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American Songwriter Magazine  The Craft of Music.

Early comparisons to Darlene Love singing the Dusty Springfield songbook are easy touch points, but they’re also accurate. U.K. singer-songwriter Yola can hold her own with the best, and it’s likely this terrific album will end up as one of the most impressive debuts of this or recent years. Its combustive combination of talent, songwriting and sympathetic yet bold production makes the release one of the finest soul/country fusions in recent memory. Read our review of Yola's Dan Auerbach-produced album "Walk Through Fire" on @iamyolaofficial

The Internet abounds with theories about what "Feelin' Good Again" really means, so American Songwriter asked Robert Earl Keen himself what was on his mind when he penned this classic. The main thing that inspired the song, Keen said, was “Returning home after a long time gone. I lived in Bandera, Texas. When I would come home, it would occasionally be really late — this was back when I didn’t have a bus. And there was this place called Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar Saloon that you could go to, still exists. So I would come home and my wife would be asleep. Now, the other way, just about half a block, was Arkey’s. Lit up with a big silver dollar and it says ‘Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar’ on it. And I would go there. Not to avoid going home, but to decompress from traveling — I would still be pretty awake. Even past 2:00 a.m.” Read more about our lyric of the week on @robertearlkeen1 #banderatexas #texashonkytonk

#repost @katiepruittmusic
Good morning Montreal! ❄️❄️ I’m stoked to be here @folk_alliance ! Here’s where I’ll be tonight (6:15 in Room 217) (11pm in Room 304) & (12:45 in Room 502) Excited to drink whiskey, meet new friends and share stories! Come say hey & tell me what other shows I should catch 🤙🏻🤙🏻

Chris Stapleton discusses his new signature @fender '62 Princeton Amp at RCA Studio A in Nashville with Dave Cobb et al. Stapleton admitted to being a bit embarrassed by the honor, saying, "There are 10 people in this room who can play guitar better than me." @chrisstapleton @davecobb7 #fender #fenderprinceton

Congratulations to Kacey Musgraves for her four Grammy wins, including Album of the Year. Revisit our July/August cover story with Musgraves where she expounds on the writing of the album. Link in story. @spaceykacey @recordingacademy #grammys #kaceymusgraves 📸: @jamienelson6

If you really want to know what makes a song tick, sometimes the best source is someone who has done their own interpretation of it. “Lithium” is known as one of the individual explosions found on the collective Big Bang of grunge that was Nirvana’s "Nevermind" album, released in 1991. But when sisters Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne took a shot at it on the album "Not Dark Yet" in 2017, they managed to find new layers of intrigue and insight in this brilliant composition. Read more about our lyric of the week on #nirvana #kurtcobain #lithium @1allisonmoorer @ogshelbylynne

“Many of the songs on the new album are motivated by a shift from private to public concerns,” says songwriter Ian Felice, long one of this magazine’s favorite lyricists. “It isn’t hard to find worthwhile things to write about these days. There are a lot of storms blooming on the horizon and a lot of chaos that permeates our lives. The hard part is finding simple and direct ways to address them.” 📸: Lawrence Braun

The familiar adage, oft-repeated by musicians who have had hits and those who long for one, says that if anyone knew what exactly constituted a hit single, that formula could be repeated every time. But when you consider some of the concoctions that sounded ridiculous on paper and yet turned out to be pure magic when recorded, it’s clear that hit songs are produced by a combination of talent, inspiration, luck, and some sort of pixie dust that floats around recording studios but only alights on certain musicians at certain times, like it did for Procol Harum when they recorded “A Whiter Shade Of Pale.” Revisit the Lyric of the Week from 2014 at the link in bio. #procolharum #tbt

John Hiatt’s new album, “The Eclipse Sessions,” is so named because a total solar eclipse rolled through Tennessee on August 21, 2017, during the making of the record. The singer-songwriter and his band took a break from recording when the time came; they went out on the back porch of the Rock House, producer Kevin McKendree’s farmhouse studio outside Franklin, Tennessee. It was one of those singular moments when your understanding of the world shifts a bit on its axis. “We were looking up at this hillside of trees,” Hiatt remembers, “when it suddenly got really dark. All the deer ran out of the woods and looked at us as if they were saying, ‘It’s dark, but it’s daytime — what’s going on?’ The birds went spiraling up from the trees; the insects and frogs went crazy. This whole cacophony of nature was going, ‘What the hell?’ I had this real connected feeling. It felt like old Nashville: No one was on their phone or Facebook; we were sharing something.” 📸: David McClister #johnhiatt

Haunting. That’ll be your first — and last — impression when hearing singer-songwriter J.S. Ondara’s fragile yet agile tenor voice. You’ll be calling your friends to demand they hear this iridescent young talent. Watch the video for “American Dream” ahead of the release of new album “Tales of America” on @jsondara @ververecords

Four decades into a storied career, the Nashville icon Vince Gill is making sure every note counts. “I don’t have that many years left to be creative, so I want to cover as much ground as I can,” he says. “This record is very different from anything else I’ve done. It’s very acoustic-minded. There’s no soloing. It’s very song-minded, too, and these are age-appropriate songs that a 61-year-old man should be writing. It’s about real life and the things that really matter. I’ve got a song on there that I wrote for Guy Clark after his passing. A song I wrote for Merle Haggard after his passing. Two songs about Amy. A song about abuse. A song about teenage pregnancy. It’s a lot of subjects that some people are gonna completely run from.” Read the full feature on Vince Gill at Photo by Jim Wright. @vincegillofficial

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