Ruby Tuesday By The Rolling Stones

March 29, 2020

Ed Sullivan had a problem. The Rolling Stones were about to appear on his television show and sing their new single “Let’s Spend The Night Together.” He was not comfortable with the sexually explicit lyrics and asked Mick Jagger to change them. Jagger slurred his way through the objectionable parts.

American radio disc jockeys took a different approach. They just played the B side of the single release. The song was not a favorite of the band but on March 4, 1967, it became their fourth number one American single.

Problem solved!

The Beatles White Album: 50th Anniversary Edition (3-CD Set) by The Beatles

March 20, 2020

The Beatles White Album has reached the half-century mark. At the time of its release, the band had begun its downward spiral toward dissolution. Yoko Ono, outside projects, and tensions among members led to a sprawling, non-cohesive, and disparate album of brilliant music. The individual tracks were better than the whole as songs such as “Back In The USSR,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob La-Da,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Rocky Racoon,” and “Birthday” have become essential parts of rock history.

To mark the albums 50th anniversary, the music has been released in a number of formats including a four vinyl LP set and a huge 6-CD plus Blu-ray including a hard-cover book that provides everything you ever wanted to know about the album and more. However, unless you want absolutely everything by the Beatles, then this 3-CD edition, currently being reviewed, is more manageable and price conscious.

The first two CD’s cover the material from the original release. Giles Martin, son of original producer George Martin, has re-engineered the original tracks with modern day technology. The result is a vibrancy not heard on the 50 year old material.

The individual instruments have an increased clarity and there are more layers and textures to the music. Sometimes its the small things such as the discovery of harmonies toward the end of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Di” and the piano on “Rocky Racoon” becoming more prominent.

The third disc is some of the more interesting Beatles material to see the light of day. Titled “The Esher Demos;” it is a series of acoustic tracks recorded at George Harrison’s home. While rarely do all four band members appear on a track, the music has a laid back and finished feel. It gives the songs from the album a different feel.

The Beatles White Album: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is an interesting and technological upgrade of a classic album that has aged well. The tracks may still not have a cohesiveness but individually the songs don’t get much better.

Tea Leaf Confessions By Ynana Rose

March 20, 2020

Ynana Rose is an accomplished vocalist, and an acoustic guitarist; But above all she is a talented poet, which forms the basis for her original compositions.

Whether it be the philosophy of aging, “Stardust Firefly,” a tribute to her grandmother, “Lillian,” or odes to love, “Impossible” and “The Gift Of A Song;” the words are incisive and the melodies simple.

Her approach is simple. She provides a foundation with her voice and guitar and then fills in the gaps and expands the sound with her band.

Ynana Rose has created her own musical universe for her thoughts and words. Tea Leaf Confessions is an album for the ear and mind.

When I Rise By Cary Morin

March 20, 2020

Cary Morin is an artist who helps define the musical style Americana. He includes elements of folk, blues, and jazz into his approach, and it all coalesces into a distinct American sound.

His new album, When I Rise, consists of 10 original compositions and two cover songs. Drawing on his own experiences and the world around him, both real and imaginary, he is able to create stories rich in imagery.

Morin has a distinctive guitar sound. He is a precise picker who is able to layer his own sound so it appears he is playing both the lead and rhythm parts.

In addition to his own material, he tackles the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter “Dire Wolf,” but it is his take on Duane Allman’s “Little Martha” that really shines.

Cary Morin has carved out a niche for himself. When I Rise adds nicely to his expanding legacy.

Global Griot By Eric Bibb

March 20, 2020

Eric Bibb’s career has been one of exploration, creativity, and change. His early career found him as a gentle folk singer emulating Greenwich Village folk singers such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Odetta. As time passed he began fusing blues into his folk music. His latest album finds him returning to his cultural roots as he has added West African rhythms to his sound.

His latest release, Global Griot, continues his musical metamorphosis by exploring and adapting some of West Africa’s culture and stories into his music. The word griot is an African word for a member of a caste who is responsible for maintaining an oral record  of tribal history through music, poetry, and storytelling. He expands this concept as he moves his music outward into the world around him.

Global Griot is a career defining statement and his most distictive and powerful to date. It is also his most ambitious as it contains 24 songs spread over two discs.

Sometimes his approach belies the social commentary as “We Don’t Care,” “What’s He Gonna Say Today,” “Race And Equality,” and “Where’s The Money At” tackle a number of social and political issues.

Bibb has always had a spiritual presence in his music and here songs such as “Let God,” “Listen For The Spirit,” and a simple “Michael, Row Da Boat Ashore” provide a nice counterpoint to the other material as they as interspersed throughout the album.

Anyone acquainted with the music of Eric Bibb will find Global Griot full of surprises, yet never straying too far from the familiar. Several decades in his career, he may have produced his most accomplished album of music.

VHS BY Dr. Chrispy

March 20, 2020

Very few musicians have taken a more unusual or circuitous journey to issuing their first album than Chris Boshuizen, professionally known as Dr. Chrispy.

Boshuizen holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Sydney, and for nearly two decades was employed by NASA. Now working for his own company Planet Labs, he has helped design over 200 satellites.

In his spare time he began creating music on his computer. His hobby has now come to fruition in the release of his debut album VHS.

As one might expect from his former profession, this is an album of electronica that travels on the outer edge of structured music. There is a nostalgic quality contained in the music but it is synthetic and technological and will only appeal to a niche audience that is willing to listen to music outside the mainstream.

There is a theme and a personal sense to the project. The songs were written in and inspired by cities that he experienced in his travels. Their inspiration inspired his creative thoughts and process and are reflected in the titles.

Dr. Chrispy is now travelingg a different journey of exploration. If you are inclined to take a trip outside the norm, then you might want to give VHS a try.