New Mighty Oaks single … and a U.S. Tour

Jumping on REAL quick to fire off a post before I rush out the door to Will Hoge’s show tonight for my rock n’ roll fix.

Woke up this morning to a wonderful surprise. The lads in Mighty Oaks have released a new single, “All Things Go,” and it is all the marvelous that I’ve come to expect from this band, with a touch of fall-broodiness tossed in.

Singer and lead lyricist for the band, Ian Hooper, has always been an extremely personal writer, and this new track doesn’t stray from that. I think that may be why I love this band’s music so very much…it’s just genuine and pure.

Even MORE exciting, their announcement included a tease of a U.S. tour in 2020. I’m unbelievably amped about that prospect. This is a band that I’ve traveled to Chicago and Indianapolis to see because that’s the closest they’ve come to me in N.C. So please, keep your fingers crossed that they make a jaunt through the Southeast so that I can have a mini tour seeing one of my favorite bands.

Happy Friday, you guys. Add this one to your weekend soundtrack, for sure.


Love what you hear? I get it. The first time I heard this band in 2011, I fell in love hardWatch this video of them performing their song “The Great Northwest” on Cardinal Sessions from a few years back that will blow your mind at how perfect it is.

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Looking for the Light with David McMillin on Daytrotter


“I can still hear your voice echo beneath the Alabama night, like a firecracker whistle on the Fourth of July / You said, ‘Don’t fear the distance dear, don’t fear the dark, you don’t need to set the world on fire, you just need to catch a spark.'”
– David McMillin, “Looking for the Light”

David McMillin

A new Daytrotter session from the musician who loves the craft of songwriting more than any artist I know, David McMillin. Artwork by Johnnie Cluney, copyright Daytrotter

A long time ago, I went to see a show of a local musician I tried to support. It was at The Evening Muse, my absolute favorite place to see music in Charlotte, a tiny, intimate venue that might hold 125 people when it’s busting at the seams. The opener clambered onto the stage, a kid of maybe 21 or 22 that might have weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. He had just an acoustic guitar and he looked so small, even on the miniscule Muse stage. Then he opened his mouth and started singing. Huge voice came out of that little body. He was probably about a song in when I turned to look at Annie and we both had the same expression on our face… WOW.  And that is how my friendship with David McMillin began.

If I could say one thing about David, just one, it would be that among the musicians I know, he is the one who loves songwriting the most.  I mean he absolutely LOVES it.  And he excels at it. He’s prolific, but I’ve never heard him put out a mediocre song. He and his band, Fort Frances, make amazing music together, and in the down times in between, when his band mates are tending to their personal lives, David writes more and pursues his solo work. It’s pretty inspiring to watch as a fan.

In the eight or nine years since that first show at The Muse, I’ve gotten to know David well…and he remains the only rock star ever to hail me a cab. I’ve watched him grow tremendously as a songwriter (and grow a tremendous beard) and been heartened by the fact that no matter what successes come his way, he remains humble and genuine. And so today, when Daytrotter released a solo David McMillin session, my heart skipped a beat. Even better?  NEW SONGS. Gorgeous, lovely new songs like “Looking for the Light.”

I’d recommend going to take a listen (if you are a Daytrotter member, you can download it…and if you aren’t a Daytrotter member, you should be). Let yourself be won over. Because if you love music, you can’t help but appreciate an artist who loves it even more than you do.


More David McMillin:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Buy Heartsteady on iTunes

A Song About Working…For Your Labor Day Weekend

It’s a little over a month until the Quiet Hounds show at the Atlanta History Center on October 4th.  Given my last life-altering experience seeing this cultivated quintet (and friends), to say I am excited is an understatement.  Since Allison turned me onto them a little over two years ago, they have entrenched themselves in my musical little heart.  They have changed the way I listen to music and watch live performances in more ways than one.

So, in honor of my growing anticipation of the Swans & Embers event and the Labor Day weekend, I thought I’d repost the live takeaway of “I Get Up,” a thoughtful homage to the reasons we tear off the covers every day and go to work.

