of the things I really dig about Joe Bonamassa is he’s an all-in-one deal.
Play one of his CD’s and by the time you’re done you’ve had your Cream
fix, your Zeppelin fix, your Allman fix …Buddy Guy, B.B., Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher, Mark Knopfler, Taj Mahal …
Humble Pie, Savoy Brown – the list goes on and on.
With Joe, you get all the major food groups in one very tasty blues-rock
Like all great musicians, Joe Bonamassa has his own voice.But like all great musicians, he’s a superb
student of what’s come before.
With apologies to the purists, here
are the songs that helped me figure out that The Blues was the thing:
·Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo
Child (Slight Return)
·Led Zeppelin –When The Levee
·The Doors –Riders On The Storm
·Canned Heat –On The Road Again
·Led Zeppelin –Since I’ve Been Loving You
·Elvis Presley –Heartbreak Hotel
·Johnny Winter –Highway 61 Revisited
·The Beatles –Come Together
·Creedence Clearwater Revival –Suzie-Q
Yeah, I know – but we all get there by different
roads.For me, Main Street was called Beatles
Avenue. Take a right at Rock & Roll
Drive, left on Psychedelic Boulevard, left again at Hard Rock Road, slip down a
back alley and you find this cool juke joint where they’re all playing:B.B., Muddy, Sonny Boy, Howlin’’ Wolf, Hooker …all of ‘em.
Here’s some Socratic reasoning:Tomorrow
Never Knows by The Beatles is an R&B tune because it has a hypnotic,
driving beat.It is also a folk song
because it’s carried by simple
strumming on an acoustic guitar.But it’s pretty heavy, so you could argue it’s a rock song.Or compromise and call it folk rock.
Then again it’s very trippy, so really it’s psychedelic rock – or maybe even early prog rock, since
it lifts from other genres and quotes strange modalities.
Or you could say it’s all of those things, which happens
to nicely sum up The Beatles.Now, if
you can say a single song can represent the diverse canon of the best group of
all time, then obviously that song is the best song of all time.
Sure, you could call the release of The Ramones a start.Or you could go back to the 60’s with MC5 or The Velvet
Underground.Or you could look at
pictures of The Beatles in Hamburg and marvel that the same guys played on Ed Sullivan wearing suits.Then there’s Elvis, or Eddie Cohcrane, or …
Let’s face it:Rock and Roll has an edge.It has attitude.It has barely contained and badly channeled rage
– some of it sexual,
some of it social.It’s for kids who have energy and
excitement but no power.
Sometimes that music is raw and
unnerving.Sometimes it’s subjected to more refined
production.But the edge is always
Personally, I prefer well-produced
music, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get (or enjoy) it when I hear what’s come to be called Punk.So rock – or punk – on, people.
With the recent death of George Martin, Rolling
Stone inevitably published a list of his Top 10 Albums.
The entry for America’s Hearts, and in particular the hit single Sister Goldenhair, got me thinking that he was really trying keep
the Beatles sound alive.I mean, can’t
you hear The Beatles doing that song?
Then again, maybe that’s what they were all
doing.Let Me Roll It could be Paul doing a John song from the White Album.John's Starting
Over could be on Abbey Road.So could George’s All Those Years Ago.
Not surprising, I guess, that they would all
continue to share what they had learned from each other.
Many (possibly most) people consider
Jimi Hendrix to be the greatest guitar player of all time, and, while I don't
agree, I get it.But listen to Stevie
Ray Vaughan's version of Little Wing
and tell me that isn't how Hendrix should have sounded all the time.
you just like you a band or artist because they fit in with your
preferences.Sometimes because they
remind you of someone else you dig.Or
maybe for reasons that aren’t even related to
especially if they don’t necessarily fit
your mould – you can’t quite put your
finger on it.
Ronstadt was always one of those last cases for me.I mean, very talented, but not terribly
original, and maybe a tad on the commercial side.I mean, she was certainly not Led
Zeppelin.So I couldn’t
figure out what it was I liked so much.
I think I finally have:she was so great
because she was the whole American thing: country, rock and roll, rockabilly,
blues - oh, and a little gospel.Punk
too.She could deliver in each style
with unassailable conviction – sometimes mixing
in more than one of ‘em in the same song.
then for good measure she went and got Peter Asher, friend and protégéof The Beatles, to
be her producer.Pretty hard to miss
with all that jammed into a record.
Buzz Hummer is a singer/songwriter living in Niagara, Canada.
This blog is about music: music that inspires me, music that makes me think, that turns me on (or ticks me off).
Music from the 60's, 70's, 50's, 80's... New music, old music, rock music, pop music.
Music, friends, family ... nothing else matters.