You Sing I Write October Wrap Up

kenny rogers

I’m writing this post from a lovely spot in Nashville, Tennessee, called Edgehill Cafe. Fans of the television show Nashville may recognize this name as being the record label home of Rayna James and they’d be correct. Located on the corner of Edgehill Ave. and Villa Pl, it’s also nearby the famed Music Row where many record labels are stationed as well as some songwriting houses.

This October, You Sing I Write celebrated six years. It’s crazy to think of everything I have accomplished since my very first post. Things came full circle last month when I sat down to interview Gavin DeGraw. The very first concert I ever covered back in college, I told him that his show was what initially sparked me to pursue music journalism. Surprised and humbled, he gave me a high-five and we went on with the interview, where he told me the story behind his monster hit “I Don’t Want To Be,” why he chose to pursue music, and his latest album Make A Move.

My friend Sarah highlighted YSIW last month. For the feature, we met up in Brooklyn and she interviewed me. It was strange to be on the other side of an interview but it also reminded me why I first created YSIW six years ago — to highlight bands I believe in. I’ve been lucky to be able to extend this coverage to the outlets I write for, which is more than I ever expected.

The major highlight of October was interviewing Kenny Rogers. He was such a pleasant interview and told the story behind so many of his older hits, meeting Dolly Parton for the first time, and his versatile career.



Another incredible moment this month included a lunchtime concert by Paul McCartney in Times Square. I’m not quite sure when I’ll get another opportunity to see one of the Beatles perform so I made sure I caught his brief gig. McCartney played a 15-minute set showcasing songs of his latest album, New. Tweeting out a mere half hour before he stepped in a truck on 46th and Broadway to perform, hundreds of fans showed up to catch a glimpse and hear some tunes.

I also interviewed Will Hoge, an incredible Nashville-based singer-songwriter, who also happens to have written one of my favorite country songs, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” Hoge has been in music for 15+ years and is brutally honest about the industry which was incredibly refreshing. On his tour bus, he told me the story behind “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” which went all the way to No. 1 for the Eli Young Band.

After six years, I’m so grateful that I still love what I do. I really don’t know what I would do if I woke up one morning and was tired of music. Luckily, I don’t think that will ever happen.


Grammy’s Tonight!

Tonight is the most important night of the year for many musicians — the 51st Grammy Awards! Who do you think will walk away with the most awards? Here‘s a list of all the nominations.

One of the most anticipated award each year is Best New Artist, this year’s nominees include:

* Adele

* Duffy

* Jonas Brothers

* Lady Antebellum

* Jazmine Sullivan

Tough choice! Be sure to tune in tonight on CBS at 8 p.m. for the results as well as performances by U2, Radiohead, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Katy Perry, John Mayer, B.B. King and many, many more! I’ll be updating the results throughout the show on Twitter, so be sure to follow me if you’re not yet!

My Top 5 Holiday Songs

Last week’s Song of the Week featured one of my favorite holiday tunes, “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley. Since then, I figured I’d compile a list of my top five holiday songs below (in no particular order). Stay tuned tomorrow for one more!

1. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole

2. “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney

3. “Last Christmas” by Wham!

4. “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by N’Sync

5. “Oh Holy Night” by Josh Groban

What’s your favorite holiday song? Did I leave one out that you recommend?

Song of the Week

My Favorite Holiday Tunes

I finally started to listen to some holiday songs while wrapping gifts this weekend. Besides figuring out that I am by far the worst gift wrapper (you know, the kind that cuts the wrapping paper just about an inch too short so there’s a little strip of box showing underneath), I happened to find an old Christmas CD I must have made back in high school and figured I’d share some of my favorite tunes. So here’s my top 10 favorite holiday tunes, in no particular order.

1. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole
To be honest, I had no clue this was even the name of the song. Possibly better known for its subtitle and opening line – “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” – Nat King Cole’s calming voice makes everyone want to sit back, relax and drink some eggnog while trying to resist the temptation of opening all those gifts under the Christmas tree.

2. “Let It Snow” by Dean Martin
Another classic holiday song by crooner Dean Martin with lyrics such as “The weather outside is frightful, but the fire’s so delightful/Since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” Seriously, who doesn’t love a perfect rhyme scheme repetition throughout a song? I think every song should be entirely made up of clever rhymes.

3. “Sleigh Ride” the instrumental version.
I think all those years of playing “Sleigh Ride” on my clarinet throughout high school finally has grown on me. It really is a quality song. I really like Relient K’s version as well…you can check it out on their MySpace

4. “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney.
From the catchy intro McCartney has me hooked. Everyone should simply have a wonderful Christmas time.

5. “Last Christmas” by Wham!
Possibly one of the more depressing holiday songs, Wham! demonstrates how horribly heart-wrenching it is to have your heart broken on Christmas.

6. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey.
This may be my favorite Christmas song. The lyrics, the rhythm. Maybe it’s just the hopeless romantic in me, but every time I hear this song I just can’t help but sing along regardless where I am.

7. “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by N’Sync.
Okay, okay. You can make fun of this choice, but remember I grew up during the boy band era. This song just can’t help but get you into the holiday spirit. The piano introduction, the up tempo beat throughout the song’s entirety, Justin Timberlake . . . I have a feeling it may be a lot of people’s guilty pleasure holiday song.

8. “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley.
He is the King. Need I say more?

9. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid.
It’s amazing that this song was released back in 1984 and it’s probably one of the most played holiday songs today, not to mention this song has helped raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Singers on this track include Duran Duran, Paul Young, George Michael, Sting and Bono, just to name a few.

10. “Oh Holy Night” by Josh Groban.
His voice is simply phenomenal on this song. He starts out the song softly, but then perfects throughout the song in spots where his voice and the music both slowly crescendo.

Again, these are only 10 of my picks out of hundreds of holiday songs out there. Hopefully you enjoyed a few of them! Merry Christmas.