David Leinweber has played in a wide variety of venues and musical styles, ranging from rock, to blues, to folk, to gospel. He has been featured twice (2006 and 2009) as the "Flatpicking Professor" Dr. Leinweber at the Scottish Bluegrass Association Festival in Perth, Scotland and has also performed widely at regional acoustic music festivals in the South. He has shared the stage with many fine musicians. His influences include Dylan, Neil Young, The Dead, Clapton, Norman Blake and Doc Watson.
Along with the musical end of songwriting, Leinweber takes lyrics very seriously and his songs on the new CD touch on wide range of topics and themes.
Around town, people enjoy hearing Leinweber perform regularly with his excellent trio.
A professor with twenty years of experience in the college classroom, Dr. Leinweber has also taught piano and guitar for many years. He has performed on many records, demos, and CDs by other artists. His music has been featured on radio and television and in many concerts throughout the Atlanta area.
David Leinweber: guitar, vocals, mandolin, harmonica
Supporting players: I prefer performing with my duo partner, Bob MacMillan; we have many years of experience playing together. I'm quite comfortable with solo sets, however, and even pick-up jam performances with good players.
Selected Tracks Available
King of Spain
Truck Stop Blues
Little Sophomore Girl
Woman of the Country
Deadheads on the Road
Old World Folk Review
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Yes, it's another collection of English, Irish and general Anglophile folk songs. Yes, most of the p...Yes, it's another collection of English, Irish and general Anglophile folk songs. Yes, most of the pieces are standards that fans of the form probably own on at least half a dozen albums. But don't go! You may be ready to beat "Molly Malone" to death with her own fish cart, you may have seen so many "Spanish Ladies" that you're ready to join a monastery, but you haven't heard Old World Folk: Folk Songs & Instrumentals from the British Isles as Performed by David Leinweber. And this time it's different. Really. It's hard to pinpoint just what makes Leinweber's delivery unique. He makes no radical innovations in the style or presentation of the music. His voice, though clear, is ordinary. But there's nothing ordinary about his performance, which combines the energy of a live rock concert with the cozy jokiness of a favorite uncle. When Leinweber sings, he climbs out of the speakers to wink and compliment the cooking , and maybe take a dance around the kitchen floor. Some folk revivalists sound like they're trying to awaken the collective unconscious with their music. Leinweber only sounds like he believes his words, as though these songs have just come to him, and nothing will do but to sing them out. So "Lavender Blue" becomes an unplanned tune drifting from a waiting lover's mouth. "Molly Malone" turns from trite to an old man's half-tipsy reminiscence to a girl from the old hometown. This is folk music brought back to the realm of, well, folks. It's simple, immediate and utterly charming. And if nothing else, no other collection of folk songs has Leinweber's original inspirational composition "Fake Your Sincerity," the best advice ever to be taken to excess. It may be modern, but it's perfectly in tune with the rest of the album. Funny and heartfelt. Old World Folk isn't a remembrance of classic songs. It's their full living revival.
Sarah Meader for Rambles.net
Old World Folk
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May 06, 2006 David Leinweber wasn’t kidding when he titled this CD Old World Folk. This is not fol...May 06, 2006
David Leinweber wasn’t kidding when he titled this CD Old World Folk. This is not folk rock or even the ‘60s folk revival; this is mostly Leinweber playing and singing historically old folk songs. Along with familiar melodies, such as the immediately recognizable “Scarborough Fair” and “Greensleeves,” Leinweber has also thrown in “West Country Rag,” which is a kind of ragtime guitar workout that is fast and enjoyable. Whenever Leinweber sings, his voice sounds a lot like the late Warren Zevon. “Maid of Amsterdam,” an instance where Leinweber multi-tracks his own voice, is all about making a pass at a girl. It wouldn’t sound too out of place next the whole of Zevon’s repertoire, come to think of it. Leinweber is an expert guitarist. He strums up a storm on the blustery opener, “Star of the County Down,” then plucks lightly during “The Girl I Left Behind Me.” “Soldier’s Joy” is an excellent example of the man’s playing. It’s only 1:41 long, but it shows off his skilled six-string dexterity. It’s hard to imagine what Blackeyed Peas fans would make of Old World Folk. But for those that realize roots music goes much deeper than The Roots, Leinweber has created a fine overview of music that has lasted throughout the ages.
