Thrash Rap Polka!!

How old were you when you started playing music and who got you going?

I started when I was 5 years old and never had a job other than music. I’d say my parents inspired me. Although they never really performed professionally, they were always singing, playing guitar, and listening to great music.

First song you ever wrote; what was it about? When is the last time you played it?!

Haha. I wrote a song that went: “Put those guns away and then our days would be ok.” I was 8 or 9 and was writing chord progressions for Jack Johnson at the time. 

ryan hiller2

What do you remember about your first public performance?

I’ll never forget. I was in front of my whole school (7th grade) at an assembly. I had a trio, and we started the song totally off. The drummer and bass player walked off the stage, so I decided to trudge forward solo. The second I started singing I stepped on my guitar chord and the amp started feeding back. I could barely finish the tune… Was totally soul crushing. I should have probably gotten into studying how to manage hedge funds at that exact moment! 

Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played:

I opened up for John Scofield at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City. After the show, we hung out in his tour bus and he told us all about playing with Miles Davis. It was a really cool experience. 

Tell us about one of the weirdest gigs you ever played:

I could write a book. Really. I could write like a 500 page saga about performing for people as a musician. There is more to talk about with this question than anything else you’ve asked about. I really can’t pick one, so I’m going to make a general statement about something that’s been happening more and more lately: People are starting to not understand the difference between a musician and DJ. Some folks honestly don’t know the difference between using your fingers and voice to create music versus hitting a play button on a computer. People have been requesting songs and when I say I don’t know the song, they’ll put their phone up to me as if my brain could simply “Shazaam” it. As if my ear could hear 15 seconds of crappy audio on an iPhone speaker and know all of the lyrics, form, chord changes, and arrange the song for solo guitar instantaneously. It’s happening more and more frequently, and I’m honestly thinking that our society could be artistically devolving : / 

What are a couple of your most proud achievements as a musician?

Hands down being able to buy a house in San Diego and support a wife and kid! 

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about?

Over the years I’ve been working with some incredible musicians on the San Diego circuit. I have mad respect for all of my peers here in San Diego with whom I share the stage with, rotate gigs with, and who are doing what I’m doing to make a living. It’s not easy and those of us who have stayed in this business long enough know that there is no silver spoon, glamour, or fast track to success. Those of us who are on the local circuit for a living do it because we love it and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. The camaraderie between local musicians in San Diego is fantastic. Let’s give a shout out to everyone in San Diego that makes their living playing music!! 

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

If you think you’re getting into this business for any other reason than creating great music, then quit while you’re ahead. 

Want to catch Ryan live >> Ryan’s Calendar

Check out Ryan’s NEW album on itunes!

Listen to Ryan on Spotify

 

JONNY TARR | Acoustic Spotlight

May 2017

jonny tarr

Paul McCartney personally handed him his music degree, he has also performed on the Jazz World Stage at Glastonbury Festival in the UK and we are not the least bit surprised! Jonny Tarr is literally the first musician we started working with on a regular basis, and it wasn’t just because he has an awesome British accent – the guy is a musical monster. Sit back for 60 seconds and he will loop sax, guitar, keyboard, flute, harmony, and beat-box tracks into a full blown song – in one live solo take. He also has a pretty awesome Quartet you can catch around town. His vibe is unlike any other and his talent is obvious as you watch him effortlessly transition from one instrument to the next. Jonny is also a committed father and husband who has managed to maintain a music career with each mounting responsibility life seems to tack on. This month, we invite you to learn more about the experiences and mentality of a musician who has continued to pursue and fulfill his passion!

Prince or Michael Jackson?

That is pretty difficult. I am actually more of a fan of Michael Jackson’s music, but only up to and including certain songs from BAD (notably, the much overlooked duet with ‘his stevieness’). The majority of MJ’s great stuff was in collaboration with others, like Quincy Jones for whom I have massive admiration. I am still not that big a fan of the majority of Prince’s music, but I was lucky enough to see him live once and it was the best thing I have ever seen. Not the best gig, show or musical performance, but the best THING I have ever seen. So I am gonna go with Prince.

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Again, both GIANTS and you always have to give credit to those who came before for paving the way for the later generations, but for me it has to be Stevie Wonder. Accept no substitutes. He has probably informed my songwriting more than anyone else.

Tupac or Biggie? 

