Getting Personal Loan from the Best Company

When you are trying to get the personal loan from a company, you will need to do the checking first. That is because when you want to get the loan, you will need to make sure that the loan will be something that can help your financial situation, not the one that can put you into more misery in the financial crisis. Therefore, you will need to make sure that you are choosing the company with the bad credit loans reviews so that you can get the best loan that will suit your need. If you want to know, there are some considerations that you can take into account when you are looking for that kind of company to be your personal lender.

The first consideration is the number of money that you can get. The bigger number that you can get for the loan, the bigger company is. That means, you can simply make sure that a company is a big company if the company can give you a lot of money for the loan. However, you will also need to be careful since usually that kind of company will only approve your request if you are applying for the great number of loan. If you only need few hundred dollars, your proposal might be easily rejected, unless they take the smallest number for the loan. The second consideration is the review or the feedback from many other people who had the loan from them. This one can be considered as one of the simplest ways to find out if they have been doing great as a lender or not. If many people give the bad review or feedback for a lender, then you can make sure that you will be the next unless you stay away from them. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are choosing the company that has nice feedbacks.

The next consideration that you might want to take into account is the system that they apply for all of the customers. Most of the time, they will have the fixed terms and agreements that you need to follow. However, there are also some companies that can be negotiated in terms and agreements. This one is something that you need to fully consider to make sure that you are getting the best options that you can get for the loan. If you are doing great at the negotiation, then you will get the best deal for the number of loan that you get, the interest rate, plus the duration of the loan.

Those are some consideration if you are looking for the best companies to get the loan that you need. For your final consideration, you might need to get at least five or more companies to check at so that you can make sure that you are getting the best one for your need. However, if you really have the tight deadline, you can pick at least three companies or names that you can compare to get the best one.

Important Things to Consider When Selling Your Concert Tickets Online

If you or your loved ones can’t use the concert tickets you purchased, why not sell them and give others the opportunity to enjoy the event? By selling your tickets you not only make a profit, but you also make someone else happy. To maximize your time and audience reach, however, it is best to sell the stuff online. You almost do not have leave home to complete the transaction, and you get to cover a much a larger geographic area at a very short time.

Online services allot a web page to advertise and list down your tickets, complete with product description and payment methods. You get to choose whether to mail or e-mail your tickets in many websites; it’s up to you how want it done.

If you’ve decided to sell your spare concert tickets online, please consider the following guidelines before you fully set out on putting up an ad:

Honesty is the best policy. Decide to be honest, particularly when providing details about your ticket. If your ticket is for a seat in a far corner of the hall, indicate so in your advertisement. Don’t give false information or half truths just to make a sale. If a customer complains, particularly if you’re selling through a broker, you might get penalized heavily and marked with a bad record. And, of course, there’s the proverbial “what goes around comes around” pitch…

Price. Set your price about 10 to 20% lower than the face value. Prepare yourself for some haggling, however, particularly when you’re close to the concert date or when there are many other tickets to similar seats being sold. Keep in mind that when you bought the tickets you incurred a loss, so by reselling them actually you gain a profit.

Have a PayPal account ready before you start advertising too.

Who to sell with. There are many options available for selling your tickets:

Use your accounts in social media websites such as Facebook to quickly get the word out to your friends and family. Such websites make for managing the entire selling process and answering buyer queries fairly easy. You might want to make a firm stand on your prices, since these are your loved ones you are dealing with. Loved ones can be the worst (or best, depending on how you look at it) hagglers.

eBay is one of the best ways to sell your tickets if you are looking to make a fairly large profit. You can choose to auction off your tickets or have it sold immediately. If you have premium seating tickets, you can go ahead and put it up for auction. However, it is best to sell at the first offer if yours are tickets to seats that are similar to many others going around.

Online classified ads. There are many online classified ads where you can advertise for free. Don’t expect to get a large markup in this method, but it is efficient enough when it comes to audience reach. Some of the more popular online classified ads are Oodles, Craigslist and USFreeAds.