Dan MacIntosh for Indie-Music.com
Historical Society Hosts Musician
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November 16, 2007 COVINGTON - The Newton County Historical Society will host an evening of histori...November 16, 2007
COVINGTON - The Newton County Historical Society will host an evening of historical music at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Newton County Library. Dr. David Leinweber, associate professor of history at Oxford College, will perform a musical montage of songs from England, Scotland, Ireland and the Appalachian Mountains. Leinweber's repertoire will include sailing songs, murder ballads dating back to Elizabethan London and Scottish folk songs. His performance will be enriched by tales of the history behind the tunes. "Music is a very goodwindow into the past," Leinweber said. "I don't take my guitar into every class, but it's something I enjoy doing at functions like this," he added. Leinweber will also play the harp guitar, which he said has a "deeper sound with lots of overtones," that resonate to create a Celtic sound. Leinweber, who has a CD of Old World folk music of the British Isles, said he hopes his audience walks away with a deeper appreciation of historical music. "I guess I certainly hope they enjoy the music. I take the music in and of itself seriously as stand alone music and try to execute it well," he said. The concert is free and open to the general public. "The Newton County Historical Society is a nonprofit organization which seeks to preserve, teach and pass on Newton County's history. This event is free and open to the public. It is one of our regular educational programs," Historical Society member James Griffin said. "We have worked hard at the Historical Society to put together attractive programs for a variety of audiences. We want to bring together people who love history, music and good conversation. "David Leinweber is one of the finest music educators and historians in our state. People who wouldn't want to attend a lecture might enjoy an accomplished musician telling stories about the South through the songs of different eras and themes," he added.
The Professor is Coming Back
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Emory University professor performs at First Friday for Folk Music By Savannah Morning News Creat... Emory University professor performs at First Friday for Folk Music
By Savannah Morning News
Created 2008-12-31 00:30
The Professor is coming back.
David Leinweber, who teaches history at Emory University's Oxford campus, is also a seriously talented acoustic musician - and a renowned musicologist. He'll make his third local appearance Friday, at the 151st edition of the Savannah Folk Music Society's First Friday event.
Held at First Presbyterian Church, the evening concert will feature Leinweber on acoustic guitar, mandolin and vocals, joined by the estimable Johnny Roquemore.
"He's a well-known picker, a great flatpicker and kind of a character," Leinweber laughs. "We'll be doing quite a few traditional songs, and some originals - we both write songs. And a lot of instrumentals that highlight our guitar playing."
Much of the set list will be drawn from the traditional British, Scottish and Irish folk music that Leinweber is famous for; he has performed across the country, and at the Scottish Bluegrass Association Festival in Perth, Scotland.
British Isles folk has a direct link to Appalachian music - and that's the sort of thing that fascinates Leinweber. "A lot of those songs are really old," he says, "so they connect with the history of the people."
He doesn't teach music history at Emory, but many of Leinweber's concerts combine performance with history lessons.
Not Friday's show, which will be less "academic" and more "fun," Leinweber explains.
Of course, with a little prodding, he'll be glad to spin a historical yarn or two. "I've always been interested in history, and I've always played music, since I was a little kid and had piano lessons," he says. "Over the years those two parts of my life have come together more and more."
Savannah bluesman Michael Maddox will also perform at the First Friday concert.
Silverbird CD Review
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Review of the Silverbird Duo Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Silverbird is the Atlanta, Georgia duo of...Review of the Silverbird Duo
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Silverbird is the Atlanta, Georgia duo of David Leinweber and Bob McMillan. Career musicians, Leinweber and McMillan play covers that range from easy listening to rock but are most at home playing their own original material. Silverbird plays almost everything but are primarily influenced by the music of the 1960â€™s. Their debut album, Silverbird, was released earlier in 2009.
