Thursday, 12 October 2017

Say It Again Y’all


If you’re going to be remembered for only one song, Edwin Starr’s War is a pretty good one.

What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Hello Old Friend, Goodbye Old Friend


More than anyone else, Tom Petty had the ability to repackage all the music I love and play it back as something brand new.

While unique and original, each song arrived like an old friend you had somehow forgotten about.  Simple yet profound, each song delivered a straight up truth:  this is me; this is us; this is rock and roll.

Tom Petty gave us 40 years of honesty, hope, joy and comfort.

Goodbye old friend.  And thank you.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Seems I Can’t Shed No More


Take a song by Joe Bonamassa, say Black Lung Heartache.  If he had been born in the 40’s, Joe would be ranked among the guitar legends of the 60’s and 70’s.

Monday, 4 September 2017

The Time That Was So Hard To Find


They never got a mention in Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, but I’m pretty sure John, Paul, George and Ringo were all Funk Brothers.

Just have a listen to You Won’t See Me.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Can This Really Be The End?


To be Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.  By heavens, but Dylan wrote some damn fine songs.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Does Anybody Hear?


I know If A Tree Falls by Bruce Cockburn is a little intense, but it’s good.  Okay, it’s a lot intense, but it’s really good.

Friday, 21 July 2017

I Have My Freedom But I Don’t Have Much Time


Note to all you girls who drove me crazy in my final year of high school by playing Wild Horses on the cafeteria juke box every single day:  OK, you were right.  It’s a darn good song.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Listing, Listing …


I’ve recently been wondering why I don’t write as much about acoustic guitarists as their plugged-in friends, because the music I listen to probably contains as many acoustic guitars as electric.

Maybe it’s the wow factor of the electric guitar.  I dunno.

I don’t even have a Top Ten list.  Maybe it’s just too hard.

I mean, where do you start?  You could fill the list with the influential blues cats like Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Son House or John Lee Hooker.  You could fill it with acoustic specialists like James Taylor, Bruce Cockburn, Cat Stevens, Harry Manx, Paul Simon or Donovan.  You could easily fill it with players who also play a mean electric guitar, like Clapton, Page, Knopfler, Bonamassa, Neil Young or Colin James.

Hmmm.  Plenty of wow factor in all those names.

I guess there’s the “defined the instrument/broke new ground” thing that gets applied to musicians on other instruments.  In that case, I suppose my list would be: Leadbelly, Johnson, Broonzy, Taylor, Simon, Donovan, Stevens, Cockburn, Young and Page.

But then I’d be omitting artist I listen to – and wonder, “how did he/she do that?” – a lot.  People like Clapton, Harry Manx, Arlo Guthrie and Bonnie Raitt.

To hell with lists.  I revere all the guitarists mentioned – them, and a lot more.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Like An Overheard Remark


Have a listen to the hauntingly beautiful bit of melancholia called In The Falling Dark, by Bruce Cockburn.

There’s not much else to say, is there?

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

So Downhearted Sometimes


If Bruce Springsteen had done (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding instead of Elvis Costello (or Nick Lowe) it, it would be as big as Born To Run or Born In The USA in the catalog of best rock songs of all time. 

So the question is: why isn't it?