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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Just wishing you all a great one! See you in 2016!

For our Denver area friends, I'll be playing Thursday night (New Years Eve) with my good friends Mark Verschoor and Mike Ray as the D-Town Hot Shots at Rockabillies in Arvada, CO! Music starts at 8. We'll just be having a ball playing whatever we feel like and whatever anyone wants to hear~

Come join the fun!

Immediately after the New Year I'll be heading back across the pond with The Burning Angels as we start our winter European tour. We'll be bringing the honky tonk to our Belgian and Dutch brothers and sisters! I can't wait to see all my friends over yonder!

Wishing everyone well!
Adam

 

Ameripolitan Awards 2016

***JUST ANNOUNCED: CASEY JAMES PRESTWOOD & THE BURNING ANGELS HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR BEST HONKY TONK BAND AT THE 2016 AMERIPOLITAN AWARDS IN AUSTIN, TX!!! PLEASE GIVE US YOUR VOTE!!

Email voting begins Nov. 26th. In the meantime you can place your vote and donate to the cause using the Ameripolitan smart phone app for both Android and iPhone. Thanks for the support! ***

 

European Reflections Pt. 3

The prison and the nursing home. The two places couldn't have been so different yet so alike. Neither at first glance seemed like any sort of place for a raucous trio to set up and play music at. Especially when you compare them to the usual honky tonk dives we're used to.

Both places required us to play EXTREMELY quiet. The prison less so, but still. QUIET. Neither had a stage so we set up on the floor.

With that comes a level of awkwardness and discomfort in the performance aspect of what we do. Sure, we can stand there and play our asses off, but we're usually given the space and environment to let loose a bit and really get into the music with the crowd.

The prisoners were only 10 deep. They sat in a few small rows of chairs in a very stark and cold room. Much like an elementary school classroom minus the carpet, the decorations, or the ambiance of youthful exuberance. Instead, it was rather quiet and somewhat uncomfortable. At first. 

Song by song, the inmates settled in and in turn, so did we. They went from stone faced stares, to singing along, bopping their heads, clapping along, and stomping their feet in beat with the band. Eventually requests for some of their favorite artists/tunes came. Slowly but surely they begin interacting. Laughing at our on stage silliness. 

At many points it was obvious that they were connecting lyrically to songs. Songs I wrote no less.

It began to get overwhelming. The nursing home eventually did too....

We set up in a corner of the cafeteria. Again, it reminded me a bit of grade school, only this cafeteria was many decades newer than what I remember school being like.

Many folks were unable to walk unassisted. They're were many wheelchair bound folks. Many with canes or walkers.

The amount of dancing that took place was mind blowing. They would help each up and dance their asses off. Some danced IN their wheelchairs. 

The language barrier was most prominent at this gig but they made sure to communicate with us. They made it known that they were enjoying themselves. You could feel it in the room and see it in their demeanor. 

During the hour and change we played, it felt like the whole room (including us) all hit our stride at the same time.

And like the prison, when we as a whole hit our stride, it went from a room full of inmates and a room full of OLD folks, to just a room of people. Happy people connecting through something that we all had in common. And it wasn't in any specific songs or genres necessarily, but just in music. In being human. In our natural response to music that speaks to us.

THAT is why I do what I do. THAT is why I struggle to stay afloat in this "system" and continue to do so for the music.

The two possibly strangest gigs I've ever done were the most rewarding. The most fulfilling and the biggest reminders as to why I do this and why I should CONTINUE to do this despite the difficulties in keeping it alive.

It's the best way I know how to connect with people and to hopefully bring some joy into their lives. 

I think I can speak for Johnny and Daniel on that one. 

Those were unforgettable gigs and we walked in as 3 dudes who just happened to walk out as 3 different dudes.


~Adam

European Reflections Pt. 2

The band. 

Most of you notice that "The Rhythm Review" has a generally had a small, but rotating cast of characters. It's normal for working bands to have subs somewhat often as life and other commitments tend to conflict with a band from time to time.

Touring really makes things more difficult in a lot ways as the time commitments and travel expectations further complicate "real" lives back at home for musicians and their families.

So to have a couple guys willing to have your back, believe in your music, and share your vision for a band, it's quite humbling.

Daniel and Johnny both go back a ways with me and my music. Johnny and I began playing together some 10 years ago in Oklahoma. Both as part of my trio and as remnants of the Starkweather Boys: Johnny's band with the one  and only JD McPherson.

Daniel and I did a run of shows together in Colorado back in 2012.

