Monday, June 10, 2019

#NewReleases June, 2019 #Playlist

Here's a playlist I put together of new songs or new covers mostly put out just before June or in June of this year.

I can't wait to see the new documentary, Echo in the Canyon by Jakob Dylan about the 1960's "California sound" and the collection of musicians that flocked to Los Angles and hung together in Laurel Canyon. This playlist is sprinkled with a variety of new releases where the musical influences of the 60's and 70's are still with us today.

Included in this mix, is a song from the new Bruce Springsteen album, Western Stars, which happens to embrace the aforementioned west coast spirit and comes out this week, June 14.  Also, a song from the much anticipated new Black Keys album, Let's Rock, that comes out June 28th. Look for more playlists that will include songs from these two albums.

Enjoy the playlist my friends!


Monday, June 3, 2019

#ComedyMonday


Here's a little shout out to my dear friends Paul and Jane Hobbs who made the trip down from the Central Coast to see the very funny Jim Gaffigan at the Del Mar Fair last Saturday night.

On Sunday, Paul sent me a text me to say it was a fabulous show and with that in mind, thought I'd take a little music break and bring in some stand up and sketch comedy favorites this week.

This gives me a chance to share a clip of the great Tim Conway who recently passed away and like Gaffigan made everybody laugh every single time he did a bit. In my humble opinion, I think comedy is one of the hardest professions on earth. I know it's not brain surgery, but what a skill to examine life and then have the ability to make people laugh, over and over again.

I have tremendous respect for musicians and comedians as comedy like music soothes the soul. I hope you can have a few good laughs here to start your week. Enjoy my friends!



Monday, May 27, 2019

May 1969, Wow! 50 Years of Music


Earlier this month, I began to work on my now monthly feature of albums released 50 years ago in the month I post the blog. When I first looked at the Wikipedia 1969 in Music #May list I just said, "Wow!"

Here is a representative group of 50 songs from this monster month of albums released in May, 1969. Enjoy my friends!


Monday, May 20, 2019

New Releases @ the river of streams, April-May 2019















I kick off this mix of newly released albums with a terrific band that my daughter, Shawna and I loved in the 90's, The Cranberries. In 2017, the band began working on what was going to be their eighth album, In the End. On January 15, 2018, Dolores O' Riordan the band's iconic lead singer died of an accidental drowning in a London Hotel bathtub due to alcohol intoxication.

In the months following her tragic death, the band (guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler) embarked on finishing the album as Dolores had already laid down some impressive vocal demo tracks. This album is a testament to the band's love of Dolores and their tireless effort to make this last Cranberries album a classic. This album is simply fantastic and as a fan, I can't figure out why it's not getting more press here in the U.S. even if the band is unable to perform on TV and tour. My last video of this mix is a recent interview with Noel and Fergal.

This mix of 60 songs is mostly made up of the albums featured above in my collage with a little bit of everything across the genres. Enjoy my friends!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Celebrating 50 Years of Their Debut Album

Back and Front Album Cover - Photo by Henry Diltz | Source - PopSpots by Bob Egan
On May 29, 1969 Crosby, Stills & Nash was released by Atlantic Records. I love all ten songs today as much as I did when I was a teenager because their place in time helped define my place in time.

The album cover photo taken by Henry Diltz was scouted by Graham Nash and Art Director, Gary Burden in LA. As the two were driving around, they found an abandoned house in West Hollywood with the infamous couch in the front. On the day of the photo shoot, the band had not decided on a name yet. A day or so after the shoot, the boys decided on Crosby, Stills & Nash. They then went back to do a reshoot so that their names would correspond with their left right order on the couch. When they got there, the house had been torn down and lay in a pile of rubble. Oh well, the dye was cast, and Diltz's photo is a rock 'n' legend in its own right.

I love this story because I've always felt the band's last names order was always out of order. As any person that follows music in the 1960's knows (or at least in my opinion)- Stills' name should have gone first, Nash second, and Crosby third. Don't get me wrong, they are all truly gifted as they came together from famous bands to make the supergroup of harmony, but Stephen is the music genius of the three. Like a five-tool baseball player, Stephen Stills is a superstar songwriter, singer, and both an acoustic guitar and electric guitar master. And I suppose the fifth tool being, he publicly appeared to keep his ego a little more checked at the doorstep than his other star bandmates (starting with his name being second).

