Top 20 Songs on Acoustic Pie, March 2012

April 2, 2012

The Sisters Folk Festival in Sisters, Oregon (my favorite musical event of the year) hosts a singer/songwriter competition as part of the weekend festivities.  This year, all of the contestants were wonderful but as soon as I heard Alicia McGovern’s first song, I knew that she would be the winner.  She writes beautiful and interesting songs, has a unique and charming voice, and an engaging, professional stage presence.  I came home from the festival and immediately added a bunch of her work to the daily rotation on the Pie.  So I’m very tickled to see her song “A Night on the Town” voted into the no. 1 spot this month.

Not a single San Diego songwriter made it into the Top 20 this month.  That’s rare but bound to happen sometimes since San Diegans account for such a small percentage of the 500+ songs streaming on Acoustic Pie.  Better luck next month!

Thanks for listening and for voting!



Top 20 Songs on Acoustic Pie
March 2012
Artist ~ Song ~ Album

1.  Alicia McGovern ~ A Night on the Town ~ Words Through the Season
2.  The Swell Season ~ I Have Loved You Wrong ~ Strict Joy [Deluxe Edition]
3.  Damien Rice ~ Grey Room ~ Live at Fingerprints: Warts and All
4.  Barnaby Bright ~ If I Came Back as a Song ~ Gravity
5.  Mare Wakefield ~ Dear J ~ Meant to Be
6.  Erik Balkey ~ Can I Make a Home ~ While the Paint Dries
7.  Damien Rice ~ 9 Crimes ~ 9
8.  Colin Devlin ~ The Heart Won’t Be Denied ~ Democracy of One
9.  Ray LaMontagne ~ Winter Birds ~ Gossip in the Grain
10.  Lucy Wainwright Roche ~ The Worst Part ~ Lucy
11.  Kate MacLeod and Kat Eggleston ~ Sometimes a Sound ~ Lost and Found
12.  Joe Crookston ~ Everything Here Is Good ~ Darkling & The BlueBird Jubilee
13.  Jason Collett ~ Hangover Days ~ Pony Tricks
14.  Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova ~ Falling Slowly ~ Once (Collector’s Edition)
15.  Sun Kil Moon ~ Salvador Sanchez (Acoustic) ~ Ghosts Of The Great Highway Bonus Tracks
16.  Deb Talan ~ Rocks and Water ~ A Bird Flies Out
17.  Antje Duvekot ~ Vertigo ~ The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer
18.  Sarah Jaffe ~ Swelling ~ Suburban Nature
19.  Rachael Yamagata ~ Duet ~ Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart
20.  Jennifer Leonhardt ~ Dido ~ Minstrel’s Daughter


Top 20 Songs on Acoustic Pie, August 2011

August 29, 2011

I’d known about Ellis (at no. 1 this month) for several years but it wasn’t until I saw her live at Sisters Folk Festival last year that I fell in love with her and her music.  Definitely one of the most engaging performers I’ve ever seen.  That laugh!  You can’t help but laugh along.  Catch a show if you can and try out the rest of that latest album Right on Time ~ it’s great.  Gosh, there are a lot of links in this paragraph.  But, if you’re not all clicked out, here are some of my snapshots from that festival.

I’m always drawn to live performance recordings.  In the singer/songwriter world they tend to be less production-oriented and more acoustic.  There are three live songs voted into the Top 20 this month:  Damien Rice (no. 2), Kris Kristofferson (no. 5), The Kennedys (no. 15).

San Diego is represented by the lovely Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek (no. 10), Angela Correa (no. 13), and we always lay claim to Tom Waits, too (I especially love that song at no. 9).  Waits moved to San Diego as a child and as a adult had his first paying gig at the Heritage nightclub where he worked as a doorman.  According to Wikipedia ;)

Thanks for listening to the Pie and for voting for your favorites!


