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Archive for the ‘Tour’ Category

Having seen Crowded House a handful of times over the last couple of decades, I’ve grown to expect a lot from them.

Crowded House Photo by Samantha Murphy

Crowded House Photo by Samantha Murphy



Last week at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, they didn’t disappoint. The venue on the other hand was a big disappointment with very limited seating and a surly staff to say the least, but I digress.

Every time Neil Finn starts singing live, I’m very aware that I’m in the presence of something out of this world. With a voice like no other, Neil tells stories that are all at once mysterious and understandable.

Photo by Samantha Murphy

Neil Finn Photo by Samantha Murphy

Neil is working on a new project with his wife Sharon and he’s also sporting a new mustache, which we joked about backstage after the show.

The band opened with I Feel Possessed, a dark mid-tempo from their 1988 release Temple of Low Men. As with most of the band’s songs it was written by Neil, an incredibly gifted songwriter. They followed up with In My Command, which the audience clearly was by this point, clapping and singing along to every word. Speaking of the audience, most of the crowd were predictably middle aged, but I was surprised to also see a lot of twenty somethings in attendance. My favorite song as always was Fingers of Love. So wonderfully dark and moody.

I’m always taken aback by the sheer musical talent of my friend Mark Hart, the band’s lead guitar/keyboard/backing vocalist. He literally plays everything exceptionally well. I didn’t get a chance after the show to ask him if he has always had a slide guitar perched on top of his keyboard or if that was new. In any case it was the first time I’d noticed it.

Mark Hart Photo by Samantha Murphy

It was wonderful to see Nick in great spirits and get a chance to chat with him about his studio in Dublin and the baby girl he has since I last saw him. Such a nice guy.

Since 2007, Matt Sherrod has been the drummer in Crowded House and he really is a great fit both in terms of playing style and personality. Matt was previously in Beck’s band and is now a Nashville resident.

The band signed autographs and took photos with their fans for a long time before getting back on the bus to head to Nashville. Neil made a point to call out “Bye Samantha!” as he was heading for the bus and it made my night. I felt sad to say goodbye to Mark and was filled with memories of being neighbors on Beachwood Drive when I would wake up hearing his beautiful classical piano playing drifting through my bedroom window from downstairs. Safe travels guys and see you next time!

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Guest Review and Photo by Gregory A. Roach

Imogen Heap filled the hearts and minds of her adoring faithful last night at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom even if she couldn’t actually fill the hall itself. The audience didn’t seem to care. Piling layer upon layer of ethereal sound until her lyrics were literally lost in the mix, she prowled the stage and preened her way through a fairly long setlist compiled and ranked earlier online by her fans. “I’m playing the top 12 or 14 in each city with an added four or so of my own.” she explained. This strategy guaranteed a touch of Frou Frou and a satisfying closer with the top ranked song held for her finale. “Hide and Seek” did not disappoint.

But she’s frankly not my cup of tea. A live show this tech assumptive may offer a geektopia of laptops, filters and mixing boards but for an old-head like me, too few actual musical instruments. The net result was a hot banquet poured from a can with one fresh element added. It didn’t work well for me. I like my meals from scratch.

The well-lit stage came to life under her dedicated band but each time they left her alone with her thin voice and her piles of blinking hardware, the fresh air of live performance seemed to leak back out.

Some of her looped recordings were created earlier in the studio while others were laid down live on the fly. But all were cycled again and again with harmonies and percussive textures added with each play until the mix was more akin to aural painting than actual songwriting. It crossed my mind that I was watching a leonine sculptress at work carving sound instead of marble, her fans as raptured by the falling sound chips as the actual work itself. Perhaps her colored vibrancy was on occasion overmixed to brown, but she certainly knows how to build her emotional peaks.

Alas, she was plagued all night and almost sabotaged by a series of technical gaffes so blatant they robbed her set of the pacing and momentum essential for a moving live performance. Whether she stopped to reboot an incalcitrant electric piano–and a looong reboot it was–or fumbled live for a missing audio jack or a switch that would bring a dead instrument mercifully back to life, her talent promised an emotional wallop that was doomed to dissipation under her uncomfortable stage patter while sorting problem after problem, distracted and at times visibly annoyed. Her fans loved every moment but I kept thinking of the satisfying rush she’d be capable of delivering if only her sound crew were as focused on her performance as she was. A show this computer complex could never truly be a one-woman affair. But it just goes to prove again if you want something done right, you really do have to do it yourself.