Both these guys are killer players and together make an unbeatable rhythm section. The things they are able to do with the most simple of tools is quite amazing. A small drum kit; an acoustic upright bass;  and that's it. 

So what else stands out from our European adventure? The band. They were and are great players before we left but what they've become since is awesome. We've now come to a place where they ARE The Rhythm Review and it's so much fun and so fulfilling as a songwriter and bandleader to have them behind me. 

It's an honor.  They started from a well respected place as it were and have become a monster of a rhythm section.

The new album we are planning. The winter tour in the works. The next European tour (June/July 2016 ). I am looking forward to all of it and more.

Making music with these cats is an honor.

~Adam

 

 

 

European Reflections Pt. 1

People keep asking me what it was like. How was your tour? It's tough to put into words. Words seem inadequate when you really just had to be there. 

The people.

That's what I think of first upon reflection. Our hosts; Benny, Mattias, and Sieban. So grateful for them opening up their home and lives to share with us. 

Robin, Kris, Omar (w/Benny and Mattias). Immediately we were all friends. Family even. Our first night out just 24hrs after arriving in Belgium, we all went out for a jam session in Antwerp that Omar happened to host. There was no "getting to know" anyone it seemed. We were just one. Like we'd known each other all our lives. 

It was something you feel, not explain. That's what makes reflecting and then writing about it difficult. Maybe if I were to wait another month, year, decade, or more to sit back and try and explain, I would feel different but when do you say when?

The other folks we met along the way; Kenny and Jessy. Without their help things would have been so much more difficult. We were well cared for and it really meant a lot to us that we had such a great team. Gert did well to surround us with great people.

Victor, who stepped up and loaned Johnny a bass for the majority of the tour. That was a HUGE help in making sure Johnny had a worthy instrument and therefore much more fun. 

Tom, Dax, J.P. , the countless names I am forgetting, the crowds, the folks that worked and owned all the amazing cafes and pubs, all the crew members at all the festival who treated us so well...everyone really. 

The people of Belgium and the Netherlands were so down to earth. They were very straight forward and I really appreciated that. The diversity was beautiful.

Running to some other Americans while there was a nice surprise too. Robert, Kevin, Ashley...aka Big Sandy & His Fly Rite Boys! That was a most awesome hang; running into friends from home, so far away from home....priceless!

Running into Americans who just happened to also live in Denver?? They were walking down an old cobblestoned street in Brugge, heard some Johnny Cash blasting from a bar and wander in...Kristana and Brian...yet again we found ourselves surrounded by good people. It is indeed a small world after all.

 

 

 

#bigsandyandhisflyriteboys #AdamLopezAndHisRhythmReview #Belgium

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Sep 3, 2015 at 7:08am PDT

#Rockabilly Day in #Belgium . We rocked them me thinks.

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Aug 30, 2015 at 1:39pm PDT

#HonkyTonk #RockAndRoll #Rockabilly

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Aug 29, 2015 at 2:04am PDT

...and now they're our friends #SwingWespelaar2015 #Belgium

A video posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Aug 23, 2015 at 4:43pm PDT

Getting set up...

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Aug 23, 2015 at 4:37pm PDT

One crazy night in #Turnhout #Belgium

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Aug 19, 2015 at 9:52am PDT

Another wild night. #Gierle #Belgium

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Aug 17, 2015 at 4:02pm PDT

#VivaLola #Belgium

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Aug 16, 2015 at 10:56am PDT

Pre show #Tildonk #Belgium

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Aug 15, 2015 at 5:55pm PDT

My new Belgian brother Benny testing out my @midnight30music rig at his band rehearsal. In #Belgium ! #mindblown !

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Aug 11, 2015 at 11:48am PDT

Europe!

Our month long tour of Belgium and the Netherlands winds up this weekend with two more Netherlands dates. It's been a mind blowing experience. Writing about it, I'm not sure I can convey the magnitude or special place it's found in my life just yet. The more of the world I see, the more I want to see. People are beautiful. We are so very different yet so very much the same. 

It's something I could only dream of growing up. To see my dreams come to fruition because of that old guitar; it's a blessing. It's validation that chasing that feeling I get on the inside so that I could share it with people on the outside; all the time spent, sacrifices, casualties along the way, the good times, the frustrating times, all of it; it's been more than worth it. 

I'm a very very fortunate and I can't wait to see what the future holds. More hard work. More sacrifice. More learning. More surprises. 