When I saw Graham Nash perform in San Diego last year, he warmly talked about the making of the debut album and how Stephen arranged and played every instrument on the album with the exception of Dallas Taylor on drums (shown behind the door on the back cover of the album photo).

I've always been a Stephen Stills and Neil Young fan, but I would say I was a Stephen Stills fan first starting with the two in Buffalo Springfield. As the two alpha's of Buffalo Springfield, Neil has always had a propensity to just leave and he did just that to Buffalo Springfield in 1968. 

In July of 1968, Cass Elliot took Nash (still in The Hollies) to meet the now band-less Stills (from Springfield) and Crosby (fired from The Byrds) to a party at Joni Mitchell's house in Laurel Canyon, and the birth of the band was born that day. 

In the formation of Crosby, Stills & Nash, I believe this was Stephen's chance to get out from Neil and do his own thing. The debut album is such a fresh start for all three that embodies the pure joy of collaboration. It was also Stephen's moment to lead and I became a HUGE Stephen Stills fan after this album with his fingerprints all over it. 

And yes, the album was a big hit, but more importantly, it was all the buzz within the music industry in Los Angeles. A few years later in the mid-seventies, another famous LA band would say in a famous song..."we haven't had that spirit here since 1969, and still those voices are calling from far away"...

In the months following the debut, Ahmet Ertegun, the President of Atlantic Records had the idea to suggest adding Neil Young to the group. Now that was both brilliant and ballistic at the same time. Brilliant because we get the album Déjà Vu and the song, Ohio in 1970, and ballistic because Neil is Neil and he tends to just do his own thing, which is also brilliant by the way.  

The storied history of CS&N and CSN&Y through their breakups, makeups and breakups has been well chronicled and I won't go into depth here. I will indulge in the idea of  "what if" because like Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash were broken up as a band shortly after take off. It would have been special for the trio to have ridden that moment of 1969 and carry on as a trio. The inclusion of Neil Young cut short the magical run that many monster bands or single artists have, 5+ successive years of lighting the fire and being at the top of the music game. Not surprisingly, Neil Young did just that in his 1970's solo run while using a splash of Stills, Nash, Crosby, The Stray Gators, and of course Crazy Horse mixed in.


Side note- I was in Maui last October and wanted to see Mick Fleetwood's restaurant. Fleetwood's On Front St. It's in an old general store building upstairs (pictured above), but the gem is walking downstairs to Henry Diltz's photo studio, Morrison Hotel Gallery in Fleetwood's General Store in Lahaina, HI. In the Gallery, was an original print of the Crosby, Stills & Nash album cover. The Gallery's Art Consultant, Sharon Cholet filled me in on all the history of the photo shoot and I appreciated her time. The print cost $500 and I wanted it so bad.

Enjoy my friends, this one is special.


Monday, April 29, 2019

My second 100 Songs


In November, 2016 I posted My 100 Songs as a YouTube Playlist. In the description header of that playlist I wrote, "My 100 favorite songs not necessarily rated 1-100. This playlist is part of me, like remembering listening to the Rolling Stones' Satisfaction on my transistor radio in 1965 on my front yard grass."

If you spend anytime thinking about the music you love, 100 songs is really just a good start. So it's taken a while but I've put together My 'second' 100 Songs. Like the first 100, I did not rate them 1-100 as this continues to be more of a shuffle of mostly longtime favorites.

These lists are my favorites not only because I like the songs, but they continue to represent a place in time for me. For example in this grouping, I selected Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, a song written and recorded just three weeks after the May, 4 1970 Kent State shootings. The song was released in June of that year and I remember hearing it for the first time while in the back seat of my friend Gary Hill's family station wagon. I was in the car with my pals Gary (driving), Paul and Ron and the song came on over the radio. We were driving on Main street, all talking stopped and we just quietly listened to it, blown away.