Silverbird slips gently into Boomer Rock mode on their self-titled debut, following in the footsteps of bands like The Band, Crosby Stills & Nash and the like. Thursday Ride bespeaks of a time when cruising was the thing to do. Heart Of A Song sticks with reverie, but this time about the music that inspires us. Musician's Prayer is a bit kitschy but cute. A prayer with a sense of humor, Musician's Prayer will be entertaining for most. Daphne is presented in both studio and live versions, and was written about the character of the same name from the old Dark Shadows TV program. Played by Charlie's Angel Kate Jackson, Daphne is the reason for a bit of inspired story telling here. I, for once, actually preferred the studio version to the live versions. Sweet Delilah is a song I viewed with some skepticism when I saw it on the track list as the subject has been covered as long as songs have been written, but Silverbird surprises with the best songwriting and performance on the CD. A great hook, great melody and unforgettable chorus make this a must-have disc, much less song. The power of music is revealed in Mitch Ryder Revisited, which recounts the ability of the music of our youth to pick us up all throughout our lives. Silverbird closes out with Some Like It Hot, a decent Blues tune with some fiery guitar play.
Silverbird is a decent enough debut, with some great moments and a few where things get a little lost. The balance sheet points to good things here, however. The songwriting is nuanced and mature, the musicianship is great, and vocalist David Leinweber has a highly pleasant voice to listen to. Silverbird is definitely a bit more oriented to the Baby Boomer market, but fans of great music of all ages will find something here to like.
Silverbird CD Review, Swift
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REVIEW: Silverbird - Silverbird November 19, 2009 Silverbird adds yet another great collection o...REVIEW: Silverbird - Silverbird
November 19, 2009
Silverbird adds yet another great collection of songs to the folk rock genre. Southerners David Leinweber, Bob McMillan, Billy Gewin and George Sandler capture the style in its truest form. With well thought out lyrics and classic rock instrumentation Silverbird's self titled album takes the listener on a journey through the mind of the musicians to a time when folk and rock music ruled the world.
Thursday Ride, the opening track, has a classic rock feel similar to the songs of Tom Petty where lyricist David Leinweber takes a trip to the past and illustrates a ride down the highway listening to Rod Stewart reminiscing on good times past. Rain Keeps Falling Down is a ballad similar in sound to Bob Dylan and the Allman Brothers describing, poetically, another rainy day and the good feelings of a new day crisp in dew. The Musicians Prayer is a clever take on a kind of folk gospel request of god to bless the band's instruments, friends, family, the guy at the bar and of course musical legends The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Band and the Grateful Dead.
Silverbird is an enjoyable listen especially for fans of classic rock and folk music, but with performances from such seasoned musicians as these (and this album does include a couple of stellar live performances from Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA), most could probably find at least a track or two to listen to over and over again. 4 stars out of 5
Professor Leinweber performs in Scotland
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Usually known for his command of history, Associate Professor of History David Leinweber will be sho...Usually known for his command of history, Associate Professor of History David Leinweber will be showcasing another of his talents this summer when he performs at the Scottish Bluegrass Festival in Scotland.
The festival, held August 11–13 in the village Guildtown, is hosted by the Scottish Bluegrass Association, which promotes Scottish and Celtic traditions in music. There, in featured slots in the evening concerts, Leinweber will play his Martin HD-28 guitar and perform a variety of pieces including original work, pieces that highlight the older musical traditions that the festival emphasizes, and selections from his new album, Old
World Folk. Leinweber will even bring a little of the American South to the festival, as he plans to play tunes such as “Little Sadie” or “More Pretty Girls than One.”
Back home, Leinweber plays with several groups in the Atlanta area, including a folk trio and a bluegrass ensemble called Dave Ross and the Bluegrass Nightmares, for which he is the lead flatpicker. He also plays blues piano with an Atlanta band called Bluesheart, which incidentally, he says, has three ordained Methodist preachers in it. Leinweber credits his lifelong involvement with music to having been “forced,” as he says, to take
piano lessons during his childhood. “I’m now glad I was compelled to learn the piano, as it made it easier to understand virtually everything else I did in music,” he says. He learned guitar in high school, and then the tenor saxophone, mandolin, and bass guitar followed. Those at Oxford can thank another interest in Leinweber’s life for keeping him from a career on the stage and instead making him what he is today. “I think I could have been a music major in college,” he says, “but I also loved history, and wanted to be a history teacher.”