I'm sure the music I make in the future will continue to reflect my version of life, only now there is more of it to share. Until then, please head over to the "Photos" page or CLICK HERE and see some of my snap shots.

 

One love.

Adam

The new Rhythm Review

Just a little taste of new Rhythm Review. Johnny and Daniel slaying it!

 

Austin and on to Europe.

I once again can't believe it's been so long since I've been able to sit down and update y'awl on the latest happenings. Time flies as they say...

The Burning Angels just got home from an Oklahoma/Texas run where we were able to knock a few things off the bucket list. We worked a session for the new album at Bismeaux Studios in Austin; the studio of the legendary Ray Benson and Asleep At The Wheel!

We were once again fortunate to have Tommy Detamore on steel guitar with us, but also, the one and only Bill Kirchen on guitar!!!

I couldn't believe I found myself cutting tunes live in the main room with Tommy on one side and Bill on my other playing tunes that Casey wrote and we as a band have been working out on the road. What a great experience. Sharing dual guitar duties with Bill was a huge deal to me. Working out and then cutting twin guitar parts live is something I'll never forget. Bill graciously sharing some of his most famous licks first hand in between takes was quite awesome too (check out the "photos" page for video clips of Bill showing me Semi Truck licks!).

Playing Ginny's Little Longhorn was once again an honor and a treat. The folks there really are like family. Getting our shot FINALLY at the White Horse Saloon on a Saturday night was epic! What a great dance crowd!

We spent part of our Sunday in Guthrie, Oklahoma with the amazing Byron Berline as we cut a few more tunes in Byron's fiddle shop/music hall with Byron our special guest on fiddle. 

The man is truly GREAT  and to not only record Casey's originals with him, but a classic he cut with Gram, it was another one of those moments...how in the?? Wait..what?? We're doing this?? I can't believe this is happening......

Nashville!

It seems every trip I take to Nashville, it's more productive and rewarding than the last. This time around was no exception. It was magical really.

Playing/touring/recording as a member of Casey James Prestwood & The Burning Angels is really a great experience.

Our debut at Nashville's 5 Spot was solid. Better than solid even. We played to a full room well after midnight on a Tuesday. That's a pretty good accomplishment I feel. Keeping asses in the seats so late mid week in the busiest live music town anywhere is a win in my book.

Getting back to Knoxville, TN for another live on air performance on WDVX's Blue Plate Special was once again an honor! It's feels good to be accepted and part of such a tradition. Thanks to Red Hickey for having us back! Click HERE to listen to the archive of our performance from April 2nd at 12 pm!

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel might not normally sound like a highlight, but when you're sharing your table with your best buddies AND Wayne Moss, Lloyd Green, Eugene Moles, and Pete Wasner...well, things are probably going pretty well for you!

If you're unfamiliar with any of the names mentioned above, PLEASE do yourself a favor and look them up. Their contribution to music has been HUGE in the last half century. HUGE. 

Following up breakfast we made our way to Wayne's own Cinderella Studios in Madison, TN. Like Wayne, his Cinderella Studios is legendary. The list of music created and recorded there is beyond impressive. I must give thanks to Kenny Vaughan about now...or maybe Marty Stuart?...as Kenny was supposed to be on the session as well but an unexpected early bus call meant he had to cancel. Kenny's absence meant there was room for me to grab a guitar and get in on the session. We cut 3 new originals of Casey's and it was a mind blowing experience. Some of the finest session players the world of country music has ever known and lil' ol' me. Mind. Blown.

We knocked out the tunes quick and easy. The only bummer was that we couldn't just sit around through the rest of the night and make music together. Stories about the old days with Lloyd and Wayne, followed by tacos at Wayne's favorite neighborhood restaurant was pretty epic though ;)

We finished off our week by playing a private wedding party special guest Pete Wasner on piano! That was pretty sweet. If you've seen Vince Gill in the last 20 or so years, you've probably also seen Pete tinklin' the ivories ! Word on the street is you'll be seeing him real soon out on the road with Robin Ford !

So we are now back in Denver with about 7 new tunes in the can for the new album. It's going to be a the best recording project I've ever been involved with thus far I believe. I also think the future of REAL country music is in good hands with cats like Casey out there making it happen and I'm honored to be part of the family of musicians who gets to help make it happen.

Wishing everyone well!

Adam

Tour Recap Pt. Dos: The Road To Ameripolitan

We (The Rhythm Review) rolled into Denver late on Tuesday night. By early Friday morning I was loading my gear into the Burning Angels van and headed straight back to TX. 