There's some gems in here that you will easily recognize and maybe a few you've never heard before. I have included both lists here with 200 songs that continue to change over time. Some songs get deleted from YouTube and I can't remember what was deleted. Maybe that's a blessing as I just add a song here or there that I love. For example, The Zombies were recently inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and that got me listening to them again and suddenly, two songs make the latest list.

Well, I guess I had better start working on 201-300, there's never enough good music. Enjoy my friends!
My second 100 Songs


My 100 Songs

Monday, April 22, 2019

April, 1969 - 50 Years of Music

April, 1969 (Source: Wikipedia 1969 in Music)
DayAlbumArtistNotes
1TasteTaste-
7Nazz NazzNazz-
Songs from a RoomLeonard Cohen-
8Three Week HeroP.J. Proby-
9Nashville SkylineBob Dylan-
15Green Is BluesAl Green-
21Uncle MeatThe Mothers of InventionSoundtrack
23With a Little Help from My FriendsJoe Cocker-
25On the Threshold of a DreamThe Moody Blues-
26It's Our ThingThe Isley Brothers-
28The Chicago Transit AuthorityChicago-
30M.P.G.Marvin Gaye-
-Blue MatterSavoy Brown-
HairVarious ArtistsLondon cast
Our Mother the MountainTownes Van Zandt-
Ramblin' Gamblin' ManThe Bob Seger System-
My deep dive back to 1969 in music this year has been fun in the appreciation for all the songs I dismissed the first time around as a young and stupid 14 year old. Nashville Skyline is a perfect example. I liked Bob Dylan, but what was he doing changing his voice and making a Country album? Several years later, I did take notice when Lay Lady Lay came on the radio one day and my mom said, "I hate that song" and I said to myself, "Hey maybe Bobby's got something here."

In the 50 years since, I've expanded my thinking a bit as well as my taste for different genres of music. If this Monday finds you wanting a little retrospection, this music will take you there.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Taxman Then and Now

One of George Harrison's homes - Friar Park

Taxman is one of The Beatles most famous songs and is the title track from their 1966 album, Revolver. George Harrison wrote the song when he realized that over 90% of his income was being taxed by the British government. Now even us wee folk would agree that rate excessive and that different tax rates should be set to what a society would deem fair from the super rich to the very poor.

In all the Monday Monday posts, I've tried very hard to stay away from politics and focus mostly on the positive aspects of music. But with this post falling on America's tax due date of April 15th, it was just too tempting to not let this day in our time in history and great song pass us by.

As you probably know, our tax laws have recently changed during Trump's presidency to favor the super rich. I like many middle income Americans had my worst tax year in memory.

At this very moment, the topic of Mr. Trump's own taxes are one of the top national news stories. In fact this story will only get hotter in the days, months or even years ahead, and likely won't be solved until the Supreme Court makes a decision on the matter.

Ultimately and in my personal opinion, Americans are going to have to push to pass a Federal law that any Presidential candidate would have to reveal 10 years of their latest tax returns in order to receive the nomination of their political party to run for President of the United States.

Now back to the wee folk. So, George wrote Taxman about himself as a rich person, but the song was a big hit because of its monster beat, not to mention, it spoke to the common man being taxed by 'the man.' So in that spirit of today and being the common men and women of America, give a heart felt listen to Taxman. 

Also, watch the second video below, The Beatles - Taxman (Explained) The HollyHobs, it's very entertaining and explains my choice for the lead in photo of Friar Park.

Wishing you, a happy Return.




Monday, April 8, 2019

School Days and 'This Land Is Your Land'

Growing up in America in the 1960's every school child learned the Woody Guthrie song, This Land Is Your Land.

For me, it is my most enduring folk song because I have such fond memories of singing it in school with a room full of kids, countless times. 

I'm not going to get into Woody's politics, but the song was written in 1940 after Guthrie's was literally blown away in the great dustbowl of the 1930's and saw thousands of working people forced to migrate to California in the search of a better life. Woody spent a lot of his life as a 'rolling stone' and he saw our great country, and wrote about the land and it's people from his perspective.

This Land Is Your Land has three controversial verses that were edited out of the school songbook versions, as Woody's publisher adeptly kept the more global verses for the American school children to learn and become an American anthem.

