Jan 27 2015

New Song Featured on The CW Network Hit TV Series ‘Hart of Dixie’

Well, my friend Adam Zelkind and I did it again! As I started my drive back from my performance showcase at The NAMM Show down in Anaheim, California to gigs up in the North Lake Tahoe region this last Friday, I got the final word that a song we wrote and recorded, “You Make Me Feel Like A Man”, was going to air on that evening’s episode of The CW Network hit television series, ‘Hart of Dixie‘. It’s a groovy, swampy, baby-maker of a tune featuring my Taylor Guitars 814ce and Phosphor Bronze Elixir Strings with Nanoweb Coating, lots of slide, and some super sweet harmonies – all written and recorded in a day at Villa Z Studios.

A new song I wrote and recorded with Adam Zelkind recently aired on Episode 403 of 'Hart of Dixie'.

Watch episode 403 of ‘Hart of Dixie” on The CW Network to hear a new song in collaboration with Adam Zelkind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam and I had a ton of fun writing and recording this one and couldn’t be happier to have one more of our collaborations featured on this hit television series. While this particular episode has already aired, you can still stream it online by visiting The CW Network website here. The episode number is 403 and the episode title is “The Very Good Bagel”. Check out the show when you have time and listen for our track! Big thanks to Warner Bros. Television, The CW Network, Chop Shop Music Supervision, and everyone else involved in featuring our song on this episode!


Jan 24 2015

The NAMM Show Performance Showcase

After spending a few weeks in the greater Lake Tahoe area in Northern California performing at various venues, it was really nice to get a dose of warm weather down in Anaheim, California during The NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center. NAMM stands for “National Association of Music Merchants” and represents nearly the entire manufacturing and retail list of “who’s who” in the music industry. It’s an absolutely huge production that takes place twice a year (once in Anaheim, CA and once in Nashville, TN) and is a terrific hang, a great way to see what’s new in the biz, a chance to drool over gear, and an opportunity to get slimy and schmooze.

Showcasing on the Marriott Stage at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show

Showcasing on the Marriott Stage at The NAMM Show on Friday, January 23rd. Photo: Teresa Tam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was selected as an official showcasing artist for The NAMM Show this January and was stoked to play a set on Friday, January 23rd in front of an audience of industry folks, fans, and friends. This particular stage, however, was not my friend, apparently, as one piece of gear after another on the signal chain started failing after the second song. First, we thought it was a cable (so we replaced that). Then, we thought it was my tuner power supply (so we removed that). Later, we thought it was another cable (so we swapped that). Then, I just plugged directly into the DI and STILL had issues, whereupon I just completely unplugged and played acoustic. While it wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned this set going, and while it certainly was a hair-raising experience in front of an audience, it still was pretty fun(ny). I and the folks out front had more than a few laughs and made the best of it… And, if nothing else, it was a good test of my composure on stage when just about everything that can go wrong, in fact, does.

My credentials and my schedule. Simple.

My credentials and my schedule. Simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got a chance to hang with the folks at Taylor Guitars, Deering Banjos, and Elixir Strings, which was terrific. I also got to reconnect with some long-lost music friends I hadn’t seen in ages, tried out some cool gear, made a wish-list of stuff that I could really use and some that would just be fun to have (I mean, who doesn’t want a battle-axe shaped guitar with skulls and glowing red eyes?!), and just enjoyed being around all the energy that comes with a trade show. To boot, there were some remarkable performances from some larger, national acts that were a blast to hear in person (my favorite was Trombone Shorty on the GoPro Stage on Thursday night, January 22nd).

Anyway, trade shows and conferences are nice and all, but it was time to “hit the road before this rolling stone gathered moss” (as Jimi Hendrix would say), so I made a marathon drive overnight to Truckee, California after the show last night and am now in the process of getting geared up for another gig today in the mountains, then another down on the coast this Sunday. Got to keep on keepin’ on! So, stay tuned to my Shows Page and come on out and see me sometime!


Jan 18 2015

Live-In-Studio Interview, Performance & Album Preview on KTKE

Living in Truckee, California this January for some performance residencies has been an absolute blast. I’ve met tons of great folks, performed at some terrific venues, taken more than a few ski turns in the clean, clear, crisp, Sierra Nevada air, and have been welcomed with open arms from the local media. It’s truly been such a wonderful experience. Continuing the stoke, the folks at Truckee Tahoe Radio 101.5 FM KTKE invited me to join them on their “Local Lowdown” program this past Monday, January 12th, 2015 to talk music, Nashville, preview a few songs from my upcoming release, and play a live-in-studio song recently penned with friend and co-writer, Bob Rea.

