Jun 12, 2019 • 4M

no use for a butter knife

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Purists may whine that the best days of music are behind us, that capital “M” music has seen its peak and is no longer relevant. But here at Play It Like It's Music we believe the opposite: not only is the act of musicmaking an essential life skill with a lineage stretching back to the beginnings of human history, but the vocation of the professional musician is more vital today than it ever has been. Once a month, join musician, songwriter and producer Trevor Exter as he drops in on working musicians from every genre.
Episode details

Back in NYC this week like:

In this edition:

  1. An oldie but a goodie.

  2. A comparison of implements.

  3. A gig for Friday in NYC.

a lumberjack has no use for a butterknife.

I was surrounded by horn players last night. Great ones. Saxes, trumpets… they can play lead or blend into a nice punchy section in a funk band. The sound is loud and faces forward. The horn is always ready to cleave through space and make its sonic dent.

Likewise the electric guitar. The guitar can play lead or rhythm or chords… or all of the above! The guitar is always integral to the band and central to most industrialized music of the last 100 years. Wielding their axes, guitarists are the lumberjacks of our modern musical age, clearing the forest so we can forge our way forward.

(And what are drums but the guns of musical colonization? They’re everywhere.)

But the cello? The cello is more like a butterknife. It requires certain circumstances in order to shine: the sound requires headroom, the player is better off seated. If the butter is soft at room temperature then the butterknife will more than excel at its job. But you’d never use it to cut any trees down.

The cello is refined and begs a refined place, it needs a lot of parameters to be met which the horns, drums and guitars of our modern age do not need. The cello works best in a prepared, climate controlled, echoey space.

Out in the wilderness we are dependent on (and at the mercy of) our drummers, horn players and guitarists. They clear the way and build the world. Respect to that.

But once the world is built? Give yourself the gift of a little cello.

Because you earned it.




This Friday in NYC:

“The potent, powerful medicine of sound can shift and move stuck energy out of the body, creating opportunity for wellness, presence, clarity, and so much more.” —gina Breedlove

Medicine woman gina Breedlove is a singer, songwriter, sound healer, and actor from Brooklyn. gina began performing professionally at age 16, singing background for the inimitable Phyllis Hyman. She went on to tour with legendary artist and activist Harry Belafonte as his featured vocalist. gina created the role of Sarabi in Disney’s The Lion King, and most recently has appeared in two Spike Lee films: Chi-Raq and Living Da Dream. gina tours the world with her music, which she describes as “FolkSoul,” holding sound healing circles in every city she visits.

This Friday the band consists of gina, guitarist Ashley Phillips, percussionist Daniel Sadownick and myself. It’ll be totally acoustic, no mics or anything so come on out!

Otherwise still on the road. I’m living out of a bag for the next little while, visiting the cello siblinghood:

Thank you for reading and subscribing.

I appreciate you.

Big love to your ears,





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