Bob Mosolgo

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Decade of Difference: Brett Dennen

Brett Dennen grew up listening to the music his parents loved, late ’60s and early ’70s folk rock, and it had an influence on his career.

Relocating from Northern to Southern California after college, Dennon released his first song and drew enough interest through local radio airplay to spur a follow up album.

Working in the Southern California singer-songwriter scene that produced Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz, Dennen had his first national release in 2006 and received strong support from John Mayer, who included Dennen on his tour and praised the album.

Citing Paul Simon, Cat Stevens and Van Morrison as major influences, Brett Dennen has released seven studio albums. Now a father, Dennen says that parenthood has influenced his songwriting, but that even with that, he finds himself always writing in his free time.

Dennen has five top 10 singles to his credit including the title song from his newest album, See the World. Dennen describes writing the song and others on the album this way “Well, my son had been born, and he would just crawl around. That first year, it was easy because he would lay on the floor, and I’d play guitar. And I came up with ideas for songs…I would play guitar while he would roll around and crawl around on the floor. Most of the ideas weren’t that great, but I thought See the World was special, because it started out as a song, talking to my son. “

2022-01-12T12:15:23-05:00January 3rd, 2022|

Country Feedback Playlist for Jan 2 2022

Country Feedback Playlist for                           1/2/2022

Artist – Album – Title – Release Year

Michael Clem – Rivannarama – Diane – 2021

Adam Wright – I Win – I Win – 2021


Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road – Metal Firecracker – 1998

Johnny Cash – Live at the Carousel Ballroom (1968) – Big River – 2021

Hank Williams – The Complete Collection – Honky Tonkin’  (Version 2) – 1998

Hank Williams III – Long Gone Daddy – The Wind Blew Cold – 2012


Emily Frembgen – It’s Me or the Dog – Silver Lining – 2021

Fred Eaglesmith – 50 Odd Dollars – Steel Guitar – 1999

New Riders Of The Purple Sage – The Adventures Of Panama Red – Panama Red – 1973


Terry Allen – Human Remains – Flatland Boogie – 1996

Various – Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal – Raining Straight Down (Allman Betts Band) –


Jason Boland & The Stragglers – The Light Saw Me – Straight Home – 2021


Golden Smog – Weird Tales – Looking Forward To Seeing You Again – 1998

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Pronounced… – Mississippi Kid – 1973


2022-01-01T18:10:03-05:00January 2nd, 2022|

Decade of Difference: Michael Nesmith

The most musically experienced of the four artists assembled for the 60’s sitcom The Monkees, Michael Nesmith had already written and recorded after his tour of duty in the Air Force. Nesmith grew up in Dallas but returned to San Antonio where he played solo and in bands performing folk and country.

Getting more into songwriting, Nesmith moved to LA where he got a songwriting deal with the New Christy Minstrels. Nesmith had several records out before responding to an ad soliciting musician/actors for the show. The hugely successful show made the Monkees one of the largest selling acts of the 60’s, despite the band not performing much of their music. Nesmith was harshly critical of the Monkee’s second record calling it “probably the worst record in the history of the world”, partly due to rushed, shoddy studio engineering.

As the band approached its end, Nesmith was saving his best compositions for a solo career he planned to launch.

Michael Nesmith finally bought his way out of the Monkees and paid a high financial price to do it. It was several years before he would return to the many band reunions that occurred over the next decades.

His solo career helped usher in the country rock era. With his First National Band, Nesmith had some moderate chart success and also wrote some classics, including Different Drum, a song popularized by Linda Ronstadt. And I’ve Never Loved Anyone More, a country hit for Lynn Anderson.

Michael Nesmith was the first winner of a Grammy for long form video with 1982’s Elephant Parts, his hour long creation. It inspired a short run TV Show Television Parts  that featured up and coming comedians including  Jerry Seinfeld and Whoopi Goldberg.

His production company Pacific Arts Corporation managed and developed media projects but most famously sued and won a dispute with PBS over licensing rights and payments. Nesmith was quoted about the case, saying “It’s like finding your grandmother stealing your stereo. You’re happy to get your stereo back, but it’s sad to find out your grandmother is a thief.”

Micheal Nesmith died from heart failure on December 10th.

2021-12-28T23:29:13-05:00December 30th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: The Everly Brothers

Setting the standard for two part harmonies in the 50’s and 60’s, the Everly Brothers were one of the most important rock acts of their era. Their knack for infusing country and pop into the emerging rock music scene helped the new sound gain a wider audience while it also cleared the patch for the country rock scene that would follow.

