Contest Features News

Win Tickets to Greylag and Augustana's NYC Show Next Week!

My former band of the week, folk duo Greylag will be in New York next Tuesday performing with Augustana. Do you want to go?

The bands will play April 17 in Brooklyn at the Knitting Factory. For a chance to win a pair of tickets E-mail Me your name, age and why you deserve the tickets. Good luck!

Song of the Week

Song of the Week: "Juarez"


One of my favorite bands on the scene right now is Brooklyn-based We Are Augustines. Currently on tour with Band of Skulls, the band will also make an appearance at this year’s Coachella festival.


Earlier today they released the music video to the poignant “Juarez.” Directed by Matt Amato, it follows the band’s life on the road. Coffee at truck stops, nights spent in hotel rooms and the continuous open road. “Juarez” is We Are Augustines’ next single and will be released on vinyl and digital May 21st.


During my interview with frontman Billy McCarthy last year he discussed writing candidly about his life within his music, something he likens to running down the street screaming his journal to rooms full of people.


“Honestly, it’s not always easy to talk about stuff in the literal sense and have to keep redoing it every night but I think it depends what kind of art you’re doing,” he says. “It is personal and I guess that’s just my commitment to the music that we’re making. I just want to be honest. It’s not always easy, but that’s what it is.”


Related Links:
Q&A with We Are Augustines
CMJ 2011: Five Bands to Watch
Band of the Week: We Are Augustines
You Sing I Write’s Top 11 of 2011
Concert Reviews

Artist to Watch: Hargo

Last week, San Diego based band Hargo performed their first show in New York to a packed crowd at The Studio at Webster Hall. With frontman Hargobind Hari Singh Khalsa’s captivating vocals, distinct guitar distortion and memorable percussion, Hargo impressed.

The band’s nearly hour set blended heavy hitting songs with the more poignant. While tracks like the eerie “Soul Survivor” brought to mind John Lennon with powerful vocals, others like the emotional “Gardens of Alize” recalled Green Day’s  “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

“We’re Hargo and we’re from San Diego, just down the street,” Khalsa joked. “This next one is a dance number if you people want to dance. I know people in New York like to have fun.”

With hand-clapped rhythms, the upbeat “Just the Sky” did just that. Meanwhile, “Empty Cups” continued to impress with soaring guitar parts and a slick drum beat. A song about his hatred for pharmaceutical agencies, the track slowed down midway through before the band picked things right back up with intensity.

The remainder of the set included songs from the band’s debut album, Out of Mankind. Mixing folk music with wavering harmonica alongside heavier rock and jazz features, Hargo proved their versatility.

Features News

You Sing I Write's Biweekly Wrap Up

Photo Credit: Scott Vollweiler

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for me and while I try to update You Sing I Write as often as I can, it’s getting a bit difficult with my new job. In the meantime, you can follow all my day-to-day adventures on Twitter.

Just over a month ago, I started working at CBS where I cover Top 40 for their radio station websites. On any given day I’ll be writing music news stories, interviewing bands or covering shows and I couldn’t be happier! It’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years, but in a permanent and stable environment. And, as a freelance journalist for so long it’s a rare find.

Photo Credit: Scott Vollweiler

While not much has changed with my daily writing process, I now have access to an even more wide range of musicians and the past two weeks seem like a dream. One day I was interviewing Jordan Knight from New Kids On the Block at the office and the next week I was hanging out with the guys in Rascal Flatts on a rooftop in Times Square. I can’t believe my life sometimes and am so glad to be able to bring you along on the journey!

From my first concert review in college with Gavin DeGraw to stalking down the All-American Rejects at their tour bus for a quote for an article, amidst the craziness I’ve come to find that it is 100% possible to find a job you love and make money from it. While it definitely has not been an easy transition, all the blood, sweat and tears have finally paid off.

Though I’m mainly covering Top 40 acts these days (especially boy band sensation One Direction) I’m always open to new indie acts and country artists. Since You Sing I Write is where I got my start writing about music on a daily basis, I don’t plan to stop blogging. I might be writing less frequently on here, but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to covering new acts. So, keep ’em coming! Feel free to E-mail Me band pitches as always. Thanks for reading throughout the years!

Concert Reviews Features News Q&A

Rascal Flatts Celebrate Album And Film Release In NYC

Rascal Flatts have been making music together for over a decade. With eight albums under their belts, it’s nearly inconceivable that the popular country trio almost called it quits.

CBS Local caught up with Rascal Flatts at their film premiere last night (April 5) in New York. The band discussed their latest album Changed, which was released Tuesday, their film and future endeavors. Their eighth studio album and first LP with Big Machine Records, Rascal Flatts said the excitement of album release week never wears off.

