23 Jun, 2015

The Week in Rock (June 25-28, 2015)

Screen shot 2015-06-11 at 4.48.50 PMWe’re slugging it out in June! This is a great week for friends, music, charity and private events and festivals. More than a few opportunities to play some fun music with some fun people.

Thursday – Soca Jukebox, Party in Paradise – Springfield MO for the benefit concert/auction for the Developmental Center of the Ozarks. Great cause, great event, great people.

Friday – Soca Jukebox returns to the Jefferson City MO Country Club. It’s the state capitol people. AND you can play golf there. We’re there for the party but you can stay for the politics.

Saturday – Soca Jukebox, 4th of July Celebration (in June) for the villagers of Pleasanton, NE. Nebraska is a place where they just make their own rules. Let’s move the whole Independence day thing! Sounds cool to me. With the Talbott Brothers!

Sunday – Maria the Mexican, Imagine Eleven Concert Series, Downtown St. Joseph, MO, 6pm. Eleven amazing sunday nights of music with 11 great acts (probably more with support) sponsored by our area churches. Free and family friendly. Home is where the heart is.

11 Jun, 2015

500 Shows With Soca Jukebox

Soca500Shaker-copy500!

I’d like to know how many dates I’ve played all together. It’s at least a few. Soca J is celebrating 500 shows. We know pretty much exactly which one it is too as we have an accountant in our band who tracks everything. (If you have a band… I propose you get yourself one who also doubles as an amazing bassist).

This band is a testament to what good friends and good people can do together. A lot of marriages don’t last this long. So grateful to the boys for letting me play (ok, I’ve missed a few) and for continually growing as a band. No one is resting on their laurels here. (note to self… look up “laurels”).

They’ve been hard at it. At least 500 times.

This will be a celebratory summer for Soca J. We’re releasing our first single as part of that celebration too. Hope to see you at 501, 502, 509, 516, and 535.

Way to go, Soca J! It’s like winning one of those car races. We should get something bubbly and spray it on the crowd. Oh wait… we already do that.

3 Jun, 2015

Home away from Home – Nebraska Style

I’ve got a home away from home. It’s Kearney NE.
Soca Jukebox
It’s near the home of my Dad. I’ve got a sis, bro-in-law and 3 awesome nephews there. One of the greatest music agencies on the planet is housed there. There is super-cool music store in Yanda’s with an amazing staff. AND there is Cunningham’s Journal. This is truly one of the great clubs in all of America. Talk about a great staff? Talk about a great house sound man in Mark Adams. We’re at home there. Great music, great food, customizing in every way and everyday! This is the place. I could go on and on. That’s where I take every band and Soca Jukebox is basically, family.
I’m very excited to kick of the summer touring season with a full extended weekend into the wilds of the cornhusker state. We’ll be doing it solo (I mean… hopefully you can make it), duo and with the Soca J big band.

It’s been a while. We’re super-excited to see everyone. Here’s what the next few day of hustle will entail…
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First…
Going to head on down to the Lake Contrary Elementary School for a morning of guitar “stringdom”. I’m confident the young people there will expand my horizons and show me a thing or two about what they know.

Second…
Head out for Central NE in the “Toyota Tour Shuttle” for a solo show at Tru Cafe in Kearney NE. This is one of my favorite places too. Great art, food, friends and craft everything. I like to be around artistic folks and this is the meeting place. 630-830. Can’t wait!

Thirdly…
Soca Jukebox Returns to Cunningham’s Journal!!! Weather permitting, Friday night we’ll be in the most incredible courtyard on two continents. 8pm in downbeat for all the reggae and island rock legally permitted in the city limits.

Fourthly…
The Soca Duo (or maybe Trio) will be kicking off Heritage Days Festival at Yanney Park in Kearney at 5pm. This a great event in one of the city’s wonderful civic venues. Whenever we’re in town, I like to take advantage of the scenic and natural walking trails from the hotel to the park. I’ve even had to fend of some cattle here and there. Even the cattle are friendly in NE. One short set from 5-6:15 on main stage.

And lastly…
Let’s do it one more time with the whole band at Cunningham’s on Saturday night. Back in the courtyard. If it rains, I promise… it will be even more fun.

That’s a lot of playing in just a few days. I love it. If you’re serious about your live music, you’ll make it all possible. If you love JR or Soca J even a little, please spread the word and make plans to be there in person… at least for a little while. Can’t wait to see you. The summer season is here.

It’s been to0 long!!!

Let’s get together and feel alright. Nebraska Style.

3 May, 2015

Outstanding Graduating Guitarists, Missouri Western State University

Guitar playing ain’t easy. To get to a point of accomplishment requires years of dedicated practice. You’ve got to jump some hurtles and overcome physical and mental challenges.
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The Missouri Western Guitar Program is a place where guitarists can get the discipline they need to achieve proficiency and conquer their personal goals.

A couple of our graduating guitar majors at MWSU are receiving some well-deserved accolades. The guitar program is pretty small in terms of the overall music department. It’s a great source of pride to know that TWO of our students have worked so hard to receive this visibility and recognition. It’s been a great joy to work with them over the last few years. They’ve taught me a lot too. We have high expectations for all our students. Congratulations to Brent and Ryan for going above and beyond.

Outstanding Graduating Senior:
Brent Isom
Ryan Lombard

Pi Kappa Lambda Inductees:
Brent Isom
Ryan LombardIMG_1370

20 Mar, 2015

Renaissance Men

Huzzah! It’s nice to be such a well-rounded master of so many fabulously interesting topics. We like to rock, we like to swing. I’m a poet and nobody even knows it! Light on my feet and easy on the eyes? maybe not.