May 25, 2010, @ The Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC, General Admission/Standing $27.50 plus fees and taxes.

You can email the author at RoachGAR@aol.com

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This week we’re dusting off our podcast with Carrie Rodriguez.

Lucinda Williams has gone to bat for Carrie Rodriguez and that should be enough for anyone. First she chose her as one of her fave albums of the year when speaking to the New York Times, then she had her open for her nationally on tour.

Carrie’s music cannot be so easily pigeonholed as to say it’s Americana. It combines many elements, including jazz and rock.

She lives in New York and it shows. When you meet Carrie, you get a sense that she’s steeped in rock ‘n roll regardless of her country roots.

Live Music: Carrie Rodriguez & Samantha LIVE in Concert [Atlanta, Georgia]

On September 25, Samantha Murphy will be opening for Carrie Rodriguez at Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta! The show starts at 7pm sharp!

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THG Musical Guest: The Devoted Few

While in Sydney, Australia Samantha had the pleasure of interviewing The Devoted Few. The Devoted Few are Ben Fletcher, Skye Knight, Barry Adamson, Dave Hunt, Adam ‘Wesley’ Gregorace & Sam Miller.  The band sits down with Samantha to talk about their album Baby, You’re A Vampire. What kind of album is it?

We’ll let the band give you a few more clues:

“It’s got music that sounds like a city going up in flames, and words that sound like the poetry you hear in your dreams. It’s got songs about love, songs about war, songs about dead poets, and songs about those guys who pissed the band off.

It’s got at least one song about the futility of all human endeavor that nevertheless makes you want to dance like a lunatic, and a couple of songs about vampires to boot. It is a world-class Australian indie rock record. It’s the new album by The Devoted Few – and they can’t wait for you to hear it.”


THG Industry Expert: Stuart Coupe, Laughing Outlaw Records

Tech Tuesday returns this week featuring an interview with Stuart Coupe from Laughing Outlaw Records. Stuart, who also manages The Devoted Few, sits down with Samantha to discuss the indie music scene in Australia and being an artist in the digital age.


THG Podcast: Martha Wainwright

Check out this amazing podcast with the lovely, talented and all around wonderful Martha Wainwright. In this podcast Martha talks to Samantha about life, music and her album, “I Know You’re Married, But I Have Feelings Too.”

Digital Buzz: Music & Tech News

5 Twitter Tips For Bands From Co-Founder Biz Stone: Twitter co-founder Biz Stone offers his advice on how bands and artists can best take advantage of the Twitter explosion. And be sure to follow us @thehighwaygirl  [The Music Industry Report]

TuneCore, Amazon Unveil On-Demand CD Sales: TuneCore is poised to partner with Amazon’s on-demand CD-printing-and-distribution service, Wired.com has learned. It’s a deal that could put powerful new physical publishing options in the hands of musicians, even as the world goes increasingly digital. [Wired]

How to Handle Social Networking Name Squatting: Julia Angwin lays out some steps that may, or may not work when someone is social squatting on your name. [WSJ]

Making Social Media Music: What do a middle school band concert and social media have in common? Ari Balder of Digital Pivot explains this and more in this excellent blog post. [DigitalPivot]

Cooking With James

This week James whips up delish Turkey Burger! As always, this recipe can feed a band of four on $20 bucks! Be sure to follow James on Twitter too!

It’s a Wrap!: Samantha & Dave Spring Tour ’09

Well kids we did it.  We drove through sleeting rain and hail to bring you guys the love from Florida all the way up to Lewiston, Maine.  Oh who am I kidding.  Dave and I experienced pretty much perfect weather in each of the 10 states we visited.  Plus we met some fantastic people and got to do what we love.

So thank all of you who came to the shows for making our lives that much more weird and wonderful.  I’ll be back to see you soon!  In the meantime, tune into The Highway Girl!

Artist Tools: Artisteer

Artisteer makes it easy for you to design awesome WordPress Blogs, professional Joomla! and Drupal templates, and cool website designs in minutes.

With Artisteer YOU immediately become a Web design expert, editing and slicing graphics, coding XHTML and CSS, and creating Web design templates and Joomla, Drupal and WordPress themes – all in minutes, without Photoshop or Dreamweaver, and no technical skills.

