AMI Guitars
AMI Guitars

Artists

Morgan Alexander

I’m soo in love with this guitar!!

I remember playing an AMI guitar for the first time at Summer NAMM in Nashville and loved the feel and the well balanced tone in the acoustic setting.

Then I got one, and it got even better.

The fullness of sound I got out of the box it was shipped in was flawless. Then I plugged it in, and as a performing artist and songwriter, I just knew that “Scarlett” (that’s what she has been named) was going to be such a huge asset to each performance. Taking her to venues performances, compared to the guitar I used to tour with was night and day. Like I said, the fullness of tone from top to bottom is super balanced. Yet, even better was each compliment I received from sounds guys, other guitar players and fans who all thought the guitar was not only “beautiful” but sounded and played great. They say that every guitar has a song and a story, I can’t wait to see what journey this AMI AG200 takes me on.

Morgan Alexander

Born in La Grande, Oregon, Morgan Alexander is a native of the Pacific Northwest. He grew up in the Willamette Valley, in Albany, Oregon; and it was here that it all began.

Morgan’s musical journey started in the public-school system at North Albany Middle and West Albany High. Under the teachings of Frank Kenny (band) and James Angaran (choral), he learned classical and jazz standards, including training on the clarinet, bass clarinet, percussion, piano, bass, and vocals.

After high school, Morgan attended the highly acclaimed vocal jazz program, “Soundsation” under the direction of Kirk Marcy at Edmonds C.C. in Seattle, Washington. While there, he began to grow in a highly competitive, rigorous performance program, while studying the art of music theory.

At 19, Morgan took a job in his hometown as a radio personality at KXPC-FM. In his time at the station, Morgan wore many hats, including: on-air personality, production director, jingle writer and more. After a few years of learning and developing knowledge in this radio region, he moved to Portland’s KWJJ-FM where he performed similar duties. In Portland, he also resumed his love of entertainment and took the position as music director for the famed Ponderosa Lounge. In that role, Morgan was responsible for booking and coordinating the in-house live music. He also introduced the first “Battle of the Bands,” which still hosts bands and artists year after year. In 2005, a local guitar player, Allen Jones first introduced Morgan to playing a guitar. He, along with many other bands, provided Morgan with instruction that eventually led to his first song “More Baby More,” featured on his American Soul album.

After that, Morgan continued to gain momentum in the world of live performance and had the opportunity to open for Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Eric Church, John Michael Montgomery and various touring acts that came through Oregon. These opportunities ultimately led to Morgan’s decision to move to Nashville, Tennessee in 2009. Once in Nashville, he performed his first song on the famed stage at the Bluebird Cafe, and shortly after began working at WKDF-FM and Cumulus Media. Years later, Morgan still works as an on-air personality and producer for the various stations affiliated and owned by Cumulus; but music was his calling and true passion. To engage in the local music scene, Morgan began playing at various writers’ rounds, festivals, and Nashville’s famed honkytonks on Broadway.

These experiences led Morgan to write with numerous, gifted writers across various genres. These artists include: Stephanie Quayle, Two Way Crossing, David Shelby, Crystal Shawanda, Jessica Rose, Ayla Brown, Carrie Cunningham and more.

Since 2014, Morgan has performed nearly 150 shows each year locally and throughout the country. He has been featured on radio stations all over the world, including the famed 650AM WSM. In 2017, he also had his first radio release “Breaking My Heart,” which was number one for three weeks on the Country Internet Charts.

Morgan’s time in Nashville has also allowed him to continue to share the stage with some of country’s biggest talents. Collin Raye, Kellie Pickler, Stacey Mitchhart, Love and Theft, A Thousand Horses, Two Way Crossing, Stephanie Quayle, David Shelby, to name a few.

To learn more, please visit

Website: morganalexandermusic.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/THEMORGANALEXANDER

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/morganalexandermusic/

Instagram: instagram.com/morganalexandermusic

Colin Whinnery

I’m absolutely loving my AMI SJM AG45 Guitar! The tone is so even and balanced across the spectrum. From small theaters to large outdoor venues, It plays in tune, stays in tune, and sounds fantastic! It is a pleasure to have out on The Little River Band tour! Thank you AMI for making such a great instrument.