Recently, I saw Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger's rendition from Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural where Pete would only do it if they sang all the verses. I also came across the NPR article, How 'This Land Is Your Land' Roamed And Rambled Into American Life. Last week I was reviewing My 100 Songs Playlist where I placed This Land Is Your Land as my first song.

I also love Gary Clark's Jr. new song, This Land . The track was inspired by "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie, with Clark commenting in an interview with American Songwriter: "It’s one of the first songs we learn, and we sing it together ... It's like the Pledge of Allegiance ... And when you're kids, everybody's together. You don't see differences until you get older, and older people influence you to think about other people a certain way. I just want to get back to singing that song like we were kids again, you know?" (Wikipedia)

This information kind of all collided at the same time for me to want to continue to celebrate this wonderful song this week. No matter your political stance we as Americans can all call this song, "our song."

My granddaughter Elliot is visiting, and she came up to me last night while I was writing this and asked me what I was doing. She smiled when I told her and said, "We sing that song in school." We then sang it together.

This Land Is Your Land
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island; 
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters 
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway, 
I saw above me that endless skyway: 
I saw below me that golden valley: 
This land was made for you and me.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps 
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts; 
And all around me a voice was sounding: 
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling, 
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling, 
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting: 
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there 
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing." 
But on the other side it didn't say nothing, 
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people, 
By the relief office I seen my people; 
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking 
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me, 
As I go walking that freedom highway; 
Nobody living can ever make me turn back 
This land was made for you and me.




Monday, April 1, 2019

#InstrumentalMonday - As Far as I can See, Phil Cook


I found this gem this past week just released on 3/26/19 as it landed with me just wanting to hear some instrumental guitar. Hope this #InstrumentalMonday starts your week off with the positive vibe of Phil Cook.

Now I have never heard of Phil Cook so I looked him up on Wikepedia and discovered this wonderful sentence about him - Beyond his musical career, Cook works at the Center for Inquiry Based Learning at Duke University where he "assembles hands-on science kits for elementary schools."

As an educator, I spent a great deal of my career focused on Inquiry-based Learning and I just thought that was fantastic! Here's a great little review of  this album by Andy Kahn from JamBase as Phil comments on the tracks from  As Far as I can See.

"This is a collection of snapshots. Recording “D.L.’s Holler” in the upstairs hallway of an elementary school, outside my wife’s classroom while she graded papers in a thunderstorm. Listen for the thunder roll in one of the breaks. Recording “Waiting Round The Oven Buns” in my house in January while my wife Heather, pregnant with our first child, napped in the front room. Driving hours in the wrong direction during a blizzard into Tennessee on Highway 40, making us four hours late for the recording session I had booked for his Side Up. Loading in wet and snowy and then loading out four hours later with my friends Nick and Yan, finished, victorious and laughing. Recording “Saratoga” with one son next to me flipping through Calvin and Hobbes and my other son napping just a room away. Sitting on an old front porch in Birmingham, Alabama one hot spring morning with James’ beat-up classical guitar and recording a quick voice memo as we were packing up to leave. Sharing a joint with my brother Brad on the way to The Cave in Chapel Hill and feeling grateful for the spontaneous virtuosity of the Canine Boys and Libby Rodenbough. These moments, stacked up in a pile, feel like the kind of riches nobody can ever take away from me. The truest currency. I hope you, dear listener, also share this currency and feel this gratitude when you think of the journey of moments that has formed you."


Monday, March 25, 2019

50 Years of Music, March 1969




In March, 1969 I turned a restless and inexperienced 14 years old. I lived in a small town looking at the peace and love counter-culture from the outside, wanting in.

The March entry for Wikipedia's 1969 in Music is a great panoramic snapshot of what would make popular AM radio to the new hip bands from America and England finding their way to the FM side.

From that counter-culture side, you have bands recording nine minute jams and I'm just dreaming myself into the live Fillmore West scene in San Francisco.

On the pop side, I was a big fan of Dusty Springfield, and her Dusty in Memphis is such a knock out classic that I've featured it here in the playlist as my personal favorite of this grouping of albums.

As always, I've tried to put together a little eclectic mix and hope you enjoy the ride of March '69.


