Showing posts with label The Byrds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Byrds. Show all posts

Monday, August 15, 2022

Bob Dylan Covers • Volume I

The Covers Series: 

The Byrds performing Mr. Tambourine Man in 1965

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you
–Bob Dylan

Now you would think that I would go into a little depth about Bob Dylan and how many artists have covered his songs for 60 years. I guess he's probably the most covered artist in music history in the sense that he's written 623 songs as of this posting that encompass an amazing scope in the sheer quality and craft of this American treasure. In 2020, Dylan sold his entire songwriting catalog to Universal Music for 300 million, and in 2021 sold all of his recorded Music to Sony for 200 million. 

But, as I started putting together this first round of Dylan covers (I stopped at 25), it became quickly apparent that my love for The Byrds was going to dominate this first volume. How could it not?

When Bob Dylan was invited to hear The Byrds record their first album, Mr. Tambourine Man in 1965 that features four Bob Dylan songs, he was impressed and undoubtedly influenced with their electric sound that would have him quickly picking up an electric guitar shortly after. 

The Beatles influence and specifically their use of  Rickenbacker guitars combined with Dylan's songwriting created The Byrds, and the birth of folk rock. For me, Roger McGuinn's "jangly" 12 string Rickenbacker, his lead vocal combined with the band's wonderful harmonies is uniquely magical. The original Byrds line up only lasted from 1964-67, but it greatly influenced rock 'n' roll from that point moving forward and like so many other young people, turned our heads toward Mr. Dylan himself.

Note- I will of course have not included your favorite Dylan cover here. I do read all your blog comments and MMM's Twitter and Facebook, so let me know what they are, as I have already started a Bob Dylan Covers • Volume II playlist for a future post. 

Enjoy my friends!

Monday, September 28, 2020

50 Years of Music • September, 1970

Repipe came in through the bathroom walls
September, 2020 finds me in my (almost) 50 year old house and she's starting to show her age. The past several months have been, "Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling" as the ol' copper pipes sounded like a jackhammer when we turned the water on. This condition in the plumbing biz is actually called, "water hammer" or as the plumber called it, "Hammer Time."

This past month has been a scene right out of Beetlejuice as the walls would rattle and the downstairs bathroom floor tiles were getting warmer and warmer. It finally dawned on me, "Dear I believe we've sprung a hot water leak underneath the concrete slab."

Well, After consulting my old buddy and contractor, Ron Zieman he guided me to go with a complete "Pex" repipe of the entire house. A repipe, cuts off the copper lines leading under the slab and are replaced with the Pex pipe rerouted within all of the walls and ceiling. Why, because you don't have to tear out the floor and slab to fix one leak, and then do it all over again somewhere else in the house and keep rolling the dice.

Anyway, the repipe and drywall jobs went great and I just have to repaint the exterior stucco by the kitchen, the kitchen, downstairs bedroom, laundry room and this downstairs bath just completed yesterday to the missus specifications.

The really cool thing now is we have new shower and bath fixtures in both bathrooms with great water pressure throughout the house, and you don't have to worry about flushing the toilet in the downstairs bathroom and scalding the person taking a shower in the upstairs bathroom anymore!

I still found time this week to musically go back in time to 1970 where 'they' came up with the brilliant idea to put the plumbing system underneath the concrete foundation.

Music wise September, 1970 was a great month with releases from: The Byrds, The Rolling Stones (Live also featuring B.B. King and Ike and Tina Turner), Billy Preston, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, The Allman Brothers Band, Seals and Crofts, Jesus Christ Superstar, Glen Campbell, Santana, Johnny Winter, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and James Brown.

So, I now got a new playlist to whistle while I work. Enjoy my friends, register to VOTE, and stay well.


Monday, December 23, 2019

My Favorite Songs of 2019



I'm just an album guy at heart. If I like an artist or band I tend to like more than one song on the album. So it's really about my favorite albums of the year, and the 100 songs I have chosen here are mostly grouped with at least two or more of what I think are premium cuts of songs from the same album.

My favorite song of 2019 is There Goes My Miracle by Bruce Springsteen from his Western Stars album. Bruce once said that with his plain voice and looks he better be a damn good songwriter if he was going to make it in the music business. I think his vocals have actually improved over the years as Bruce works so hard in everything he does. His vocal on There Goes My Miracle got the hairs on the back of my neck to attention the first time I heard the song. I think the song's a masterpiece of writing, arrangement and a simply fantastic vocal that drives the emotion of the song.