Ticket brokers. Ticket brokers can be your most efficient choice because they can offer the widest range of services, including advertising and selling. Some of the top-rated brokers are Ticketmaster, Stubhub, and Vivid Seats. Selling fees, commissions and other charges and services differ between companies, and you’ll have to ask around to find the ones that best suit your need. You may also find some of their policies overbearing. To understand them better, put yourselves in their clients’ shoes. Clients want to be protected and assured that they’re getting their money’s worth. Ticket brokers’ policies are designed to do just those (well, ideally they should).

Mode of delivery. You can choose to ship your tickets, will-call them or send them via e-mail, depending on the website’s policies. Check with them to see if they offer what you want-some do not allow e-mailing of e-tickets nor will-calls.

The Best James Taylor Songs That Never Made The Charts, Part 2

In the first part of this article I listed for you some of the finest James Taylor songs that didn’t reach the Top 40. One of them (“Carolina In My Mind”) I didn’t even know existed until many years after release, when I stumbled upon it by accident.

Suffice it to say that there were so many such songs that the list just kept growing. Here are the rest of the jewels that you really should know about:

1. “Mexico”. Gorilla was J.T’s comeback album after the relatively weak “One Man Dog” and “Walking Man”. It led off with this cleverly crafted, upbeat song with one of the most infectious introductions I’ve ever heard. With David Crosby and Graham Nash providing harmony vocals Taylor spends three verses describing the land South of the border in vivid detail then provides the punch line in his final chorus… that he’s never gone there. Sample lyric: “Oh, Mexico. I’ve never really been so I don’t really know.”

2. “Lighthouse” At least “Mexico” did get some airplay when “Gorilla” was released. This one didn’t. But it should have. Crosby and Nash lend a hand on background vocals once again and the song required only acoustic guitar, bass, percussion and harmonium. How many artists could assume the voice of an inanimate object and make it work? If a lighthouse could talk this is what it would say. Sample lyric: “She’s come halfway round the world to see the light and to stay away from me.”

3. “B.S.U.R.” Nobody’s better than Taylor at producing a song with the feel of a lullaby yet making it sound so appealing. This is another shining example. The chorus is a sad/serious play on the letters of the alphabet. “B.S.U.R.(S.U.C.S.I.M.I.M)”. becomes “Be as you are, as you see, as I am I am.” Written while his marriage with Carly Simon was in the process of falling apart Taylor channeled his disappointments, miscommunications, and misconceptions into this child-like melody. And Simon herself sang the backup vocals. Gently haunting. Sample lyric: “We strain to catch a name and never see the mistakes we must have made.”

4. “Millworker” Odd though it may sound that Taylor sings a song from the perspective of a woman, this ballad speaks volumes. The speaker is a young woman whose husband drinks himself to death, leaving her with three children to take care of. As a result, she works in a mill and clearly sees how it’s going to consume her entire life. With just harmonium, piano, viola and cello to assist his acoustic guitar, songs don’t get much lonelier than this. Sample lyric: “Then it’s me and my machine for the rest of the morning, for the rest of the afternoon, and the rest of my life.”

While we may differ in what we feel are an artist’s or band’s best song it’s hard to argue that some of James Taylor’s songs were the most enduring of the rock era. True, sometimes you have to dig a bit for them. But it’s worth it.

If you like these James Taylor songs then you’ll like a song inspired by the story of a young soldier who returned from Iraq. For a limited time only you can download that song for FREE by clicking HERE.

Checking Out Used Yamaha Pianos For Purchase

The Yamaha piano was first built by Torakusu Yamaha in 1900. It is of Japanese origin. Yamaha sets high standards of efficiency, quality, and performance and are the largest manufacturers of pianos in the world. The piano has state of the art design and engineering and is extremely popular. Used Yamaha pianos too are increasingly in demand in western countries especially the digital, grand, upright models.

Historically, the Japanese have not really liked to buy used products. Further, Japanese and Asian pianos are generally less expensive than pianos made in the West, likely due to lower cost of labor. This has led to a large number of used Yamaha pianos flooding the market.

A piano is a musical instrument played by a keyboard. Pressing a key causes the hammer beneath to strike steel strings. When the hammers rebound, the strings vibrate at a particular frequency. This vibration passes through a bridge to a sound board forcing the board to vibrate at the same frequency. The sound produced is the same but of different timber, and because of the large surface area of the board, this energy is readily changed into sound that is much louder. The string will stop vibrating when the person playing the piano releases the key on the keyboard.