Don and Phil Everly learned performance from their father Ike, an accomplished guitarist who accompanied the pair on Iowa radio broadcasts. Their initial effort took them to Nashville where their first single flopped, and that slowed the duo. By 1957 they caught on with a new label and released Bye Bye Love which kicked off a remarkable three year run of now classic hit singles. Smoother than the raw records coming from Memphis and Sun Records, the Everlys still retained the Appalachian country influences and more energy than typical pop of the day.

The stress of so much success in the 50’s and early 60’s wore on the brothers. They enlisted together in the Marines and after discharge, Don nearly died of a drug overdose. Later records never recaptured the winning formula of the first five years, but the pair retained their no-nonsense rock sound and stayed current without pandering to the style of the day over the years.

In the late 60’s the brothers released an album with the Hollies, a group greatly influenced by the Everlys and recorded Roots, an album that helped pioneer country rock. In 1973 Phil and Don broke up, and it took a decade before they reunited. A few more albums followed and they performed until Phil passed in 2014. Don made occasional appearances including on Paul Simon’s farewell tour. Don Everly died this August at 84.

2021-12-28T23:22:20-05:00December 29th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Edgar Winter

Photo: By Carl Lender

Edgar and his brother Johnny Winter owe much of their musical success to the encouragement of their parents. The Beaumont, Texas brothers grew up in a family of music lovers and performers. Their father was a singer, performing in a barber shop quartet and a church choir while also playing saxophone in a jazz band. From their teens, Edgar and Johnny had bands and played local bars.

Edgar picked up the sax in high school after learning the ukulele and by college was also proficient on keyboards, bass drums and guitar. Who leveraged these skills on his first album, 1970’s Entrance where he played most of the instruments on the record. While his brother Johnny preferred to stick close to the blues rock genre, Edgar was more adventurous and this culminated in his 1973 album They Only Come Out at Night. The album peaked at number 3 in the US and featured two top 20 singles. Edgar Winter would never match that performance again.

The multi-instrumentalist followed up his big 1973 album with Shock Treatment. Rick Derringer played guitars on the record, replacing Ronnie Montrose and the record included Winter’s last top 40 single River’s Risin’.

Edgar Winters’ 70’s output has been mined repeatedly for advertising and soundtrack use and the artist has released an additional eleven albums. Amongst his most unusual projects is 1986’s Mission Earth. The album featured word and music by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard The album was released a few months after Hubbard died and the author left detailed instructions and audio tapes for the musicians and producers to follow when making this album.

The album is a companion to the ten volume science fiction book series authored by Hubbard of the same name.

2021-12-27T23:13:16-05:00December 28th, 2021|

Country Feedback Playlist for December 26, 2021

Artist – Album – Title – Release Year

Charley Crockett – 10 for Slim: Songs of James Hand – Over There That’s Frank – 2021

Esther Rose – Songs Remain – Good Time – 2021


Doc Carter – High Tide for Low Times – Heading West – 2021

The Flatlanders – Treasure of Love – The Ballad of Honest Sam – 2021

Sierra Ferrell – Long Time Coming – West Virginia Waltz – 2021

Ottoman Turks – Ottoman Turks II – Low Down Blue Dog Whine – 2021


Asleep At The Wheel – Half a Hundred Years – The Photo – 2021

Connie Smith – The Cry of the Heart – Here Comes My Baby Back Again – 2021

Dallas Moore – The Rain – Better Days – 2021

Loretta Lynn – Still Woman Enough – Honky Tonk Girl – 2021


Bill and The Belles – Happy Again – Happy Again – 2021

Dori Freeman – Ten Thousand Roses – Ten Thousand Roses – 2021

Hayes Carll – You Get It All – Nice Things – 2021

Aaron Burdett – Dream Rich, Dirt Poor – Dirt Poor – 2021


Vivian Leva – Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno – Leaving on Our Minds – 2021

Charley Crockett – 10 for Slim: Songs of James Hand – In the Corner – 2021


2021-12-26T08:16:19-05:00December 26th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Valerie Smith

Valerie Smith initially worked as a music educator in Missouri before moving to Nashville for a similar job. While in Tennessee she become interested in songwriting and recording. Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Brothers agreed to mentor her and the result was an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

Another fortunate meeting with the owners of the Bell Buckle Cafe led her to cofound Bell Buckle Records along with them. She had been honing her skills playing a weekly gig at the cafe.Her version of Gillian Welch and David Rawling’s Red Clay Halo, would reach the Bluegrass Unlimited Radio Survey, Country Music and Americana reporting charts and remain on the list for five years. Because of the popularity and the longevity of the song, it was voted by the bluegrass community to be one of the top 60 songs of the decade.