Top 20 Songs
Acoustic Pie Radio
August 2011

Artist ~ Song ~ Album

1. Ellis ~ Coming Home to You ~ Right on Time
2. Damien Rice ~ I Remember ~ Live at Fingerprints: Warts and All
3. Teitur ~ Amanda’s Dream ~ Poetry & Aeroplanes
4. Susan Gibson ~ Passin’ Through ~ Tightrope
5. Kris Kristofferson ~ Moment of Forever ~ Broken Freedom Song: Live from San Francisco
6. David Gray ~ Kathleen ~ Draw the Line
7. Dan Baker ~ Day’s First Dream ~ Sad Song Junkie
8. Colin Devlin ~ The Heart Won’t Be Denied ~ Democracy of One
9. Tom Waits ~ In Between Love ~ The Early Years Vol. 2
10. Sara Watkins ~ Where Will You Be ~ Sara Watkins
11. Jennifer Leonhardt ~ Dido ~ Minstrel’s Daughter
12. The Ashley Gang ~ Confession ~ A Girl in Oklahoma
13. Angela Correa ~ Saint Dinan ~ Correatown
14. Tom Waits ~ Grapefruit Moon ~ Closing Time
15. The Kennedys ~ Distant Thunder ~ Positively Live
16. Christopher Dallman ~ Hollow High ~ Race the Light
17. Alphaeus Taylor ~ War and the Widow ~ War and the Widow
18. William Fitzsimmons ~ I Kissed a Girl ~ Derivatives
19. Karine Polwart ~ Rivers Run ~ This Earthly Spell (Expanded Edition)
20. Justin Roth ~ The Last Time ~ Now You Know

Newsletter: Sisters Folk Festival, Sept. 2010

September 21, 2010

This was my third visit to the Sisters Folk Festival and I’ve already emailed Julie at  Sisters Vacation Rentals about reserving a condo for next year.  Sisters Folk is THE perfect festival for acoustic music lovers who don’t like to camp.  It’s a weekend festival taking place from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.  They run six outdoor (yet covered) stages in the middle of the tiny and charming city of Sisters, Oregon.  All of the venues are within 4-5 easily walkable blocks of each other.  The venues all have chairs, too.  I’m a big fan of chairs myself.

Add to that that the shows start on time and the sound at this festival is about the best I’ve heard anywhere.   Every word of every lyric and every pluck of the mandolin is as clear as a bell.   I have a theory that good sound has more to do with the sound guy than with the equipment.   It’s just a theory :)

And, oh yes, they have music, too!  Wonderful music.  Here’s the line-up from this year.  When I look over the list of performers now, I’m a little shocked at how many of them I didn’t see, even though I attended about 14 hours worth of shows in two days.  There’s a lot of music!

My first show of the festival was the Peter Mulvey “workshop” show on Saturday morning in the grassy grove at the new Sisters Coffee Stage.  He opened with a song about talking ravens on the roof of his hotel during an Alaskan tour. It was so beautiful that I was teary by the second verse.  His whole set was beautiful, interesting and moving.  I liked or loved every show I saw that weekend but I knew right at that moment that Peter Mulvey, my first show of the festival, was not going be topped.

Among the “loved!” shows were Chris Kokesh (I’m crazy about her new album “October Valentine”), Betty Soo, Ellis (adorable) and Martyn Joseph (what a presence).  I only caught part of two songs in Nathanial Talbot’s set on the Emerging Artists stage but was so engaged that I bought his $5 CD to screen for the Acoustic Pie stream.  We’ll see!

I also caught the end of Peter Mulvey’s show at Bronco Billy’s on Sunday (still a wow).  I realized after a bit that I was standing next to Slaid Cleaves at Peter’s show.  That was a bit disconcerting.  Only a few hours later I was struggling to get a non-blurry picture of Slade waaaay up on the Main Tent Stage from the back of a standing room only crowd.  How quickly things change.  And I was not successful in my quest either ~ all of my Slade pics are various shades of blur (I’ll post a link to the slideshow at the end of this).

If you join me at Sisters next year (that’s Sept. 9-11, 2011), here are some other things you also absolutely must do there:  Have a latte at Sisters Coffee Co., eat a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie from The Depot, and get peaches and Gravenstein apples from Richard’s Produce.

View the slideshow here!

Thanks for reading, everyone!


Top 20 Songs on Acoustic Pie, February 2010

March 2, 2010

Seeing a songwriter’s name appear twice the Top 20 list for a month is always a nice opening for me to talk a bit about them.  Putnam Smith, for example, (at no. 5 and 9),  is a new artist for me.  He was kind enough to submit his album Goldrush to Acoustic Pie for screening and I just fell in love with it.  It makes me happy whenever I hear his voice come on the Pie.  I’m glad to see that listeners feel the same way.

I first heard Dale Marsh (no. 4) when checking out the live music scene in the virtual world of Second Life.   Love the voice, love the songwriting. Go buy his CD at CD Baby.  I think you’ll like it, too.  I stumbled across him in a cartoon world but Dale is The Real Thing.

Two of the songwriters I discovered at the  Sisters Folk Festival in 2008 were voted into the Top 20 this month:  Chris Kokesh (no. 10) and Noah Gundersen (no. 20).   Sisters has to be one of the best run and most pleasant festivals I’ve been to and I’m looking forward to returning again in September 2010 and maybe have the pleasure of catching these two Oregon locals again.

