#006: Humility and Confidence with Neal Coomer
Neal Coomer is a singer, songwriter and writer who began his career in Nashville as a recording artist. You have definitely heard Neal sing: he has shared the stage as a background singer with artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Dolly Parton, Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Mavis Staples, Annie Lennox, Boy George and Culture Club, LeAnn Rimes, and Jane Krakowski. He has broken out in an impromptu singalong with Mrs Brady and Wonder Woman—and has sung regularly on SNL, 30 Rock, and on jingles for brands like Skippy, Taco Bell and Gillette. Neil also co-wrote a rock concerto that played in Turkey, Mexico and Carnegie Hall and has also been a guest soloist with the Nashville Ballet.
You can find Neal Coomer on Instagram: @nealcoomer
You can hear more of the Music Lessons Podcast: https://www.musiclessonspodcast.com
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5. #005: Listening to Your Inner Voice with Abraham Alexander50:50Abraham Alexander is a Greek-born singer-songwriter with West African roots. As a child, he moved to Ft. Worth Texas where a knee-injury sidelined a burgeoning soccer career. By happenstance, he picked up a guitar and has been touring non-stop, while his new album SEA/SONS is making waves in AAA radio. He’s recently toured with The Lumineers, Lucius, Mavis Staples, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Ani DiFranco, Shakey Graves and Gary Clark Jr.Abraham Alexander heads out on his first headline tour across the U.S. this fall, kicking off October 13 in Austin with stops in New York City, Los Angeles, Denver and more. See here for a complete list of Abraham Alexander tour dates. You can also find him on Instagram, YouTube, and even more via his website. His new album SEA/SONS is available on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and wherever you stream music.
4. #004 Vulnerability & Trust with Tina Schlieske59:41Tina Schlieske has been paving her own way in music for nearly three decades. She has fronted diverse bands, from the wildly popular Minneapolis-based Americana-Rock band, Tina and the B-Sides to groups that range from rock, to classic R&B to punk. Tina has shared the stage with St. Vincent, Patty Griffin, Robert Ellis, Jeff Bridges, Doors Guitarist Robbie Krieger, Etta James and Double Trouble just to name a few. Tina has been called a "smart, sensitive, earthy singer-songwriter with a superb voice" and is one of my favorite live music performers - no matter what genre she's exploring or what type of venue she's in.In this conversation Tina and I discuss her early learnings about vulnerability, where her confidence comes from, and how she thinks about building trust when performing live - and so much more! You can find out more about Tina at TinaSchlieske.com and you can find more Music Lessons Podcast episodes here.
4. Music Lessons: Themes & Variations06:09This short episodes highlights a few key takeaways from the previous 3 conversations with Ben O'Neill, Gretchen Parlato, and Alan Wilkis. All of the full-length episodes can be found at www.musiclessonspodcast.com. The themes and variations of this episode include Ben O'Neill's reminder to stay curious and keep working, Gretchen Parlato's framework for finding your unique voice, and Alan Wilkis' concept about what happens to an artist's work once it's released in the world.
3. #003 Community and AI with Alan Wilkis (aka Big Data)01:02:14Alan Wilkis, otherwise known as “Big Data,” is an accomplished artist, producer, and composer. His hit single, “Dangerous (feat. Joywave),” reached #1 on the 2014 Billboard Alternative chart and has since been RIAA-certified platinum. His work as Big Data is beat-driven and technology-themed, featuring collaborations with the likes of Kimbra, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Dragonette, and Jamie Lidell, and he has performed across the globe.As a songwriter and producer, Wilkis has worked with a broad range of artists, including Channel Tres, NomBe, Atlas Genius, MNDR (pronounce?), and Moontower. In recent years, he has pivoted his unique hybrid sound into composing for film, TV, and advertising, including his score for the 2020 breakout comedy, “Drunk Bus,” multiple campaigns for Apple, and a reworking of the theme for NCIS:LA. He is currently scoring a documentary called, “Left Behind,” about dyslexia in the NYC public school system.Full show notes here.
2. #002 Active Listening with Gretchen Parlato54:57Gretchen Parlato has been described as having a voice like honey, with a captivating style that fuses elements of jazz, Brazilian, and African rhythms, and a touch of pop and electronic influences that create a sound that is entirely her own. Personally, she is one of my favorite vocalists to listen to with her impeccable phrasing, emotive storytelling, and collaborative spirit. Parlato has become a visionary in the contemporary jazz scene. Her 2021 album Flor hit #1 on the iTunes Jazz chart and received a Grammy nomination, was #3 in the Jazzwise Critics Poll, #5 for best album from Jazzwise in 2021, and #5 on The Guardian's Top 10 jazz albums for 2021. She has worked with some of the biggest names in jazz, like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, and many, many more. You can find all things about Gretchen at GretchenParlato.com.
1. #001 Curiosity & Craft with Ben O'Neill01:01:23Grammy nominated artist, Ben O'Neill (guitarist, singer, songwriter), has played with some of the best known names in Pop, Hip Hop and R&B including John Legend, Jill Scott, Common, Sting, Kanye West, Christina Aguilera, Kid Cudi, and more. He has performed and co-written songs with Tye Tribbett and his "Soundcheck" band which redefined gospel music. Ben has contributed to many RnB, Gospel and Pop recordings and served as a governor of the Philadelphia chapter of the Recording Academy. He is currently a member of the guitar faculty at The University of The Arts where he teaches lessons, ensembles and recording. His artistic releases range from eponymous singer/songwriter works to solo guitar compositions to his band of 20 years, the soul jazz organ trio, The Mini Q’s.