Had a chance to perform at a surprise birthday party at Murphy's in the Highlands last night with Kim. It was a mashup or mostly Good Graces tunes with a few Sunset District songs thrown in for good measure. It was a really fun night with great food and wine and a perfect run through practice for our upcoming shows in North Carolina next weekend. 

Speaking of which, here's a little plug for our 2 shows next weekend.

2/6/2015 - the Good Graces at Oskar Blues Brewery

2/7/2015 - the Good Graces at Dragonfly Wine Market in Shelby, NC


That One Guitar!

Hey friends! I'm getting ready to start scheduling some new photography sessions for my project, That One Guitar. What do you need? A good story about an instrument that you love and your pretty face. That's it! Please get in touch if you'd like to participate.


Musicians Local 404

Here's another new tune written for the Theme Music songwriting group on Facebook. The theme this week was "groups of people," and for some reason I got to thinking back about a building I would pass from time to time in Indianapolis at the corner of Delaware and Vermont near downtown with a big sign out front that said "Indianapolis Musicians Local No.3 A.F. of M." In my time up in Indianapolis I always wanted to go inside and check it out, but I never did.

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So, I decided to give that sign a little twist, bring it home to Atlanta and I added the 404 area code to the title to give it a place for those that recognise it, without calling out Atlanta by name. It's a quiet little number with fireworks in the video. Hope you enjoy it.

Musicians Local 404

Sitting on roofs in the afternoon
Smoking cigarettes and smiling down at you, on you
They all want to know your name
But we’re quiet just the same

We play our part most every day
Something memorized, sometimes we stray away
Stuck in cars in the evening light
Hearing melodies from the traffic in the night, we might
Write a song and nothing more
Musicians Local 404

Early evening, take the stage
Hoping to see you for a moment in the haze
But the night is comes and goes
Smell of smoke on all our clothes
Unload our stuff out of the door
Musicians Local 404

Now off to sleep
To sleep so deep
To dream of you
A dream so true 

So I’ll write a song and nothing more
Spread out some papers on the floor
Hoping to see you at my door
Musicians Local 404


Stupid People!

This week for Theme Music I contributed some 12-string guitar on a tune called Stupid People, originally performed by The Crowd People. For the camera shot down the guitar next I used my Polaroid Cube camera and fastened it on the headstock with a rubber band. Pretty fun.

Drums - Joe Scinta, Bass - Joe Rogers, Electric 12 String - John McNicholas, Organ - Erik Ostrom, Acoustic and Mix - Bob Fenster, Claps - Christian Lipski, Vocals - Wendi Dunlap,  Mixed by John Fremer


The Sunset District live at the Roswell Tap 2015.01.13

Sometimes I play a little solo set during the week at different songwriter nights to try out some new tunes, have a few beers and get out of the house. Chip does a great job with the sound at the Roswell Tap and the talent is always top notch. Here's a few tunes from last night's show. I tried out a few new tunes and a few old ones for good measure. Enjoy.

This was supposed to be a live video post, but when I put the phone down to record my set last night I completely cut the top half of my body out of the shot, and the video was shot in portrait instead of landscape, so what you have is this decent sounding video of me playing sideways with my head removed. Oops. Rookie move. 


"So Sad (to Watch Good Love Go Bad)" - Everly Brothers Cover

For the Theme Music group I added some electric guitar to a great Every Brothers cover called So Sad (to Watch Good Love Go Bad). Fellow Good Grace, Kim Ware sang lead and played acoustic guitar while Carey Farrell added some lovely co-lead vocals to the mix. To record the guitar parts I used my Fender '52 Tele reissue through a Fender combo in Logic with a hint of tremolo. I think it came out just lovely. 


Queen of the Jungle (She's My Girl)

Jungle jingle! I've been thinking about starting a garage project for a little while now, and I've been listening to a ton of great stuff from the 50s and 60s that I've tracked down on WFMU's Beware of the Blog. So, this theme seemed like a great chance to start my real/fake garage band, write a tune and make a quick fun video, lo-fi style. Thanks to the folks over at the Theme Music group on Facebook for suggesting song topics and being awesome. If you're a songwriter you really should head over there and check it out. Great group of people. Dig it! 


Spiller at the New World Brewery - Can She Have Your Room & Pictures

Holy smoke, you guys! We had an amazing time on Saturday night. It was the best thing in the world to see so many friends and family out at the show. I am still floating on air. Selectric and Luxury Mane absolutely killed it. Can't wait to see both of them again sometime again very soon. Thanks to Joe D'Acunto for hooking up the show, making some flyers and being an all-around great dude.

Here's a video of Can She Have Your Room from the show. More pictures soon! 


Spiller at the New World Brewery this Saturday Night!

I've been slacking on the blog lately, but I wanted to let you know that my band, Spiller will be playing at the New World Brewery in Tampa, FL this Saturday night, November 29th with 2 great bands, Luxury Mane and Selectric. If you're in town and want to have some drinks under the stars with us and enjoy some music please stop by and say hello. It would be great to see you. We promise to play all the hits.