Thank you, so much, everyone, for listening and for voting for your favorites!


Top 20 Songs
Acoustic Pie Radio
February 2010

Artist ~ Song ~ Album

1.  Girlyman ~ Everything’s Easy ~ Somewhere Different Now
2.  Ingrid Michaelson ~ The Way I Am ~ Be OK
3.  Melissa McClelland ~ Picture Postcard ~ Stranded in Suburbia
4.  Dale Marsh ~ Santa Fe September ~ No Turning Back
5.  Putnam Smith ~ Coming Out of the Gray ~ Goldrush
6.  Kesang Marstrand ~ Bodega Rose ~ Bodega Rose
7.  K. C. Clifford ~ My Smile ~ Pockets Full of Hope
8.  Jakob Dylan ~ Evil is Alive and Well ~ Seeing Things
9.  Putnam Smith ~ I Think It’s Almost Summertime ~ Goldrush
10.  Jonathan Byrd ~ Radio ~ The Waitress
11.  The Dahls ~ Lie to Me ~ The Dahls
12.  Chris Kokesh ~ Real as a Dream ~ I Never Knew
13.  Antje Duvekot ~ Vertigo ~ The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer
14.  Patty Griffin ~ Burgundy Shoes ~ Children Running Through
15.  Stephen Fearing ~ Love Only Knows ~ Yellowjacket
16.  Arlo Guthrie with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra ~ Darkest Hour ~ In Times Like These
17.  Amber Rubarth ~ Unfinished Art ~ New Green Lines
18.  The Weepies ~ Jolene ~ Happiness
19.  Tom Kimmel ~ Why Pretend ~ Light Of Day
20.  Noah Gundersen ~ Brand New World ~ Brand New World

Acoustic Pie Newsletter, August 2008

August 25, 2008

Hi, Everybody!

I have such a good reason for having put off the newsletter these last few weeks! You see, I was planning to write this brilliant blog about music lessons. It would have been really enlightening as well as entertaining. And I decided to wait to send out this newsletter so that I could be sure and mention the blog to you. Yes, ok, so I never got around to writing the blog. Maybe next month?

Here’s what’s on my mind today:

1. New Featured Artist: Jonathan Byrd
2. Acoustic Pie Radio Turns 6 Years Old
3. Top 30 Songs for July
4. For Locals Only ~ Some San Diego Stuff

1. New Featured Artist: Jonathan Byrd

There’s a new featured artist on Acoustic Pie this month. On my first day at the Sisters Folk Festival last year, I kept noticing this handsome, lanky man in a cowboy hat wandering the streets of Sisters, OR. It turned out that Jonathan Byrd and I were on the same mission that afternoon ~ trying to find Sisters’ only coffee house (it’s a good one). And his first show at the Bronco Billy’s stage was a pure delight. I’m very happy that he’ll be performing at the festival again in a few weeks and I’m so looking forward to hearing him. This festival is logistically magical (if there is such a concept). It’s beautifully run and beautifully situated.

If you want more samples, there’s another Jonathan Byrd song and video posted on my MySpace page this month.

2. Acoustic Pie Radio Turns 6 Years Old

Yes, Acoustic Pie Radio celebrated its sixth birthday last month. The stream went live on July 17th, 2002. I started the radio stream because my two favorite Internet stations had gone off the air, the broadcasters were worried about increased fees from the new digital copyright laws. I started the station so that I could listen to my favorite singer/songwriters at work but what a treat it was to see that other people were soon beginning to listen as well. One of my very first fan letters came from Japan. I dug it up to share with you:

Hellow I love this station. I like this kind of
music. but also country & these days bluegrass
too. Send us more good music. Take care.
by Gonzo.

Well, it was pretty exciting at the time :) And I still love to hear from listeners and am always discovering new artists thanks to your recommendations.

3. Top 30 Songs for July

And speaking of your recommendations! Thanks to everybody who kept insisting I should watch the movie “Once”. You were right! I loved it and I loved the songs. I bought the Collector’s Edition of the album and added four songs to Acoustic Pie. And, as you can see, “If You Want Me” made it into the Top 20 for the month of July.

4. For Locals Only ~ Some San Diego Stuff

And speaking of the movie “Once”! The songwriting duo is coming to San Diego as The Swell Season on Friday, Oct. 3. Anybody wanna come with? I’m expecting it to be a wonderful show and am planning on making it the Pick of the Month.

Also, you may have noticed that I won’t be maintaining the local show calendar any more? There are now so many good resources for finding shows that I’m hoping you’ll hardly miss it.

If you’re still with me, thanks for reading! Let me know how you’re doing! You may write to me directly via email or post a public comment on the blog.