Tribute to "Troop" 

Greg Trooper, one our best singer/songwriter’s passed away January 15, 2017 at 61. Armed with his trademark Martin guitar and pork-pie hat, he left behind an impressive catalogue of songs and legions of fans in Europe and here in the states. Several artists, Vince Gill and Steve Earle among them recorded his songs. In one of his last performances, he opened for John Prine and joined him onstage for Prine’s “Paradise.” 

He died on this date three years and is greatly missed. I first heard Greg Trooper in 2003. Sugar Hill released his Floating record to rave reviews. I am one of the many fortunate fans who got to know “Troop,” through a mutual friend who booked him for a few gigs. He was fond of talking music, enjoying a glass of wine, and sharing all his great songs. He was also willing to discuss his inspiration and his admiration of other artists. 

A native of New Jersey, “Troop” formed The Greg Trooper Band in New Your in the 90s, which featured Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan). He eventually moved to Nashville where he continued to release critically acclaimed records. These included Noises in the Hallway, produced by E Street Band bassist, Garry Tallent, and Popular Demons, produced by Buddy Miller. After moving from label to label, he released two more stellar recordings for the Sugar Hill label. He moved back to New York in 2009 and continued to tour, write and release records. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and tragically passed away in 2017. 

Like any road warrior, he had plenty of stories.I once asked him about his popularity in The Netherlands. I had noticed he toured there at least once a year. He told a story about being invited to headline a festival. He brought a band and played the prime slot on the Saturday night of the festival. “It was one of those dream gigs. We just nailed it! And ever since I’ve had a steady audience there.” 

Even a casual music fan would recognize that “Troop” deserved a much wider audience. Greg Trooper’s music is still readily available on all streaming platforms. Give him a listen. RIP Troop.

Tribute to Greg "Troop" Trooper 

 


Greg Trooper, one our best singer/songwriter’s passed away January 15, 2017 at 61. Armed with his trademark Martin guitar and pork-pie hat, he left behind an impressive catalogue of songs and legions of fans in Europe and here in the states. Several artists, Vince Gill and Steve Earle among them recorded his songs. In one of his last performances, he opened for John Prine and joined him onstage for Prine’s “Paradise.” 

He died on this date three years and is greatly missed. I first heard Greg Trooper in 2003. Sugar Hill released his Floating record to rave reviews. I am one of the many fortunate fans who got to know “Troop,” through a mutual friend who booked him for a few gigs. He was fond of talking music, enjoying a glass of wine, and sharing all his great songs. He was also willing to discuss his inspiration and his admiration of other artists.

A native of New Jersey, “Troop” formed The Greg Trooper Band in New Your in the 90s, which featured Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan). He eventually moved to Nashville where he continued to release critically acclaimed records. These included Noises in the Hallway, produced by E Street Band bassist, Garry Tallent, and Popular Demons, produced by Buddy Miller. After moving from label to label, he released two more stellar recordings for the Sugar Hill label. He moved back to New York in 2009 and continued to tour, write and release records. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and tragically passed away in 2017.

Like any road warrior, he had plenty of stories.I once asked him about his popularity in The Netherlands. I had noticed he toured there at least once a year. He told a story about being invited to headline a festival. He brought a band and played the prime slot on the Saturday night of the festival. “It was one of those dream gigs. We just nailed it! And ever since I’ve had a steady audience there.”

Even a casual music fan would recognize that “Troop” deserved a much wider audience. Greg Trooper’s music is still readily available on all streaming platforms. Give him a listen. RIP Troop.

Best of 2020 

It takes but a few seconds into God Made a Woman to know this is country music. Acoustic guitars, piano and a soft pedal steel humming in the background frame the introduction as Lauren Mascitti’s vocal draws you in. 

Too many artists try to be too many things to too many people, so It’s refreshing to hear a “new” artist embrace the sounds of classic country music.  I say “new” because she has been releasing music for several years, but this release has gained her the attention and critical accolades she deserves. 

Produced by Nashville veteran songwriter Shawn Camp, this release (along with appearances on American Idol), places Mascitti as one of the most engaging and talented performers in country music. 

Mascitti is not a newcomer to the Nashville scene, but this is her most fully realized recording to date. Besides being a talented singer/songwriter, Mascitti works a night shift as a nurse and financed the recording herself. Its independence guarantees its disregard for any commercial trends in popular country music. She is joined on this record by Ricky Skaggs, pedal steel master Paul Franklin, guitarists Guthrie Trapp and Camp among others. 

Her connection to the songs are obvious as her emotional yet restrained vocals add just the right touch to put these stories across. The title track has gained her a wider audience since she performed it on Idol. Another standout is “I Wanna Show You My Town.” Anyone who has taken a drive to show a loved their hometown or the old neighborhood will appreciate the details of the song. “Hello Sad Eyes” is inspired by her work as a nurse. She sings every cut with feeling and never over reaches for cheap sentiment. 

Above all these are great songs, tastefully produced and sung by an artist embraces that is good about country music.

Best Recordings of 2020 - Lauren Mascitti God Made a Woman 

 


It takes but a few seconds into God Made a Woman to know this is country music. Acoustic guitars, piano and a soft pedal steel humming in the background frame the introduction as Lauren Mascitti’s vocal draws you in.

Too many artists try to be too many things to too many people, so It’s refreshing to hear a “new” artist embrace the sounds of classic country music.  I say “new” because she has been releasing music for several years, but this release has gained her the attention and critical accolades she deserves.

Produced by Nashville veteran songwriter Shawn Camp, this release (along with appearances on American Idol), places Mascitti as one of the most engaging and talented performers in country music.

Mascitti is not a newcomer to the Nashville scene, but this is her most fully realized recording to date. Besides being a talented singer/songwriter, Mascitti works a night shift as a nurse and financed the recording herself. Its independence guarantees its disregard for any commercial trends in popular country music. She is joined on this record by Ricky Skaggs, pedal steel master Paul Franklin, guitarists Guthrie Trapp and Camp among others.

Her connection to the songs are obvious as her emotional yet restrained vocals add just the right touch to put these stories across. The title track has gained her a wider audience since she performed it on Idol. Another standout is “I Wanna Show You My Town.” Anyone who has taken a drive to show a loved their hometown or the old neighborhood will appreciate the details of the song. “Hello Sad Eyes” is inspired by her work as a nurse. She sings every cut with feeling and never over reaches for cheap sentiment.

Above all these are great songs, tastefully produced and sung by an artist embraces that is good about country music.

CLASSIC ROCK- COUNTRY- IRISH FOLK -OLDIES

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Chicago Tribune

Thanks for visiting the website of Joe Monahan, one of Chicagoland's most versatile acoustic entertainers. A native Chicagoan, Joe has played in and around Chicago for over fifteen years. He has a wide ranging repertoire from Irish ballads to popular Rock/Pop and Country & Western hits.


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