In the classroom Leinweber sticks to history, where he teaches courses on ancient, medieval, and modern Western civilization, but his music does make an appearance every now and then. “I certainly can’t turn my classes into sing-alongs,” he says. “I do enjoy using music, however, to augment the main content of my courses when I can. Over the years I’ve created some multimedia PowerPoint presentations highlighting art or other
artifacts from various periods. These images are set to appropriate music—anything from medieval plainsong, to Handel, to English folk songs, to operatic depictions of classical or biblical tales. If students can see how a folk song or aria from the nineteenth century might relate to stories or events from much earlier periods, I find it very exciting.
Those kind of associations—connections spanning different times, places, and idioms—are key to a historical perspective in liberal arts education.”
Even with a busy academic schedule, Leinweber manages to fit some practicing in every day. “Being rusty on your instrument can sneak up on you very quickly,” he says. Advising Oxford’s Guitar and Mandolin Society on campus helps keep him active as well.
This semester, Leinweber is on sabbatical to work on research articles, essays, and book
reviews, so if you want to hear more about his music and you can’t make it to Scotland this summer, pick up a copy of his new album to hear what he’s been up to.
Muse's Muse Review of Silverbird
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CD REVIEW: Silverbird - Silverbird By Don Sechelski - 12/26/2009 - 10:29 PM EST Artist: Silvebi...CD REVIEW: Silverbird - Silverbird
By Don Sechelski - 12/26/2009 - 10:29 PM EST
Label: Heritage Records
Genre: Acoustic Folk/Rock
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Daphne, 1672, Heart Of A Song
David Leinweber has been busy in the North Georgia music scene for quite a few years supporting other musicians, teaching, and performing in a variety of incarnations. His most recent effort is a self-titled CD from his band, Silverbird. On Silverbird, Leinweber plays electric and acoustic guitars, piano, and mandolin, while longtime co-conspirator, Bob McMillan plays acoustic guitar and provides backing vocals. Billy Gewin plays bass and organ and sings while George Sandler plays drums. Leinweber wrote all the songs but one and Gewin produced.
The first cut, Thursday Ride, is a mellow folk/pop tune looking back fondly and ahead resolutely. Leinweber references several of his influences and the band rocks along nicely. Heart of a Song is one of my favorites from the CD with Leinweber’s dirty electric lead. The Musician’s Prayer is a country waltz that made me smile. “And God bless the songs that still fill our heads, From the Beatles and Stones to the Band and The Dead. The songs that you love when your 16 I’m told, Stay with you always and never grow old.”
Silverbird features two live songs recorded live at Eddie’s Attic, the best venue in Atlanta for live acoustic music. The first, Daphne is a gem. Leinweber’s deft fingerpicking highlights a well crafted and performed song. The second is Some Like It Hot, a blues from Bob McMillan featuring Leinweber on a very tasty electric lead.
Silverbird is a great band to see live, as a full band or as the duo of Leinweber and McMillan, but if you can’t hear them in person, then pick up a copy of Silverbird. You'll hear great picking combined with good songwriting. What more could you ask?
Artist Interview: David Leinweber
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Music Interview with David Leinweber January 22, 2010 Meet Folk and Rock Singer/Songwriter David...Music Interview with David Leinweber
January 22, 2010
Meet Folk and Rock Singer/Songwriter David Leinweber who candidly speaks to our Webzine about his incredible history with music, his major influences in the music industry, and his role today in the music industry. Here is our online meeting that readers of this Webzine will find fascinating. Enjoy!
Online Bio: David Leinweber has played in a wide variety of venues and musical styles, ranging from rock, to blues, to folk, to gospel. He has been featured as the "Flatpicking Professor" Dr. Leinweber at the Scottish Bluegrass Association Festival in Perth, Scotland and has also performed widely at regional acoustic music festivals in the South.
