Sugar Covers Madonna and Madonna Place, Ben LaRose Shines on Drums!

Like a Prayer

This one speaks for itself! Quality-wise, what we have here is a minor masterpiece, a redo of a funky song … to make it even funkier! Sugar really rocks the house in North Stonington, CT in this music video!

And to boot, it was a fundraiser for a charity organization known as Madonna Place (more below), held at Jonathan Edwards Winery, a place where you arrive to enter a postcard; like a movie set depicting the beauty of the rolling hills of Southeastern Connecticut. Wine country. A perfect setting.

The boot?

Just happens this song was made famous by “Madonna” herself!

Amazing drum skills, Ben LaRose! Continue reading “Sugar Covers Madonna and Madonna Place, Ben LaRose Shines on Drums!”

Stardust

Stardust

Who’s got two minutes and forty-four seconds to spare? Go!

This song was written in 1927. It was the theme for our AM radio station’s (Westerly, RI) nostalgic music format, many years-ago. Stardust was on my license plate. After all the years, I conceded the MANY varieties of notations of this song weren’t working for me on guitar, so I arranged it myself. I wrote all the chords you see me playing, and when I was done, I remember thinking it was kind of amazing that I didn’t listen to the song once, and I don’t think I’ve heard it in years. It’s just in there, in my brain! Continue reading “Stardust”

How To Be a Guitar Beginner

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I’ve produced a couple of guitar lesson videos and plan to make more as well. I enjoy discussing my own journey learning guitar and helping others. I find music is an important part of my daily life! I enjoy giving beginners tips in a sometimes-confusing art, where lingo can turn into a different language when a teacher has education chops.

Did you get a new guitar for Christmas?

Today’s article comes from a Quora answer from me.

How do I start learning guitar? I have an electric guitar, and I tend to give up easily. Does anyone have any tips or recommendations?

Q: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: Only one. But the lightbulb has to really want to change!

First of all, you have to really want to do it! I can tell you what I do!

I practice every day, and I have no idea why, generally! But I do remember picking up the guitar about ten years-ago when I was older, and I put a completely different, stronger, effort into it than I had as a young person.

There seems to be two ingredients to getting into a regular relationship with my guitar, and they’re not easy: time and patience. Oh, I love the way the guitars sound, and touching and playing them, creating music … Continue reading “How To Be a Guitar Beginner”

John Cockers

We don’t know much about this song. It was on John Mellencamp’s “Life, Death, Love and Freedom,” which would make number 5 on the Rolling Stone’s list of 50 Best Albums of the Year in 2008.

We know the original was produced by T Bone Burnett, who gives the song some depth and texture … and heavy smoker Mellencamp was experiencing a late-in-life voice change, getting rougher every minute.

I’ll put the lyrics and chords below. The song is about a man who just wants to be left alone and has no friends. It’s the ultimate blues song, and the way Mellencamp presents it, you’d immediately think it was about himself. Continue reading “John Cockers”

Neaky Freat

My Many Personalities!

We’re on a mighty trip!
We never get it right!
But God grades on a curve
You get what you deserve! A song!

By popular demand (not my cat!) I’ll do a Turkey Day share.
This is still in process, and represents my latest project.

It’s called “Neaky Freat.”
It’s about dancing.
I play all the instruments, designed the drums and wrote the tune.
Working on this in iMovie as I migrate to a better interface (DaVinci).
Also getting to know Apple Motion a little better, which is fun!
At this point, I haven’t added the bass guy, some FX and finishing. Continue reading “Neaky Freat”

Clairo; Has it Been Ten Years?

The ten-year success story of a Massachusetts girl who recorded a song for YouTube one morning without even getting out of bed says everything about what the entertainment industry worldwide has become. It’s much different than it used to be, when you needed a record label and a contract to get any real attention. Riding the YouTube magic carpet, artists like Claire Cottrill, known professionally as “Clairo,” have made enormous strides!

Clairo at The Roxy

About four years ago Clairo showed up out of nowhere on my Facebook feed. I remember! Curiously I clicked. My inner artist-critic self-started. Sometimes I know, and it’s not that hard. I can see through piles of clutter being sloppily laid out as art. I can see talent. Here some was! And I don’t remember who posted that original link for me, but I wasn’t the only one who clicked on it. The innocent, cute image of this girl propped up in her bed caught the attention of millions! Clairo says she recorded the track “using the resources around me which were pretty shitty. I used a little keyboard that I had and I was really into ’80s pop music – Continue reading “Clairo; Has it Been Ten Years?”

Mark Urso Live, and Monday Night’s Sandwich

The Perks of Fine Dining

Many things have happened since we last talked. I’m seriously considering trying the Italian Sausage Panini with Roasted Red Peppers, Arugula and housemade Peperoncini Aioli next week at Perks and Corks, an award-winning coffee bar downtown (Westerly, RI). That’s because they have a great photo of it, and I was just there but I didn’t eat anything. I just had a chai. At nine o’clock at night. Hey, don’t judge.

photo of sammich

That chai was just right. And when I snag a masterpiece panini next Monday, the Monday night open mic will take place again, and I can work with that! I’ll bring some of my originals! Perks has awards all over the walls; best drinks, best menu, best food, you name it! It’s truly a first class joint, just the kind of place where you WANT to be seen! I was sure to thank host Keith Cowley for having the event and making everyone feel welcome!

Here’s yours truly performing one of four tunes. Continue reading “Mark Urso Live, and Monday Night’s Sandwich”

Tennessee Whiskey and Its Effect on the iPhone 6 Video Performance, Featuring Malaena and Duke Robillard!

DJI Osmo Pocket Gimbal
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DJI OM-5 with iPhone 6

Here we have a fine local group in Connecticut that goes by the name “Malaena.” It’s a six-piece act and you’ll see they have a team of strong vocalists, including a bass player who sounds just like Van Morrison!

This was a casual outing, where I tested a DJI OM-5 gimbal arm that holds an iPhone. As a result, I was shooting this video in 1080p with my iPhone 6, which is actually software upgraded to an iPhone 7.

But that didn’t help!

The video performance of the older iPhones is poor in comparison to the DJI Osmo camera, and the Osmo will go to 4k and do even better. The iPhone footage is grainy, with no color depth Continue reading “Tennessee Whiskey and Its Effect on the iPhone 6 Video Performance, Featuring Malaena and Duke Robillard!”