Another song that got me literally tinkling with pure joy was Street Song by The Who from their just released album, WHO. Street Song is an instant classic in my mind because Pete Townshend throws in a little bit of everything that you would associate with the sound of the band in the 1970's. Roger Daltrey's vocal is outstanding, but the thing that brought tears to my eyes when I first heard it (very loudly in my earphones), was Zak Starkey's (son of Ringo) drumming. Zak doesn't imitate his godfather Keith Moon, but the spirit of Keith just came back like a wave through Zak's drumming! Keith Moon is in fact my favorite drummer of all-time because of his unique double tom-toms sound that just rolls like no other in rock. In the 1970's, you could be in any car with crappy speakers and a song from Who's Next would come on the radio and you could hear Keith's drumming just like it was making the car hum down the road.

2019 goes down as the year the 'California Sound' made a comeback. Composers such as Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Webb come to mind that hark back to a time and sound of great songwriting combined in pop with sweeping orchestrations and in rock 'n' roll with great harmony and electric guitars blending with acoustic guitars.

In Western Stars, Bruce embodies Bacharach and Webb and channels Wichita Lineman. In the folk rock documentary, Echo in the Canyon, Jakob Dylan does a similar exploration of groups like The Byrds as the California Sound evolved from beach music to folk rock. Both albums are peppered through my favorites playlist this year.

I have to mention, Dan Auerbach. First for his producing Yola Carter's Walk Through Fire a vocal tour de force by the young British singer-songwriter. Her song, Lonely the Night takes me back to mid-60's English pop like Dusty Springfield and is a must listen. Second, Dan reunites with Patrick Carney and The Black Keys to make a great rock album also featured here and aptly titled, Let's Rock.

Album making is hard work combined with the talent to pull it off. It's a special magic to write, sing, play, and produce 10 or so songs woven together as an album and out into the world. A good album is a great find, a great album is a treasure for life.

So here's 100 songs I really liked this year and mixed together to represent some good and great albums by some fine rock 'n' rollers and Americana musicians in 2019. Enjoy my friends and here's to more great music in 2020!


Monday, July 29, 2019

July 1969, 50 Years of Music

Photo source - The Year Men Walked on the Moon

I thought I couldn't let the month of July, 1969 go without a mention of the moon landing by Apollo 11. In a previous blog, I mentioned my father's Norelco reel to reel tape recorder which I used to record an audio tape of Walter Cronkite's broadcast of the moon landing. The tape and recorder have long disappeared, but sometime in my 20's I snagged the omnidirectional external microphone that I used to tape stuff off TV and albums. To this day, I keep the microphone in a glass cabinet of souvenirs, including my first 35mm Minolta camera Mary Kit gave me in 1974. 

This month, when I walked by the glass cabinet, I thought of the moon launch, landing and return to earth. That memory is very alive in my brain due in part to me knowing as a 14 year old how important this event was to mankind and the thought that I'd need to preserve an audio copy for history. Well, here's YouTube with "Uncle Walter" very much keeping what I had in my mind, back in the summer of '69.



As for the music of July of 1969, my outstanding memory is the song, Touch Me by The Doors. This song's got a bit of everything with the horns, the strings and Jim's vocals moving from gruff to smooth on the chorus, I loved this song!

Technically, the band's It's a Beautiful Day's by their self-titled first album was released in June, 1969 but wasn't on the Wikipedia list I was using and thus didn't make my June, 1969 playlist. Here I feature three songs from that album and didn't think you would mind...

I feature Delaney and Bonnie's second album The Original Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. The great musicians who passed through this band in the late 60's and early 70's is truly astonishing and a huge influence on why Eric Clapton quit Blind Faith to move towards Bonnie & Delaney's sound, not to mention co-opt much of their band when he formed Derek and the Dominoes in 1970.

I also love the Byrd's Preflyte album which was released in July, 1969 from their 1964 demo sessions when they were a little known band called the Jet Set.

Lastly, I have to mention my 8th grade home teacher, Mr. Richard Ziegler who got me hooked on collecting antique bottles and loved the band Canned Heat. I remember our last day of school in June, 1969 and Mr. Ziegler bringing in his record collection to play us his tunes.

Enjoy the Playlist my friends!