He has shared the stage with many fine musicians. His influences include Dylan, Neil Young, The Dead, Clapton, Norman Blake and Doc Watson.
Leinweber has taught piano and guitar for 25 years. He has extensive experience as a studio musician, as a songwriter, and as an arranger. In addition to his solo efforts, he has performed on many records, demos, and CDs by other artists. His music has been featured on radio and in many concerts throughout the Atlanta area.
Isaac: We'd love to know about your inspirations growing up. I hear so many influences in your music. How old were you when you first discovered music? Is there any kind of musical history in your family?
David: I come from a very musical family. My maternal grandfather was a fine pianist and played most Sundays for the Methodist Church where he was a lifelong member. He also taught most of the kids in his area piano lessons. Even though he died in the seventies, I still run into people who learned piano from my Grandfather whenever I visit my Mom. My uncle is Clark Bedford, a really excellent pianist and organist and his brother, my other uncle, is a fine saxophone player up in the Thumb of Michigan who's played in a popular dance band since the late forties. My Mom's also a fine pianist and she teaches piano and plays a lot for area Churches.
Isaac: What drew you to pick up an instrument in the first place?
David: I had piano lessons as a kid so by the time I was a teenager I was able to play the piano for Church, festivals, and the like. I still play the piano a lot and have been able to serve Churches with it. I've also made a decent side income from playing piano for weddings, restaurants, etc. I teach piano lessons and enjoy that.
The guitar came along when I was 12 years old, which I now realize was a life-changing, marker-moment event. My folks gave me a Harmony guitar for my birthday - one of those old warhorse guitars like you can hardly buy anymore. I was a full-size dreadnaught shape and it did stay in tune so you could really play it. On the other hand, it had a pretty high action - like a lot of inexpensive guitars used to have back in those days before they started using computers and lasers to measure and cut guitar-necks like they do today. The tone was pretty harsh and un-resonant. But man, did I play old guitar a lot. I wore it out, literally. By the time I was a senior in high-school and got a better guitar that Harmony's old fret-board was completely grooved from my fingers, and the finish had been totally worn off the back of the neck, especially down around the first five frets - not to mention all the dings and chips in the top and sides!!!
There's a picture of me on my web-site playing that old Harmony guitar and in a strange sort of way, as I've gotten older, I've come to see that Harmony as my favorite guitar - even though I really love my Martin HD-28, which is an absolutely flawless flat-top. When I was around nineteen, I left the old Harmony guitar at a friend's house and his little brother trashed the thing. I was kind of upset, but hey, that's what you get for being careless, right. Anyway, I'd like to have it back sometimes, just for sentimental reasons, but it's long-gone.
Isaac: As you hit your teenage years, did you know that this was what you would be doing for the rest of your life?
David: Well, I wish I could say I thought that far ahead when I was a teenager!!! I wasn't like these kids I see today who have their whole lives planned out by the time they are twelve. On the other hand, I really loved music and when I started to get into Rock & Roll around the age of 15 or 16, boy did things change. Yes, at that point, I really wanted to be a Rock & Roll guitar player. I also really loved the Singer-Songwriter stuff - and I always will - but during the teen years I really went for the heavy rock that was popular on FM radio back in those days anything from Mott the Hoople and Deep Purple to Detroit rockers like Seger, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, and The Rockets. I wanted to play in a kick-ass band so bad I could taste it. I wasn't really a poser either, just into the image. I spent a lot of lonely hours with my guitar learning songs, chords, and, later, lead chops. I've never really quit playing since those days, even these many years later. So I guess in a way I got my wish, sort of, lol.
Isaac: Is there a performer in any genre of pop culture that you would like to work with?