Colin Whinnery

Colin Whinnery is a member of The Little River Band, an accomplished Nashville musician, songwriter, and engineer. He has toured as a guitar player with Wynonna Judd, Lonestar,
Bryan White, and Savannah Jack, On bass, he’s worked with Carolyn Dawn
Johnson, Billy Gilman, Bryan White, and Tim Rushlow from Little Texas. His
songwriting credits include cuts for Triple Scoop Music Licensing, and have
been placed in many TV shows, including The Young and The Restless, All About
Us, Huff, One Life to Live, and All My Children. In stark contrast, he has
engineered sessions for many artists including Willie Nelson and Jamie O’Hara, to name just a few. He brings this wide range of experience to the stage as a member of The Little River
Band, adding a fresh energy to the rhythm section, to the vocal stack and as lead singer, as well.

For more information visit: www.littleriverband.com/colin-whinnery

Victor Vento

I had the opportunity to try the AMI Classical Guitar (model CMC-6E) and I fould that it had a nice feel and sound.  The sound of the guitar is a great match for my playing and for the styles of my playing (Peru Negro, Festejo, Musica Criolla, Valse Criollo, Peruvian Cumbia, etc).  It also has a very good amplification system (Fishman) and excellent resonance and tone.  I highly recommend the CMC-6E to classical guitar players of all styles of music.

It has a very good amplification system and very good resonance which I recommend

Victor Vento

Victor Vento is the first Latin artist and the first Peruvian artist ever to sign with AMI Guitars.
Born on June 9th 1960 in Lima, Peru, he started feeling the strong attraction for musical instruments as a little boy, particularly the guitar. He began playing at the very young age of 9 years old, encouraged by his brother, Rolando Vento, a well known musician in their country.
Victor participated in many school music festivals and competitions and eventually won first prize. This led to him becoming a professional guitarist at the age of 16 years old. It was at that point that he recorded his first album, which was followed by many more releases. He was also an in-demand accompanist, performing regularly with many well-known singers on Peruvian television shows and in concerts.
In 1984, in the city of Los Angeles California, Vento would join the band, “Inca: The Peruvian Ensemble “ which led to a series of tours throughout the United States. It would be in L.A. where he would not only establish his own recording studio, producing his own projects and producing recordings for other international artists, but also his teaching facility, where he is producing the next generation of professional classical guitarists.
Fluent in jazz and traditional classical guitar, Victor is first and foremost a master of Peruvian guitar styles, including Peru Negro, Festejo, Musica Criolla and Valse Criollo.
Victor continues his demanding performance schedule (over 200 shows per year) and also serves as the Musical Director of Peruvision, a Los Angeles-based community organization that specializes in bringing the Peruvian Music to the people of California through performances and festivals.

For more information see www.facebook.com/ventomusic

Scott Detweiler

The AMI model GZCE-3 is an amazing guitar. I use it both when I play solo and when I play in ensemble settings. When I play it I feel inspired to create melodies and songs in a special way. It plays really well and easily and has well balanced intonation throughout the fingerboard. When finger-picked, the notes are succinct and articulate and when strummed it projects a brilliant but warm hum due to the solid Alpine Sitka Spruce top. The Fishman Flex Plus pickup system provides true transparency of sound and its simple 3 (three) knob control panel facilitates efficiently expedient control when amplified. I brought it to a recent recording session and the engineer was stunned he heard how good the rich tones sounded. It also looks as beautiful as it sounds, from the natural lines of the wood on the top, to the beautiful inlays to the stunningly elegant headstock. The GZCE-3 is a real head turner and ear pleaser.

