Phillip Sanders Plays Texas Country

In NASCAR it is not uncommon for sons to follow fathers on to the track to become generational racing families.  So too it is in music with children following parents down the musical staff for multiple generations.

One such artist is Phillip Sanders who is a fourth generation singer/songwriter.  At one time his grandfather shared a rooming house with Hank Williams Sr.  And no doubt a jam session or two.

Working the oil fields in Texas, in 2016 Sanders decided that the time was right to pursue a lifetime dream and follow in his father’s musical footsteps.  The first single Sanders’ penned – “Never Thought I Could Change” – was a collaboration with father Charles’ collaborator Curt Ryle. 

Since that first release “With You I’am”, whether it be a solo writing, a collaboration, or a reworking of a remake; Sanders has scored every song on the European Country music charts.  Most recently, he has broken into the top 10 of the iTunes charts in the United Kingdom.

While he never collaborated on writing a song with his father, Phillip did finish writing a song his father had urged him to write – a Christmas song – before his father died.

An in October, Sanders will travel to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry for the Josie Awards – independent music awards – where he has three nominations.

When it comes to songwriting and recording, Sanders says that he focuses on creating the best music he can.  His musical style is the traditional Country music like in the days of Hank Williams Sr.

The husband and father continues to work the oil fields while he works on fulfilling his dream.  Sanders notes that he has enough original songs to create a full album but is not in a hurry to record one.

Other Phillip Sanders songs:
“We Do that in the Country”
“What I Didn’t Do”
“Drink You Down”
“Lay You Down and Love You”
“I Don’t Think I Will”
“With Her I’am”
“Over a Beer”
“IF I Didn’t Love You Girl”
“Another You”

feature photo credit: Land Goodman

Buckberry, P.O.D., Lit, and Alien Ant Farm

Package tour are a great deal for the fans and a way to pool resources for the artists.

This time around Buckberry, P.O.D., Lit, and Alien Ant Farm are teaming up for what they are calling the Gen-X Tour.

Tickets for the tour go on sale April 20.

Gen-X tour dates:
June 28 at the Harley Davidson Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI
June 29 at the Corbin Arena in Corbin, KY
June 30 at the Stars and Stripes Festival in Novi, MI – this is a free show
July 3 at the Miramar Amphitheater in Miramar, FL
July 5 at The Stage on the Bay in Savannah, GA
July 6 at The Beaver Bar in Murrels Inlet, SC
July 7 at the Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore, MD
July 26 at The Amphitheater at Bald Hill in Farmingville, NY
July 27 at The Palladium in Worcester, MA
July 28 at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ
July 30 at the Exhibition Hall in Watertown, NY
July 31 at the Maverick’s Music Hall in Barrie, ON
Aug 3 at the Bluestem Amphitheater in Moorhead, MN
Aug 6 at the Iron Horse Saloon in Sturgis, SD – this is a free show
Aug 9 at the Choctaw Casino and Resort in Pocola, OK – this is a free show
Aug 10 at the Golden Nugget Casino – H20 in Lake Charles, LA
Aug 11 at the Griffin MusicHall in El Dorado, AK
Aug 12 at Summers at the River in Nixa, MO
Aug 14 at the Stampede in Aurora, CO
Aug 17 at The Northwoods Rock Rally in Glen Fora, WI
Aug 19 at the Providence Medical Center in Bonner Springs, KS
Aug 21 at the Concrete Street Pavilion in Corpus Christi, TX
Aug 22 at the HEB Center in Cedar Park, TX
Aug 24 at The Pavilion at the Toyota Music Factory in Irving, TX
Aug 25 at the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso, TX – this is a free show
Aug 26 at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugarlamd, TX
Aug 28 at the Abilene Civic Center in Abilene, TX
Aug 30 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, IA
Aug 31 at the DuQuoin StTe Fair in DuQuoin, IL
Sept 1 at the Naperville Last Fling in Naperville, IL
Sept 3 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis, MO
Sept 6 & 7 at BLK Live in Scottsdale, AZ

Mixing it Up with Andrew Collins

Since its beginning music has continued to evolve. No longer are there simply Pop – short for popular, Rock, Country, and Alternative – an alternative to what is popular. Today’s music crosses genres, countries, and generations to truly become a world of music.


