Saying Goodbye, Way too Young.

I’ve been fortunate enough to really only be around death with warning, until recently. Although very painful, the grief of losing a loved one to old age is not the same as something that is just unexpected. For my first post back, I’d like to honor my cousin, Nick as well as a friend Josh whom have both passed away way too young. This song is by Iron & Wine his music is some in which you can easily fall into a trance. Connection is music for me. A musician who has the ability to take hold of their listener and really feed them a story or expression is amazing.

Josh and I were on the same page when it comes to music, both musicians of different types with the same longing to feed our passion through to the listener. Josh would often send me some of his music to listen to because every time we got together we’d have deep conversations of more than just lyrics or melody. Sometimes it wouldn’t even be about music anymore, it would be so much deeper. I think he would appreciate the fact when I hear this song, I think of my fallen (or risen depending on your perspective) friends/family.

Nick was the most outgoing amazing kid I’ve ever known. His social ability is one I never even knew was possible. It’s been a year and I still think about Nick all the time at random times a wave of his light just fills me up.

In honor of Nick and Josh, I give you this song. Listen, and feel their presence (song is below the pictures).

Artist: Iron & Wine
Song: Homeward, These Shoes
Lyrics:
Homeward the new road meanders
Washed out the old road as to what did I bring
Flowers, a verse about springtime
Perchance in the treeline she’s awaiting for me
Homeward these shoes worn to paper
Thin as the reason I left here so young
Homeward and what if I see her
There in the doorway I walked away from

White house asleep on the hillside
Firm as a habit I struggled to shed
Homeward with heaven above me
Old road behind me, a door up ahead

Thank you Jacob Atchley for the video.

Nate’s Mix Tape Monday – 6/28/2010 – Good Old War

It’s been a crazy week! World Cup soccer has been keeping me company, and I recently worked my last day at my internship. At this point, I’d like to just sit back in a nice soft comfortable chair with my headphones softly whispering into my ear with some pure acoustic magic.

For this week, I’m going to go that route, and also incorporate a track from my review of Good Old War’s album “My Name’s Sorrow” (See it HERE). I love this song, the lyrics, the soft guitar and the all around melody. I’ve been told I often enjoy sad songs, but I’m here to tell the people who think that: the lyrics aren’t the only aspect of the song from which I derive it’s meaning. Personally, I connect to the melody and the “feel” of a song before I even pay attention to the lyrics. I’m sure it’s different for everybody, which is awesome because it gives me stuff to talk about with people.

Check it out, here’s Good Old War’s “My Name’s Sorrow” off their self titled album. The quality in this video basically sucks and I apologize for that. Please go purchase the song from iTunes.

Good Old War Official Review

NateShealy.com Official Review

Good Old War’s Self Titled Album

I’ve been promising this review for a couple of weeks now, the delay was not caused from apathy or lack of motivation… It was more the dead end so to speak of what I wanted to say about this album. So I’ll do my best to convey my thoughts on Good Old War’s newest album. Strap in, it might be a rather bumpy ride.

The album was released on June 1, 2010. I actually didn’t know they were even recording but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. Good Old War is good friends with Anthony Green/Circa Survive, they often tour with Anthony and as we all know, Anthony was in the studio recording Blue Sky Noise, a perfect time for Good Old War to hit the studio as well!

My first impression of the album was sort of a cool, sounds like Good Old War alright! type thought. But after I thought more about it, I was sort of disappointed in a way. I like to be able to hear a song and know which album it’s on because of the growth of the band. I feel as though as they progress and grow, so should the music. Some of you who I’ve talked to about the album are probably thinking what the hell Nate, you said it was good?!

It is good! I’ve listened to the album a little over 5 times through (HA to those who make fun of me for being so anal about my play counts on my iPod!)

I think a lot of the “folk” sound that is present in the past albums has in a way faded to a less “twangy” sort of sound. Although there is a lot of “twang” in the album, it has a less southern country feel.

