Showing posts with label Shawn Colvin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shawn Colvin. Show all posts

Monday, October 14, 2019

Save The Country, 50 Years Later and the #WrongSideOfHistory

Graphic by Doug McIntosh
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the 50 year anniversary release of Abbey Road by The Beatles. On September 24th 1969, two days before Abbey Road hit the airwaves, Laura Nyro released New York Tendaberry.

Laura is a singer-songwriter best know as a composer much like her New York Brill Building contemporaries in that other people made monster hits from her songs.

Between 1968 and 1970, a number of artists had hits with her songs: The 5th Dimension with "Blowing Away", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Sweet Blindness", and "Save the Country"; Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter, Paul and Mary, with "And When I Die"; Three Dog Night with "Eli's Comin'"; and Barbra Streisand with "Stoney End", "Time and Love", and "Hands off the Man." Wikipedia.

During this past year, I've been exploring Laura Nyro and find her completely fascinating. As I got into New York Tendaberry, I discovered the song, Save The Country inspired by the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and the times of the late sixties. 

After listening to Save The Country 50 years later, I couldn't help but link the lyrics with our current political times under one Donald Trump as history's loop-tape back to the civil rights movement and the policies and behavior of the Nixon administration. These lyrics are as relevant today as when Laura Nyro wrote them in 1968 expressing her fortitude with the continual efforts to preserve our democratic principles and the dreams they are built on.

Come on, people, come on, children
Come on down to the glory river
Gonna wash you up and wash you down
Gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down

Come on, people, come on, children
There's a king at the glory river
And the precious king, he loved the people to sing
Babes in the blinking sun sang "We Shall Overcome"

I got fury in my soul, fury's gonna take me to the glory goal
In my mind I can't study war no more
Save the people
Save the children
Save the country now

Come on, people, come on, children
Come on down to the glory river
Gonna wash you up and wash you down
Gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down

Come on, people, sons and mothers
Keep the dream of the two young brothers
Gotta take that dream and ride that dove
We can build the dream with love, I know
We can build the dream with love
We could build the dream with love, I know
We could build the dream with love

I got fury in my soul, fury's gonna take me to the glory goal
In my mind I can't study war no more
Save the people
Save the children
Save the country, save the country, save the country
Save the country

Here's four different versions of this patriotic call to save We the People from the #WrongSideOfHistory. Gotta take that dream and ride that dove, we can build the dream with love...

Laura Nyro, from New York Tendaberry, 1969
Complete album on Spotify | YouTube

The 5th Dimension, From Portrait, 1970

Rosanne Cash, From Time and Love - The Music of Laura Nyro, 1997
Complete album on Spotify | YouTube

Shawn Colvin, Chris Botti, and Billy Childs, Map to the Treasure:
Reimagining Laura Nyro, 2014
Complete album on Spotify | YouTube

Monday, December 24, 2018

My Favorite Songs of 2018

In 2018, I've made the time to listen to a lot of new albums. For me, listening to new records for the first time is like mining. In any type of mining, you spend most of your time digging and shifting. In the digs for new music, I'm trying to hear the golden songs that first hook my attention, and then work on my head and heart. 

As AM/FM radio is a wasteland in San Diego except for NPR (including NPR Music), and Jazz 88.3, Amazon Music and YouTube are now my go to digging. I'll also mention the podcasts- WTF with Marc Maron and the Americana Music Show as great resources for expanding my search for fresh songs and learning about the musicians behind the music . 

Music is such a personal thing for all of us. My wife and I love each other but our tastes in music would never have been the magical online dating algorithm to make us a match. I just love it when she gently yells up the stairs to me, "Would you please put your headphones on!"

As this blog took about 15 minutes to write, the playlist (now at 100 songs) has been going on for several months now. I publish it with the hopes that you will find at least a few golden nuggets of song that maybe you have never heard before.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, April 02, 2018

New Releases January - March, 2018

My love of the female singing voice was blessed with the gift of several new albums by a wave of fantastic young women crafting great music. Although a few older folks also make my cut this week including, Joan Baez, Shawn Colvin, and John Prine as the year is just warming up to my Americana music fix. Actually, John Prine's new album, The Tree of Forgiveness, doesn't come out until April 13, but I thought I'd give you a sneak peek of what has been released so far.

I'll start with one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Kacey Musgraves who just released her seventh studio album, Golden Hour. Musgraves is starting to get the national attention she deserves as she played on Stephen Colbert the other night. I have included a video here from her performance on the Late Show.