The new record by The Sunset District

The new album will be officially released world wide on October 14th, 2014! Head over to Bandcamp and check it out. Pre-order now and get a free track. Also, since we just can't wait for people to hear the new record we're going to have a limited number of copies of the record with us this Sunday at Red Light Cafe this Sunday

Check it out below!

Shows, shows, shows!

Hey! We've got some fun shows to tell you about! Check out all the fun below.

8/14/2014 - ATLANTA, GA - VINYL


Live at Vinyl in Midtown, Atlanta 
11pm - Silent & Listen
10pm - Orphans in Exile
9pm - The Sunset District

Doors 8 / Show 9 / All Ages 
$7/Adv, $10/Day Of Show

  • 9:00pm – 11:59pm
  • Vinyl (map)



Time: 12noon 

Free! All Ages!


  • Saturday, August 23, 2014
  • 12:00pm – 12:45pm
  • Grant Park - Meadow Stage (map)



Sunday, September 14: Red Light Cafe
553 Amsterdam Ave.

7:15 Last Chance Runaround
8:00 The Merry Go Rounds
8:45 Dot22
9:30 Orange Hat
10:15 The Sunset District

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
  • 10:15pm – 11:15pm
  • Red Light Cafe (map)



  • Tuesday, September 23, 2014
  • 8:30pm – 9:30pm
  • The Roswell Tap (map)

Show Review - The Good Graces at Slims in Raleigh

A nice little mention of The Good Graces when we played in Raleigh a few months back on tour

As I listened to the highlights of their set, guitarist John McNicholas’s “Warm in Wisconsin” and singer Kim Ware’s response entitled “Cold in California,” I was struck by how the venue’s layout could make a gathering of 30 or 40 people feel almost like a packed house.

Back in the studio with the Sunset District

Despite the fact that we're still waiting to receive our new record back from the pressers in Nashville, The Sunset District has started working on a new 4-song EP. No title for the thing yet, but this one is much more rocking and so far it's been a ton of fun to record.

That One Guitar - Robert Mabery

Name: Robert Mabery

City: Acworth, GA

Instrument: 1982 Daion Power XX Bass

Bass guitar and funk music crept into my soul at a young age. Growing up in Augusta, GA, the influence of James Brown was unavoidable and the bass lines from Bootsy Collins were irresistible. After suffering through a few low budget instruments I stumbled across my musical soulmate. I walked into a local music store and there she was, hanging on the wall next to the popular brands of the day. I had to have her. I didn’t know anything about the brand but I knew she was beautiful. And she played better than she looked. Love at first sight.

Daion was a Japanese company from the 80’s that crafted handmade top of the line electric and acoustic guitars. There is a cult like following among the owners of these fine instruments. The Power Mark XX is there premier bass. It has a laminated body of Ash and Maple. The neck is a 9 piece maple and rosewood through body design. Fingerboard is ebony and nut and saddles are brass.

It’s been many moons since we met but she has remained my number one. I occasionally try some others when I’m out and about but I always come back to the Daion. She has been with me through many bands, many shows and many recordings. She never lets me down.

Band name: Soul Foot

That One Guitar - Phil Mutz

Name: Phil Mutz

City: Atlanta, GA

Instrument: Bogner Fish Preamp #197.

From what I have gathered, Bogner produced 200 Fish pre-amps between 1989-1990. Jerry Cantrell, of Alice in Chains, owned one of the early units. Then he had 5 Fish preamps specifically modded with a mid-range boost. Those amps would become the foundation of his signature tone, along with the G&L Rampage guitar. Fish serial numbers #195-200 had the “Jerry mod.” This very unit was used on Alice in Chains’ ‘Facelift’ and ‘Dirt’ albums and supporting tours. Essentially, it is 1-in-5 of it’s kind in the world.

Coming of age as grunge was hitting and being a rock-n-roll guitar player, I was definitely drawn to Jerry Cantrell’s dark crunching riffs. I was also starting to see the light that it’s not the effects pedals, processors and guitars that give you good tone… it’s the amp. Up until this point I had never owned a legit tube powered amp. So I was in the market and researching my next and perhaps biggest gear purchase. I saw this preamp come up on eBay a few times during the fall of 2002. I knew it was meant to be mine, and each time it sold a part of me died. Sure enough, it popped back up on eBay again. The story in the listing of being owned by Jerry and all was way too grandiose for me to believe. However, I called Bogner and spoke to Reinhold Bogner himself. He confirmed the story and knew the individual selling the amp. It had just been in his shop for re-tubing, as the listing claimed. Emboldened by this confirmation, I then contacted the seller with questions. We spoke on the phone even. He was clearly tired of people playing games with him on eBay – winning the auction and backing out after-the-fact. This explained why it kept popping up on eBay every few months. He sternly said, “don’t even bid on this thing unless you’re serious.”  But again, spending that much money on eBay, without hearing/seeing the amp in person was very sketchy, to say the least. But, I took a leap of faith. The amp arrived and I was just blown away. Ever since then, I have played dry straight into the Fish and a Mesa 20:20 Power-amp. After 12 years, I am still in love with the tone.