Thursday, 18 January 2018

Only A Bar Band?

I have friends who will disparage bands they aren’t fond of by saying, “They’re only a bar band.”  Curiously, this includes people who are in the same bar band as me.

To which I say:  Only a bar band?!?  Think about some of the massive albums that were recorded by bands who were still playing in clubs at time.

The Beatles were still gigging at places like the Cavern Club in Liverpool and the Star Club in Hamburg while they recorded Please Please Me.

The Who were performing in clubs when they recorded My Generation.

Eric Clapton achieved his notorious divinity not on the concert stage but in the nightclubs of London, while he knocked off both the John Mayall “Beano” and Fresh Cream albums.

The next year, Eric, The Beatles, The Stones and their pals caught Hendrix at the Bag O’ Nails while he was recording Are You Experienced.

Even Page, Plant &co. played a few club dates before Led Zeppelin I launched them on their path to world domination.

Only a bar band?  I guess if you can have a left-handed compliment, you can also have a left-handed insult.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Don’t Fade On Me

“The soundtrack to your life” may be a cliché, but to the extent that we all have one, mine seemed to be slipping away in 2017.  Check out Rolling Stone’s People We Lost This Year.

Chuck Berry, Tom Petty, Malcolm Young, Gord Downie, Greg Allman, Walter Becker, Fats Domino, J. Geils …  sheesh!  That’s a partial list of cultural icons relegated to our memories.

Back up your hard drives, people.  We need to keep this stuff alive.

Friday, 15 December 2017

How Many Times?

If you can’t achieve immortality through song lyrics as deep and meaningful and insightful and poignant and timeless as Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind, then you should at least get a Nobel Prize for it.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

It Ain’t Nothin’ New

Killer songs, rock solid performance, great production, and – for my money – the best slide guitar going.

But what really sets Bonnie Raitt’s music apart is that it’s sexy.  Have a listen to Love Sneakin’ Up On You.  Bonnie’s music is overflowing with slow-grinding, hip-swaying, trance-inducing grooves.

Your whole world is shakin’.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Won’t You Give Me A Second Chance?

It was, for a time, fashionable to disparage the music of the 80’s. 

While in some cases - even at the time - I have been (and remain) in agreement, a quick listen to Bonnie Raitt’s version of Baby Come Back is a perfect example of the happy fact that this was not a universal problem.

Thursday, 16 November 2017


Some of my favourite music is by people who are doing The Stones - and maybe making a better job of it.  There’s been a lot of it about over the years, so I know it’s not just me who thinks they’re a pretty good band.

I mean, if being copied by dozens of successful bands over 5 decades isn’t influential, then what is?

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Come On You Painter, You Piper, You Prisoner

So    actually     underneath it all  ..  Shine On You Crazy Diamond is a blues song.

Only took me 4 decades or so to see that.  Guess I’m a slow learner.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Long Time Gone

Since no one seems to be writing protest songs anymore, why don't we just have another listen to this?

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Armed With Will And Determination

Canadians are a funny bunch.   We’re too busy looking over our shoulder to be able to wave the flag.  Our anxiety over what we might (or might not) be often blocks our pride in who we are.

But boy, when we grab something and decide it’s Canadian, we do not let go.  Musically, the best example is The Tragically Hip.  Whatever it means to be a Canadian, this band was it – and we knew it.

Who cares if The Hip were never huge outside Canada?  They were ours, dammit.  They sang songs about us, and we sang ‘em right back.

We may be grieving for the loss of Gord Downie, but their gift to Canada will endure forever, because they have given us another undeniable marker in our national identity.  The Tragically Hip were as Canadian as a hockey stick.

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