All parts of a piano are specifically identified by the manufacturers to fit their brand of piano and the pianos’ authenticity is then verified using these specific limits. Every piano has a serial number engraved on the instrument. Using this number you can find information on the history of the piano with regard to its completion and sale is all traceable. This is of great significance when checking out used Yamaha pianos.

Once you verify that the parts of the piano are original, especially the sound board, the next step is to make sure that the documents like the warranty and Technician’s Certificate are in order. Used pianos are often restored with spare parts and it is imperative that the parts used are genuine Yamaha parts. Buying from a reputed dealer and having a professional confirm your choice is a good idea.

Through persistent and painstaking attention to detail, the Yamaha brand has made a name for itself as a leader in the piano industry. Used Yamaha pianos are a good choice as new ones with a little inquiry into the genuineness of the product. So, it is always better to buy these pianos.

Buying a piano can be a huge purchase even if it is a used Yamaha piano. You should always research the piano dealer Houston before purchasing the grand piano you are interested in. Making sure you make a smart purchase is the best way to ensure you are enjoying beautiful music from your piano for the rest of your life.

The Story Behind Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son”

There’s little doubt among his many fans that Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son” is one of his most beloved songs. It tells the timeless story of a father not understanding his son’s desire to find his own road in life and the son’s inability to explain to his father why it must be so. Stevens sang both parts, singing the melody line in lower notes when assuming the role of the father and an octave higher when singing the role of the son. In the end he sings both parts simultaneously, first with the father in the foreground and the son in the background followed by a reversal of roles. But what inspired Stevens (now known as Yusuf Isalm, after his Muslim conversion) to write the song? Was it based on his relationship with his own father, someone else and their father, or was it complete fiction?

It certainly wasn’t about Stevens and his own father. Shortly after the song was released he told one interviewer: “I’ve never really understood my father, but he always let me do whatever I wanted-he let me go. ‘Father And Son’ is for those people who can’t break loose.” And in an interview on the The Chris Isaak Hourin 2009, Stevens told about their relationship: “He was running a restaurant and I was a Pop Star, so I wasn’t following the path that he laid out. But we certainly didn’t have any antagonism between us. I loved him and he loved me.”

Actually, the song began as fiction. Written during his early success in England before becoming well known in the United States Stevens originally composed “Father and Son” for a musical project with actor Nigel Hawthorne called Revolussia. It was supposed to be about a boy who wanted to join the Russian revolution against his father’s desire. However, the project fell by the wayside due to Steven’s health. More than a year’s worth of recuperation was forced upon him after contracting tuberculosis and suffering a collapsed lung. The song remained in Steven’s repertoire, however, and ended up on his famed 1970 release “Tea for the Tillerman.”

So how did Stevens view the song after releasing it? In his own words, “Some people think that I was taking the son’s side. But how could I have sung the father’s side if I couldn’t have understood it, too? I was listening to that song recently and I heard one line and realized that that was my father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father speaking.”

If you have ever listened to Cat Stevens then I’m sure you’ll agree that “Father and Son” is easily one of his most personal and sensitive songs. It was, in its own way, a quiet, unique masterpiece.

If you like Cat Steven’s “Father and Son” then you’ll like a song inspired by the story of a young soldier who returned from Iraq. For a limited time only you can download that song for FREE by clicking HERE.

Top 10 Famous Guitars

What are the top 10 most famous guitars in the world? We’re looking at more than brands and models, we’re looking at defining, unique instruments that were played by the great guitarists and have a story to tell.

Number 10: Double neck Gibson – Jimmy Page

In terms of music Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page has got to have produced some of the most distinctive and progressive music of the 20th century. His frequently used les Paul would go down in history simply for being in the hands of a great musician. However, in terms of guitars the double neck Gibson SG that Page used for Stairway To Heaven is uniquely iconic – a unique instrument played by a fantastic guitarist for a brilliant song.

Number 9: Black Strat – David Gilmour

David Gilmour’s Black Strat often appears on these lists of top 10 instruments. It was featured in a large number of memorable Pink Floyd songs such as: Money, Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Comfortably Numb.

