#SundaySpotlight – These Fine Moments @thesefinemoments @mcguckinpr

Ten years ago, singer-songwriters Hilary Kaufmann and Robert Watts walked out of Mark Hallman’s  Congress House Studio in Austin, Texas with the five-song EP These Fine Moments, named after a line in one of their songs.

Today, I am super excited to introduce this musical duo to you and let them tell you a bit of their story. Their music is fresh and creative and I haven’t found one song on their newly released album I didn’t like! Their harmony is perfection and the unique chord progressions kept me engaged! I think you’ll agree with me when you listen. But in the meantime, they have a story to share about how the Pandemic has affected their lives.

How has the pandemic affected us, both personally and as musicians?
As far as the toll on us personally, we had already quit our jobs prior to the pandemic to tour more. So when everything shut down and little was expected of us, we stayed up late, slept late, developed our culinary skills, and drank entirely too much wine and Mescal. 
Hilary re-read all of the Harry Potter Books, and I read biographies and watched documentaries. We found common ground by re-watching all of the Marvel movies, the old Star Trek, Picard, and the new Star Trek Discovery series.
But as the reality set in, we were left with a void, and asked ourselves “what are we going to do now?” 
So we opened up our garage doors and gave concerts for the neighbors, learned how to live-stream, and started recording the songs that are on our new self-titled record.
Hilary was eventually able to go back to work part-time, and now she is around other people a lot. But I’m still home all day, and it’s hard on me being by myself so much of the time.  I probably drive Hilary crazy when she is home since she’s the only one I have daily contact with. But if I’m driving her crazy, she hides it pretty well.
From a musician’s standpoint, we don’t know what’s going to be left when the pandemic plays out, or what is our role is going to be. We’ve spent years making contacts and cultivating relationships with clubs and venues around the country, and most of those are probably not coming back.
For now we’re just doing what we can, a little live-streaming and some zoom interviews to promote our record. Having more time on our hands has not automatically translated into more writing and rehearsing, so we really have to put forth an effort to be creative and to stay in shape mentally and physically.
Being musical partners and being in a relationship has actually helped us get through the pandemic and brought us closer together, I can’t imagine trying to keep a band together during these times.

**I think a lot of us can relate to Robert’s words**

And now, here’s a snippet from their new album. Please leave a comment and let them know if you enjoy it!

You can connect with Robert and Hilary here:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Spotify

YouTube

#SundaySpotlight – John ‘Pops’ Dennie – I’ve Got Something To Say @johndenniemusic

Welcome to another Sunday Spotlight! The artist in the spotlight today has something to say! He is a true-blue genuine-to-the-core man who chooses his words carefully. Then he delivers them with passion.

John Pops Dennie…honest, contemplative, sometimes…his voice is almost as thick as his big, grayish beard.” – Dallas Observer

His new album, “I’ve Got Something To Say” is timely as America trudges through a surreal 2020.

The first song on the album, “Rose Garden,” is nothing at all about the flowers and everything about the injustices of life. “We can’t feed our families on a seven dollar bill, work eighty hour weeks in conditions that kill, and we ain’t gonna live on scraps anymore…”

Since the album started out with a protest song, I thought the title track, “I’ve Got Something To Say,” would carry on that theme and to my surprise I found a great love song with a funky beat! “People say I talk too much, but I got a lot to say. When I think about your touch, I’m gonna shout it out night and day…”

“Adrift” is a poignant look at the state of affairs in America today. “I say it’s raining outside, my brother says it’s not. Sees only what he’s learned to see and he doesn’t learn a lot…He doesn’t see the fire. He doesn’t smell the smoke…”

One of the most melancholy songs I’ve ever heard, “Long Black Cadillac Train,” is a mournful refrain.

A compelling story, “Creole Lady,” is filled with powerful imagery and an easy melody. This song is the perfect example of how a writer can weave an entire story in just over four minutes. It is my #1 pick on the album. “It was a helluva day back in ’39, when they took her away to pay for her crime. Falling in love was how it all began, but she fell in love with a poor white man…”

Slowing it down, “You Can’t Hear Me” is another persuasive story song that tugged at my heartstrings.

Reminiscent, “Loving You Like Old Times,” speaks of lost love that will never be reclaimed, and it brought me to tears. “If I were a king, I would sell everything just to have you here with me again…I’d write your name across my heart in flames, if it would bring you back to me…”

“Gonna Move” is an upbeat story about a young man coming into his own.

A haunting melody, “The Pendulum Swings,” is the perfect depiction of Karma, and an addict you cannot save.

Another song that shows the versatility of this artist, “Escape From Bull Run,” takes us to a time in early American history.

The album closes with a strong statement with “Here We Are.” The lyrics say it all! “Never dreamed the likes of them would ever fall for the likes of him, oh, but but somehow, here we are…”

I cannot say enough about this album. The musical stylings run deep and wide with versatility and relevance. You’ll find everything from vintage country to rock, blues and folk. John ‘Pops’ Dennie’s twenty-four carat vocal delivery is warm and full. He is America’s conscience!

Please take a listen and pick up a copy! You will not disappointed, and at the same time, you will be supporting a music artist who is giving his heart and soul to the craft!

Follow John ‘Pops’ Dennie

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

TWITTER

Cut out the middle man and purchase the music direct from the artist!

https://johndennie.com/