The Magic of Muscle Shoals

When you think of the music headquarters in the South, Nashville is sure to come to mind – but don’t think that’s the only place good music comes from! A quaint little area of North Alabama is home to FAME Studios, thought by many to serve as the center of jazz, and the focus of the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals: The Incredible True Story of a Small Town with a Big Sound.     With testimonials from icons like Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, and Alicia Keys (to name just a few), Muscle [... more]

Musical Medicine

Nearly everyone has a personal connection to music, or loved ones with memory loss, or both. The stunning documentary, “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory,” tells the story of how music can inspire memory gain and restore spirits in the elderly community. Director Michael Rossato-Bennett follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights to demonstrate music’s powerful ability to connect with people and improve memory and lives more so than modern medicine has been able to do [... more]

Add This to Your Playlist

Indie rock band The Apache Relay delivers easy vibes and smooth rhythms on tracks that may just become your new summer anthems. Catchy tunes such as “Katie Queen of Tennessee” and “American Nomad” feel as if they were written for driving with sunglasses on and windows down. Members Michael Ford, Jr., Mike Harris, Brett Moore, and Kellen Wenrich got their start in 2008 while attending Belmont University together in Nashville, Tennessee, and later released their first album in 2009. Ford, Jr.’s brother, Ben Ford, and Steve Smith [... more]

Rockout. Workout.

Keeping your workout fun and fresh helps you stay active and drives the popularity of fitness trends. First came Zumba, Pure Barre, and SoulCycle. Now POUND arrives on the scene, promising to keep you entertained while you sweat off the day’s calories. This high-energy combination of cardio and Pilates incorporates music and the physical movements of drumming familiar to musicians and founders Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom. The most unique aspect of POUND is the replacement of traditional hand weights with modified drumsticks called Ripstix. These allow [... more]

Speak Up & Be Heard

Wired magazine proclaims that the new Joey Roth Ceramic Speaker System contains “a seamless marriage of drool-worthy design and audiophile-worthy sound.” We couldn’t agree more. Uniquely constructed from porcelain, cork, and Baltic birch, the system offers a naturally beautiful design. The ceramic subwoofer creates a sound quality with balanced bass, providing a richer sound for vocals and instruments. The system delivers music in a variety of ways including via Bluetooth connectivity as well as through an auxiliary cord connection. The complete system retails for $1,095; however, the [... more]

Magic City Music

Though open just one year, Iron City Birmingham Bar & Grill has already become one of the Magic City’s hottest spots for nightlife. Capable of comfortably holding more than 1,000 people, Iron City plays host to many up-and-coming musical artists, as well as established musicians of all genres such as Kid Ink, Buckcherry, and Earl Sweatshirt. Located in the heart of downtown, the modern venue features not only two full-service bars and live music, but also an impressive eatery that strives to produce “a white tablecloth experience [... more]

Breathing Easy

NEEDTOBREATHE continues its steady ascent up the rock-world ladder with its most recent release, Rivers in the Wasteland. The band’s fifth full-length album not only received rave reviews from several notable music critics, but also peaked at the number one spot on both Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Christian Album charts. The three band members all hail from South Carolina and play Southern rock music with Christian undertones and messages. Reviewer John DiBiase for the Christian music web site Jesus Freak Hideout called the 11-track album, which [... more]

One-Stop Music

Do you like discovering new music? What about vintage and newly released music records? If you answered “yes” to either question, we suggest a visit to Nashville, Tennessee’s Grimey’s and The Basement. Located in the heart of the music industry, Grimey’s is a music shop where customers can buy and sell CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records. Here, customers can also listen to music and even hear live performances. Downstairs, The Basement nightclub offers a venue for up-and-coming artists to share their music and oftentimes gain popularity. Headliners [... more]

Iron-Clad History

The hauntingly beautiful Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama, perfectly blends the past and the present. Currently being preserved and interpreted as a historical industrial site, Sloss is the only 20th-century blast furnace in the United States. The sculptural web of buildings, pipes, and smokestacks provides an excellent classroom for anyone interested in the industrial past of the Magic City. A National Historic Landmark, the inactive iron-ore furnace also serves as a modern-day event center in the heart of the city. Tours, music festivals, and even weddings offer [... more]

A Futuristic Festival

Last year, the creators of the wildly popular electronic music festival TommorrowLand, which occurs in Belgium each year, decided to spin off its first international edition and chose the United States as the location. Thus TomorrowWorld was born. In September 2013, TomorrowWorld welcomed 140,000 music fans from more than 75 countries to the Chattahoochee Hills just outside of Atlanta. This fall, the event returns to Georgia and anticipates an even bigger crowd. Though the event doesn’t take place until September 26-28, the festival has already confirmed more [... more]

The Dirty Guv’nahs on Fire

Called a “fiercely soulful band” by The Boston Globe, The Dirty Guv’nahs have recently been making waves in the music industry. The six-member band from Knoxville, Tennessee, recently released their third full-length album, “Hearts on Fire,” with great success, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. Filled with passionate lyrics and an inspiring Southern rock vibe, the new album’s 11 tracks are best enjoyed on a lazy summer day. Their current tour stops in cities across the South, including their hometown of Knoxville, among others.

Mega Music

Listening to music usually requires the assistance of speakers. You connect your iPod, smartphone, or MP3, hit play, and enjoy your playlist. That’s the traditional way to do it; however, you can now amplify your favorite music without any speakers at all. The iPhone Megaphone from en&is plays music as loud as many speaker systems and with the same sound quality. Made for all iPhone models and available in several different colors and sizes, the megaphone features a cornucopia shape designed to optimize your listening experience. Additionally, [... more]

Banjo Ballads

Not many bands can claim that they single-handedly created their own genre of music, but that’s exactly what Grace & Tony did. Formed in Florence, Alabama, the now-married couple combined their two styles to create the “Punkgrass” sound they perform today. Says frontman Tony White (brother of John Paul White of the Civil Wars), “Punkgrass is simply a natural fusion of my punk-rock background and Grace’s Southern gospel and bluegrass upbringing.” No other term could so accurately describe their loose, upbeat, and narrative first full-length album, November, [... more]

Bluetooth Your Fitness

Wireless earphones are kind of cool. Wireless earphones that track your pace, heart rate, steps, cadence, and oxygen saturation, and act as a bluetooth headset for phone calls—well, that’s a lot of cool. Imagine going on a run and listening to music without getting tangled up in cords. Now, take that scenario a step further: Imagine doing that while gauging nearly every aspect of your fitness along the way. After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign (parent company Bragi raised nearly $3.4 million), The Dash Smart Earphones are [... more]

All That Jazz, and Rock, and Blues…

What do Eric Clapton, Christina Aguilera, and Robin Thicke have in common? They all headline this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival going on April 25-27 and May 1-4. Since 1970, this preeminent event has featured the best in Blues, jazz, gospel, zydeco, R&B, rock, funk, and folk music. This broad mix of musical genres will play out on 10 different tents, each featuring at least five acts a day. Among its many honors, Jazz Fest has been named “Festival of the Year” four times by [... more]

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