SCOTT DETWEILER

Scott Detweiler is an award-winning artist who was born and raised in New Orleans. Now based in Los Angeles, California, he performs regularly, backed by his Detweiler N.O. Funksemble, solo, and as church cantor. In addition to performing throughout the U.S., he has performed in Asia, Europe and South America. Scott is a prolific lyricist and composer of jazz standards, blues, opera, chamber music, ballets, sacred, etc, in the grand tradition of American composers such as Bernstein, Marsalis and Gershwin. He also has a large catalog of music composed for acoustic guitar. In Los Angeles he studied with Henri Mancini, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Dr. Albert Harris and lyricist K.A. Parker. In New Orleans, he studied as a private student of orchestration in the home of Ellis Marsalis, jazz guitar at Loyola University and music composition and voice at University of New Orleans. As a composer, his orchestral debut was with New Orleans Symphony, and as for dance, he has composed and collaborated with Gabriel Masson Dance Company (New York), Martin Dancers (North Hollywood) and Ballet Memphis (Memphis). Scott’s music can also be heard in movie soundtracks. He is a compelling performer and is known for his funk-infused arrangements of blues, gospel and soul classics and for performing his self-arranged horn standards, for guitar. Scott’s funk-infused style has been compared mostly with the playing of Grant Green. He has worked with Chamber Players of Los Angeles, members of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra and has opened for The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Gregg Allman, David Bromberg, The Neville Brothers, Arlo Guthrie and Woodenhead. Scott is a writer of hundreds of songs not only for his own releases, but also for other artists, including funk band sensation, Orgone. He has released over 20 (twenty) albums under his own name, including his recent album“Magnificat In Blue”, a blues/jazz based oratorio based on a bible story. For 2019, Detweiler Records is currently dropping a Scott Detweiler single each month for the entire year (available everywhere). Detweiler is the recipient of The Congressional Certificate of Recognition, has been honored by Billboard Music Awards, The Nashville City Song Festival, Utah Composer’s Guild and serves as a juror and Board of Directors member for the Gohar & Ovanes Andriassian Classical Guitar Competition & Festival at California State University Los Angeles. He is a performing artist in the California Penal System through the Office of Restorative Justice (Los Angeles Archdiocese), works with San Diego, California-based Guitars In The Classroom and is also a sought-after consultant by leading international musical instrument and music product manufacturers. For more information see

Website: www.detweilermusic.com

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/scottdetweiler

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Scott-Detweiler-Music-35219930643

Instagram: www.instagram.com/scott_detweiler

John “Spazz” Hatton

I have played many acoustic bass guitars over the years. The AMI bass boomed and filled the room with bass-tone the first time I tried it.  Especially cool was the fretless model!  I had never seen a fretless acoustic bass before. The AMI and I developed a tight bond the second I twanged it.  What fun it is to slip and slide on that perfect neck!  The fret lines indicate spot-on intonation, but this bass is so fine that you can play it blindfolded! The built-in tuner can be seen with the lights off, too!  Amplified, this axe rocks and rolls!  Slapping and sliding!  The only problem is that you can’t stand on it.

John "Spazz" Hatton

John Hatton has been playing instruments since he was 6 years old when he begged his dad to get him a violin. He excelled on that instrument culminating with a two year stint with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra during his Junior and Senior years of high school.

His journey with jazz string bass began with the Affton High School Stage Band in the suburbs of St. Louis. Shortly after he picked up the bass guitar and joined “The Marauders”, a very successful teen band in the St. Louis sock-hop scene.

His love affair with the string bass continued through his college years where he played in the Graceland University Orchestra and later in the Kansas City Conservatory of Music Orchestra and Jazz Workshop. He was still rockin’ on the bass guitar with his college band, “The Morticians”. The violin was gathering dust.
The Kansas City jazz scene was a great training ground. Mr. Hatton was soon earning a full time living playing steady in night clubs and learning to play quality Be Bop. He became Kansas City’s ‘first call’ bassist and was fortunate to get calls to play with some of the traveling artists that came through town. Elvis, Liza Minelli, Clark Terry, Marilyn Maye, and the Righteous Brothers were among them. Hatton also formed a Kansas City production company specializing in TV and Radio jingles, producing for Lincoln-Mercury, Doninic’s in Chicago and Schick among others.
The legendary pianist, Gene Harris of the “Three Sounds” offered him a gig, and Mr. Hatton spent two years on the road playing in jazz clubs all over the USA. This tour led him to Los Angeles in 1974 where he has lived since.

