I'd like to share a few additional bits of information that I came across regarding Will Owsley since my initial post yesterday. I forgot that he was "Grammy-nominated" Will Owsley, nominated for a Grammy for his engineering work on the Owsley album.
A fund has been set up for donations in Will's memory - here are the details from Amy Grant:
Donations in honor and memory of Will Owsley can be made to: The Will Owsley Family Fund c/o Christ Community Church 1215 Hillsboro Road Franklin, TN 37069 He left behind two young sons and every dollar donated will be greatly appreciated by his grieving family. Important note: Make checks payable to Christ Community Church.
I made note of my huge love for The Hard Way within yesterday's post, and as it happens, someone posted a nice FM recording yesterday from Nashville on Dimeadozen, recorded during his promotional activities for that album. Looking at the 12 song setlist, I was excited to see the cover of Steely Dan's "My Old School," something that I had just read about in the past day, while reading various tributes to Will. (Actually, here's one of the better ones that I came across, complete with a link to a vintage Owsley interview from '99 - thanks to AZ for sharing the link with me.)
Here it is - I hope you enjoy it - thanks to the original poster.
Such a shame...
Third & Lindsley - Nashville, TN - May 9, 2004
WRLT-FM "Nashville Sunday Night"
Download full-res files at Dimeadozen
Sadly this power pop great (Will Owsley) passed away yesterday. Please check out his two great solo albums which you can find on Amazon for a great price. They are both worth it.
Photo from Amy Grant's Facebook page.
When the emails started coming in last night, I couldn't believe it. The word was starting to get around that Nashville-based musician Will Owsley (probably best known to most as Amy Grant's guitar player) had taken his own life, leaving behind a family including two kids. Grant released a short statement earlier today:
"We are all reeling today from the news of Will Owsley’s death. So many of us in Nashville worked with Will, lived with him on the road, celebrated his talents and knew his anguish. Please join us in praying for his family and his children"
In addition to being Grant's touring guitarist since 1994, Will had also recorded two wonderful albums of power pop perfection - the self-titled Owsley album, released in 1999 on Giant Records, and the independently released 2004 follow-up, The Hard Way.
For those of you that enjoy power pop, you'll know that we are in a good position to constantly discover great bands in the genre, thanks to resources like Not Lame Records, and similar websites, fanzines, etc. Some of them make a good amount of noise, Sugarbomb for example. You might remember hearing this song in the Van Wilder movie, and several other movies in the couple of years that followed. This tune was tailor-made for movie use. Unfortunately, Sugarbomb's career didn't really explode in the right ways beyond this song:
And then you've got Owsley. Two great albums, but the usual reaction if you mention this one to a music fan is "Who?" Criminal. And that is the cross that power pop often has to bear - so much of the great music in the genre, goes nearly completely unheard by the masses.
Today's artist has nothing to do with the above two artists, except for this connecting point. I got a copy of Land, the latest album from Vinyl Candy in the mail over the weekend, and I got that feeling. Similar to the first time that I opened up packages to find Sugarbomb and Owsley albums, I could tell instantly that Vinyl Candy was a band that I would enjoy a lot. The artwork was cool, and when I put the CD on, a lusciously full sound filled my car. It reminded me of the first time that I heard the Owsley discs, and how impressed I was with the recording and production values.
You can hear album after album from major label bands that stick to the textbook methods of recording an album, and then you hear an album like this Vinyl Candy disc. An album with seemingly at least 64 tracks of instrumentation and vocals, the kind of album that gives you a multi-tracked confirmation that headphone rock still exists in the minds of people besides yourself. Surfing over to the Los Angeles-based band's Myspace page, they've got producer Jack Joseph Puig (Semisonic, Jellyfish, Weezer, Counting Crows) listed in their list of influences. Nerd moment!
Scanning through the rest of their influences, you'll take note of a few more artists that have been known to use more than a few tracks in the recording studio. Bands like Jellyfish, Queen, ELO, and The Beach Boys. But Vinyl Candy also count Journey, KISS, and Van Halen as additional influences. A diverse list of influences that combine for total ear candy of the best variety.
Land is a concept record that takes the listener on a journey, following one rock star's rise to fame, and the subsequent tumble back to earth. Putting the concept part aside (especially for those of you that might hate concept records,) Land is just a solid record that I really enjoyed. It's been a while since I've had a new power pop crush, and I think it's safe to say that Vinyl Candy will occupy that slot for the rest of the year. And they're already working on their next release planned for 2010 release. Can't wait.