Monday, March 18, 2019

New Releases @ the River of Streams, January - March, 2019



For the past several weeks I have been listening to a lot of new music, some put out by people with name recognition, but more so by folks who play Folk that I have never heard of before.

I use Amazon Music to do my digital fishing as I search the 'New Releases,' listen and determine- 'catch and release' or 'catch and keep' by the river of streams.

This week's playlist has 50 songs caught and kept from probably a steaming base of over 100 albums or so. Amazon does a nice job of breaking the New Releases into genres to get you to some smaller fishing spots.

I suggest you shift through my 50 songs here and if you are a fan of Americana music, you're going to find some new keepers to put in your own digital fish basket.

Note 1- The March, 1966 Field and Stream cover kind of looks like my dad. He loved his fishing!

Note 2- I was going to go back to Sunday School and somehow metaphorically weave Jesus and the fish and the loaves of bread, but thought I'd spare you that. Enjoy and share with others my friends!


Monday, March 11, 2019

Yola, Walk Through Fire


Yola Carter is a 35 year old British singer-songwriter who's just around the corner from being the next Americana sensation. Thanks to her performance at AmericanaFest 2016 that eventually led to her getting her hooked up with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and solo act sensation himself (check out his 2017 Waiting on a Song album). Auerbach has produced Yola's new album, Walk Through Fire, just released in February.

For this week's blog, I was working on featuring new music releases from January - March of this year, and had to put that on the digital shelf once I started listening to Walk Through Fire. Like so many people who hear her sing for the first time, I was simply knocked out. Auerbach was no exception, who instantly wanted to collaborate with her at his Easy Eye Sound studio and label in Nashville.

The result is a stunning album. Auerbach's influence as Producer who brought in a wealth of Nashville talent to support this project brings a very Waiting on a Song vibe without diminishing Yola's towering voice range across the album.

It is so rare for me to like every song on an album these days that it takes me back to my first listen to Carol King's Tapestry album in 1971. I'm not comparing the two, but Walk Through Fire is so well crafted as it goes to the deep well of American music and pre-digital recording.

Some would call this album 'Country Soul' but let's just embrace the entire palette of American music that has influenced this young woman as an example of why the Americana genre is thriving today, despite no mainstream radio time.

Check out these two articles to get Yola Carter's backstory (no Wikipedia page, yet) - St. George's Bristol and npr music 2016 and then, these two articles that review the album - npr music and the Tennessean.

For the playlist this week, I have included all 12 songs from Walk Through Fire, and several songs from her 2016 EP, Orphan Offering, and then some tracks recorded at live shows or radio streaming events. Maybe this is your first listen of Yola Carter, it won't be you last! Enjoy my friends.


Monday, March 4, 2019

50 Years of Music - February, 1969


It's February, 1969 and Cream is saying Goodbye in their last contractual record obligation with Polydor. As stated several times in my blogs over the years, the gem from that album is Badge written by Eric Clapton and George Harrison and included in the playlist this week.

Doing these blogs is always a blast to go back in time and listen to people like Mary Hopkin and hear her album Postcard, produced by Paul McCartney that includes several Donovan songs. It was also great to discover, Chicken Shack a British Blues band and Christine Perfect McVie's first band.

However, the pick of this grouping is an album that was not commercially successful at the time but later became a classic, The Gilded Palace of Sin by the Flying Burrito Brothers. I'm in the camp of people who see Gram Parsons as the "Godfather of Americana music" as a genre. Along with his other ex-Byrds bandmate Chris Hillman, they formed the perfect blending of country and rock that makes this album influential and legendary today.

From the driving Rock and Blues sounds of Cream, Ten Years After, Jefferson Airplane, MC5 and Vanilla Fudge, the soul of The Temptations and The Delfonics, to Michael Nesmith's country sound in The Monkees and the groundbreaking Flying Burrito Brothers debut album, there's still the sweet harmonies of The Beach Boys in early 1969. As Mary Hopkin sang,

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way


Monday, February 25, 2019

Kacey Musgraves, 2/19/19 at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle


So what if Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson had a baby girl? Maybe she would be somebody like Kacey Musgraves, a singer-songwriter with model looks and clothes to match. This goes along with a strong sense of tolerance and minding one's own business, not to mention that she loves to smoke pot.

