Category: Music

Hermann Lammers Meyer
Music

5 minutes with Country Music Artist Hermann Lammers Meyer

Hermann Lammers MeyerHermann Lammers Meyer is a country music artist who was born in Germany in 1952. He grew up listening to country music and has been song writing and performing all over Europe since 1973.

1. Tell us a bit about your background and how you became a country music artist?

I grew up in the small city of Aschendorf in North Germany, next to the Dutch border. My parents owned a channel ship, and so it was easy to understand that they made me become a ship broker as a young man. I became infected by the country music that we heard via the American Forces Radio and I started to write my first original song ‘The Trucker’ under the table of my ship brokers work desk. At this point I had already hitchhiked the whole of the USA, sponsored by my Grandmother. I visited the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville enjoying George Jones and Johnny Cash at that time! Read More

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Folk Artist Eddy Mann
Music

5 minutes with Musician and Songwriter Eddy Mann

Folk Artist Eddy MannEddy Mann is a folk musician and songwriter from Philadelphia. He is also a worship leader, teacher, speaker and a dedicated family man.

1. Who or what has been the biggest influence on your career?

My faith is most likely the strongest influence of my career. I’m a creative at heart. I create because I have to. Realising that music was my gift, that it was my platform to be heard was, and still is life changing. I feel I have a defined purpose and it keeps me moving forward. Read More

Dave-Insley
Music

5 minutes with Country Music Artist Dave Insley

Originally from Kansas but raised in Arizona (which he considers his life long home), country music artist Dave Insley relocated to Austin, Texas with his family ten years ago. Dave Insley’s Careless Smokers have a weekly residence at The White Horse Saloon in Austin and play to a packed crowd every week.

Dave has recently released his fourth album ‘Just the way that I am’ to rave reviews.

 

 

Insley has a great voice, I mean who doesn’t love a full, rich country baritone, but it’s his perfectly understated, never in your face, conversational style that makes him so effortlessly engaging.  John Conquest, 3rd Coast Music.


1. What has been the highlight of your musical career?

Redd Volkaert brought me a gift of a dozen farm-fresh eggs, in order to offer his congratulations, when we had the release party for ‘Just The Way That I Am’ a few weeks ago, confiding that some of the eggs were “just laid this morning”.

Earl Poole Ball played my request ‘Busted’ on the piano in my living room a while back.

These are just 2 of the many, many inspiring and talented artists I’ve had opportunity to work with, and become friends with in recent years. The highlight of my musical career has been the opportunity to know and work with such an amazing array of talented people.

Dave Insley

Dave Insley by Valerie Fremin Photography

2. Where do you find inspiration for your song writing?

I’m inspired by the big AND the little things in life, everyday things, relationships, narratives I’m experiencing firsthand (or imagining). I am motivated by the feeling of catharsis that I get from getting it all off my chest.

3. Which song from the album ‘Just the way that I am‘ means the most to you and why?

We’re All Here Together Because of You‘ is the heart of the album. It’s a song that tells the story of my life together with my wife and all of our children, stepchildren and godchildren.

This is a dead, solid perfect modern honky tonk record that’ll keep the party going out in the parking lot well after the last call. Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap.


4. Do you ever get nervous before you go on stage?

I had stage fright sometimes when I was just getting started maybe, but not anymore – not for years and years. In fact sometimes the stage is the only place I really feel comfortable and relaxed.

Dave Insley

Dave Insley by Valerie Fremin Photography

5. What piece of advice can you give to aspiring country music artists?

Hang in there and persevere! Stick to your guns and be true to your own vision, no matter who criticises. Be kind to the people you meet, and do not be full of yourself, ever! Come to think of it, this is the same advice that I would give to my children, or any person, regardless of whether or not they’re artists.

And just for fun…

6. Who is your favourite music artist (dead or alive)?

The one I admired the most, we just lost – Merle Haggard.

7. Pick a film title for the story of your life…

That’s easy, ‘Just Call Me Lonesome’.

8. You have the chance to time travel to any gig or concert that has ever taken place – which one would it be?

The one that got away for me was the Alpha Band opening for Commander Cody in Phoenix, at the Celebrity Theatre back in 1977. I was 16 years old and my mom wouldn’t let me go. Cody was at the height of his powers just then, and I was equally fascinated with the Alpha Band (T Bone Burnett, Steven Soles, and David Mansfield). I not sure I ever forgave my mom, and I always regretted missing this show!

9. What is your favourite Western movie?

That’s a tough question, because I LOVE westerns. I’m going to call it a 3-way tie between ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’, ‘The Ox Bow Incident’ and ‘Unforgiven’.

10. Tell us something that will surprise us?

I needed a challenge to occupy my idle hours (when I’m not busy being an artist, dad and husband) so I decided to go to law school; I just finished my 2nd year.

Dave’s album ‘Just the way that I am‘ is available on iTunes.

You can follow Dave on Facebook.

Kinderjazz band
Music

5 minutes with Founder of KINDERJAZZ – Dr Christobel Llewellyn

Dr Christobel LlewellynDr Christobel Llewellyn founded KINDERJAZZ, an Australian based big swing band for little kids, in 1997 with her husband Composer & Lyricist David Llewellyn. A specialist in music education Christobel set up the band with the aim of giving all children the opportunity to learn music from birth. The music on each of KINDERJAZZ’s albums is specifically written to engage young children and stimulate their developing minds.