Who? Only kidding, but I am actually not the biggest hip hop fan, to be honest. I like the production, but only like a few MCs. Some notable exceptions – Gift of Gab, Guru, Nas.

Paul McCartney or John Lennon?

Well, Paul McCartney actually handed me my music degree in person, but I would have said McCartney anyway. I always preferred the songs he wrote for The Beatles over Lennon’s before I even found out who had written what. I prefer his voice and his all round songwriting genius. (The Long and winding Road!?) Also, anyone who can play bass and sing lead at the same time is amazing in my book.

Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life.

Stanley Turrentine, Maxwell, Paul Simon.

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

Solange for the first half of the questions, a pastiche eighties horror film soundtrack for the second half. (think john carpenter type stuff)

What style would YOU call your music?

Poptronic Blue Eyed Soul Funk Euro Disco Nasty Time

How old were you when you started playing music and who got you going?

I was 7 when I started playing the piano because my mum was learning at the time and decided that I should have some lessons too. I soon stopped because my teacher was really old and her house was a bit creepy to me. I then decided that getting a saxophone was gonna get me girls at the age of eleven and never looked back.

What is one of your 1st musical memories as a kid?

I honestly think that the first time I remember music touch me was when I walked into a bar with my mum when I was maybe four years old (we were ok with that kind of thing in Wales in the 80s) and hearing ‘Walking on the Moon’. The guitar sound and the ‘underwater’ vibe sticks with me to this day

jonny-tarr_-acoustic-spot

First song you ever wrote; what was it about? Still play it today?! 

The first song I remember writing was a song about raising the Titanic with my brother when we were very young. I was maybe 9. And no, I don’t play it anymore.

Where is your “creative space”, and what time of day generally brings the most inspiration?

My creative space is not really any one place. It is wherever I can find the time and space to set up my gear and make a beat to sing over. I tend to do it in bursts. Sometimes my garage, sometimes the office. Maybe just with my laptop. It is more about getting a whole day off to concentrate on writing than a certain time of day. I have a one and a half year old daughter, so finding the time is a challenge.

What are a couple of your most proud achievements / awards as a musician:

Opening the Jazz World Stage at Glastonbury Festival in the UK. This is our biggest and most anticipated festival of the year and getting to play my favorite stage there was pretty special.

Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played:

Playing at a Jam Session in Tokyo with some of the worlds finest new jazz and electronica artists the day after The Tokyo Crossover Jazz festival in 2009. I LOVED japan.

 

Tell us about one of the weirdest gigs you ever played:

Far too many to single out the weirdest, but there was quite a good one early on in my music career where there was a power cut in a bar I was playing in my home town. Thing was, the stage of the bar was on one power grid but the whole rest of the bar was on a different one for some reason. So when the power went out, all our gear onstage started smoking and the guitarist’s hair was standing on end but the whole rest of the bar was unaffected. The crowd thought it was part of the act.

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about?

If you have not yet, you have to check out the band of Monette Marino. The music is infectiously groovy and Monette is a fabulous percussion player. A real treat. Also, there is the band of Tonga Ross Mau, The Bomb Squad. An organ trio in the vein of the Blue Note Soul Jazz that came out in the sixties. They are Badass.

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

Make sure you love music for music’s sake and you are not in it for fame or a certain lifestyle. Music is tough to make a living from. You have to be in love with it.

Want to catch him live >> Jonny’s Calendar

 

REBECCA JADE | Acoustic Spotlight

April 2017

rebecca jade_ the acoustic spot

She is a three-time consecutive San Diego Music Awards winner who has opened for names such as Boyz II Men, Erykah Badu and even Vanilla Ice. Rebecca Jade is easily recognized as a top tier artist out of Southern California. Her mother was a professional jazz singer in Puerto Rico and exposed her to a vast assortment of artists, genres and styles at an early age. Fate was true and Rebecca grew into a powerhouse vocalist with all the style and grace in the world. We book her for everything; a duo singing jazz standards, a trio knocking out R&B and Soul selections, to a full band covering top 40 songs. Oh ya, she is also amazingly thoughtful and beautiful too : ) In this months Spotlight, we are proud to introduce a musician who has been part of our story since the beginning.

Prince or Michael Jackson?

Prince

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Stevie Wonder

Tupac or Biggie?