So ho​e your own row, yeah, and raise your own babies
Smoke your own smoke and grow your own daisies
Mend your own fences and own your own crazy
Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy
Yeah mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy
From the song, Biscuits

Kacey speaks to people with an inner voice that they can identify with; someone willing to break with tradition while holding many values of tradition at the same time. Some may see her music as "schmaltzy" but I think she's got a Dolly and Willie-like intelligence to deal with the Nashville establishment on her terms. She may call herself, "Spacey Kacey" but there's a lot going on inside her head with the dichotomy of what you perceive is not what you are going to get. 

There's certain things you're s'posed to know
When you're a girl who grows up in the south
I try to use my common sense
But my foot always ends up in my mouth
And if I had to walk a runway in high heels in front of the whole town
I'd fall down
And my mama cried
When she realized

I ain't pageant material
I'm always higher than my hair
And it ain't that I don't care about world peace
But I don't see how I can fix it in a swimsuit on a stage
I ain't exactly Ms. Congenial
Sometimes I talk before I think, I try to fake it but I can't
I'd rather lose for what I am than win for what I ain't
From the song, Pageant Material

Then there's Kacey creating a synth "Space Country" sound in her 2018 album, Golden Hour. A departure from her previous two albums, Same Trailer Different Park, and Pageant Material. Here you have a woman whose head over heels in love with her new husband, Ruston Kelly and she's writing about it with a world view of wonderfulness. When I first heard it last year, I said to myself, "Oh, this is going mainstream and could be big, yes very big!"

Two weeks ago, on February 10th, Golden Hour won Kacey four Grammy's including Best Country Album, and the granddaddy music industry prize, Album of the Year.

Oh, what a world, 
I don't wanna leave
There's all kinds of magic, 
it's hard to believe

Northern lights in our skies
Plants that grow and open your mind
Things that swim with a neon glow
How we all got here, nobody knows
from the song, Oh What a World

Last week I got to see Kacey Musgraves in Seattle in what turned out to be the hottest ticket in town as she came into the Paramount with that fresh Grammy win to a wildly excited sold out crowd. The audience was quickly on its feet for the whole show with all the ladies enthusiastically singing along, knowing every word of every song.

A man in the center front row, got down on his knee and proposed to his girlfriend during Oh What a Wonderful World, Kacie looked down paused at that moment and said, "He's proposing!"

At another point in the concert, Kacey put the microphone down to her side and let the audience sing two verses of one her songs as that must be such a rush to be in Freddy Mercury territory! I see arena bookings in some cities just around the corner.

All that I know
Is you caught me at the right time
Keep me in your glow
'Cause I'm having such a good time
With you
from the song, Golden Hour

I hope you enjoy the wit and charm of Kacey Musgraves from my Playlist this week from her four studio albums. I believe she is one of the key people currently saving Country Music from itself.


Monday, February 18, 2019

For Real, Tom Petty



For Real - The previously unreleased track, taken from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers career retrospective ‘The Best of Everything’. Pre-Order Now for the March 1st release.






Monday, February 11, 2019

Linda Ronstadt Live in Hollywood

Linda Ronstadt is a legend. I don't really know anybody older or younger who doesn't like Linda Ronstadt. Like many males of my generation, we not only loved her beautiful voice but carried a huge crush to match.

In 1980, she was at the top of her game, a bona fide rock 'n' roll star with a succession of platinum selling albums. In April of that year, she performed a live concert at Television Center Studios in Hollywood for an upcoming HBO Special.

Through a friend, I was able to get a bootleg cassette tape of the entire concert and played that thing to death in my new 1980 blue Toyota truck cassette player.

The concert has now just been released, Feb. 1st as a live album (view sources here) and I have delighted in revisiting these tracks with Linda and her wonderful band including, Wendy Waldman, Kenny Edwards, Danny Kortchmar, Dan Dugmore, Billy Payne, Bob Glob, and Russ Kunkel. If you ever read album jacket covers in the 70's and 80's, these guys were on everybody's records.