Once again Lubbock was great. Both Bar PM and Local Bar are located right at the mouth of Texas Tech University and the streets seem to be crawling with people most nights of the week there. A Friday nighter at Local Bar = FULL HOUSE. Good times ! The only bummer was getting just a few hours of sleep before heading down to Austin. Then again, you're on the road to Austin so it can't really be all that bad  ;) It was kind of surreal to be back in Lubbock though. I'd just played there on Sunday and Monday and here it was, a Friday night, and I'm back in the same venue I was in on Monday night! Not all that strange if I lived in Lubbock, but I'd been from Lubbock to Denver and back in just a few days!

Paying dues. Always (and proudly) paying dues!

Saturday we found ourselves back at Ginny's in Austin (where I'd played the Saturday before) for a Valentine's Day show. We did our 2 hour show and then stayed on to back the next act: Margo Price ! I always love the challenges of being a sideman on gigs that are unrehearsed and where not all the musicians on stage have even met before. This was no exception. Truly fun and I must say, the Burning Angels nailed it!

Margo, like The Burning Angels, was in town (from Nashville) for the Ameripolitan Awards ceremony where she (like us) was nominated for an award.

Our Sunday show was at The Gypsy where we shared a bill with the most amazing Mandy Marie & The Cool Hand Lukes! A show with my sister is more than enough for a great day, but she also had John on guitar with her which only made it sweeter. That man is a true MASTER of the Telecaster! I will be making some time to steal some more of his licks ASAP!

In between the gigs over the weekend and the awards show on Tuesday night, we bounced around town to take in as much of the experience as possible. Being awards weekend, it meant that there was lots of friends/bands/fans in from all over the world, parties, and music showcases going on. Sunday was Chicken Shit Bingo at Ginny's with Dale Watson & His Lonestars where we went 2 & 0 as Jeff won the first round! I won last time we were there! We also got to sit in and play a couple tunes with the band! The place was absolutely packed inside and out and it was a killer experience. 

We also spent one evening at the Broken Spoke listening to Dale & The Lonestars. It was on Saturday night I believe. Our first night back in Austin. It was great to catch up with Chris and Mike B. from The Lonestars! Both are world class players and super nice cats. I'm lucky to call them friends! 

It was also great to see Dale again, although I think he forgot who I was for a minute hahaha~ 

We also took in a couple nights at the Continental Club. One for an Ameriplitan Showcase where I got to see my friend Sarah Gayle Meech perform. She's always awesome to see/hear and her band included Chris Casello on guitar ! 

The C.C. was also the site of the awards show after party where a bunch of the nominees got up and shared the stage. I got to play guitar with Sean Mencher AND Paul Pigat that night! I was in guitar heaven! Another one of those nights that I will never forget! I even got to back Wayne Hancock WITH Sean Mencher!

The Ameripolitan Awards themselves were an experience and a half! The Burning Angels walked the red carpet in our full on rhinestoned Manuel's right behind Mr. James Burton himself! We did the photo pose for the paparazzi, Casey did an interview, and into the Paramount Theater we went!

Being nominated for Best Honky Tonk Band was an absolute honor. Seeing our name on the big screen was something to remember. Wayne Hancock presenting the award prior to our category yet calling us out as the winner? Uhhhh... Talk about an emotional roller coaster haha~ 

Unfortunately we didn't win but we were there. We were nominated. We were part of it. All pretty amazing considering we are not a Texas band or as high profile as some of the other nominees. I don't think any of us needed proof that what we do is worth the time and effort we put in, but it was a nice reminder. I predict bigger and better things to keep coming our way!

The one thing that really stood out this time was all the genuinely kind people that converged on Austin for the event. I met so many new people that I can now call friends.  I also got to reconnect with friends I hadn't seen in awhile. Everyone was just so enjoyable to be around and converse with! It was a memorable experience in so many ways. A very fulfilling weekend as a musician, as a fan, and as someone who just aims to be a good person. There are so many friendly and welcoming strangers out there that are really just friends we didn't know we had yet ;)

Thank you all so much!

Adam

#Austin #ameripolitan #Denver #Texas #Colorado

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Feb 14, 2015 at 3:43pm PST

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Feb 14, 2015 at 6:40pm PST

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Feb 15, 2015 at 3:07pm PST

#DaleWatson #ameripolitan #Austin #Texas #AdamLopez

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Feb 15, 2015 at 3:43pm PST

A photo posted by Adam Lopez (@adamlopezguitar) on Feb 17, 2015 at 12:00am PST

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