“We’ve been more excited about this one then we’ve been in a long time,” Jay DeMarcus said. “We feel like we’ve got renewed energy and a resurgence of the spirit of what Rascal Flatts was about to begin with.”

For my complete review and interview, visit CBS.

CD Reviews

Album Review: Rascal Flatts' “Changed”

“I think this record is probably to date our most country record that we’ve ever done,” Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus has said of Changed.

The trio’s eighth studio album, Changed details the ups and downs we all face in life. Recorded at DeMarcus’ home studio with stripped-down production, it has a more personal and intimate feel.

“Hot In Here,” for instance, follows a blossoming relationship from the honeymoon stage, “Come Wake Me Up” demonstrates the torture heartache can bring. With poignant vocals, spot-on harmonies and memorable lyrics it’s hard not to relate to each of the 11 tracks.

Despite the major heartbreak showcased throughout the album (“She’s Leaving,” “Let It Hurt,” “Come Wake Me Up”), the music never falters. With electrifying guitar, memorable percussion, and powerful banjo throughout, the guys in Rascal Flatts continue to showcase their influence.

For my complete review, visit CBS. Rascal Flatts’ film Changed will air Thursday in over 600 theaters across the country. The movie captures the band live in concert and never-before-seen footage of each member in their daily lives.

Song of the Week

Song of the Week: "Keep Your Eyes Open"

My top concert of 2010, NEEDTOBREATHE‘s live show is like no other. It only makes sense that Taylor Swift hand selected the South Carolina rock band as an opener to her tour last year.

The group’s latest single “Keep Your Eyes Open” brings their anthemic rock to the forefront with soaring guitar riffs, wavering vocals and heartfelt lyrics. Watch their music video below and catch the band on tour this month.

Related Links:
You Sing I Write’s Top 10 of 2010
Band of the Week: NEEDTOBREATHE
5 Tips for Landing an Opening Slot

Q&A Videos

Boy Band Star Jordan Knight Set To Perform Solo In NYC Saturday

A New Kid is back in New York City.

Currently on tour in the U.S. promoting his latest solo album, Unfinished, Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block fame talked with CBS Local about his life as a solo artist and member of the iconic 90s pop group.

Knight got his start in New Kids On the Block as a teen in the 80s – and nearly three decades later continues to pursue a career in music. On a break from touring with NKOTB and the Backstreet Boys on their world tour, Knight discussed the difference between producing and releasing his record himself vs. the big production behind the New Kids.

“Doing something like an album, promoting your own tour, and doing your own label, that’s what I did with my latest album Unfinished, it’s a lot of work. You definitely have to be dedicated to do it and I was and I am,” he said.

“I think the best thing about it is that it gives you a whole lot of self-satisfaction. Being in the New Kids and doing big arenas and traveling the world, that’s great and that’s hard work too but compared to what I’m doing now it’s very cushy.”

For my complete article and video interview visit CBS.

Song of the Week

Song of the Week: "Give It to You"

Since I’m interviewing Jordan Knight Thursday, I found it only fitting to feature him on You Sing I Write. This week’s song is a flashback to the 90s with his first single as a solo artist.

After New Kids On the Block broke up, Knight launched his solo career. “Give It to You” was released in 1999 and saw much success. The track features Knight’s signature dance moves and a callback to the film Grease with the carnival feature at the track’s end. Watch the video below. Is there anything you want to ask Jordan Knight? Let me know!

Concert Reviews

Nashville Songwriters Tell Stories Behind Hits At NYC Performance

“Welcome to Nashville in New York City,” host Bob DiPiero said as he greeted country fans at Joe’s Pub. “We’re going to play some songs. We’re going to tell you stories. Basically this is our living room.”

For the eighth year, the CMA Songwriters Series returned to New York and did just that.

On Thursday (March 22), songwriters Victoria Shaw, Lee Thomas Miller, and Jim Photoglo took the stage alongside DiPiero to tell the stories behind many of their chart-topping hits.

While country music was the main event, GRAMMY award winner and producer Mark Hudson wowed the crowd when he was called onstage to perform. He told the tale behind one of the songs he wrote with Aerosmith.

As he joined the songwriters onstage, Hudson professed his love for the genre. “The country music audience is the most faithful. You hang in there forever,” he said.

Hudson explained the co-write behind his GRAMMY-winning Aerosmith hit “Livin’On the Edge.” After he played the band a few options, he noticed that they liked his material but didn’t completely connect to any of the songs. Steven Tyler then suggested, “What would you play if you were in Aerosmith?”

For my complete review, visit The New 103.7.