The guitar was originally purchased in 1970 at Manny’s guitar store and word has it that David Gilmour immediately fell in love with it, but mere weeks later the guitar was stolen on tour along with the rest of Pink Floyd’s equipment. Forced to cancel the tour David made a trip to the same guitar store and bought another. Since then it has been one Gilmour’s most used guitars. It featured first in the Bath festival of June 1970.

Number 8: Lucille – BB King

In Arkansas 1949, BB King was performing in a hall when two men fighting over a woman knocked over a barrel of kerosene that was being used to warm the building. In the ensuing fire that ripped through the hall everyone had to be evacuated. When BB King got outside he realised that he had left his guitar inside and ran back inside to save it. Though he saved the guitar and himself was unharmed two people died in the fire and so he decided to name the guitar Lucille after the woman that the two men had been fighting over – this would serve as a reminder never to do anything so stupid as going into a burning building again or to fight over a woman.

Number 7: Lucy – George Harrison

“Lucy” is a red Gibson Les Paul and was a gift from Eric Clapton – which is cool enough. The love that Harrison had for this guitar is clear enough from the events that follow. “Lucy” was stolen from Harrison’s home in 1973 and sold, eventually ending up in the hands of a musician in Mexico. In the end Harrison traded a Les Paul sunburst and a Fender Precision Bass for the return of his precious Lucy – and kept the guitar until his death in 2001.

Number 6: 0001 Stratocaster – David Gilmour

The 0001 Stratocaster, currently owned by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour is in my opinion one of the coolest guitars ever created. The reason of course is that it is (1) Old: Manufactured in 1954. (2) Owned by David Gilmour and reputedly Seymour Duncan and Leo Fender prior to this. (3) A #0001 serial number. Rumour has it that it might have been made especially for an employee or that it was designed as a museum piece. Perhaps that’s a production run of only one model, which explains the 0001 serial. It makes me wonder about other #0001 serials out there (such as Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Number One”). But so far as I know this is the oldest – and it’s got a great ownership and gig history.

Number 5: JagStang – Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana invented this cross between the Fender Jaguar and Mustang. He pitched the guitar to Fender who built two left handed prototypes for him but as it wasn’t used in many performances the suggestion is that Kurt was not happy with the result. Nonetheless as instruments go, the Jagstang remains a unique addition to guitars. Following Kurt’s death his Jagstang was given to Peter Buck of REM and makes an appearance in the music video for “What’s the Frequency Kenneth?”.

Number 4: Frankenstrat – Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen wanted the feel of a Fender Strat with sound of a Gibson and so quite simply he put two Humbuckers his Strat. He didn’t want people to be able to replicate the sound so he even went as far as to disguise one of the Humbuckers as a single coil to throw people off! The look was even more distinctive through the amateur paint job on the body which utilised red bicycle paint and masking tape.

Number 3: Blackie – Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton moved from Gibson guitars to Fender Stratocasters in 1970. In this time he bought six 1950’s Stratocasters $200-300 dollars each from a music store. He gave three to George Harrison, Pete Townshend and Steve Windwood. With the remaining three guitars he took the best parts of the instruments and assembled “Blackie”, so named of course for it’s black finish. (Clapton had previously owned a guitar called “Brownie”.)

The Guitar was sold at auction for $959,000, which at the time set the record for the sale of a guitar.

Number 2: Sunburst Stratocaster – Bob Dylan

The guitar made its first appearance at the Newport, Rhode Island concert where Bob Dylan is famously said to have “gone electric” in that he used a sunburst Fender Stratocaster rather than his typical acoustic performance. It did not go down well with all fans who were maybe expecting the usual acoustic performance, but is considered a turning point in encouraging the transition to electric for a many of fans. Some time (perhaps immediately) after this the guitar went missing, left on a plane where it went unclaimed for about half a century and ended up with the private plane’s pilot. When it was eventually put up for sale in December 2013 it sold for a recordbreaking $965,000. (Breaking the previous record held by Eric Clapton’s Blackie at $959,000.)

