Muriel Anderson.Night and Day

11/10/2017 06:23 am ET
Muriel Anderson
Photo courtesy of Bryan Allen
Muriel Anderson

First of all mention must be made to those world class musicians who conspired so brilliantly to bring Muriel Anderson’s delicious and scintillating album Nightlight Daylight to life. They are : Muriel Anderson, guitar/harp, guitar/lead vocal and Mark Kibble (Take 6) co-producer/vocals; Victor Wooten, bass; Danny Gottlieb, drums; Beth Gottlieb, percussion; Phil Keaggy, steel string & electric guitar, Stanley Jordan, electric guitar; Earl Klugh, guitar; Howard Levy, harmonica; Roy (Futureman) Wooten, electric drums; Tommy Emmanuel, guitar; Raughi Ebert and Leo Henrichs (Tierra Negra), flamenco guitars; Beth Nielsen Chapman, harmony vocal; Jack Pearson, mandolin; Jeff Coffin, soprano sax; Tom Shinness, cello; Karlton Taylor, piano, Adam Wooten, drums; Mary Gilmore, harmony vocal; Cathy Chalmers, African drum and udu; FirstString, Endless Road Strings, Lovesponge, and Carl Marsh, orchestrator.

It must be noted that Muriel is a musicians musician. She’s one of those players that musicians clamor to play with. She started composing music at 5 years old, fell in love with the guitar and learned every style available to her. She’s considered to be one of the world’s foremost finger-style guitarists and harp-guitarists and has won numerous awards including the National Finger-style Guitar Championship, and her recent “double” album “Nightlight Daylight” has won top honors in 11 national awards, including “ranking as one of the top 10 CD's of the decade from Guitar Player Magazine’s Oct 2017 50th Anniversary issue.” “IAMA, (International Music Awards) Baker’s Dozen awarded her first place in their Instrumental category, plus a she won a Global Music Award Gold, and also a coveted Nappa Award.

Muriel Anderson’s double album <a rel="nofollow" href="http://murielanderson.com/nightlight/" target="_blank">Nightlight Dayl
Album cover courtesy of Muriel Anderson
Muriel Anderson’s double album Nightlight Daylight

Muriel Anderson was born in Downers Grove, Illinois, and is of Finnish descent. Her grandfather was a musician and played saxophone in the John Philip Sousa band. She attended DePaul University in Chicago on an academic scholarship studying Classical music and took mandolin lessons from Jethro Burns, who introduced her to his brother-in-law, Chet Atkins. Atkins subsequently became a friend and mentor to Anderson. Her classical guitar professor at DePaul University was Leon Borkowski who had been a student of Christopher Parkening. Later Muriel took master classes with Parkening in Montana.

What began as an idea for a sweet and simple gift celebrating Muriel Anderson’s best friends first baby, turned into a massive 2 year double CD project featuring 30 songs called Nightlight Daylight. Muriel holds the respect of every musician she has ever come in contact with, and so it’s no wonder that 4 members of the extraordinary jazz band Bela Fleck and the Flecktones ( Victor Wooten, Howard Levy, Roy Wooten and Jeff Coffin.) agreed to collaborate on the 30 song album, along with such guitar luminaries as Phil Keaggy, Stanley Jordan and Earl Klugh. The end result is without doubt the finest album this reporter has had the privilege of listening to in many years.

What can you say about this spectacular sensitive and magnificently produced album other than “BRAVO.” Muriel has collaborated with more than 25 world class musicians who race away with the subtlety of Segovia on steroids, and then break fast into rhythms that would confound Bela Fleck himself.

Read the praises that friends have heaped on Muriel for years:

  • “Muriel Anderson is a good friend and a great guitarist.  She deserves national recognition” …Chet Atkins
  • “What I like is the touch that Muriel has on the guitar, the way she plays it like we all wish to play”.…Les Paul
  • “Muriel is one of the world’s best, and most versatile,guitar instrumentalists”..... Chicago Tribune
  • “Her artistry is groundbreaking, breathtaking, and it touches the soul.” …Victor Wooten
  • “I am honored to be asked to be a part of such a stellar project!” …Tommy Emmanuel.
  • “Muriel has the unique ability to capture the essence of beauty, melody and friendship all within the tracks of this project. In a time when there is much chaos and distraction in our world, she brings her gifted friends together along side to bring light and joy to the world through song… beauty can help save our world, nourish our souls and bring the best out of us all. Her efforts in doing so shows that we all long to be one in humanity-which is being loving, caring and giving through the gifts we are given.” …Phil Keaggy
Photo by Wayne Darren