The best local station around, Truckee Tahoe Radio 101.5 FM KTKE

If you’re in Lake Tahoe, you’ve got to tune in at 101.5 FM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My hosts were the Kool-Aid Kid and Sir Funksalot – both serious music mavens and knowledgeable on all things music-related in the greater Lake Tahoe region. We had a blast, enjoyed a few laughs, and a hilarious moment when my pick flew across the room during the opening bars of my live-in-studio performance (Sir Funksalot managed to catch it and skillfully pass it back to me in between chords, mid-song). If you missed the show, you’re in luck: it was recorded and is now posted via SoundCloud here. If you click on the link, my song “I Save You” from my upcoming, full-band release will kick off the show. Later on in the program, the actual interview starts at around the 28-minute mark or so with a break for a preview of my song “It’s Alright”, and another break for a live performance of my song “Slow Down”, written with my good friend, Bob Rea.

Hanging in the studio after the show with the Kool-Aid Kid (middle) and Sir Funsalot (right).

Hanging in the studio after the show with the Kool-Aid Kid (middle) and Sir Funsalot (right).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUGE THANKS to Truckee Tahoe Radio 101.5 FM KTKE for their hospitality and, of course, a big shout out goes to the Kool-Aid Kid and Sir Funksalot for putting it all together. I can’t wait to visit with them again when the new record finally drops! Until then, if you’re up in the greater Lake Tahoe area, be sure to check out my calendar listing of performances here and swing on by for some music. Take care, happy winter, and ski ya soon! Now, it’s off to another gig…


Dec 27 2014

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, friends! I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time with my family and friends out in Vail, Colorado over the last several days. It’s such a festive place to be this time of year, and an easy way to get caught up in the Christmas spirit – especially when Santa shows up for the annual tree lighting ceremony in Vail Village! We had aVERY white Christmas and I took advantage of all the snow by making more than a few turns on the hill in between family time, catching up on sleep, and the usual holiday festivities. Here’s wishing you and yours and very happy holiday season and a joyous, healthy, and prosperous new year. I’m looking forward to seeing you all in 2015! Take care of each other and have fun… See ya soon!

Annual tree lighting ceremony in Vail, CO.

Annual tree lighting ceremony in Vail, CO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oct 21 2014

Back In California & On The Circuit

Stoked to be back on the California coast for a little while, getting back into the circuit: playing gigs, traveling, and a little surfing along the way. It’s always a hustle, but it’s the hustle I love… That said, I’ve got some regular dates from the summer and fall months that are wrapping up at the end of October and early November, so if you’ve been in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, wine country, or down by Santa Cruz, and you still haven’t had a chance to check out a performance, take a look at my Shows Page, pick one or three that work for you, mark your calendar, and come on by! Most are pretty casual and are generally family friendly, so grab the kids, pull together some buds, and make a night of some music, food, and libations. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon!

Back on the California coast and back to the circuit. Re-stringing my Taylor Guitars 814ce with Elixir Strings Phosphor Bronze Lights with Nanoweb Coating before a gig in Danville, CA.

Back on the California coast and back to the circuit. Re-stringing my Taylor Guitars 814ce with Elixir Strings Phosphor Bronze Lights with Nanoweb Coating before a gig in Danville, CA. Sometimes, a curbside bench is the best kind of work bench!


Sep 21 2014

Back In Nashville, TN Writing & Hanging

An outstanding Duo (Hymn For Her) performing at Grimey's Americanarama VII in Nashville, TN.

An outstanding Duo (Hymn For Her) performing at Grimey’s Americanarama VII in Nashville, TN this past Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, after some time spent in Minnesota last week on personal business, I caught a flight back to Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday to scope out the 2014 Americana Music Festival, get my hot chicken fix, and write with a few folks. I arrived just in time to meet up with some old friends, grab some BBQ, and catch a little music at a few, cool, outdoor venues in East Nashville and the west side. Out of all of the acts I saw yesterday, the duo, Hymn for Her (pictured above) absolutely blew my mind. Definitely check them out sometime if they pass through your town! The drummer/singer/harp player/guitar player/banjo player/etc. is one seriously coordinated you-know-what!

In any case, I’ll be back here in Tennessee through this coming Thursday, September 25th surfing couches and writing away until I return to Sonoma, California to perform on Friday, September 26th. (Get details for that performance here.) I should have a couple of new tunes to share when I get back, so if you’re hanging in wine country, mark your calendars now and be sure to swing by on the 26th to check ‘em out and catch up. Until then, if you’re in the greater Nashville, Tennessee area, give me a shout and let’s connect! It’s beautiful down here this time of year and more good folks to meet up with will only make it more so! See ya soon, wherever you are.

 


Aug 9 2014

And… I’m Back

A little rest did the body (and the voice) good.

A little rest did the body (and the voice) good.                 Photo: Ron Condon / RC Films

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After several days of rest including an impromptu surf mission to Northern Baja to catch a south swell and some shrimp tacos, I’m back on the road and, more importantly, back to singing. After nearly 11 days of no singing and VERY little talking, I took the pipes for a test run last night in Sonoma, CA at The Lodge at Sonoma for a casual, three-hour performance. After a few tweaks in the first song or two, things seemed to be working pretty well. However, driving until 4:45 AM this morning to the next town / performance was probably not a great idea! Think that kind of behavior is what might have put me in this little vocal predicament in the first place?! (Live and learn, I guess.)