Equally talented is Brandi Carlisle with her sixth studio album, By The Way, I Forgive You. Brandi's been on the music scene for awhile now, and pulled on my heart strings with her song, The Mother. Last year she also blew my socks off producing one of my favorite albums of last year for The Secret Sisters, You Don't Own Me Anymore.

Next up is I'm With Her, what I'll call an Americana supergroup made up of Sara WatkinsSarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan, all great individual artists. I just recently saw them on NPR's Tiny Desk, and just loved it. Here is their first debut album just released, See Your Around.

This week's playlist is heavy with the first three albums featured above, but also please check out Brett Dennen, Christina Friis, and Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, all great finds after shifting through hours of new material.

Monday, August 22, 2016

This Must Be The Place

This past Saturday, I was part of a wonderful celebration at Alexandra and Jeremy Ouellette's wedding (‪#‎neverouelletteyougo‬) in Seattle. My family all came together for the event and I'm blessed for their love and the experience of being with Alexandra (my step-daughter) on this day. There is no better feeling in life than to be a couple in love and know you are with the one. There have been a million songs written about this feeling we call love and for me, The Talking Heads, This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) simply says it so well.

So, we are at the reception, no scratch that, I mean the party, specifically the dance party that followed the wedding ceremony and we are all dancing and drinking a bit too. Hey after all, the fun couple is getting married here at a whiskey distillery. Anyway, about half way through, the DJ plays, This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) and much to my delight, everyone is singing along and singing the entire song. Well, at that moment, I get the goose bumps moment when music and life are one, and I'm feeling, well love. 

Here are David Byrne's lyrics and then two versions of the song, the first is the original that is a must for any dance party.  The second, by Shawn Colvin is one of my favorite covers of all-time, and one that is kind of meant to listen to by yourself as it always brings a happy tear to my eye.

with love -

This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round
I feel numb - born with a weak heart
I guess I must be having fun
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It's ok I know nothing's wrong... nothing

Hi yo I got plenty of time
Hi yo you got light in your eyes
And you're standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money
Always for love
Cover up and say goodnight... say good night

Home - is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there
I come home - she lifted up her wings
I guess that this must be the place
I can't tell one from another
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time
Before we were born
If someone asks, this where I'll be... where I'll be

Hi yo
We drift in and out
Hi yo
Sing into my mouth
Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home and,
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head
Ah ooh

Monday, October 12, 2015

Heartbreak and Old Flames, The Cass County Tour

Don Henley and his Cass County Tour arrived at the Los Angeles Forum last Friday night. I told Mary Kit before we got the tickets, "I don't want you to be disappointed with this show because we might be listening to cowboy music all night." MK is more of an All She Wants To Do Is Dance  kind of gal, but we are both huge Eagles and Don Henley solo career fans and jumped at the chance to see him. Without getting too involved here, let's just say Don has that special gift as a songwriter to make you feel that his words are your life. MK and I are obviously not unique in this feeling as this has been a key to his success. As for us, no other musician has tapped into that personal well of emotion more than Don Henley.
And speaking of relationships, Henley had the magic to add Shawn Colvin as his opening act on this tour. She is one of my favorite artists and I will reserve a future blog to just focus on her music. I recommend you go buy her new album, Uncovered. It is her second cover from another wonderful group of songwriters. Shawn setup this concert evening perfectly when she said that she basically writes, "breakup songs" and said, she loves the line by Trisha Yearwood that "sad songs make me so happy."

With that, we tap into the musical mind of Don Henley and his genius to entertain a full house at the Fabulous Forum with a crafted mix of his solo career, theme-selected covers and new songs. The new album pays country homage to his youth in Linden, Texas listening to music on the radio at home and in the car with his dad. The concert starts with about 30 old radios of various shapes and sizes hung from the ceiling with a spot light. The spot-lighted radios are synchronized moving quickly from one radio to the next with audio of an old radio dial changing stations, playing classic radio sound bites from the 40's to the early 70's.

Cass County has debuted at Number 1 on the Country charts and as Henley described during the concert, this is nothing short of "a miracle." But, as a (not in a box) rock legend, Mr. Henley knows a thing or two about making hits. He brings in a line up of home run hitters including, Mick Jagger, Miranda Lambert, Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Alison Krauss, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Lucinda Williams and Stevie Nicks. If you're like me, you'd buy the album on the harmony vocals alone!

Here is the Set List of the Cass County Tour. Explore my Radio, Don Henley and the Cass County Tour YouTube Playlist below with most of the 2015 tour set list order. I was able to video corral the Cass County songs from the album (except the bonus track of the Jackson Browne song, Here Comes Those Tears Again. I will add that to this playlist when it comes to YouTube). I've also ended the playlist with a couple of recent interviews that I think you will enjoy.