Drawing on her background as a bluegrass musician and an educator, the International Bluegrass Music Museum commissioned  her to create a program for teching student about the history of bluegrass. The program continues to be presented around the world.

Her music continues to cross boundaries, with recent releases appearing on indie, folk and bluegrass music charts.

2021-12-21T15:16:35-05:00December 23rd, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Chuck Mead

Photo Credit: Joshua Moon Wilkins

Chuck Mead spent most of his early years in Kansas where he joined the family country and western band as a drummer. After performing with the band as a teen, Mead moved to Lawrence, Kansas where he spent a decade or so playing in various rock bands.

In 1993 he moved on to Nashville, scoring a solo gig in the front window of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, a honky tonk in a seedy part of Nashville behind the Ryman Auditorium. He met the other musicians who would form the core of BR5-49 and together they played four nights a week at the nearby Robert’s Western Wear. Named after an old Hee-Haw skit, BR5-49 recorded five albums between 1996 and 2001. The group earned three Grammy nominations and won the CMA International Touring Act for the Year in 1997 and became well known for their four hour plus sets.

In 2006 BR5-49 broke up. Although the band was a fan favorite, country radio never warmed to their sound. Mead moved on to songwriting and production. He produced two great tributes – 2002’s Dressed in Black tribute to Johnny Cash and 2003’s Lonesome On’ry and Mean tribute to Waylon Jennings. He also served as the musical director for the Broadway show Million Dollar Quartet. This led to his selection as musical director for the TV series Sun Records.

Mead’s solo career now includes four records from 2009 through 2019.

2021-12-21T15:17:06-05:00December 22nd, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Luscious Jackson

Kate Schellenbach, Jill Cunniff and Gabby Glaser met one another as teenagers in the post punk scene in New York. The three spent a lot of time together in clubs, soaking up the variety of music available, from hip-hop to reggae to post-punk. They all went their separate ways after high school, but reconnected in 1991 in New York where Cunniff and Glaser began writing songs.

The new band, named after a 60’s vintage professional basketball player released their first album in 1991 and Luscious Jackson was soon a name to drop in the alt rock circles. In 1997 the band released their second album. Fever In Fever Out was produced by Daniel Lanois and served to increase interest in the band and generated their only top 100 song Naked Eye.

In 1999 Luscious Jackson recorded their third album Electric Honey with the VH1 friendly Ladyfingers going into the station’s heavy rotation. Interest in the group dropped after that, to the point that plans for a third single release from the band were scrapped. In 2000 Luscious Jackson announced that they were done, in order for the band members to spend more time with their families.

In 2011 the band announced a reunion and a plan to record new material. Magic Hour came in 2013, funded through fan contributions. A following children’s album came later that year. The band has performed sporadically since then, most recently in 2016.

2021-12-21T07:12:56-05:00December 21st, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg began performing in the 1970s before joining the Army. It was possible at that time to buy yourself out of your enlistment. Bragg did that after basic training and returned to London. He began busking and playing in local pubs under the name Spy vs. Spy.

After his demos got no response, he snuck into a record company office by masquerading as a repairman. That got his demos a listen – but there were no issues that interfered with his recording debut, which finally came in 1983.

He achieved some celebrity in the UK from his appearances at leftist rallies and strikes and for a song of his that Kirsty McColl took to the top 10. His own album Talking to the Taxman About Poetry reached the UP Top 10 in 1986.

Bragg spent the late 80s and early 90s releasing several albums featuring politically aware music. He also restarted a record label with the intention of featuring new artists who has limited hopes for widespread commercial interest. By 1991 he stepped away from music for a few years to focus on raising his children.

1998 saw Bragg and Wilco team up for the first time in the Mermaid Avenue project. The artists added music to Woody Guthrie lyrics and over the years three albums have been released.

The Million Things That Never Happened, which Bragg called a pandemic blues album, features 12 tracks penned by the singer-songwriter plus one written by his son. It is his latest record and his first in four years.

2021-12-20T08:02:57-05:00December 20th, 2021|