One thing I do wish Good Old War would take more advantage of is Tim Arnold, the drummer’s talent. Good Old War is very much based on acoustic riffs and vocals. Although there is some great rythm that matches, you can often hear Tim using brush drum sticks which are very limiting on rolls and precision which is in my opinion, his main strength. I realize, however when you do an acoustic set, it’s much more appropriate to use brush sticks to sort of muffle the sound to match acoustic guitars. Tim definitely does a great job on this album, he keeps the beat extremely interesting throught all the tracks.

All in all, the album gets the job done. It has a very “home” feeling for me when I listen to it (if that makes any sense). You can definitely hear the growth of talent from the guitars, there’s some amazing riffs/melodies.

My favorite track on this album is “My Name’s Sorrow” it’s very pure and I love the sound of finger picking an acoustic guitar.

Official Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I see a great future for Good Old War.

Want some pure music?

I decided I’d like to do a post of some absolutely awesome, pure instrument music. The below mentions do not use distortion/effects it’s pure music. Don’t get me wrong, I love hard guitars and some effects every now and then but I’m a huge fan of acoustic. You can’t hide flaws when you play acoustically, which is why most guitar teachers suggest starting off on acoustic so you don’t form bad habbits starting on an electric.

First man I’d like to mention I have deemed the “king of the acoustic guitar’. Anybody can learn to play a few chords but this man has truely created an unbelievable use of the guitar. He uses the entire neck and even uses the body of the guitar as some rythm throughout his songs.

Andy Mckee
This man has some absolutely amazing albums, none of them include any vocals and it’s all pure acoustic guitar. You can totally sense the emotion throughout the tracks it’s honestly like he’s transfering his heart through vibration of the strings. The below video is my favorite song he has, it almost always gives me goosebumps.

Iron & Wine
This man is a genius! His collection of acoustic music is truely brilliant. His very soothing voice and awesome acoustic guitar skills are really breath taking. If you want to have an experience, dim the lights play his collection of acoustic brilliance and sit back and enjoy the experience. The below song is ONE of my favorite songs of his, it never gets old for me.  Unfortuneatly, they used it on the Twilight soundtrack but I heard it before that. He does deserve recognition so I hope it brings him some more fans.

Kings of Convenience
This is a British band who reminds me a lot of Simon and Garfunkel’s sound. I’ve often refered to them as the modern Simon and Garfunkel. However, they do have a unique sound that is worth listening to. Most of their tracks are very calm and chill. For the most part, it’s pure vocal and acoustic guitar with very minimal distraction. Here is another example of one of my favorite tracks of this band for your listening pleasure.

Good Old War
A couple of these guys used to be in one of my favorite bands – Days Away. They now formed this band which is pretty folky and acoustic. I saw them live with Anthony Green and they are also featured on his album. I miss Days Away, but I’m happy to see that we get something good from their breakup. Also, just as a note, Days Away had to break up because of music pirating. Too many people were downloading the music and they couldn’t handle the debt anymore. If you do download music, remember bands make most of their money by merch sales so go buy a t-shirt to make up for it they will get more money from that then if you buy their CD. However, buying their CD will help reduce the debt some of them have to go in to release their albums.

As I said, I’m a huge fan of the acoustic sound. I have an “acoustic playlist” on my iPod and I often just lay in my bed with the lights dimmed and listen to all the acoustic tracks I have. I’m very strict on what I put on this playlist, if it has any electric instruments at all (maybe some synthesizer background) it’s not allowed in my playlist.

I love hardcore music, but it’s always great to listen to pure instruments. Don’t get caught up in labels, I remember in high school that was a huge deal. If I listened to Slipknot and some of my “friends” got wind that I had a Simon and Garfunkel CD in my disc man (haha remember those?) it would be a big deal. Listen to what you like, and support what you like, don’t let labels influence what you will or will not listen to. In the words of Brand New
“this isn’t high school… This isn’t high school… This isn’t high school…”

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