David: Wow, that's a hard one in a way. I guess my most significant Idol or role-model for guitar has always been Eric Clapton - the consummate guitarist. I like just about everything he's ever done, though the stuff he's done since the mid-eighties or so represents another era of his music I relate to less. But the stuff he did from the Yardbirds on through his solo albums - 461 Ocean BLVD, No Reason to Cry, Backless, Slowhand - those are such great albums, and they influenced me so heavily. And, of course, there is Derek and the Dominos Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, easily one of the greatest albums ever in terms of guitar-playing, as well as being a great collection of songs and rock jams in general - Tell the Truth, Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad, Key to the Highway, I Looked Away --- well, the whole album is just great. To this day, I can play virtually all those songs from those early Clapton records, if asked. I love them so much. So of all the artists who I'd love to jam with if given the opportunity, I'd guess it would mean the most to me to have the chance to play with Eric Clapton.
Isaac: Who are some musicians that you really like, present or past?
David: Well, there are so many - major acoustic influences include Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, Seals and Crofts, the Eagles, and so many more. In terms of electric guitar, again there are so many; I'm a huge Stones fan, and love the rhythm guitar of Keith Richards. Jimmy Page was an absolute wizard both in terms of the technical aspects of his playing, but even more so in the creative and cool things he did with the guitar and his songwriting. I'm a huge Allman Brothers Band fan - love Duane and Dickey Betts. I'm also an old Detroit boy, so I love the straight-up Rock that came out of that city in the sixties and seventies. I love the way the Detroit guitarists - especially Drew Abbot (Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band) and Jim McCarty (Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, and the Rockets) - used to tear up those old classic, Chuck Berry Rock & Roll riffs. They really made the stock rock licks their own, with great bar-band arrangements and high-energy, very raw live performances.
In terms of acoustic music, I love the simple guitar-gems penned by Cat Stevens, back before he was Yusef Islam. I've always loved Gordon Lightfoot, and I respect him now more than ever. I enjoy Country and Bluegrass, when it is smart and thoughtful, which isn't always. Ironically, I grew up saying I didn't like Country, even though there was obviously a lot of country influence in acts I loved, like Neil Young, CSNY, the Eagles, Dylan, the Band, and many others. In my early twenties, I started listening to Doc Watson some and over the years I've learned to flatpick. In fact, to the extent I'm known for my guitar-playing, I would say it's helped that I've done a lot of good Bluegrass gigs as a flatpicker. I love Bluegrass, but if you're not careful it can get boring, redundant and every song sounds the same - just like Blues, Jazz or Baroque, for that matter. But Doc Watson is one of the best Folk and Bluegrass artists ever. A lot of guitarists tend to focus on technique and theory, overlooking the importance of having a great and interesting repertoire of cool songs - songs that tell stories or songs that need to be remembered for posterity. Doc Watson is not only one of the finest flat-top players ever, but, as important, he's a great song-stylist and preserver of our musical heritage.
Isaac: What is your ultimate goal with your music career?
David: Well, I'd certainly like the business end to continue to improve. I can't complain, but I'd definitely like to take my music to the proverbial next level in terms of the business end of things, if you get my drift. I've learned that the business end of music is closely related to the music itself. Most aspects of playing music are beyond your control. No matter how hard you try, you can't control whether or not somebody books you for a gig, or doesn't want to pay you what you think you should get, or anything else. You can't control how many people show up to see you play, which is always a factor in the business end of music. You can't control whether people like you or not. You can't control if the people who book you don't know doodley squat about good music, or are jerks. You can't control whether your stuff gets selected for this media endeavor or that one. The only thing you can really control is the music itself. Your music is the one thing that nobody can really take away from you. That's the irony of it all. The only thing you can really control is how well you play, and how well-prepared you are for a gig. And at the end of the day, the best thing that you can do for the business end of things is to have great music, because music is the only thing you can really control. You have to keep working on the business end of things, but keep the focus on music, trusting that fate, karma or whatever will finally.
Isaac: What has been some of the obstacles it has taken to get this far in your career?
David: Oh boy, more painful truth time, eh??? Well, I think the live-music scene is not what it was. When I was in my early twenties, there were tons of places that had live-music, many of them small clubs, and many had music seven -nights a week, with full bands. But for whatever reason, I would say that there just isn't as much live-music anymore. A lot of places now have Trivia, Karaoke - all at the expense of having live music. A lot of music also happens now in little coffeehouses, which can be very cool but are usually small-scale gigs, at best. It's better somewhat if you are an acoustic act. Thank goodness I've got a nice acoustic act The Silverbirds -- and can handle smaller gigs where, a) we are cheaper to the club owner and b) we are flexible to the space where we are playing. I'd hate to be a drummer.