Every year since 1993 Muriel Anderson has put together a concert she calls an “All Star Guitar Night.” The money she collects is donated to schools for music education. Muriel created Music for Life Alliance (MFLA) a tax exempt, not for profit charity (501C) that facilitates the efforts of individuals and organizations making music learning accessible to young people who may not otherwise be able to experience the educational, psychological, and social benefits of making music. Muriel came up with the idea for MFLA after a series of thefts in her neighborhood in Nashville. Muriel discovered that only schools in the wealthier districts still offered music education. “The root of the problem was that kids with emotional, spiritual and social needs found drugs much easier to come by than a guitar or a saxophone,” Muriel explains. “The self-actualization that playing an instrument provides can lift them up at a crucial time.” So in 1998 she founded MFLA an organization that distributes the money she collects from her annual concert series “All Star Guitar Night” to schools to buy instruments for the kids.

The All Star Guitar Night is a unique, guitar-centric event bringing together talented  musicians for a night of both acoustic and electric music. The finest pickers on the planet assemble on stage to amaze standing-room-only audiences. The event typically features an acoustic and an electric set, featuring artists with household names as well as up-and-coming musicians.Since 1993 such musical luminaries have performed with Muriel at ASGN: Vince Gill, Keb Mo, David Grier, John Corabi, Brent Mason, Daniel Ho, Don Alder, Richard Gilewitz, Tierra Negra, Lee Ritenour, Seymour Duncan, Doyle Dykes, Andy Wahlberg, and Duane Eddy, just to mention a few.

NAMM Show winter 2011
Photo courtesy of Bryan Turner
NAMM Show winter 2011

While the evening celebrates the beauty of guitar music, it also raises money and awareness for a very important cause - music education for children. The artists donate their time and talent and the sponsors generously fund this event so that disadvantaged children can have access to instruments and music instruction in their schools.  Muriel Anderson founded the Music for Life Alliance, which is the beneficiary of the event and works with non-profits disseminating instruments, funds & research nationwide. Every event is unique and filled with memorable and unforgettable performances, which have been memorialized in a comprehensive compendium of both performer biographies and videos that are simply a must to view. ALL STAR GUITAR NIGHT.

Muriel Anderson's All Star Guitar Night began in 1993 as an informal jam session after the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention and NAMM show, two simultaneous events which brought together some of the finest guitarists in the world. In an informal atmosphere, sitting around the pool playing music for each other and with each other, inevitably the best music happened. All Star Guitar Night has enjoyed resounding success in bringing that same magic to audiences for over 2 decades.

Muriel's busy schedule takes her all over the world performing to sold out crowds everywhere. She has recorded more than a dozen albums,and is about to pre-release a combination greeting card, harp,guitar album on November 25th called ECLIPSE copies of which will be ready to mail by December 1st 2017.

Logos courtesy of <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.guitarplayer.com/" target="_blank">Guitar Player Mag</a>, <a rel="nofoll
Graphic by Tim B with thanks to Guitar Player, IAMA , Global Music, Parent's Choice, Kids First, Tillywig, Academics Choice, Moms Choice, NAPPA, Creative Child.
Logos courtesy of Guitar Player Mag, IAMA,Global Music Awards, Parent’s Choice, Kids First, Tillywig Brainchild, Academics Choice, Mom’s Choice NAPPA Gold, and Creative Child

“Music has intention...to feel a musical tapestry,whose intention of love, healing and wellness is embedded in the DNA of the music is increasingly important in our world.” Muriel Anderson.

The difference that Muriel Anderson and her music have made to children around the USA has been inestimable. The money she’s raised with her All Star Guitar Nights has provided instrument for schools, and music education to districts where arts education funding has been slashed.

“Even though it may be just a small drop of water towards a great thirst in this country, I know it makes a difference to one kid somewhere whose life was turned around by music.That’s whats truly rewarding.”Music for Life Alliance

Muriel Anderson’s music has not just made a difference to, (as Muriel humbly says) “one kid somewhere.” Her music has made a resounding impact into the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in America today.

Let Muriel Anderson’s actions for children, and her devotion to her art form be an example to us all.

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