So far, so good, so I’m back at it for the rest of the weekend with some casual dates in Atascadero, CA tonight (Saturday) and Danville, CA tomorrow (Sunday). These are long ones, so it’ll be a good test to see how well things are holding up. If you’re on the Central Coast or the Bay Area this weekend, check out the performance details here and swing on by for a tune or three. I’d love to see ya!


Jul 30 2014

On Vocal Rest

Bringing a new meaning to "truck bed".

Bringing a new meaning to “truck bed”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well… there are apparently only so many nights one can spend in a truck after playing back to back, marathon gigs. I found out what that number was and my voice is now paying the price. Unfortunately, that means I am now on a doctor prescribed “vocal rest” for the next several days and nights and, as a result, have canceled as many as seven different performances. While I am frustrated, saddened, and will certainly miss playing for these great towns, I feel fortunate that I was able to find some terrific subs to cover for me. So, if you’re in the greater San Francisco Bay area now through next Wednesday, and you’re looking for some good, live, acoustic music, go look up my friends Roem Baur, Rick Hardin and Dan Martin and go see and hear them play! As for me… I’ll be back soon!


Jul 17 2014

Endorsing Artist for Elixir Strings

ElixirArtistEndorsement_071714

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So stoked to have renewed my participation in the endorsing artist program for Elixir Strings! In the nearly 23 years that I’ve been playing guitar, no other strings have lasted as long, sounded as good, or played as smoothly as these. I am so grateful and just plain thrilled to be a part of this brand as an endorsing artist.

I’ve been keen on the Phosphore Bronze Acoustic Lights with Nanoweb Coating for some time on my first Taylor Guitars 814ce, but I recently stepped up to the Light-Mediums for my other Taylor Guitars 814ce that I use primarily for slacker, alternate tunings. (Check those out on the Elixir Strings website). The tone is just killer on both instruments and, frankly, it beats out any other manufacturer I’ve tried. For my new Deering Banjos Boston 6-String, I’ve been experimenting a bit with different string gauges, but have finally settled on the Electric Guitar Lights with Nanoweb Coating and a wound third (Check them out on the Elixir Strings website). I know it’s not the traditional way of going for a banjo (a lot of folks abide by the “light is right” mantra), but man… these sound SO good and really work well with the Kavanjo pickup system.

A Sonoma, CA sunset on a pair of Taylor Guitars 814ce and a Deering Banjos Boston 6-String - all with Elixir Strings with Nanoweb Coating.

A Sonoma, CA sunset on a pair of Taylor Guitars 814ce’s and a Deering Banjos Boston 6-String – all with Elixir Strings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t checked out Elixir Strings, do yourself a favor and sample a set. I think you’ll like what you hear, enjoy how they feel, and just love the fact that you will be able to play them for days – even months – without any discernible change in tone. It’s really amazing…

Big thanks to the crew at Elixir Strings for their ongoing support and enthusiasm for my music and my career. #KeepRockin


Apr 29 2014

Newest Addition to the McClean Family

The Boston 6-String Acoustic / Electric from Deering Banjo Company

The newest member of the family is here: The Boston 6-String Acoustic / Electric from Deering Banjo Company

I am so proud to announce the newest addition to the McClean family – The Boston 6-String Acoustic / Electric Banjo! Measuring at 38 1/2″ tall, baby is healthy, happy, and sounding sweet. Daddy is over the moon…

I met the good folks at Deering Banjo Company earlier this year in Annaheim, California at the Winter NAMM trade show and conference. They had a terrific booth set up and tons of friendly people on hand from designers to marketing and artist relations folks, right down to the guy who designed their Kavanjo pickup system. I tested out a few instruments off the rack, but after picking a few notes on The Boston 6-String Acoustic / Electric Banjo, I was hooked – there was no question. A little back and forth ensued with the staff at the trade show booth, some additional picking, and more than a little drooling on my end, to be honest. Now, just a few short months later, I am very proud to say that I have been accepted as an official endorsing artist for Deering Banjo Company and have one of The Boston 6-String Acoustic / Electric Banjos of my very own.

I’ve already tracked it on a few songs and have even done a few banjo-only sets to officially introduce her to the public (she’s not shy). Anyway, it’s been a ton of fun, a great, new, fresh perspective on some of my older songs, and a wonderful writing tool for some new material, too. I couldn’t be more excited and am really looking forward to sharing the sweet sounds of this hand crafted beauty with you at an upcoming performance.

A huge, heartfelt “thanks” goes out to the staff at Deering Banjo Company for their support, encouragement, and enthusiasm for my music. I look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with them and am just so thrilled to have been presented with this wonderful opportunity. Take a few minutes to check out their website at www.deeringbanjos.com or try one out at a finer musical instrument shop near you. You might even do a little drooling yourself.


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