Number 1: Upside down / backwards Stratocaster – Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix played many Stratocasters upside down or backwards. Being left handed and presumably not wanting to restrict his choice of instrument he famously reversed the strings on right handed Strats, moved the strap button to the other horn and played them left handed. This also reversed the length of the strings, with the low E being the longest and the high E being shortest – which affects the tone of the strings producing a unique sound for a Strat. Being left handed myself and having played a backwards Strat, I can reliably inform you that it is one of the most uncomfortable instruments in the world and greatly inhibits the instrument’s playability. Nonetheless this is one of the most iconic and famous modifications of a Fender Stratocaster.

Jimi Hendrix made a habit of burning his guitars after playing them, however the Olympic white Strat he used at the Woodstock festival in 1968 somehow made it out unscarred. It is rumoured to have fetched up to $2,000,000 in sale to Microsoft’s Paul Allen.

Five Reasons to Learn More About Music

Among the first subjects to be cut in school budgets are art and music. These cuts are often based on the belief that these subjects can be sacrificed without much damage to a student’s development or academic success. But, more and more research shows that this is not the case. While the Mozart Effect, claiming an increase in IQ points when children are exposed to classical music, has been largely debunked, there are still good reasons to study music. Let’s consider some of these.

Applied Academics: One benefit is that music is a great way to show a fun application of other academic subjects such as mathematics, physics, history, and geography. Given the general interest in music that most children have, it can be used as a window into other subjects that are not as immediately interesting for students.

Cognitive Benefits: While the Mozart Effect may not be reliable, there are tangible cognitive developmental benefits to studying music. Surely one of these is an increase in creativity. Other benefits include an increase in attention span and quantitative ability. Music does activate various parts of the brain and this increased activity has positive benefits. Music rewards close attention to detail, form, structure, and organization all of which are beneficial in many other areas of life.

Rhythm: An important part of music is the element of rhythm and many children relate to music very physically though dance, clapping, singing, and humming. Focusing on the rhythm of music can improve a child’s general physical coordination and practicing a musical instrument can improve more specific coordination and dexterity.

Harmony: A second component of music is harmony and here the benefits of studying music are both literal and metaphorical. The study of harmony develops the ability to hear and discriminate among various tones and intervals and can lead to an appreciation of a wider range of musical styles. Metaphorically the study of harmony can be used as a meas of teaching the benefit of harmony in general in how we relate to others. Such virtues as sharing and cooperation can be introduced through the musical element of harmony.

Melody: Built on the foundation of rhythm and harmony is the element of melody. Again, the benefits of study here are both literal and metaphorical. Since music has long been used as an aid to memory and a means of improving memory, the study of melody can be beneficial. The study of increasingly complex melodies can lead to an improvement of memory for more complex ideas as well. Metaphorically, the study of melody introduces the idea of individuality. Like musical pieces, Everyone has their own individual melody which develops over time.

Just a consideration of the basic elements of music can illustrate several important benefits to studying music. Studying specific genres can yield other benefits. Jazz is important to the study and ability of improvisation. The blues illustrates emotional expression. Classical music reveals organization and precision. At the same time, music also shows the universal nature of such values as every genre contains these elements as well as the basics of rhythm, harmony, and melody. The rewards of studying and enjoying music extend far beyond the simple act of listening and playing. As important as these are, the applied benefits are also well worth examining.

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How to Pick the Right Musical Instrument for You

You may already know about how powerful music can be. People sing different songs every day and enjoy listening to it throughout the day. Instead of getting distracted, some believe they are better at what they do when there’s music in the background. Others find the soothing sound of music to be effective in putting themselves to sleep.

For these reasons, music enjoyment is considered essential to the well-being of people. So many passionate musicians around the world, novices and professionals alike, enjoy singing or dancing to music. There are some who want to enjoy their favorite tunes more intimately by learning to play an instrument.

If you are trying to become the next most admired musician of your generation, it is high time for you to start learning to play a musical instrument of your liking. How do you decide on which to learn, you ask? Here are some tips you may want to consider:

1. Pick the one that excites you.

People who are happy and successful in what they do believe that you can never become too good at doing what you love to do. The same principle applies to playing your favorite instrument. Make sure you are more interested in that guitar more than you adore the piano. Depending on your ability, you can take both but choose the best ones producing a sound that enchants you and best enjoy playing. There may be challenges during the training and learning period, but make it a fun and rewarding activity for you.