Another painful truth? Oh boy. I think physical appearance and image is more important that I used to think it was in my more idealistic youth. MTV made appearance especially important, though the classic rock bands of my pre-MTV youth usually looked as cool as they played. In my darker moments, I have thought that if I had had a 28 inch waist I could have been a famous rock guitarist. But that didn't happen, lol.
Probably the most important obstacle I've faced is finding good players to play music with. I've played with so many people of varying levels of ability. By the way, great players don't all have to be virtuosos. You might find great entertainers, or good musical players who don't necessarily have a lot of flash and trash, but who play with dynamics, a good ear, and know how to mix into a unit. Good players need to play in tune, they need to know a lot of songs in different styles and keys, and they need to add, not detract, from the overall sound. Oh, and for the most part, everybody you play with should be able to sing well and carry a harmony-note.
On a related note, it's important that the people you play music with are responsible and available, as well as being good musicians. Musicians do have to be available, however. If you want steady work, you have to have a group that is around when the gigs come up. If you can put together a decent pick-up band for an occasional special gig, that's OK to a point, but sooner or later you need a steady and reliable band so that booking agents, if nobody else, know what they are getting when they call. You can't really build a good reputation with a pick-up band that changes players all the time. A pick-up band will also never really develop an A-grade repertoire or nicely-honed arrangements.
Isaac: Would you recommend this "field" to others who are aspiring to be musicians like you?
David: I'm a little too countercultural for the mainstream, but here's what I think: I believe in the parable of the talents, as taught by Christ in the Gospels. That is, we should develop the talents God gives us, to the best of our ability. I think a lot of young people, rightly nervous about professional and career goals, should remember Christ's humble admonition to develop our talents. Life holds no guarantees. At the end of the day, developing your individual talents is the only thing you can really control. If you have the potential to be a good musician who can really play, then God wants you to develop that talent. And you know what? You are more practical developing a God-given talent like music than you are than going to college and spending tens of thousands of dollars majoring in something somebody else tells you is practical, or just finding something you can pass in order to graduate. You'd be better off as a bar-tender or truck-driver. Seriously!!
So my advice is to find your talents and develop them. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Develop your talent!!! That's what you can control, and that's what you won't regret down the road. That's true for music, and it's probably true for everything else in life.
Isaac: Describe one piece of advice you've have been given to by others in the music industry.
David: Finish your songs. For many years, I was one of those guys who had had several decent original songs I could play. But for every original song of mine I could play from beginning to end, I had ten more ideas for songs that I never seemed to finish. Some of these ideas were years old. So finish your songs!!! Force yourself. Some finished songs will turn out better than others, but you need to finish your songs to build a catalog of originals. The gems will stand out, over time.
Isaac: What genre of music do you consider most of your music?
David: Wow, another question where I could go on and on. I like most guitar-based forms of music - Rock, Blues, Country, and Bluegrass, to name the major genres. I guess the label that would be most encompassing and appropriate would be Folk-Rock, since it kind of encapsulates all the different things I like. I love Bluegrass and Acoustic music, I love Rock, I love Folk, I love the Blues, and I love well-written songs, as in the Singer-Songwriter genre. So Folk-Rock seems the vaguest moniker but therefore perhaps the most applicable.
I also love Traditional Hymns, but I guess that's another story.
Isaac: What has been your favorite piece of work?
David: Another tough question in terms of narrowing it down. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs were like a guitar-playing Bible for me, and I guess it's probably still my favorite album, among the many other recordings I dearly cherish. For acoustic music, I would cite the following records as not only being recordings I wore out, but also recordings that heavily influenced me: James Taylor's Greatest Hits, Teaser and the Firecat by Cat Stevens, and Gord's Gold, by Gordon Lightfoot.
For my own stuff, I guess my new disc Silverbird would be a favorite, since it was the first disc I did of all original songs. I've even more excited about the upcoming Silverbird II disc, later in 2010.