Los Angeles became the land of opportunity for this musician. He landed his first gig with Stan Worth, composer of many Hannah-Barbara hits including “George of the Jungle”. Stan used John for many live TV shows and movie scores. After Stan’s passing, John joined “Just Four Grins”, a band composed of young studio musicians. This band became the back-up band for Seals and Crofts for their summer tour of ’78. In 1981 he toured with the ebullient Dolly Parton and recorded sound track clips for “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”.
John’s bass experiences have encompassed a multitude of styles. Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical, Dixieland, Big Band, Disco, Rock, Rap and Rockabilly to name a few. He has played behind superstars including Dolly Parton, Jose Feliciano, Ray Anthony, Maynard Ferguson, John Davidson, Tony Bennet, Little Milton, Al Jarreau, Bob Dylan, Bob Hope, Supertramp, Little Richard, Etta James, Herb Jeffries, Danny Gans, Vonda Shepherd, Hank Ballard, Shirley Jones, Billy Lee Riley, Nannette Fabere’, and the list goes on.

John honed his 50’s slap-bass style in Rhino Records’ “Big Daddy”, an 8-piece 50’s band, which turned modern hits into retro 50’s classics. This band conquered the world with a top 10 hit and a tour of England. Their eight-week gig in Sydney, Australia, landed them another hit with their version of “The Land Down Under”. It was in this band that Hatton created the character known as “Spazz”, the slide-rule-wielding nerd. The moniker has followed him to this day.

Johnny “Spazz” Hatton has been playing rockabilly slap bass with the Brian Setzer Orchestra since February of 2002 and has recorded six Grammy-Nominated CD’s, “Nitro Burnin’ Funny Daddy”, “Boogie Woogie Christmas”, “Dig That Crazy Christmas”, “Wolfgang’s Big Night Out” and “Songs From Lonely Avenue” and Setzer’s latest CD, “Brian Setzer Goes Instru-Mental”. Hatton has appeared with BSO on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan O’Brian, The Today Show, Christmas at Rockefeller Center, Christmas in Washington DC, a state dinner at the White House for President George W. Bush, The Tony Danza Show, VH1 Classics, Sirius Radio and more.

John has been touring with Royal Crown Review since 2006, visiting most of the European turf. The band and their hit, “Hey Pachuco”, was featured live in the Movie, “Mask”, with Jim Carey, and specializes in jumpin’ jazzy swing.

John has been touring with Jose Feliciano since August of 2008 visiting South America, the Caribbean, Japan and Singapore in addition to the Christmas, “Feliz Navidad” tour.
And by the way, the violin has been resurrected and placed in service at John’s church, Community of Christ, Canoga Park, on an occasional Sunday morning
John Hatton endorses AMI Guitars, Eden Electronics, King Doublebass, Blast Cult basses, Fender Instruments, Gretch guitars, Hallmark guitars, SWR Amplifiers, Nady Systems, Knucklehead strings and La Bella strings.

For more information:

Website: www.johnnyhatton.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/johnnyhatton1

Kelly Z

I love my AMI guitar (model SGBCE5) because it has inspires my songwriting and it has a warm and vibrant feel.  It’s like the craftsmanship and wood create a bond with my creativity. I am really excited to play it whether I am writing alone, with songwriting partners, playing live gigs or online performances.  Kelly’s Lot is turning 25 (twenty five) years old and my AMI guitar has brought a breath of new inspiration to our music.

Thank you, AMI Guitars!

Perry Robertson

I really like AMI guitars. They are all so beautiful, play well and sound incredible.  My AMI Resonator guitar is an amazing instrument because it sounds really good acoustically and it also sounds amazing when plugged in.  It is the only resonator guitar that I play. I recommend it to any guitar player!