Enjoy your three days off, friends.

(Don’t forget, you can download all of Quiet Hounds material for free at; however, if you want to support these incredible artists, please consider purchasing the albums on iTunes or merch from their website.  Or, better yet, come to the Atlanta event in October and see what makes this band so special.)

More Quiet Hounds:  Web | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

The Origin of Quiet Hounds: Will We Finally Get Behind the Masks?

How many times have you used the word “awesome” today?  How about fabulous, incredible or amazing?  Best [insert a word of your choice here] ever?

We’ve become a society where excess fails to have meaning anymore.  Where we lack words to describe the truly phenomenal.  Nowhere is this more true than in music.

So, in a music world like that, how do you redefine the term “artist?”

You become the Quiet Hounds. That’s how.

Appearing almost out of thin air in the summer of 2011, this indie rock band is an enigma on today’s scene. They’ve kept their identities shrouded, literally behind masks, letting only the few hundred people who have seen them perform live in on who they are. They’ve shunned the present day music model of constant in your face promotionalism. They have given away every shred of music they’ve recorded – not sold, given away.  They’ve performed only a handful of times in their 18-months, furthering the mystical air about the quintet.  They write songs with deep meaning, and put together cinematic videos to accompany them.

And speaking from experience, I will tell you this:  a Quiet Hounds live performance will change how you view concerts forever.  It is an experience beyond words.  Above the excess.

You might think that once a handful of fans discovered their identities that the cat would be out of the bag. Instead, it’s become an almost cult-like secret, one where those in the know protect the identities of the band members to help them further their prevailing goal:  to make art that moves the soul.

On February 24th, we may find out a bit more about the men behind the masks.  Quiet Hounds are celebrating what they are calling their first anniversary with a live, online concert they’ve dubbed “Origin.”  If you’ve been privy to any other QH shows, you know that what they choose to call the show is linchpin to the entire event.  Teasing the concert with the line, “This is the fabled tale of our humble beginning. Of the darkness and hope that innately drives us all to get up and go,” I was dying to know what the guys had in store.  So I reached out to ask.  

It seems that the symbiosis of the fan-artist relationship runs a whole lot deeper with this group of modern day renaissance musicians – and it’s so refreshing that it gets me even more excited about their music.  Here’s the response from one of the Hounds on what fans can expect from the online performance:

“An Ode to Lost Souls was only the beginning. The profound effect our audience has had on the group is our driving force. We’re striving to push ourselves to create meaningful experiences from here on out. With Origin, we’ll be recounting the tale of how the Quiet Hounds came to be and hopefully creating even more mystery with the reveal. And you can bet you’ll hear some new music if you tune in for the webcast.”

Need they say more?  Watch the beautiful teaser for the event below and get more information or tickets to the event at

More Quiet Hounds:  Web | Facebook | Twitter

Friday Awesomeness: And the winner is … Atlantic Records!

Every once in awhile, a major label gets it right.


If you follow this blog with any regularity, you know that I fell in love with this band’s music about 20 months ago.  Then I met them and fell in love with them as people.  These fellas make music with meaning and they care about songcraft.  They are a rare find in today’s music world and its nice to see a major label recognizing talent and possibility.

A huge congrats to Stephen, Gavin, Gerard and Godfrey…you boys DESERVE this and I know that the world is going to fall in love with you just like I did.  I’m so proud to be your fan and cannot wait to see what comes next for you.

To Atlantic Records:  Too many times, labels mess up good bands.  I’m begging you – nurture this band.  Support them.  Fight for them. Take chances on them. Be creative with them.  Let them be the incredible band they are. For me, as a fan, they represent a generation of new music that can help reinvent this industry.


Me with my Saints of Valory boys, August 2012

Me with ATLANTIC RECORDS RECORDING ARTISTS Saints of Valory, August 2012

SOV Love

A little love from rock stars never hurts a girl’s ego.









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