Tupac

Miles Davis or John Coltrane?

Coltrane

Name 3 musicians / groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

Lianne La Havas

What style would YOU call your music?

Soul music.

How old were you when you started playing music and who got you going?

I’ve been singing as long as I can remember, and my mom was my earliest influence.

What is one of your 1st musical memories as a kid?

I sang and performed in church and school performances (musicals and choirs) since I was little, but my mom has a picture of me singing a solo in kindergarten.

rebecca jade 2

First song you ever wrote; what was it about? Still play it today?!

It’s called “Breathless.” It’s about how you fall in love with someone and they take your breath away, even though they may not feel the same; I’ve never played it live.

Where is your “creative space”, and what time of day generally brings the most inspiration?

Often times in my car while driving, I’ll record some ideas on my phone. I also usually sit and write late at night at home in my office/studio space.

What are a couple of your most proud achievements / awards as a musician?

Our original band, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact, earned 3 consecutive San Diego Music Awards, we are so grateful for the love!

Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played:

The Cold Fact opened for El Debarge, and then I had the very cool opportunity to sing a duet with him during his set.

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about?

There is a singer named L-Young that I dig! He puts up very cool renditions of songs online and has a cool vibe about him. I was able to open for him a couple years back and his live show was amazing!

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

See what you want for yourself in this music world and go for it! It may take longer than you think, but it will be worth it.

Want to catch her live >> Rebecca’s Calendar

 

AQUILE | Acoustic Spotlight

March 2017

Aquile

Turning 3 out of 4 chairs on “The Voice” – Christina Aguilera, Ceelo Green, and Adam Levine all recognizing this guy is something special. Aquile has a Soul/Pop/R&B vibe that is unmistakable with song selections that are upbeat & current with genuine throwbacks to the classics. He is a true hustler who LOVES music with a passion on par with his God-given talent  – something we have found is pretty rare! Aquile easily became one of our most requested musicians and it was no surprise. We are super proud and lucky to work with him as much as we do. This month, we invite you to learn a little more about Aquile and how he got his start in music. From hitting the keys at 8 years old to rocking national television, his story is real and inspiring. Read his full interview below!

Prince or Michael Jackson?

That’s’ a tricky question – I’d say Michael Jackson the first part of my life, but Prince now! 

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Also 2 of my Favs geez! I’d have to say Mr. Wonder 

Tupac or Biggie?

Tupac for sure 

John Legend or John Mayer?

Grew up loving John Legend, but now its Mayer all the way. He’s one of the greatest artist of our time in my opinion. 

Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

Mayer, MJ, Stevie Wonder 

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

JP Cooper (Dope Artist) 

What style would YOU call your music?

Indie-Soul 

What is one of your 1st musical memories as a kid?

Figuring out the theme song to Jurassic Park on my moms upright piano age 8

How old were you when you started playing music, and who got you going?

It was around age 8 when I fell in love with the piano. My Grandmothers from both sides got me started much earlier than that. Grandma Rose gave me a Toy Mic at age 2 and I’ve been singing ever since. My Mom is also really musically talented and her singing and writing ability rubbed off on me at an early age as well.

First song you ever wrote; What was it about? Still play it today?!

I was visiting my cousins in Salt lake City and I fell for this cute girl across the street. My uncle had a piano in his house and I felt compelled to write her a song. I still remember it to this day, but never do I perform it lol. (so cheesy)

aquile1

Where is your “creative space” and what time of day generally brings the most inspiration?

I’m a morning person. I wake up inspired and usually sit down at my home studio and create on the computer. My most creative space is outdoors in nature, but it can be hard to be there all the time. For now I have a fish tank next to my desk with a bunch of little buddies to keep me company.

Tell us about a couple of your most proud achievements / awards as a musician:

Turning 3 out of 4 chairs on The Voice Season 3 was def my greatest musical achievement thus far. 

Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played:

Rocking the Mangy Moose in Jackson Wyoming with my old Band The Orbit Group is def my fav memories of playing a show. That place is Iconic and Wyoming is my home state. There’s nothing like being submerged in the mountains in the winter playing music with your best buds. 

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about?

K. Emeline is a very talented singer, she’s one to look out for. Also ill Nicky, One of the dopest lyricists coming out of SD along with Nat-z one of the best female rappers I’ve ever heard.  


Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

Just always keep the Faith. Never stop growing and working on your craft. Take rejection as education and learn from each and every experience. Make sacrifices for your music. Plan B should be, “Never failing at plan A. There is no plan B!”

Want to catch him live >> Aquile’s Calendar

RAELEE NIKOLE | Acoustic Spotlight

February 2017

Raelee_Nikole_Listed at #6 of Spotify’s “US Viral 50 Playlist”, personal shout-outs from John Mayer and Shawn Mendes, multiple San Diego Music Award appearances, over 1 Million views on her Youtube content… and she’s the sweetest, most deserving musician you’ve ever met. Raelee Nikole is a San Diego native who is making WAVES. We have been fortunate to work with her since she was 16 and have to admit, she holds a really special spot in our hearts. Currently at 21 years old, we are seeing her years of perseverance, practice, and great attitude turn into a VERY promising future of music making. In this month’s Spotlight, Raelee tells us about a toy piano that started it all, shares some of her successes and gives advice to those who are striving to make it in the industry – See her full interview below!

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

I’m listening to the new Kehlani album right now 🙂 It came out last night at midnight so I’m having my first listen and it’s so good.

Prince or Michael Jackson?

Michael Jackson, only because I was introduced to his music so much earlier than Prince – and therefore he probably made more of an impact! 

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Stevie Wonder! This is so tough!!

Tupac or Biggie?

Why are you guys doing this to me! I’m just going to say Biggie because I know more of his music, but I think both were absolutely crucial to music history and culture. 

John Mayer or Allen Stone?

Okay now you’ve made this personal. John is more of an idol in my eyes. His music has been a part of me since I’ve been a musician and I still can’t comprehend how he wrote some of the songs he has. Allen Stone changed my world though. His live show introduced me to SOUL and what a true PERFORMANCE was. Also, I met him after one of his shows and cried the whole way home because I was so happy.. so I guess I choose Allen.

Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

I will definitely listen to both John (Mayer) and Allen (Stone) for the rest of my life. Probably Lianne La Havas as well.

What style would YOU call your music?

The album I released in 2015 was definitely in the singer/songwriter pop genre, but the music I’m working on releasing this year is a lot more current and soulful, with less of an acoustic sound. I don’t really care what genre my music falls in, as long as it has emotion, soul, and listeners feel the groove.

What is one of your 1st musical memories as a kid?

My earliest memory of music was when I was four years old and my mom ran a daycare at our house. One of the toys we had was a toy piano, but it only had four keys and it was backwards (meaning the highest notes were to the left and lowest were to the right). Anyway, I remember showing her that I figured out how to play Marry Had A Little Lamb on it using my ear. Our family friend was standing next to her and was so impressed that she gifted me piano lessons for my 5th birthday. Thus began my relationship with music. I stayed with those lessons for 12 years until I switched over to guitar 🙂

First song you ever wrote; What was it about? Still play it today?

The first song I ever wrote was called “2am Breakdown” and I was about 14 or 15. I had just gotten off the phone with my freshly turned ex-boyfriend because we were both trying to stay friends, but he kept going on and on about a new girl he already had a crush on. (Looking back now that was very intentional of him and I should have laughed about it) but instead I wrote a poem about how I’m fine during the day until I’m alone in my room and have a ‘2am breakdown.’

No, I don’t ever play it anymore (despite my family’s very flattering pleas). I think it was a well written song for 15 year old me, and should remain that way haha.

Where is your “creative space,” and what time of day generally brings the most inspiration?

I like to write where I’m comfortable; I think that’s where the spark usually comes. So, in my room or bathroom is where almost every song has been written. I also have to be alone or I can’t focus. I feel like the other person in the room is judging the song way before it’s ready, even if only subconsciously. 

raelee nikole_ acoustic spot

Tell us about some of your most proud achievements / awards as a musician:

I’ve had a few moments of “oh wow this is pretty cool” throughout my journey with music; Being nominated for the San Diego Music Awards, playing the House Of Blues, or releasing my first album – but I’d have to say what I’m most proud of are the little things, like when someone tells me one of my songs really helped them out or made a difference in their lives. That’s why I’m involved in this industry at the end of the day, and it’s the least tangible thing to measure, so I think I’m the most proud when I can connect with people.

Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played:

One of the best gigs I’ve ever played was actually my most recent show at last year’s Adams Avenue Street Fair. I already love the Street Fair; every year my friends and I get so hyped off the energy of the first day. I played the outside stage with my friends Jackson Price on bass and Kimo Shim on percussion, and I remember there being a crowd already waiting for us before we got on and while we were setting up for our set. They were chanting my name and throughout the show I noticed tons of people knew the words to my original songs. I still can’t ever describe the way that feels. I was high off that show for the next month haha. 

Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about?

I’ve been involved in San Diego’s local music scene for nearly 6 years now, so I’m excited about this question. I’d recommend checking out the local bands: Whimsy, Funk Shui Planet, and Caroline. Also, Steph Johnson, who is doing SO much for our community – not with just her own music, but a local San Diego choir with a beautiful story. Local Singer/Songwriters: Tolan Shaw, Courtney Preis, Sophia Bacino, Nick Crook, Dave Morris… I could go on forever! 

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

My advice to anyone starting out.. Man, you really gotta love what you’re doing for the right reasons. It’s all about balance. Set goals, but don’t get so caught up in them that you don’t enjoy your current place in your career. Things can take a looooot longer than you expect, and if you are tunnel vision focused on selling out an arena, you’ll miss out on the beauty (and feeling of accomplishment) of playing your first packed coffeehouse! The smallest steps forward are still a step forward. Besides, if it all worked out in just a year or two, how boring would that story be??

Want to catch her live >> Raelee’s Calendar

 

ANGIE KEILHAUER | Acoustic Spotlight

January 2017

angie-keilhauer-2

Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Pharrell all turned for her on “The Voice” – If you haven’t heard about Angie Keilhauer until right now – pick up your phone, open Spotify and thank us later. This hard working Americana Country singer just moved into Encinitas and has rapidly begun to make a name for herself in San Diego (Winner of the 2016 Del Mar Fair Songwriter Contest). We invite you to learn more about how she started out, what kind of music she listens to, and some of her biggest successes to date. Angie also gives some great advice to aspiring musicians – full interview below!

Video of her Blind Audition on “The Voice” :

Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?

The Doors! My girlfriend just bought their vinyl; felt like going through a time machine in my living room.

Prince or Michael Jackson?

Michael Jackson

Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?

Ray Charles! I’m from GA after all.

Tupac or Biggie? 

Tupac

Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera?

Christina Aguilera.

Who would you ask us to choose between?

Eric Clapton or Led Zeppelin?   – We would have to go with Clapton : )

First musical memory as a kid?

When I was a kid I begged my mom for vocal lessons, but they were pretty expensive and we have a big family. My mom had bought my older sister violin lessons with the rule that she had to get up three times a week before school and practice. Finally my mom gave in, of course with the same rule. So she would wake up before me at 5am, make me go downstairs, and run my scales. I hated it so much, but slowly I saw how much better I was getting. At the time, I wasn’t so grateful haha, but now looking back- that was a big lesson. 

How old were you when you started playing music & who got you started?

I have always been a singer since I can remember. I would shut off the TV in the living room and make the whole family listen to a new song I wrote (that was always very popular lol). In the end I was obsessed with great vocalists and storytelling. My mom always loved Dolly Parton and I begged my Dad to buy me Christina Aguilera’s first album. I would listen to those songs over and over, repeating the runs until I could finally come close. As long as I can remember I just absolutely loved singing. 

First song you ever wrote – What was it about? Still play it today?! 

Hmm I think the first song I ever wrote, that I can remember, was about mayonnaise believe it or not. I don’t actually play that one regularly haha. For some reason my middle school friends still to this day remember that song and consider it my first break. 

Most proud achievements / awards as a musician?

My latest EP ‘Wild’ just won the Independent Music Award in the Country/ Roots genre! This was a really big moment for me because after coming off of The Voice last season, I decided to go all in and fund the record. The 7-track EP is all written by me, telling real stories of being on the road since the last album. It was the first time I recorded with a full band at a really high end studio in Nashville. Every dime I made touring for two years was in the hopes that I could one day make this happen. The day it was released on June 24th it hit #5 in its genre on iTunes. When I heard I won the IMA award it was really like coming full circle, like this humongous risk I took with all my savings and credit cards actually didn’t seem so crazy. It was an incredible moment. 