2. Consider your skill.

Have you heard experts sharing their thoughts about matching what you can do with the choices you have? This applies to selecting an instrument to play. Are you great at strumming or plucking the guitar? Do your hands and fingers seem like they have a mind of their own when you touch the piano? Does a beat seem to naturally come to you when you hit the drums? Pay attention to what your strengths are, and pick the musical tool that will let you enhance it.

3. Ask yourself: Am I patient enough and truly willing to learn to play this instrument?

Master musicians make it look easy, but the truth is, a great deal of time and effort are necessary to succeed at it. For one, this may entail enrolling in a good school for training. Make sure you have the right attitude for it. They say you can do everything with hard work and dedication. You will need just that in order to learn how to play your favorite instrument well. Give it everything you got so you can be closer to your dream of playing your favorite song in the version of your own for others to love.

If you are highly interested in playing a musical instrument yet clueless about how or where to start, don’t fret. There is a world of possibilities and opportunities for you to start exercising your musical genius. You may want to get electric guitar lessons at MSOM or ask around for piano or violin training sessions from people you know.

Tips for Learning to Play the Guitar Quickly and Easily

Learning to play the guitar is exciting but does involve some work. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but you need to have the proper mindset about it from the start. Learning the guitar is a step by step process, which will create a strong foundation making it easier to continue with your progress and quickly move forward.

Practice Daily

You won’t improve your guitar playing technique if you don’t put the time and effort into it, so spend at least an hour every day practicing. This disciplined attitude is the key and it will pay off as you notice improvements much faster.

You will find that it is very easy to fit the practice into your schedule on an ongoing basis when you make it a habit of picking up the instrument daily.

Practice the Proper Techniques

When you start out, avoid bad habits. This is an important tip particularly at the beginning when you first start learning to play the guitar.

The reason being is that you might develop bad habits that you later have to work on to break if you don’t cultivate the right techniques from the beginning. As an example it is better to learn how to hold the instrument correctly and the correct way to master the techniques from the very beginning.

Learn the Cords

Learning the various cords is the starting point for guitar playing. It is the mix of those cords that allows you to play songs and to create your own music in time. Although it is a boring routine there is a purpose and you will find they should become easier for you if you stick with it.

Finding the Best Learning Tool

When considering the best learning method for you, it may take trying different ones to do so. Not everyone can afford guitar lessons so they opt for the DIY muddle through approach, if working on your own isn’t working for you though don’t give up… You can often find low cost lessons that can help you learn the basics.

There are many tools out there to consider when it comes to playing a guitar. Find the one that works the best for you. Some individuals do very well with instructional DVDs or even online videos that take you through the various steps.

You can also sign up for guitar lessons with someone locally. The one to one training may be what you need to get through difficult guitar playing steps now and again.

Be Realistic

You aren’t going to learn to play the guitar overnight. It is something you can accomplish very well with time. Be realistic about learning and have a positive attitude. You may learn some parts faster than others. Be willing to dedicate the time to learning and you will be playing the guitar with confidence one day soon!

Drive By-Truckers To Release Massive Live Album

A great concert is an occasion to tell stories that, as it unfolds, becomes a story unto itself. The members of Drive-By Truckers have been spinning tall and real tales since 1996, with the band’s core partnership of singers/songwriters/guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood dating to nine years before that. A lifetime of crazy nights in clubs and serious days in the studio has yielded 10 studio albums and more than 2,000 set lists for this band, as well as the considerable distinction of having taken Southern rock into the future.


From the first time my husband and I stumbled upon the Truckers in a Pittsburgh dive in 1999, we’ve been the band’s joyful fans, and I’m proud to call these Alabama-rooted men my friends, too. Connected to a certain swath of indie rock that did Springsteen and The Replacements proud by turning punk’s wildness toward telling the truth about real, raw America, Drive-By Truckers also stand alone, boasting distinguished graduates Jason Isbell and Shonna Tucker and a current line-up that’s as tough and grand on any given night as the best live rock band you’ve ever seen.