Award winning Canadian multi instrumentalist Andrew Collins has adopted a few new terms to describe the musical style of his band – The Andrew Collins Trio. Going beyond the term New Acoustic music or New Grass (a modernized bluegrass), Collins prefers the term Chambergrass.

After picking up the mandolin while he was in his early 20’s, Andrew said that he knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life after only playing for six months. Andrew said that the music began to take over his life. Since first picking up the mandolin; Andrew has added the mandolo, the mandocello, fiddle, and guitar to his list of instruments.

But Andrew isn’t the only multi instrumentalist in the band. While Mike holds down the bottom on his standup bass, guitarist James can switch off on a variety of instruments with Andrew.

Noting that he likes surprising the audience with the unexpected, Andrew and James change things up on stage, swapping instruments and sharing the vocals.

The Andrew Collins Trio is an acoustic trio who do not use any monitors on stage; instead choosing to listen to each other as they perform and there isn’t a bunch of equipment out in front of the performers blocking the audience’s view. That truly acoustic setting is one reason why Andrew says that he really enjoys playing house concerts.

The Toronto native is currently working on a new album – a concept themed album – which has the working title of “Tongue and Groove”. A rarity for this age of single digital downloads and streaming, the album will be a double release with on album only vocals – Tongue – and the other only instrumentals – Groove.

Looking to release the album in April, Tongue features mostly cover tunes – including a couple of obscure Roger Miller songs, while Groove will feature mostly original instrumental pieces.

Like the violin family that includes the violin, viola, cello, and bass; the mandolin also has a family of the mandolin, mandola, and mandocello. Not a typical band instrument, Andrew frequently has difficulty in locating strings for his mandocello. Once wile in Australia he found himself in need of some new mandocello strings. Upon walking into the music store, to Andrew’s delight there on the counter was a pile of strings that the store owner had just taken down because he had not sold any in a long time. Not only did Andrew find himself with enough sets of strings to last for several months, the store owner was overjoyed to have sold the strings and gave Andrew a great deal to take them all.


photos courtesy of The Andrew Collins Trio

Nice Guy Johnny: Nice Guys and Dark Sounds

There are musicians who perform the same music their entire musical lives, then there are those musicians who change genres with the times and their changes in musical direction.

Johnny Knehr – you pronounce the K – was a typical boy growing up. Learning to play the piano from the first grade and trading it in for a guitar in the sixth grade, but discovering sports put music on the sidelines for a while.

But after causing some serious nerve damage in a fall Johnny picked up the guitar again and the physical therapy rekindled the love of music and opened up a new career.

First it was Johnny E.K. And the Memphis Storm with upbeat Swing and Rockabilly. But the Memphis Storm gave way to Nice Guy Johnny and a darker sound and the Blues.




While Johnny still performs with Nice Guy Johnny, his newest album – due out early in the year – is a solo project with Johnny playing all of the instruments.

NGJ 952-1

He also wrote all of the songs – something he began doing after some encouragement from his brother in law. In a genre he calls Dark Americana, Johnny pens songs from the darker areas of life including a song he wrote over three years ago title “The Raven”. About suicide, Johnny says that he has not performed the song since the death of his brother in law – Chester Bennington – earlier this year. But Johnny says that the proceeds from the sale of the song will go to the One More Light Foundation ( – a foundation founded in Chester’s name to raise the awareness of depression and suicide.

The New Jersey native notes that in his musical career he has been everything from the musical background for a bar fight to performing while patrons danced along the bar and on the tables.

Tammie Shannon: Positively Alive

Ideas for songs can come from most anywhere with the most popular answer being “things I see around me.” But for storyteller and musician Tammie Shannon, she has to go no further than her own life to create new songs.