Nobody could belt it out like Linda, and it's extremely emotional for me to see one of my teenage idols stopped in 2009 from singing and doing the thing she loved the most due to her Parkinson's diagnosis. Now at 72, you can catch up with her in her recent February 7th interview in Rolling Stone and on the TV show, Sunday Morning  from February 3rd.

Here is my playlist starting with the Sunday Morning interview with Linda. Then, a mix of good and poorer quality video of the concert along with the better audio tracks from the album, as sometimes the 80's tape hiss is a bit much, but I love to watch Linda perform! Enjoy my friends.


Monday, February 4, 2019

Gary Clark Jr. - This Land (preview)

Here's a little sneak preview with a couple of songs from Gary Clark Jr.'s new album to be released on February 22nd, This Land. Gary just gets bigger and bigger with every album and I can't wait for the full release. I'll add songs to the playlist once they become available. Enjoy my friends!


Monday, January 28, 2019

50 Years of Music - January, 1969

In 2019, I will write a monthly feature of music released 50 years ago from that month in 1969.

I'm going to use 1969 in music from Wikipedia as my primary source as you can see by the January list here. If I (or Wikipedia) miss a big album, please feel free to write a comment, and I'm sure I will correct that in a re-edit from that blog.

I also plan to feature an entire album deemed 'great' (by me of course) from a month in 1969. Abbey Road and Crosby, Stills & Nash are just two albums that come to mind.

In January, 1969 I was in Mr. Richard Ziegler's 8th grade homeroom class. During that year, I became President of the Antique Bottle Club and certified nerd. Mr. Ziegler formed the club after his passion for finding and collecting old bottles in the creeks and old dump sites around the central coast of California. I did the same for a couple years and to this day still have boxes of antique bottles that I've carted to every apartment or house that I have ever lived in.

Looking back, I remember one Jr. High dance where a local cover band of high school students performed the song, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida while I watched from the sidelines as kids tried to dance to it. As a side note- the album also titled, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida released in 1968 was the biggest selling album of 1969.

If you follow Monday Monday Music, the real content is listening to the weekly YouTube playlists that I put together. And I thought it was my fantastic writing. No dummy, you just began the last sentence with, "And."

Ok, so one of the keys of life is making the time to do the things YOU want to do. If you've followed me this far, listening to music is one of those magical things of life.

So strike a match, light the incense and get back to a little 1969 in music.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Tommy Emmanuel, Accomplice One

One of the goals this year with my blog is to present whole albums from the past and present.

Great albums much like great novels are a musical narrative that must be experienced  whole.

Songs brought together in an album often write their own little chapters that bring together an emotional and cerebral experience. Collective songs on an album have the power to alter your state of mind, rise you up, take you on a journey, or just make you smile and shake your head to the rhythm.

Tommy Emmanuel is one such musician who is revered by many around the world. You can look at his discography and realize that he has made an album almost every 2-3 years since 1979. When you accomplish something like that, you realize he is making these albums for his joy, and the joy that it will bring others.

"One of six children, Emmanuel was born in Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia, in 1955. He received his first guitar in 1959 at age four and was taught by his mother to accompany her playing lap steel guitar. At the age of six in 1961, he heard Chet Atkins playing on the radio. He vividly remembers that moment and said it greatly inspired him." Wikipedia

Growing up, Tommy's family formed a band, sold their house and went on the road to perform when he was seven years old. Over the years he played in numerous bands traveling the world. His fame developed over the years as a highly coveted 'session player' recording on many musicians albums, not to mention his fun and relaxed personality made him friends and fans everywhere he went.

Tommy's gift as an acoustic guitar player begins with his hero, Chet Atkin's and following Chet's Travis picking style. Tommy as an Australian, is pure Americana in that his passion is to mix- jazz, blues, bluegrass, country, folk, rock and world beat rhythms into a musical deep dive accompanied by his famous finger picking. Tommy often beats his guitar with his right hand while laying down a percussion line with his left thumb on the top bass strings, while the remaining left fingers blend in a melody. When you watch this you realize his right fingers are literally dancing on the strings and he becomes, a one man band. Tommy does around 300 concerts a year all over the world. His heart and soul is the definition of troubadour.