Kelly´s Lot

Kelly's Lot was formed in 1995 by Kelly Zirbes (Kelly Z), a Los Angeles singer songwriter with a heart for the blues. She met Texas guitarist Perry Robertson in 1996, who joined the band and started writing songs with Kelly Z, and added the southern rock influences that have shaped their sound. With a dozen CDs under their belt and decades of touring in the USA and Europe, the band continues to release all original roots rock and blues material. Kelly Z and Perry Robertson have continued to play as an acoustic duo since the beginning and in the last 10 (ten) years have also developed an 8 (eight) piece band that is well respected by the American blues scene. Among the larger festivals on which they are regularly featured are Waterfront Blues Festival (Oregon) and Carson City Festival (Nevada). They are also regularly featured at Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Festival, Kern River Festival, Ventura County Blues Festival and Oxnard Jazz Festival (all in California) and Lavaudieu Music Festival in France. Their songs have been covered by many other artists and have been included in movie and television sound tracks. Most recently of note is the song “Little Bit of This”, written by Kelly Z and Perry Robertson. “Little Bit of This” was written for the award winning motion picture, “Turnover”, and can be heard in its entirety during the opening credits of the movie, over a montage shots of the hands of a pastry chef, preparing turnover pastries. “Turnover” was named an Official Selection, Best Family Film and Best Audience Choice at the 2019 Idyllwild Film Festival. It was also awarded Best Feature at the 2019 Golden State Film Festival and was an Official Selection at the 2019 Maryland International Film Festival. Kelly is currently working on material for a couple of upcoming film projects and grabbing inspiration from her fans with her ‘Facebook Word Challenge’ that has provided fodder and inspiration for some of her best material. Perry, an award-winning sound engineer and producer, is helping to fine tune these songs as they continue to produce new original material, including their latest album, “Can’t Take My Soul”.

For more information:

Website: www.kellyslot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KellysLotMusic
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kellyzirbes
Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCZT42zaWfPeL7Dg-OhxmbLQ/featured
Twitter: twitter.com/kellyslot

Lurrie Bell

I am absolutely thrilled with my AMI resonator guitar

Lurrie Bell

Born in 1958, the son of famed blues harmonica player Carey Bell, Lurrie Bell picked up his father’s guitar at the age of five and taught himself to play. He was clearly gifted. In addition, he grew up with many of the Chicago blues legends around him. Eddie Taylor, Big Walter Horton, Eddie C. Campbell, Eddie Clearwater, Lovie Lee, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Dawkins and many more were frequent visitors to his house. They all helped to shape and school him in the blues, but none as much as his father’s long-time employer Muddy Waters.

At seven years old, Bell left Chicago to live in Mississippi and Alabama with his grandparents. During this time he played mostly in the church, immersing himself in the passionate expressiveness of the gospel tradition. At fourteen he moved back to Chicago and continued to play in church as well as forming his fist blues band while attending high school.

By 17 Lurrie Bell was playing on stage with Willie Dixon. In 1977 he was a founding member of The Sons of Blues with Freddie Dixon (son of Willie) and Billy Branch. The band recorded three standout tracks for Alligator Records’ Grammy nominated Living Chicago Blues series. In 1978 Bell joined Koko Taylor’s band and stayed for several years, honing his chops and learning the ropes of being a traveling musician. He continued to work with his dad as well, recording the 1984 Rooster Blues album, “Son Of a Gun” and several other titles for UK’s JSP Records. Not only was Bell recognized as an exceptionally talented guitarist and musician, his knowledge of different blues styles, his soulfulness and his musical maturity delivered write-ups in publications such as Rolling Stone and The New York Times.

Battling and defeating a series of personal demons kept him out of the studio and off the road for a long spell in the 1980’s, but Bell persevered and re-surfaced in the mid-1990’s with a succession of four highly acclaimed records for Chicago’s Delmark label.