I am truly fortunate to have been invited to accompany Professor and Vocal coach,Sean Teets in a faculty recital at Benedictine College.

Sean’s fairly new to the BC family, everyone making him a part of the family and we are so lucky to have him on board.

It’s not a purely “Renaissance” concert with a few pieces by the modern master, Benjamin Britten.

It’s been a good, long while since I’ve had an opportunity to play this music in this type of setting. It’s been a blast to work on this music and I am really looking forward to playing the concert with Sean.

May 31, 730pm
Benedictine College in Atchison KS
O’Malley McAllister Theater.

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18 Mar, 2015

Leprechaun Apocalypse

In case you didn’t know it… my daddy was a Riley and my momma was an O’Riley. So what that means is, I don’t do well in the sunshine and anything just a little spicy makes me sweat. We’re talking ketchup makes me flush.

And come St. Patrick’s Day, our house is a huge target for mischief.

Today was no exception. Those little B@$%&!@# T.P’d us and turned the organic fat free milk GREEN.

No harm done I guess. At least we’re snake free for one more year.

Sláinte and Happy St. Patty’s to you.

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12 Mar, 2015

Soca Jukebox with BACHACO

NIGHTOUT_BACHACO

Hit Maker’s Music Presents

BACHACO

REGGAE ROCK W/ LATIN ROOTS

w/ TRIO AZTLAN & SOCA JUKEBOX

ALL AGES
The Scene Rock Bar
14816 E. US HWY 40
Kansas City, MO
64136

BACHACO is an international Afro-Caribbean Roots Rock band based out of Miami, Florida in the U.S. Their music successfully blends feel-good and conscious lyrics through the mix of Reggae, Dancehall and Ska with Rock, Hip-Hop and Colombian Cumbia. Their recent and much anticipated self-titled independent debut album is out now and features their hit singles “Cumbia Pa’ La Nena” and “Ni Una Lagrima” Their “Cumbia Pa’ La Nena” video, produced by Latin Grammy Winner video director Cesar Rodriguez, achieved rotation on MTV Tr3s and MTV Latin America. BACHACO was also selected as “Descubre & Download” Artist of the Month on the MTV Tr3s website during November 2012 where visitors downloaded the hit single “Cumbia Pa’ La Nena” completely free. Both singles reached the top 20 charts on AOL Radio’s Rock Latino station with “Cumbia pa’ la Nena” on #3 and “Ni Una Lagrima” on #1. BACHACO’s debut album also includes the hit singles “Jamaican Cumbia” as well as a special collaboration with South American Reggae legends Gondwana on “Cruzando Fronteras.”

DOORS 8PM

3 Mar, 2015

Guitar Festival, Chartres France

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I am very excited to announce that I’ll be a guest clinician at “Red Socks and the Guitar”, a guitar festival in Chartres, France this summer.

Looking forward to seeing the crew there again. It’s been a few years since I’ve been over.

Besides teaching some masterclasses and private lessons, I’ve got a couple of very special clinics in the works towards Jazz guitar and other styles.

The festival is sponsored by the International Center and the School of Music at the University of Missouri-Columbia and directed by my partner in the Nova Project, Anthony Glise. Our friends and partners, Ken Sugita will also be on hand to inspire us and ‘House-Mother’, Sylvia Turrell will keep us all in line!

The boys are back in town! Soon anyway and I can’t wait.Screen shot 2014-12-04 at 2.40.43 PMScreen shot 2014-12-04 at 2.41.10 PMScreen shot 2014-12-04 at 2.41.23 PM

24 Feb, 2015

Folk Alliance International 2015 – The JR Experience

Maria the Mexican just finished a 5 day weekend of showcases and camaraderie and this year’s Folk Alliance International Conference in KC. All I can say is “Gosh!, Wow! and What a deal!”. Ok… I’ve got lots more to say than that about this amazing conference in our own back yard.

Over 200 acts from around the world came to the deep-wintertime, “Paris of the Plains” to participate in the week long showcase and conference and/or the music fair and camp at the Westin Crown Center and Sheraton Hotels.

The camp and conference offered a plethora or options for clinics, seminars, master-classes, concerts, special presentations, awards ceremonies, jam sessions and meet-ups.

Bela Fleck was a big name that I missed! Boo.

The term “Folk” is pretty inclusive here with artists in almost every subgenre from ethnic music, old-time, bluegrass, acoustic, electric freakouts, singer-songwriter, spoken-word, jazz, jam and beyond.

My week with MtM included 5 performances, seeing old friends, meeting new ones, hanging out, going to as much as possible and pulling some all-nighters in the private room showcases (fueled responsibly by KC’s own J. Reiger’s Whiskey and Boulevard beer). Plainly said… this was great!!!

Here’s some of the highlights..

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Big thanks to MtM, the bands, our friends, volunteers and conference folks that made this a truly memorable experience. We’re lucky to have this in KC.

Looking forward to next year!!!

18 Feb, 2015

Maria the Mexican at The Folk Alliance International Conference

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Maria the Mexican is honored to be selected for an official showcase at this week’s Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City.

The band will perform for a total of 4 showcases and one off-site show at Knucklehead’s. The conference is hosting acts from all-over the world. Everyone completely takes of the Westin Crown Center hotel for ’round the clock seminars, concerts, key-speakers and jamming!

It’s kind of a big deal!!!
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