Check out a tune from Land:
Visit the band online here, and grab your own copy of Land.
Pardon my interruption in your regularly scheduled Addicted to Vinyl, but I'd like to let you know about a couple more site changes/additions that are pending here at ATV. And by "pending," I actually mean stuff that is happening, as of today. Hopefully you have all had the chance to get at least a little bit acquainted with Mel and Kevin, the recent additions to the ATV staff. Both Mel and Kevin have turned out some great stuff already, and they've got further fun in the works and on the way.
I am pleased to announce a couple more great people that will join Mel, Kevin, and myself in the quest for the complete musical nerd overload here on Addicted to Vinyl.
First up, say hello to my good friend Peter Chakerian!
Thanks to the magic of Twitter and Facebook, I've had the opportunity and pleasure to get to know Peter over the past 8 months, after reading his byline in various local publications in the past 15+ years. We met for the first time after the Matthew Sweet concert at the Beachland this past fall, and traded initial getting-to-know-you type chit-chat during the post-show meltdown with Cobra Verde offering plenty of decibels from the Beachland stage to help us hear the overall conversation that much better. A few months later, we reconvened to properly geek out further with conversation enhanced this time by wings and Cavs basketball. Peter threw down the observation that we had probably been in the same room for Cleveland concerts at least 300 times, and we commenced discussing those concerts, to identify and catalog our mutual musical likes and loves.
Among his many activities, Peter is managing editor for CoolCleveland.Com, and recently published his first book The Browns Fan's Tailgating Guide. Peter will publish his second book this fall, and also contributes TV and film stuff to Popdose, and I think you are all aware by now that Popdose is my favorite website on the planet. Since 1991, Peter has written for gads of media outlets including The Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, New Times and Village Voice Media, Pittsburgh City Paper, BlogCritics, America Online and The Boston Globe.
Peter reached out shortly after I made the last announcement and let me know of his interest to contribute some music-related items to ATV, with a primary focus on some Cleveland-related concert/musical memories. We've had some fun brainstorming potential topic ideas, and I think that you will all enjoy Peter's contributions to Addicted to Vinyl.
Here's the picture that Peter uses to make me jealous, from the time that he met Henry Rollins.
Hello New Jersey!
With my love of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, you had to know that it wouldn't be long before I added a New Jersey voice to Addicted to Vinyl.
Kurt Torster is one of my oldest online friends, and our friendship stretches back nearly 15 years. That's 15 years of trading New Jersey sucks/Cleveland sucks barbs back and forth in email, via IM, and the occasional alcoholic carrier pigeon. We formed our initial musical bond via a mutual love for power pop, groups like The Verve Pipe, the great group of musical brethren known as Venice, and a mutual appreciation for the genius of Owsley. Kurt and I first met when he realized that he could unload John Waite's entire 90's catalog output to me for some much-needed cash. "Sucker" was his thought as he packed up those John Waite albums and prepared to mail them to Cleveland.
Music fans have been privy to Kurt's musical musings online since the early 90's when he launched the weekly music newsletter SFK which Torster published weekly on Mondays through most of the 90's. With SFK in a dormant stage since late 2006, Torster turned his focus to Kurt's Krap to continue sharing his musical likes, loves, and hates with the world in blog format.
When I first started thinking about adding a couple of voices to ATV, Kurt was the first person that I got in touch with. He needed some time to ponder the damage that might be done by adding ATV to his writing resume, and after some careful deliberation, he got in touch with me to let me know that he was ready to contribute. Kurt is promising to share musical time capsules here on Addicted to Vinyl that will focus primarily on 1975-1985, the formative years that are responsible for all of the Krap that he loves.
Check out Kurt's first entry here, and look for further entries from Kurt about once a week, or so.
I'm very happy to welcome both Peter and Kurt to the Addicted to Vinyl clan, and I'm appreciative for the opportunity to know both of these gents, and to have the forum to share their writing gifts with all of you here on ATV. From this moment on, I'll be focusing in on that previously discussed site redesign in an attempt to add something that resembles "organization" to make contributions from the five of us easy to locate, read, and enjoy.
Stay tuned, and thank you all so much for your continuing support of what we're doing here on Addicted to Vinyl!