Check out all of the cool things you can create using Artisteer by clicking here. And after you create that killer wordpress template, use Backblaze , an innovative online back-up service, to protect all your hard work!

Have Feedback?

We love hearing from you! If you have feedback on how we can improve our site or know of an indie artist we should interview, head on over to TheHighwayGirl.com and click You.

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THG Musical Guest: Rob Giles

I first heard about Rob Giles from my friend Noelle. She told me Rob’s voice pretty much kicked major ass–Noelle was right! Rob is one of those people who knows he’s good, but with a voice like that, he’d be a liar if he didn’t. It’s one of those deep down from the pits of your soul types of voices.

One that requires you to pull a certain face and squeeze out every ounce of breathe to get it all out. Rob is quite literally amazing. Don’t miss his live performance for SMtv. I literally cried.

Click here to watch Samantha’s interview with Rob Giles!

Click here to watch Rob’s live performance and listen to his SMtv podcast!

THG Industry Expert: Fred Von Lohmann

When it comes to music it’s hard to find a smarter mind than Fred von Lohmann. And not just because he’s an avid music fan who goes out of his way to constantly discover new music. Fred is the Senior Staff Attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, jump on it!

You can see the entire interview, by clicking here.

THG Podcast: Jeff Finlin

Bruce Springsteen added one of Jeff’s songs to his play on music at his concerts. Cameron Crowe singled out one of Jeff’s songs for his movie “Elizabethtown” Add me to the growing list of fans of Jeff Finlin.

The guy’s songwriting just kicks ass. He tells it like it is and backs it up with such a passionate voice. You need to own all three of his albums including his latest, Ballad of a Plain Man.”

Click here to listen to the entire podcast

Spring Tour: Samantha Murphy & Dave Lowensohn

Samantha recently announced that she’s hitting the road with Dave Lowensohn of Speechwriters LLC.  The dynamic duo will be touring up and down the East Coast through all of April. Let us know if you’d like to book a house concert!

Click here to see the list of announced tour dates!

Digital Buzz: Music Industry News

Warner Music Targeting More than YouTube: Fred VonLohmann writes about Warner Music’s (mis)use of YouTube’s Content ID (i.e., audio fingerprinting) tools to remove lots of videos that are clearly fair uses. (EFF)

Music Marketing Lessons From Groove Armada And Neko Case: In an interesting study in contrasts, this past week we’ve come across two artists who are taking slightly different approaches to arrive at the same goal: to get you to listen to their latest album and share it with your friends. (YPulse) (Thanks Derek!)

For Gen Y, Music is Oxygen: What do younger music consumers think about music piracy, digital music and other issues related to music?

These were just some of the questions that a new survey conducted by British Music Rights sought to answer. When it comes to music: What does the MySpace generation want? (Barking Robot Media)

Twt.fm: An easy way to share your music on Twitter! twt.fm will generate a track page for you using your twitter page design and you’ll be able to tweet it to your followers.

Warner Music Pitches Music Tax To Universities: You Pay, We Stop Suing: The idea would be to get various ISPs to simply add an additional fee to everyone’s internet access, have that money go into a pool that the recording industry would be responsible for paying out — and then let people have free reign for file sharing.

We hadn’t heard much about this music tax lately, but apparently attention is now being focused on getting universities to buy into the plan.(TechDirt)

Artist Tools: Artisteer

Artisteer makes it easy for you to design awesome WordPress Blogs, professional Joomla! and Drupal templates, and cool website designs in minutes.

With Artisteer YOU immediately become a Web design expert, editing and slicing graphics, coding XHTML and CSS, and creating Web design templates and Joomla, Drupal and WordPress themes – all in minutes, without Photoshop or Dreamweaver, and no technical skills.

Check out all of the cool things you can create using Artisteer by clicking here. And after you create that killer wordpress template, use Backblaze , an innovative online back-up service, to protect all your hard work!

Have Feedback?

We love hearing from you! If you have feedback on how we can improve our site or know of an indie artist we should interview, head on over to TheHighwayGirl.com and click You.

Read Full Post »

Our very own Samantha Murphy is teaming up with Dave Lowensohn of Speechwriters LLC for a spring tour. The dynamic duo will be touring up and down the East Coast through all of April.

If you’re interested in booking a house concert, let us know! Stay tuned for the complete list of tour date locations and ticket information.

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