Love for Real by dug. (ft. Alec Lehrman)

Two Chicago locals, Doug Saltzman and Alec Lehrman, released a new single on September 18th. “Love for Real” is a funk, hip-hop, and pop mashup reminiscent of Prince and J Dilla.

This tune originated from a guitar part that Alec wrote last year in Doug’s apartment. Doug interpreted it through a sampler to make a cut-up, tasty guitar track, which sits perfectly above a dirty bass and drum groove that will get your booty moving. Alec’s sweeping falsetto on the hook “Don’t you want love for real,” will linger in your ear.

Doug Saltzman, who has worked with B Forrest, Sidewalk Chalk, Mos Def, Gia Margaret, and Sam Trump, is a Chicago producer you should know. Give dug. a shout if you need an engineer who puts the song first.

This milestone single is Alec’s last release before he moves to LA. Chicago will miss his stellar guitar playing and kind spirit. Be sure to catch him on the Chicago scene before he leaves.

Check out Alec on Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify.

First Listen: ALEC LEHRMAN

Single Release | April 5

Alec Lehrman depicts a story of love and nostalgia in his new single. “Take Me Back” recalls the doubt in those challenging moments where partners confront an unmet need. We all know how much dedicated work is required to maintain a relationship. At the same time, we've all imagined what it would be like to reach back and relive those easier days of the honeymoon phase. “It’s a reflection on the innocence of meeting for the first time,” says Alec, “hard work is important and so worth it,” but sometimes he contemplates the past.

The pocket on this track is reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, but Alec’s percussive acoustic guitar takes the listener to an entirely new place. “Take Me Back” is infused with flavors of a Justin Timberlake rhythm section, tasty background vocals that harken back to Jackson 5, and lead vocals that contain a twang of John Mayer. Evocative of high school summers by the pool, you will be singing the hook on this chorus for days.

Alec continues to be an inspiration on the Chicago scene. His YouTube channel is a substantial resource for badass licks, quick lessons with heavy hitting local guitar players (Anders Nordstrom, Justin Canavan), and short clips of Alec Lerhman’s groove-centric world. “Take Me Back” is available on all streaming platforms.

Be sure to follow him on Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify.

Contact for lessons:


Joe George: February Release

In Joe George’s second installment of the year, Leave It At The Door, he provides a quiet reflection of the times we live in. Joe’s smooth, buttery voice leaves an imprint of compassion and heartbreak. A slow-moving harmony underpins a wonderful bed for his lyrics to inspire a respite from the everyday. With the sustain of the last chord lingering into a nearly empty studio it brings an open mind and heart to whatever tomorrow will bring with the hope that you will leave your demons and monsters at the door. Thank you, Joe, for the reminder to breathe.

With school shootings, fascist leaders, mass incarceration, war, nuclear threats, and distracting headlines that don’t stop it’s hard to take a moment to be with yourself let alone other people. This song is a reminder that on a deep spiritual level we are only human. It reminds us to listen to others that feel differently. Reminds us that the combination of two contrasting opinions can meet in the middle with compromise and transparency. Reminds us that disagreement is natural. Reminds us that we need to have dialogue with each other to understand each other—or better yet—love each other.

Joe George and the Commitment to Collaborate

Joe Shadid, also known as Joe George, is embarking on a journey where he will release one song every month of this year. It will involve Chicago musicians, videographers, visual artists, producers, and sound engineers, fusing many voices, visions, and ideals. In a world where divisiveness is omnipresent, bringing people together is a wonderful resolution moving into 2018.

His first release of the year dropped on January 12 with a video performance of Don’t Be Afraid of Yourself. This nostalgic folk tune was inspired by a dream where Joe stumbled upon a younger version of himself where he offered humble advice, “time has gone by in a hurry, I worry of some things to come, life has a way of weighin’ down, enough to make you think it’s all on you—don’t be afraid of yourself.” The liberation to be yourself is what Joe is chasing in his project as he continues to define himself as a pillar of the Chicago songwriting scene.

Joe George’s sound evokes a young Sufjan Stevens combined with a Jeff Tweedy twang and an Arcade Fire twinge. The song is beautifully arranged and the string parts showcase his film composition degree from Berklee. This is accompanied by unique harmonic movement placed in just the right moments. He sneaks in a beautiful minor-major chord in the middle of the chorus, which adds a flavor of contemplation that makes the words don’t be afraid of yourself really hit home.

Check out the video here!

Joe George on vocals and guitar | Jake Hawrylak on bass | Paul Grill on drums | Josh Lava on Wurlitzer | Ian Maskin on cello | Andreanna Moravec on viola | Inger Carle on violin |Tom Yang on violin | Rick Fritz and Brok Mende of Audiotree fame on sound engineering, mixing, and mastering | Jim O’Connel on film and direction |

Join the collaborative efforts and help Joe with three actions to support his future endeavors:

-Follow him on all social media platforms (@joegeorgemusic)

-Purchase a record from his website

-Share the video!

Help me build a community with Joe where we can all collaborate to build a more connected world. The future is bright and full of Joe George releases. Be on the lookout for the next one in February! You can find that release on any social platform of Joe’s and here on my blog.