As well as being an award winning music educator Christobel is also a professional pianist and conductor. Read More

Glenna Bell Lone Star Cover
Music

5 minutes with Singer-Songwriter Glenna Bell

Glenna Bell Under Tree by Amy Morris

Photo by Amy Morris

Texas based Glenna Bell is an established country-blues-folk artist who has been honoured by the State of Texas in a House Resolution recognising her musical contribution to the state. Her recently released album Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas is her fifth self-released album.

1. What is your fondest musical memory?

I noticed right away that these questions really make one have to think, which is constructive, but there are so many memories, highlights, it seems impossible to choose just one – sort of like asking someone which child is your favourite?

What comes to mind off the top of my head is two musical memories from my early years when we lived in East Texas in Lumberton, near the Big Thicket, and we would sing a cappella as a congregation in the little church in the woods and when we would visit my mother’s side of the family in Orange, Texas in the Golden Triangle near Port Arthur, the birthplace of Janis Joplin, where we would sing at family gatherings with generations of relatives playing popular and occasionally original songs on the piano, representing the pop culture of their respective eras, dating all the way back to the twenties.

2. What has been the highlight of your career?

Thankfully, there have been many highlights, but one that comes to mind is receiving the House Resolution honouring my musical contribution to the State of Texas at the Texas state capital in Austin.

A more recent highlight would be the day that I spent in the studio with John Pickering who sang the backing vocals on several Buddy Holly hits and our lunch with Sonny West (who wrote “Oh Boy” and “Rave On”) at the little Mexican restaurant on legendary Telephone Road here in Houston. There’s also the time I played Threadgill’s in Austin to a crowd who compared me to Janis Joplin as they remembered her performances there in the early-to-mid ‘60s and the Johnny Cash Bash at the Continental Club in Austin with Johnny Cash’s long-time piano player Earl Poole Ball accompanying me in an impromptu version of “Get Rhythm” in front of a packed house with standing room only and hundreds of Johnny Cash fans dressed in black, lined up around the corner outside the front door on Congress. There are the memories of playing here and there and everywhere, New York and Nashville, with people I knew and didn’t know at all. The on going shows with Greg Henkel on his incredible vio-fiddle. The record store, Bill’s, in Dallas. Cosmos Café in Houston. Y’all come! There is no place like home.

Glenna Bell Lone Star Cover

Glenna Bell Lone Star Cover

3. Your latest album ‘Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas’ has recently been released. Which song from the album means the most to you and why?

I’d say “Pig in Lipstick Blues” means the most to me at the moment because I have caught a bad case of the blues, and that song showed me that, yes, I can “bring it” both as a writer and singer.

4. Do you ever get nervous before you go on stage?

No, I just “wing it.” Live in the moment. Be yourself. Forget about yourself. You’re there for the audience. Not yourself. Lift them up.

5. What piece of advice can you give to aspiring country music artists?

Read. Read real books, not online. Listen to “old music,” preferably on a record player. Get unhooked. Be in Nature as much as possible with no distractions. Write. Listen to the music of the birds and the breeze in the trees. Lie down alone in a field of grass and star gaze or watch the clouds go by in the sky. Dream. Find your voice. Give yourself time. Get in touch with something beyond this material world. Be willing to stretch and try new things within the limits of your sense of ethics and morality. Always listen to your deep inner voice. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing anything that would go against your personal or artistic convictions. Learn to know yourself and don’t compromise yourself or your art. Stay humble and authentic. Don’t try to take short cuts to success—you will undermine everything. Build your house on a rock. Think long term and do what it takes to set things up for longevity so that you can continue to do what you love for a lifetime. Accept criticism gracefully but learn who and who not to listen to. Some people are well meaning and very convincing because of their credentials and years in the business, but they don’t know. Stop and help a stray dog. Help a young person. Help an old person. Help a homeless person. Make yourself a helping person and you will then know the joy of giving, which is the key to performance. Be open-minded. Don’t stereotype people. It is a huge mistake. Don’t be an artist unless you just cannot not be. Don’t do it for the money. Most likely, you will be very disappointed in the end. Endure.

And just for fun…

6. If you could sing a duet with any country artist in the world (past or present) who would it be?

George Jones

7. Pick a song title for the story of your life…

Moon River

8. You have the chance to time travel to any gig or concert that has ever taken place – which one would it be?

Newport Folk Festival, 1965

9. What was the first record you ever bought?

My very earliest recollection of “buying” records was when I was so young that I can’t even recall the first one. I even called my mother but she can’t remember either. I know that it was at the mall in Beaumont, Texas and that it could have been “The Entertainer” or “Candy Man” by Sammy Davis, Jr. Maybe John Denver’s “Country Boy.” Through my dad’s record collection I discovered The Gunfighter Ballads and through my Auntie’s collection I learned to love and laugh, dance and sing with my little sister to songs like “Sugar Time,” “Charlie Brown,” and “Short People.” I also loved the story songs like “Please Pass the Biscuits” and Andy Griffith’s comedic monologue, “What It Was Was Football.” When I l was older I was profoundly affected by George Jones’s “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and Buddy Holly’s “Raining in My Heart.”

10. Tell us something that will surprise us?

I recently found out that I have had about 700,000 streams on Spotify for the last two consecutive seasons for my holiday song, “Be My Valentine (On Christmas).” As an independent artist, this news came as a surprise to me.

 

Glenna’s album Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas is available to buy on iTunes.

You can find out more about Glenna on her website www.glennabell.com