If Tommy is anything, he is a collaborator.  He loves to play with other musicians and boy do they love to play with him. In late 2018, I discovered Accomplice One (you can buy it here on Amazon), released in January, 2018. So I'm about a year late to the Tommy E. party, that on this album includes- Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Ricky Skaggs, Jorma Kaukonen, David Grisman, Mark Knopfler, Jake Shimabukuro, and Rodney Crowell to name just 'the names.'

This album is a real collective treat that tells a story based on your imagination.  All the songs from Accomplice One are on the playlist this week, and please make time to watch Tommy's TED Talk at the end. Tommy's a classical gas!

As a footnote- I see Tommy has just released a new album called Heart Songs with John Knowles on January, 11th. And, in the story of my concert life have just discovered he played in San Diego at the Balboa Theatre on January 12th. I can't believe I missed this opportunity, my verbal language is quite colorful at the moment!


Monday, January 14, 2019

Val McCallum, at the end of the day

One of my new finds on Netflix is Off Camera (Sam Jones Pictures). In the 2014 Series 1: Episode 4 (Netflix Link) is Sam's interview with Val McCallum.  I had never heard of Val before, even though he probably was introduced by Jackson Browne at his Balboa Theatre concert in San Diego a couple years back. Val is Jackson's long-time lead guitar player on tour.

Val McCallum is the son of famous parents David McCallum and Jill Ireland. Val was born in 1963 and his father David starred in one of my all-time favorite TV shows from 1964-1968, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as secret agent, llya Kuryakin.

I hesitated to write the above paragraph, as I'm sure Val lives the constant reminder of his famous parents before discussing his music, but for me being a baby boomer, I think he can appreciate the connection.

However, it is Val's closeness to his mother Jill in the Off Camera interview and her long journey with breast cancer that sucked me into the world of Val McCallum. I enjoyed his stories of youth, going to school with the Jackson Five, and into the life of becoming a musician and a session with Harry Nilsson as his first professional gig.

Sam Jones dives his into his 2012 solo album, at the end of the day which I immediately streamed off Amazon and then began the YouTube playlist for this week. In following last weeks blog about Scott Hirsch and his new album, Lost Time Behind the Moon; both albums are perfect January listening to albums as I'm writing this on a rainy cold Saturday with the fireplace gas logs burning.

If you're into the Americana genre, at the end of the day is a must listen with Val's well crafted songwriting combined with his sparkling acoustic and electric guitar.

And speaking of Americana, Val is also in what you might call a comic country band called Jackshit. Not only is Val having a blast just having a fun band, he's teamed with Elvis Costello's rhythm section, Pete Thomas on drums and Davey Faragher on bass. This is an extremely talented band in the same tongue-in-cheek vein as Dan Hick and His Hot Licks was, but completely different.

So my friends just sit back on this winter's day and enjoy the music of Val McCallum.



Monday, January 7, 2019

Scott Hirsch, Lost Time Behind the Moon

In my last blog, My Favorite Songs of 2018, I included several songs from Lost Time Behind the Moon by Scott Hirsch.

Here's a nice review from Pitchfolk by Stephen M. Deusner that will get you up to speed about Scott. I myself wasn't aware of his music until I stumbled upon Lost Time Behind the Moon on Amazon Music's New Releases section.
After reviewing and rejecting many songs for my 2018 list from famous artists who didn't make my cut, Scott Hirsch was a great fresh find!

After this past hectic holiday season, you might find yourself just needing to let your mind drift a bit. This album is just the ticket to putting you on the 'lost highway' of thought.

In this weeks playlist on YouTube I have included all the songs from Lost Time Behind the Moon and Hirsch's 2016, album, Blue Rider Songs.

I have to mention that Scott Hirsch lives in Ojai, California which always brings me back home to my days growing up (and trips back up to) the central coast. I'm going to venture that this region and state are the inspiration for many of his songs. Most people think of California as just a bunch of freeways when it in fact it has so many back roads and open space to explore.

I also see that Scott is a frequent performer at the Ojai Underground Exchange (and just this past Saturday), as I have included a couple of live video songs from there as well.

Also, just updated (1/12/19) - Living Liner Notes for Lost Time Behind the Moon.