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?

Friday, 2 June 2017

Lost and Flying Down The Road

Have your favourite cocktail, enjoy your favourite meal and bottle of wine (if that's your pleasure), smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em, savour your favourite after dinner drink.  Listen to Hellbound Train by Savoy Brown.

You could listen all night long, right?

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The 2nd Time Around

Some bands grab you right away, and never let go.  The Beatles, say.

Others are hard to ignore but take a little longer for you to appreciate.  For me, bands like CCR and The Band fall into that category.  They were there, in your face, all the time.  I just took a long time for me to realize how much I dug them.

Other bands, though, barley registered in my consciousness, and they sort of slipped on by while I was busy enjoying the music I was already committed to.  After all, you can only buy so much music, right?  Remember buying?

Anyway, every once in a while, I go back and explore bands that I had been vaguely aware of, but never really paid attention to.  Often, the rewards have been richly rewarding.

These days, I’m just as likely to put on Savoy Brown as Led Zeppelin.  And when I do, I always ask myself how did I miss these guys the first time around?  Humble Pie, Spooky Tooth and Status Quo are other bands I really enjoy now but more or less ignored until they were all but gone from the scene.

Your list will differ, but exploration definitely has its rewards.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Well, You Know

Yes, it’s a political song, but when I hear John screaming “alright!” at the end of Revolution, I hear him saying: we already showed you we could do everything else.  Did you think we couldn’t handle hard rock?  We’re still punks, you know.