Isaac: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
David: Check out my web-site at www.davidleinweber.com. There are some downloads on there. I'm also on iTunes and other digital downloading sites, especially two of my folk CDs, and two recordings of Traditional Hymns I did. As I said, my newest project Silverbird is something I'm excited about since it's a move more towards original songs than the earlier folk and traditional recordings I was doing. The Silverbird disc is available when I perform and I'm also working to get-it on-line. The Silverbird song Thursday Ride is available for download on my web-site, as is Mitch Ryder Revisited. Both these songs are about growing up in the Detroit area, my musical roots, as well as getting on a bit. If you would like the disc, you can order a physical disc via my web-site e-mail at email@example.com.
Isaac: Is there anyone you'd like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support?
David: Well, of course I'd like to thank my parents. My mom used to grade student essays waiting in the car (she was a High School English teacher) while I was taking my piano lessons. Thanks Mom. Thanks Dad for your love and support, too.
Also, I'd like to thank Mrs. Mildred Benson of Union Lake, Michigan. She was my piano teacher. She was one of the best piano teachers in the state of Michigan, as far as I'm concerned. As well as being a very fine pianist who could not only do the classical music, she also played great boogies and schmaltz style piano. She was a stickler for music theory. She emphasized scales and chords, along with developing a repertoire of songs. It's stuck with me over the years. Her lessons helped me in all things musical, not just the piano alone. She was wonderful. Really great.
There are so many others -- musicians I've met along the way, some whose names I never knew or can't recall - I've learned from all of them.
Isaac: Any last words?
David: Who knows what the future has in store? Focus on the music; it's the only thing you can really control. Hopefully the other elements will follow. I'm going to continue to work on writing songs.
Come to our shows.
Oh, and God bless everybody.
Isaac Davis Jr., BGS, MBA
Listen Up: Stories, Legends and Lies
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Listen Up! - "Stories, Legends and Lies" June 5, 2012 David Leinweber's "Stories, Legends and ...Listen Up! - "Stories, Legends and Lies"
June 5, 2012
David Leinweber's "Stories, Legends and Lies" resonates with honest simplicity as well as musical and poetic talent.
Only four instruments play on the entire album - guitars, banjos, mandolin and a string bass, emphasizing Leinweber's melodic lyrics.
"Freakout Tent" opens Leinweber's compilation, reminiscing the days of Woodstock in August of '69, singing "people came to see us for a little calming down in that old Freakout Tent at Woodstock, USA."
He also delves deeper in history through "Indian Summer" and "King of Spain," using breezy lyrics, uncomplicated orchestration and a perspective differing from those usually portrayed in history books.
Leinweber also takes inspiration from his personal past through "Grandpa and Me" and "Little Sophomore Girl."
"Grandpa and Me" creates a clear picture of sun-kissed days, riding on a tractor on a small farm and once-a-week rides to church in the family automobile. Its lyrics â€” "Today you are planting little seeds and tomorrow they will grow" â€” not only quotes a grandfather's saying, but also demonstrations of the hard work and patience handed down through generations and personal traits prized like heirlooms.
"Little Sophomore Girl" portrays a professor or teaching assistant's worst nightmare - a seemingly cute and friendly student whose innate arrogance, ignorance and poor attitude compose a course evaluation that temporarily maims the instructor. Leinweber helplessly asks, "Why did you sign up for my class?"
While the basic and clear lyrics lend each track its charm, some of the tracks can sound too saccharine or cheap.
In "Susie Blue," Leinweber sings "Susie Blue, Susie Blue, / prettiest girl I've ever knew, / lately I've been thinking about you / Susie Blue," which did not measure up equally to the other tracks that wind through plots and build stories.
Literature in addition to history and personal memories inspire Leinweber's tunes. He ends the album with "Beowulf Suite," which allows his talents as a musician to create the track's substance and calmly conclude the album.
The memories and stories as well as the simple instrumentals made Leinweber's work an entertaining and satisfying work without the complications and pretension.
Nate Fort of The Red and Black
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