Where is your “creative space”?

The car! I have to drive so much and feeling the world’s constant movement around me is the best way for me to focus. I love writing songs in the car. I also love journaling- usually once a day when I can. Going back into my journal entries is where I find a lot of the most important lines to my songs.

Name 3 musicians / groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:

Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Kip Moore

Any local / up-and-coming musicians that more people need to know about?

I’m just getting into the local scene in Encinitas since moving here in September. I discovered a guy named Michael LeClerc that has a killer singer-songwriter vibe. Also, a band called Grim Slippers is probably one of the coolest fusions of rock and funk I’ve heard in a long time, really fun to listen and jam to. I’m a huge fan!!

Best gig you ever played?

The Voice was pretty epic, but there were only about 200 people in the live audience, and none of them really knew who I was or what my original music was like. A few months later, when I released my EP in my hometown, I played for about 300 people, all who knew every word to my new songs and sang along. Even now when I think about it I get a little teary eyed – hands down one of the coolest moments in my career. 

160226_2993234_angie_keilhauer_blind_audition___i_hold_on_

Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?

This is a tough industry. If you look at my bio, you’ll see a couple of huge breakout moments. You’ll see my first cruise ship contract as a musician, a viral YouTube video, an audition on a major singing show. What you won’t see is the two years of emailing it took to get that first contract, the hundreds of videos made before the one that went viral, the number of failed auditions before the one I got through. This is a TOUGH industry. Take every single opportunity and don’t let failure be a reason to stop trying. Let it be a reason to get better, to be humble, and to be proud of the art you make. This industry is 100% created by everyday people that obsess about music as much as you do, true fans. Find those people, connect with them, and hold them close to your heart. Never stop making music.

Want to catch her live >> Angie’s Calendar

 

Booking a Musician – the Basic Rider Requirements

Euphoria+Brass+Band 2

If you are booking Taylor Swift, this list may be a little inadequate. These bullet points are geared for everyday private and corporate events ranging in rate from $500 to $7k. If you can manage to cover the following areas, you will find (most) musicians are going to be super thankful. Here are basic rider requirements:

  • Parking for duration of the event for Talent vehicle(s)
    – Client responsible for any passes or ticket fees
  • Access for loading within reasonable proximity of staging area
  • Access to a convenient power source at point of “stage”
    – one, dedicated 20 amp circuit per 3 musicians ideally
  • Provide coverage from elements to protect Talent and their gear from rain and direct sun exposure
  • Access to water throughout duration of performance
    – bottled water preferred due to electronics
  • For bookings of 3 hours or more, a hot meal for Talent
  • Most professional musicians will be able to provide amplification for up to 100 guests
    – Client needs to coordinate with Talent / Venue to provide additional sound
  • If elevated stage is NOT provided, Talent must have a dry, firm foundation
    – not directly on sand/grass/dirt
  • If elevated stage IS provided, size must meet minimum area of:
    Soloist – 6′ x 5′
    Duo – 10′ x 6′
    Trio – 12′ x 10′
    Full Band – 20′ x 12′

How The Acoustic Spot Started

“Papas and Beer in Carlsbad”.  This was the top result after 36 minutes of searching the internet for variations of “Live music in Encinitas”.  Awesome; that is 9 exits north of my house… and not the type of live music entertainment I was looking for.

Each of the San Diego online music calendars required you to dig through irrelevant information or click through 5 pages to get to just one performance. Any website that was easier to navigate listed only ticketed events or promoted shows with a cover and, quite honestly, all of them just too much of a production for that particular Wednesday night.

What if all you want to do is sit down at a conveniently located venue, have a beer (maybe two), and listen to an acoustic set by a talented local musician?

Where can you conveniently find quality live music, without having to buy a ticket or pay a cover!?

NO WHERE.

The Acoustic Spot changed that –  We started the agency to introduce a new level of organization to the, often unstructured and “underground” world of local live music. We represent an invite-only roster of musicians and promote their performances for free.

Now you can find consistently great live music at venues throughout the community within 2 clicks or screen touches. The Acoustic Spot Calendar of Events was created for the Public – No fees, memberships, or registration required. Just a solid website that is easy to use and easy to bookmark in your browser! (www.theacousticspot.com/calendar)

Finally, a Simple way to Find QUALITY Live Music : )logo_black web