December 29, 2018
Frank Sinatra was “the” teen idol to what was called the “Bobby Soxer” crowd during the 1940’s.
Sinatra had not had a number one song in over a decade when “Strangers In The Night” hit the tops of the charts for the week of July 2, 1966.
“Strangers In The Night” was originally an instrumental written and recorded by German orchestra leader Bert Kaempfert. English lyrics were later added.
It was said that Sinatra did not like the song but nonetheless it helped him re-establish himself as a major artist.
December 27, 2018
The Beatles “Paperback Writer” followed the Rolling Stones “Paint It Black” as the number one song in the United States and all was right with the music world, at least in 1966.
“Paperback Writer” was primarily a Paul McCartney composition. It was written due to a family member’s request to not write another love song.
There has always been a question as to who played lead guitar on the song; McCartney or Harrison.
The song reached number one in a number of countries, including the United States for two non-consecutive weeks beginning June 25, 1966.
December 27, 2018
The Rolling Stones topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the third time when “Paint It Black” reached number one on June 11, 1966, for a two week stay.
It was and remains one of the more ominous songs in their catalogue. What really made the song unique, hover, was the use of a sitar buy Brian Jones as the lead instrument. It was a fusion of western rock with eastern music.
Jagger and Richard were now producing more original material, which in turn would allow The Rolling Stones to assume the title of the world’s greatest rock and roll band.
December 18, 2018
The Ice Queen Cometh (Last March 2nd to be precise)!
Canadian Sue Foley had received numerous music awards in her home country. Now based in Texas, she has recorded her newest album, The Ice Queen, with the help of a number of Texas legends such as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Jimmie Vaughan, Charlie Sexton, and the Texas Horns among others.
She has stayed close to her musical foundation for her new release, combining rock, blues, roots, and even a little flamenco into a contemporary amalgam of sound.
She wisely mixes up the styles and tempos. She thunders through “81,” “The Ice Queen,” “”Fool’s Gold” with Billy Gibbons, and “a horn drenched “If I Have Forsaken You.” She steps forward with her vocals and guitar on a bluesy cover of Besse Smith’s classic “Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair.”
As good as the full-throttle songs are; sometimes simple is best. “Death Of A Dream,’ with only bass and drums in support, is a mellow jazzy journey.
The final two tracks are just Foley, her guitar and voice. “The Dance” is an interesting fusion of the blues and an acoustic flamenco style. The final track is again her solo with a nice rendition of the Carter Family’s “Cannonball Blues.”
Sue Foley is a mature musician who has found a home in Texas. The Ice Queen is a fine collection of Canadian blues and roots music; Texas style.
December 18, 2018
In a time long long ago, in a city that would host the future Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, The Choir was born and lived a short life.
The Choir was an American band formed during the mid-1960’s, who were influenced by the British Invasion. During their five years of existence they would undergo a number of personal changes and only release a few singles. Yet, their reputation was such that they opened for the likes of The Who, Blues Magoos, Hermans Hermits, and Yardbirds.
During 1969, one of the last incarnations of the band recorded enough material for an album, but their dissolution left the tapes in storage until a couple of years ago. Now 48 years after their creation, they have now been remastered with modern technology and released under the title Artifact: The Unreleased Album.
They may have a British Invasion vibe but think early Procol Harum rather than the Beatles, Rolling Stones or Dave Clark Five. They are more pop than rock and roll and there is a subtle nature to their music.
Songs such as “Anyway I Can,” “Have I Know Love To Offer,” “Boris’ Lament,” and “I Can’t Stay In Your Life” are quintessential 1960’s rock and pop. They may seem a little primitive almost half a century later but if taken in context, they make one wonder why the band was not more successful.
The various members of the band went in a number of directions but drummer Jim Bonfanti and guitarist Wally Bryson grabbed the brass ring as members of the Raspberries. They and a dozen or so other musicians left behind a wonderful look into not only a mid-sixties American band just on the cusp of commercial success but some excellent music.
December 18, 2018
I like to try different types and styles of music and Muddy Gurdy fits that category and then some.
First a definition: A hurdy-gurdy is a French instrument. It is played with a hand-cranked wheel, which functions like a violin bow as it rubs against the strings.
Muddy Gurdy is a French blues Band consisting of Tia Gouttebel (guitar and vocals), Gilles Chabenat (hurdy-gurdy), and Marc Glomeau (percussion). They recently travelled to Northern Mississippi to create and record their second album.
Using local musicians and recording is rustic places with little technology, they have created a unique album of basic blues. Ranging from the classic delta blues of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “”She Wolf,” to the Chicago blues of Mudding Waters “Rollin’ And Tumblin,” to the traditional “Glory Glory Hallelujah;” they have stripped the blues to an elemental level.
The self titled Muddy Gurdy is for the blues aficionado who wants their music basic and a little different.