Category Archives: In The Mix

Anatomy of a Song by Marc Myers

Anatomy of a Song is a new book subtitled “The oral history of 45 iconic hits that changed rock, R&B and pop.” Available thanks to Grove Press, this hardcover book by Marc Myers makes a perfect Christmas gift for the music fan in your life.

Anatomy of a Song

It turns out that Myers typically writes a column for The Wall Street Journal, and Anatomy of a Song is a logical extension of his essays for that paper.  Basically, 45 songs are picked to highlight in the book, with the various singers, songwriters, producers and engineers contributing their thoughts on how the song came to be, how it got its sound, and what kind of impact it made at the time… and overall. In general, the book covers the 1950s thru the early 1990s, with most of the songs coming from the heyday of popular music in America– the 1960s and 1970s.

So you’re probably wondering what songs are covered in this book?

That’s exactly what I wanted to know when I flipped open its pages at Barnes & Noble bookstore. Some of the song titles and artists were very familiar, like “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes, “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks, and “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. Then there were quite a few I hadn’t heard of– song titles that is– like “Deacon Blues” by Steely Dan, “Big City” by Merle Haggard, and “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” by Lloyd Price.

Here’s the deal: I read about the songs I was familiar with first. As for some of the ones I didn’t have much interest in? I kind of skipped over them. Just like a jukebox, this book offers short and interesting tidbits for your pleasure, and you get to choose which ones to pay attention to.

By the way, Myers did an amazing job compiling interview quotes for this book. Interviews with Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Mavis Staples, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Cliff, Dion, Debbie Harry, Steven Tyler, and Bonnie Raitt fill this book. They’re not long, by any means, but they get to the point about certain songs, and that makes it interesting. It’s as if you’re in a room with songwriters, musicians, behind-the-scenes people and all those others who helped form the soundtrack of your life, and the soundtrack of America in the 20th Century.

Check out Marc Myers site here and look for Anatomy of a Song wherever books are sold.

Mark Weber’s Music Mix August 2016

Music Mix
Here at Mark Weber Music Blog, we get a lot of emails. As you know, we (me, Mark Weber, and guest writers) enjoy promoting music makers from a variety of genres while also keeping people up-to-date on things such as music business tips, new releases, trends in music, etc. So, this being the Mark Weber Music Blog, it’s time to share news tidbits from various artists and such… Here’s Mark Weber’s Music Mix August 2016.

Mick HayesMick Hayes is a friend of mine who has a new project coming out called GuitaR&B. It’s guitar with R&B flavor. What’s not to like? Hayes has a strong vocal presence and the new release features fellow music maker Najee on “Snowed In With U.” Check out Mick Hayes here.

Remember the classic song “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks? It has been re-made in a jazzy rock sort-of-way by Project Grand Slam. They’re a fusion band led by bassist/composer Robert Miller. Honestly, this hot new track reminds me of my time in the NYC bars and clubs at night when truly talented bands played their hearts out. It’s even complete with saxophone solos and such. Lucy Woodward is the singer on “You Really Got Me.” I’m diggin’ it. Check out Project Grand Slam here.

Michael Robertson has been singing, performing and writing songs for over 30 years and it shows. He’s GREAT at what he does. His first solo release, All My Stories, is a welcome addition to my ears after all the electronic noise on the radio these days. Robertson has the kind of voice and song style that make you feel like you’re in his living room enjoying a nice night of music with friends. It’s Americana, Country, etc. Call it what you want; it feels honest, authentic and good. Check out Michael Robertson here.

I’m not a fan of the band Heart but I bet some of you reading this are. Fans should know that singer Ann Wilson has a solo EP out called Focus. On it she does live versions of Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” and Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up.” Check out “The Ann Wilson Thing” here.

The Afters in the Music Mix

The Afters have been busy in the studio, preparing for the September 9 release of their fifth studio album Live On Forever. It’s available for pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon Music. I like these guys; I’ve met them several times over the years and they’ve been kind to me. They’re in the Mark Weber Music Mix.

Jason TrubyFormer P.O.D. guitarist Jason Truby has a new instrumental CD available entitled Hymns. Renowned for his innovative finger-style guitar techniques, Truby says the project was specifically produced with the purpose to help people who are going through trauma or sickness. It was originally his wife’s idea.

“I have performed finger-style covers of hymns in my live sets over the years,” says Truby. “One day my wife mentioned the idea of a therapy-type album. I know that suffering can consume a lot of thought and energy. So this album was arranged with peace and healing in mind. We started with the idea of distributing it to cancer patients. Now we want to make it available to anyone who may be going through grief, recovery, divorce or any other difficulties.” Check out Jason Truby here.

–Mark Weber Music Mix August 2016