For Tammie, life didn’t just get in the way, it nearly killed her.

After raising a family, Tammie decided that it was her turn and with a little encouragement from one of her children, she decided to return to music – she had been singing since she was a small child.

But in 2013 an automobile accident and subsequent emergency appendectomy led to some complications that left Tammie with damaged vocal chords – one of them was paralyzed. With some hard work, she not only learned to talk again, but to also sing again.

Currently Tammie is putting the finishing touches on her debut album – “All of Me” – and is looking to have the album ready to release early in the year.

The album features all original songs penned by Tammie. She has an interesting and unique format when it comes to songwriting. Using her mobile phone as a songwriting tool, Tammie begins with the beats from the bass and drums; she then builds the song from there.

Tammie considers her songs as her children and says that it is nice to see them grow up.

Along with growing up singing in the church in Arkansas, Tammie has shared the stage with Percy Sledge. She considers Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, and Etta James as her biggest influences.

Tammie currently calls Nashville home and notes that it is nice working with talented people.

Kathy Zimmer: Quiet Voice and ‘White Noise’

Hollywood is filled with the stories and films of a small town girl who dreams of becoming a star in the big city.

Nebraska farm girl Kathy Zimmer doesn’t have to dream…she is living it as a musician in New York City.

But it is there that the typical story ends. Kathy has taken the old folk music originally made popular by Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan and brought it in to the 21st century in what she calls Cosmopolitan Folk music.

Kathy was destined to make her mark in music in one form or another; as a child in Nebraska the large family would gather to play and have a good time jam. Learning to play acoustic and electric guitar, Kathy joined in.

Over the past 10 years, Kathy has released three albums and an EP. In January 5 she will release her new EP “White Noise”. The album features all original songs written by Kathy. She says that her song mostly come from what’s in her head with a few characters and sometimes song ideas from from life itself.

On January 25 Kathy will be giving a performance in what she says is her favourite venue – The Slipper Room – to promote the new album. Kathy noted that she would like to go beyond New York City and get out to perform and promote the album this coming spring and summer.

When not performing her own music, the music major is helping to pass the music on to the next generation as a teacher.


photo courtesy of HyPR Media.

Life Becomes Art for Mary Gatchell

Singer, songwriter, and multi instrumentalist Mary Gatchell call folkie Joni Mitchell and music icon Stevie Wonder as her musical influences, but her love and passion for music comes from a much closer to home…her parents.

Mary Gatchell Camino cover pic credit

The youngest of three, Mary’s mother had her only daughter appearing in her productions from the time Mary was only five years old where she was a face in the crowd in “The Music Man”.

Mama Gatchell is the founder, director, and production manager for the Leddy Center for the Performing Arts in Epping, New Hampshire. While Mary has portrayed the starring role in “Annie”, played Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, and was a witch in “Into the Woods”: Mary says that she much prefers to play the smaller roles.


Once Mary started music classes, it was her own father who taught her how to play – first it was the piano and later the oboe.

Mary herself has branched out from just creating and making music. She is the co-founder of the Scenia Summer Music program in Italy where youngsters learn to perform chamber music. She also works with special needs orphans in Bulgaria.

Mary has just released her seventh album – “Camino Real”. Containing all original material, the album features a variety of musical styles but are all connected by a connecting theme.

Mary has performed on Broadway in the musical production “Bombshell: The Musical” and when The Rolling Stones celebrated 50 years of music with a tour, Mary was a part of the choir in one of the shows.

Mary Gatchell movable feast 2 pic credit

While she never got to meet Sir Mick or any of the band members, Mary said that she was still in awe at the whole experience and could not believe the amount of energy and stamina put forth by Mick Jagger. Calling the whole experience the most thrilling thing, Mary said that you could feel the rush of the crowd when the Stones performed “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.

Noting that every band member held nothing back in their performance, Mary said that she appreciated the band even more now that she has seen them at work.

Mary has come a long way from her New Hampshire beginnings but through it all there has always been the music..and family.

Photos courtesy of HYPR Media