Since the onset of the new millennium, Bell’s profile has been steadily rising. 2002 saw the release of the CD “Cutting Heads” and in 2004 Alligator Records released “Second Nature”, an acoustic duet record with his father Carey Bell that was nominated for a WC Handy Award Acoustic Record of the Year by the Blues Foundation in Memphis.

In 2007 Bell started his own label Aria B.G. Records and released “Let’s Talk About Love”, which has been called his most accomplished, deeply heartfelt album yet. On the strength of this record, he was voted Most Outstanding Guitar Player in the 2007 Living Blues Magazine’s Critic’s Poll, and in 2008 and 2012 he was named the magazine’s Male Blues Artist of the Year. Since 2007 he has received multiple Blues Music Award nominations as Best Guitarist and Best Traditional Male Blues Artist by the Blues Foundation.

2009 found him pairing up with Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer and Billy Branch on the recording “Chicago Blues: A Living History”, which garnered him his first official Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Recording. In 2011 a follow-up was released, Chicago Blues: A Living History (The Revolution Continues) featuring Buddy Guy, Magic Slim and Ronnie Baker Brooks.
And in 2012 came the arrival of his second CD on Aria BG Records,” The Devil Ain’t Got No Music”, a collection of acoustic blues and gospel songs that recollect the music he often played with his dad and at church in Mississippi and Alabama as a child. In January 2013, “The Devil Ain’t Got No Music” was honored with the Prix du Blues award from the prestigious French L’Academie du Jazz for the Best Blues Recording of 2012 and the title song (written by producer Matthew Skoller) received a nomination from the Blues Foundation for song of the year.

In 2013 Bell re-signed with Delmark and enlisted famed Chicago producer Dick Shurman to make the record “Blues In My Soul”. For this project he wanted to get back to the solid foundation of Chicago-styled traditional guitar blues. “Blues In My Soul” features three new Lurrie Bell originals plus songs by Little Walter, T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Rogers, and Big Bill Broonzy and others. In 2016 Bell returned to the studio with Dick Shurman for his next Delmark CD, “Can’t Shake This Feeling”.

At last count Lurrie Bell has now appeared on 50+ recordings either as leader or featured sideman. Lurrie Bells’s elegant and intense guitar playing and passionate vocals have made him a favorite at clubs and festivals around the world and have earned him a repuration as one of the “leading lights” in the future of the blues.

For more information:

Website: lurrie.com

Chris Sligh

Got AMI guitars. Blown away. Working on a project I’m producing and these guitars record unbelievably well … Holy cow …

Chris Sligh

He's taller than you'd expect.

I mention that after he enters the room with a big smile, as he shakes my hand.

"Chubby dudes always look short on TV," he responds with a chuckle. "And skinny guys always look tall... I met some guys I assumed were giants and they were tiny. TV perspective fools us all, I guess."

It has been years since Mr. Sligh has really done interviews. He left the music world, and a major label record deal, back in 2011, after his daughter was born and he felt "called back to full-time church ministry". He spent six and a half years working for three churches across America, working his way into being the creative lead for two of the top 100 (one hundred) largest churches in America, culminating with his last job as creative director for a church of 8000 (eight thousand) outside Chicago.

I met Chris back then and the years seem to have changed him. He is still intense, with a razor sharp wit and the ability to intelligently discuss anywhere conversation takes us; but he softer now. Kinder. Warmer.

"I look back at the 'Empty Me' days, and I was so out of touch with what was happening inside of me, emotionally. I could write a song like 'Empty Me' and truly believe that I was living it, but deep down I was looking for confirmation that I was good - no, that I was great. I needed confirmation, to feel like this thing that I had chased and fought for and given up relationships for was worth it, and it was only worth it if people knew my greatness... I had mistakenly come to believe my legacy was my art, my work, my music, and I wanted to leave a mark. I wanted to be known as great. "

Now, I'm not sure how much I think that matters."

What does?

"Well, it seems like such a cliche, but... love. Love matters."