Now the Truckers are celebrating those thousands of nights spent with the amps up by issuing a massive live album — 35 tracks! — recorded during a three-night stand at the Fillmore in San Francisco. The set boasts favorites from every point in the Truckers’ career, starting with Cooley and Hood’s early band, Adam’s Housecat, and going all the way into material from its excellent 2014 album English Oceans, including an epic version of “Grand Canyon,” the band’s gorgeous ode to the late Craig Lieske, who was the band’s tour merchandise man for a decade, and who died in 2013. It’s Great To Be Alive! will be out October 30, and though it’s not quite as perfect a Truckers experience as seeing the band live a dozen times over the years, it’s pretty close. Hear a sample below: Cooley’s update on Bobbie Gentry’s “Fancy,” the wry and perceptive “Birthday Boy.”


Patterson Hood took the time from a busy Truckers schedule of touring and recording the band’s eleventh studio album to answer a few questions about It’s Great To Be Alive! via email.

After so many years of touring, which songs have changed for you in a live setting in the most engaging ways?

One of the criteria we were looking for in this album was songs that have in some way morphed or grown or were especially benefiting from the approach that this lineup takes. It was great putting the Adam’s House Cat song “Runaway Train” on an album after all these years. We recorded that song right before AHC broke up in 1991, so it never came out. I always really liked that song. “Girls Who Smoke” was an outtake from [the 2010 album] The Big To-Do that became a crowd-pleaser live, and it was fun putting that on here. I hate my singing on a lot of our earlier albums, so it’s nice having vocal takes that don’t suck. This lineup plays so raw and with so much expression and dynamics.

We sequenced it to be like kind of an ultimate DBT set list. We never use a set list from night to night so the show is ever evolving, but for this it was like, what would be the ultimate three hour show we could play right now?

We also sequenced the vinyl so that each disc was like its own mini-record. Hopefully it will be the same for each of the CDs. I mean, I realize that no one has three hours to listen to an album any more, so hopefully each section stands up as its own thing.

Which songs still make you smile the widest when you play them?

Cooley’s songs. I never get tired of playing any of his songs. He continues to amaze me after all these years. And “Grand Canyon.” The version on English Oceans was a very early take and it has morphed a lot live since then. The ending of it is a very primal part of our show and I feel like that night in San Francisco was the night that it really came into its own.

Your storytelling between songs is a big part of the Truckers’ shows. How do you see each concert as a fresh storytelling experience, or even as a story in itself?

I’m still a work in progress as a storyteller, and sometimes feel like there’s only so much I can do in the context of a two-hour rock show, but I do look at all of it as kind of one big narrative.

I’ve been doing more non-music writing lately and trying to dig deeper into all of that on my solo shows, but I still love seeing how far I can go there without bogging down the rock. This was a big part of sequencing this album. You know, I always think in terms of movies and all these songs kind of add up to some big connected story, even if by accident.

You’ve said that the Fillmore is your favorite American room. Is it the history? The sound system? The wonderful architecture?

All of the above. We are lucky to get to play some amazing rooms. We love the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. and the 40 Watt in Athens. There are a bunch of outstanding rooms. The Fillmore, though, has some other thing happening. Plus, the layout makes it a great recording room. I love how there’s no barrier between the audience and stage so it’s like everyone is right in your face when you play, which always affects the way we play there. The combination of the laid back vibe of the place with that immediacy made for a great combination for recording this album. we all had a gut feeling that it would pay off — and it did in spades.

Playing The Fillmore the first time was a huge milestone in our story as a band. I’ll never forget the first time we headlined it and sold it out. This was our first three night stand. The staff is incredible, too.

Working so long with Cooley, what makes him an ideal band mate in a live setting at this point?

Cooley is outstanding on all levels. The whole band is. Cooley and I hit 30 years of playing together next week. [Drummer] Brad Morgan has been with us for nearly 17 years. [Keyboardist] Jay Gonzalez is starting to push towards a decade. [Bassist] Matt Patton has only been in the band for four years, but we had so much history before he joined, since he was a member of the Dexateens [whom Hood produced], that it was like we already had a few years behind us.

In the end, beside being such a fantastic and supportive partner in crime, I love Cooley’s songs and am honored to get to play them and I absolutely love what he does to my songs. He always plays against the grain of what I had thought of, but obviously I love that and need that. My plan at this point is to play in this band for the rest of our lives.