Chris Sligh does not typically barter in cliches. He's an award-winning songwriter and screenwriter. Words are his medium. He works hard to say things precisely and with clarity. So when he uses a cliche it stands out.

"I grew up in legalistic Christianity. When I left it, I probably let too much of it go; or maybe I held onto stuff I shouldn't have. I would've told you seven, eight years ago that I loved people, but that love was a judgmental, condescending kind of love, it was 'tough love', it was an arrogant 'I can help you be better' or 'I can show you better' kind of love... and I'm not so sure anymore I think that's really love"

So - what is it?

"Well - I think that when you look at Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, he gives this list in chapter 13 that is considered to be the best explanation of real love. But what most people don't catch or forget is that I Corinthians 13 is basically the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5 with more explanation. Same words, same basic list.

"So I have come to really believe that living love is to live out the fruit of the Spirit. When I am kind, I show love. When I am patient, I show love. When I have joy - not just the joy that comes from giving someone a hard time (like I used to, a lot), but - real joy that comes from living in the love of God, then it expresses love to those around me.

"So I have come to realize that the work isn't all that important. Like - I want to be a great songwriter and producer, but while it was once and obsession, now if anything is that, it's trying to love people."

The new outlook on life doesn't change the fact that Mr. Sligh has had more success than the average musician, as an artist, as a producer and as a songwriter. The list of musicians who can boast of writing a number 1 song in a genre not their own, while writing multiple top 10 songs of their own is not incredibly long comparatively. But Chris wrote the #1 "Here Comes Goodbye" for Rascal Flatts (along with songwriter and producer Clint Lagerberg), and for a handful of years he was a mainstay on Christian radio, with hits ranging from Soft AC/inspirational to CHR.

But he also left the business after a highly successful major label debut Running Back to You and the middling success of his sophomore album The Anatomy of Broken, and spent the last six and a half years away from the spotlight, working in the church world.

"I needed to get away. For my own sanity. For my marriage. For my kids." He takes a deep breath, thinks through the past several years. Then, "I had to learn the lessons I learned while I was away. I had to learn to love; that the work isn't the important thing; that people are more important than success, whatever that may be in any given situation.

"I had to actually believe those things, not just have them be intellectual theories I had head knowledge of; they had to be ingrained on my heart.

"I gave up my music career back then. I laid it on the altar. I never thought I'd do this again. But then... God brought it back around."

In 2016, Sligh released his first new album in six years, Mighty Roar / Healing Flood. The album's reception was a surprise to Sligh, becoming one of 2016's better reviewed CCM pop albums. Jesus Freak Hideout said, "This is a great 'sit-down-and-listen-though' album"; CCM Magazine said, "Sligh has been proven as a gifted songwriter and vocalist, and both remain very clear on Mighty Roar… even as he enjoys exploring new influences"; New Release Today said, "It seems the almost four year wait for new music was exactly what Chris Sligh needed to produce an album unlike any he's ever released before. The electro-pop vibe runs from beginning to end, even in the more worship-focused tracks, which creates a diverse listen and shows his growth as an artist since the last release."

And over the past year, Chris began to dip his toe in the touring waters again.

"I have to admit, I was scared of touring. I can be an intense dude. I don't typically do things half-way. Back when I did it before, it consumed me, and it was hard to be married and I don't know how I could have been a father then.

"But over the past year as I've gotten back into touring I have realized that it's the angle you take on it that changes the experience. Before it was about the work. Now it's about the people.

"When I go into a church now, it's a totally different experience. I want to know these ministries. I want to know these pastors and worship leaders. I want to do more than just do a good concert and get out of there. It's far more taxing emotionally, but also far more rewarding. And honestly making it about relationship reminds me constantly that my most important relationships are at home."

"I want to do something different now. I believe my legacy in the end will not be the albums I make or the songs I write or the shows I play. My legacy will be the relationships I foster, the service I render to those around me, the way I am remembered to have loved.

"So if you see something different in me, maybe that's it? The value has shifted from the work to love. Sounds simple, I know. But man did it take a lot of work."

For more information:

Website: www.chrissligh.org

John Frinzi

Love my JTC-40! Thanks, AMI!

John Frinzi

A gifted singer and songwriter, skillful on both guitar and piano, John Frinzi has built an audience through craft and originality. An early demo caught the ear of legendary steel guitarist and long time Coral Reefer Band member Doyle Grisham, and their working relationship led to John's first CD, “Into The Dawn”. His second album, “Shoreline,” showcases Frinzi's versatility as a songwriter and vocalist with many of the songs co-written by Tom Corcoran, co-writer of the Jimmy Buffett classics, “Fins,” and “Cuban Crime of Passion.” Both CDs remain in regular rotation on Sirius/XM’s Radio Margaritaville. Most recently, John teamed up with multi-platinum Songwriter and Producer Aaron Scherz on their singles "Summer Sun" and “Lyin’ or Lucky” which, in addition to being fan favorites on Sirius/XM, are included on their new album “Blue Sky View”. A seasoned live performer, Frinzi has toured nationally playing over 250 dates a year and has been featured at major festivals including the Keith Sykes Songwriters Celebration, Key West Songwriters Festival, Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival and has shared the stage with acclaimed artists including Jesse Winchester, Mac McAnally, The Coral Reefer Band, Todd Snider and Maria Muldaur.
For more information:

Website: www.johnfrinzi.com

Wayne Nelson

Some guitars are easy to put down…or easy to hang back on the music store wall. Not so with the AMI 5-string acoustic bass. These guitars have something to say and they ask you to say it with them. After opening the case, the AMI and I lost about 90 minutes getting to know each other! It takes you places you hadn’t been to before.

The AMI is my first experience with a mahogany body. I can’t tell you why it does what it does, but it has wonderful clarity from the low B to the high F#…and yet still has a warm depth to that same range.

Proof in the pudding is to just sit on the low C. You can thump it, or finesse the low end…either one sounds great. There’s no sign of a rattle or buzz being set off by any frequency range…a common problem in a lot of poorly constructed acoustic basses.

I can’t wait to get into a studio with a great engineer and use this bass to record new music.

Wayne Nelson

Wayne Nelson, bassist and lead vocalist for Little River Band, is a career musician, born and raised in the Midwest. His musical roots began to form at an early age in Peoria, IL, singing in church choirs and performing in local theatre productions. In 1965 his family relocated to the Joliet area, where he met new high school friends who wanted to start a band. By the end of college, the die was cast. He moved to Chicago and began his musical career.
In 1978 a college friend called from the West Coast and told Wayne to pack his bags and give Los Angeles a shot. Within a year, he had recorded an album with Jim Messina. And while touring to promote that record in the fall of ‘79, he met Little River Band. Since then Wayne has toured with the group for 40 (forty) years as their bass player, and has been the group’s lead singer since 2000.

JAKE BUSH

I’ve been playing music since I was 14 years old. I’ve played the pawn shop guitars and I’ve played the high dollar “big name” brands. But I have never had a guitar like my AMI Guitar where the craftsmanship, playability and sound represent an instrument in a class far beyond the affordable price. I was a Gibson man but after getting my AMI Jumbo, I was hooked. AMI is a brand that I’m proud to have on stage with me every night.

Jake Bush

Country artist Jake Bush is a native son of Texas, through and through. He was born in Pasadena, spent the majority of his life in Clear Lake City and served his time in the U.S. Army at Ellington Field in Houston. He leads and writes for his Jake Bush Ban and has been playing music for over 10 (ten) years. For 3 (three) of those years he has toured constantly, playing over 250 (two hundred fifty) shows a year. Jake has shared the country stage with many well-known artists, including Big & Rich, Cory Morrow, William Clark Green and Jake Worthington, to name a few. He has already had 2 (two) top 30 Texas Radio Singles and is currently touring in support of his latest tracks, “Don’t Drink My Whiskey” and “If These Walls Could Talk”.

For more information visit www.jakebushband.com